Curried “Buttered” Meat Slices With Salted Eggs..

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INTRODUCTION

I have this meat dish as a side dish for yesterday’s dinner. It is a rather regional dish, cooking using the traditional Chinese cooking ingredient, salted eggs and the common Malaysian cooking ingredient, curry leaves (Murraya koenigii). In addition, to enhance the fragrance I have used clarified butter, ghee in the cooking. The dish is a nice curry butter flavoured meat slices which is a rather sinful indulgence in savoury dish.

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International readers, you are always on my mind, every times when I issued a post, I will think of alternatives for you to try cooking the dish considering the fact that you may not have the localized ingredients there. The taste of course will not be compromised much.

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It is very common that this special combination of salted egg, butter and curry leaves is used for the cooking of seafood especially cooking of prawns. It is a relatively new dish and I can’t recall I have ever eaten when I was young. I understand that it started as a restaurant dish and is now commonly prepared by Singapore and Malaysian house chefs.

For this post, I think the following ingredients worth special explanations.

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Curry tree is a common plant in Singapore and Malaysia. It’s leaves had a pungent smell and used in a wide varieties of cuisines especially in the cooking of curry dishes and seafood dishes that have a strong fishy smell. The smell will become more obvious after the leaves were deep fried.

“The curry tree (Murraya koenigii) is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae, which is native to India and Sri Lanka. Its leaves are used in many dishes in India and neighbouring countries. Often used in curries, the leaves generally called by the name “curry leaves”, though they are also translated as “sweet neem leaves” in most Indian languages (as opposed to ordinary neem leaves which are bitter)”. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry_tree)

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that have a higher fat content and is commonly used in the India Sub Continent’s cuisines both in bakery or normal cooking purposes. When used in the preparation of Indian Short Bread cookies (Nan Khatai), it really creates a melt in the mouth feeling whereby the cookies is crispy and crumbly in texture. You may want to read more about Ghee and my post Nan Khatai HERE.

Salted duck egg is a very common Chinese household cooking ingredient. It is used in pastry such as moon cakes as well as a variety of Chinese cuisines. It is salty and can also be eaten on its own with porridges. It had a special fragrance when cooked.

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“A salted duck egg is a Chinese preserved food product made by soaking duck eggs in brine, or packing each egg in damp, salted charcoal. In Asian supermarkets, these eggs are sometimes sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. The eggs may also be sold with the salted paste removed, wrapped in plastic, and vacuum packed. From the salt curing process, the salted duck eggs have a briny aroma, a very liquid egg white and a firm-textured, round yolk that is bright orange-red in colour.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salted_duck_egg)

IMG_8934 This dish with some super quick one pot rice dish


WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 500 grams of sliced pork (alternative: chicken drumstick meats, prawns)

  • 1 salted egg (optional or use chicken egg)

  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour

  • Some curry leaves (about 30-40 leaves) (Substitute: bay leaves)

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  • 1 tablespoon of ghee (alternatives: Butter or normal cooking oil)

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlics

  • Adequate cooking oil for oil blanching of sliced pork

  • Pinches of sugar

  • Pinches of salt (only if salted eggs are not used)

  • Pinches of white pepper powder

  • Additional corn starch for thickening (optional)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Clean your meat slices. Add egg white (from the salted duck eggs whites or chicken eggs whites), corn flour, half of the curry leaves and marinate for about 1 hour in the fridge.

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  • Have some cooking oil, bring to high heat and oil blanching the meat slices for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside for next step. Depending on the thickness of the meat, you may have to blanch for a slightly shorter or longer time (plus or minus 1 minute). It is ok if the meat inside is not fully cooked as the next step will continue cooking the meat.

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  • Meshed the salted duck egg and get ready the other half of curry leaves and the chopped garlics.

  • In a shallow frying pan, add the ghee and stir fry the chopped garlics until fragrant. Add in curry leaves and meshed salted duck eggs, stir fry until the aroma of curry leaves start to emit and the salted eggs have start to turn slight brownish,

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  • Add in the blanched meat slices, white pepper, pinches of sugar and stir fry for about 2 minutes until well mixed. (Do not add any more salt as salted egg is rather salty)

  • Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a corn starch solution and pour gradually into the frying pan. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until well mixed. If it is too sticky or you prefer to have more sauces, add some more hot water. The thickening of the sauce is OPTIONAL.

  • Best served hot as a side dish in a Chinese meals.

