Sunday, 28 June 2015

Yen's Durian Cheesecake...

At some angles, the yellow-ness of the cake did not show pretty well. It must be the lighting and whatever that's making it not yellow on screen. I've waited for a year to make this and out of my laziness, I did it~!

  •  150g digestive biscuits
  • 75g melted butter
Drop them two into a food processor and viola~! The tastiest base ever, not that thick as well.
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 250g durian flesh, as yellow and as sweet as possible, unless you like those bitter ones
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
Mix them all. Bake at the heat of 170-degree Celsius for 40 minutes. It won't really brown around the edges. It would be perfectly yellow.

I added my musang king on top for the fun of it and someone actually thought that I made a plain cheesecake and put the durians on top to turn it into durian cheesecake. Hubby loved it to the max~! And since it looked kinda empty without any deco, I just had an impromptu thought....
Hhehehehe.... and our precious was having a terrible diarrhea since the day before. I wonder what she ate than sent her system purging for hours.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Yen's Hainanese Bak Chang....

It was dumpling festival last Saturday so we decided to join in the fun of eating dumpling. Instead of having it on the day itself, we had it two days earlier. Thursday nite itself we started enjoying the dumplings for dinner. If you think one is enough, it's not. I can eat two or three at one go. Mi madre wrapped those dumplings while I helped with the marinades. I'm the self-proclaimed queen of marinades.
 So what's inside the glutinous rice? This is how I like my dumplings to be;

  • 500g pork belly
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Light soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Five spice powder
  • Chopped garlic
Marinade those for an hour - minimum. Sorry, seriously no measurements.... follow thy instinct....
  • 12 small black mushrooms, soaked
  • Light soy sauce
  • Oil
  • Sugar
Marinade those mushrooms separately... also for an hour or two... Then, soaked these in different basins:
  • 1 kg glutinous rice *2 hours*
  • 80g dried shrimps 
  • 80g dried shredded squids
Yeah, no salted duck's egg yolk because I don't eat them at all. If I find them in any dumplings, I will dig them out. No chestnuts... don't like them as well. This is custom made, thus I can have just what I want inside. Marinade the glutinous rice before frying them, make it saltier than usual or else it would turn out tasteless as the saltiness is released into the water. Of course you marinade the glutinous rice with almost the same marinade as the pork belly.

What to Cook on Thursday...

  • 3 cloves garlic *peeled and crushed*
  • 4 cm ginger *peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 4 shallots *peeled and quartered
Saute those until the fragrance filled the air...
  • 3/4 tsp black peppercorns *coarsely crushed*
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp nutmet *freshly grated*
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 kg of soft bone *I wanted to buy soft bone meat, not soft bone~!!*
  • 2 litres water
Let all those simmer for 50 minutes. It's actually sup kambing but sorry la... we don't like kambing *mutton*

  • Spinach *as much as you want to eat... blanch them in boiling hot water*
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp sweet sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup bonito flakes
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds *tossed*

  • Chicken drumsticks fillet *busy me did not fillet the chicken*
  • Prawns *de-vein please*
  • Fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • Oyster sauce
  • Light soy sauce
  • Caster sugar
  • Water
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 green chili
  • 4 ginger slices
  • 1 carrot
The best is use the seasoning as marinade, trust me, it will bring your cooking a notch higher compared to using them as seasoning. When it's almost done,get the prawns in. Of course the carrots go in together when you first put in the chicken plus the ginger slices and also the mushrooms. When you're more experienced, you will know which needed velveting, which needed saute-ing and which needed to put last. Those chili will go into the wok last.

What to Cook on Wednesday?

  • 1 can vegetarian abalone
  • Squid *as much as you like*
  • 1 stick celery
  • 3 ginger slices *I dislike ginger, but I put some because the hubby loves ginger*
  • Salt
  • Caster sugar
  • Pepper
  • Some water *depends on how dry or soupy you want it to be*

  • French beans
  • Chinese sausages
  • 1 leek
  • Dark soy sauce for some colouring
  • Salt *I'm a die hard fan of Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce*
Fry those Chinese sausages first and when it's almost done drop in the whole plate of cut and washed French beans. This will take you less than 10 minutes. At least I make an effort to put some greens on the table, albeit not leafy.

