Another German dish that I like is Schweinebraten or German roast pork. I don't eat this dish very often, and to be true I had also never made Schweinebraten myself till today. It turned out it's not very hard at all to make.

I looked up the recipe from Die echte deutsche Küche (The real German Cooking) cooking book given by my mother-in-law, but I added a few more ingredients to my liking.


  • 600 gr pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs chicken stock powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 cup white wine (or beer)
  • 1 tbs plum mousse (optional)
What to do
  • Rub the pork all over with paprika powder, chicken stock powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and plum mousse.
  • Place the onion slices at the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Add 1.5 cup white wine.
  • Place the pork on top of the onion slices.
  • Cover pan with foil and roast the pork for 1.5 hours.
  • The gravy: Remove the roasted pork after 1 hour. Strain the pan juices from the roasting pan. Add stock, pepper, sugar and white wine to taste. I used Saucenbinder to thicken the gravy - Saucenbinder is like flour, so if you don't have it, just mix a bit of flour with water then pour it in the gravy.

Slice the roast pork and serve with anything that you like, e.g. potato dumplings, green beans, Sauerkraut, etc. You can also eat Schweinebraten slices with bread or rolls for breakfast. Very yummy!

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I just would like to post some pictures of the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) in Wiesbaden. Christmas markets are one of the things I like most about Christmas in Germany, they always look so festive and merry, even though I have to say I almost never buy anything there. The foods and products they sell in Christmas markets tend to be more expensive than they're supposed to be. But I guess people still go there anyway to enjoy the Christmasy atmosphere.

Merry-go-round! (This pic is from a Weihnachtsmarkt in Frankfurt taken last year)

Christmas markets are usually always packed with people....

and more people...

You will often find booths selling sweets...

Christmas decorations...

more Christmas decorations...

and of course Lebkuchen or gingerbreads!

And what is Christmas without a nice Christmas dinner? German Roast Duck, that is for me :)!

And loads of chocolate...?? Thanks my lovely mother-in-law, who still loves to bestow us - me, my husband and my brother-in-law with bags of sweets even though we're not children anymore...

Look at our Christmas sweet-platters from 2007!!


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Last week my husband's grand uncle turned 90. I decided to make him a birthday cake - just a small cute cake, because I didn't have time to make something bigger and magnificent. To be true, I was also not in the mood of cooking, baking nor creating things - I was just too tired and stressed out by my work... I am glad that Christmas is coming, so I can have a quiet time at home for some time :).

I don't know my husband's grand uncle so well. I only know he's a real family man, still fit even though he's almost a century old and he has a small garden at the back of his house...

So, I decided to make a hamster family in a 'forest'. The hamsters look more like a cross between a fat teddy bear and a fat mouse ;-). The cake was a normal choc-chip butter cake covered with dark chocolate.

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After I visited Veny's blog I got this huge craving for a plate of fried rice noodles - Kwetiaw goreng in Indonesian or Char Kway Teow in Malaysian. But as I have mentioned in my previous post ages ago, it's very hard to find fresh rice noodles here. It's been months since I last saw fresh rice noodles in the local Asian grocery stores... That's why I decided to make my own rice noodles, even though I knew it would be quite time-consuming. The recipe itself is quite simple - just rice flour, tapioca flour, water, oil and salt. You can adjust the rice flour/tapioca flour ratio to reach your ideal rice noodle texture - if you want your noodles more chewy, then add more tapioca flour and less rice flour, or if you want you noodles more ricey than chewy, then add more rice flour and less tapioca flour. I like mine in between - not too chewy, but also not too ricey.

  • 2.5 cups rice flour
  • 1.5 cups tapioca flour/cornstarch
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 tbs oil
  • a dash of salt
  • baking pan
What to do
  • Mix all ingredients
  • Grease baking pan with oil then place it in a steamer. Pour batter into pan (about 1-2 mm thick).
  • Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the rice sheet. Allow to cool. Roll the sheet as you roll chee cheong fun and then cut to desired width.
  • Repeat the steaming process for the remaining batter.

