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Monday, October 7, 2019

Japanese style eggplant

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that’s challenging to cook. If it is not cooked with the same old sambal chili, then it has got to be found partnering okras in fish head curries. That’s until I see this.

My eggplant went through an image change and emerged looking so different from usual. Clearly the credit goes to the bonito. OK, everything looks pretty with bonito shavings.

Credit: Inspired by JustOneCookbook

For 2.

3 cups of small eggplants, halved and scored on the skin side
A clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
A dash of tempura sauce
A dash of mirin
A sprinkling of sugar
Bonita flakes for garnish

Prepare eggplant. Remove tip, halve it and score the skin side.
Leave it in a basin of water.
Drain and pat dry when ready to fry.

In a pot, heat a generous amount of oil. Too little, the eggplant remains bitter and the skin turns an unsightly brown.

Sauté the garlic until it caramelizes but not yet burnt.
Gently add the eggplant. Leave the eggplant to sear in the hot oil.
Add tempura sauce, sugar.
Reduce heat to medium. Take care not to burn the sauce/sugar.
Add mirin or cooking wine.
Toss again.
Serve. Garnish with bonito flakes.

Other alternatives would be to top with grated daikon, spring onions or chopped peppers.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Rum raisin / cranberry butter cake

This is what happens when hubby cannot decide what he prefers in a cake. Just as well, since this cake offers more choices. The raisin side of the cake turns out sweet, plump and juicy while the side with the cranberries is tart and chewy. Indecision has its advantages!

Makes 1 Medium Cake.


1 handful raisins, soaked in rum for 4 hours and drained
1 handful cranberries

170g plain flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
100g softened butter
80g caster sugar
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine 170g of plain flour with 1 Tbsp of baking powder.
Set aside.

Whisk 100g of softened butter with 80g of caster sugar at low speed for 1 min.
Whisk at medium speed until butter and sugar mix turns pale.
Whisk in the 2 eggs, one at a time until mixture is homogenous.
Whisk in the flour mixture, over 3 portions.
When batter is homogenous, divide into 2 portions.
In one portion, fold in the drained raisins and in the other portion, cranberries.

Transfer each portion to one side of a medium sized Aluminium baking pan.
Smoothen the top of the batter with a spatula.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 mins.
The cake will rise with a lovely explosive middle and a tan.
Do the skewer test in the center to ensure cake is thoroughly baked. Else, continue baking for another 5-7 minutes.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Put Chai Ko 缽仔糕

This rice cake is loaded with par-boiled peanuts and bean sprouts. My father-in-law used to call this Put Chai Ko, a snack that was aplenty in Chinatown eons ago.

It is hard to find freshly made Put Chai Ko nowadays so I have it concocted here, the savory version with my favorite bean sprout. Deep fry it for a crispy taste and serve it with sweet soy sauce. I am sure it will be a party delight.

Makes 4 medium sized rice cakes.

1 handful of dried shrimps

B: (Combine well)
3 cups of rice flour
2 cups of plain water
1 cup of parboiled (cooked yet crunchy peanuts)
1 handful of fried shallots
2 cups of bean sprouts
pinch of salt, seasoning


  1. On medium heat, fry dried shrimps until fragrant.
  2. Combined all the ingredients and cook until the mixture congeals but still a spreadable mass.
  3. Remove the mixture from the stove.
  4. Spoon the mixture to 4 medium size aluminium pans.
  5. Steam in a steamer for 60 mins.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. To make a crispy crust, heat a pot of oil with a pinch of salt.
  8. Fry in high heat to brown.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Homemade granola

This is the most freeform recipe I have ever used. It is from my dinner guest who made this as a topping for the fruit salad. Her instructions were, a couple of these and a couple of that. And that, was how this fantastic crunchy snacks came about.

4 portions

Dry ingredients:
Rolled oats , 2 cups or thereabouts
2 fistful of instant oats (because I needed to get rid of them)
2 fistful of unsweetened coconut flakes, more if you like
Whatever leftover nuts/seeds in the pantry. I used walnuts and pecans, about 2 fistfuls or thereabouts
2 heaps of coconut sugar
2 generous pinch of Maldon salt or any salt flakes

Wet ingredients:
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of honey

Preheat the oven to 180C. 
Prepare a flat tray, lined with silicon sheet. This is an essential step.
In a big bowl, toss all the ingredients.
Stir in oil and honey.
Spread the mixture evenly on the tray. Mind that the granola to be baked is too piled too thick for even cooking.
Bake at 180C for 20-21 minutes or until the granola browns.
Remove and gently swish granola to cool. I top dried fruits with the lot at this stage.
Allow the granola to cool and crisp before storing. To do earlier that that, condensation may happen and undo all your work.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mung bean cookies

Mung bean cookies

I am so tempted to call these cookies ‘cookles’, since the cookies resemble cockles. But a rose by another name is just as fair. Same said for these lovely bites.

This experiment is supposed to tame hubby’s craving for the Macau almond cookies. The sandy dough is fiddly to handle with a similarly fiddly spring loaded mooncake press so I had to abandon making it to look like the real McCoy.

In the dark hole of the pantry, I pulled out a long-forgotten mold meant for making tapioca kueh bangkit. Then it was the usual improvisation out of necessity and there you have it! Mung bean cookles.

Verdict: I am on a low carb diet presently but I shall find some excuses to eat more of these.

Makes 50 cookles.

Credits: shiokmanrecipes


140g hoon kueh powder / mung bean flour
60g fine almond meal
70g ground peanuts
20g milk powder
1 pinch of fine salt
80g coconut oil, room temperature
15g water


Prepare a lined tray.
Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add oil and water. Stir until the contents resemble wet sand and can hold together when pinched.
Use a cookie mold and spoon 1 tbsp of cookie mix.
Press the mix into the mold to ensure that the mix holds together.
Knock the pressed cookie out of the mold gently.
If the cookie is stuck in the mold, brush the mold with mung bean powder for easy retrieval of the cookie.
Bake in a preheated over, at 130C, for 18 minutes.
Remove from the oven to cool.
Store in an air-tight container.
Keeps a week.