Archive for 7月 2012

Bot Chien, Fried Egg And Rice Cake


Bot Chien, very popular street snack among southern Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh city.
In Cho Long, China town, this is eaten as breakfast.
Actually bot chien keep you longer than sandwich or pancake, it really does!
If you have any Asian grocers around, you will probably find The frozen bot chien dough but I would say, home made one is way tastier, and there is nothing so hard to make your own.
If you want to make our morning little bit into asian, then please try this.
It is way easier than making pancake, I insist.

ingredients(3 ~ 4 serving)
125g Glutinous Rice Flour
3tbsp Tapioca Flour
1/2tsp Sugar
1/4tsp Salt
145~160ml Water

3~4 Egg(sightly whisked)
2 Spring Onion(Finely sliced)

1, Mix all the [RICE CAKE] ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Consistency is almost like a paste but not too watery.
Prepare the tin or any "steam-able" container, make sure that fit to your steamer.
I recommend lightly oil the tin or container first and pour the [RICE CAKE] mixture in
Steam for 20 ~ 25 mins.
*Stick a skewer in the middle of cake and if nothing sticks, then its done!

2, Cool the cake completely. (I always leave it over-night)
When its cool, cut it into 4 x 2cm(5mm thickness) rectangle.

3, Heat your wok to medium-heat, then add 1.5 tbsp of oil.
Place cubed rice cake(2) in single layer on the wok. Make sure both side is nicely colored.

4, When the rice cake is nicely colored in both side, Add egg and spring onion.
Try to bring them together.
when it become flippable, flip and cook for 20sec then done.
You don't want to cook egg too much for this dish.

5, Pour sweet soysauce(*Kecap Manis) or even normal soy sauce is ok, I love it with the sweet chill sauce!

Fruity & Flavourful Kiwifruits Pizza


Flavourful, fruity, rustic bread... if that is what you after, then this is the bread to make.
Little tanginess of kiwifruit tastes well-suited with cream cheese!
For healthy choice, I suggest using drained greek yogurt to serve with(it looks like spreadable cream cheese, and taste does! but not the calorie!)
I add orange and lemon peel, also cinnamon powder to burst flavour.
I have never ever felt so grateful over natural sweetness of honey with any dread other than this bread.
This bread makes great breakfast, or brunch, well accompanied with wine and cheese.

You have to start making this bread a day beforehand.

100g High Grade Flour
100ml Warm Water(use cold water in summer time)
5g Honey
1g Dried Yeast

50g High Grade Flour
100g Plain Flour
3g Salt
1g Dried Yeast
150ml Warm Water
8g Olive Oil
5g Honey
3~4 green & gold kiwi fruits

extra honey to brush on top

1, Mix all starter ingredients in sealable container and leave them in warm place for over night or a day.(its ready to use when you see the mixture doubled in size and bubbled up)

2, Mix all the dough ingredient (*except kiwifruits) and starter(1), knead until the dough get smooth consistency then roll it into a ball, place in oil splayed bowl covered with cling wrap. Let them rest in warm place for 80 minutes or until doubled in size.

If you have a bread machine, put starter(1) and also the dough ingredient (*except kiwifruits) in the machine and let them knead using [dough mode].

3, Lightly flour the working table, Divide the dough into 4 pieces/about 103~107g each. Roll each dough into a ball(make it tight) then let them rest for 15mins.

4, Place the ball(3) on the oven tray and flatten into 7mm thick circle by your hand. Do same to others. Let them rest in warm place for another 50mins.

5, Preheat oven to 180C.
While the oven is warming up, Slice both kiwifruit into 5mm thick and place on top of the dough. you can add orange or lemon, mix of both peel on top for more fruity result.
Bake for 20~22 minutes.
Warm about 2 tbsp of honey in microwave for 20 sec to make it liquid.
Brush honey top of each bread and sprinkle cinnamon powder.