I used the rice noodles to make char kway teow, the famous rice-noodle dish from Malaysia. Very tasty, even though I lacked bean sprouts and my rice noodles were quite fat...

Looks rather oily, I know! I used duck oil instead of pork oil.

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Siomay is a very popular dish in Indonesia. I believe it's adapted from the Chinese shaoi mai by the Chinese immigrants who settled in long ago in Indonesia. Since the majority of the Indonesian population is Muslim, Siomay is normally not made from pork and prawn like the original shaoi mai, but usually with fish, or a combination of chicken and prawn. I nevertheless like my siomay best with fish and a little bit of pork fat. Siomay is usually served with peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, chilli sauce and a drizzle of kaffir lime juice. Siomay can also be served together with steamed potatoes, bitter gourds, tofu, cabbage and hard-boiled eggs.

Siomay is also such a reminiscene of my childhood. I still remember the siomay men who sold their steamed goods with their bicycles. Almost every afternoon I could hear the bicycle bell of a siomay hawker passing by my house. It was so cool...! I really miss those hawkers in Indonesia...! If you want to see a blog that features lots of hawker foods in Indonesia, please visit Selby's Food Corner - she has so many mouthwatering posts about hawker foods.

  • 400 gr mackerel fish paste
  • 100 gr minced pork
  • 400 gr tapioca flour
  • 400 gr water
  • 2-3 tbs chopped spring onions
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • Salt, sugar and pepper to taste
  • Wonton wrappers (optional)
Mix all ingredients. You can use wonton wrappers to wrap the siomay, but it's not completely necessary. Just scoop a tablespoon of the siomay mixture and place it in the steamer. Steam for 10 minutes.

Peanut Sauce
  • 200 gr peanuts (or use peanut butter)
  • 1-2 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs minced chilli
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1 tbs sugar
Heat the wok and add 2 tbs oil. Pan fry the peanuts, when they are golden brown, add in garlic and chilli. Add the pan fried peanuts, chilli, and garlic in a mixer, including water, vinegar and sugar. Mix all ingredients until smooth.

As accompaniments, I added steamed rolled-cabbage and hard-boiled eggs to my siomay.

Drizzle with peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, chilli sauce and kaffir lime juice. Enjoy with a glass of avocado smoothie:)!

I am still looking for other delicious siomay recipes, if you've got one, please let me know!!

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Jus alpukat is Indonesian for avocado juice. Avocado juice is a very popular drink/dessert in Indonesia. I used to think that it's a very typical Indonesian beverage which could only be found in Indonesia, but after a few years of food-blog reading, I found out that it's not true at all. Apparently you could find avocado juice or smoothie in some other South-East Asian countries.

For some people, who are used to think of avocado as fruit used only for savoury dishes or salads, the idea of having avocado as a sweet dessert might be weird. But believe me, cold avocado smoothie is a real treat for a hot summery day! Well, it's still a real treat for me in winter ;-) . In Indonesia, avocado juice/smoothie is made by mixing avocado with water, ice cubes, sugar and condensed milk. It's normally served with chocolate condensed milk or chocolate syrup. You can also add some vanilla essence to make the smoothie smells nicer. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice-cream might also make this drink more smoothie-like, but I prefer mine less thick and less glamourous...:).

  • 1 avocado, seeded and peeled
  • 250 ml water
  • 3 tbs sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tbs condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 15-20 ice cubes
Mix all ingredients in your mixer!

I didn't have chocolate condensed milk/syrup, so I used grass jelly as the topping for my avocado juice.


By the way, two weeks ago, Slywia from Unsifted, gave me the Honest Scrap award. Thank you Sylwia, and I am sorry for the delay in posting the award. During the last two weeks I had been occupied by the arrival of a new member in the family - a very sweet, adorable bunny, called Charlie :-).

