Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas....

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas this year! I had two parties at my house this year and it was tiring...but it was also fun since I got to spent time with family and friends. Not all of our friends made it to the party so that was disappointing. Anyhow, my friends told me they enjoyed all the food we made.:) This made us really happy!!! Also thanks to my girlfriends for helping with the clean up...if not I'll be cleaning right now. :) Here are some of the food we made....

I didn't have time to decorate the Christmas tree this year so Tu had to do it all by himself. I guess it didn't turn out that bad.

Strawberry Cupcakes. I've been wanting to eat cupcakes since I didn't get to eat them for a while. And because I wanted to make them for my friend's kids. Very easy to make and I even make the frosting. Mmmm...you can see one is missing....lol. Since Helen want to know how to make the frosting, here is the recipe. Make half of this recipe if you want to frost them like mine. 1 box confection sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup milk, 2 drops of red food coloring, 3 tbsp strawberry jelly, and 1tsp vanilla. Us a stand mixer and mix until smooth.

Steamed Tapioca Cake. I think this time is a bit too soft. Next time I'll make it harder so it'll be chewy.

Banh Tieu- Hollow Donuts. They were very good when just fried...but they got harder since I didn't put them in the bag. No wonder my friends didn't eat all of them....lol.

Banh Cong- Fried Shrimp Cakes. They look great here but it was a pain in the ass to get them out of the mold. So I used banh khot mold instead. The taste was great and happy to see that Karen like it so much. You can get the pre-mix flour at the grocery store but I still think the one I made from scratch tasted better.

More food.....

Banh Cuon- Savory Rice Rolls. I didn't have the equipment to make these so I went and bought them from Chinatown. The whole tray for $25. Not bad since I saved a lot of work. :) I still have some left so I'm going to eat that next.

Xoi- Steamed Glutinous Rice. Good to eat alone or with coconut milk. Hmmm......better when it's warm.

Canh Bun- Noodle Soup. Many of you like this, so the recipe will be posted later. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Popovers

This is my first time making and eating popovers. Such simple ingredients and yet tasty. I modified the recipe since the original is not sweet. Tasty with butter or cream cheese.



Popovers Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 even pieces (or vegetable oil)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400*F (205*C). When ready to bake, generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin or 6-cups popovers pan with the the cut butter or oil.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until well blended. Add the milk and whisk until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt; whisk until thoroughly blended and the batter is smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into the hot oiled muffin tin or popover pan, filling each cup two-thirds full. Place the tin or cups in the oven and immediately turn the heat up to 450*F (230*C). Bake for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 350*F (180*C) and bake for 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin or cups for a few minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 6 popovers or 12 mini popovers.

Note: To reheat leftover popovers, set on a baking sheet and heat in a preheated 350*F (175*C) oven for 10 minutes. You can also use coconut milk instead of milk.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Time for Dim Sum

Time for some simple homemade dim sum!!! :)

Shanghai Soup Dumpling
Not exactly the same look as the one at the restaurant but mine do have soup in them. Still taste great...mmmmm

Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings)
This is very easy to make. Only require four ingredients, shrimp, water chestnut, wheat and tapioca starch. Steaming only took 7-10 minutes.

Scallion Pancakes
Scallion pancakes are made out of all purpose flour, peanut oil, water, and scallion. So simple everyone can make.

Gyoza Dumplings
Gyoza is made of ground pork, shrimps, chives, cabbage, scallion, and garlic. You can use gyoza wrappers.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Did You Eat on Thanksgiving?

Well, my plan was to go on a diet...ok, after this Thanksgiving...lol. I got my free turkey but no one wants to eat it. So my parents cooked sweet n' sour lobsters, pan fried noodle, honey mayonnaise shrimps, shark fin soup, quails, and my pak tong koh for Thanksgiving. Everything tasted great!

On Black Friday, we went to the Best Buy and the mall. Man, the line for Best Buy was super long! The line was long enough to wrap around the store. I didn't wanted to wait so I went to the mall instead. A lot of things were on sale...but I didn't get anything. :( Another disappointing Black Friday. I'm not gonna listen to my brother next year....







Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shanghai Pan Fried Buns (Sheng Jian Bao)

What is Sheng Jian Bao??? This is a very famous Taiwan street snack. It is pork bun fried with water! Yes, with water. Here is my first batch of SJB. It is a combination of soft, crunchy, and juicy. Very tasty....mmmmmmmmm....

