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Monday, May 30, 2016

Daiso beef noodles

Except for the fresh ingredients, the rest of this meal is sourced from Daiso. My mum will react with horror to know I get my food supplies from a household store but seriously, I thought I was quite clever.

It doesn’t take much effort to do. A word of caution: do not to boil the soya milk else it forms curds .

For 1.

Ingredients :

Bonito broth made from 15g bonito steeped in 1 cup of hot water
1 tsp of Miso
1 tsp of peanut butter
1 cup of unsweetened soya milk

60g of udon
3 sprigs of bokchoi
1 cup of beef slivers marinated in soba dip for 5 mins

Method :
Bring the drained bonito broth to a boil.
Stir in miso and peanut butter.
Turn off the heat.
Add soya milk.
Set aside.

In another pot, cook the udon according to instructions.
30 seconds before turning off the stove, scald the vegetable until it turns jade green.
Add beef slivers. Beef is ready when it turns to a light pink.
Drain immediately.
Transfer udon and its contents to a serving bowl.
Add broth.
Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fried beef udon

Looks meek but packs a punch
I am in countdown mode for my holiday and the last thing I want is to leave home with a fridge full of food. This recipe is essentially a pre-holiday meal which means anything useful in the fridge makes its way to our stomach.

For this dish, I use my treasure stash of beetroot udon ( it looked like any normal udon after boiling though ).  For the coming week, it will be my frozen meats and dry goods until we head for the airport.

I seldom fry noodles because I break them so much they become meetakmak. When HappyHomeBaking shared the tip of using wee amount of water to fry noodles to prevent them from sticking to the pot, my repertoire of dishes expanded by quite a bit.

Substitute chicken for beef and the effect is just as good. For me, I like the challenge of a tender beef in my stir fry. In the case of chicken, make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked because of the ever present risk of salmonella poisoning.

This recipe is low salt. Feel free to increase increase the amount of soy sauce to suit your taste. As for me, there’s nothing that a little dish of sambal chilli can’t do.

For 2.


2 cups of thinly sliced beef
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar

2 cloves of garlic, flattened
5 shitake, soaked and thinly sliced
100g of udon, boiled and cooled in cold water
2 cups thinly shredded cabbage

Marinate the beef with ingredients in A for 10 minutes.
Heat oil, just enough to cover the base of the pan.
Sear the beef until beef is about to turn from pink to brown.
Set aside.

With the same pan, fry garlic and shitake until garlic is translucent.
Add cabbage and fry until the cabbage turns jade green.
Add 1 Tbsp of water to create steam if the pan is dry
Add udon. Toss to mix.
Add 1 Tbsp of water to create steam.
Toss and refrain from stirring the udon.
Add beef. Toss again.
Cover for 2 minutes to let flavor infuse.
Serve hot with chilli.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Polo salted yolk custard buns

I am late on the salted egg yolk custard bandwagon. But I am glad this plain porridge side dish is now elevated to posh status and assimilated in all sorts of dishes around Singapore. The grainy texture of steamed salted yolk is indescribable and every mouthful still brings me to childhood days when a meal of plain porridge and salted egg is a luxury for most households.

This recipe is lengthy but the end result is satisfying. The most handy tool here is my trusty silpat and my breadmaker dough function. Read through the instructions and visualize the process before starting.

I used some leftover salted butter which is too savory for my liking on the first try. My friends liked the custard filling but could feel the denseness of the bun because I didn't wait for them to rise enough the second time. There is still room for more tweaking of bake temperature and duration so that the bun is cooked but the awful explosion of custard 
can be avoided.

Mostly adapted from yellowfingers

Yolk custard :
50g butter, room temperature
40g caster sugar
30g whipping cream
7g corn starch
3 salted egg yolk, steamed and mashed to tiny bits
25g custard powder
30g milk powder

Whisk the butter followed by sugar.
Add cream, yolk and whisk.
Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.
Portion out 12 portions with a piping bag on a plate.
Flatten the custard with a wet finger to make it as uniform as possible.
Freeze until solid.

Polo topping :
20 g butter, softened at room temperature
25 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp whipping cream
60 g cake flour
8g milk power
1/8 tsp baking powder

Whisk butter followed by sugar.
Add yolk and cream. Whisk.
Whisk in the rest of the dry ingredients. It should hold together when pinched with 2 fingers and not fall apart.
Transfer to a silicon sheet and roll into a tube. I used a sushi bamboo sheet to ensure uniform thickness.
Chill until very firm.

Tangzhong / Roux :
10g of bread flour
50g of water

Combine the above ingredients in a pot. Whisk to combine.
Whisk over medium heat until the roux forms streaks.
Remove immediately from the stove.
It should yield 60g of roux.

Bun dough:
175 g bread flour
20g caster sugar
2 g salt
25-30g egg white ( leftover from polo topping )
10 g milk powder
3 g instant dry yeast
60 g tangzhong /roux
60 ml milk
15g butter, softened at room temperature

Method :
The dough is on the wet side and it is more manageable using a kitchen aid.
Combine bun ingredients in a kneading machine.
Knead until the dough is elastic and not sticky, about 10 – 15 minutes. If dough is wet and unmanageable to come together after 2 minutes in the KA, sprinkle in 1-2 tsp of bread flour.
Leave it to rise until double in bulk.

