Monday, 31 January 2011

Five Treasure Soup

This is the 4th random recipes that I have picked up from Philips, MyKitchen (www.philips.com.sg/kitchen) recipes site. Since this Thursday is Chinese New Year, I am sure most of you would like to prepare one or two simple Chinese New Year Auspicious soup to impress your guests during mealtimes. For example: The Lotus Root symbolise abundance and unity while Dried Scallop on the other hand means gold and wealth.

This is a very simple and delicious soup which requires minimum effort in preparation. As you can see from the photo there are about 4 main ingredients such as "Chicken", "Lotus Roots", "Dried Scallop" and "Shiitake Mushroom" and I make use of some ingredients that has natural sweetness and fragrant like Sweetcorn, Water Chestnut and Red Dates to flavour the soup instead of stock cubes.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
2000ml Hot Water
2 Skinless Chicken Drumstick with Thigh, washed and trim
300gm Fresh Lotus Root, cut into thick slices
6 Fresh Water Chestnuts, skin removed lightly smashed
2 Corn Cobs, washed and cut into sections
3 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
3 Medium Dried Scallop
4 Red Dates
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries


To prepare this soup without running to and from the stove to check the heat and etc, it would be great if you have a Philips brand or any other suitable rice cooker that has "SOUP" cooking function. As what you need to do is just put everything in and press COOK which you can refer to a similar cooking instruction by MyKitchen below.

But don't worry if all you have is only stove or slow-cooker, you can still cook this soup by following the method shown.

Method:
1. Wash the lotus roots thoroughly, making sure there is no soil in the holes. Cut the lotus roots into 1cm thick slices. Discard the ends.
2. Wash and clean all ingredients thoroughly with tap water.
3. Blanch chicken pieces briefly into boiling water before cooking.
4. Bring 2 litres of hot water to boil in a large soup pot, add in all the ingredients except wolfberries and let it simmer on low heat over the stove for about 1 hour or so. OR
5. For slow-cooker, cook it on AUTO for about 2 hours, stirring the mixture at least twice during cooking time to make sure the ingredients are evenly cooked through.


ORIGINAL RECIPE FROM PHILIPS (MyKitchen):

Five Treasure Soup



Preparation Time: 15 Minutes                         Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients: (Serves 5)
2200ml Hot Water
3 Cubes Chicken Seasoning
2 Skinless Chicken Breasts, washed and cut into quarters
300gm Fresh Lotus Root, cut into thick slices
1 Peeled Carrot, cut into wedges
2 Corn Cobs, washed and cut into sections
4 Seeded Red Dates
3 Dried Shitake Mushrooms

Method:
1. Wash the lotus roots thoroughly, making sure there is no soil in the holes. Cut the lotus roots into 1cm thick slices. Discard the ends.
2. Wash and clean all ingredients thoroughly with tap water.
3. Blanch chicken pieces briefly into boiling water before cooking.
4. Put the hot water, the chicken cubes, the blanched chicken pieces and the last 5 ingredients into the inner pot of the rice cooker. Close the lid.
5. Press the MENU button to select the SOUP cooking mode. Press TIMER and set for 1.5 hours.
6. Press COOK/REHEAT button to start the soup cooking process. At the end of the cooking process, you will hear a beep.
7. The COOK/REHEAT light will switch off and the KEEP WARM light will switch on to indicate that the rice cooker has automatically switched to the KEEP WARM mode.
8. The KEEP WARM mode ensures that the soup is kept piping hot till you serve it.


With such a quick and easy recipe above I am sure you would like to explore more recipes from Philips MyKitchen at www.philips.com.sg/kitchen for coming Chinese New Year too. If you are interested to find out more about Philips Rice Cookers series, you can refer to the website link HERE. Lastly you can also share with us any of your quick and easy recipes using rice cooker by leaving your tips and message at the comments post column.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

Pan-fried White Spotted Rabbitfish With Leeks

Chinese New Year is just a few days away and I believe every household is busying with preparing the food, beverage, clothing and etc before the coming New Year. Or perhaps some of you are having reunion dinner this weekend while everyone is off work and available at home. For Teochew family like us, our Chinese New Year reunion dinner can never go without this “Pan-fried White Spotted Rabbitfish With Leeks” when my dad was still around.

If you often frequent those Teochew Porridge stalls in food centre or coffee shop, I am sure you will be familiar with their signature Steam White Spotted Rabbitfish(清蒸白肚鱼) which goes well with their traditional dipping sauce make with "salted bean paste(豆豉), minced garlic and cut chilies".

As you know Leeks belong to the same category as onion family where you will link to those thick stalked European leeks that are commonly found in supermarkets which have a mild sweet flavor that is suitable for making soup or pie. But as for Chinese leeks on the other hand they are smaller and thinner which resemble thick scallion that has strong flavor, which makes them a staple ingredient in most Chinese cooking. Also most of the Chinese believe that by storing more LEEKS()at home it means you will have more money to COUNT()as both have the same pronunciation in Mandarin.

  Every year during Chinese New Year these “White Spotted Rabbitfish(白肚鱼)” will be highly in demand at both the wet and local supermarkets. And for your information the price of these fish can go as high as up to S$35.00 – S$40.00 per kilogram. These fish also has another name known as “Pei Tor” and by eating it most of the Chinese believe it brings good luck and prosper during the year. Also during this breeding period of the year, these fish are big in size and they do comes with roes that are particularly relished too.