Isn't she a darling :)??

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Soto Betawi is a curry-like soup originated from Jakarta, Indonesia. Unlike the other types of soto which normally have quite clear or transparent yellowish broth, Soto Betawi has a more curry-like flavour due to its use of coconut milk. I am not a fan of Soto, but Soto Betawi is an exception. I find this dish very aromatic, spicy and delicious.

Although Soto Betawi is not a dish that I would eat regularly due to its quite high-cholesterol content, having this from time to time can be a real treat. Like many other South-East Asian dishes, you would need to collect quite some herbs and spices to be able to make Soto Betawi from scratch, such as galangal, lemongrass, candlenut, bay leaves, turmeric, red shallot, garlic, ginger and coconut milk. This is a quite long list! And living in Germany doesn't make it easier to get ahold of these fresh exotic spices - sure we do have some local Asian groceries that do sell all those ingredients, but I don't go there often. That's why having an instant seasoning mix can sometimes come in handy. My favourite Indonesian instant mix brand is called Munik.

It's the best instant seasoning brand I know, that provides really quite authentic taste of Indonesian cuisine. Munik is also (as far as I know) more expensive than the other Indonesian seasoning mixes, but it's worth it. I have tried their Rendang, Gulai and Ayam Goreng mixes and I am not disappointed. But I have tried their Nasi Goreng seasoning mix, and I can only say, make your own Nasi goreng, it would taste better! I don't think that Germany has Munik in sale anywhere, I have my own Munik stock from my Mum who vistited me a year ago.

For the Munik Soto Betawi, basically you just need beef, water, coconut milk, the Munik instant mix of course and that's it - you can adjust the taste by adding a bit of salt, sugar or pepper as you wish. I served the Soto Betawi with chopped spring onions, fried onions, tomato slices, sambal (chilli) and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). Normally you also need some slices of fresh lime and emping - Melinjo (Gnetum Gnemon) crackers. But since I don't like emping, I didn't feel that I missed anything :).

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What's your favourite flavoured-milk brand? Müllermilch is my favourite one currently (no, no, this is no advertisement and I don't get paid !;) - I just like the flavour!). There are many milk brands in Germany of course, and I am sure there are also other good ones beside Müllermilch, since Germany does have high-quality dairy products, but I haven't tried them yet. I have the tendency to buy the same things over and over again once I know a product is good instead of trying other brands as well - so in this area I'm not that very adventurous. But I am sure one day I'll try other flavoured-milk brands as well.

Müllermilch has various flavours - my most favourite flavour is chocolate, followed by strawberry and vanilla. There are also other flavours like banana, coffee, passionfruit and so on. But as I have mentioned before, I am just not that adventurous - For my milk and ice-cream, I normally never go beyond these three 'safe' flavours (well, except green tea or sesame for ice-cream - but they don't have these flavours in Germany ;)).

What I like about Müllermilch is, the taste is not too overpowering and sweet yet flavourful, especially when served cold. My favourite Australian milk brand is Moove. But I think Müllermilch tastes even better!

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Yesterday was my husband's birthday and I considered that a chance to make and decorate a cake. I should have prepared the decorations a few days in advance so that they had the chance to harden, but the inner lazy procrastinating me just kept saying that I would be able to do everything in one day. Well, yes, I was able to - but with difficulty. I made my own marshmallow fondant myself - but after a year of not doing anything with fondant, I forgot that when you don't sift the powdered sugar, you would have difficulty getting a smooth fondant texture. So if you want to make marshmallow fondant yourself, please don't forget to sift the powdered sugar like me, or in the end you would get some lumps of sugar in the fondant dough. You could try reducing the lumps by kneading it over and over again, but believe me... You would get a cramp in the end, so it's much better to sift the sugar and avoid being lazy like me...!

