Friday, September 22, 2023

Shanghai Red Bean Pancake ("Wo Paeng")

This is a repost of an old favourite!

This is an old favourite of mine since I was little. Typically served in chinese restaurants in BP, we would often order a plate or two of it at the end of the meal. It is a thin, flaky and crispy rectangular-shaped pancake that is usually filled with a thin layer of red bean or white lotus paste, and then cut into small rectangular bite-sized pieces.

I decided to make this after browsing through a cookbook called "Dim Sum" where I came across a picture of an appetizing looking "Wo Paeng". I could just imagine the taste of it - sweet, crispy and oily. The recipe looked simple enough. However, the proportions and method of pan-frying it just didn't do it for me. I found another recipe on the web which looked like it would yield better results, and it did! Of course, it involved deep-frying the pancake to a golden crisp, just as I remembered it. I sprinkled some toasted pinenuts in the filling to add some texture.

Here is the recipe I used, adapted from Amy Beh:


50g plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp custard powder
130ml water
1 egg, lightly beaten

6 tbsp (approx 120g) red bean paste, divided into 2 equal portions
20 pinenuts, toasted


  1. Combine all batter ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix with a hand whisk until well blended and is a thin runny consistency. Divide the batter into two equal portions.
  2. Meanwhile, take one portion of the red bean paste and place it between 2 pieces of clingwrap. Then, with a rolling pin, lightly roll it into a flat square piece and put aside.
  3. Lightly grease a large flat non-stick pan with a little cooking oil. Pour in one portion of the batter. Turn and tilt the pan to allow the batter to run evenly to the edge to form a thin layer of pancake. Cook over a gentle low heat for 2 minutes or until the pancake is cooked. Do not allow the pancake to brown.
  4. Use a turner/spatula to lift pancake onto a plate. Do the same for the other portion of the batter to make a second pancake.
  5. Remove one side of the clingwrap and flip the red bean paste onto the centre of the pancake, and peel off the other side of the clingwrap. Scatter pinenuts over the red bean paste, if used. Fold the near end of the pancake over the filling. Tuck in both the sides. Smear a little beaten egg along the edge and fold the remaining flap over to seal the pancakes.
  6. Deep-fry the pancakes in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Once they puff up, do not move them around to prevent them from bursting. Remove the pancakes with a perforated ladle and drain on several layers of paper towels.
  7. Cut the pancakes into slices and serve hot.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs

I grew up in a culture where rice is a staple food, and almost every meal (that my mum cooked) would consist of boiled white rice served with a variety of meats, soups and vegetables. Mum's a fantastic cook who takes pride in the food she prepares for us, which is why I always look forward to her cooking whenever I go back to visit. I try to learn as much as I can from her, although in the much earlier years, before my foray into the kitchen, I was merely interested in consuming the end product and not so much how it was prepared.  I have, however, picked up many kitchen tips from her since then, which are truly invaluable and have probably saved me from countless pain and heartaches in the kitchen. Thanks Mum!

"Bak Chang" (Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Meat)

When I think of the word "multicultural", the first thing that comes to my mind is food (actually I think of food most of the time anyway, which is why I decided to have a blog to pen down all my foodie-related thoughts). In Malaysia, we are fortunate to be able to celebrate a myriad of religious and cultural festivities, and of course with every celebration, there is always food. There are two things I look forward to each year (and which I try not to miss!) which are the Mooncake festival and Dumpling festival ("Duan Wu Jie") or also known as Dragon Boat Festival. The latter was just over on 20 June, and better late then never, I decided to have a go at making these glutinous rice dumplings. Nobody makes better dumplings than my aunt (hers is simply the best!) and I haven't had them since I moved to Australia years ago. 

Wuhan-inspired Hot and Dry Noodles (Re Gan Mian)

One of my favourite pastimes is grocery shopping, especially at the Asian supermarkets where I can spend a long time just looking through all the different sauces, condiments, snacks and instant noodles imported from every part of Asia one can think of. It pleases me to see that a growing  number of local Australians (or non-Asians) have started becoming more adventurous in their grocery shopping. Just last weekend, we spotted a blonde-haired teenage girl stuffing her trolley with 24 packets of Korean Jjajangmyun! I hope she wasn't planning to cook everything and bring it for a Korean-themed potluck dinner.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Cherry Cheese "Christmas Wreath" Pound Cake

This cake was inspired by the cover of this month's Coles magazine, which actually uses an instant butter cake mix. I decided to make the cake even more festive by making a cream cheese pound cake bursting with fresh cherries, drizzled over some orange glaze icing and decorated it with more cherries! A generous dusting of icing sugar always creates a pretty snowflake effect, and to complete the Christmas wreath look, I added a sprig of mint leaves which I picked from the garden.