All posts filed under: Popular Recipes

mango and sweet sticky rice

Mango and Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice

I love the farmers’ markets – to see, touch and smell all that seasonal fresh produce by our Australian producers is a great experience.  Most of the time, I’ll come back with more produce than what I had planned for 🙂  During my recent visit to the farmers’ market, guess what I came back with? One of the pleasures of being a home cook is that there is no limit to what you can cook with fresh seasonal produce.  So, with my freshly bought mangoes, I decided to bring Thailand home with one of the most iconic Thai sweet desserts that my family have always loved and enjoyed. “Who would have thought that sweet mangoes are perfect match made in heaven with savoury glutinous rice?  That, of course, came from the brilliant minds of food-loving Thais.”  You and I know that it is easy to make this dessert.  Mango, glutinous rice, coconut cream are basically the 3 main ingredients you need.  Because there are so few ingredients, quality of course, cannot be compromised.  You’ll need to get your hands on the sweetest …

Salmon onigiri

Easy Lunchbox Idea: Salt-grilled Salmon Onigiri

I think I’ve lost something and that’s time! Where have all the time go to these days?  Don’t you reckon that time has gone by without you knowing?  Honestly, I was only aware that we’re just about 60 days away from Christmas (yea! the christmas decors & gift specials are so visible at the malls) and that means it’s bye bye to a beautiful year and hello to another exciting year. The other day, lil’ one ask me, “Mom, can I bring something else to school?”  I looked at her with blanks on my face, thinking what else can I put into her lunchbox – something quick, delicious and easy to eat.  It’s been such a challenge keeping up with lil’ one’s demands nowadays especially when she’s growing up so fast.  If you know my lil’ one, she’s one of the hardest food critic to please!  But … I know (for sure) she loves salmon, rice and nori and I’ve got a solution for that! Onigiri (Japanese rice balls) are the perfect lunchbox or to-go food.  They’re healthy, fast, delicious …

Char siu

Best-ever Char Siu (Cantonese BBQ Pork Belly)

OMG!!! Look at that glaze – salivating yet? Somebody can’t wait to get his hands on them … One dish … This one dish is the reason why I ❤️pork so much.  It represents all the best quality of how a pork should taste: Succulent Juicy Fatty Charred Sweet Sticky Traditionally paired with chicken rice (get the recipe here), wan tan mee or just plain steamed rice, char siu IS one of the most yummy pork dish ever.  Hands down!  And you know what?  If you’ve been going to Chinatown to get those char siu take away – well, forget that. It is unbelievably easy to make char siu at home and you’ll be shocked and pleased as to how easy that is. There are many good char siu recipes and I’ve attempted a few – starting with the quick & lazy way of using bottled char siu sauce then to making the sauce from scratch and then trying out different variations of pork cuts up to cooking them in the oven or wok – experimenting them all just …

chicken yakitori

Easy Chicken and Scallion (Negima) Yakitori

Succulent Juicy Sweet Sticky Charred Okay people, let’s admit it, all of us go crazy over bits-on-sticks.  It started with ice-cream and then it went on to savoury stuff.  So, anything and everything that (literally) comes on sticks consistently drive people (like me) nuts. ” Why? I’m not sure really … Because the best food comes on a stick. Period! ”  The bits-on-sticks culture are so commonly found across the globe as street foods – like the best-loved Malaysian satay, succulent juicy Japanese yakitori, addictive Korean Potato stacks, ubiquitous American corn dogs, the spicy creamy Mexican elote or for the daring ones, Chinese scorpion.  There is no shortage of quick, easy and tasty street food around the globe really.  So, be ready to work those dormant muscles when you head to these places. When I say these chicken skewers are too darn delicious, I really really meant it.  I didn’t make a lot but it was so good that everything on the plate was gone in 60 seconds.  At the end, I was left  still wanting more. So, be sure to make …

