Thursday, 23 July 2009

Summer Break

It's vacation time. Entries to resume after the summer...

Bonnes Vacances!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Nonya Dumpling... Without The Dumpling

I was craving for nonya dumpling but bamboo leaves are not available here. I went ahead to cook the sweet meat filling anyway and serve it with sticky rice.

Thanks to the recipe from Pure Enjoyment:

Note that preserved winter melon being unavailable here, I have left it out and replaced it with sugar instead. I also ran out of chinese mushrooms this time, oops. Even then, it turned out not bad at all.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Financier With Liquored Cherries

So I played around with the financier recipe I tried out recently ( I have added liquored cherries to this one... looks so pretty. The recipe goes well with chocolate chips too.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Thai Basil Pork

If you like Thai basil like I do, you will love this dish. I have followed Liane's recipe: with extra chili and lots and lots of basil. Great with steamy hot plain thai rice.
Now I am really out of ideas what to try to cook next, please send me your suggestions!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Lime Pannacotta

Based on Gertrude's recipe ( ), I made some modifications and flavoured the pannacotta with lime instead. An easy-to-do, satisfying and very presentable dessert.

Friday, 3 July 2009

A Healthier Lemon Almond Cake?

I could not resist the idea of using olive olive instead of butter in my almond cake. I suppose it is healthier i.e. if all those articles about the benefits of olive oil is true.
Modifications made: I have used only vanilla extract and glazed it with a simple mixture of lemon juice and sugar.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

"Harm-less" Char Kway Teow - Get It?

I am happy I brought back a small bottle of black sweet sauce from Asia and have been saving it for the big day... voila, my first Char Kway Teow (Fried Rice Noodles) in France. I had all the must-have ingredients except for "hahm" ie. cockles, oh... and lard, come to think of it. Oh well, that makes it all a lot less harm-less, doesn't it? Yes, pun intended.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


I tried out this generic financier recipe using a cake pan instead of the little rectangular molds. Turned out pretty good but not as buttery as I would have liked. Nevertheless, the recipe is so simple that I am going to keep it for lazy days. I will increase the almond to flour ratio next time and see if it tastes better.



1/2 cup of self-raising flour
3/4 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup of fine castor sugar
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
125 grams of butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon or orange extract
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celcius.
2. Mix sugar, flour and almond meal in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg whites and combine well. Add the melted butter and mix till everything is well incorporated.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick into the center comes out clean.
5. Cool and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Kambing Soup

I learnt to appreciate a good piping hot bowl of kambing soup with "chiam tao roti" from the indian hawkers early in life, an unexpected thing given that mutton is too strong in flavour for my liking in general.

I tried to replicate it with this recipe: The end product was tasty but wasn't exactly as I remembered it. If you have a good recipe for mamak's kambing soup, please please share! Thanks!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Lemon Grass Experiment II

Result of my last lemon grass experiment: The stalk that I stuck into a jar of water started rotting after a few days. Darn.

I have planted another one in soil this time. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Food Tip - Fried Onions

These are great as condiments and as a starting base for french onion soup. Good to fry a big bunch of them, store in the fridge and use as and when needed.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Easy Peanut Sauce - A Keeper!

Salt N Turmeric posts such good recipes! I like very much her mom's extremely simple and scrumptious peanut sauce recipe. Do check out her blog.

Hmm... I think I am going to make some gado gado next!

Now, if only somebody could post a simple/easy/shortcut recipe for ketupat from scratch... Do note that instant and prepacked ones are not available here, neither are the leaves for weaving ketupat casings. Thanks in advance!

