Friday, October 30, 2009

Braised Chestnuts With Mini Shiitake Mushrooms

Dried water chestnut is the only nut that carries vitamin C. In view of its high carbohydrates content in its starch, it'll be a good idea to add some chestnuts in vegetarian dish to replace rice or noodles. Another way of promoting healthy diet?

In the past, I would not consider using dried chestnuts in my cooking when I factor in the dehydration process. But now, something is pushing me to experiment new things. Here's the result of my research on several cook books.

Braised Chestnuts With Mini Shiitake Mushrooms
Serves 2-3


100gm of shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
120gm of dried chestnuts, soaked overnight
some mint leaves, coarsely chopped


1 & a half tbsp of dark soy sauce
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of sesame oil
salt to taste
700ml water


1. Bring water to a boil in a non-stick pot. Add chestnuts and seasoning. Leave it simmering under low heat with lid covered. Stir occasionally. Add water if needed. This will take about an hour to get the chestnut tender.

2. When the sauce is about to thicken, add mushrooms and mint leaves. Let it cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

3. Serve hot on its own or with rice.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mini Shiitake Mushrooms With Carrot Flowers

Shiitake mushrooms contain excellent source of nutrients. Attributing to the compounds contained in this mushroom, it is proved to be helpful in ailment treatment, treating and preventing cancer, heart disease, hypertension, infectious disease and hepatitis. Drop by here for more information.

In Chinese cuisine, usually dried shiitake mushroom is used. Nevertheless, fresh shiitake mushroom can be easily found in wet market and most of the hypermarkets. Therefore, I would love to give this delicacy a try.

This dish is similar to the earlier Vegetarian Golden Mushroom. However, the frying process is omitted, and carrot is added to bring out the color. Cooking the mushroom the banal way is the best method to retain the juiciness of the mushrooms. How could one resist the earthy, rich, moist and mushroomy flavors? If you're looking for something comfy, this is it!

Shiitake Mushrooms With Carrot Flowers
Serves 2


100gm shiitake mushrooms
100ml of water
1 tbsp of corn starch, diluted in 2 tbsp of water
4cm² ginger, grated
half of a carrot, sliced
2 tbsp of olive oil
Spring onion


1 tbsp of vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil


1. Clean the mushrooms, trim off few millimeter from the stalk and make shallow cuts on caps.

2. Blanch the carrot in a pot of boiling water. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat oil in the wok and saute grated ginger till fragrant. Add the mushrooms and seasoning to mix well. Pour in the water and bring to boil.

4. Add the corn starch and stir fry to thicken the sauce. Dish out and garnish with spring onion. Serve with rice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Faces Steak Corner 人缘西式园

Faces Steak Corner
4D, Jalan Pantai Molek, Tanjong Tokong, Penang. Tel: 04-8900998.
Opens from 6pm to 1am.

Faces Steak Corner has been a bustling, friendly dining place at the Tanjung Tokong area ever since its existence. It has been there long enough to attract a steady base of regular customers. The dining area is based on an open air concept. I've been there several times with my close friends. Normally we'd stay up quite late to enjoy the live performance while sipping a big jar of juice.

After so many years, I'm surprised to find that their menu still the same. They serve mainly Western food and fresh juices.

Sizzling Mixed Grill (铁板黑椒酱什扒) RM17.90

For a taste of meat and seafood, hubby selected the sizzling mixed grill. The set comes with prawn, chicken, fish, beef or lamb (he chose to have lamb instead) served with black pepper sauce. I would say this is a good value set comes with generous serving!

Chicken Aux Champignons (磨菇汁鸡扒) RM7.90

This is what I opted for, the Chicken Aux Champignons dressed with Mushroom Sauce & condiments. Surprisingly the chicken thigh is just nice, without any excess fat. It's definitely better than the normal chicken chop that you'd find elsewhere.

Jean-Claude Van Damme (尚格云顿) BIG RM6.50

This cafe is famous for its freshly blended fruits and vegetable juice. They have lots of choices that serve customers' need from detox to energy boosting juices. We shared a big jar of Jean-Claude Van Damme, which is a mixed fruit juice from apple, carrot, and pineapple.

We ended the hearty meal with just a total bill of RM32.30. There's no service charge and no government tax required. Cheap?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Flour Vermicelli In Chicken Soup

My definition of comfy food: Does not require lots of exertion in cooking, not too strong in taste but delicious, simple ingredients but nourishing, and of course it must be a healthy and balanced diet. Flour vermicelli in chicken soup fulfill all of the criteria above. Hence, it's no other than my favorite comfort food.