Banh Tam (Steamed Tapioca)

Banh tam is one of my favorite Vietnamese snack. It is chewy and soft at the same time...mmmm. I made it a little different than the store bought one. Mine are more on the soft and sweet side. To my sis, here is the recipe. This recipe should feed at least 4 adults. Just double the ingredients if you want to make more. I made double ingredients so I can eat this for 2-3 days...LOL



Ingredients:

400 grm grated tapioca/cassava (or 1 bag)
65 grm sugar (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp tapioca starch
125 ml water
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (powder is better)
1/2 bag of grated coconut

1/2 tsp pandan paste (optional)

1. Steam grated coconut for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
2. In a bowl, add in grated tapioca, sugar, tapioca starch, pinch of salt, and water. Mix well.
3. Divide the ingredient mixture into 2 and then add food coloring to each. Optional (for green, use pandan flavor. For purple, use red and blue food coloring.)
4. Grease the pans with some cooking oil. Pour in the mixture into the pans and steam for 25 minutes.
5. Let the cake cool a little before cutting. Cut the cake into strips and roll them in the grated coconut one by one.
6. Cover leftover and put it in the refrigerator. Just microwave when you want to eat again the next day.

(Note: You can serve with ground peanut + sugar mixture. Also, if you want the cake to be harder and chewier then use less water.)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chicken Scallion Pancakes

I've been watching the Taiwanese Travel channel. They have a lot of street food and when they show the pancakes I was like drooling. So I decided to make some. I didn't have any ground pork so I used chicken breast instead. Very easy and very simple to make. Still tastes great after 2 days...:)

Blueberry Soft Cheesecake

I feel like eating cheesecake! This is my first blueberry soft cheesecake. I baked the whole thing and no one eat it with me. So I had to put the leftover in the freezer. This cake came out pretty well. Except for the blueberry part...a little messy when trying to put it in between the cake. The cake is so soft that it melt in your mouth....mmmm

Monday, November 17, 2008

Banh Beo (Steamed Rice Cakes)




My mom feels like eating banh beo knot. So as her good daughter I made her some. The brown colored rice cake is sweet and the white is regular. This was served with fish sauce and coconut milk. The cakes are made out rice flour, tapioca starch, water, salt, and oil. Topping is the cooked mung bean with scallions. This is very much like the one in Vietnam....yummy! My mom ate it every morning for breakfast.

Mix Nuts Mooncakes



I was hungry for mooncakes since I didn't get to eat any this Autumn Festival. The one at the market is too sweet so I decided to make my own. Not too hard to make but kinda tough to make the dough. This is my first batch and it tastes pretty good...except the skin was a bit hard after cooling. But after leaving it for a couple days, the skin got softer. :) I'll have to try out other recipes to get the right skin.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spring Rolls

So I feel like eating spring rolls. It took some time to cook the meat, shrimps, clean veggies, and make the sauce. Very easy to wrap and eat. I ate four spring rolls and they were delicious! Make everything ahead of time. This recipe feed up to 6 adults. You can leave the leftover food in the refrigerator and eat again the next day.



Ingredients:

1/2 bag rice vermicelli
1 lb lean pork
1 box rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)(You do not need to use all wrappers at once.)
1/2 lb large cooked shrimps
1 bag fresh Thai basil
1 bag fresh mint leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 whole lettuce
1 bag thinh (roasted rice powder)

Hoisin sauce:

65 ml water boiled
1/2 fresh lime juiced
2-3 pieces of garlic, minced
1 tablespoons white sugar
2 chili chopped
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon peanut butter (optional)
1/4 cup peanuts (put in the toaster over and roast at 350 F until golden brown. Remove skins and ground.)

Method:

1. Boil pork in hot water until cooked, about 30 minutes. After cooking, slice in thin slices and add in a dash of salt and sugar for taste. Then add in thinh, roasted rice powder.
2. Boil rice vermicelli in hot water for about 5 minutes or until cook. Do not over cook.
3. Boil shrimps in hot water until color changes and add in some salt. Then rinse in cold water, peeled, deveined and cut in half.
4. Clean all vegetables and let drain.

