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Monday, June 29, 2015

Red bean hokkaido milk buns

The problem with the dragon boat festival is that at any stage, there will be an excess of ingredients by the end of the day. Even though I planned the portion of the 3 main ingredients ( rice, meat, red bean paste ) for my dumplings carefully, there was still some leftover red bean paste. 

I was very tempted to have the red bean paste reincarnate to red bean ‘sandy’ soup but I encountered resistance from my deputy cook. After a ‘serious’ consultation, we decided the leftovers will go into buns.

All in all, it was rather good. The buns were rich and soft and the red bean takes on a new perspective. From a Chinese style, now it goes Japanese. 

Red bean paste for all seasons. How about that ?

Makes 9 medium sized buns

½  cup  milk
2.5 fl oz whipping cream
1 medium egg 
½  tsp salt
3 T sugar
1.5 T milk powder
2 cups bread flour
1.5 tsp instant yeast

milk for brushing, pre-bake
butter for glacing post bake, room temperature

9 x 25g of red bean paste


Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In the bread machine, pour in milk, whipping cream, egg and top off with dry ingredients. 

Use the dough function of the bread machine. The cycle takes 1.5 hours.

Remove risen dough from the bread machine. Knead to remove the air pockets. Let it sit for 1 hour on the worktop, covered.

Make out 9 equal sized buns.

Wrap in the leftover red bean paste.

Leave it to rest, 10 min.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 210 C.

Just before baking, brush the buns with milk.

Bake in the preheated oven at 210C for 12 minutes or until the buns are tan.

Remove the buns from the oven. Immediately brush the buns over with butter.

Cool well on a rack.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

‘Salted’ Rice

A whatever dish but the taste is anything but whatever

My mum never liked cooking much. She neither had the interest nor the energy for it. One day after a visit to a relative, she drew inspiration from her and made this one pot dish, which was well received by us. It became a go-to dish for a while until we got sick of it.

While making this dish, I recalled those days which were tough on her. As a sickly stay-at-home mum handling 3 rascals and who was always short of money, life was always a challenge.  If only I can wind back the clock, I would thank her for toiling without expecting any returns.

For 3.

1 cup of pork, cubed
1 cup of fresh corn nibblets
3 cups of cabbage, broken to bite size
Cooked overnight rice for 3
scant amount of soya sauce , sesame oil

Method :

Heat 1 tbsp of oil. Fry the pork until there is no moisture.
Add corn and cabbage. Stir well.
Add the rice and soya sauce.
Stir with a pair of chopstick to thoroughly cook the contents.
Add sesame oil. Toss.
Serve very hot.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Candied Sweet Potato

My grandmother never touched another sweet potato since the last war. She had way too much of them while hiding from the Japanese. Even when she is very hungry, it is always anything but this.

Recently I learnt that K-pop wannabees consume only this in order to keep their weight down. They are not allowed any carbohydrates but this. Ah, what an interesting world we live in.

I rediscovered the joy of the simple sweet potato when my kid took a new interest in this root vegetable.  After sweet potato in rice porridge and sweet potato in green bean soup, I thought this is one fun way of eating it.

But this is some sweet potato the K-pop princesses will not be allowed to eat for sure.

Makes enough for 4 ( as snack )

Credits :   justonecookbook  with modifications

Ingredients :

3 medium orange potato, peeled
100 ml white sugar
100 ml canola oil
½ tsp rice vinegar
½ - 1 tsp light sauce ( I use soy sauce for soba which is light and mildly sweet. Adjust amount to preferred savouriness )

Garnish : toasted sesame seeds

Method :

1.    Roll cut or oblique cut the sweet potatoes to make thin wedges.
2.    Wash potatoes and spin dry.
3.    In an unheated pot, combine sugar, oil,vinegar,sauce.
4.    Lay out potato wedges, making sure potato are evenly laid out on the oil mixture in a single layer.
5.    Cover the pot with a folded newspaper ( leaving a little gap ) to prevent splatter as well as to manage the moisture produced.
6.    Turn on the heat and cook at medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes , depending on the thickness and potato type, until wedges are tan and soft to the bite.
7.    In between cooking, gently stir the wedges so that they are evenly coated. Be very careful because it is very, very hot.
8.    Remove the wedges and coat them with toasted sesame seeds.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Oyster Flour Noodles

So good, I got this photo hung up in my kitchen!

I exercised certain degree of flexibility for this street food recipe since I have not seen roast pork in the Taiwanese version of oyster mee sua.  The lard and bits of ingredients make this one of the ultimate comfort food on a rainy cold night.

Don’t know about you but I love it with a bowl of acar or pickles.

For 3

Ingredients :

1 cup of pork belly, cut to thin strips
4 mushrooms, julienned and squeezed dry of water
2 Tbsp of chopped garlic
2 Tbsp of fried shallots
1 litre water
250 g noodles or vermicelli
2 big bowls oyster tossed in sweet potato flour
salt, pepper
Parsley to garnish
2 Tbsp potato starch dissolved in ½ cup of water ( optional )

Method :

1.    In a pot, fry pork belly and garlic over medium heat until the garlic is browned together with the mushrooms.
2.    Add shallots. Fry until fragrant.
3.    Add water. Bring to a boil. Cook vermicelli in the broth, timing according to instructions or until desired texture.
4.    Thicken with 2 Tbsp of potato starch dissolved in ½ cup of water if needed.
5.    Dish out the vermicelli to the bowls.
6.    Scald the oysters in the boiling stock for 30 sec.
7.    Ladle over the noodles. Garnish.

8.    Eat warm.