Flour vermicelli also known as mee suah is one of dried noodles that is always available in my pantry. The noodles comes in bundles, in a form of thin and white noodles made of rice flour. Due to its fragility, it must be gently handled. You'll just need few seconds to cook it in boiling water and it'll expand due to its ability to absorb liquid. So, to savor this soft but springy noodles, it's advisable to consume immediately after cooking. Otherwise, it'll turn soggy. :P

Coincidentally on the day that I boiled this free-range chicken soup, one of my colleague offered me some organic chicken eggs. So, I hard-boiled it to serve with the meal. Hard-boiled egg is a usual companion of flour vermicelli soup. Serve it with some greens, mmmhmmm..that's called comforting homey meal.

I'm submitting the dish to PPN#137 founded by Ruth from Once Upon A Feast and hosted by Cook (Almost) Anything.

Flour Vermicelli In Chicken Soup
Serves 2


Half of free-range chicken, skinned and chop into 2 pieces
some Chinese cabbage
2 organic chicken eggs
4 bundles of mee suah
900ml of water


1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
dash of white pepper
salt to taste


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Simmer the chicken for about 45 minutes under low flame. Skim off the scum and oil from the surface. Add seasoning and simmer for another 5 minutes before serving.

2. In another small pot, bring water to a boil. Hard-boil the eggs. Drain and leave it cool. Peel the shell, and half into 2. Set aside.

3. Blanch some Chinese cabbage over the boiling water and set aside.

4. Boil the flour vermicelli, serve in bowl and pour the chicken soup over it. Serve it with chicken, egg, and Chinese cabbage.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pandan Butter Cake

I'm so fancy over any desserts boiled with pandan leaves and all sorts of pandan cakes. I stumbled upon Aunty Yochana's pandan kaya butter cake when I hopped over to her blog the other day. Without much hesitation, I immediately decided to give this fool-proof recipe a try.
While baking, the fragrance flowing from the oven is extremely inviting. I'm glad that cake popped out from the oven in its beautiful splendor (with some cracks anyway). It's fluffy, moist and flavored with pandan extract and coconut milk. The buttery cake is so delightful. :)

I will give it another try with homemade pandan juice. I' know I'll be excited tasting my cake with natural pandan fragrance, and of course I'll be happy seeing the chlorophyll imparting the lovely green to my cake.

Pandan Butter Cake

Recipe adapted from Aunty Yochana's Pandan Kaya Butter Cake with some modification


250 gm butter
200 gm sugar ( I reduce to 170gm)
6 eggs
300 gm cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
200 gm coconut milk
1/4 tsp. salt (I omit this as salted butter is used)
3 tbsp. milk powder (I omit this too)
1 tsp. pandan essence
a drop of green coloring (I use 1 tsp pandan essence cum green coloring)


1. Cream butter and sugar till creamy.

2. Add in egg one at a time and make sure it's properly mixed before adding in another egg. Pour in coconut milk and salt slowly and if it cuddles, put in some flour. Add in pandan paste and some green coloring.

3. Fold in cake flour, milk powder and baking powder and then pour into a 7" sq. tray (I used 8" baking pan) and bake at 175C (for me, I baked under 180C) for about 60 mins.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Seafood Pasta

Clam digging is one of the favorite activity for Penangite's childhood. Embarrassingly, hubby and I had not experience it before. Last Sunday, my lady boss invited us to join her family for a beach outing in my neighborhood. Thanks to her, I got my first chance to experience clam digging. While we were busy digging, the kids were enjoying themselves collecting tons of sea shells. As a first timer, I managed to harvest 2 handful of medium size clams.

We brought home the clams and soaked in fresh water overnight. This helps to clean the sand that were stored inside the clams. I was thinking what should I do with that little amount of clams. The quantity is too little to cook a dish for two. Suddenly, an idea came across my mind. Yes, seafood pasta! A simple recipe bursting with the vibrancy of seafood and tangy pasta sauce. Though the clam is tiny in size compared to mussels, but it has a distinct flavor on its own. It gets along well with other ingredients and the result is a delicious pasta dish.

My seafood pasta is submitted to Ruth's Presto Pasta Night. The host of the week is Girlichef.

Seafood Pasta
Serves 2


Spaghetti, amount for 2
10 medium-sized prawns, peeled and deveined
2 handful of clams
4 pcs of frozen fish cocktail
1 can of tomato pasta sauce
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
50ml water
3 tbsp olive oil


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti exactly according to the packet instruction. Drain and set aside.

2. Oven-baked the fish cocktail as per the packaging instruction. Cook and set aside.

3. Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan. Saute the garlic till fragrant. Add the clams and prawns to stir-fry for 1 minute.

4. Pour in the pasta sauce and water. Cook and stirring for 2 minutes.

5. Toss with spaghetti and serve with baked fish cocktails.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vegetable Curry

Photos updated on 2nd May 2010

I seldom cook curry at home, but since ready make curry pastes can easily be found in the hypermarket these days, I would love to give it a try.

