Friday, December 28, 2007

Honey Baked Cod

I used to work of a Japanese company who often organised dinners for their customers after the sales presentation. They were trying to score points, in hoping to get the year's contact. We do this at least 3 times a year for 3 major customers and other smaller scale dinners with many other customers.

During those time, we work like there was no tomorrow and during the night before the presentation, we never when home to sleep. We only go home to bath and change and off we go. Yeah, I was a workaholic before I have kids. Once my boss asked me when we were working overtime, as usual, "What is your hobby?" Guess what? My hobby was the same as my boss' - WORK! *LOL* Luckily, it has now changed to WOK! *laughs*

Anyway, during those major dinners, I had to tag along because I liaise with the respective parties. But poor me and my other colleagues who helped out, did not eat with them (in the private room with all the yummy food). We ordered a few dishes (okay 4 to be exact) and ate in the restaurants and we must eat super fast just in case we were called to work. There were 2 dishes I had that I fell in love with. One of them was from Pine Court, a honey cod dish which I'm trying to replicate.

I dare not say it's the same (how can it be the same!) but ... well, it reminds me of the original and it's not too bad either. I added salad with sweet mustard dressing and the dressing goes well with the cod. So for those who doesn't like the taste of cod, it help covers it up.

  • 2 slice Cod (I prefer the tail. Ask the fishmonger to debone)
  • 6 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 5 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 tablespoon Water
Sweet Mustard Dressing to be mixed well:
  • 2 tablespoon Honey Mustard (I use MasterFoods)
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
How to do it:
  1. Mix the marinade well.
  2. Pour over the the cod and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven at 160C.
  4. Lay your baking tray with foil or Glad baking paper (which is what I use).
  5. Grill the cod for 20 minutes skin-side down before turning over.
  6. Grill the other side for another 12 minutes or till fully cooked.
  7. Serve immediately with salad and dressing.
  • I would recommend you use Glad baking paper as it doesn't tear nor stick while baking. Foil may stick.
  • As this dish contain honey, be careful not to burn the cod. Adjust the temperature of your oven and the timing accordingly.
  • Adjust the sweetness of the dressing according to your taste.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Curry Chicken

The last time I cook Curry Chicken was .... 3 months ago! And I am so used to adding stuff by estimation when I wanted to put it down in writing, I realised I'm like my MIL ... a bit of this and a bit of that. I found myself asking, eh ... how much exactly is a bit? :P

I remembered to note down the quantity this time. So if you waiting for me to post this recipe, here goes ....

  • 1 Chicken, chopped into parts
  • 400g Potatoes, skinned and cut into smaller pieces
  • 30g Curry Powder for meat (cos there is curry powder for fish too)
  • 750ml Chicken Broth or Water
  • 500ml Coconut Milk
  • 200ml Coconut Cream
  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • Salt and Sugar to taste

Spices to be grind into paste:
  • 10 Shallots, skinned
  • 3 clove Garlic, skinned
  • 10g Turmeric
  • 20g Galangal
  • 6 Red Chilli (more if you can handle it)
  • 1/2 stalk Lemon Grass

How to do it:
  1. Add 2 tablespoon of broth or water to the curry powder and mix well.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Heat wok with oil.
  4. Add in the Spice paste and fry till fragrant.
  5. Add the curry powder paste to the spice paste and mix well.
  6. Add in the Chicken and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add in the potatoes and the rest of the broth or water and coconut milk.
  8. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 - 60 mins or till both chicken and potatoes are tender ( I simmer for almost 2 hours).
  10. Stir in the coconut cream.
  11. Add sugar and salt to taste.
  12. Bring to a boil.
  13. Serve with toasted French loaf or rice.

{ Chicken Curry Hor Fun}

Blanch your hor fun, noodles or bee hoon then pour over the curry and Viola!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Chips

My son asked me to bake him some cupcakes and I thought I wanted to try frosting again. So why not? I had this simple vanilla cupcake recipe I scribbled on my notebook. I did that and added some chocolate chips to it.

I won't show the frosting though. I find it was hideous. I think my old Art Club teacher will be so mad at me if she see it. *stick out tongue*

  • 110g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 130g White Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 210g Plain Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 60 ml (Fresh) Milk
  • Chocolate Chip, your desired amount
How to do it:
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Beat in the vanilla essence.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add to the butter mixture gradually till combined.
  6. Add milk and beat till combined.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips.
  8. Fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake in preheated oven at 170C for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned or do the toothpick test.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon

I had never wanted to roast chicken after my hubby bought me an oven. Well, I had tried roasted chicken and turkey before and find it too dry and almost tasteless except of the skin. The other day, not knowing what came over me, I bought a copy of Women's Weekly. I used to buy this magazine when I was still working. I have since stop buying it for coming to 6 years. Anyway, I found this recipe in the magazine and since I have most of the ingredients, I thought I'll get it a try.

