Thursday, March 19, 2020

Taro Cake


- taro root, cubed = approx. 900 g (after peel is removed)
**N.B. the taro root has to be fairly dry. If you purchase one that's super fresh, be sure to leave it out to sun-dry (even on a windowsill indoors) for a couple of days.
- rice flour = 600g
- 2 cups hot water
- 4-5.5 cups cold water
- 1/4 cup dried shrimps (soaked and chopped)
- 1/4 cup Chinese sausage (finely chopped) = approx. 2 links
- 1/8 cup Chinese preserved meat (looks like pork belly), finely chopped (if unavailable then replace with more Chinese sausage)
- 8 pcs dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked, finely chopped)
- 3-4 sprigs coriander, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 TBS white sesame, toasted
- oil
- five spice powder
- white pepper
- chicken powder
- 8 pcs Chinese preserved olive, finely chopped (optional)
- sliced preserved (pink) ginger, finely chopped (optional)


1. Combine 600g rice flour with 1 TBS salt, 1.5 tsp sugar, 1 tsp five spice powder, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp chicken powder, and mix well. Add 2 cups hot water and mix. Then add 4 to 5.5. cups of cold water, depending on how "smooth" or firm you want the end product to be. (I used 4 cups; next time I may try 5.) Mix well until all lumps disappear into the void.

2. Fry the dried shrimp in a wok with oil and a bit of Chinese cooking wine until lightly brownded.

3. Add mushrooms, fry.

4. Add Chinese sausage (and meat if you have it), together with a mixture of 1.5 TBS light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, some sesame oil, and cooking wine.

5. Add the taro cubes and stir around a bit. Add enough water to just cover the taro, and cover the wok. Cook for 10 min until the taro is soft.

6. Add the coriander and half the spring onions and stir. There should be very little water left in the wok at this point. Remove and add the mixture to the batter, stirring well.

7. Clean the wok and add enough water to reach the steaming stand, and boil the water. (Or use whichever steaming device you are using.) Grease the cake pan(s) / line with baking paper if you wish (for spring forms). Ladle batter into the cake pan(s). When the water is steaming, place the pan(s) onto the steaming stand in the wok / steamer and cover. Steam for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on how large your pan(s) are.

(I used two smaller pans, and steamed for 45min - 1 hr. If using one large pan (8cm deep and 27 cm diameter), try steaming for 1.5 hrs.)

8. Cakes are done if a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

9. Sprinkle the tops with toasted sesame and the rest of the spring onions and steam for an additional 5 min.

10. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the top with more five spice powder and the chopped olives and preserved ginger (if using).

11. To serve: either serve it freshly steamed or slice up and pan fry. Serve with oyster sauce and/or hot sauce of your liking (typically Chilli Bean Sauce a.k.a. do ban tjan).

Et voilà!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Clams in Miso Soup


300 grams clams + salt
3 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp Dashi stock powder
*soy sauce, mirin, yuzu juice


1. Even if you get de-sanded cleaned clams, de-sand them again so that they spit out any old digested material by soaking them in lightly salted water for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Procedure for de-sanding: Immerse a colander or sieve in a large bowl, and put the clams in. Fill with salted water. This way the clams won't re-absorb any sand or other things they spit out.

3. Put the soaked and cleaned clams in a pot with cold water and heat. After a while some scum will rise to the surface. Skim that off and add the dashi stock granules. Don't overcook the clams.

**The tofu and the mushrooms and any vegetables would come into the pot here.

4. Add the miso, but taste the liquid in the pot first to see how salty it is. White miso is preferred. Don't let the soup come to a boil after adding the miso.

**Alternative: mix together the miso with 2 tsp soy sauce and 2 tsp mirin first, add 1 cup of clam broth, before adding to the rest of the broth. Ladle into bowls, then add a few drops of yuzu juice. Garnish and serve.

5. Top with some chopped green onions etc.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quiche with Stilton


butternut squash (roasted in the oven)
quince paste [?]
double cream

= adapted from Ottolenghi

1 large butternut squash, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes and deseeded (700g net weight)
1½ tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
250g best-quality shortcrust pastry
200g stilton, crumbled
75g membrillo (quince paste), cut into 1cm dice
3 free-range eggs
150ml double cream
150ml crème fraîche
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Toss the squash in the oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper, and spread out on abaking tray. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Set aside to cool and lower the oven temperature to 170C/335F/gas mark 3.
Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface and transfer it to a 24cm quiche tin – leave some pastry hanging over the edge. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Line the tin with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and cook the quiche case for 10 minutes longer, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
Spread the roasted squash over the base of the quiche, dot the stilton around and about in the gaps, and sprinkle the membrillo all over.
Put the eggs, cream and crème fraîche in a mixing bowl with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Whisk and pour over the squash, making sure you leave some of the filling exposed. Sprinkle over the parsley and bake for about 40 minutes, until the custard has set. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before removing from the tin and breaking off the overhanging pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rocket pesto (for crab etc.)

