Homemade Collagen Stock (胶原蛋白)



One of the most common comments received when you posted your pork trotter pictures is there are lots of collagen and it is very beneficial to the skin.. Well, this is a true fact minus the fats under the pigskin… If you keep the pig trotter broth in the fridge, the next day, your broth may become jelly like and if you re-heated it , it will melt and become the same soup again.. The same for the fish stock that you have prepared..


If you Google “collagen for skin care”, you are likely to see that most major cosmetic companies will have such a product to enhance your skin complexion and reduce wrinkles.. Cosmetic surgery also uses this important ingredients.


The health supplements will also want a share of this natural protein product by introducing collagen supplements..You can easily get it in supplement stores in Singapore and Malaysia.


Of course restaurant owners will not be left out in this trends, they will sell you a pot of collagen pack hotpot at a huge price premium and customers believed that it will transform you into a beauty and hence the name beauty hotpot (美人锅) were used. Whether or not restaurant uses the top collagen ingredients is up to everyone’s guess.. I can also cheat the readers in this illustration  by putting some milk and gelatine powder to come out to some collagen look alike ingredients..


Well, I did not cheat in terms of my ingredients but I cheated in terms of my preparation method. Traditionally to get a very concentrated collagen stock like in this illustration, one will need lots of pork big bones, chicken bones, fish bones, fish scales and etc.. In addition, you will need very long hours of stewing until all the collagen were being extracted.. So this recipe is different from most recipes that uses chicken bones and pork big bones. with long hours of slow cooking.. It uses pigskin..and food processor and effectively, it takes less than half an hour to prepare this natural gelatine.


In fact it is a gelatine and if you are unaware, gelatines used in cheesecake or other jelly are actually animal based. Most of them are non halal and prepared using pigskin… Of course there are halal fish gelatine that sell in speciality cake shop and generally, vegetarians are not advised to eat gelatine set cakes..


In my humble opinion, only this method can yields such concentrated collagen and mind you, over usage of this collagen stock will render your soup a sticky soup. That also explains why it is not transparent like what you saw in most pictures and it is solid white that can be cut into squares for usage..


Well, collagen are not fats… There may be minute quantities of fats but in this recipe, it will be discarded and it should be unnoticeable.. Long term consumption of reasonable quantities of these stock is believed to be able to improve skin complexion and inhibit wrinkles formation.


With such a bit pot of collagen stock, how shall we used in our daily cooking.. You will be surprised that there are many usages that can be used in our daily cooking…Usages of collagen in daily cooking includes

  • Act as a starch substitute to thicken a sauce – Sauce will be easily thicken without adding any starches.. The dish will be glossy and smooth
  • Act as a soup base for most soups such as ramen, hotpot, fish head beehoon and etc.. You can always add one portion to the soup at anytime you like it..
  • Provide liquid inside the dry fillings for an enveloped dough such as the minced pork steamed buns, xiao long bao,  soup dumplings (灌汤水饺)
  • Preparation of traditional meat Jelly such as pork trotter jelly (猪脚冻) but it need to be diluted first


I do not know how much one pays for a collagen hotpot in Singapore, but I used S$3.50 to prepare this big tub of collagen and it can definitely be used for months. Adding about 100 grams inside my soup already make the soup look thick like the broth of the hot pot..


As per Wikipedia:

Collagen /ˈkɒlədʒɨn/ is the main structural protein in the extracellular space in the various connective tissues in animals. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen, in the form of elongated fibrils, is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. It is also abundant in corneas, cartilage,bones, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs and the dentin in teeth. In muscle tissue, it serves as a major component of the endomysium. Collagen constitutes one to two percent of muscle tissue, and accounts for 6% of the weight of strong, tendinous muscles. The fibroblast is the most common cell that creates collagen. Gelatin, which is used in food and industry, is collagen that has been irreversibly hydrolyzed. Collagen also has many medical uses in treating complications of the bones and skin. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collagen)



Servings: About 2 –3 litres of thick concentrated stocks that can be further diluted


  • 1 kg of pigskin
  • About 3-4 times the volume of water



PicMonkey Collage1

  • In a big pot put the pigskin, add the water. The water volume shall be at least 2-3 times the volume of the pigskin. You can add water at any stage of your preparation. Bring the water to boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain the pigskin and keep the hot water.

  • Trim away all the fats under the pigskin if any. Cut into small pieces.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Transfer the cut pigskin to a food processor or blender. If using a blender, add some hot water from the pot and blend it until as fine as possible. You will witness the solution will turn whitish and that is essentially collagen. Transfer the blended solution back into the pot, let it boil for another 15 minutes.

