Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Mini Taro Nests

20160131_132333sDeep fried mini taro nests make a lovely snack but I find them a little overpriced. Why pay when there’s taro in the backyard and I can prepare and fry these delectable crisps in a couple of hours?IMG_9619s

I found two undersized taros – which, with some elbow grease and a hot wok, soon turned into little tempting clusters of crispy taro nests.


Here’s what you need:

1 small taro

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Some coriander leaves

1 teasp 5-spice powder

½ teasp salt

Dash of pepper

1 tablesp rice flour

¼ teasp cornflour


Here’s how:

  1. Shred the taro into strips.
  2. Coarsely cut the coriander leaves.
  3. Mix the taro strips with all the other ingredients.
  4. Heat up some oil in a wok.
  5. Shape the taro into little clusters or nests and drop into the oil.
  6. Deep fry till golden brown. Store in an airtight container when cool.



Read Full Post »

Lemon Grass Chicken Wings

I love the aromatic and succulent lemon grass chicken wings we get from the restaurant, but with today’s soaring prices, I thought I’d better try frying some myself.


5 chicken wings, cut into two pieces each
3 stalks lemon grass
2 shallots
2 pips garlic
a small piece galangal
5 stalks curry leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 teasp soya sauce
1 teasp curry powder
2 chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli)

Here’s how:

  1. Mince the first five ingredients.
  2. Marinade chicken wings will all the above for a few hours.
  3. Heat oil in pan and fry till fragrant.
  4. Bon appetit!

Read Full Post »

Lemon Myrtle Roast Chicken

I’ve had my lemon myrtle plant for more than a year, so it was definitely time to venture beyond lemon myrtle tea. I’d found many exciting recipes on the net but there was one I had to try first; Petunia’s Lemon Myrtle Roast Chicken.

Pet had introduced me to lemon myrtle and had given me some leaves too. And the chicken she had roasted had me yearning for some.

I’ve deviated slightly from the original recipe and added some garlic, ginger and parsley, but it’s the lemon myrtle that makes this dish special.

Many thanks, Pet, for sharing. Your recipe’s a real treat!

1 small chicken

Combine the following 6 ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cm young ginger, finely chopped
1 teasp dried parsley
8 lemon myrtle leaves, finely chopped
½ teasp salt

1 red/yellow capsicum, sliced
2 big onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
potatoes, cut into wedges
dried parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

Here’s how:

  1. Push combined ingredients under the chicken skin, and rub the remaining into the cavity and over the chicken.
  2. Mix potato wedges with parsley, a bit of salt, black pepper and olive oil.
  3. Arrange potato wedges, onions, capsicum and tomatoes around chicken on a tray. Splash olive oil.
  4. Roast at over 400 deg for 45 min then turn and roast again till golden. Turn over once more and roast for a few minutes before removing from the oven.

Pet’s post/recipe can be viewed here: http://petunialee.blogspot.com/2008/10/lemon-myrtle-leaves-arrived-from.html

Read Full Post »

Moist Dark Chocolate Cake

I love chocolate cake, especially if it is rich and dark.

My colleague’s dark chocolate cake tastes superb; really moist and chocolatey, and it seems to fulfil all the requirements of what I think a good choc cake is.

We were amazed that it was steamed and asked for the recipe. But when we saw the recipe, we balked at the shocking amount of oil and sugar that had gone into the cake. It was guaranteed to give a sugar rush – and more. But it was simply delicious.

Determined come up with a healthier version, another colleague modified the recipe by reducing both oil and sugar. And I’ve modified it yet a bit more.

If you like chocolate cake, try giving this a shot. This is definitely a recipe worth repeating.

1 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup castor sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup condensed milk
½ cup UHT milk
¾ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3 eggs

Here’s how:

  1. Mix A and heat over low flame till dissolved. Remove from fire and cool.
  2. Sift B twice.
  3. Beat eggs lightly and pour into mix A. Add B.
  4. Pour into lined or greased and flour-dusted 10-inch cake tin.
  5. Cover and steam for an hour.

Bon appetit!

Read Full Post »

Chicken Mushroom Pie

I’d just taken a helping of Jennifer’s incredible mushroom pie filled with creamy mushrooms, and topped with a lovely potato crust.

It was delicious!! I told myself then that I had to learn how to whip up treats like that.

It’s been years since Jennifer shared her recipe with me, and I’ve baked the pie more often than I can remember. What I like about pies is that the recipes can be modified easily according to preference or what’s available in the market.

This gives a new slant to the saying, ‘Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.’

Thanks, Jennifer, for showing me that baking a pie is really simple after all.