This week I made a rocket sauce with vinegar and oil, a bit like a pesto, then served it in a green moat around a pile of freshly picked white crab flesh. Stuff a handful of each in the food processor and whizz in enough oil to make a thinnish sauce. Sharpen it up with white-wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice. The faint bitterness of the dressing that comes from the rocket leaves is just what the sweet white crabmeat needs.
(From online recipe describing how to dress a crab)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lemon and Cream sauce for pasta

For a simple cream sauce to serve with fresh pasta, gently heat double cream then add unsalted butter and Sicilian Lemon Juice. Pour over the pasta and scatter with chopped fresh parsley and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lamb with Parsnip Puree

The recipe
Peel 800g of parsnips, cut them into large pieces and boil or steam for 15 minutes or until they are soft enough to mash. Put the cooked parsnips in the bowl of a food processor or mixer, add 50g of butter, a little salt and a generous grinding of black pepper, then process or mash to a smooth purée. Scrape into a mixing bowl and keep warm.
Warm a thick slice of butter or 2 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan. Season 4 lamb chump steaks, each weighing roughly 250g, and cook them in the butter or oil, over a high heat. When they are brown outside but still pink within, remove them to a warm plate and cover to keep warm.
Add 1 tsp of ground cumin and 2 tsp of curry powder (your own blend or favourite brand) to the pan and let it cook for a minute. Add the juice of a lemon to the pan, let it sizzle and foam with the butter or oil and spices. Chop a small handful of mint and stir it into the juices, check the seasoning. Stir the spiced pan juices lightly into the parsnip purée.
Divide the parsnip mash between four warm plates and place the rested lamb steaks on top. Serves 4.
The trick
Timing. You can start cooking the lamb just before you start to mash the parsnips. If want to get the mash made before you start cooking the lamb, then keep the mash warm by placing it in a covered bowl in a pan of hot water.
The twist
This spiced butter works well with mashed potatoes or swede. Use boneless pork steaks instead of lamb. This is a fast midweek supper, so I use a branded curry powder, but you could mix your own and keep it in a tightly stoppered jar out of sunlight.

Duck Casserole for the Pressure Cooker

A recipe handed down from the author's late mother, something she used to make for dinner parties. The idea came from Ess Gezunterhayt – Yiddsh for "eat in good health" – a charity booklet from the early 1960s.
Serves 4
medium duck 1.75–2.25kg
vegetable oil 2-3 tbsp
plain flour 2 tbsp
Cognac 3 tbsp
dry white wine 100ml
chicken or duck stock 250ml
bouquet garni or mixed herbs such as herbes de Provence
tomato purée 1 tsp
carrot 1
small white onions 12
small button mushrooms 12
Joint the duck, or have the butcher do it for you. Pour enough oil into the pressure cooker to coat the base. Season the duck with salt and ground black pepper and turn the heat to medium high. Brown a few pieces then remove to a plate. Pour out the excess oil, leaving in about 2 tbsp.
Return the pressure cooker to the heat and stir in the flour. When it is mixed into the fat, add the Cognac, wine, stock, herbs and tomato purée. Bring to the boil and put in the duck pieces and the carrot. Clamp on the lid. Bring to full pressure, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and vent immediately.
While the duck is cooking, put the onions into a pan with water or stock to cover. Simmer for 15 minutes then drain. Put the onions and mushrooms into the pressure cooker, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove all the solid ingredients from the pressure cooker, setting the carrot aside. Put the carrot in a fine sieve and mash it back into the pressure cooker. Stir into the cooking liquid to blend. Taste the liquid. If it is too diluted, boil it down briskly. If there isn't enough of it, add stock or water. Serve with chopped parsley, rice or mashed potatoes.
To cook the duck without a pressure cooker, make in the traditional way in a large, heavy-based casserole. The cooking of the duck will take 50-60 minutes or when the meat comes easily away from the bones. You can skip cooking the onions separately, adding them to the pan at the same time as the duck pieces.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sweet Pickled Onion and Watermelon Radish Salad

Makes 4 cups

1 large Watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds
1 small white onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
splash of rice wine vinegar (optional – adds an extra layer of tart-sweetness)
1. Place radish and onion slices in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well.
3. Refrigerate overnight to chill and meld flavors before serving.

Watermelon and Daikon Radish, several awesome ideas!

Here’s an article reposted from bon appétit:
Consider the radish. We relegated the root to garnish status for years, learning nothing from the French, who had been marrying its subtle heat and satisfying crunch to butter and salt.
Thankfully, America has finally caught on to its charms. We’re not only shaving radishes raw to headline salads with bite, but also pickling, grilling, and–our favorite–roasting them to a mellow sweetness. And the spicy green tops, usually mere fodder for the compost pile, are a revelation in salads or soups.
Chefs today can’t use enough of them. “The textures you can get out of radishes are so cool,” says chef Ari Taymor of Alma in Los Angeles, who taps a handful of varieties to make a silky radish “tofu” dish. And did we mention there are literally dozens of varieties? At last, the little red root is getting its day in the sun.
Three Radishes, Three Ways
1. Empire State South, Atlanta
”Watermelon radishes look good shaved, but they rock when cooked,” says chef Hugh Acheson. He sautes cubes of the colorful radish in brown butter and tops with benne (sesame) seeds.
2. Nomad, New York
Chef Daniel Humm dips svelte,
spicy breakfast radishes in fleur de sel-spiked tempered butter and chills them until the butter sets. “It’s the ultimate simple-as-can-be bite,” he says.
3. Alma, Los Angeles
The giant, full-flavored white
daikon radish is a favorite of chef Ari Taymor, who steeps it in soy milk to make a silky radish “tofu.” Says Taymor, “It’s all about drawing out that flavor.”
Bring It Home: How to Roast the Root
Toss halved trimmed radishes on a baking sheet with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 425° until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Toss with fresh lemon juice, room-temperature butter, and chopped fresh herbs; season with flaky sea salt (such as Maldon).