  • Put a sift on top of a desired container, pour the hot whitish solution into the container. Collect the pigskin that are not fine enough. If dsired, you can re-blend these pigskin and boil again for the second time to maximize the recovery rate. Effectively, I have only threw away about 100 grams of the pigskin as i have blended a few time to collect more stock.

  • Cool completely and when set, cut it into small pieces for future usage. The firmness of your collagen stock will depend on the amount of water added. The more water it is, the softer it will be ..

PicMonkey Collage3

  • To use it, add your pre-cut collagen slices into soup or meat dishes. The soup will looked very concentrated and for meat dishes, it will be very glossy without the need to add starches.



  • If you do not like it to be too thick, you can dilute with water before setting.

  • To wash all the cooking utensils, flush all the utensils with hot boiling water.



As you can see, I have prepared two dishes using a small quantities of homemade collagen.. It is so satisfactory especially the shredded ginger chicken. It smoothen the meat without the need to add starches. In view of such thick concentration of collagen, it is likely that I will use it for noodle dishes. My own perception is a small quantity of additional collagen per day will replenish  the natural lost of collagen in the body and in the long run, I hope, I hope, I hope I  will have less wrinkles.. Lol


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day


food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]


  • If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.


Pumpkin Coconut Jam aka Pumpkin Kaya (金瓜加椰)



This is the long overdue recipe that I have never blog.. It was very trendy 2 years ago. I still remembered then I just started my blog and I can remember that a few bloggers started sharing recipe and it become so common that Facebook are flooded with this pumpkin kaya recipe.


Since I have a lot of pumpkin at home, I have therefore decided to prepare some. After digesting for 3-4 recipes, I have designed my own, making it creamier and easier.


I am happy that the adventure works, and family members like it too. Actually, the taste did not differ much from the traditional egg kaya or coconut jam. It is silky smooth and good as spreads for bread.. It is addictive too possibly because of the creaminess from the addition of condensed milk.


Well, if you are someone who  have condensed milk phobia, I have another recipe to use castor sugar. You can choose either one but the one with condensed milk is definitely a better recipe. The illustration will show the use of condensed milk.



Servings: Prepare a small bottle of pumpkin coconut jam


  • 400 grams of pumpkin
  • 8 Pandan Leaves
  • 80 grams of condensed milk or 60 grams of brown sugar
  • 200 ml or grams of thick coconut milk

Note: Both the sugar and condensed milk quantities stated here are rather conservative. Feel free to add more if you found that it is not sweet enough to your liking.



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Steam the pumpkin until soft. Put all the ingredients (except pandan leaves) into a blender and blend until as fine as possible. Transfer to to a non stick pan and add pandan leaves. Cook under low heat until it thickens. Constant stirring is required and it took me about 30 minutes of stirring.  If the jam thicken until a stage whereby when you stir, the line appeared on the jam, it is considered as done. Cool completely before storing in sterilized glass container.



Trust me, if you have never try pumpkin kaya before, you should give it a try. If you have tried it before, do give this recipe a try and let me know if there is any differences.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at 

PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]


  • If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.


Homemade Lotus Seeds Paste (家居自制莲蓉馅料)



I swear that I never like lotus seeds in desserts, not even until now… But it is very strange that I like lotus seed paste.. i personally found that commercially sold lotus seed paste is aromatic and taste different from the lotus seeds found in the Chinese desserts..

IMG_7288 - Copy

Despite the fact that I do not like lotus seeds, for the sake of lotus seed paste, I have decided to try preparing it myself. I test my patience to clean the lotus seeds one by one, boiled, mash and stir fry it …..

IMG_7286 - Copy

Hmmmm, the outcome of homemade lotus seed paste does not taste like what is sold in the store. Not only the colour, it taste exactly like cooked lotus seeds..It is understandable that since it is made of lotus seeds, it must taste like lotus seeds.. I do not think that there is anything wrong with the procedures, it is what is included in the commercially sold lotus seeds paste that puzzled me..

IMG_7290 - Copy

The taste are so consistent be it in Singapore, Hong Kong or Malaysia. It tastes almost the same for moon cakes that are prepared by different stores in different regions.  I started to suspect there must be some flavouring for lotus paste. I Goggled and I found that there is such an industrial flavouring available in the market but mostly in China. I called 3 major bakeries in Singapore and apparently, none of have heard of this flavouring. With this discovery, I am more settled and are able to justify why is there a flavour difference between home made and store bought..


If you are interested to know about the commercial flavouring, you can refer to here: 优质莲子(莲蓉)香精,含量99%,食用级.