Raspberry Lamington


Lamington, is one of New Zealand's...or maybe Australia's great cake, No one knows which is actually the birthplace of Lamington and they've been fighting over the topic for years.
My first trial of lamington is in New Zealand bakery and that is also the last time I ate.
It was very soggy and excessively sweet, I thought thats how lamington supposed to be.
Well I was wrong.
One of my good friend told me how the real lamington is...which is fluffy, spongy, freshly baked cake coated with tangy but sweet raspbelly jelly.
That sounds GOOD!
So I did some serious research for making one!
You can make your own jelly coating and that makes huge variety of flavour but you can simply buy a packet of jelly and use that.
If you need lamington in hurry, then you can also use store-bought sponge.
What you really need to do is cutting sponge nicely and mix jelly packet and hot water, DIP, DONE!

ingredient(15 'couple bite' size lamingtons)
[SPONGE 16cm x 26cm rectangle tin]
3 eggs
125g Caster sugar
1tsp Vanilla essence
110g Plain flour
1/4cup Cornflour
1tsp Baking powder
A good pinch of salt
15ml Oil
45ml Hot Milk

85g packet of Jelly(I used raspberry)
300ml Hot Water
2.5~3cup Dried long coconut shred(or finely desiccated coconut will do)

200ml Fresh cream
2tbsp Caster Sugar

1, Preheat oven to 180C, line the base also side of tin with baking paper.
Shift plain flour, cornflour, baking powder together and mix with salt and set aside.

2, Mix eggs and sugar with electric mixer until thickened, pale look.
Add shifted flour mixture(1), gently fold with rubber spatula.
When its almost combined, add oil, hot milk, vanilla essence and fold until well combined.

3, Pour the mixture into prepared tin and bake for 20 ~ 25minutes, golden in color and feel a little bounce back when you touch the top.
Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes and take it out on the rack and cool completely.

4, Mix jelly with hot water[COATING] and leave until its getting hard, almost a jelly-drink consistency.

5, Cut the sponge into 15 little pieces, or any size you prefer.
Also cut off all browned part of cake.
Dip cake pieces into jelly mixture(4), make sure coat every side of cake then coat dried long coconut shred around.
Repeat same to every pieces and refrigerate them for 3 hours to set.

6, Whip fresh cream and sugar together with electric mixer.
You can simply spoon the cream by the side of lamington, or pipe it out on top if you fancy.

Nutty, Seedy, Rustic Buns

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I really love this bread slightly toasted and spread simply butter or honey to enjoy.
Because of they are already so flavourful, You don't want to disturb this nutty seedy rustic flavour with anything really.I am very addicted to Nutella, or Nuttino, those hazelnut spread but for this bread, I don't even think that.
Also this bread makes great sandwich, I like it with salami and lettuce, thin slice of onion.
You can make this bread either with your hand or breadmachine, thats your choice.

ingredient(5 pieces)

280g High Grade Flour
180ml Warm Water(*use cold one in summer time)
15g Brown Sugar(*if not, just white sugar is fine)
6g Dried Yeast
10g Skim Milk Powder
15g Unsalted Butter
3g Salt
20g Ground LSA
20g Walnut Pieces
20g Pumpkin Seed
10g Jumbo Oat

1, Line baking paper on baking tray.

2, If using breadmachine, Place all the ingredients except of walnut pieces and pumpkin seed, jumbo oat and start with "dough" mode. If your breadmachine does have an alarm for "adding nut, fruit" then add walnut pieces and pumkin seed, jumbo oat when the alam goes on, if not, add them in the last 3 minutes of kneading.(( GO TO DIRECTION (4) ))

If you are kneading by your hand, Mix all the ingredients in the bowl except of walnut pieces and pumpkin seed, jumbo oat and make a big lump. Knead for 10 minutes or until it get smooth consistency, Add walnut pieces and pumpkin seed, jumbo oat, knead and mix evenly.

3, Make a huge ball and place it in a big bowl covered with cling wrap, let them rest in the warm place for an hour ~ 80 minutes or until doubled in size.