Mushroom Chicken Pie

2 chicken thighs, deboned, cubed
400 gm eryngii bunch mushrooms, substrate removed, cubed
2 big onions, cut
5 pips garlic
150g cream of mushroom (I use Campbell’s) or substitute
Italian herbs
olive oil

Potato crust

3 big russet potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
milk or milk powder
Italian herbs
dried parsley

Here’s how:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan and sauté the crushed garlic.
  2. Add chicken cubes, then mushrooms.
  3. Add cream of mushroom and herbs
  4. Cook till gravy thickens. Dish out onto pie dish.
  5. Add butter, milk and herbs into mashed potatoes.
  6. Pat potatoes onto chicken and mushroom in pie dish.
  7. Make slits in potato crust.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes at 400°F till golden brown.

Read Full Post »

Dry Curry Crabs

It’s been a while since I bought mudcrabs.

Then I saw two basketsful of crustaceans this evening; one basket of river crabs and one of mudcrabs. The latter were just RM15 a kilo.

I chose three firm ones and rushed home. We’re having crabs for dinner tonight!

Here’s my version of dry curry crabs:

3 mud crabs (wash and cut into pieces)
3 tablesp curry powder
2 teasp chilli powder (or less)
2 big onions, minced
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon ground ikan bilis
1 teasp sugar
1 table soy sauce
half cup milk
4 sprigs curry leaves

Here’s how:

  1. Heat up a ladle of vegetable oil in a wok. Add minced onions and garlic and saute till fragrant.
  2. Add curry leaves, then ground ikan bilis, curry and chilli powder.
  3. Add in crabs and fry. Add sugar, soy sauce and milk.
  4. Fry till dry and dish out.

Read Full Post »

Barbecued Ribs

My sister posted photos of the BBQed ribs she made recently. They looked so good I just had to try them myself!

I asked her for the recipe and got it.

But what I saw made me balk; the list of ingredients was daunting. I wasn’t about to get every ingredient so I improvised – a lot. But guess what? The marinade turned out to be quite good despite everything.

4 slabs ribs

2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup honey
½ teasp paprika
4 pips garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
½ cup barbecue sauce
3 tbsp tomato sauce
2/3 cup apple juice
½  teasp salt
1 teasp chilli powder
1 tbsp mustard
dash of black pepper

Here’s how:

  1. Marinate ribs for 48 hours. Preheat oven at 425 F.
  2. Place ribs on foil-lined tray, fleshy side up. Seal with another piece of foil. Bake 15 minutes.
  3. Remove foil. Baste with marinade and bake again for 8-10 min. Turn and return to oven for another 8-10 min.

Read Full Post »

I can never have enough mushrooms. I love them fried, sauteed, grilled, baked, stewed … whatever.

Years ago, dad bought some mushroom plugs and tried cultivating them. I was envisioning a mushroom farm, but it turned out to be a one-off experiment.

We’ve also had edible mushrooms pop up mysteriously under a fruit tree after a storm. Unfortunately, the mushrooms never reappeared after we chopped the tree.

After these disappointments, I’m resigned to the fact that our mushrooms will just have to come from the supermarket shelves.

I am especially partial to white button, Portobello and field mushrooms. I bought four of the latter yesterday, picked some herbs from the garden and baked garlic butter and herb mushrooms. Enjoy!


4 big field mushrooms
chopped cheddar cheese
black pepper

Mix the following:
2 tbsp butter
3 pips garlic, minced
3 sprigs thyme, chopped
a few tarragon leaves, chopped
a bit of parsley, chopped

Here’s how:

1.  Turn mushrooms over and smear on the herbed butter.

2. Sprinkled with chopped cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Bake 25 minutes at 350 deg F.

Read Full Post »

Crunchy Cereal Prawns

This is one of the easiest dishes to prepare.

I could eat one crunchy cereal prawn after another if it wasn’t for the cholesterol.

It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t require a long list of ingredients either.

You can skewer the prawns if you have a bunch of bamboo skewers handy.


15 big prawns
½ teasp lemon pepper salt
1 tablesp milk powder
1 egg
1 cup cereal (I used Nestum)

  1. Marinade prawns in lemon pepper salt for ½ hr.
  2. Add milk powder and egg.
  3. Push a bamboo skewer through each prawn (optional).
  4. Coat with cereal and deep fry till golden brown. Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Fragrant Yam Rice

The yam was protruding above the ground and was ready to be pulled.

I had used the last few for yam cake so it was time for a change. Yam rice would be good, I thought.

Gran used to make lovely yam rice and we always had seconds.

This is one of those fuss free  recipes where everything finally goes into the pot.

Yam Rice (serves 4)

1 medium size yam, diced

1 piece pork (fist size), diced

2 chinese sausages, diced

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon five spice powder

10 shallots, sliced finely, fried till golden

2 cups rice

3.5-4 cups water

salted fish, thinly sliced and fried till golden and crisp

salt and pepper to taste

scallions, sliced

  1. Heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil. Sautee garlic till fragrant.
  2. Add Chinese sausages, then pork and yam. Add salt, pepper and five spice powder and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add rice and mix.
  4. Transfer fried rice mixture into a rice cooker and add water. Go easy on the water and add more only when required.
  5. When cooked, serve garnished with scallions, fried shallots and salted fish.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »