29 March 2009


The sour plum drink eliminates toxic from your body and aids in digestion.  What better way to quench your thirst in this scorching weather.

Boil water in a medium size pot.  Add in handful of hawthorns, 4-5 pieces of liquorice roots, 4 dried sour plums and rock sugar when water boils.  Boil liquid in low fire for 1/2 an hour.  Switch off fire and cover pot till tea becomes cold.  Refrigerate to drink or serve it with ice.

Hawthorn is a bright red edible fruit that looks like tiny apple and is often candied as snack, especially love by children.  It is aromatic and sweet and sour in taste.  It is a herb that improves peripheral circulation and stabilizes the heart rate, blood pressure and coronary blood flow.  It acts as a diuretic and an antioxidant.

Dried sour plum is an appetizer and aids in digestion.

Liquorice root is sweet and neutral in nature.  It tonifies the Qi in the internal organs, expels heat, detoxifies and relieves cough.  It treats fatigue, sore throat or food poisoning.  It also moistens the lung and moderates the action of other herbs.  It works as an acid neutralizer and soothes stomach ache, has healing effect for inflammation and allergy.

25 March 2009


Occasionally clean the fridge and clear all bits and pieces to make way for fresh food and produce.  As usual discovered left-over squids and prawns in the freezer and also some lady fingers.  Fry them together with some sambal belachan for dinner.

23 March 2009


Simple food and also fast disappearing.  Steamed rice flour eaten together with brown sugar and fresh coconut.  A perfect pairing to tea tarik.

22 March 2009


DIY is common at this economic downturn.  To bake your own cake rather than spending quite a sum on a dwarf size cake is more economical.

220g cake flour
200g butter
200g sugar
30g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 eggs
1 tbsp water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
100g chocolate
150g whipping cream

Melt chocolate and put aside to cool.
Sieve all dry ingredients and mix together
Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy
Add vanilla extract and beaten eggs mix with water little at a time till incorporated in butter batter
Slowly pour in melted chocolate and cream and mix thoroughly
Bake till cake when tested with skewer turns our clean

Chocolate Mousse
Mix A :
150g whipping cream
80g chopped dark chocolate

100ml milk

Mix B :
300g dark chocolate
35g butter

1 tbsp rum
70g fine sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Place Mix B into a pot and melt over simmering water
Add milk to the melted chocolate mix and allow to cool
Fold in whipping cream and chopped chocolate

Slice cake into 3 parts

Top each layer with chocolate mousse.   Chill before serving.

14 March 2009


Egg is the easiest dish to cook.  My mum used to break an egg into a plate with oil and dark sauce. She would scooped a bowl of hot rice over it and stirred well.  This was considered a luxurious meal to us at that time.

Ingredients : 1 salted hard-boiled egg, 2 century eggs, 3 eggs mixed with water (1 egg : 3 scopes of 1/2 shell water)

Cut salted and century eggs into cubes.   Mix into the beaten eggs seasoned with salt, pepper and soya sauce.  Mix well and steam over low fire till firm.

13 March 2009


This is an appetizing dish but is considered a taboo especially during the lunar new year.   I nearly made a blunder bringing this dish to a friend's house when requested to potluck.  The word "cuttlefish" in Mandarin and Cantonese mean "sack from job".  Instead I replaced the cuttlefish with chicken liver.  The cuttlefish was reserved for our next meal after the festive season.

The cuttlefish must not cooked too long as it will toughen, just quick stir in boiling water for 1 min. The onions bring out the sweetness in contrast to the sourish flavor of the pineapples.

12 March 2009


Soup is indispensable in our meal.  Brewing medicinal herbs in soup can fortify one's metabolism and immune system to help ward off illnesses and prevent the onset of premature aging.

This soup strengthens the lungs and improve complexion and skin texture.

Ingredients: radish, carrots, red dates, dried cuttlefish, dang shen, bei qi, sweet date and soya beans.

08 March 2009


A leisure Sunday afternoon tea-time with mud cupcakes accompanying by English breakfast tea.

04 March 2009


When young I was required to help out in the kitchen and one of the things that I hated doing was pounding chillies.  My mum was very fussy and a perfectionist.  Food prepared in precise detail and no short cut was allowed.

The seeds of the chillies were included in the rempah as the hotness and flavour of the dish depended on them as claimed by mother.  So the texture of the rempah had to be pounded very finely without any trace of seeds and skin left.   The pounding took hours and my hand and fingers were feeling hot and itchy after the task.

This good practice had been instilled in me and nowadays when I am cooking curry or sambal dishes I still use the pounder instead of a blender to prepare the rempah.