4, Divide them in 5 pieces(around 110~120g each), Roll each of them into ball and let them rest for another 15 minutes. Roll each pieces again into ball but this time, roll it a bit tighter.
Place them on prepared baking tray, let them rise in warm place for an hour ~ 1 1/2 hour or until doubled in size.

5, Preheat your oven to 180C.
Dust flour on top of the bread with tea-strainer if you want, and cut 4 lines on each bread with scoring knife just before baking.

6, Bake 16 minutes ~ 18 minute or until nicely browned in colour.

Choux Creme "Cream Puff"

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I make this choux only when large amount of giveaway ensured.
Although, they are really favourite of mine, they are something I can't resist, 'one-or-couple-aday' won't work for me, I will easily finish all in a day...
Therefore, I need them to be gone before I finish off all.

In Japan, choux is common sweet treat, you can find them in patisserie, super market, even convinience store. We call SHU- KURI- MU(choux creme).
My kiwi friends call them 'cream puff' instead!
I tried throgh few recipes of choux creme last couple years and developed to my taste, and THIS IS IT! Its crunchy texture this is the one I always come back to.

ingredient(12 ~ 15 pieces)
70g Milk
50g Water
50g Butter
2g Caster sugar
1g Salt
40g Plain flour
30g High grade flour
110g Egg(beaten)
*1/4 extra egg for brushing

300ml Fresh Cream
3Tbsp Icing sugar
few drops of vanilla essence

1, Preheat oven to 220C, Line baking paper on baking tray.
Also shift both plain flour and high grade flour together in a bowl and set aside.

2, Place milk, water, butter, sugar, salt into heavy based pot with high-heat.
Mix gently.

3, Remove pot from the heat when butter melt completely and bubbling up a bit.
Add shifted flour into the pot at once and immerdiately mix well using whisk.

4, Place pot with mixture back to medium-heat.
Keep kneading the mixture using rubber spatula for a minute.
When you can see thin layer of mixture stick to the bottom of the pan, its done, place the mixture to a bowl.(Don't need for scraping the layer stuck on bottom)

5, Add beaten eggs little by little to the mixture, probably 1tbsp at once.
Each time of adding egg, Mix well with rubber spatula.

6, Use electric mixer with one whisk attachment and mix until the mixture get smooth consistency.

7, Put mixture into piping bag with plain round nozzle.
Squeeze out into 4cm diameter round on baking tray.
Keep 5cm apart from each oter.
Brush beaten egg(for brushing) on top, and also press slightly with fork.

8, After you put them into oven, turn it down to 200C bake for 20mins.
Then turn it down to 180C bake for 10 mins, finally turn it down to 150C bake for another 10mins.
Let them cool down completely on cooling rack before you fill.

9, Place all the filling ingredient into a bowl and mix with low-speed of electric mixer for
a minuse then turn into high-speed and whip for 2 minutes.
I cut the top of choux and pipe the filling inside and put rid on.
You can spoon the filling inside too.

Fluffy & Moist Banana Cake

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This is my version of banana cake, I insist this banana cake is the best eating next day you baked, slightly toasted with whipped cream and drizzle little maple syrup.
Well moist and fluffy texture and amazing banana flavour which develops fully next day...(So little patience!)
My friend, maori guy, he really loves this so we used to trade fresh sweet corn and this banana cake which is very good deal for me, because to prepare this is pretty easy and I am just a big fan of sweet corn!
A lot of Banana cake recipe out there and I also tried so many of them but I always wonder if its under-baked or not even its fully baked.
This Banana cake is the one I have never ever feel under-baked because of its wonderful fluffiness.
And very easy, never fail recipe.

ingredient(2 small loaves 13 x 5.5 x 6cm / 1 large loaf 27 x 9 x 13cm)
2 ~ 3 Ripened Bananas(240g)
1/4 Lemon, grated also using juice
75g Greek Yogurt
120g Butter(softened)
60g Brown sugar
60g Caster sugar
2 eggs
240g Plain flour
2tsp Baking powder
A pinch of salt
60g Walnut pieces

1, Preheat oven to 180C, Line the base also around of the tin with baking paper.
Shift plain flour and baking powder together, and add salt set a side.