  • 120ml concentrated coconut milk
Heat up that coconut milk and low fire.... then get these to join in the fun in the wok...
  • 3 tbsps green curry paste (Get the recipe for the green curry paste from here)
  • 3 blades pandan leaves *knotted*
  • Lean soft pork.. .go buy the whole piece of muscle meat
Fry them good before you started adding all these:
  • 100ml water
  • Pak choy 
Add more water in order to braise it then you will have the most tender meat dish on the table. Oh, don't forget the seasoning:
  • Fish sauce *just shake it*
  • Chicken stock granules *shake it*
  • Sugar
  • Salt *If the meat has been well marinated, then you can ignore this*
When it's about done... the last step for a good kick....
  • 30ml concentrated coconut milk

Friday, 26 June 2015

What to Cook on Tuesday?

  • French beans
You can always substitute with long beans or better still - asparagus. Asparagus is not cheap and since I can't find any in the market, I got French beans. Anyway, I don't eat asparagus...
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 200g white fish meat *Get frozen white tilapia fillet from the market*
  • 50g pork belly
  • 1 egg white
  • Some salt
  • 2 tsp ginger juice
Put them all in the food processor and wrap them around the French beans.
  • Some stock
  • Few drops of sesame oil
Steam for about 8 minutes on high heat.

 Time to make your own green curry paste:

  • 10 shallots
  • 6 pips garlic
  • 12 green chillies
  • Small knob of galangal
  • 1 plant Chinese celery
  • 1 plant coriander
  • 5 g belacan
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • Some peppercorn
  • 2 tbsp cumin
Grind them all in the food processor and saute until the oil seeps out. Don't forget to also put in some shredded lime leaves. Don't ever process the lime leaves or else everything would turn bitter. Been there, done that so I know I'm reminding you, not to do that. That amount of curry paste, you can make a green curry dish for three times. I used it to make a dish of dry green curry seafood, should have added more water, not that I like dry curry that much...
  • 3 tbsp green curry paste
Saute if you have kept them in the refrigerator.
  • 100ml coconut milk *If you're using the store bought coconut milk, the taste is horrible*
  • 3 birdseye' chilli
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 100ml water *add more when it becomes too dry*
  • Prawns *as much as you like*
  • Fish *I prefer white fish fillet*
  • Fake crabsticks
Drop the fish in first. Prawns cook faster and seasoning wise:
  • A few dashes of fish sauce *I don't measure when seasoning*
  • Sugar
  • Salt

 I'm Chinese and I need to have a pot of soup to make my day...

  • 1 chayote *some gourd that can be found even in Mydin, it might go with a different name*
  • 2 carrots *from China particularly, my rabbits approve of such sweet carrots*
  • 1 litre or more of chicken stock or pork stock *Use chicken cubes if don't have the time to prepare any stock
Double-boil for an hour... then add....
  • 2 firm-ripe pears *Not the yellow skin pears that you eat... go get some green-skinned pears*
Continue to double-boil for another 40 minutes,,,

 I can't live without meat... be it pork or chicken... 

  • Garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt 
  • Caster sugar
  • Pepper
  • Chinese rice wine *a little will do*
  • Egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
Marinade for an hour or two then coat with Yen's Fried Chicken Mixture, After deep-frying, sprinkle with a mixture of these:
  • Five spice powder
  • Chili powder
  • Caster sugar
  • Salt

I saw this in the morning market so I bought a kilo of these siput lala. A kilo was not too much. It was just nice. It was a tad overcooked because it was a little bit disgusting as I cooked them alive and I thought I just needed to add another minute or two before removing the cover. This was not good enough and I just simply stir-fry them with a combination of:
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sugar
You don't have to add any water. The lalas will remove water from its body... It's nice... don't squirm in your seat... It's nice... Overall time needed plus preparation would be roughly 2 hours. That's all the time I have everyday to prepare lunch. I'm a professional multi-tasker.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Yen's Cotton Cheesecake...

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 200 ml milk
Simmer until you get a smooth texture. Add in:
  • 100 g butter
Mix them well and remove the pot from the stove. Leave the pot to cool. My kitchen is air-conditioned so it's not that difficult to cool it down. While waiting for the mixture to cool, waste no time to do this next ...
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Mix them well... that's not the end of the story...
  • 20g corn flour
  • 50g super fine flour *cake flour*
Mix and sieve them into those egg yolks with lemon juice. It will be kinda gooey... then you can stir them into the cream cheese mixture that has cooled down... You're still not done yet... Every good thing takes time to form...
  • 6 egg whites
Beat till peaks form. It's suppose to turn out to be as smooth and white as when you are beating whip cream. When two peaks have nicely formed, add these....
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 140 g caster sugar
Fold into the mixture. Steam-bake for an hour at 160-degree Celsius. When you have master this, you will not be craving for any other cheesecake... and you definitely do not have to queue up at any shop to get a cotton cheesecake. The texture will send you to the moon and back for the second slice...