Teriyaki chicken

Simple Teriyaki Chicken

I was 15 when I had my first taste of Japanese cuisine.  At that time, I remembered that dining at a Japanese restaurant was a real treat and we only do it to celebrate birthdays or when dad received his pay check.   Of course, at that time, raw fish was not an option to me ( because I was so used to perfectly-cooked food), so my go-to dish would have to be Teriyaki Chicken. Come to think of it, it was the go-to dish for my whole family except dad.  How funny! Dad would look at us, shook his head and laughed every time we ordered that.  As time goes by, we began to adopt other types of meat and that chicken will take an alternate shift to beef, pork or salmon, but they were still cooked in the very same way 🙂 So, yes, we do love our Teriyaki. What about you?  What was your go-to Japanese dish? “Teriyaki is a cooking method used in Japanese cuisine where foods are grilled or pan fried, leaving that crisp outer …

Miso Chicken

Crispy Miso and Ginger Fried Chicken with Miso Mayonnaise

In the culinary world, basic sensory tastes is widely defined and accepted as sweet, sour, bitter and salty.  As these four little words, with big meanings, becomes predictable (and perhaps a little boring), experts found the final jigsaw in the mythical fifth taste – umami. Unlike the other 4 basic tastes that is very distinct, umami can be defined as having a pleasant savoury taste.  Literally speaking, yummy! Think – have you ever eaten something only to find it’s hard to describe the taste and it is also that taste that gets you wanting more and more of it?  That hard-to-describe-taste would be the missing umami puzzle.  And that’s because of this ingredient called MSG – Monosodium Glutamite 🙂 “Want umami? – then think miso, parmesan, mushroom, dried bonito, fish sauce, kombu (seaweed), dry-cured hams – they will make you crave for more and more of that mythical fifth taste”   In this recipe, I replaced the core ingredient – yellow miso, with white miso.  White miso can be easily found at Asian grocers compare to yellow miso and it’s cheaper too. …

Thai Prawn Salad

Thai Salad with Crunchy Prawns & Caramelised Coconut Dressing

As a working mum, juggling between work and personal is not easy but manageable.  So, I’d like to salute to all Super Mums out there who have successfully integrate our mission to provide for a better home for our families.  *Clap*Clap*Clap* Since I’m a 9-5 working mom, I’m always looking for simple weekday pleasures that doesn’t require much attention and time to cook but still makes me salivate.  Masterchef Australia Season 7 has just started airing in Australia and so far, by looking at the recipes created by the contestants, I am very excited to test them in my kitchen. “Simple weekday pleasures like this Thai salad dish is one of the reason why I’m so looking forward to cooking in my kitchen even after a long tiring day!”  This recipe was created by contestant, Ava Stangherlin, for a 20 minutes Thai Elimination Challenge.  Just hearing the name gave me jitters-me-timber down my spine.  Think Crunchy prawns! Toasted fragrant peanut! Caramelised coconut dressing! Thai flavours! How can you say no to this dish, right? Feel free to add more …

Muffins

Strawberry, Apple and Almond Muffins

Before I write more about these big, juicy and delicious muffins, this was a delayed post.  I admit that I was supposed to share this recipe last week because this was a Mother’s Day breakfast surprise for my family. To be a little more honest here, I’ve never attempted muffins.  Normally I would conveniently buy from the neighbourhood breakfast cafes because they always have the “buy 1 coffee and free muffin” promotion.  But for this special day, I want my family to wake up to the smell of something’s baking in the oven. “The combination of sweet strawberries, apple and crackling almonds are a WOW-ZER! Not only it’s easy to make, it’s pretty and yummy”   Thanks to Katie Quinn Davis’s cookbook What Katie Ate – the recipe is easy and instructions are straight forward – making it simple for an inexperienced baker like me to follow.  Katie also mentioned that if fresh blueberries or blackberries are in season, throw them in too. These muffins make such great gifts for house parties or to serve at your own tea parties, with …