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CONCLUSION

The dish is full of flexibility in terms of its ingredients. You can cook in the same manner for prawns, fish fillets or chicken strips. If you do not want oil blanching, you can just stir fry it by passing the step but cooking time have to be slightly longer. Salted egg is optional and you can either using a chicken egg or totally not using eggs. In this case, you have to add pinches of salt or bit of light soya sauce. No curry leaves, feel free to use bay leaves.  The colour of the dishes will very much depend on the salted egg that is used. It can be a beautiful orange colour dish.

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Personally, I would think that the dish is tasty and presentable. Hope that you can try preparing the dish for your family members or guests.  Hope you like the post today. Cheers.

For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE.

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Hi, Let Start Cooking the Laksa …. An In Depth Analysis and Pictorial Procedural Description Of The Famous Sarawak Laksa (Part III)

PART III   COOKING THE SARAWAK LAKSA

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Part I and Part II are rather “theoretical” and this post will show you the practical steps to prepare the Sarawak laksa.

To make a delicious bowl of Sarawak Laksa, besides having some good laksa paste that I mentioned in Part II, there are few important things that you should note in your course of preparation. The process of preparation is rather laborious and I will list out the steps and unlike other posts, you should consider follow the order of steps here to save your time of preparation..


WHAT YOU NEED?

In this post, the units or quantities listed out here is for about 15 bowls of laksa and you should reduce it accordingly after taking into considerations the number of persons and personal preferences.

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  • Fresh Prawns or Shrimps (1kg)
  • Chicken Breast (0.75kg)
  • Coconut milk (500g) 

For coconut milk, you can use fresh or packet coconut milk. If you like it more milky (lemak), you can add in more coconut milk. If you are health conscious, either substitute it with evaporated milk or don’t add any milk at all. Have you ever heard that this delicacy is a “cardiologists nightmare”?

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  • Thin Rice Vermicelli – 1 kg (about 2.5 packets commonly sold in the markets)
  • Home-made laksa paste or ready-made laksa paste  – 1.5 kg (2-3 big packets commonly sold in the markets)

Do you know that to qualify a dish as laksa, the noodles must be either thick or thin rice vermicelli in it? Curry Mee is not a laksa as per definition of laksa here. At home, we do eat it with instant egg noodles ..Smile

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  • Calamansi (about 20-30 pieces)
  • Some Sambal Belachan
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Coriander leaves and Chinese celery chopped into small pieces

One of the most important condiments in this dish is Sambal Belachan, a type of condiments made from shrimp paste. You can know more about belachan here. That is why sometime Sarawak Laksa is called Sarawak Sambal Laksa. I have buy the over-the-counter sambal belachan in Singapore and the taste just blends especially well with the soup.

If you have kids at home and they do not take spicy food, actually, when making the Laksa Paste, you can ignored chilli as an ingredients. So the laksa broth or soup that you cooked will not be spicy and you can let your kids have this. When you are eating on your own, just have one big scope of Sambal Belachan in it, the taste will be similar with those paste that have chilli in it..

MAY BE I SHOULD CONSIDER MAKING  LAKSA PASTE FOR SALES TO CHILDREN OR SILVER AGE MARKET.   THEORITICALLY, SARAWAK LAKSA WITHOUT COCONUT MILK AND TOO MUCH OIL SHOULD BE CONSIDER AS A HEALTH FOOD SINCE IT IS FULL OF SPICES AND HERBS…Smile

The coriander leaves that you see in my picture is the type sold in Singapore and West Malaysia. Traditionally, in Kuching, Sarawak, coriander “seedlings” were used. However, it is harder to get it nowadays. In my old days, as one of my brothers do not like the strong smells of coriander leaves, we use Chinese celery instead. Until today, I still have the habit of mixing these two leaves as a garnish for the laksa.


THE COOKING BEGINS…

If you don’t want to add seasonings like “axinomoxo”, then try to follow these steps as it will save you time and seasonings! Joking.

 

Step 1 – Blanching the Chicken Breast

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  • Clean your chicken breast, boil your water and put in the chicken breast. The minimum amount of water required will be at least to cover the chicken breast. But you can use more water as it will be used later.
  • Use medium heat and boil for about 20 minutes until cooked. Don’t cook too long because you breast will be juicy as all the juice will be in the soup.
  • Traditionally, in Kuching, chicken breasts were used because it is easier to hand shred and with less bones. However, you can also use the whole chicken. If this is the case, you have to use high heat to bring the water to  boil, submerged your chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked, dip in ice cold water. You can refer to my post on chicken rice here.
  • Hand shred your chicken breast  and set aside for use.
  • Remember to keep your “chicken stock” for future use.