How To Cook the Best Hong Bak...

  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 5 g cekur ginger root *get from the market*
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 10 shallots
Ground them all into paste and saute until aromatic. If you can't smell the aroma, walk out of your kitchen and jump back in. I can't smell them when I'm cooking. I need to walk out and then come back in again.
  • 1 tbsp bean paste
While saute-ing those spice paste, throw in a tablespoon of tau cheo. When you're satisfied with your saute-ing skill, throw these in:
  • Pork trotter *I usually buy the whole trotter but mi madre will just buy half of it*
  • Half cup of water
  • Some potatoes cut into chunk
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
You're suppose to braise this dish so half a cup of water might not be enough. Add more to cover depending how much pork trotter or pork belly and potatoes you have inside, cover and let it simmer for roughly around 30 minutes or until the water has lessen, not completely dry though. 
  • Salt
  • Sugar
Throw in a spoonful or two of sugar. I'm not very sure of the salt. I don't use salt in my cooking most of the time. I marinade the meat first with oyster sauce most of the time. A mixture of oyster sauce and abalone sauce would be good enough. In any Nyonya dish, the spices and time taken to prepare are of utmost importance. Have a good try... One dish of this is enough to last the whole day... no wonder I need a trotter instead of half.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Bacon, the Tomatoes and the Fried Chicken...

 This is Yen's concoction of simple meals. Whenever I say it's simple, people will say it's luxurious. So, in conclusion, we're blessed. I still think there's nothing fanciful with the dishes we have everyday.

  • Chicken breastmeat *if you like* I used muscle meat from the pork. If you don't know what's that, it's okay. Just go to the butcher and say you want a piece of muscle meat sliced thinly. I go to my regular butcher and the husband and wife provide good service
  • A few strips of bacon
  • Dried black fungi, a few will do *soaked it for an hour like that*
  • Slices of ginger *I dislike ginger, so I omit it*
  • Siew pak choy *or whatever vege that you prefer*
Basic seasoning that will save your life one day:
  • Oyster sauce *a Chinese kitchen cannot live without this*
  • Light soy sauce *I used that 1608 from Guangzhou's*
  • Caster sugar
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Some water *depends on how dry or soupy you want your dish to be*
Again, you do not need any specific measurements for the basic seasoning. Follow your instincts. 

 Then, I tried out this fried chicken. Hubby has always been experimenting the mixture of flour to make the skin crunchy. I've finally perfected the flour concoction. It's not only the flour that's important in a fried chicken dish. The meat must be marinated perfectly:

  • Chopped garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Caster sugar
  • Pepper
  • Chinese rice wine
Let the chicken sit in the marinade for an hour or two, if you have all the time in the world. Then, you will need to let it swim for awhile in a mixture of:
  • An egg
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • Some water *make it thick like mud, not watery*
Finally, you'll need to coat it with Yen's Deep Fried Mix (only from Yen's Kitchen, contact the hubby to buy at When it's done, sprinkle with a mixture of:
  • Five spice powder
  • Fine chilli flake
  • Caster sugar
  • Salt
Just a teaspoon each and mix well...

This is a common household dish in China. How to perfect this dish depends on the tomatoes that you use. If you get the cheap tomatoes, it might be sour. I ate sour tomatoes before that's why I hated this dish at first until I started buying more expensive tomatoes. Those big, round, red and juicy beef tomatoes and I'm okay with this dish now.

  • 1 tomato or two *depends on how many people's eating*
  • Onion 
  • 2 eggs
  • A little salt
  • A couple tablespoons of ketchup
  • Some sugar
You'll need to master the art of making scrambled egg before perfecting it. One of the most important steps to look into is the fire on the stove. Turn it to the lowest and let it cook slowly. You wouldn't enjoy a plate of completely dried scrambled egg.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Simple Dinner, Luxurious Supper...

Sunday. That's the day none of us work and I decided not to spend my free time standing in the kitchen. I would prefer to do some other things other than cooking. I passed the baton to the hubby. Hubby has his own things to do so the baton is passed to mi madre. Last Sunday, we had something very simple. It's just chicken with white fungus soup. These are things you need:

  • 1 whole chicken *you don't need a whole chicken if there's only two of you and you definitely do not need a whole chicken if you only like to sink your teeth in the tender thigh meat*
  • Garlic *Put how many cloves you like*
  • White peppercorns *Just shake it in la*
  • 1 clove *serious... 1 will do*
  • 2.5 litres *That much water will serve for 6 person, please do your Maths, but should not be lesser than 1 liter or else it will dry up before you even serve*
  • 1 head white fungus *Don't like then use 1 will do*
  • Carrots *Up to you how much you like, sometimes I use half a carrot and another half I feed them to my rabbits*
  • Onion *Whatever size you like, cut into wedges*
  • Salt *to taste, obviously*
If you do not want any carb. for your dinner, forget about the noodles you see in my plate. You can change the noodles to something you like. In cooking, one need not follow the recipes to the dot. The seasoning according to recipes will kill off the joy in cooking and eating. Follow your heart with a big dash of common sense :D Well, if you have no sense, then use your sense of humour. If you have no sense of humour, please don't cook.

