Monday, 27 September 2010

Singapore Laksa



My second time making (and eating laksa) at home. I used ready made laksa paste from Asian Home Gourmet. This instant paste was alright, but I am sure there are better ones. I had to add quite some other condiments myself (such as oyster sauce, fish sauce, a bit of sugar, chili paste, etc.) to make the laksa broth 'tastier'.



However, this dish is an alternative for a busy day when you don't have that much time to spare. To make my laksa less plain, I added some toppings: boiled prawns, salted duck eggs, corns and wontons (From time to time I like to make a large batch of wontons or dumplings and then freeze them - frozen dumplings can be very handy when you want to eat something delicious, yet easy to prepare).


Garnish with chopped green onions and sliced chilies.


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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sanrio Cookies....again!

I know I have posted this blog post last month, but this time I am sending this 'Sanrio Cookies' post to Sugar High Fridays (SHF) #69 Bite-Sized Desserts hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen for a sweet round-up:).





Sanrio is a Japanese company that produces kawaii (cute) merchandises aimed for young girls. The most famous character from Sanrio is "Hello Kitty" - I am sure most of you have heard or seen "Hello Kitty" somewhere. Growing up, I loved buying and collecting Sanrio stationary products and accessories, from cute notebooks, stickers, pencil cases, rulers, letter-sets, well, you name it! I still love them, but there's not much choice around here in Germany, just Diddl, Nici and Hello Kitty in a few stores. I was never that fond of "Hello Kitty" anyway. I prefer other characters from Sanrio like "Badzt-Maru" the penguin, "Keroppi" the frog or "Monkichi" the monkey ;). I was inspired to make some cookies using these characters from Sanrio, even though I finally didn't make "Keroppi" because my green food colouring's gone! Anyway, here they are...


"Welcome to my house," said Jacque the bear. "You can also have some Badtz-Maru cookies with milk :)!"

Do you see the character sketches behind the cookies :)?

Which character do you like best?


Chococat the Cat?


Kuririn the Hamster?

Badtz-Maru the Penguin?



Or, Monkichi the Monkey?

I personally like "Kuririn" the Hamster the best, because the Kuririn cookies have the least flaws I think. Anyway, it was a quite fun project with a lot of drawing and painting :)! I used marshmallow fondant to decorate the cookies, click here if you want to see the recipe. I used food colourings to paint the characters and Food marker pens to outline them. I used some sugar sprinkles for the general decoration like the hearts, pink balls and pink glitters on Kuririn's head.


Sugar sprinkles I used.

I made the cookies using Peggy Porschen's recipe from her wonderful book: Simply Spectacular Cakes. Very simple and easy to remember: 200 g butter, 200 g sugar, 400 g flour and 1 egg. That's it!


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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Spicy Pork Dumplings

I was in the mood for dumplings again (well, when not...;)?), but this time I wanted to make easy, fuss-free dumplings, so I used ready-made dumpling wrappers to save time. These are just normal steamed pork dumplings with the usual ingredients of ground pork, green onions, oyster sauce, and the like. However this time the sauce is different. I wanted something spicy instead of something sourly for the sauce (which is the case when you use black vinegar as condiment), so I whipped up some homemade hot and spicy sauce using sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce and Thai chili-paste (which contains some dried shrimp).




Ingredients


Pork Dumplings
  • 250 g ground pork
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika/cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp minced ginger
  • Dumpling wrappers
Hot and Spicy Sauce
  • 5 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs Lee Kum Kee Chili-Garlic sauce
  • 1 tbs Thai chili paste in oil







Steam the dumplings for 8-10 minutes.




Serve with the hot and spicy sauce!



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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Kimchi Mandu



I made my first Mandu (dumplings in Korean) around a year ago when I just started blogging. Last week I made mandu again, but this time with some chopped kimchi, as I also wanted to consume my homemade kimchi in another way than just as a side dish.




You can make your own dumpling wrappers with just flour and warm water (look at my guo tie recipe), but if you've got no time to spare, ready-made dumpling wrappers can be such a timesaver!



