Sunday, February 26, 2012

White and Dark Chocolate Jaffa Swirl Cake

Ever since I went back to work, I hardly have any time to bake cakes, and this is probably my first cake for 2012! It was the picture of the lovely yellow and brown swirls in the cake that caught my attention when I was browsing through Belinda Jeffery's cookbook called "Mix & Bake". It has a wonderful collection of recipes for baking and my decision to try out this recipe was partially because I happened to have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Moreover, you can't go wrong with orange and chocolate.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chicken Katsu Don (Deep-fried Chicken Cutlet Rice Bowl)

In my previous post, I made Curry Soba topped with chicken katsu (which is essentially buckwheat noodles in Japanese curry, served with deep-fried crumbed chicken cutlet).I thought I'd follow through by posting the recipe for Katsudon, since I also made katsudon on that same night specifically for the kids who have not acquired a taste for curry yet. Katsudon is a Japanese rice bowl dish, comprising a bowl of rice topped with deep-fried chicken or pork cutlet, eggs and onions in a dashi-based sauce. It's so easy to make these Japanese rice bowls at home that I hardly order them at Japanese restaurants anymore.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken Katsu Curry Soba

The first time I tried curry soba was many many years ago at a tiny little Japanese eatery called Kura located in Sydney's Chinatown. My favourite was the one served with prawn and vegetable tempura. I would sit at the counter and observe how the kitchen staff took this bowl of soba with dashi stock in it, and scoop some thick Japanese curry over it. That was when I decided to attempt making curry soba using the same method, and this was some time last year (click here for the earlier recipe). Tempura + Curry = Yum!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Twice-cooked Braised Pork Belly (Kong Bak)

My mum was here just a few months ago and I was thinking that finally, I could ask her to show me how to make Kong Bak, one of my favourite versions of braised pork belly. She did make it once when she was here, but I was not home at the time, and so I wasn't involved in the cooking process. I asked her for the recipe, and as you would know it, she couldn't tell me the exact measurements (her measurements are usually "just a little bit", "eyeball it" or "quite a lot"). So, after she left, I decided to have a go at making this dish.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sundubu Jjigae

I know that the photo above doesn't look very appetizing, and doesn't do justice to the recipe for this delicious soup. It was already quite tricky getting the hot pot from the stove to the table as it was almost full to the brim. I didn't attempt to try moving it next to the window for a little more light, and even if I did, I doubt it would have made much of a difference as there wasn't much sunlight coming in anyway especially late in the evening. These days, I'm too busy to even bother using a tripod, which is presently tucked away somewhere at the back of the closet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Milky Yellow Corn Soup with Roasted Tomatoes

I love this soup so much that I made two batches of it in three days. It's a light, sweet and milky corn soup made with fresh corn kernels, blended and passed through a sieve to achieve that smooth silky consistency. The recipe for this comes from an episode of Take Home Chef, where the soup was served with roasted grape tomatoes with garlic. I do find that the tomatoes are not really necessary, and just a sprinkling of black pepper and chilli flakes is sufficient to complement the natural sweetness from the corn.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Watermelon and Lime Sorbet

For a zingy and refreshing icy treat, try making this simple watermelon and lime sorbet at home. If possible, use the sweetest and reddest seedless watermelon you can find for maximum flavour and colour. Not only does it taste delicious, but it's also low in fat compared to ice-cream. Great for both kids and adults alike, and makes a perfect treat for Valentine's day too.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Potato Wedges with Singapore Chilli Crab Dip

One of Singapore's iconic dishes, apart from Hainanese chicken rice, is the famous Singapore Chilli Crab. Although there are many versions of it, the one that I'm most familiar with comes with a generous amount of sweet, spicy, slightly tomatoey and garlicky sauce, with fine threads of egg through it which makes it rich and thick. Back in my childhood days, we would sometimes get takeaway chilli crab from the local Chinese restaurant and eat it at home. And then, we would pop some bread in the toaster and use the crispy toast to mop up the delicious eggy sauce.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Clear Cabbage and Carrot Soup

This is a very simple soup made from chicken stock, cabbage and carrots that I love having next to my plate of rice and accompanying dishes (especially stir-fries and deep-fried foods). The cabbage and onions add sweetness and flavour to the soup, making it very tasty indeed. You can boil some chicken bones (wing tips are good) to make the stock, or use instant chicken stock. I used a mix of both as I didn't have enough chicken bones to make up the soup.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Beef Rendang, as You Like It

When we first moved to Australia, I used to cook spicy Malaysian dishes for dinner on a regular basis. Back then, there were only a handful of good restaurants here that served authentic Malaysian/Singaporean food and it was usually by word of mouth that one would know of such places. I missed the food back home and would often try out various recipes in order to satiate my cravings.

Quick and Easy: Broccoli with Garlic and Nori

Z loves broccoli and he also loves seaweed and crispy fried garlic. Here's the perfect combination that is so quick and really easy to prepare. All you need to do is blanch some broccoli in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes until you are able to just pierce through it with a fork. Drain and rinse the broccoli under cold running water. Place broccoli in a serving dish and set aside.