Making a pot of soup sounds easy at times, jump dump everything in. If you like a less oily soup, I suggest you follow my style.... hehehhehee.... You do not wait for the soup to boil and then throw everything in. Instead you put the chicken in together with the water only then you turn on the stove. Let it simmer at low fire for one hour. Yeah, that's right. One hour. Everything good takes time to produce. Remove the chicken and then only you put in everything else. Oh, please remember to soak the white fungus or else it'll be so hard, you're like biting the whiteboard duster. What? The chicken is tasteless? Always.... always marinade the meat with salt for more tender and juicy texture. 

Gentle reminder: If you need some noodles, please prepare them in another different pot. Thank you.
The first time I had a grilled salmon's head was when I got to know my travel buddy in Melbourne. She took me to a Japanese restaurant where we had a whole table of fantastic food. That was my first time having salmon head on a platter. Then when I came back, I had a few heads from Japanese restaurants but it seemed too expensive for just half the head. Last Sunday, mi madre and I walked to Mydin and we had a good time doing our grocery shopping. For the first time, we bought the whole salmon head home and it was only RM12.80... damn cheap~! So, how to grill that head to perfection just like the Japanese restaurants?
  • Japanese shoyu *shoyu means soy sauce la... no need to Google liao la*
Yeah, that's all...  Wash that head and clean it with some salt. Then wash away the salt. Get your pan ready and throw in some ghee. Go read up on cooking with ghee instead of the usual palm oil or whatever oil. Gently place the head on the pan and have the shoyu raining down. The sizzling sound and the wafting fragrant of the shoyu will make you salivate all over. When it looks almost dry, pour in some water and cover. You do not need a timer for that, just need a lot of common sense. Yes, you might burn the whole head at first try but it's okay. Learning to cook is like learning to walk. After cooking for 13 years, I still almost burn down my whole kitchen last year. It's okay. It's just a salmon head worth RM13. Lift up the cover and let the shoyu rain on the head again then add in some more water. Move the head around or it might get stuck to the bottom of the pan. When it's done, you will know it. I learn this from EQ Hotel. When you go outside to eat, open your eyes and your ears. There's a lot more to learn through observation than reading.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Good Food...

It's suppose to be cooked in a claypot. But I changed it to just normal pan. Deep fried the chicken first and then made the gravy separately. It's my first cooking with those whole shallots. It was simply tasty, wished I cooked the whole legs instead of just the thighs then I will have more food for myself.
Couldn't remember how the taste was but I see mushrooms there, fresh shiitake mushrooms and I know it was another good dish.
Mi madre made the best cheesecake ever~! That's a non-bake cheesecake but it was a little too sour with the lemon juice. Hubby's tummy couldn't take it and he threw up all night long while I was asleep. He threw up loud enough for me to wake up a second or two.
Mi mama's Hokkaido milk loaf was really good. Love it to bits. Some might not know how to appreciate the taste and texture, saying that it's just normal white bread but well, if you're not into bread, then you won't know much of the difference. It's better than any white bread that I've tasted before.
It's mango season now, time to make something out of it...

Friday, 5 June 2015

I Heart Fried Chicken...

Hubby used to fry really nice fried chicken until I have learn how to deep fry properly. I like juicy fried chicken not those fried until dry and you can feel that you're chewing on the bones.
It's a Thai dish so I made the sourish peanut sauce to go with the chopped up chicken. This was what we ate a few weeks back. These two weeks of school holidays, I'm off from my kitchen. One needs to rest in order to cook better. It's like taking a holiday and then you will feel energized once you start working again. After being away from the desktop for days, I feel really good sitting in front of it again. But I'll have to start working again in 20 minutes' time. *shucks*
It's Thai galore for this month actually with the squid in cabbage soup. Don't really remember what's down there underneath the spring onions. But I know it's good food.
That's my favourite spinach with dried scallops... don't remember the taste... should be just nice only... I miss that fried chicken... will ask the hubby to make some fried chicken next week.