Please don’t get me wrong that I am against the use of flavouring.. I believed that limited usage will not jeopardize our health… What I am trying to stress is that there is such a flavouring and that may explained the difference in flavour in the event that you tried out this recipe..


Home made preparation also ensure that family members or friends really eat the paste made from almost pure lotus seeds. It was in the China news that some sellers sold fake lotus paste made using potatoes paste and lotus paste flavouring. I think that is good enough to justify home preparation and you are not worry as what you put into your mouth. If you are interested to read the news, you can refer to: 部分月饼厂家用土豆加香精冒充莲蓉_新闻中心_新浪网


“Lotus seed paste is a Chinese dessert ingredient made from dried lotus seeds. It is traditionally considered as a luxurious ingredient.The process for making the paste is similar to that used to make smooth red bean paste. First, the dried seeds are stewed in water until soft and then mashed into a fine paste. The paste is then watered down to a thin slurry and passed through a sieve and into cheesecloth, with which it is squeezed dry. This produces a fine crumbly paste, which is then mixed with sugar or other sweeteners and often oil to produce a smooth, sweet paste. Due to the higher price of lotus seeds, commercially prepared lotus pastes may also contain white kidney bean paste as a filler. There are different variations with some darker, close to black in colour. Usually these have a deeper taste. (Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_seed_paste)”




Servings: About 1 kg of lotus seeds paste


  • 300 grams of dried lotus seeds (without skin)
  • 150 grams of lard or peanut oil or other cooking oil
  • 150 grams of castor sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of maltose
  • 4 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour (optional)



PicMonkey 1

  • Soak the dried lotus seeds in cold water for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Pluck open the lotus seeds and take away the germ in between the halves. Transfer the clean lotus seeds to a pressure cooker pot. Add just enough water to cover the lotus seeds. Pressure cook for about 30 minutes or until the lotus seeds are soft.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • To check the doneness of the lotus seeds, use a spoon to mash it. If it can be done easily, it is considered as done. Sift away any excess water. Transfer the cooked lotus seeds to a big sieve. Use something to mash the soft cooked lotus seeds and collect the mash lotus seeds at the bottom of the sieve.

  • In a wok, heat up 1/3 of the oil, add the mashed lotus seed paste and stir fry until well combined. Gradually add the sugar until it suit your taste buds. If it is too dry, gradually add in the remaining 2/3 of the oil. Once the sugar dissolves and the lotus paste dries up and does not stick to the wok, add the glutinous rice flour. Stir until well combined. Continue stirring until it resemble the texture of store bought paste. Off the heat and store in an air tight container after it was completely cooled.


  • You can add the sugar and oil gradually until it suits your preference. For moon cake purposes, the lotus paste need to be drier such that it will not be deformed when baked in the oven.

IMG_7292 - Copy


Once again, do not get me wrong that all store bought lotus seed pastes are unhealthy. But homemade lotus paste may taste different like cooked lotus seeds. So before you embark into this tedious assignment, you have to think carefully on the probable difference before you lay your hand. Justification for homemade lotus seeds paste is it can be less sweet and oily. In addition, what you are eating is a mouthful of lotus seeds and not some white kidney beans or potatoes.  


This recipe was included in Page 34-35 of the “Easy Mooncake Recipes E-book”. For more mooncake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy mooncake recipes  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 20 recipes, 45 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD4.00. The recipes covered various recipes from durian mooncake, traditional baked mooncake and also the less common Teochew mooncake . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



Homemade Golden Syrup (黄金糖浆, 糖清)



One of the main ingredients for Baked Traditional Mooncake (传统粤式月饼)  is golden syrup. The main reason of using golden syrup is to enhance the colour of the dough such that it is a nice brownish crust  without over baking the moon cake. In addition, it flavours the moon cake crust giving some faint caramelized smell and also slightly sweeten the crust.


Most Chinese food groups are basically using the same recipe of requiring to boil the water for 1.5-2 hours until the syrup is brownish. Sorry for my shallow knowledge, I can’t be convinced that there is such a need to waste gas to boil the syrup to get such a colour and I therefore resort to the western method of preparing golden syrup.. It took only 30 minutes to get the syrup done. In addition, to make the preparation faster, less water was being used.


If you asked me is it the same thing? I would say it is the same as what I have prepared in this illustration is the same as what I have bought in the store last year for the preparation of moon cake.. As per Wikipedia:

“Golden syrup or light treacle is a thick, amber-coloured form of inverted sugar syrup, made in the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar, or by treatment of a sugar solution with acid. It is used in a variety of baking recipes and desserts. It has an appearance similar to honey and is often used as a substitute where honey is unavailable or prohibitively expensive.”


