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Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is my 1st harvest of kunyit from just one pot. The powdered form is sold in shops.    It is used in curries and also for marinating meat like chicken or fish.  The leaves are also used in the cooking of rendang (another type of curry ).

 This is the plant.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stewed Seacucumber with Chicken and Mushrooms

                                                                     Frozen Seacucumber

This post has been sitting in my draft box for so long.  I have forgotten to take a photo of the original dish and hence have to use this  plate of braised chicken mushroom as the preparation is the same.  The only ingredient missing in this plate is the seacucumber.  If you are not using seacucumber, just omit the part for preparation of the seacucumber.  I made the mistake of heating up the dish too many times that most of my seacucumber have disintegrated into the sauce leaving behind a few pieces only.

Finally I am forced to cook this frozen sea cucumber  that has been in the freezer for months.  TNB is replacing some electrical wires in our street, hence there was no electricity supply from 10am to 7pm on that day.  So I have to get rid of some food from the freezer just in case.    I even took some frozen stuff to put in the office fridge.
Not knowing how to go about it, I asked my good friend Josephine who is an excellent cook for advice.  The result came out well and I am pleased.   I used about 30 mushrooms as some of the cooked ones can be taken out and stored in the fridge separately to be used for other dishes.  Can be kept for a week or so in the fridge or longer in the freezer.    I should have taken some photos during the preparation but totally forgotten about it as I had to rush out for my morning line dance routine.
Claypot Sea cucumber with Mushrooms and Chicken
Sea cucumber  - (Blanched in a pot of water with some spring onions and ginger for about 10 mins.)
1/2 chicken  -     (Cut into small pieces and marinate with a tsp of sesame oil, salt, pepper, oyster sauce and cornflour for an hour)
Dried Chinese Mushrooms -  (Soak them in water until soft.   Cut away the stems and discard.  Wash the mushrooms and squeeze out the water.
[ Mix  and rub the mushrooms with  some  tapioca flour (cheong fun).  Leave for 10 mins. if you have the time.  Wash again the mushrooms. ] Optional. 
Soak the mushrooms again with a tablespoon or 2 of sugar and set aside for a few hours or  can be done overnight.  Wash them again and squeeze out the water and they are ready for cooking.
5 shallots and 1 whole garlic -  (diced)
1 piece of ginger - 2" long cut into 2 and give them a smash with the knife.
1 tabsp soya sauce
4-5 tabsp oyster sauce
sugar to taste (2 tsp)
1)   Heat 4 tabsp. of oil into the claypot and put in the 
      garlic and onions.  Saute until fragrant.  Put in 
      ginger.   Add in the mushrooms and  fry for a while.
      Add in the soya sauce, oyster sauce and sugar and
      continue to saute them.  Add more than enough
      water to cover the mushrooms. 
      Lower the heat and cook for at least 45 mins. or
      until soft.
      Make sure the water doesn't dry up.
2)   Remove the cover and add in the marinated chicken
      pieces.  Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.  Taste to 
      check the sauce.
3)   Dish out the cut sea cucumber and add into the pot
      of mushrooms for about 10 mins. and it is ready.
Note:  Do not boil the sea cucumber for too long, other
          wise, they will disintegrate into the sauce. 

Yam Kow Yoke

There are so many versions of this yam kow yoke.  The pork in my previous kow yoke were always so tough and I guess I must have not steamed it long enough.  Finally I found a way to shorten the cooking process after a tip from my Anne, my sister's daughter-in-law. 

This dish can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer.  Just take out and steam it when needed.  Since much preparation is needed in this dish, one can always prepare more.

Recipe is here.

Yam Kow Yoke

600 gm pork belly (cut into 2 or 3 big pieces for easy handling  and rub with dark soya sauce and wine)
1 small yam  (cut into thick slices)


3 pieces lam yue (preserved  red bean curd) )
2 tabsp sugar                                               )
1 tabsp oyster sauce                                    )
1 tabsp Chinese wine                                   )   mix together
1 tsp soya sauce                                          )
500 ml water                                               )
3 ting heong                                                 )
1 pat kok                                                    )
1 small piece cinnamon bark (kwai pei)        )

1 tabsp garlic (chopped)


1)    Boil the pork for about 1/2 hour.  Take out and wash.  Pat dry with towel.  Poke the skin with a fork.
2)    Brush some dark soya sauce and Chinese wine onto the pork.
3)    Heat a cup of oil in the wok.  Fry the yam pieces for about 5 mins and dish out.
4)    Put in the pork pieces skin down into the oil. Be careful,  oil will splatter once the meat is in the wok.
       Get ready and cover the wok once you put in the pork. Wait until skin is brown.  I turn off the heat
       before I open the wok cover. If you can deep fry the whole piece of meat, it would be better.
5)   Take out the pork and put them into cold water and let soak for half an hour.
6)   Cut the pork into thick slices. Discard the water.
7)   To soften the meat faster, boil them for 1/2 hour.  Take out and set aside. (This part if optional)
7)   Heat a 2 tabsp of oil in wok and put in the chopped garlic.  Fry until fragrant.
8)   Pour in the mixed marinate and spice.  Let it cook for a while.  Taste the sauce and add more soya
      sauce or sugar if needed.  Off fire.
9)  Arrange the yam and pork pieces skin down into a bowl until full. I smear one more piece of
     lam yue onto the pork. Pour the cooked sauce over the meat.
     Let it cool and cover it with plastic film and store in freezer if you want to keep, otherwise just
    steam it for a hour and it is ready.

Orange Butter Cake

Got this butter cake resipe from a colleague, Shin Yuan but I added in orange flavour.  Easy to make and taste good too.

Orange Butter Cake

250 gm butter
230 gm castor sugar (I use 210)
250 gm self raising flour
4 eggs
8 tabspoons of liquid (use orange juice from orange and remaining use milk)
1/2 tsp of vanilla
rind of one big orange


1)     Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time and continue beating.
        Add in orange zest and vanilla.
2)     Fold in flour and liquid alternately ending with flour.
3)     Pour into a greased 8" pan.  The batter can fill 3 of the above foil containers.
4)     Bake at 180 deg. C for 50 min for the 8" pan or 40 mins if you use the foil containers.
        Test with a skewer.  If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.
        Do not overbake as the cake will be dry.