It's also much better to prepare the fondant figurines a few days in advance, especially if your figurines need to 'stand up', like my two bunnies. If you don't do so, your figurines would have trouble standing upright without support - It's also the reason why I put some chocolate balls behind the bunnies - because I didn't want the bunnies to fall...;). Well, another alternative is to use gum sugar paste, which has a harder consistency than normal fondant, and it also dries up quicker. Personally I prefer gum paste for making small figurines, because it's just easier to handle than fondant, but I didn't have any gum paste stock, so I had to make do with my homemade fondant. I feel that the birthday cake I made last year looks much better, it just looks more professional than the one I made two days ago. I suppose it's because I used gum paste last year and I was also more prepared - or maybe as I age my stock of ideas is simply getting lower...;-)??

The piggy birthday cake from last year. The oink is modelled from 'Ringel' (in German) or 'Piggley' (in English), a character from 'Au Schwarte' or 'Jakers' - a children's television series that my husband really likes :).

The bunny birthday cake from yesterday. This year the birthday cake doesn't have a real theme. I just made two white bunnies, because now we've got two little lovely bunnies as house pets, even though ours are brown - I was too lazy to knead the fondant brown...

Marshmallow Fondant (MMF)
  • 500 gr marshmallow
  • 750 gr powdered sugar
  • 4 tbs water
  • shortening
  • Corn starch (for dusting)
Please look at this video on YouTube, if you're interested to make marshmallow fondant yourself. It's quite clear and due to this video I was able to make MMF myself.

We both don't like fondant, we find it too sweet - but if you have a real sweet tooth, marshmallow fondant might be a better alternative than the normal fondant made from glucose (and other strange ingredients) - it tastes better. To me fondant is purely for decoration though, so this is what happened to the bunnies after the cake was cut :).

My bunnies

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I don't know what to name this soup, but I know that I wanted to make pho-like soups, that's why let's just call this noodle soup Vietnamese style noodle soup à la moi :).

  • 500 gr pork bones
  • 500 gr beef bones
  • 7 cups water
  • 50 gr ginger, broiled until brown
  • 2 medium onions, broiled until brown
  • Fish sauce, salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • Tapioca or rice noodles
  • Thinly slices beef steak
  • 2 fish balls
  • 3 prawns
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • Spring rolls (filled with shrimp and green onion)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chilli slices
  • Mint leaves

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Yes, I've got a mapo tofu fever probably...but I promise, this is going to be my last mapo tofu-related post... At least for some time... ;). To be true, I never really ate mapo tofu frequently nor loved it passionately, and yesterday was actually my first attempt at making mapo tofu - I just suddenly got this sudden urge of eating mapo tofu, which I couldn't really explain why. I had never touched a jar of spicy chilli bean sauce before and thus never knew that this sauce could have such a tantalising flavour. Yes, I have eaten mapo tofu before, but I didn't know that the spicy, slightly pungent taste comes from this sauce. Since I like the sauce, I thought, why not trying to make some dumplings with this sauce? There are not so many spicy dumplings, at the moment I can only remember kimchi dumplings from the short list. So, why not adding one more to the spicy dumpling list?

The ingredients are basically very similar to my other hot-water dough dumplings, I just added tofu, minced garlic, hot pepper and the spicy chilli bean sauce to make the dumplings characteristically 'mapo' in flavour. Just to be honest, I don't know what mapo means. Why is mapo tofu called mapo tofu? I tried to look for some information, but I couldn't find the meaning of mapo anywhere.


Dumpling skins
  • 300 gr flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 400 gr ground pork
  • 200 gr minced tofu
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1 tbs chilli powder
  • 3 tbs chilli bean paste
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs chilli oil
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground Szechuan pepper powder
  • 3 tbs chopped green onions

You could also use ready-made wonton skins instead of making the dumpling skins yourself. Actually I used wonton skins, because I was too lazy making the skins myself. I pan fried the dumplings and then ate the dumplings with Chinkiang vinegar (black rice vinegar).

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