5. Boil water and add in hoisin sauce and peanut butter, stir until dissolved. Let this cool and then at in sugar, lime juice, garlic, and chili. Stir and taste. If too sweet, add in some fish sauce.

6. Use a big bowl to put warm hot water in. Dip one rice wrapper in quickly and then place on plate.
7. Fold in the two sides and place lettuce, basil, mint, and cilantro at one end. Now add on vermicelli, sliced pork and line the shrimps in the middle. Now roll inward from ingredient side to end.
8. Serve with hoisin sauce with some grounded peanuts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pak Tong Koh (Steamed rice cake)

For a while now that I've been trying to make this pak tong koh. All atempts with other recipes failed miserably, except for this time. Finally I'm successful! Thanks to Aunty Yochana for sharing her recipe. The fermentation took 3 days and the result was great. Below is the picture of the result. I did tried a second batch and tried to cut it down to 2 days. I also added coconut powder to get the coconut taste. After 2 days, I took a little out to steam to see if there is honeycomb or not. It didn't have any, so I waited another day before steaming. I think the longer the fermentation the more honeycombs in the cake. After waiting for another day, there were lots of honeycombs, but the taste was not as great as the first batch. Don't add too much lye water or it will make the cake brownish and taste weird. My next atempt will be to make this cake more springy. I want it to be more chewy.


Monday, November 3, 2008

What I cooked this weekend

This weekend I feel like eating Vietnamese appetizers. I made a couple dishes and they were yummy. I used some recipes from other friendly blogs as guide and adjusted the flavors and increased the portion to feed more hungry members. My family were very please with the food. :) All recipes can be found at My Blog List.

Banh it tran (Naked rice cake)
This rice cake is made of rice flour, mung bean, ground pork, ground shrimp, and green onions. This is good to eat it with homemade fish sauce.

Stir-fried silver needle noodles
The noodle is made out of wheat starch, tapioca starch, salt, oil, and water. Stir-fried with ground pork, shrimps, celery, and green onion. Seasoned with salt, sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce.

Banh bot loc (chewy tapioca cake)
The flour is mainly made out of tapioca starch, rice flour, salt, and water. The fillings is made out of diced shrimps, onion, and green onion. Eat this with homemade fish sauce.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pandan Buns













Basic Dough:

2 3/4 cup bread flour
1 cup cake flour (3/4 all purpose flour + 1/4 cup of corn starch)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter
1 egg

200 ml cold water
1 tsp. pandan paste (optional if you don’t want pandan flavor)
2 Tbsp. milk powder
3/4 cup sugar

20 ml warm water (cold water microwave for 10 seconds)
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar

Egg Wash: 1 egg + 1 tsp water (beat until bubble formed)

Honey wash: 1 tsp honey + 1 tsp maple syrup + 1 tsp water (mix well)


Method:

1. Add bread flour, cake flour, salt, butter, and egg together. Best to leave butter at room temperature and then using hand to mash the butter with the flour. Then add in the egg and stir together.

2. Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar together and wait 5 minutes for yeast to active (bubble).

3. Mix cold water with milk powder, sugar, and pandan paste. Stir until sugar kind of dissolved. Pour into flour mixture and mix well. Add in the yeast mixture.

4. Knead the dough until it is smooth, for at least 15 minutes. If the dough is too wet, add a little of bread flour.

5. Cover the dough and let it rest in the oven with the light on for it to double in size (at least 2 hrs). Take the dough out give it a few knead.

6. Take the dough and divide it into 12 balls. Place the balls into a baking pan and cover. Let it rest until the balls double in sizes. It will be faster if you let it sit in the oven with lights on. Use a non-stick pan.

7. When the dough is ready, pre-heat your oven at 350 F. Brush egg wash on dough and bake the dough for 20-25 minutes or until the golden brown on top. When warm from the oven, brush the top with some honey/maple syrup (like my picture above) to give it some shine.

8. Serve warm. Covered buns can be kept in refrigerator for 5 days. Just microwave for 20 seconds before serving and it will be soft again.

Note: do not melt the butter as it will add more liquid, which will cause the dough to be wet.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

First Blog Day

Hello Friends!

Welcome to my blog!

Today is my first blog day. This is something new to me as I never create a blog before. The purpose of this blog is to share my cooking experiences and of course my crazy hobbies. There are a lot of good cooking blog out there and it really inspire me to create and share recipes.


ch3rri