I shaped my dumplings in 3 different ways. Which shape do you like best?

I used Maangchi's recipe this time to make the basic mandu. But I added some chopped kimchi to add some extra kimchi-kick ;).

Ingredients (makes 80)
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 2 cups ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped chives
  • 4-5 soaked and chopped Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tofu, chopped
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups chopped kimchi
  • Mandu skins



Pan-fry your kimchi mandu and serve with kimchi and salad.



This is my favourite way of eating kimchi mandu! I let my mandu float and swim on top of kimchi sauce :).

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Piggy Pork Steamed Buns




Another piggy-themed food :)! I was inspired to make piggy-shaped pork steamed buns after I saw Kristy's cute mantou buns a few days ago. The recipe itself is adapted from Maangchi's savoury Jjinppang mandu, because I am not into mantou buns with sweet filling. I thought these sweeties would look rather festive to celebrate my 100th post - after 1 year and 1 month of blogging, post no.100 is not very impressive I know, but hey, juggling between work and blogging is not that easy, so I feel a little bit proud ;).

Ingredients (adapted from Maangchi's site)

Dough

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 3 cups flour
Filling
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 400 g pork
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
What to do
  • Check the video from Maangchi below.

video





The little sweeties before they're steamed. I used red food-colouring for the ears and snouts.




How brutal...! Sorry little piggies, but I cannot resist taking a closer look at what goodies you have inside ;)




Three little piggies ready to be gobbled down by the bad, hungry she-wolf...;).

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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Piglet Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes



What's your favourite chocolate brand? I think this is a very difficult question...;)! I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate because it doesn't taste very sweet but yet so elegant. My favourite chocolate is German and it's called Sarotti. I especially adore their truffles. You can see yourself that these balls of goodness look very irresistible, don't you think?



Imagine having these goodies inside a cupcake...!




Inside a piglet-cupcake to be exact :D!
Hmmmm....!

Ingredients - adapted from Anncoo's recipe
  • 250 g butter
  • 225 g sugar (I used less)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 375 g milk
  • 450 g flour
  • 20 g baking powder
  • Sarotti truffles
Directions:
  • Beat butter sugar, egg and vanilla essence.
  • Sift flour and baking powder and continue to beat the batter.
  • Add milk and mix well.
  • Pour batter into cupcake cups, about 3/4 full.
  • Add 1 truffle for each cup.
  • Bake at 180° for around 25 minutes.
  • Now, let the cupcakes cool down.
  • Decorate the cupcakes with white chocolate icing (with a drop of pink food colouring). Use chocolate chips for the eyes and marzipan for the ears and snouts.



I still need to practise pouring while chocolate neatly...:c

By the way, last but not least, I would like to thank you Kristy from My Little Space for the lovely award...! Love it, especially because the colour suits my blog skin :D).





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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Beef Rendang



Beef rendang is at the top of my list of my favourite Indonesian foods. It's beef simmered in coconut milk and spices popular in South-East Asia such as galangal, lemongrass, chilies, kaffir lime leaves and so on. It is very aromatic and tastes fabulous with rice. To be honest, I have never made rendang from scratch. I have always used ready made instant seasonings, because I lack the motivation to look for the necessary spices. Another reason is because the instant spices available for rendang are really good enough to imitate the authentic spicy flavour of Rendang I know from home. My favourite brand is still Munik, unfortunately I cannot find this brand in Germany. So what I normally do is I combine instant spices from different brands. This method can work wonder!! This time I combined Indofood and Finna rendang spices. I just added coconut milk, sambal oelek and a lit bit of sugar to taste.



I usually let my beef rendang simmer for 1 - 1.5 hours to make sure the meat is tender. Eating rock-hard beef rendang is not very pleasurable as you probably can imagine ;)



The combination of Finna and Indofood rendang is not very hot, you should add extra chillies yourself if you like your rendang biting hot!



Serve your beef rendang with rice and salad. And a glass of water (or more) if you finally decided to make your rendang extra hot ;)!

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