It's really good and like what the recipe says, the flesh is moist and succulent. Oooo ... and the garlic ... tasted so good with the chicken. Even my hubby who hates garlic said so too. Oh and the taste and smell of lemon ... hmmm ....

Try this for Christmas!

  • 1.8kg Chicken (I used a smaller chicken)
  • 1 Lemon, quartered
  • 30 gloves Garlic, skin intact
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 5 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed (I used 1 tablespoon Dried Thyme)
  • 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary, stams removed (I used 1 1/2 tablespoon Dried Rosemary)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Lemon Rind of half a lemon (optional)
How to do it:
  1. Rub marinade all over pat-dried chicken, including the body cavity.
  2. Place whole lemon into cavity and close cup cavity with a toothpick.
  3. Place chicken, breast side up, in hear and oven-proof casserole.
  4. Scatter garlic around the chicken and add chicken stock and white wine.
  5. Place casserole on a stove and bring to a boil over medium-high fire.
  6. Remove from stove, cover with lid and roast in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours at180C
  7. Check for doneness; juices would run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a metal skewer.
  8. Remove the lid, baste the chicken with pan juices and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes to brown the skin.
  9. Remove chicken and garlic cloves from the casserole and place on a serving dish.
  10. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 min to 15 mins.
  11. Spoon away excess oil from juices in the casserole and adjust to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
  12. Carve chicken and serve with garlic cloves and pan juices.
  • To make the skin extra crispy, separate the skin from the meat using your finger or chopstick taking care not to tear or poke through the skin.
  • Pour some marinade in between the skin and meat too.
  • When roasting the chicken during the last 10 - 15 minutes, you can roast it on rack instead. Then you will be able the roast the whole chicken instead of only one side.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Egg Tarts

Egg tarts! Egg tarts! I didn't know there are so many people who like egg tarts. Don't be shock on what I'm going to say. I have never try one in my (going to be) 36 years of my life. Hmm ... maybe just the crust.

It's one of my husband's favourite so I had to try to do it since he did get me the oven after all. He is forever saying that how the crust and the egg custard must be like. I had no idea. I just followed the recipe that comes with the oven.

The day he arrived home from work when I made the egg tarts, I showed him one and asked him to try. He didn't look impressed with the outlook. He commented that the egg custard looked too pale (because there's no custard powder here) and then he sunk his teeth into it and chewed. I asked, "So?" No answer. More bites and chewing and still no answer. Now that the whole tart is gone and still no answer. Hmmm ...

After he cleared his mouth, he said, "It's very good! Not the best but good enough." Aww ... At least I managed to make something he really likes. He ended up having egg tarts for dinner instead. *frown*

Anyway, I have seen other egg tart recipes before I settled for this method as it's much easy to do. *stick out tongue*

Ingredients for Crust:
  • 340g Top Flour
  • 230g Butter
  • 70g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Beaten Egg
Ingredients for Egg Custard filling:
  • 3 Eggs
  • 80g Caster Sugar
  • 70ml Milk (I use Fresh Milk)
  • 230ml Water
How to do it:
  1. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  2. Add egg into mixture and mix until combined.
  3. Add flour and mix into a dough.
  4. Cover dough with cling wrap and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Weight dough into 20g each (depending on size of mould) and press into egg tart moulds.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Whisk eggs and sugar until thick and creamy.
  8. Add milk to mixture and continue to whisk until combined.
  9. Add water gradually and continue to whisk together.
  10. Pour into mould tart dough.
  11. Preheat oven at 180C and bake for 25 minutes or till the crust is slightly brown and egg custard is set.
  12. Remove from mould by turning the mould upside down.
I rolled the 20g dough into a ball and flatten it before put it into the mould.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Sukiyaki 寿喜烧

When we visit the Japanese Restaurant, which we do quite often, I always order Sukiyaki if it's available.

It usually has Shitake Mushroom, Onions, Chinese Cabbage, Enokitake, Carrot, Spring Onion, tofu, Shirataki noodles and of course very thinly sliced meat. All these in a cast iron pot over burning flame.

It's often served with a raw egg for you to dip the meat and veggies in before you eat them to reduce the heat, so as not to burn your lips. *wink* There is always a bowl of rice to go with it as the soup is slightly salty and sweet. Some restaurants even come with a bowl of udon for you to cook it in the soup after you finish eating all the ingredients. Very filling!

Sometimes when we are out during the weekends, dear hubby wants to have his favourite Chinese food when we rather have Japanese food *son knit eyebrows and pout lips*, I'll get some stuff from the supermarket and make sushi (for my son) and this, Sukiyaki, later in the week. It's not as good as those in Japanese Restaurants but it does curb our cravings. *laughs*

It's actually rather simple to make the Sukiyaki broth. Though it may not be authentic, it taste close enough. My way to do it, is to add 4 tablespoon Soy Sauce, 3 tablespoon Sugar and 2 tablespoon Mirin to 500ml Water preferably in a steamboat, unless you have the cast iron set. Then you can add your meat, vegetables, tofu, etc in the broth and eat it as it cook, just like how the Chinese have their steamboat.