Step 2 – Blanching the prawns

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  • Clean the prawns. Blanch the prawns with the chicken stocks in Step 1.
  • Personally, I prefer to blanch the prawns with shells at it will keep all the juices. If you shell the prawns, the blanch prawns will be less tasty.
  • This process will take only about 5 minutes. Sieve the prawns and set aside the “prawns and chicken stock”.
  • As long as the prawns are cool, shelled the prawns and devein it. If you found that the prawns are dirty after you devein it, use some cooked water to clean it.
  • DON’T THROW AWAY THE SHELL, keep it for next use.

Step 3 – Making of additional Prawn Stocks

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  • In another pot, put in some more water and boil the prawn shells until the color starts to turn whitish. If you don’t need that much of soup, continue using the stock from Step 2 to cook the prawn shells.
  • The stock in the first picture is the prawn + chicken stock as mentioned in Step 2 (from blanching of chicken breast and the fresh prawns).
  • The stock in the third picture is the prawn stocks from boiling the prawn shells;
  • Look at the color of the stock, the milky color means that the soup is very concentrated and you can just take a spoon and taste it. It will be very delicious. A side note, if you are not cooking Sarawak Laksa, when you shelled the prawns, just keep it in the fridge until a sizeable amount, then use this step to cook the prawn stock, then you can use this stock to cook the Hokkien Prawn Mee or Penang Prawn Mee!
  • If you are concerned about the chicken oil and if you have time. Put in the fridge and let the oil solidify, just throw the oil away.

Steps 4 – Cooking the Laksa Soup

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  • Put the home made laksa paste into the stock from Step 2 and 3. Bring to boil, add in coconut milk and other condiments. Off the fire immediately when it start to boil again. Otherwise, the coconut milk will turn into coconut oil and your laksa broth will be spoilt.
  • Remember that if you are afraid of having high cholesterol, use evaporated milk instead. How much coconut milk to add is very much depends on your personal preference. I remember when I was young, my parents sometime cook laksa without coconut milk….
  • Besides adding salt as a condiments, I have the habit of putting fish sauce instead.
  • Note that the color of my laksa broth is very bright because I use only fresh red chilli. If I used dry chilli, the color will be darker.
  • Cooking laksa will definitely yields quite a lot of oils. Just scope it away before you use the broth.  Like chicken stock, you can put in the fridge for 2-3 hours, let the red oil solidify and throw that away. Heat up and serve. In that case your stock will look quite dull (brownish in color).

Step 5 – Making the Egg Omelets

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  • Break the eggs, put a few drops of cooking oil, use fork or chop stick to slightly beat it until all the yolks and the whites are completely mixed.
  • Have a hot pan, pour some egg mixture into the pan. Either use a spatula to spread them evenly. You can also do this by twisting your pan slight in a circular motion.
  • As soon as the egg mixture is firm in the bottom and you can smell the fragrance of fried eggs, just scope up the omelets, let it cool and shred in fine long pieces.
  • Note that if you are using a non stick frying pan, there is no need for you to use oil for frying as long as your pan is very clean and free from any food particles. You can also add a few drops of oil to the egg mixture before you pan fried them.
  • THIS STEP CAN BE PERFORMED IN BETWEEN ANY STEPS BETWEEN STEP 1 AND STEP 4

Step 6 – Blanching The Bean Sprouts and Rice Vermicelli

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    • In a frying pan, fill in some water and drip a few drops of cooking oil. Bring to boil, blanch the bean sprouts (approximately 5 minutes). Sieve the bean sprouts, set aside for later use.
    • Use the same water to blanch the rice vermicelli. That will take about 10-15 minutes depending how soft you want it to be. The process can be shortened if you have soaked the uncooked rice vermicelli before hand.
    • Once you  sieved the rice vermicelli, quickly put it under running tap water (or if you don’t like to drink from tap water, use some cold boiled water) for about 2 minutes.The purpose of this step is to ensure that you have some springy rice vermicelli instead of soggy rice vermicelli that stick together.
    • The few drops of oil also have the role of ensuring that the rice vermicelli would not stick together. In addition, that small amount of oil will help you to “preserve” the color of your bean sprouts. It will look fresher instead of cook.
    • If you cannot stand the tails of the bean sprouts, you can hand picked the tails before you blanched them. For me, I usually hand picked the tails but when I run of times, I will just eat with the tails!!

    • This step is best carry out before you serve the guest.

