Friday, May 29, 2009

Spicy Peanut and Anchovies

I love this dish:Peanut and Anchovies in sambal. My grandma used to cook this spicy crunchy ,fishy and nutty scrumptious dish!! I recalled few years ago when I see the same similar dish selling at the fridge section in Asian market in NYC. I thought the snack or dish will taste the same as I used to eat since the appearance is almost the same.But to my disappointment it's not sweet or spicy at all!! It's was make by Taiwanese as we know Taiwanese like their food bland. I'm hate cleaning or peeling anchovies,so I try my best to look for ready peeled or cleaned anchovies in any Asian market. Whenever I found cleaned anchovies have stock,I quickly grab few pounds for storage.
1 /2 lb shelled off peanut,fried or toast without oil
300 gm cleaned anchovies + 2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp tamarind powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt *optional*
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for garnishing

1:Mix oil with anchovies in a large plate,microwave at high for 1 minute,then stir anchovies again ,microwave for another I minute or until fragrant or lightly brown,set aside.
2:Fry shelled off peanut until fragrant and lightly brown,set aside.
3:Heat skillet or pan at medium low heat with 4 tbsp sambal-tumis-sauteed-chili-paste, then combine ,seasoning,toasted peanut and fried anchovies.Mix well,not let's it burnt then dish out.
4:Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve as snack or with rice or porridge.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kaya (Coconut Egg Jam)

Kaya literally translate to Malay is called "RICH" but you ain't going to get rich after consume this egg jam:) Kaya or coconut egg jam is a food spread, a custard jam in the general sense, consumed mainly in Southeast Asia and made from a base of coconut and sugar. When I was in Malaysia ,I notice"Roti Bakar"(toast bread) is so popular in every coffee shop.I mean the hip-hop coffee shop in the mall and complex not the old fashion style "kopitiam"!! I guess it's the trend right now..Anyway,these day we can make authentic kaya but with short cut method..We don't have to stand hours at the stove stirring the custard.Since I bought a new double boiler pot,it's make my life easier to make this coconut eggy jam .This custard is suitable to spread on toast for breakfast or afternoon snack over a cup of coffee or tea.
200 gm granulated sugar
100 ml water
5-6 pandan leaves,wash
200 ml coconut milk
4 eggs,beaten

1:Cook sugar in small stock pot over low heat until caramelizes(brown color).Then add in water and pandan leaves,cook until sugar dissolves.Remove stock pot from heat.
2:Combine coconut milk and beaten eggs together,sift mixture and pour into the caramel .
3:Bring water in double boiler to rolling boil,then place the pot with mixture into the double pot.Keep stirring and cook the mixture with spatula until smooth and thick.It's about 45 minutes or longer.
4:Remove kaya from heat and set aside.Serve kaya with cracker ,toast,kuih or bread.


I used blender to pulse 2-3 times the custard mixture in order to get a smooth texture.If you don't mind the texture is a bit rough or not smooth,just omit this method.If you use blender to pulse the custard ,don't over blend it.After the kaya go through blender,it's advisable not to store the kaya in fridge coz it's might lost the wonderful eggy flavour.It's best to finish the kaya in a week.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sambal Tumis ( Sauteed Chili Paste)

These days I preferred to use my own pre-make homemade sambal tumis or sambal belacan for various hot and spicy exotic South East Asia cooking. Making sambal tumis is really simple and easy but you must have all the right ingredients.If you like your sambal tumis extra extra spicy like me,add more dried whole chili pepper or add more Thai's bird chili.Last week ,I make my first batch of sambal tumis at my new propane BBQ stove.The belacan(shrimp paste) flavor was really strong and pungent while frying. The key to make an authentic sambal tumis,is to use half cooked belacan and reduce heat to slow when sauteed..keep stirring until the sambal tumis paste change color to dark deep brown..Recently I bought a new propane BBQ grill and would love to take this opportunity to make some sambal tumis for storage.Here I would like to share my step to step method of making this sambal tumis..

3 lbs fresh long red pepper (hot),remove seeds and stem end
8 oz dried whole red chili pepper (hot),soak until soft
4 oz/175 gm belacan (shrimp paste)
1 cup or 1 lb shallot,peeled
1 cup or 4 bulbs garlic,peeled
1/2 cup candle nut ,wash
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
6 tbsp tamarind powder or to taste
8 tbsp sea salt or to taste
2 cups cooking oil

