Soon Kueh/Turnip Dumplings (I)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Success at last at making the dough for soon kueh! It was my seventh attempt and sixth recipe. How's that for perseverance? As I kneaded the dough, I felt quite sure that this time it would work. And it did, beautifully. Mind you, I had spring roll wrappers standing by in case the dough failed again.

What was wrong with the five recipes that didn't work?

Noodles with Red Wine Dregs (红糟面线)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

A few weeks ago, I made some chicken with red wine dregs (红糟鸡). As I was writing about how effective red yeast rice extract was in lowering cholesterol, I looked at the photos I had taken. And I started to get worried. The red yeast stuff looked so . . . red!

Maybe there's something wrong with photos?


I went to the fridge and looked at the real wine dregs. Nope, there was nothing wrong with the photos. The dregs were really that shade of fire engine red. I rubbed my tummy, feeling rather uneasy.

Yikes! It must be Sudan Red!

Sudan Red, a carcinogenic industrial chemical dye, is found in a lot of red colored food products.

Remember the salted eggs recall a few years back?

Pork Belly Braised with Red Fermented Beancurd

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

If you like strong flavours, you'd like the Hakka way of cooking pork belly.

The fatty cut is marinated with red fermented beancurd and Shaoxing wine, deep-fried, then braised in the marinade along with fried ginger, shallots and ginger and wood ear fungus.

Don't forget to cook more rice when you make this Hakka dish!

Chicken with Rice Wine Dregs

Thursday, 12 August 2010

I was wandering round my favourite hangout in the neighbourhood – aka supermart – when I noticed some cookbooks in the fruits and vegetables section. Instead of being tucked away in some obscure corner, they were occupying prime real estate, right under my nose.

If you want the customer to buy something, put it where he's bound to walk past, at eye-level. This is one of the oldest tricks of supermarkets.

True enough, I stood amidst the apples, oranges and Russet potatoes and started browsing the cookbooks.

Hakka Yong Tau Foo

Sunday, 11 July 2010

What makes Hakka yong tau foo Hakka?

It's the pork. Hakka yong tau foo is always made with minced pork, not fish.

It's also the salted fish, added to give the minced pork a salty fragrance.

Yong tau foo may be cooked in the broth, or deep-fried or pan-fried.

YTF may be served in a broth, or drizzled with chilli sauce and sweet sauce. A gravy made with oyster sauce and a good, strong stock is a good option too.

Eaten with rice or noodles, YTF can be a complete meal. Of course, it can still be a complete meal sans carb.

I love YTF very much whether it's made with pork or fish. I don't mind if it sits in a broth, sauce or gravy. I like it best with bee hoon but don't mind rice or other types of noodle. Anything would do so long as the YTF isn't factory made.

Suan Pan Zi (算盘子)

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Sometimes, calculators just can't compare with abaci. Calculators aren't edible, nor do they bring you wealth and good luck . . . .

Of course, you can't eat an abacus either but you can make abacus beads, aka suan pan zi (算盘子). These little discs which look like their namesake are a delicious Hakka noodle that's served stir-fried or in a soup.

SPZ come with a feature that no calculator could ever have. If you eat suan pan zi during Chinese New Year, your abacus will be click-clacking non-stop in the new year, counting the amount of money you will have! Yup, hand on heart, that's absolutely true.