    Step 7 – Assembling and Garnishing

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    • After a few hours of ordeal, you should start to “regret” making this dish!  Lets have a quick recap of all the ingredients before serving.
    • You should have blanched rice vermicelli, blanched bean sprouts, chopped coriander leaves and Chinese celery, cooked Sarawak Laksa broth, blanched prawns, shredded chicken breasts, stripped egg omelets, calamansi and sambal belachan.
    • Take a bowl and assemble the ingredients following the sequence as in the picture (from left to right then to second row…) This, I believe will be the best presentation of your Laksa Sarawak. While the rice vermicelli have submerge in the soup, your prawns and the color egg stripes are sitting happily on top of you reddish gravy, Do you think it is appetizing.

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    CONCLUSIONS

    • In Part 1, the definition of Sarawak Laksa, its uniqueness and the popularity have been discussed HERE.
    • Part 2 dwelled into the details of making the Sarawak Laksa Paste with a list of all major raw ingredients, its procedures and a comparison analysis between recipes. Please refer HERE.
    • Part 3 detailed how Sarawak Laksa should be prepared.
    • Hopefully, this will benefit those who are keen to learn more about Sarawak Laksa and for those who are overseas, as all these spices are mostly imported from Middle Eastern countries, you can start making the paste using the powder form purchased from Indian stores. In that case, you will not worry about the kitchen equipment required, how to cook and grind the raw materials, it will at least cut short half of your time. I believed that this is also what our manufacturers in Sarawak is doing.
    • This is a long post that dealt with lots of research, reading and testing. If you found that it is useful, please forward to your friends. I will be most happy to answer any queries they have. Any factual findings that are not accurate, please drop me a line to let me know.
    • Appreciate your time reading this series and ENJOY YOUR HOME MADE SARAWAK LAKSA…
    • I LOVE SARAWAK SAMBAL LAKSA………

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    Light Yet Sophisticated And Delicious Mango Puddings

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    INTRODUCTION

    I remembered I first have my mango pudding when I stayed in Hong Kong in 1995. It was rather popular be it in the hotel restaurants or in the fast food chains. For commercially packed mango puddings, it can be easily bought in the supermarkets. The dessert is light and can be served with a variety of regional fresh fruits. It is especially soothing and comforting after a heavy meal of oily or spicy foods. I loved its rich and creamy texture.

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    MANGO PUDDINGS DEFINED

    As per Wikipedia:

    “Mango pudding is a Chinese dessert usually served cold. It is very popular in Hong Kong, where pudding is eaten as a traditional British food. Mango pudding originated in India and the recipe was introduced from the British in the 19th century. There is very little variation between the regional mango pudding’s preparation. The dessert is also found in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Macau and is often served as dim sum in Chinese restaurants.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango_pudding)

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    WHAT IS REQUIRED

    Make 6 desserts cups

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    • 200 ml of coconut milks

    • 200 ml of full cream evaporated milks

    • 250 ml of fresh milks

    • 1 egg yolk

    • 150 grams of sugar

    • 1 large mango (pitted and pureed)

    • 9 gelatine sheets (about 1.5 tablespoon gelatine powder)

    As for the liquids, you can change between coconut milks, evaporated milks and fresh milks  but ensure that the total volumes add up to 750 ml. This means that you can use 750 ml of fresh coconut milks if you prefer. I usually like to dilute my coconut milk as I do not want the dessert to be overly creamy and for health conscious reasons.

    Note that the colour of the final mango puddings will vary depends on the types of mango that you have. If evaporated milk were added, the colour will be creamy colour.

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

    Preparing the mango purees

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    • De-skin and pitted (stoned) one large mango. Put the mango flesh in a food processor, blend it until puree form and set aside for later use.

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    Preparing the puddings

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    • In a sauce pan, place all the liquids and sugar and heat it under medium heat until it boils. Once boiled, turn to lowest heat available.

    • Soak your gelatine sheets for 1 minutes and place the sheets into the sauce pan. Keep stirring until all the gelatine are dissolved. Off the heat but put on top of the stove to minimize the heat loss.

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    • In a big mixing bowl, use a whisk to whisk you egg yolk until light. Add the mango puree and whisk until well mixed. Sift the hot milk onto the mango puree and stir until well mixed.

    • Spoon the mixture into lightly oil pudding moulds or dessert cups and leave to cool. Chill the mango puddings in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or until set), preferably overnight.

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    CONCLUSION

    Easy to do and tasty desserts. Classic yet sophisticated. You can serve with fresh fruits or on its own. Additions of extra evaporated milks will make it creamier. Best to present to your guest after a heavy, oily and spicy meal.