So besides using in moon cake, what recipe used golden syrup? As explained in the above Wiki definition, golden syrup can be used when honey is not available. In fact, any recipes that called for syrup like maple syrup, it can also be used though the taste may not be the same.


The recipes issued that used golden syrup are listed below: Kek Sarang Semut (2) –Malaysian Beehive Cake or Honeycomb Cake (蜂窝蛋糕)


Tony Roma’s BBQ Baby Ribs Copycat


Gingerbread Man Biscuits


ANZAC biscuits (澳纽燕麦饼干)


Gongzai Mooncake or Doll Mooncake (公仔月饼, 香化饼)



Servings: About 1 big bottle of golden syrup


  • 1 kg of castor sugar
  • 500 grams or ml of the water.
  • Half a lemon – cut into big pieces



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Heat up a pot under medium to high heat, add about 100 ml of the castor sugar and 50 ml or grams of water , bring to boil. Let it simmer until the sugar caramelize and turn brownish. It will took about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up the remaining 450 ml or grams of water in another pot , bring to boil.

  • When the sugar caramelizes, add the hot boiling water gradually , stir until the sugar dissolves and all the water have added. Add in the remaining 900 grams of sugar.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Add the lemon slices and bring to boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce to medium heat, Let it simmer for about 30 minutes. To test the doneness of the syrup, take a spoonful of the syrup, put it in a small bowl and let it cool completely under the fan. If the syrup is sticky enough like what is shown in the picture, it is considered done. Store in a sterilized container and the syrup should be able to keep for months to years.


  • The addition of lemon is to prevent to recrystallization of sugar.

  • If the syrup is too thick, add some water and boil again.

  • When the syrup is hot, the viscosity is very high. However, when it cooled down, it will become very sticky. While handling syrup, be careful not to let the syrup touched your hands.



Last year, some overseas members are complaining not able to get hold of golden syrup. Even local bakery shop runs out of stock. In addition, it was sold at quite a high premium. Usually in the preparation of this type of syrup that can be kept for a long time, one will prepare 2-3 kilogram of castor sugar. It was then repackage and give it to friends.. May be you can consider doing this way too.. lastly, just to highlight that most recipes called for the use of honey can be substituted with golden syrup though the taste may slightly be different.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



Cooked Glutinous Rice Flour aka Gao Fen (糕粉)



Gao Fen or cooked glutinous rice flour is a very important ingredient in Chinese pastry recipes.. It was used in many Chinese cakes or pastry that have sticky or gluey, interior fillings. In addition, it was also  used as some form of flour to prevent sticking during the preparation of Chinese biscuits.. I have been exposed to this unique ingredient since very young as my late parents used this in the preparation of traditional Chinese delicacies.


Cooked glutinous rice flour can be used for the preparation of: Snow skin Moon cake (冰皮榴莲月饼)


Sugar Puff, Sun Biscuit And Pong Piah (太阳饼, 碰饼)


Old School Of Moon cake With A New Look–Orange Snow Cake (橘皮云片雪花糕)


Winter Melon Puff or Wife Biscuit or Sweet Heart Cake (老婆饼)


Chinese Horseshoe Biscuits, Ma Ti Su, Beh Teh Soh, Heong Paeng (马蹄酥, 香饼)


Re-Creating My Homesick Snack–Citrus Zested Kite Moon cake (风吹饼,风筝饼, 烘吹饼)


This item can be easily obtained from the bakery shop in Asian countries and it is cheap and economical. However, most overseas bakery shop did not carry such item especially in USA, UK or Australia etc.. Last year, readers have a difficulty to obtain this item for the preparation of snow skin moon cake and that sparks my desire to share this recipe with readers..


This is not the best batch of Gao Fen and the stickiness definitely cannot be compared with the store bought. However, I have tested the homemade Gao Fen for the preparation of snow skin moon cake, it did work satisfactorily. For local readers where you have assess to store bought Gao Fen, I will advise you to buy from the stores. For those overseas readers, I hope that this recipe will help you  to curb your cravings of snow skin moon cakes and other Chinese pastries or biscuits.




  • 100% raw glutinous rice flour
  • 10% plain flour (optional)

* Please take note that it is the ratio and you can use any quantity of glutinous rice flour you desired. For example, if you used 500 grams of glutinous rice flour, you will need to add 50 grams of plain flour .



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Sift the glutinous rice flour and plain flour into a steamer tray. Make some holes in the middle. Cover the tray with clingy wrap. Steamed at high heat for about 45 minutes until cooked. Sift the  cooked flour again and stored in a dry containers when completely cooled.


