Friday, October 31, 2014

Indonesian Basic White Condiment Paste

Indonesian dishes are well known for the usage of rich herbs and spices which contribute to the distinctive fragrance and taste. Mostly, they're grinded together into paste form and cooked with any kind of meat of your choice, fish or others such as egg, tempeh or vegetables
One thing is, it can be quite a hassle to prepare. We're talking about lots of chopping here, that is a hassle to me :)
Preparing the basic paste in advance is proven to be really helpful in cutting short the tedious process. Just take it out from the freezer, thaw and cook accordingly
Many Indonesians do that. Including me. We all have our own version of recipes, adjusted to our liking. And here's my version :)
For 4 servings (each serving can be used for cooking 1 whole chicken or 2 large fish)
What you need: 
300g shallots
120g garlic
120g candlenut
30g coriander seeds
2 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
240ml water
120ml canola oil
6 pcs Indonesian bay leaves
6 pcs kaffir lime leaves
3 stalks of lemongrass
1 thumb size of old ginger root
1 thumbs size of blue ginger
  1. Peel and cut shallots and garlic (shed the tears away, ladies! I cried so much during this step LOL). Grind together using Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender’s XL chopper attachment
  2. Chop candlenut into small piece. Peel both ginger and pound lightly. Also lightly pound lemongrass
  3. Heat wok and dry fry candlenut, remove from heat. Dry fry coriander seeds, remove from heat. Grind them together using Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender’s XL chopper attachment
  4. In a blender, grind together shallots mixture and candlenut mixture, salt, sugar, pepper, water til forms smooth paste. I used Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender's blender attachment speed 4
  5. Transfer to a wok and cook for a few mins til hot
  6. Add in oil, both leaves, lemongrass, both ginger
  7. Let cook over medium low fire until fragrant and well cooked, stir occasionally
  8. Let cool, discard leaves and roots, and divide into 4 airtight containers or glass jars
  9. Keep in the fridge for a week or two or in the freezer for a few months

Dry fry coriander seeds
Chop and dry fry candlenuts
Cut garlic and shallots
Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender’s XL chopper attachment
Grind mixture of candlenuts and coriander seeds
Now is the garlic and shallots' turn
Using blender attachment, blend both candlenut mixture and garlic mixture with water
Smooth paste is formed
Cooking the paste with other ingredients
Now that the paste is ready, time to cook a dish :)
This time I cooked turmeric grilled chicken using the paste
I grinded a thumb size of turmeric (or you may use 1 tsp of ground turmeric) and mix in to the paste, and I got a yellow paste

And this is how I prepared the grilled chicken:

1. Rinse well a whole free range chicken and into 8 parts. Rub all over with salt and juice of a large lime. Set aside for a few minutes, do not rinse. In a wok, mix in chicken parts with yellow paste and water (I used about 1 1/2 cup)
I included the leaves and roots used beforehand to make the paste


2. Let boil and then cover, simmer over low fire til the water reduced in quantity and thickened

3. Grill until browned. Brush the chicken all over with the remaining yellow paste during grilling

Here it is :)

The yellow paste

 Yummy yummy succulent chicken. You may deep fry too, but I prefer grilling them. I find it's more flavourful

You may use the white paste as it is, or turn it into yellow paste like I did, or adding chilli to turn into red paste. Very versatile, I must say :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Snacks

So not in the mood for cooking, baking, blogging or even anything at all
I am actually having a very stressful time right now
But promised my kids to make something for Halloween, so here they are

Bread with 'mud' and 'worms' done solely by Abby

Hotdog bun with 'bloody finger'

Chocolate cake topped with 'soil' and 'worms'  decorated by both Abby and Ian

Sorry for the pictures quality, all taken using my mobile phone only with slight editing

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Steamed Muffin

Such a right timing to make these muffins. I have been craving for it :)
Soft and fluffy, not too sweet yet yummy, I didn't get the typical yellow colour because I replaced half of the caster sugar with brown sugar. And I used local pumpkin which the colour is not so distinctive. I usually always prefer Japanese or Australian, but my luck only met with local one at the right timing when I had plan to make this LOL