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    Hope you like the post today. Cheers.

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    After Red Dragon Fruit Pie Bar, Shall We Have A Red Dragon Fruit Cheese Cake?

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    INTRODUCTION

    Life as a food blogger has his/her fair share of pressures. He/she will have to design a dish, prepare the dish, decorate the dish and take picture for the blog. A poorly taken picture may ruin all his efforts putting in for the dish he or she prepared.

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    All bloggers will have its own strengths and weaknesses and some of my weaknesses are cake cutting, decoration and photographing. I am especially wary of cutting an 9” inch diameter cakes. I am not fully satisfy with the images in this post and I shall improve on it.

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    Though I do not really like the colour of red dragon fruit, however, I am amazed by the visual presentation that it can create for cakes and pastry. I have blogged about red dragon fruit pie bars yesterday and have another half a red dragon fruit left. I thought it would be a good idea to use it for some cheese cakes. I looked up my favourite dessert cookbook “The Essential Dessert Cookbook” published by Murdock Books 2007 and found this Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake that I have always wanted to try but do not have the opportunity as it is not a seasonal fruit in Singapore and Malaysia. Prices of raspberry were rather costly and readers may not have a chance to prepare the cake if I blogged about it. So I have decided to use red dragon fruits for the cake.

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    WHAT IS REQUIRED

    For Biscuit Crust

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    • 150 grams of plain sweet biscuits

    • 50 grams of melted unsalted butter

    For Fillings

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    • 500 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)

    • 125 grams caster sugar

    • 80 ml (1/3 cup) lemon juice

    • 315 ml (1 1/4 cups) of creamed (whipped)

    • 250 grams of red dragon fruit (meshed and become puree)

    • <font face="Microsoft PhagsPa"3 tablespoons of gelatine

    • 1/3 cup of water

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

    Preparation of biscuit crust

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    • Blend the biscuits in a food processor. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crust and mix well.

    • Have a 9” diameter spring form baking tin, spoon the crushed biscuits and press firmly against the base of the baking tin. Chilled in the refrigerator for at least half an hour or until firm. Lightly grease the sides of the baking tin with butter.

    For biscuits, it can be any type of biscuits. In fact I have used some biscuits that have some meringue on top and therefore you can see some coloured meringues in my biscuit crusts.

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    Melting the gelatine and preparation of red dragon fruit purees

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    • Have a metal bowl, put in 1/4 cup of water and sprinkled the gelatine on top of the cold water as evenly as possible. Use a tablespoon to lightly stir the gelatine powder solution and ensure all the gelatine absorb the water.

    • Bring a pot of water to boil in a stove. Turn off the heat. Place the metal bowl with gelatine on top of hot water, stir until all the gelatines are dissolved without signs of gelatine powder. Leave the metal bowl floating in the hot water for later use.

    • Put the dragon fruits in the food processor and blend it until it become puree form. Add in half of the gelatine and set aside for later use.

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    • In a standing mixer, whipped the cream until firm peak form and set aside for later use.

    • Using the same mixing bowl, put sugar and softened cream cheese.

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    • Beat until light and smooth. Scrap bottom of the mixing bowl and ensure there are no deposit of cheese at the bottom of mixing bowl.

    • Add in half of the gelatine, lemon juice and whipped cream, use the slowest speed of the mixer to whisk until well mixed as indicated in the fourth images.

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    • Take out the spring form tin from the refrigerator and place some whipped cream cheese on top of the biscuit crust.

    • Place two to three tablespoons of dragon fruit puree on top of the whipped creamed and followed by another level of whipped cream cheese.

    • Perform the same procedures alternating between whipped cream cheese and dragon fruit puree until all was done. Use a knife to lightly swirl through the cheesecake.

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    • Lightly tap or shake your baking tin and you will see patterns start to evolve.

    • Chilled in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream or additional red dragon fruit or other topping as you wished.

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    CONCLUSION

    Not as difficult as one thinks to make this cake, The visual effect, in my humble opinion is astonishing. While in my red dragon fruit pie bars, the red dragon fruit appeared to be red in colour. However, in this cake, it appeared to be purplish colour which shocked me!

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    It is a big cake, a 9” inches diameter cheese cake, I am now thinking how I can finish the whole cake!  Haha. If you are interested on cheese cakes, you may want to check out my other two cheese cakes –  Durian Cheese Cake , Ferraro Rocher Ice Cream Cheese Cake not forgetting the peanut flavour cream cheese ice – cream.