2, Mash the banana, add grated lemon and juice also.
Mix yogurt into the mixture and combine well with whisk.

3, In another bowl, cream the butter with both brown and caster sugar until they get lighter the colour and fluffy.

4, Whisk the egg in a jug. Gradually add 1/2 amount of egg to butter mixture(3) little by little. Afterward, add 1/3 amount of shifted powder(1) and whisk well.

5, Gradually add remaining egg, then add 1/2 amount of remaining shifted powder, whisk well.

6, Now use rubber spatura.
Add banana and yogurt mixture(2) and remaining shifted flour into (5) combine them gently.
Spoon the mixture into prepared tin, then sprincle walnut on top, Bake for 40 mins ~ 45 mins.

*or you can check with sticking skewer in the middle of cake, if nothing stick then done.

Apple Buttermilk Bread

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I made paneer(indian style cottage cheese) other day.
And I have some buttermilk left from process of making paneer.
This bread is soft, nutty flavour go great with apple paste filling.
Hot SWEET coffee with this warm, cinnamony, soft bread is the reason to get out from warm bed in chilly morning.
Great for your morning/afternoon tea also.
You can knead the dough in bread machine so there is no hard work for you to enjoy this bread.

ingredient(7 pieces)
220g High Grade Flour
60g Plain Flour
5g Yeast
4g Salt
15g Honey
15g Butter
1tbsp Ground Almond
185ml Buttermilk
30g Chopped Fig
7tbsp Apple Paste

Jumbo Oat for topping(optional)

1, Place all ingredients in the bread machine except of apple paste and jumbo oat.

2, Divide the dough into 7 pieces. Give them a bit of rest time, around 20minutes.
Lightly flour the working bench and flatten each dough into palm size and place 1 tbsp of apple paste
in the middle of each dough, Pinch the edge and bring the dough up and stick together.
Be careful the edge isn't touching apple paste or it doesn't stick.
Place the bread on baking tray which is lined with baking paper.

3, Leave them in the warm place(covered by cling wrap or wet cloth to prevent being dried)
for 1 hour~1 1/2hours or until the bread get doubled in size.

4, Preheat the oven to 180 degree.
If using jumbo oat for topping, spray the water on top of bread and sprinkle oats on top.
Bake for 18mins~22mins or until they get golden brown.

They are hard when they get cold but you can revive them back with heating them up in microwave
for 20~30 sec.

Home Made Paneer

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ingredient(serve 2~3)
1litre Milk(not light or reduce kind)
40ml Lemon Juice
A pinch of Salt

1, It can be made 1day~2days ahead.
Boil Milk in the heavy based pot. Mix it continuously to not to let it stick on base.

2, Once its boiled, turn heat down to low. Add a pinch of salt, and gradually add lemon juice and GENTLY mix it through, then you will find cottage cheese alike rumps come up. Gently simmer until the liquid is yellowish, see-through colour.

3, Drain the water(this water is the one selling in super market as "buttermilk" you can use it for baking or cooking, also they do drink in india).
Place paneer into cotton cloth, squeeze the liquid out as much as possible.
Place something heavy on top to be shaped.
What I always do is cover paneer with cotton cloth and place small side dish on top, then place mortar on the dish, this way they can squeeze the last bit of liquid.

4, After 2~3 hours, Paneer should be firm enough to cut. Keep it in fridge.