Talking about ingredients/food which are unavailable here: these are typically ingredients peculiar to malaysia and singapore, such as candlenuts, instant ketupat, instant roti prata, ginger flower, sweet black soya sauce and delimas premixes, to name but a few. Thank goodness I am able to get chinese and "indo-chine" ingredients without problems, thanks to the small chinese, thai, vietnamese and burmese populations here. There just aren't any Indonesians, Malaysians and Singaporeans in my part of the world! I really ought to remember to bring some of these stuff back next time.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Easy Quiche

Quiches are so easy to make when you've got ready-to-bake puff pastry. I like bacon, mushrooms and lots of cheese in mine. Serve with a a mixed salad.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Lemon Grass Experiment

I would love to have a lemon grass plant at home. I am sticking a stalk of it (yes, leafless and rootless) into water and keeping my fingers crossed :) Let's see if we get some roots in a few days...
Other plants I'd love to grow at home: kaffir lime, coriander, torch ginger. Hmm, how do I get started without a "mother plant" to begin with? Advice, anyone?
On a different note, could somebody point me to TRIED and TRUE recipes for mee goreng, mee rebus and mee siam (the soupy type) please? The few that I have tried yielded disappointing results. Thank you.
And by the way, any of my readers live near northern France? I'd love to meet up.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Beef Rendang From Scratch!

I have in the past made several failed attempts at cooking beef rendang from seasoning packs of various brands... they all turned out a far far cry from the real stuff which resulted in my giving up on this dish for years. When I chanced upon what seemed like a workable recipe for cooking beef rendang from scratch yesterday, my interest was rekindled. I decided to give it a shot, vowing never again will I look at another Rendang recipe should even this one fail me.
Not only am I not disappointed, this rendang is gorgeous, gorgeous, and gorgeous. The amalgamation of spices wakes up all my culinary senses, reminding me of all those authentic flavours from home. I am sold.
A big thank you to MamaFami and Salt n Turmeric for sharing generously their recipe:
(Modifications made: I have doubled the kaffir lime leaves and reduced the amount of coriander powder to 2 teaspoonfuls.)

I highly recommend it!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Nasi Lemak, What Else?

After a post on Nasi Lemak chili, as George Clooney says in the Nespresso ads, what else?
It goes without saying that I immediately made Nasi Lemak to go with it. Oh, what the heck, seeing that I am so in the asian-cooking mood, I might as well go all out and cook some Sambal Kang Kong too!
So there you go... fragrant coconut rice topped with sunny-side-up and lots of to-die-for chili, plus Sambal Kang Kong on the side... now that's what I call indulgence!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Nasi Lemak Chili

THIS IS MY FAVOURITE CHILI OF ALL TIME!!!!! I can eat this stuff by the spoonfuls and polish off a bottle at a time. Give me more!
For me, it has always been chili with nasi lemak, vis-a-vis nasi lemak with chili... LOL! You get the picture.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Good Old Instant Noodles

Nothing can beat the convenience of a pack of instant noodles. When I am just too lazy to cook yet craving for something piping hot and satisfying, this is my go-to food. I like mine with lots of vegetables such as bean sprouts, mushrooms, leek etc... and always with an egg, some chili powder and a dash of sesame oil. Serve steaming hot!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Apple Muesli Cake

This cake looks good, tastes good and is relatively easy to prepare. I found it slightly on the dry side (as you would have discovered by now, I like dense, sticky desserts in general), but when served with lots of cream... "Heaven, I'm in heaven..."

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Let's Go Peranakan!

It has been ages since I last had Peranakan food and I was craving for it this morning, in particular, "Babi Ponteh" i.e. Belly Pork in Preserved Bean Sauce. I found this recipe on the Internet which turned out really good: I am so keeping it and looking forward to serving this dish at my next dinner gathering. Now, I wonder how the french palette would react to the taste of preserved beans, hmm...

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Ginger Red Date Tea

I wanted to make Longan Red Date Tea but was out of dried Longans and ended up brewing Ginger Red Date Tea instead. I read that this stuff is pretty good for the body too. Soothing and warming on a cold afternoon.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Instant Dessert

I made my favourite Tea Shortbread today, hence this dessert of the day: Tea Shortbread sandwiched with lemon curd... miam!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Laksa Leaves

The minute I saw this beautiful bunch of Laksa leaves at the asian grocery store, I could not resist. There was this image of a piping hot bowl of Laksa with loads of gravy and these super aromatic herbs that I could not get out of my head. Thank goodness I still have a box of Prima Taste Laksa that I brought back from Asia during my last trip, whew! So instead of using the teeny pack of dried Laksa leaves provided (which usually serves its purpose pretty well I have to say), I threw a bunch of these into the gravy... ohlala, the fragrance is to die for.