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

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    Let Try Something New–Red Dragon Fruits Pie Bar And Blueberry Pie Bar

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    UPDATED POST ON 5-12-2014

    Saw some blueberry in the supermarket and I have decided to update this post with some new pictures. Decided to prepare blueberry pie pars.. I have always loved pie bars especially its crumbly top.. Unlike normal pie, pie bars have more short crust pastry than its fillings. If you like short crust pastry of any sort, you shall try this..No major changes in the recipe, just torn down the sugar content to suit Asian taste buds..Changes are highlighted in red.

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    INTRODUCTION

    I have been challenged that most of my recipes that I have written are very “colourful”. If you think that I like permitted food colouring, that is not entirely true. You may have seen a few post that uses food colouring, but that essentially was because I am doing it more for illustration and picture taking purposes. If you read my post on Rainbow Loaf, you will understand how I justified the usage of permitted food colouring and struggling whether such a post should be issued. While I don’t encourage the use of food colouring, but we have to be realistic in our daily lives. I strongly believed the usage of permitted food colouring are all over the food outlets. What about Angkukueh? Do you think all mango puddings are consistently as yellow as what you saw every time your bought it? How about various type of tapioca pearls, milk teas, pasta sauces or even moon cakes? Well that is up to individual and I tend to choose to believe that NOT all the green colour in the Pandan Kaya or Kueh Srimuka/Salat that are sold in eating outlets  are all from the Pandanus leaves….

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    This post is  using a natural colour. A colour that I am very hesitant to touch. I even hate it when it stained my cloth! It is one of the very strong natural colour – Purplish Red dragon fruits. There is an influx of purplish red dragon fruits in Singapore supermarkets in current year. Though I do not really like to touch the colour by itself, but I do believed it will help to create a visual effect in pastry’s presentation.

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    In last week’s marketing, these dragon fruits were on sale and I managed to get 2 big red dragon fruits for S$2.50.. I think that it is a deal and I think I should made use of its natural colour to make some pastries. Then it reminded me of some blueberries pie bar that I read while browsing the internet. therefore, I have decided to use these dragon fruits to prepare some dragon fruits pie bars..

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    Pie bar is a type of short crust pastry usually loaded with seasonal fruits and served as desserts. Fruits that are usually used include strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.

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    WHAT IS NEEDED

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    Pie Pastry for crust and toppings

    • 400 grams of plain flour

    • 330 grams of butter (cold and cut into cubes)

    • 300200) grams of sugar

    • Pinches of salt

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    Dragon Fruit Fillings

    • 4 eggs (about 200 grams)

    • 400 (250 ) grams of sugar

    • 100 grams of plain flour

    • 150 grams of sour cream or whipped cream

    • Pinches of salt

    • 200 grams of dragon fruit (meshed) or mashed blueberries

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

    Meshing Of Dragon Fruits

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    • Use some kitchen utensils or sharp objects such as forks or knifes or potatoes mashers to mesh the dragon fruits.

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    Preparing the short crust pastry

    • Get ready a baking tray of 12” x 15” baking tray.

    • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius

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    • In the big mixing bowl, put cold cut butter, flour and sugar. Use finger tips to rub the butter and flours mixtures together until resemble some crumbs.

    • Divide the crumbs into two portion, one for the bottom layer and another portion for the toppings.

    • Press half of the pastry against the bottoms of the baking tray. Use a fork to make a few holes in the pastry and set aside for later use. 

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    Preparing the fillings

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    • In another mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and cream together. Add flour and followed by mesh dragon fruits and mixed well.


    Assembling And Baking The Pastry

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    • Pour the dragon fruits fillings on top of the pastry. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the fillings.

    • Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at 180 degree Celsius.

    • Cool at least one hour before cutting your desired sizes.

    • Best served with some whipped creams, ice creams, additional fresh fruits or on its own.

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    CONCLUSION

    • It is a dessert that is not that tough to prepare. I believed it is still relatively uncommon in Singapore and Malaysia. For a person with sweet tooth like me, I definitely wouldn’t object such a treat. The crispy and crunchy toppings resembles a bit of the biscuits with some mild fruity flavour of the red dragon fruits.

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    • I have hold up this post for one day as I am unsure about the colour combination and the acceptability of this desserts in this area of the world. When I posted up to one international communities in Google Plus, I was being encourage to proceed with the post as the pie bars looks appetizing.. Thanks to those members who have encouraged me to have this post.