Palak Paneer, Spinach Curry With Cottage Cheese

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Palak Paneer is one of my favourite indian dish.
I ucually order Palak Paneer, or if not, Goan Prawn Curry.
This is quite interesting to make, not much hard work if you have food processor or mixer.
Also, I included home-made paneer recipe too.
You can buy it in super market but I really prefer home-made one because of it taste is much better than store-bought. Milder, Creamier and even healthier.
It is take a bit of process but worth to try, I believe.

ingredients(Serve 2)

250g Spinach(Roughly chopped)
1/2 Onion(Finely chopped)
Handful Coriander(Chopped)
40ml Fresh Cream
1tbsp Tomato Paste
15g Butter
1 Garlic clove(grated)
1cm Ginger(grated)
1/2tsp Cumin Seed
1/2tsp Turmeric
2tsp Garam Masala
1/2tsp Chilli Powder
1tsp Salt

Paneer *Refer the recipe, direction here

Rice to serve with

1, Boil the water in a pot then add spinach, boil for 3~4 minutes. After that, drain spinach and wash with cold water then squeeze the water out from spinach.
Set a side.

2, Heat wok to medium, when the smoke coming up, add butter and let it melt.
Add cumin seeds and fry for 10sec. Then add garlic, ginger, chopped onion and also chopped coriander, fry for 3 minutes or until it get soften.

3, Place cooked spinach(1) and well cooked onion and coriander mixture(2), tomato paste, also 1cup water into the food processor or mixer and run until it gets paste a like texture.

4, Put spinach mixture(3) back to the pan with high heat, mix slightly and evaporate moisture as much as possible.Add spices and mix evenly, Gradually add fresh cream and turn heat down to low-medium.
Season with salt.

5, Add paneer which is cubed into 3~5cm square and cook for couple minutes, serve with rice.

Banh Xeo, Vietnamese Omelette

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Banh Xeo(pronounced as "Bain Seo") is famous southern Vietnamese dish.
Usually cookbook says this as "Vietnamese Omelette" but they are made without egg, so NOT REALLY AN OMELETTE.
You might know "Okonomi-yaki(お好み焼き)" if you are a big fan of Japanese food.
Banh Xeo is famous for "Vietnamese Okonomi-yaki" in Japan.
What this is so yellow even without egg, the answer is "Turmeric", The best anti-aging spice.
This is healthy alternative for your dinner.

ingredient(serve 2)
[Banh Xeo]
60g Tapioca Flour
75g Plain Flour
1tsp Turmeric Powder
A good pinch of Salt
250ml Coconut Milk(I am using TCC Brand)
250ml Water

300g Pork Slice
20 Raw Prawn(deshelled)
1tbsp Fish Sauce
1tbsp Rice Wine
1/2tsp Sugar
150g Sprout

A Lettuce
Few Coriander Stalk
Dipping Sauce(Nuoc Mam Cham) *refer here to make

1, Mix tapioca flour, plain flour, turmeric, salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Pour coconut milk first, and gradually add water and mix well.(dough should be watery, not like pancake)
Let the dough rest for 15minutes.

2, Meanwhile, you can slice the pork in 3mm~5mm thickness and marinate with fish sauce and rice wine and sugar set aside.

3, Heat frypan in a med-high heat, add about 2 tsp of oil.
when its hot enough, add pork and fry until it get nicely brown. Once pork is done, remove them to a bowl then add prawn into the frypan and fry for 30sec, set aside.

4, Heat frypan, preferably non-stick one in medium heat.
Pour about a small soup ladle of the banh xeo mixture(1) then quickly spread around in the pan.
Place cooked pork and prawn(2) on the half side of the banh xeo and also put 1 handful of sprout on top, cook for 4~5 minutes.
Using spatula or food turner to fold banh xeo in half, cover the filling and cook for 2 minutes, then flip it, cook for another 2 minutes to crunchy it up.

5, This is how you eat. Take about 2 bites of Banh Xeo and wrap it with lettuce leaf(I always add few stalk of coriander too), dip into nuoc mam cham(sweet and sour dip) and enjoy.
I can easily finish A LETTUCE with Banh Xeo.