  • Cooked glutinous rice flour will show some lumps and smell different from the raw glutinous rice flour. It is not that floury and smooth to touch. It can be slightly sandy and once it touches water, it will become sticky.


Once again, homemade Gao Fen is not as ideal as store bought Gao Fen, prepared this only when you have no other choices. At least it will still help other readers who totally do not have assess such ingredients. More moon cake ingredients will be lined out soon. Bookmark this recipe just in case you may need it one day.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.




Homemade Red Bean Paste (家居自制红豆沙馅)



Moon cake festival is 3 months away and I believed it is time for me to share recipes of moon cake fillings.. To start of, I will share the basic recipe of red bean paste which can be used not only in moon cake but also as fillings for steamed buns etc..


If I tell you homemade red bean paste is healthy, I think i am telling you a lie and it can classified as healthy if and only if you do not compared with those sold in the counter.. In order to get what it looked like those that was sold in the counter, you will need to have quite a high fat content.. Lots of oil is needed to make it smooth as silk .. As for the sweetness, you do have the ability to adjust.


However, there seems to be still something lacking when compared homemade red bean paste with store bought red bean paste. One is the flavour. While the flavour is very rich with red bean aroma  but it is slightly different than those sold in the stores.. Most will believe something has been  added to the store red bean paste and none seems to know what it is ..


Another is the colour of the red bean paste. Traditional red bean paste are very dark until the shade of black.. But it seems it is not possible to attain that shade of black with normal red beans.. It puzzled me too as the childhood red bean paste is black rather than red… I do hope some readers can shed some light with me.. Is there any possibility that the black bean was used instead of red beans.. May be I will try again in the next attempt.


All quantities listed here are for your reference and it very much depends on  your personal taste buds. What I am sharing is more of a method of preparation. As for sugar and oil, you will need to gradually add until it suits your taste bud.


I have also use the homemade red bean paste to prepare some flower buns and also moon cake.. I am happy that it works well on both bakes. For the flower buns, it taste just nice with a dough but for the moon cake, it is still slightly sweeter though definitely not as sweet as what is sold commercially.




  • 500 grams of red beans
  • 200 grams of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of maltose
  • 4 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour (optional)
  • 250 grams of lard or peanut oil

* As for oil and sugar, it is advisable that you add gradually along the preparation. You may need more or less depending on your desired texture and smoothness.



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Clean the red bean and put about 1 litre of water together with the washed red bean in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the red bean for 30 minutes or until the red bean is soft. Drain away the additional water if any. Transfer the cooked red bean to a food processor, blend until as fine as you can. You may took a while to blend the cooked red bean as it can be rather sticky, therefore, pause and stir is required.  Add the brown sugar, maltose and 50 grams of lard or peanut oil and continue to blend until as smooth as possible.  Additions of this will facilitate the blending.  (Remember you can gradually add the brown sugar until your desired sweetness).

PicMonkey Collage2

  • In  a wok, heat up the remaining lard or peanut oil, add the blended red bean paste, followed by the glutinous rice flour. Stir fry under medium heat until aroma start to emit, sugar melted and the oil is well mixed with the red bean paste. Take some to taste if this is your desired sweetness and texture, otherwise, adjust by adding more oil and sugar now.  Once done, cooled completely before store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.



For me, it is a good attempt though I have wished that the sugar and fats are much less than stated in the recipe. I did try but it is not tasty and smooth at all. Therefore, I hate to say that delicious homemade red bean paste may not be the healthiest. However, it is still much healthier than those sold in the store as no preservatives were added, less sugar can be used and most important of all, you know what is inside the red bean paste.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



Homemade Salted Eggs (家居咸蛋)



Chinese dumpling festival is approaching and I thought I want to try making some salted egg yolks for my dumplings.. If you are Singaporean, you will know that there are no fresh duck eggs being sold  in Singapore.. Don’t ask me the reasons but my egg supplier told me that it is a government regulation that no duck eggs shall be imported into Singapore.. She further disclosed that it was possibly due to the bird flu incidence many many years back… I did not testify such statement but I can only tell you it was not sold in Singapore at the time of issuing this report..


Since there are no duck eggs, I have tried my luck to use chicken eggs after one Facebook friends referred me to Ms. Lily Ng’s website whom she also used chicken eggs in the preparation.. It is my fault that I did not follow her instructions and I come out with my own home version which have more wastage.. But such wastage is rather cost negligible because salt is relatively cheap and the saline solution can be reused many times.


Is there any difference between the salted duck egg yolk and salted chicken egg yolk? In my humble opinion, there is not much difference at all, the only noticeable difference is that it is much smaller in size than than the duck eggs. In order to have the beautiful and orangey yolk, I have told my egg supplier that I want one that have an orange egg yolk if there is .. She gave me a box of 10 white colour shell kampong chicken eggs and the price is slightly higher at about S$2,70 for a box of 10 (normal is S$2 a box of 10).


