Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lemon Grass Prawns


8 large prawns
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 small red pepper, diced
1 tbsp Thai chilli paste
4 stalks lemon grass (use bottom white sections only)
1 cup prawn stock
1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water for thickening
I tbsp oil for frying


1.  Shell and devein prawns. Boil prawn shells in one cup of water for stock. Strain and reserve stock.
2.  Heat oil in a wok and fry prawns until almost cooked. Remove and set aside.
3.  Fry garlic and onion till fragrant. Add stock, lemon grass and chilli paste and bring to a boil.
4.  Add prawns, red and green peppers. Fry till prawns are fully cooked.
5. Thicken with cornflour gravy. Dish out and serve.

Cooking Tips
Dry prawns with kitchen towels before frying to avoid splattering.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Red Bean Dessert With Glutinous Rice Balls

300 g red beans
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
2 Tbsp cornflour
225 g rock sugar
1/2 orange

Thickening (Mix together)
1 Tbsp water chestnut powder*
1/2 cup water

1. Wash red beans and soak in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.
2. Mix glutinous rice flour and cornflour. Add 1/2 cup water and knead into small balls. Put into a pot of boiling water and cook until rice balls float. Remove and set aside.
3. Cook red beans in 6 cups of water. Add the orange when water comes to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until red beans become tender. Add rock sugar and cook until it has dissolved. Put in rice balls and bring to the boil again. Stir in the thickening mixture. Serve hot.

* Substitute with cornstarch if unavailable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Orh Nee (Yam and Roasted Pumpkin Dessert)

500 gm yam (taro)
2 Tbsp castor sugar
100 g light olive oil
a pinch of salt

1 cup castor sugar
1 cup water
1 cup gingko nuts
500 gm pumpkin, peeled
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbsp rum

Cut peeled yam into large pieces and place in a pot with enough water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the pot. Cook till yam is tender. Drain and keep the water for use later.

Mash the yam with a fork, or in a blender if you like it smoother. Add olive oil to round out the taste and some of the boiled water to obtain the consistency you like.

Cut peeled pumpkin into wedges. Rub with a teaspoon of olive oil and roast in 200 degree C oven till pumpkin is soft and caramelised. About 30 minutes.

Make syrup by bringing to boil sugar and water. When the sugar dissolves, add gingko nuts, vanilla essence and rum. Cook till the syrup thickens. Remove from the heat.

Place yam mash in a dessert bowl. Add a couple of wedges of roasted pumpkin. Spoon ginko and syrup over to glaze. Serve it warm.

Yam or taro is low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, and high in dietary fibre, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium ad manganese.

Pumpkin is high in antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamins C, K and E, minerals, magnesium, potassium and iron.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

This is a popular Thai dish that your guests will come back for more. Best to go with cooked rice.

2 cups of coconut milk
6 thin slices of galangal
2 stalks of lemon grass (Optional)
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves
250 g of boneless chicken, slice into strips
1 tablespoons of fish sauce (nam pla)
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of dark chili paste (nam prik pow)
1 bunch of coriander leaves
4 red chili peppers
salt and pepper
2 cups water

1. Marinate chicken strips with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper.
2. Use only the root end of the lemon grass, about 6 inches. Smash lemon grass with the flat side of a chef's cleaver once.
3. Slice galangal into thin rounds; tear lime leaves into thirds; cut chili peppers in half.
4. Heat coconut milk and water in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it boil. Reduce heat to a medium and add lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves, chili peppers and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously and not letting it boil.
5. Add chicken strips and cook for 5 minutes, stirring over medium heat, until the chicken is cooked.
6. Add the lemon juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir, and continue cooking for another minute or two.
7. Transfer to a soup bowl and serve immediately, garnished with fresh corriander leaves.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flavored Fragrant Rice

8 large dried shiitake mushrooms
300 g rice
30 g dried shrimp
300 g cabbage
150 g roast pork, slice thickly
4 shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp shaoxing wine (optional)
1 Tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 Tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp oil
450-500 ml unsalted chicken stock or water
chopped fresh coriander for garnish

1. Rinse mushrooms and soak in hot water for 20 minutes, or till mushrooms soften. Wash the rice and drain. Rinse dried shrimps, remove bits of shells and leave aside.

2. Core cabbage and cut into 2 cm-wide ribbons. Slice shallots thinly, finely chop garlic. Mix sesame oil, oyster sauce, wine, soya sauces and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Squeeze water out of mushrooms gently, cut off and discard tough stems. Slice mushrooms thickly and set aside.

4. Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add dried shrimps and fry till fragrant. Add shallots and fry till soft. Include mushrooms and garlic. Fry the ingredients for one minute or so before adding cabbage. When it has soften, add sesame oil, sauces and seasonings.

5. Add rice, stir to coat the grains with the seasonings. Mix in the roast pork.

6. Scoop rice mixture into a rice cooker, pat down gently, and add enough chicken stock or water to cover rice. Cook rice as directed in the rice cooker manual. Leave rice to warm for 10 minutes. Scoop into bowls or plates. Top with chopped coriander and serve. Sufficient for 4 to 5 servings.

If you do not have a rice cooker, step 6 can be completed using a covered saucepan over a stove. Bring rice to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until rice is almost dry. Turn the heat off. Leave it to completely dry out for 10 minutes before serving rice.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bamboo Shoot and Prawn Sambal

200 g medium prawns, cleaned and unshelled
300 g fresh or canned young bamboo shoots
sugar and salt to taste
100 ml water
2 Tbsp oil

Pound or grind:
10 small onions
2 garlic cloves
5 fresh red chillies
1/2 Tbsp Belachan powder

1. Boil fresh bamboo shoots for 10 minutes before slicing thinly. This step is not needed if you are using canned shoots. Simply drain, wash and slice thinly.

2. Heat oil in hot wok. Fry the pounded ingredients till fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add a little water if the mixture sticks to the wok.

3. Add prawns, bamboo shoots and stir fry till prawns are cooked. Add water, salt and sugar according to taste. Simmer a little. Dish out and serve hot with cooked rice.

Cook's Tip
Belachan powder (dried prawn paste) in a bottle is available in Asian spice section of supermarkets. Use sparingly as the smell is pungent for the uninitiated.


(A beef pie with chillies and mixed vegetables)

Potate Mixture:
6 potatoes
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk

500 g minced beef
1 cup stewed tomatoes
½ cup mixed vegetable
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

Peel boiled potatoes and mash with salt, butter and milk. Heat oil, stir fry beef until cooked. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, mixed vegetables, chilli powder, oregano and salt. Cook until sauce thickens. Grease a 23 cm pie dish. Place meat in a single layer. Sprinkle grated cheese over. Pipe potato mixture over meat layer. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for 20 minutes. Serve hot.