This herb has just the most interesting flavour that I have yet to find the right words to describe. I was searching the Internet for more recipes that feature it but found only Laksa and Nasi Ulam much to my disappointment. How could such a flavourful herb be used in so few recipes? Furthermore, it would be impossible for me to cook Nasi Ulam here in France - there are simply too many missing ingredients. For now, I will have to be contented with my taugeh, laksa leaf packed bowl of good old Laksa.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Mixed Greens With Candied Ginger Vinaigrette

My sister says I ought to eat more healthily. So here it is... a fresh wholesome salad with a lovely candied ginger dressing for me today, served in the green tea bowl that my dear friend Kyo gave me before she left France. I feel so zen eating such a beautifully coloured salad out of this bowl... great for physical AND mental health :) Way to go, Ange!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Vibrant Orange

My blender just died on me, which means I won't be able to blend my "staple" sambal chili for a while, boohoo. On a lighter note, I share this cheerful orange to brighten up your day.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Mange-Tout Au Sambal Crevette

Dried shrimp sambal a.k.a. "Hae Bee Hiam" is another versatile food/condiment to have around and it keeps really well in the refrigerator. Fry almost any vegetable with a generous amount of the sambal and it'll turn out awesome. Serve with piping hot plain rice. I have fried it with Mange-Tout this time and gobbled it all up within minutes!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Simplified But Good Chicken N Leek Pie

I remembered to take a photo only after pigging halfway through the pie. I guess I am not a hardcore food blogger yet ;) The chicken paired really well with the leek in this recipe and I got rave reviews for the end product. Here's the rough recipe:

Simplified Chicken Leek Pie

For 2:

Chick meat for 2, cubed and boiled
Leek for 2, thinly sliced and blanched
Mixed veges for colour (optional), diced and blanched
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
Chicken stock

Salt, black pepper, herbes de provence

Make a roux with butter and flour.

Add stock and cream (I used a ratio of 1:1) to roux till the desired consistency (I prefer it thick than liquidy). Season with salt, pepper and herbs.

Mix veges and chicken in a pie dish. Add the prepared white sauce and combine well.

Top with puff pastry, brush with eggwash and bake till golden brown at 200deg.

Serve fresh from the oven.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Versatile Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is really convenient to have around... I use it in tarts, choux puffs, as a confiture, etc etc. So easy to prepare yet delicious. Here's the recipe:

Lemon Curd

Finely grated lemon zest from 2 large lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 large whole eggs, lightly beaten
125g unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix everything together and whisk constantly over low heat till thick.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Vibrant Yellow!

I am so into brightly coloured flowers these days. I'd like to share this gorgeous yellow of nature with you...

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Balacan Fried Rice

I brought back with me a huge chunk of balacan when I was back in Asia earlier this year. I have never dealt with balacan before and was so looking forward to "playing" with it. So finally after all these months, I got down to cut a small cube of it and roasted it over... a cigarette lighter flame, haha! Had no idea how much roasting it needed but thought it should be OK once I started smelling the balacan. Is that right?

I guess it worked 'coz I used it to fry rice with much success... the fried rice was yummy! I crumbled the balacan and fried it with some oil and lots of onions, garlic, ginger, chili, dried shrimps, plus a tad of curry powder for extra flavour. Once fragrant, I added the rice, green beans and eggs and seasoned it with soya sauce, pepper and a little sugar. The result: tasty balacan fried rice that reminds me of Indonesian nasi goreng. I served it just like the latter - topped with a sunny-side-up with runny yolk. My kind of comfort food.

Oh, I have to add that I'd heard so many stories about the lingering stinky smell of cooking with balacan. I opened the windows when frying and the apartment did not smell bad at all afterwards... which means I will be cooking this often, yoohoo ;)