1:Combine and blended all above ingredients except belacan,sugar ,tamarind powder and salt until fine or paste texture.
2:Heat wok or large skillet over medium heat,place cut belacan on the skillet.Heat or pan-grill both side of cut belacan until lightly crisp brown,then crush to small pieces.Do not over fry belacan until too dry coz it's taste bitter.
3:Then pour in blended chili paste into the skillet,reduce heat to medium low..Keep stirring the mixture until oil separated,do not let's the bottom of the pan over burn.It's about 30 minutes or longer.Then add in sugar,salt and tamarind powder.
4:Check the seasoning to your taste. Remove skillet or pan from heat.Cool down completely before store in clean air tight container.Store in fridge or freezer.Use when needed.
belacan (shrimp paste) Made in Malaysia

new BBQ grill with side stove..I used side stove for cooking this sambal tumis and find it really great!!.This belacan and chili sauteed with oil was overpowering the air freshness in the home.Hubby used to choked and coughed when I cooked this type of exotic paste or dish during winter in the kitchen.

pan-fry belacan on the skillet pan.
sauteed chili paste- sambal tumis in skillet
the chili paste color almost changed to dark deep brown..
This sambal is versatile and can be used as a chillie base for chicken, seafood, fried fish ,fried rice, fried nuts and anchovis (ikan bilis) and etc....This sambal is also used as a garnish for nasi lemak, lontong, mee siam.
Combine cooking oil with others ingredients when grinding in blender,you will have better fine texture in your paste.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Sui Kow / Shrimp Dumpling in Soup

I realised these day Asian supermarket carry two types of wrapping skin: Wontan and Dumpling or Potstickers.Wontan skin or wontan wrapper texture is more thin and delicate than dumpling skin..Both types of skin comes in 2 shapes :round and square.Dumpling or Potsticker skin comes in white color because no egg added when making this dough. It's thicker and chewier compare with wonton wrapper.For us who are lazy to make their own skin from scratch,a ready made skin or wrapper is ideal .It's easy and affordable. I know there are plenty of ready wrapped dumpling available in frozen section of the Asian market.But I prefer to make my own dumpling coz I know what it's inside the filling.I would love to share my simple and easy recipe of making this Sui Kow/Dumpling with you here.
Ingredients For Filling:(A)

1 lb ground pork
1 lb large shrimp,peel and chopped
1 stalk scallion,wash and chopped
1 can or 8 oz water chestnut,diced small or chopped
1 handful or 1/2 stick carrot ,peel and chopped
1 tbsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fine sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 large egg
1 pack dumpling wrapper,round shape skin
For the Soup:

2 liter water
2 cubes Knorr's Shrimp flavor
1 tbsp seasalt
2 small size rock sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
200 gm Chinese chives,wash and cut 2 inch length each
1 handful shredder carrot
some fried shallot for garnishing


1:Prepare a large bowl,combine ingredients (A) mix well with clean hand.Check the seasoning.

2:Unwrap dumpling skin,cover loosely with moist clean towel or paper towel to prevent the skin from dry out.

3:Then lay a skin on your palm,use a teaspoon to scoop out the filling into the center of the wrapper,use some water to wet the side of the wrapper,then fold down the other side like scallop shape..Place the wrap dumpling on a large tray.Repeat the procedure until the filling finish.

4:Use a large stock pot or wok with water,add in some oil,about 2 tbsp,when water rolling boil,add in the wrapped dumpling one by one into the boiled water for about 10 minutes.Stir with spatula to prevent the dumpling from sticking on the bottom.When dumpling floated,dish out and set aside.

5:Meanwhile heat stock pot with 2 liters water .When water rolling boil,add in shrimp flavor cube and rock sugar into the stock pot.When the shrimp flavor cube and rock sugar dissolved,add in cooked dumpling,Chinese chives,shredder carrot and sesame oil.

6:Dish the dumpling out into individual bowl,garnish with fried shallot,serve warm.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fried Arrowhead Chips/ Ngaku

I didn't know about this snack: Fried Ngaku or Arrowhead until I was back in Malaysia last previous Chinese New Year.This snack is so popular ,every household must have this snack to serve their guests during Chinese New Year. I recalled when I was young my mom used to plant ngaku in water on prayer alter during Chinese New Year but not to fried as snack!
Recently I found some huge and pretty ngaku when I visited Chinatown in NYC. The price is pretty reasonable good! I asked the seller to pick for me the big one for easy peeling and slicing.I afraid to pick or choose the ngaku myself,afraid getting scold from the seller..You dunno how the Chinese seller in Chinatown react when you touch their merchandise..Some seller forbid you to pick or choose their merchandise..After peeling and slicing,I soaked the Ngaku in salt water for hours before frying..


3 lbs plus Ngaku/Arrowhead,peel and slice

2 tbsp sea-salt

3 cups oil for frying

1:Peel and slice,ngaku.Then soak Ngaku in cold water with salt for 2-3 hours.Drain Ngaku and set aside for drying.

2:Prepare frying pan with medium heat with oil.Add Ngaku one at a time in fryer,fry until lightly golden brown,then sieve out and place on parchment paper or newspaper to drain off the oil. .