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    • I have quite a number of posts in the past one month, this is due to the assistance from my mother in law who is visiting me and able to help me to “nag” my kids performs some household chores. In addition, Singapore was having a school holiday last week.  In the next few days, as my mother in law will be back to her home town, I will have to slow down my posting as I need my energies to nag and cooked for normal household meals. She has been a great helper in the house and I really appreciate and thankful for her presence and I know I am going to miss her like her grandsons and grand daughters…

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

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    • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 26 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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    Don’t “Gaduh” over “Gado Gado”–Indonesian One Dish Salad, Gado Gado

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    INTRODUCTION

    I used to travel a lot when I am in the corporate world. Most of the time, I need to travel and stay in the hotel by myself and at times, the trips will stretch to weeks or months. I still remember my 2 years secondment to Hong Kong and Shanghai, more than 80% of my stay was in the hotel. Room services was very common and cafes at the hotel become my “dining hall”. During these times, one of my favourite order was the “look-alike” home cooked was gado gado since the food was served with peanut aka satay sauce. Of course, other favourites in the hotel will include Singapore Hainanese Chicken rice and Singapore Fried Bee Hoon (新洲炒米粉)。

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    That is how I first got in touch with gado gado. Gado gado in essence is Indonesian’s salad with peanut sauce. However, unlike Western salad, it is a one pot dish, meaning one can have gado gado as the main meal.

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    Gado gado in Indonesia means plural for “mixing” action and it shall not be confused with “gaduh gaduh” in Malaysia which means heated arguments.

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    There are a few versions of Gado gado in Indonesia depending on which part of Indonesia you are in and this version is called “Gado Gado Siram” which was what I usually have in hotels and Indonesian Restaurants. Essentially, vegetables were cooked separately, put together in one plate and add some peanut sauce were poured on top, mixed and served.

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    PREPARING OF PEANUT SUACE (Serving of about 5-6 adults) 

    What is required

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    Ingredients A

    • 50 grams of chilli powder (or dry chilli)

    • 100 grams of garlics

    • 40 grams of galangal (blue ginger)

    • 40 grams of lemon grass

    • 1 tablespoon of cumin powder

    • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder

    (You can either use the powder form of the above ingredients or use its original form of raw ingredients)

    Ingredients B

    • 500 grams of peanuts (coarsely ground)

    • 10 tablespoons of castor sugar or gula melaka (coconut palm sugar)

    • 5 tablespoons of cooking oils

    • Pinches of salt

    • Pinches of turmeric powder (optional)

    • 3 big tablespoons of tamarind paste (assam)

    • 5 cups of water

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    Steps of Preparation

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    • Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients (except powder ingredients) in “A” until fine. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle to pound the non-powder ingredients until fine as in the picture. 

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    • In  a big frying pan, add the cooking oil and stir fried the ingredients as in A until fragrance. Add in tamarind, water and remaining ingredients B (coarsely chopped peanut, sugar, salt) and bring to boil.

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    • Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and oil start to appear on top of the peanut sauce. Off the heat and stir in pinches of turmeric powder (optional) and add some hot water if the peanut sauce is too thick. Set aside for later use.

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    PREPARING THE SIDE INGREDIENTS

    No quantities will be stated here as it is very much depends on your personal preferences.  Most ingredients are substitutable except the most common and must have are long beans, fried tau kwa). I did not prepare all the ingredients as I am having it by myself  and I will not be able to  finish if I used all the ingredients. However, I will list out the other side ingredients.

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    • Peanut sauce (as mentioned above)

    • Some long beans (cut into 4-5 cm) – blanched

    • Some bean sprouts – blanched

    • Some kangkong (convolvulus) – blanched

    • Some hard boiled eggs – cut into half

    • Some taukwa – deep fried and cut into slices – See below

    • Some cucumbers _ julienned into small chunks

    • Some lettuce – chopped

    • Some Empiring/Melinjo crackers (Indonesian padi oats crackers)-optional

    Not in the pictures above

    • Some cabbages – blanched

    • Some potatoes – boiled and cut into cubes

    • Some lontong (rice cakes) – cut into small pieces

    • Some prawn crackers  (keropok udang)

    • Some tempeh (soya bean cakes) – cut into small pieces – optional

    • Fried Shallot.

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    Deep Frying the Taukwa

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    • Marinate the taukwa (drier version of bean curd) with some salt, white pepper and coriander sauces. Deep fried under medium heat until the skin is crispy yet the inside is soft. Cut into small pieces and set aside for future use.