Dipping Sauce

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Nuoc Mam Cham

3cloves Garlic(Finely Chopped)
1/4 Carrot(Grated)
3tbsp Vinegar
1/4cup Fish Sauce
1/4cup Water
2tbsp Sugar

1, Mix them all and place it into clean jar, last for 2weeks in a fridge.

Quick And Easy Dan Dan Mien(担担面)

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担担面(擔擔麵, pronounces as "Dan Dan Mien") is famous Chinese noodle dish which is originated in Sichuan region of China. They are very very famous for overdose on pepper and chilli with their cooking.
This is cheating version of Dan Dan Mien, it won't take you more than 15 mins to cook.
Ingredients aren't a familiar thing for ordinary kiwi kitchen but once you collect them, you are able to make over 50 bowl of Dan Dan Mien.

ingredient(serve 2 as main or serve 4 as starter)
700ml Water
1tbsp Sesame Paste(or "tahini" you can find then in mid-eastern cooking corner)
2tbsp Soy Sauce
2tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1tbsp Oyster Sauce
1tsp Crushed Chilli
1tbsp Fish Sauce
1/4tsp Salt
2 Chicken Stock Cubes

150g Minced Beef
2tsp oil
2 Garlic(grated)
1cm Ginger(peeled and grated)
1tbsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp Rice Wine
1/2tsp Sugar

Egg Noodle
Chopped Coriander and Spring Onion, Sprout for garnish
Freshly ground pepper

1, Mix all the ingredient of [Soup] except of water in a pot. When its well mixed, add water and let it boil then turn the heat to low, add chicken stocks then slightly mix to solve.

2, Heat your frypan or wok in medium heat, add oil, when you see little smoke coming out, add garlic and ginger (both grated) then minced beef until it get lovely colour.
Add Soy Sauce and Rice Wine, when the liquid is almost gone then add sugar
Fry for a minute, set aside.

3, Cook egg noodle following the packet, Put minced beef(2) on top of cooked noodle and also chopped coriander and spring onion, sprout... You can slightly boil sprout if you like.
Pour soup over and then freshly ground pepper on top, enjoy.

New Zealand Breakfast 1 - Manuka Honey Drizzled Yogurt Cream & Kiwi Confit With Scone

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"Eggs 'n' Things", restaurant originated in Hawaii serving Hawaiian style breakfast is very popular in Japan.
I love Hawaiian style breakfast.
Pancake stack with whipped cream and whipped cream, and whipped cream on top, pour maple syrup all over the dish... Aagh don't talk about calorie here.
But we also have great breakfast in New Zealand.
One of the great breakfast in New Zealand is... Scone, definitely.

I wrote Scone Recipe in here and telling how great scone is.

Hawaiian breakfast sounds very seducing but they are very very high in calorie and fat.. yeah sometimes is okay, nothing wrong with giving yourself a bit of treat, SOMETIMES.
I want to make breakfast with a taste of New Zealand, that is healthy and easy, yummy of course, also something can be a daily treat like you want to wake up just for that.
And This is.
"New Zealand Style Breakfast 1 - Manuka Honey Drizzled Yogurt Cream & Kiwi Confit With Scone"

ingredient(serves 4)

[Yogurt Cream]
1tbsp Icing Sugar
100ml Fresh Cream(not light or less-fat kind)
4tbsp Greek Yogurt

[Kiwi Confit]
2 Green or Gold Kiwi Fruit
2tsp Sugar

2tbsp Manuka Honey

1, Cut kiwifruit into 1cm pieces and sprinkle 2 tsp sugar then leave for 15 minute.
Lightly mix by spoon, set aside.

2, Place cream in the bowl and add icing sugar, then using electric mixer to whip until get a stiff peak.
Add greek yogurt and keep mix until the mixture get firmed up little bit.

3, Place Manuka Honey in a microwave safe container and warm up for 10sec~20sec or until it get pourable.

4, Split Scone in half, spoon the yogurt cream(2) on, then add kiwifruit confit(1), finally drizzle manuka honey(3). Voila!