This low carb and high fiber vegetarian curry is classified under our healthy eating style. It consists of a wide variety of fresh vegetables, including egg plant, lady's finger, potato, cabbage, carrot, green chili and deep-fried bean curd. In short, vegetable curry is a versatile dish that you can adapt to your list of fancy vegetables. The vegetarian dish assembles all the goodies into a delectable spicy curry that is no less tasty than the normal curry. Furthermore, fresh vegetables imbue natural sweetness to the curry and the spices impart the dish with irresistible aroma. Served with rice or roti canai and you'll be able to savor a great meal.

Happy Deepavali & Happy Holiday to all Malaysian!

Indian Vegetarian Curry
Serves 4-6


Half egg plant, diced
Half carrot, coarsely cut
3 lady's finger, trim the head & tail and halved
1 tomato, diced and seeded
4 pcs of tau pok (deep-fried bean curd), quartered
1 green chili, seeded, chopped finely
2 potatoes, diced
1/4 of cabbage
1 packet of Delimas vegetable curry paste
550ml water
100gm evaporated milk
3tbsp of cooking oil


light soy sauce to taste

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to it. Blanch the egg plant and lady's finger. Drain and set a side. Using the same pot of water, boil the potato and carrot till soft. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat some oil in a wok. Stir-fry cabbage for 2 minutes. Add water, milk and curry paste. Bring to a boil.

3. Add the rest of vegetables and tau pok. Leave the curry simmering for 5 minutes. Add some light soy sauce to taste. Dish out and serve with rice or roti canai.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Organic Vegetarian Noodles With Portobello

Recently I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes to clear out the stock from my fridge. Fresh vegetables, if kept too long, will start to lose its texture and taste really bad. Today I'm gonna stir fry organic noodles with portobello, cabbage, carrot and deep fried bean curd. Yes, it's that simple.

The organic wheat noodles is paired with portobello to bring out the meaty flavor. On top of that, dunk the noodles in vegetable-blend sauce to reach the natural pleasant flavor. It's really simple, you can complete this dish within 20mins. As a result, a dish that rely solely on vegetables was our light dinner tonight.

It's my pleasure to share the dish with Presto Pasta Night #135 created by Ruth and hosted by Eat the Right Stuff.


2 pieces of organic wheat noodles
a handful of julienned cabbage

1 portobello, sliced
half carrot, julienned
4 tau pok (deep-fried bean curd), quartered
half yellow onion, peeled and sliced
cooking oil
120ml water


1 tbsp of tomato sauce
1 tbsp of vegetarian oyster sauce
light soy sauce to taste


1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the noodle till soft, yet not totally cooked. This will leave some room for the noodle to absorb the broth when stir-fry later.

2. Heat oil in a wok, saute onion till fragrant and transparent. Add cabbage and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add portobello, carrot (leave half for garnishing) and deep-fried bean curd. Toss briefly.

3. Add seasoning and water and bring to simmering. Add noodles and stir-fry until noodles are dry.

4. Dish out and garnish with carrot.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vegetarian Golden Mushroom

Mushroom is usually prepared as a side dish more often than not. So, this time I'm going to let them take the center stage for once. This afternoon I was mulling about how to turn my recently purchased button mushrooms into something simple yet appetizing dish, so I dig into some recipe books and came out with my version of vegetarian mushroom.
Firstly, the grated ginger and sesame oil added will lend a unique flavor to this simple mushroom dish. Secondly, frying the fresh button mushrooms will retain their tender texture while keeping the mushrooms juicy inside. Combining these two and what we'll have is a healthy dish with very little additives. So let's savor the dish and boost our body with a good source of nutrients and antioxidant.
Vegetarian Golden Mushroom
Serves 2


4 fresh white button mushrooms
4 fresh brown button mushrooms
100ml of water
1 tbsp of corn starch, diluted in 2 tbsp of water
4cm² ginger, grated
1 big scoop of cooking oil
Spring onion

1 tbsp of vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil


1. Clean the mushrooms, Trim off few millimeter from the stalk. Pat dry with kitchen tower and make shallow cuts on caps.

2. Heat oil in a wok and fry the mushroom till golden. Remove and set aside.

3. Leave about 1 tbsp of oil in the wok and saute grated ginger till fragrant. Add the fried mushrooms and seasoning to mix well. Pour in the water and bring to boil.

4. Add the corn starch and stir fry to thicken the sauce. Dish out and garnish with spring onion. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lemon Cake Baked In Rice Cooker 电饭锅做蛋糕

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a new method of baking a cake through here. I guess not many of us know about it, including me. But I learned and successfully baked a cake using my Panasonic microcomputer rice cooker.