Beetroot salad

Baby Beets in Cranberry Juice with Ricotta, Cumin & Dill

“Purple food! Who would have thought this purple food ‘aka beetroot would actually taste good – and here I admit to everyone that I love beets”  First of all … I admit that this small purple food called the beetroot has never been in my radar.    It looks very rootish and it’s purple in color (honestly, I’ve not had purple food before), so naturally, I thought it’s a tough vegetable to cook and would taste bitter.  Well, I was so wrong, looks can be very deceiving, mind you. My first experience with beets was in a Melbourne restaurant, whose degustation menu includes a dish with beets.  The color & taste on the plate was absolutely smashing! And from that moment on, I am in love with this purplish sweet ball of root.  Available during autumn, beets boast some huge nutritional value – the greens are rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A and C, while the roots are good source of fibre and folic acid. In this recipe, Matt Wilkinson cook these baby beets in cranberry …

beef teriyaki

Beef Teriyaki with Sesame Cucumber Salad

I seek delight in simple recipes that satisfy and thrill my tastebuds without putting much effort.  A good example would be this dish.  Everybody knows what a teriyaki is – thanks to the introduction and exposure to Japanese cuisine all over the world – it’s simply a form of cooking used by Japanese to grill or broil the meats, glazed with soy sauce, mirin and sugar. The glaze, made up of soy sauce, mirin and sugar, gives the meat that beautiful shine and lustre that makes it so mouthwatering and beautiful to photograph 🙂 It also has a balanced sweet salty taste which adds depth to the grilled meat.  Any meats can be ‘teriyaki-ed’ like fish, chicken and beef. When cooking beef, I like to use premium grade beef to bring out that buttery flavour, searing up to the right level to preserve the tenderness and juiciness of the beautiful meat. The addition of fresh salad helps to cut through that rich fattiness of the beef, making them a truly perfect marriage. Beef Teriyaki and Sesame Cucumber Salad (adapted from Christine …

Pok Pok chicken wings

Pok Pok ‘Fish Sauce’ Chicken Wings

So… I asked myself “what’s the deal with ‘Pok Pok’ wings”.  It’s just some fried chicken wings that some dude created, right? By no means am I underestimating these wings but just out of curiosity, I googled and found that the Pok Pok wings is big, BIG … I mean huge with anyone and everyone who has ever tried it in the restaurant.  These wings have defined the next level of comfort food!  According to the recipe creators, Andy Ricker & Ike, this wings practically pay their mortgage! So, these ain’t just wings … it’s really really special fried chicken wings that pay the bills. So, further to my curiosity, I googled a little more and found that Andy Ricker has a cookbook and it’s highly recommended.  Best part is – this famous chicken wings recipe is also included.  Always happy to spend on cookbooks, I ordered and Amazon delivered it to my doorstep!  Speedy as a lightning. The recipe pays homage to a common Vietnamese dish called ga chien nuoc mam and Pok Pok’s first native Vietnam …

chicken dumpling

Chicken Dumplings with Vinegar Dressing

Any Melbournian will know Chin Chin, have been to Chin Chin and have eaten at Chin Chin.  I have dined numerous times at Chin Chin and absolutely loved their flavours.  So, when Benjamin Cooper (Executive Chef, Chin Chin) published Chin Chin the book.  I was very excited to get my hands on it – even got Benjamin’s autograph too! Unlike other cookbooks, Chin Chin the book features all current Chin Chin menu so you’re able to recreate them at your own home.  The bold, punchy Thai flavours that I fell in love with can now be enjoyed by my family and guests, cooked by moi 🙂  It’s also a cool book that shares a wonderful story about the rise of Chin Chin. Most of the their ingredients can be found at the local Asian Grocer.  If you don’t know where to buy, the book even tells you where to shop for Asian groceries in Melbourne and Sydney. For this recipe, I have cut down on the number of servings.  The dumplings are so flavoursome and …