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I just love scones, they are categorized as "Bread" but no need for yeast or kneading work.
What I am looking for here is not a fancy looking scone on the high-tea cake stand, I want something looks rustic, hearty and simple and easy to make.
You can just split in half and spread butter, or a spoonful of strawberry jam, stewed rhubarb, lemon curd, hazelnut spread, whipped cream, even ham and cheese for savoury, ready to go.
Easy but variety, thats how amazing the scone is.

This time I added dried figs, You can replace the same amount of apricot or sultana, dates, cranberry, dried mango, or chocolate chip, orange peel, grated cheese, anything you want. Let's creative here.

This recipe can be doubled!

ingredient(6 small or 4 big pieces)
190g Plain Flour
3tsp Baking Powder
1pinch Salt
1tbsp Sugar
185ml Milk(plus 1 tbsp extra to brush on top of scone)
1tbsp Lemon Juice

1/4cup Chopped Fig(optional)

1, Preheat oven to 200C, Lightly flour the baking tray.
Mix plain flour and baking powder in the bowl and shift together for 2 times.
Add salt, sugar and mix, set aside.

2, Mix milk and lemon juice in a jug, you will see its getting thick and almost yogurt alike texture.

3, Add milk mixture(2) into powder mixture(1). Use knife to mix, this prevents mixture from over-mixing. When it become one big lump, place it on the lightly floured baking tray.
LIGHTLY press it into 2.5~3cm thickness and then using scraper or knife to cut into 6 or 4 pieces.

4, Separate them with 3cm space from each other.
Brush milk on top of the scone and bake for 15~25mins or until its cooked through.

Vietnamese Beef And Meatball Noodle(Pho Bo Vien)

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Pho(pronounce like "Fur"), is just too famous Vietnamese traditional noodle around the world.
They eat pho for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, supper, You can enjoy bowl of pho throughout the day.
Well, Unfortunately, where I live doesn't have any Vietnamse restaurant so I can't really go and get a bowl of pho so easy...

So this is the recipe satisfies my pho-need.
You are able to find so much kind of pho in Viet Nam, but this is my favourite "Pho Bo Vien(Pho with Beef Meatball)".
Takes a bit of your time and caring but worth it.

ingredient(serves 3~4 people)

[Soup Base]
800g Oxtail(preferably the one with not much fat)
2tsp Salt
1tsp MSG(if you need)
60ml Fish Sauce
1/2 Onion
3cm Ginger

[Pho Spice]
3 Star Anise
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
1/4tsp Fennel Seed
3 Cloves
1tsp Five Spice
1/2tsp Coriander Powder

[Meat Ball]
150g Minced Beef
1/2tsp Salt
1cm Ginger(grated)
1 Garlic(grated)
1/2tsp Sugar
1tsp MSG(if you need)
1tsp Oyster Sauce
2tbsp Corn Starch

Rice Noodle
Spring Onion(finely chopped)
Coriander(finely chopped)

1, Start from the base, Put the water into the pot, just enough to cover the oxtail. When its boiled, place oxtail and boil them for 8 minutes.
You can prepare the spice now, chuck all spice into the mortar and pestle and crush them finely then put into spice bag.

2, Drain, discard the water.
If you have a pressure cooker, lucky you, you can shorten the time standing in the kitchen!
(I use Breville's pressure cooker)
Place oxtail and a litre of water, then set as "Medium" pressure for 18 minutes.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can boil the water again in the pot and place oxtail then boil until the meat get soft.(probably about 40 minutes or so)

3, Take the oxtail out from the pressure cooker and then place them in the pot with 2 litre of water.
(Discard the water left in the pressure cooker)
Simmer for 20 minutes and remove scum on the soup surface then stop the heat. Add spice bag into the pot, Ginger, Onion as well and leave for 1 hour to infuse the flavour.

4, Meanwhile, make the meatball.
Place all the ingredient into the food processor and run until become one big chunk.
Lightly oil your hand and make little meat ball(maybe 10~15 pieces).
Boil the water in the pot, put meatball and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set a side.