Microcomputer rice cooker is super intelligent. Furthermore the inner pot is Diamond Fluorine coated, so it's a non stick pot. I manage to flip the cake from the pot without any problem. As you can see, the above photo is the bottom side of the cake.

This is the top view of the cake.

The cake texture is in between chiffon cake and margarine cake. It's moist and fluffy. I simply came out with my own recipe for the experiment. I keep the recipe simple with the essentials in kitchen. You'll just need flour, sugar, eggs and vegetable oil. To add a hint of fruit flavor, I added the lemon rind and lemon juice. I quite like this type of cake, because it contains no margarine, no cream and no butter, just the vegetable oil. It's definitely healthier.

With this, it marked a new record in my baking journey since July 2009. Although I'm just a newbie in baking, but I slowly gain my interest in it. I will slowly polish up my skill to go for more variety of cakes.

Lemon Cake
Yields for 12 pieces


4 grade A eggs
180gm self raising flour, sifted
120gm fine sugar
50gm sunflower oil
1 lemon, finely grated zest
2tbsp lemon juice


1. Beat the eggs and Caster sugar under high speed until fluffy.

2. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Fold in the sifted flour with plastic spatula.

3. Pour in the sunflower oil and mix well with spatula.

4. Using spatula, transfer the batter into inner pot of rice cooker. Give the pot a few good shake to remove the air trapped in the batter.

5. Bake the cake using "quick cook" menu.

6. When it's done, leave it cool. Upside turn the pot to leave the cake bottom-up a big plate.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Steamed Egg Cake 蒸鸡蛋糕

This is the traditional Chinese steamed egg cake that my mum and my sisters used to make during my childhood. We had it on almost every Chinese New Year. I used to disturb them when they hand whisked the eggs. As a pre-school kid, I wondered why they kept on whisking the eggs for such long period. Now I understand. :) The whisking process is very important to ensure the cake is fluffy. In our family, we don't eat steamed egg cake on its own. We normally eat it with BBQ pork aka bak kuah. :) In this way, the cake will be perfectly complemented by the saltiness of the BBQ pork. That's another precious dining experience with my family in my childhood.

As of now, it's my turn trying to make one steamed egg cake of my own. Of course, with the help of my electric mixer :) I don't have a bamboo basket either, so I replaced it with the steaming tray that came along with the rice cooker. The making process is pretty straight forward. However, patience is needed. I added some hints to each step below for sharing.

The result of the first attempt was very impressive. The cake texture is soft and fluffy with a little bit of bounciness. Taste wise, each bite is full of aroma of the egg, and the orange essence and 7-Up enhance pleasant smell to the sweet cake. Without yeast, baking soda and butter, I think this steamed egg cake can be the healthiest cake ever. Give it a try, I swear you'll love it!

Steamed Egg Cake
Yields for 9 pieces


4 grade A eggs
170gm all purpose flour, sifted
130gm Castor sugar
50gm 7-Up
3 drops of orange essence (optional)


1. Line the steaming tray with baking paper and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs and Castor sugar under high speed until fluffy. Add the orange essence and continue whisking for a while.
Hint: I whisked the eggs with highest speed for about 12 minutes. At this stage, you can observed the egg is increased in volume, and the color turned light.

3. Add the sifted flour and fold them in with spatula.
Hint: Fold the flour very gently.

4. Pour in the 7-Up and mix well with spatula.

5. Using spatula, transfer the batter into line steaming tray until 90% full.
Hint: Give the tray a few good shake to remove the air trapped in the batter.

6. Steam over rapid boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Hint: When it's done, remove the cover carefully to prevent water from dripping to the cake surface.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Flaky Swirl Moon Cake From I-One Tasty Puff

I discovered the flaky swirl moon cakes at I-One Tasty Puff! The shop has been operating in Lagenda Height, Sungai Petani for the past few months. It is located at the same row as New Secret (SP) Restaurant and Old Town White Coffee. I've always wanted to buy some Teochew moon cake for the Mid Autumn festival, but just couldn't find it. Even my hubby, a Teochew guy has yet to taste the Teochew moon cake.

So without any hesitation, we bought a box of 4 moon cakes that cost RM34++.

We had 2x single yolk yam paste flavor, 1x yolk-less yam paste and 1x pandan flavor.

I particularly love the single yolk yam paste moon cake. Their homemade yam paste is just perfect, not too sweet. This type of moon cake is either deep fry or bake. This is the deep fried version. Hubby & I gobbled down a moon cake. For the normal moon cake, my maximum intake limit is just 1/4 moon cake provided eating with plain bread.

Happy Moon Cake Festival to all of you!

I-One Tasty Puff

Address: 149, Jalan Lagenda 5, Lagenda Heights, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah.

H/P: 012-4761446, 017-4505248


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