3:When fried Ngaku cool down completely,store Ngaku in airtight container.

You can omit soaking Ngaku in salt water..if you prefer to sprinkle salt after frying..

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

White Meat Sesame Chicken

When you placed sesame chicken order in US,mostly all Chinese restaurant or take out restaurant serve dark meat sesame chicken instead of white meat chicken.If requested your sesame chicken use white meat chicken,there is extra $2.00 charge!! weird , right? why white meat chicken is more expensive and the demand is greater than dark meat chicken in US? I understand Chinese people love dark meat chicken rather than white meat but not American. These days people talk about health conscience so white meat chicken is suitable for those who really watch what they are eating.Personally I like white meat chicken in sesame chicken,sorry I'm not on-diet! haha! This recipe is simple and you can make it at home at minimum cost.
2 lb or 4 pcs boneless chicken breast (clean and cut cube-2 inch each)
2 eggs
1/4 cup corn starch/flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tsp baking powder
* *marinate well above ingredients overnight or one hour before deep fry**
2 cups cooking oil

For sauce: (B)
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp ground ginger powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chicken bullion powder
1 tbsp corn starch dissolve with 1 tbsp cold water

Garnish (optional):
1 head broccoli,cut floret
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds for sprinkle

1: Cut chicken cube and marinate with the ingredients (A) for one hour.
2:Heat frying pan with oil at medium heat.When oil is hot,add one piece chicken at one time into the frying pan.Make sure the chicken meat doesn't stick to each other or overlapping when frying.Fry the chicken meat until lightly golden brown ,then dish out to drain off the oil,set aside.
3:Prepare skillet at medium heat with 2 tbsp oil,then add in chopped garlic,fry garlic for 30 seconds.Add in (B) soy sauce,hoisin sauce cooking wine,ground pepper,ground ginger powder,sugar and chicken bouillon powder.
4:Meanwhile microwave cut floret broccoli for 2-3 minutes,remove from microwave and run under cold water for another 5 minutes to retained the crunchiness.
5: When sauce is bubbly,check the seasoning to your taste,then add in fried breaded white meat chicken into the sauce,mix or toss well.
6:Add in the broccoli into sesame chicken or display on the side of the plate.Dish sesame chicken out ,sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve warm.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Stir-fry Pork with Ginger and Scallion

I recalled yesteryear's when I was in my confinement (child birth) my mom cooked meat with ginger ,scallion and sesame oil for me in every meal. Frankly at that time I was quite bore eating the same kind of meal daily....eeerrhhh...not daily only but it's same flavor and taste in every meal!! sorry mom:) But now after so many years I miss this dish!! ouch! I bought some tenderloin and would love to use this super soft and tender meat to cook this dish. You don't have to wait for your confinement(child birth) to eat this dish. Just cook whenever you like! It's healthy,nutrition and delicious!
2 lbs pork tenderloin,fats removed and sliced
2 tbsp cornflour + 1 tbsp cold water+ 1 tbsp soy sauce,mix well with sliced pork
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
2 inch fresh ginger,scale and sliced
4-5 cloves fresh garlic,peel and chopped
1 stalk scallion,wash and cut 2 inch each
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup cold water

1:Heat skillet at medium high heat,add in oil ,sesame oil,chopped garlic and sliced ginger.Stir-fry for 1 minutes or until garlic lightly brown,then add in water.
2:When water bubbly boil add in pork mixture into the skillet.Slowly stir pork mixture from sticking at the bottom and to each other.
3:Add in chicken bouillon powder and soy sauce .Stir ,mix well and check the seasoning.Cook for another 5 minutes or until the pork don't have pinkness,then add in cut scallion.
4:Dish out and serve warm with rice.
Pork can replaced by chicken ,beef or shrimp

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spicy Salmon Tartar

I have some small pieces fresh salmon leftover from making sushi for hubby. Usually I just use it to make maki or roll but this time I chopped it and mix with spicy sauce to make Spicy Tuna Tartar. On top of that I used Marie's cookies/cracker to serve with this scrumptious ,tangy and creamy appetizer!! This appetizer is ideal to serve for party or occasion. Here I would like to share my simple recipe with you.

1 small bowl of chopped fresh salmon,about 150-200 gm
4 tbsp Japanese Mayonnise
1 tbsp Vietnemese chili sauce
1 tbsp tobiko (flying fish roe/egg)
1 small handful chopped scallion
1 tbsp olive oil
10 pieces Marie's cracker


1:Chopped fresh salmon roughly,mix well with Japanese mayo,tobiko,chili sauce,olive oil and chopped scallion in a medium bowl.

2:Scoop 1 tablespoon slamon mixture onnto each cracker,then serve .

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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917atyahoodotcom. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.