Month: December 2015

Pineapple with chicken

Charred Pineapple Chicken in Sweetened Black Rice Vinegar

Foodies like us love surprises once in a while, especially when unsuspecting flavours collide in the most tasteful manner, like this for instance.  Pineapple, beautiful on the outside; yellow, juicy and vibrantly flavoursome inside – delicious fruit with great balance of tastes that are sweet and tart at the same time.  When roasted, the pineapples gave a beautiful smoked flavour and yet, still juicy on the inside. The addition of black rice vinegar to this dish really surprises me because I couldn’t imagine (until now) just how well the flavours blend together.  If you are not familiar with the black rice vinegar, it’s endearingly known as the black magic potion – just a dash will literally blow you away.  Think Chinese dumplings.  Eyup!  You’d recall a certain plate of dipping black sauce with ginger strips that comes with Chinese dumplings?  That, ladies and gentleman, is the black magic potion. When cooking this dish, use a good quality black rice vinegar.  I swear by the Chinkiang black rice vinegar and so easy to get from any Asian Grocers.  It’s dark black …

Smoked Paprika, Chilli, Lime Peanuts

G’day everyone! Are you expecting guests this Christmas weekend and the New Year weekend? Then you will need some extra special something for your guests to snack on 🙂 If you are crunch on time, perhaps some roasted peanuts, spiced with smoked paprika, chilli and lime will add to the cheer. This snack is very simple to make and so aromatic.  All you need to do is just prep and mix them all up which takes less than 5 minutes, and then, roast.  It’s very very aromatic and addictive.  This snack also keeps very well in an airtight container for up to a week. Smoked Paprika, Chilli, Lime Peanuts  (adapted from Donna Hay Magazine) Makes 1 jar Ingredients: 2 cups salted peanut 2 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 cup lime juice 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp black chia seeds 1 tsp sea salt flakes 1 tsp finely grated lime rind Method: 1. Pre heat oven t0 180 celsius. 2. Mix all ingredients except lime rind in a clean bowl.  Toss with spatula and ensure …

Singapore bihun

Singapore Bee Hoon

What is Singapore bee hoon? I asked myself.  To be honest, I don’t know.  I googled hoping to find the answer but for the first time ever, Mr Google doesn’t have a straight answer for me. Interestingly, there are conflicting stories about Singapore bee hoon across the web – some say it’s a dish invented out of Hong Kong which doesn’t really exist in Singapore, others claim that the use of curry powder actually lends the name to this dish.   But why call it Singapore bee hoon and not Hong Kong-style bee hoon or even Curry bee hoon??? Well, we can go around arguing who’s right and who’s wrong, but who cares right? Since it’s so delicious, we’ll just leave it at that, ok :).  Bee hoon (or rice vermicelli) is a popular noodle in Asia because it’s so versatile.  You can stir-fry or boil with a soup base and use any ingredients to flavour the dish.  By nature, they are tasteless, so they rely on other fresh ingredients or seasoning for flavours.  The key to stir-fry is to ensure bee hoon is dried well before stir-frying. Singapore …

Sweet and sour pork

Crispy Classic Sweet and Sour Pork … revisited!

Just a few more days … few more days … counting … down … and I’ll be reuniting with my family! YEE HAR ! And thereafter, celebrating Christmas and New Year together for the first time in 4 years.  I love love love this December 🎄 🙂  To make it more fun, I’ll be feeding them generously with a plethora of good food that they have not try.  So exciting 🙂 So, what’s your plan with your family and friends this Christmas?  Whatever it may be, have loads of fun and treasure this special time with them. I go nuts over cookbooks.  So, if anyone wants to get me any gifts for Christmas or Birthday, cookbooks are just perfect *hint* hint*.  My hubby has long given up on my obsession with cookbooks.  I have so many books that I need to upgrade my 3-tier small book shelf to 2 brand new Ikea floor-to-ceiling book shelves just to fit them all.  To top it all up, I am still buying  cookbooks! *face palm*  Jeremy Pang’s Chinese Unchopped is one my latest bed time …

Coconut and Gula Melaka Agar Agar (Jellies)

I grew up eating jellies.  What about you? My mom loves making jelly when we were young.  That’s why jelly brings back wonderful sweet memories to me.  It was one of those cold sweet treats that my sisters and I really enjoyed eating when we were young, especially in hot hot Malaysia. We would sit on the kitchen bench and just watched mom do wonders with colours and mould.   So fascinated by the beautiful shapes when mom unmold the jelly that we thought it was magic! In fact, the shape that I loved the most comes in a certain koi fish mould that my mom always used. The mould has many complicated layers but it was so colourful and beautiful.  So beautiful that it was always made centrepiece when we celebrated special birthdays or Chinese New Year.  On other days, mom would treat us with sweet bitesize jellies that comes in various shapes like the star, heart, flower shapes … endless! The coconut and gula melaka (dark palm sugar) agar agar is a popular Asian dessert.  This dessert interestingly, is supposed to set in two different …

United Kitchen

United Kitchen Dining & Tapas – St. Kilda’s own Latin American-inspired Gem

It started with a dream and a phrase Mi casa es su casa, spanish for ‘my house is your house’.  Owner and Chef Tong Li, brought it to life through a Latin American-inspired tapas and cocktails dining establishment.  Located on the colourful Fitzroy street, this is where United Kitchen stood out charmingly with its warmth and exuberance. I was invited to join an intimate tasting session of the Chef’s specials ranging from full flavoured tapas to their signature margarita using the freshest seasonal produce that Australia has to offer. As the evening commences, we were spoiled with a variety of margarita and cocktails. Starting from my 2  new faves – Lemon Thyme Margarita (Tequila Altoviso with homemade lemon, thyme syrup and fresh lemon), Watermelon Margarita infused with ginger and mint, then moving on to heavier-dose cocktails like The Sphere, Donkey – concoction of Mescal & Altoviso, fresh ginger & lime, ginger beer, served with a sprig of mint, and ending with a dessert-like cocktail, Cafe De Ximinez (double espresso, espresso infused Tequila and Pedro Ximinez). And you know what?  That’s not even half the cocktails menu.  Seriously?  The menu …

Chicken with black pepper sauce

Crispy Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce on Rice

How fast another week has gone by.  In just 2 short weeks, it’ll be Christmas 🎄 and I’ll be reunited with my dad, mom and sister, who will be here to spend a summery 🍺 Christmas with us.  You can’t imagine just how much I missed them! To prepare for their arrival, we have so much cleaning, scrubbing and shopping to do.   Cleaning wasn’t fun but the gifts shopping 🎁 was crazily delightful.  So after a week-long of cleaning and a day-long of gifts shopping, it was finally done.  I kid you not, but the act of buying gifts feel like a battleground especially at the gift wrapping stations.  It’s like a process where you have to plan from getting into the shopping mall and time your way up to the end.  Just a mere few minutes difference will change everything.  Have you ever felt this way when you gift shop?  It was hectic but fun and now all gifts are sitting very nicely under the Christmas tree waiting to be opened 🙂 For dinner later …