Portion out 12 buns. Rest the dough for 5 minutes.
Encase the frozen custard with the dough.
Cut out the (tubed) topping, 12 portions. Flatten between 2 silpat sheets.
Drape the flattened topping over the bun.
Leave to rise, 15 minutes, until it is doubled in bulk, 30 min.
Glaze with egg wash.

Bake the buns at 220C for 8 mins and until the buns are lightly tanned.

A number of buns burst with flowing custard due to uneven thickness around the custard so ensure the frozen custard is as uniform as possible for even coverage all around.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

KL Hokkien Mee

Addictive isn't enough to describe this
A trip to KL with hubby many years ago was well remembered because it was our first getaway when our only kid went to an overseas trip with her school. We feasted throughout KL and came back with an expanded girth from too much food. It was a rehearsal for a possible empty nest that we anticipated when our kid would leave home in 6 years. I am blessed to say that trip made us look forward to ‘me time’ if it should happen.
Now almost 10 years later, the taste and smells of that trip remains dear to us, esp the black hokkien noodles from KL Chinatown. On his birthday recently, instead of Longetivity noodles, I made this Hokkien noodles as requested by him. It was happy memories and esp so because for the first time in my life, I prepared the most important component from scratch – the lard crisps, which he did not expect in his wildest dreams.
Another taste that made it special was the deep flavour of the pounded flat fish, fried in oil and lard. I still have no words to describe that taste except that it was part umami, part smoky. The noodles are nothing without it.
This recipe is pretty robust but its assembly can give the cook cause for a little dance before the wok. It has to be done in its proper sequence without taking a break for that perfect presentation and that itself, is a celebration in itself.
For 4
Ingredients :
1 Tbsp of pig’s lard
2 Tbsp fried lard crisps
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of pork belly, thinly sliced
2 cups of prawns, peeled
1 cup of squid, cut and scored
1 cup of fish cake, thinly sliced
4 cups of green bok chye, cut to bite size
300g flat yellow noodles, rinsed in cold water and drained
dried flat fish, fried and pounded to powder
3 Tbsp black soya sauce
1 Tbsp thick sweet soya sauce
1 Tbsp of corn flour dissolved in 1 cup stock
generous dash of white pepper
Method :
Heat the lard and 1 Tbsp of canola oil. Saute garlic.
Add pork, prawns, squid in this order and fry until the prawn is about to turn pink.
Add vegetables and stir.
When vegetables are about to wilt, add the noodles.
Stir in the powdered fish, sauces, stock and seasoning.
Toss the wok’s content until the noodles are well coated with the sauce.
Simmer slightly until the sauce is thick.
Serve immediately.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fast Croissant

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside

I am so inspired by this blog that I had to try. At my first attempt, I used the method of cutting the butter into the flour which was quite messy. The hot weather didn’t help either. Also, I over kneaded the dough ( too much gluten ) and had a tug or war with a dough that refused to be rolled flat!

This time, the elaborate preparation included turning on the AC for 1 hour before working on the butter and dough. We all know how butter should be handled cold at any point of time and a melted butter is a soggy croissant. It may be 35C outside but I enjoyed the preparation in cool comfort.

If there is anything to improve, it will be to ‘upgrade’ the croissant by piping in molten salted egg yolk custard.

That, will be another recipe for another sweltering hot day!

Adapted from topwithcinnamon

Makes 12 small croissants.

Ingredients :

125 ml cold milk +  60 ml boiling water
3 g dry instant yeast + 20g caster sugar

200g plain flour
50g bread flour
1/8 tsp salt

125g frozen salted butter, grated

Method :

Combine yeast and sugar into milky liquid.
Stir and set aside to froth, 5 minutes.

Combine contents of B in a mixing bowl.
When liquid is frothy, add it to B.
Mix flours until it forms a shaggy mass.
Transfer the shaggy dough to a floured worktop.
Lightly knead , 3 minutes at most. Lightly flour your hands to knead but not too much.
Return the dough to a well oiled bowl. Cover and proof in the fridge, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate the butter onto a cellophane sheet.
Form a square, about one handspan wide.
Chill until dough is ready for working.

Bring out the chilled dough.
Tease the dough to a rectangle, one handspan by 3 handspans.
Put the cold butter on the center of the stretched dough.
Bring both sides of the dough together, like folding a letter.
Pinch the edges to encase the butter.
This is the first fold.

Turn the dough encased with butter 90
Roll out the dough, starting from the center, about 1 handspans by 3 handspans.
This is the second fold.

Repeat the process 2 more times to complete 4 folds.

Divide the dough to halves.
Transfer both halves to a cellophane lined pan.
Chill for 30 minutes at least, covered.

Prepare a tray with silicon sheet.
Flatten out the 1st halve of the dough, about 1 handspan by 3 handspans.
Cut out 6 triangles. Snip the base of the triangle, about 2 cm deep.
Place the triangle with the base( with center slit ) nearest to you.
Roll the croissant away from you.
Transfer the rolled croissant with tip facing down to the baking tray.

Do the same for all the croissants. Proof for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220C.
Bake the croissant at 200C for 10 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 180C. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Cool well before storing.