Though the original recipe called for 3 weeks, I found some of the yolks have refused to harden even after 4 weeks. That possibly due to the fact I did not follow the recipe closely initially as the osmosis did not took place..




  • Some chicken eggs (“White” shelled kampong chicken eggs or duck eggs preferred)
  • Some Chinese cooking wine or any cooking alcohol
  • Adequate salt to cover the eggs (sea salt preferred)
  • A bottle to accommodate the eggs (Glass bottle preferred)



PicMonkey Collage

  • Rinse the eggs with the cooking wine. In a sterilized bottle, put some salt and arrange the eggs as compact as you can. Cover all with the salt. If there is any cooking wine left, pour inside the bottle. Pour adequate COOLED COOKED WATER to cover the eggs. Close the lid and let it sit inside the bottle for at least 3 weeks – 4 weeks.

  • After 3 weeks, take out an egg, crack and check if the yolk has harden. Otherwise, you will have to wait until all the yolks have harden.



  • White colour kampong chicken eggs are preferred. Tell your egg supplier that you need yolks that are orangey. Duck eggs if available is still the best choice. Cooking wine will enhance the colour the egg yolks.

  • Check the eggs and ensure that there are no crack in the eggs.

  • If you are not willing to use so much salt, the basic ratio is 1 cup of sea salt to 4 cups of water. However, in this illustration, I have used about 1 cup of salt to 1 cup of water as I believed it will expedite the process. The salt did not dissolved in so little liquid. Overall salt that I used is about SS1.50.

  • In  this adventure, about 3 are not as hard as I wanted. Possibly  they are those that floated on top of the saline water.



i am lucky that this adventure worked wonder for me and I will be using this batch for my dumpling.  I hope it works well for you too. I am preparing another batch using the same saline water and I will know in another 21 days. Should there be any new development, I will update the post.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



Preserved Long Beans (酸豆角)



“酸豆角是指腌制过的豆角。豆角含有丰富的优质蛋白质、碳水化合物及多种维生素、微量元素等,可补充机体的招牌营养素。其中所含B族维生素能维持正常的消化腺分泌和胃肠道蠕动的功能,抑制胆碱酶活性,可帮助消化,增进食欲。” (Source:http://baike.baidu.com/view/1184819.htm

Literally translated from Chinese Baike Wikipedia, preserved long beans refer to marinated long beans. The beans are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins that are beneficial and provide nutrients for the body. Among which is Vitamin B that helps to maintain a normal digestive gland secretion, gastrointestinal motility function, inhibition of cholinergic activity, aids in digestions and increase appetite.。


This is a dish that I have never forget to order when I dined in Hunan restaurants in China. The preserved long beans are sour and crunchy. Most of the time it was stir fried with minced meat and chillies. It is definitely a very appetizing dish.


Last year when I was dining with my wife in a Hunan restaurant in Singapore, I ordered this dish and my wife, who love any types of preserved vegetable like kiam chai (preserved mustard), Sichuan vegetable etc. immediately “hooked” on it. She loved the tanginess and crunchiness of the preserved beans. She requested me to search for a recipe and prepare this.. I never promised her but on the next day, she bought one bundle of long beans and asked me to prepare..


Since she is very serious wanting to have some homemade preserved long bean, I have “no choice” but to search for a recipe.. Well, there are plenty of recipes in the Chinese website and basically are the same…. Since I do not have any pottery urn in my house, I have used a glass bottle to preserved these vegetable.


It is considered as a successful attempt though the crunchiness was not as good as what I tasted in the restaurant.. Since member in my Facebook group are asking for my recipe , I have decided to share this recipe after almost one year of delay.. I will like to the take this opportunity to convey my apology to Ms. Cathryn who have been waiting for the recipe..




  • 10-15 stalks of long beans
  • 2 red chillies 
  • 10 Sichuan peppercorns (花椒) – optional
  • 5-10 cloves of garlic
  • Adequate boiled water or unopened mineral water to cover the bean
  • 4 tablespoons of coarse sea salt
  • Some cooking wine to cover the top



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Wash the vegetables and wind dry or sun dry under the sun until the vegetables are dry to touch. You can wipe the vegetables first before drying for at least 4-5 hours..

  • Meanwhile, get ready a metal bowl. Put the salt and pour boiling hot water on the salt and let the salt dissolved. Cool completely before the next step. If you are using bottled mineral water, this step can be omitted.