Oh, you don't have to go around hunting for Shirataki noodles, which is not available here in my neigbourhood supermarkets too. I always use glass noodle. It's a perfect replacement and taste great with the broth! Just have it soak in water first before use. And adjust the amount of sugar and salt according to your taste but those I have in the restaurants are far more sweeter and salty then my concoction.

Try it some day. *wink*

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Colourful Onde Onde

Okay, I didn't add any colouring for all these Onde Onde you see here. From left, pumpkin onde onde, purple sweet potato onde onde, normal pandan flavoured onde onde.

If the Australian Pumpkin is used here, the Onde Onde will be in a nicer shade of orange but I didn't want to buy a big slice so I settled for the Japanese pumpkin which is in the hue. I love the purple sweet potato though. It gives such nice colour. It's not the Japanese sweet potato. Though the skin is purple in colour but the inside is in yellow. Look below for the difference.

But if you still want to use food colourings, go ahead. I'm just showing that to make your food colourful, you can use the natural colours from the food we use.

  • 250g pumpkin or sweet potato, steamed and mashed thru a sieve
  • 200g Glutinous Rice Flour
  • 20g Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3-4 tablespoon Water or Pandan Juice if you are making green onde onde
  • 120g Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar), chopped
  • 350g Grated Coconut, only the white part
How to do it:
  1. Steam grated coconut for 10 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to combine.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Put pumpkin or sweet potato, glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour 1/4 teaspoon salt and hot water into a bowl.
  5. Combine to form a soft dough.
  6. Roll some dough to form a ball.
  7. Flatten it and place some chopped gula melaka in the center.
  8. Roll into a ball.
  9. Repeat till dough are used up.
  10. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  11. Put the balls into the boiling water.
  12. Remove them when they float to the top.
  13. Drain and toll in grated coconut and serve.
To make the pandan juice, grind 8 pandan leaves with 3 tablespoon water. Place the grind pandan leaves into a muslin bag and squeeze out the juice.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

From left:
* the usual sweet potato, Japanese Sweet Potato, Purple Sweet Potato *

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Japanese Cotton Sponge Cake

My friend, June, told me she tried baking cotton sponge cake and failed. I'm new to baking and couldn't help her find what went wrong but I search the web and found another recipe. It was mentioned that the recipe was from a book so I gathered that it should be the original source and I went ahead to bake it.

And I was lucky on my first try. I'm not too sure if baking in cups and tray makes any difference though.

  • 60g Butter, melted
  • 80g Plain Flour
  • 80ml Evaporated Milk (I used fresh milk)
  • 1 Egg
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 120g Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt

How to do it:
  1. Add butter and flour together.
  2. Mix till well blended.
  3. Add milk and mix till will combined.
  4. Add the 1 egg and 5 egg yolks till will blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites till foamy.
  6. Add in sugar and salt and whisk till stiff (takes about 20 minutes)
  7. Using a spatula fold in the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture till well incorporated.
  8. Pour mixture onto the swiss roll pan (15 x 10 x ¼ inches) fully lined with paper. (I used muffin cups)
  9. Bake at 170C on the middle rack for 25 minutes.
  10. Remove the mould immediately when it baked. Set aside to cool.


When whisking egg white, make sure your tools, bowls are clean and dry. Egg white MUST NOT contain a single drop of egg yolk. If not under these said conditions, your egg white will not peak.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

*Soft & fluffy *


Of all pastries, we love cookies most. My son used to pester me to buy Walker's Shortbread for him every time we went to the supermarket. Now he hardly ask for it because we can always make our own.

When I told him I found a recipe on the shortbread he likes, he asked me to do it immediately. Neh. I only did it at night when there's not interruption.

Oh, if you are trying to lose weight don't eat this. It's loaded with butter. Hmm ... can you imagine the aroma of my kitchen when I baked this?

* 'Pretty' Shortbread without poke marks *

  • 500g Butter, softened
  • 100g Brown Sugar
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 675g Plain Flour
  • 75g Rice Flour
  • 55g Demerara Sugar (I used Brown Sugar)

How to do it:
  1. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour and beat on low speed till just combined.
  3. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth.
  4. Divide dough into three portion.
  5. Wrap in plastic or cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 150C.
  7. Roll each portion of dough between two sheets of baking paper.
  8. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters.
  9. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
  10. Prick with fork (optional).
  11. Place cut out dough 3cm apart on greased oven tray (I used Glad Baking Paper instead).
  12. Baked in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or till they turn pale yellow.
  13. Stand the shortbread on tray for 2 minutes.
  14. Cool on wired rack and store in airtight container up to two weeks.

You can also add chocolate chips to the dough when you are kneading the dough.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

* Crumbly and flaky inside *

* Shortbread with Chocolate Chips *

Credits: Unknown ... It's a magazine clipping in my scrapbook