Recipe is from Food for Tots
What you need:
125g pumpkin, steamed and mashed
1 large egg (64g with shell)
120g caster sugar (I used half brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
100g coconut milk
30g extra virgin olive oil
200g cake flour
1 1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
  1. Mix cake flour and double acting baking powder in a bowl, set aside
  2. Preheat steamer, wrap the cover with clean cloth to prevent condensation during steaming
  3. Hand whisk egg til foamy. Add in sugar and salt and continue whisk til sugar and salt dissolved
  4. Add in coconut milk, oil and pumpkin in sequence, mix after each addition
  5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in wet mixture in 3 batches. Fold with spatula til blended and no trace of flour
  6. Spoon batter til 80% full. Steam over high heat for 15 mins - do not peep
  7. Check with skewer if the muffins are done, it should comes out clean
  8. Remove from steamer to the cooling rack
  9. Best served warm

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Every time I make pancakes, I always use the recipe from Nigella Lawson, my favorite. Light, fluffy and yummy
Now I have another keeper recipe. Adding pumpkin puree makes the pancakes more moist, which is good. Another plus point, it's healthier version, too with only about 130 calorie per pancake using 1/4 cup batter. Additional calorie will be when maple syrup is added - which of course can't be missed :)

Recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens with slight modification

What you need: 
(below is half from the original recipe)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 
1 1/2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
210ml 1% low fat milk
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
90g pumpkin puree
30ml canola oil


  1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  2. In another bowl, mix milk, eggs, pumpkin and oil
  3. Stir in milk mixture into flour mixture til slightly lumpy (do not overmix)
  4. Heat a nonstick pan and oil slightly. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter and cook til bubbly. Flip and cook the other side til browned
  5. Serve warm with maple syrup

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Kaya Jam

I love kaya jam. The only reservation is the high calorie LOL
This is a healthier version of kaya jam using pumpkin as the main ingredient
Love it! So delicious eaten with toast :)

There are a few recipes I'd like to try. I chose the recipe from HERE as this is the easiest and fastest among all
Somehow mine was not brown enough, it's more to yellowish - which I do not mind, as the taste conquers all :)

What you need:

500g pumpkin, steamed and mashed
300g coconut milk
180g brown sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 pcs of pandan leaves


  1. Mix coconut milk, sugar, custard powder, salt and then add in to the mashed pumpkin. Stir well and sieve (I used my blender to do the job)
  2. In a non stick pot, pour the pumpkin mixture and cook over low heat. Add in pandan leaves. Cook and stir constantly until the mixture thickened, about 15mins
  3. Remove pandan leaves and let the mixture to cool. Keep in the sterilized jar and chill in the fridge

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Gai)

A dish commonly found  in many cze char stalls in Singapore, yummy delicious sinful deep fried chicken marinated in shrimp sauce

My drumlettes were too well coated with thick batter they turned out so crispy, yum!

Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. Finger licking good! :)

Recipe adapted from DreamersLoft

What you need:

Marinate together:
20 pcs drumlettes (original recipe: 10 wings)
2 tbsp shrimp sauce
2 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp pepper

For the batter:
50g plain flour
50g tapioca starch
1 small egg
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
60ml water


  1. Mix all marinade ingredients, make sure chicken are thoroughly coated
  2. Mix all batter ingredients til form smooth paste and add in to the chicken mixture
  3. Mix everything well, store in an airtight container and leave in the fridge for up to 2 days (mine was overnight)
  4. Heat oil over medium heat and deep fry chicken til golden brown and crisp. Drain and serve

Friday, October 17, 2014

Singapore Chicken Rice

Chicken rice is a dish you can easily find in every corner island wide
It's a tasty flavored rice served with soft and juicy chicken meat, eat with garlicky delicious chili sauce mixed with ground ginger and dark soy sauce. A small bowl of chicken broth commonly served together with the dish, too
As simple as it may sounds, this is one dish I still can't get it right, especially the rice. Somehow it just never tastes as good as those sold outside
What I mentioned was making from the scratch, I don't have any issue if I use premix
I have tried a few different recipes, which actually pretty similar, but still not satisfied hence no posting on them
Even the one I posted sometime back (you may view HERE), I still find the rice tasted somewhat bland

I found another recipe I was eager to try. It's from a trusted blogger, Amelia's  Dessert
I did and I must say this recipe is the closest to my expectation compared to those I previously tried. Not exactly the same, but very close. And for homemade dish, I was pleased. I just assume those sold outside use a lot of flavor enhancer :)

This is good enough without the ginger sauce, fish balls and the bean sprout salad like what Amelia did :)