  • Get ready a STERILIZED glassed container. You can sterilize the container by pouring some hot water and use a clean towel to wipe dry the container. The container must be totally dry before the next step.

  • Stuff the dry long bean into the glass container. Add the chillies. garlics and Sichuan peppercorns. Pour the cooled saline solution until it completely covered the vegetables. pour some cooking wine to seal the top the the vegetable. Close the lid tight and place in a cool airy area without sun exposure if possible.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Marinate the long beans for a period of at least 7 days. The longer you marinate, the more sour it will be.


  • When you purchase long beans, select those that are firm to touch. A bit skinny is okay . Do not buy those that are fluffy to touch. Those type of long beans will not give you a good texture.

  • The long beans, container and other vegetables shall be free of any oil and raw water  . If there is any oil in the long bean, the long bean will not be crunchy. Instead, it will become rotten.

  • Once the preserved long beans are taken out from the bottle, it is best to consume as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will have to be kept in the fridge in Singapore’s weather.

  • To prepare this long beans, just cut into small pieces and stir fry with minced pork and red cut chilli. It is sour and very appetizing to go with porridges and white rice. It taste very much like salted vegetable.


This is a niche recipe, meaning I do not expect many readers will try in this region. For those who have never try the dish before, in the even that you have a chance to try the dish in the Hunan or other Chinese restaurant and you like it, you can come back here and try preparing yourself.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.





Coconut Egg Jam – Pandan Kaya (香兰加椰)And Caramel Kaya (焦糖加椰)


Updated post on 23/3/2015

A new illustration for caramel kaya was presented. For this illustration, I have used the quick method of cooking the custard and blending the custard to the consistency I want.



There is nothing to shout about this post.. Most families will know how to prepare kaya or coconut jam… I believed most readers grow up with this breakfast spread on bread.. The recipe is very simple, in essence, it is just coconut milk, sugar and eggs.. The egg mixture was cooked via ban marie method until the custard is set.. For nonya style, pandan leaves were added.and therefore give a green hue.. As for Hainanese style of coconut jam, sugar were caramelized to get the brownish orangey colour and flavour, it was then added to the milk mixture cook using ban marie method.


The ingredients are common but the preparation is slightly laborious… Those who have prepared custard before will know that the eggs and milk tend to curdle if no constant stirring was done.. Lumps will be formed.. To  have smooth silky kaya, constant stirring is required and you may need to stir for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes….


However, there are other easier method.. You can cook the kaya and use a blender the kaya to make it smooth.. Taste will be exactly the same but the texture will not be as smooth as you constantly stir the kaya for 1/2 hour. For purposes of caramel kaya, I have resorted to the use of this method


As a respect to traditional recipe, for Pandan Kaya illustration, I have used the steam stirring method (like the ban marie) to get until the texture that I want. It took me about 40 minutes to do this.. most of time stand by the stove…


As per Wikipedia:

“Kaya, also called Srikaya or coconut egg jam, is a sweet creamy coconut spread made from coconut milk (also known as santan),duck or chicken eggs which are flavoured by pandan leaf and sweetened with sugar. The colour varies depending on the colour of the egg yolks, the amount of pandan and extent of caramelisation of the sugar. As a popular local spread, kaya is typically spread on toast to make kaya toast and eaten in the morning[1] but is enjoyed throughout the day. Different varieties available include nyonya kaya, which is a lighter green colour, and Hainanese kaya, which is a darker brown and uses caramalised sugar, and is often further sweetened with honey. Kaya is used as a topping for several desserts including pulut taitai or pulut tekan, a dessert of sweet glutinous rice coloured blue with butterfly pea flowers (bunga telang), and pulut seri muka, a similar dessert but coloured green with pandan leaves. It is also used with glutinous rice to make kuih seri kaya. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_jam)


If you are interested to have the above Nonya snack recipe, you can refer to this post: Simple Yet Elegant Nonya Kuih–Kuih Pulut Tai Tai, Pulut Tekan, Pulut Tatal (娘惹兰花加椰糕)




  • 5 eggs
  • 10 pieces of pandan leaves
  • 300 ml or grams of coconut milk
  • 200 grams of castor sugar



  • Get ready a steamer capable of steaming at least 45 minutes at medium heat.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until fine. Sift into a pot. Put the pot on a steamer with hot boiling water.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Cook the custard above the steam, stir using a balloon whisk  until the kaya have set. Constant stirring is required. For the first 15 minutes, stirring once in every 5 minutes is required. For the next 30 minutes, it is advisable to give a quick stir for every 3 minutes. In the process, you will see the egg mixture getting stickier and stickier. If the jam thicken until a stage whereby when you stir, the line appeared on the jam, it is considered as done. Cool completely before storing in sterilized glass container.


