Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Papaya, Carrot & Sweet Corn Soup

Home style Chinese comfort food. This is great to drink in Summer or Winter for hydration


½ papaya, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 sweet corn- chopped into large chunks
1 carrot, chopped
750ml-1L water
80g rock sugar
2 honey dates
1 ginger slice
1 white fungus (optional)

  1. Add all the ingredients into a pot and boil for 10 minutes
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Serve warm or cool

Sweet Basil Seed Drink

This is a really cool and refreshing beverage to drink on a hot summer day like today! Sometimes I make it ahead of time in the morning and by the afternoon, it's ready and cold enough to quench my thirst and cool me straight down.

It is a bit of a strange drink though since the basil seeds turn gelatinous once soaked in water. I also sometimes like to add some grass jelly cubes to this drink to make it more like a sweet dessert soup.


3 cups hot water
Approx 50g rock sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons basil seeds
Mint, to garnish

  1. Mix the water, sugar and basil seeds together in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved
  2. Stand for 5 minutes before cooling in the refrigerator. 
  3. Add ice cubes prior to serving
Notes & Tips

I normally leave the drink in the fridge for at least 45 mins so that it has enough time to cool down. 

You can also add honey to this drink if your prefer it sweeter

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Penne boscaiola with asparagus

Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas, October 2011 issue, page 24


400g penne pasta
1 tablespoon cornflour
½ cup chicken stock
300ml evaporated light cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
100g bacon, diced
x2 chicken minute steaks
200g button mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 green onions, sliced (or 1 small brown onion)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1cm slices
¾ cup frozen green peas
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Cook pasta in a saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, place cornflour in a bowl. Add the stock. Stir until smooth. Add cream and whisk until smooth. Set aside. 
  3. Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium high heat. Add bacon. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until golden. 
  4. Season chicken steaks and add to pan. Cook for 1 minute each side or until golden. Remove chicken steaks onto a plate to rest.
  5. Meanwhile, add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add onion and asparagus. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion is tender.
  6. Add cream mixture and peas to pan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened and asparagus is tender. Add pasta and lemon rind. Slice up the chicken steaks and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Stir-fried hoisin pork and beans

Recipe adapted from Feast Magazine, October 2014 issue, page 36


375g green beans
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 spring onions, sliced
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon ginger, finely grated
500g minced pork
chopped chillies, extra to garnish (optional)

  1. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Using tongs, transfer the green beans to a plate lined with paper towels and cool to room temperature. 
  2. Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil in a jug. Set aside
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the spring onions, chilli, garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute or until softened. 
  4. Increase heat to high and add the pork. Cook for 7 minutes or until browned and slightly crisp.
  5. Add the hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil and beans, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies


12 frozen sweet tart cases

Lemon Curd Filling

½ cup lemon juice
100g unsalted butter
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue Topping

3 egg whites
3 tablespoons caster sugar
pinch of cream of tartar


To make lemon curd filling: heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until cooled completely (approx. 30mins - 1hr).

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the tart cases on a baking tray. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown.

Meanwhile, make meringue topping: use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add cream of tartar and sugar, a tablespoonful at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Continue beating until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick and glossy. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag.

Spoon the lemon mixture evenly among the tart cases, being careful to not overfill (approx.1 tablespoon per tart). Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on top of each tart or use the back of a spoon to create peaks.

Place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds until meringue is lightly golden brown or run a kitchen blowtorch over the meringue. Stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Peking Style Shredded Pork

350g pork, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon baking soda
green shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pork Marinade 
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1½ teaspoons chicken stock powder
1 teaspoon cornflour
pinch of ground white pepper
2 tablespoons spicy bean paste sauce 
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
Marinate the pork with the baking soda for 10 minutes and then rinse clean the pork thoroughly of the baking soda. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and then marinate with the Chinese cooking wine, chicken stock powder, corn flour and ground white pepper. Mix well and let stand for 10-15 minutes.

In a sauté pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil on high heat. Add pork and stir fry until half cooked, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Using the same sauté pan, reduce to medium heat. Add bean paste sauce, water and sugar. Sauté until sauce begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Add back the pork to sauté until fully cooked. Sprinkle over the sliced green onions. Serve with rice.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rolled Oat Biscuits

I ate some rolled oat biscuits at a Xmas family gathering and loved them. Have been wanting to recreate them ever since and finally got around to doing some baking today. They were actually quite easy to make!


180g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar 
1 cup flour, plus extra
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 cups rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC.  Line and grease 2 large oven baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a cake mixer, beat well for about 5 minutes. Sift over the flour, baking powder, ginger and mixed spice. Add rolled oats, fold these in by hand. 
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk, then mix thoroughly into mixture.  
  4. Roll about ½ tablespoonfuls (about walnut size pieces) of the oat mixture into balls and place, about 5cm apart, on the prepared trays. Press down slightly with your hand or a floured fork.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Notes & Tips
  • Brown sugar helps give the biscuit a browner and richer flavour. It also helps hold in moisture and makes the biscuits softer and chewier. If you prefer a crunchier biscuit, replace with caster sugar instead
  • Make sure that the biscuits are totally cooled before you put them away.
  • To keep your biscuits soft and chewy, place them in a sealed container with a slice of bread. The biscuits will draw moisture from the bread making it nice and soft again. The bread will become hard in a few days though so be sure to change it. This trick also works if you have hard sugar.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shredded Pork with Carrot & Garlic Shoots

This is a Chinese home-style dish. The pork in this dish is smooth and tender, whilst the garlic shoots & carrot are fresh and crunchy. 

Serves 2


250g-300g lean pork fillet
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bunch garlic shoots, cut into 5cm long sections
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon cornflour
salt and white pepper powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Step 1: Marinate the pork with the baking soda for 10 minutes and then rinse the pork thoroughly (make sure the pork is properly rinsed clean of the baking soda). Pat the pork dry with paper towels and then marinate with the soy sauce, sugar and cornflour. Add a pinch of salt and white pepper powder. Mix well and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
Step 2: Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, swirling to coat sides. Add the pork and stir-fry until the meat turns pale yellow in colour. Remove them from the wok put into a dish, and set aside.
Step 3: Add the remaining vegetable oil into the wok. Add the carrot strips and garlic shoots and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add some salt and pepper powder, and stir-fry for 10 seconds more. Add the stir-fried pork and stir them well. Turn off the heat. Serve with rice
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