Soft succulent yummy chicken 

Left: chicken broth, light soya sauce and sesame oil mixture to drizzle on the rice
Center: cilantro dipping sauce
Right: garlic chili sauce

What you need:

The chicken:
1 free range chicken
2 tsp salt
1 inch ginger, slice thinly
3 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
1 stalk spring onion, halved
1/2 cube chicken stock cube

Mix together: 1 tbsp light soy sauce & 1 tbsp sesame oil

Mix together: 2 tbsp chicken broth, 1 tbsp light soy sauce & 1 tbsp sesame oil
cucumber slices
some cilantro leaves

  1. Wash and clean chicken. Discard chicken and feet. Trim excess skin and fat
  2. Rub all over with salt, inside and outside. Do not rinse
  3. Boil a large pot of water enough to submerge the whole chicken
  4. Add into the boiling water chicken stock cubes, garlic, ginger and spring onion and chicken (breast facing down)
  5. Cover the pot and boil for 10mins over medium heat. Remove from heat and leave the chicken in the hot broth for 40mins, do not open the cover
  6. After that, check the chicken by piercing the thigh with chopstick. If no blood oozes out, it's cooked
  7. Remove chicken from the pot and shower with iced water. Then dip again in the hot broth for 1min. This is to produce jelly like skin. Leave the chicken to cool about 10mins. Brush with dressing mixture all over the chicken
  8. When cooled completely, chop into bite size and dress up with cucumber and cilantro leaves. Pour chicken broth mixture over chicken pieces prior to serving

The rice:
2 cups rice - rinse
3 cloves of garlic, lightly pounded
1/2 inch ginger, no need to slice
3 pandan leaves
2 medium pieces of chicken fat
chicken broth - enough to cook the rice

  1. Heat up the wok and render chicken fat til oil released. I discarded the crispy fat but you may use it for garnishing
  2. Stir fry ginger and garlic til fragrant. Add in rice and pandan leaves. Stir fry for about 2mins
  3. Transfer rice into rice cooker, add in chicken stock cubes and chicken broth
  4. Let cook. Once cooked, fluff the rice with chopstick

Cilantro dipping sauce:
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp black soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
dash of pepper
2 shallots, slice thinly
2 tbsp chicken broth
1/2 tbsp oil

  1. Heat oil in the wok and sautee the sliced shallots. Add in oyster sauce and chicken broth
  2. Lower the heat. Add in both soy sauce, pepper and cilantro
  3. Stir quickly and remove from heat

Chili sauce:
4 red chillies
2 cloves of garlic
salt, vinegar, sugar

  1. Wash chilies and discard and seed, chopped
  2. Blend chilies and garlic. Add in salt, vinegar and sugar, mix well

Yummy! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

My incurable disease showing up every beginning of the month - total laziness to blog. And it's always until at least a week or so before I am back on track

This time is dragging even longer after my short trip back to my hometown end of last month for my 'lil sis' wedding, had a joyous time back there :)
And of course, the additional one season (yes, Singapore is a 3 season country now) - hazy season, has been pulling back my butt sitting conveniently doing nothing
It's just too hot and humid to do things in my kitchen. I even must drag myself to cook for my family I make sure I cook in the morning, cos once it hits 10am, I will start sweating a bucket and it really pisses me off. I guess it's time to install aircon in my kitchen LOL

Well, okay, I'd better stop my rambling :)

Following the pumpkin fiesta by so many bloggers, I made this simple, creamy yet refreshing pumpkin pie pudding :)

Recipe is from Cooking Light

What you need:
(below is 1/2 recipe with slight modification)

3 tbsp brown sugar 
1 tbsp cornstarch
210ml low fat milk
1 medium egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
a pinch of ground nutmeg


  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine milk and egg, stir well with whisk
  2. Gradually add in milk mixture into sugar mixture, stir constantly, bring to boil. Cook for 1 min, stir constantly. Remove from heat
  3. Combine pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl, stir well
  4. Slowly add in pumpkin mixture into the milk mixture, whisk constantly
  5. Place pan over low heat, cook for 3 mins til thoroughly heated, stir constantly, but do not boil
  6. Divide pudding into 2 ramekins, cover with cling wrap and chill
  7. Serve by sprinkling mixture of ground cinnamon and demerara sugar

Original recipe serves this dessert with caramelized walnut and whipped cream instead 

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary)


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