5, Take out Oxtail, remove the meat from the bone and set aside. Chuck the bone back into the pot.
Add salt, MSG, fish sauce into the soup, add some more or less to flavour it as you like.
Also add cooked meatball.

6, Cook rice noodle(follow the direction on the packet).
Place chopped spring onion, coriander,sprout, meat on the rice noodle in the bowl.
Pour the soup with 3~4 meatballs each.

*Great with squeezed lemon, also you can use hoisin sauce for dip meatball.

Japanese Sweet Potato Cake

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In Japan, we call this cake as "Sweet Potato" pronounced as "Su i to po te to".
This is very common in Japan, you can find the one in patisserie or even in supermarket.
I used to buy it, because nothing is easier than making own cake with risk... And it costs no more than $2 so.
You will taste full of sweet potato, creamy and moist, flavor of vanilla hit your taste buds.
Smoothness is just like a custard.
I promise that you will be buying sweet potato just for make "Japanese Sweet Potato Cake".

ingredient(Large size for 4 pcs / Small size for 8 pcs)

250g Sweet Potato(skin peeled)
35ml Fresh Cream
40g Icing Sugar
15g Unsalted Butter
1 egg yolk
few drops of Vanilla Essence

1, Peel the skin of sweet potato and cut into about 5mm thick disc then put them into the pot with boiling water
probably for 4mins to 6mins until its cooked.(you can check with sticking skewer through the sweet potato)

2, Drain the sweet potato and put them back to the pot with lower heat.
Mash them in the pot and mix it for couple mins to let some moisture escape.
Add butter, and then icing sugar, then gradually add fresh cream.
Remove the pot from the heat, then add 1/2 amount of egg yolk then vanilla essence and mix.

3, Let the mixture cool down a bit.
You can shape them into any shape you like, and place them on baking tray.
If the mixture is too soft to shape, don't worry, You can simply spoon the mixture into little mould.
Brush remaining egg yolk on top.

4, Preheat oven to 220C.(Convenient oven works well too)
Bake them for 15 ~ 20minutes.
I believe it taste way nice after chilled for couple hours.

This recipe can be doubled.

Bitter-Sweet Gâteau Chocolat

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I love chocolate cake, and who doesn't?!
I have 2 good chocolate cake recipe, one is very sweet, sugar licking sweet brownie which is great serving with pouring cream and everybody loves it.
Another one is this chocolate cake, a.k.a. Gâteau Chocolat.
This is not something very sweet but its biterness is just so great along with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
And also, this cake is kid-proof.
I guess little bitter for them, I would say, taste of grown-up.

ingredients(6~8 square pcs) *16cm square cake tin/ 6cm height

140g Milk Chocolate
75g Unsalted Butter
75g Fresh Cream
75g Egg Yolk
150g Egg White
150g Caster Sugar
75g Cocoa Powder(if you want it less bitter, use sweetened cocoa powder ex.cadbury)
30g Plain Flour

Preheat your oven to 160C.

1, Spray oil your cake tin and line with baking paper.
Place chocolate on double boil to melt, Also cream the butter in another bowl.
Place fresh cream in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm up.
Shift the cocoa power and flour together.

2, Add creamed butter into melted chocolate and mix using whisk, Add fresh cream also.
Gradually(about 1 tsp at a time) add egg yolk and mix well and then set by side.

3, Standing mixer or using electric mixer to make meringue.
Add caster sugar to egg white and mix until you get stiff peak.

4, Add 1/4 amount of meringue to chocolate mixture and folding by rubber spatula.
Then add shifted cocoa powder and flour and folding through.
Add remaining egg white into it and folding evenly, but not mixing it.
It seems the mixture losing fluffiness and may make you think "is it gonna be rising?"
Yes it will.

5, Scoop the mixture into the tin and place into preheated oven, bake for 50mins~1 hr.
You can check if its baked or not by give a shake the cake gently and if its still moving like water then its not baked.