    Blanching The Vegetables

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    • In a wok or frying pan, put some water, drizzles of oil and some salt and bring the water to boil. Add in beansprouts, green beans and kangkong (convolvulus) in this order. Take out and set aside for later use.

     


    ASSEMBLING THE INGREDIENTS AND SERVINGS

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    • Arrange the lettuce on the serving plate and place all blanched vegetables , taukwa, eggs on top of it.

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    • Pour the warm peanut sauce over and garnish with Melinjo or prawn crackers and additional fried shallots, if desired.

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    CONCLUSION

    • This is a rather simple dish to prepare except a bit laborious. However, it is a healthy dish as it is packed with vegetables and I like to eat it as a one dish meal.

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    • Only pour sauce over the vegetables before serving otherwise, the peanut sauce may become watery due to the water excreted from the vegetables. If the sauce is too thick, add in some hot water and heat it up. Warm sauce is always preferred. For left over sauces, you can freeze it and used for other noodles dish (Satay Bee Hoon) or as dips for Satay.

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

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    How Do You Do? I Missed You, My Dear Friend! – Traditional Coconut Tarts (椰子塔)

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    INTRODUCTION

    Coconut tart, a childhood snack that I really missed. Since I started blogging, I have never prepared this tropical coconut tart.. In fact, I have not eaten these tarts for years even though Singapore traditional bakery shops still have this pastry item in their shelf.

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    I like the tarts for its aromatic shredded coconuts and the crispy tart shell. When I baked the tarts, the house was full of coconut aroma and I definitely wouldn’t regret making these tarts. In fact, I have finished the tarts and do not have any extra to give it to my neighbours.. Which is rather unusual.

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    I do not think I need to explain more, it is just a tart with nice aromatic shredded coconut in it. The tart shell is crispy and yet the coconut filling is moist and I have to thank Aunty Yochana for sharing her recipe in one of her 2006 posts. 

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    WHAT IS NEEDED

    Recipe Adapted from : Aunty Yochana’s Coconut Tarts

    Dough (Make about 6 big tarts)

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    • 25 grams egg (lightly beaten)

    • 100 grams plain flour (sifted)

    • 20 grams of icing sugar (sifted)

    • 50 grams of chilled butter cut into cubes

    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

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    Coconut Fillings 

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    • 200 grams shredded coconuts

    • 75 grams butter (melted)

    • 100 grams castor sugar

    • 2 eggs 

    • 1 tablespoon of condensed milk

    • 3 tablespoons of water

    • Yellow colouring (optional). This illustration does not use yellow colouring.

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

    Preparing The Tart Shells

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    • In a big mixing bowl, put butter cubes and sifted plain flour together. Use the finger tips to rub the butter cubes and flours together until it become crumby. Add in sifted icing sugars and continue to rub until well mix.

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    • Add lightly beaten eggs and vanilla essence, mix slowly until it become a dough.

    • Put it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. Note that if you are able to handle soft dough, you can by pass this step.

    • Take the dough from the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat sheet with about 0.5 cm thickness.

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    • Use a round cutter to cut about the size of the mould.  Note that this step is optional and will help you to roughly gauge the amount of dough required and you still need to adjust the quantity of dough as you progress.  Use your hand to press the dough against the sides and make it as even as possible.

    • Use a knife or anything sharp to cut off the sides. Use a fork to make some holes to let any trapped air to escape. Set aside for later use.

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    If you have extra dough, you can just use this dough to prepare additional tarts shell, bake and keep it for other tarts such as egg tarts or quiche.

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    Preparing the coconut fillings

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    • In a big mixing bowl, mix all ingredients using a spoon or spatula until well mixed.


    Assembling the tarts and baking the tarts

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    • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

    • Scope the fillings into the tarts and bake in the oven’s lower shelf. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the tart shells become golden brown.

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    CONCLUSION

    Personally, I like these tarts very much. It is really a sweet indulgence and can be addictive when I take the first bite. This is the traditional version without any alteration.

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    As my tart moulds are slightly higher than the commercially sold coconuts tarts, I managed to make 6 big tarts. However, they are very moist in the middle but the tart shells are extremely crispy. Handling the tart shells’ dough have to be as light and as fast as possible such that the pastries will melt in your mouth.

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    Hope that readers can try to make these tropical tarts.. I said in my Facebook timeline that I am just like a pregnant woman who constantly craved for childhood and traditional foods… Shall these foods be marginalized by the influx of foreign cuisines?

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    Have a nice day and cheers.

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    • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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