Caramel Kaya


  • Melt the sugar in a pan under medium heat until the sugar turn brownish. Off the heat and add coconut milk. Stir until the sugar dissolved. Note that when you add the coconut milk to the syrup, the sugar will recrystallized. Constant stirring will help to expedite the dissolving process. Keep aside for cooling.


  • Once the coconut sugar solution have slightly cooled, add the beaten eggs. Transfer the mixture to a wok or pan. Using medium heat, cook the custard until set. Lumpy is okay and it will take about 5-8 minutes depending on your heat. Transfer the cooked custard to a blender. Blend until as fine as possible.





Depending on your requirements, you can either use the short cut method by quick cooking the custard and use blender to blend the mixture or using this traditional method..  If I do not tell you which is cooked using traditional method of stirring and which is using the short cut method, can you note the difference?


Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste bud.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.




Nonya Acar Awak (娘惹泡菜)



I have a post on Acar Timun Sarawak (Sarawak preserved cucumber) usually served together with prawn crackers during Chinese New Year… And that Acar is slightly different from the Nonya Acar Awak that I will share in this post.


The major difference is that Nonya Acar Awak can be eaten after freshly prepare as a side dish or appetizer whereas the Acar Sarawak usually need to marinate for a few days before the desired texture is developed (soft but crunchy). Beside the ingredients that were used in Acar Sarawak (cucumber and carrot), Acar Awak usually have long beans, cabbage, pineapples, cauliflowers etc.. and some even have radishes..

If you want to know about Acar Sarawak and Wikipedia’s definition of Acar, you can refer to this post: Sarawak Pickled Cucumber – Acar Timum Sarawak


I am pleased with this batch of Acar which I have modified from  my Acar Timum Sarawak recipe..It is sour and sweet and very refreshing. I have prepared this as a side dish for my dinner today. I am also not worried if I can’t finish the Acar as it can be kept in fridge for at least on a week. The Acar will be  more flavourful after 1-2 days.


Preparation is not difficult except it was slightly laborious.. But most of the things can done in separate stages. Just a bit of planning is required for churning out this dish .. Every efforts is worth after you took the first bite.



Servings: 8 Adult servings


  • 300 grams of cucumber – Julienned into 1 inch long
  • 150 grams of carrots – Julienned into 1 inch long
  • 150 grams of long beans – cut into 1 cm long
  • 150 grams of pineapple – cut into small pieces
  • 150 grams of cauliflower – cut into small pieces
  • 50 grams of cabbage  – cut into small pieces

Rempah (spice mix)

  • 5 shallots
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 bird eye chilli or 2 big chilli
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 5 candlenuts (buah keras) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of dry prawns, soaked
  • 1.5 inches of fresh turmeric or 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (optional)
  • 1 inch of galangal (optional)


  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oils
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup  of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely grinded peanuts
  • Salt to taste
  • Additional sugar, salt and vinegar for blanching liquid



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Cut the cucumber in about 1 inch long and throw away the centre of the cucumber. Dust about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar on the julienned cucumber. Toss until evenly coated. Put under the sun for sun dry or in the fridge to air dry for at least one hour. After one hour, you will witness lots of cucumber juices secreted. Squeeze dry the cucumber and set aside. You can either put the cucumber in a muslin cloth and squeeze or use hand to squeeze manually.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • In a pot with some water, add about 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and bring to boil. Add in the cabbage, long bean, cauliflower and carrot sticks. Blanch the vegetable until soft which took me about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • In a blender, put all the rempah ingredients and some water adequate to cover the ingredients. Blend until fine.

  • In a wok, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil, put the blended spice mix, use medium heat to stir fry until the colour of the spice mix darkens and oils start to separate from the rempah. Add 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt to taste. Bring to boil. Once boiled, off the heat. 

PicMonkey Collage4

  • Add the pineapples, marinated cucumber, blanched vegetables followed by sesame seeds and grinded peanuts. Stir until well mixed. It can be served after it was well mixed. However, it is advisable to let it soak for at least one-two hours before serving. If time permits, soaking overnight will yield a more flavourful Acar Awak. Best served as a side dish or appetiser in a Nonya meal.



I loved this dish as it is very appetizing that will wake up my appetite. As this is a savoury recipe and there are many flexibilities. Ingredients quantity listed is a guideline. Feel free to adjust to one that suits your family’s taste bud. Remember that overnight resting is preferred though not necessary. If you cannot finish, just store in the fridge. Provided it was not contaminated with dirty spoons, it can keep up to at least a week in refrigerator since this is a recipe of preserved vegetables.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.