Here is a photo of  the steps on preparing this dish.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
3 - 4 Medium Size (350g) White Spotted Rabbitfish
3 Stalks of Chinese Leeks, cut into diagonal sections
2 Slices of Ginger
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder
80ml Hot Water

Method:
1. Clean and rinse the fish, pat dry with kitchen paper towel and set side.
2. Preheat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, pan-fry the fish on both side for about 3 minutes under medium heat or till slightly golden brown. Dish up.
3. Using the same pan add in ginger and minced garlic, sauté till fragrant before adding the sliced leeks.
4. Continue to stir-fry the leeks for another 2 – 3 minutes until soften add in 80ml of hot water and chicken stock powder to taste.
5. Place the cooked fish on top of the leeks and simmer for another 1 minute on medium low heat, carefully give it a quick stir in between to let the fish absorb the flavour from the leeks mixture.
6. When done dish up and serve with hot steamed rice.


If you do cooked this white spotted rabbitfish at home, it would be great if you would like to share with us how you prepared them. Because for us, we only cooked it with leeks or steam and eat it fresh with light soy sauce.


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Sweet And Savory Nian Gao - 双味年糕

In Singapore the most common way to eat Nian Gao(年糕) is to cut it into thin slices, sandwich it with either sweet potato, yam or both then dipped them in flour batter and deep-fried till golden and crispy. Or some of you might even just like to have it plain on it’s own with Chinese Tea. In this post I will share two different methods of eating Nian Gao which I learnt one of it from f an elderly lady selling Nian Gao near my area.

Nian Gao(年糕) or Chinese New Year's Sticky Cake is a sweet dessert/snack prepared from glutinous rice and consumed during Chinese New Year. Although this cake be eaten whole year round but it is usually consume in Chinese New Year as it symbolized good luck, harmony and raising oneself higher in each coming year. There are also different ways of preparing and cooking Nian Gao depending on the country and its culture.

Since this Nian Gao is for consuming purpose rather than "pray", the stall aunty purposely choose one that is freshly steam on that day.  She told me to reheat a portion of the sticky cake for a few minutes before coating it with some fresh grated coconut which reminds me of the Nonya Kueh Kosui.

This can be a great and fun family after meal dessert where everyone can gather around the dining table with either chopsticks or lollipop sticks to enjoy this fulfil time.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 Small Nian Gao, wrapped in banana leaf, 10cm wide
1 Cup Freshly Grated Coconut
A few Pandan Leaves, optional
Pinch of Salt

Method:
1. Clean and rinse the pandan leaves, tie it into a knot and set aside.
2. Put the grated coconut in a large steamer plate together with pandan leaves and Nian Gao on the side.
3. Steam it over medium heat for about 5 minutes or till Nian Gao soften.
4. When done stir in pinch of salt to the hot grated coconut and mix well.
5. Use either small teaspoon or lollipop sticks, scrap/twirl the stick till you get a some nian gao stick on it then roll/dip nian gao with grated coconut and eat warm.


If you don't like the idea of using grated coconut perhaps you could to try this western style of "Cheesy Nian Guao Puff" which I am sure it will be a great snacks for both kids and adults during Chinese New Year gathering. The ingredients for this snack is very simple and you can easily get them in supermarket too.

Ingredients: (makes 8 puffs)
8 Cubes of 1-cm  each Nian Gao
2 Sheets of Plain Prata Pastry
1/2 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Method:
1. Remove the plastic sheet of the prata pastry(work one sheet at a time) and cut it into 4 equal portions.
2. Place one cube of Nian Gao with some shredded mozzarella cheese on each portion then quickly fold it into a triangle parcel by using a fork to seal the edge of the parcel.
3. Working quickly to avoid the pastry to defrost and became sticky to handle.
4. Place the parcel on baking tray that is line with aluminium foil then bake it in oven toaster for about 10 minutes or till golden brown. (turn a few times during baking to get a nice and even golden brown and crispy outer skin)
5. Serve warm with a cup of hot or chilled tea.


Note:-
~ You can replace Mozzarella Cheese with sandwich slice cheese by cutting each square into 4 portions.


This is indeed another new way to eat your Nian Gao where you stuff the prata parcel with cheese and nian gao instead of the usual deep-fried style with sweet potato and yam.  I remember when I was young, my dad used to fry Nian Gao together with some beaten egg to make a sweet omelette. So what about you? Do you have any special recipe of eating this auspicious sweet Nian Gao during Chinese New Year. If yes, do share with us your thoughts.



Friday, 28 January 2011

Lotus Roots And Tricolour Beans Soup

This Tricolour Beans Soup is replicated base on my memory from the “Hearty Soup” that I always ordered during my visit to “Fragrant Hong Kong Pork Rice” at Hong Lim Food Centre(behind Chinatown Point Mall). I am sure for those who frequent that food centre during lunch hours would have at least tried one of their varieties of steam rice and this homecook soup. If I remember clearly their soup consists of peanuts, black-eyed peas, chicken feets, dried mushroom, dried shellfish and etc that make it full of flavour.

As for my home consume version I have added lotus roots, red beans, red dates, wolfberries and dried tangerine peel to it. Below is my recipe for this soup.

Ingredients: (Serves 2 - 4)
1 Medium Section Lotus Roots, 150g
10 Pieces of Chicken Feets
50g Red Beans
50g Soup Peanuts
50g Black-eyed Beans
5 Pieces of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
1 Piece of Dried Tangerine Peel, soaked till soften
4 - 6 Red Dates
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries
1.8 Litres Hot Water

Method:
1. Mixed all the beans together in a big bowl, add hot water and soak them for about 5 minutes till a bit soften. Rinse a few time, remove any decay beans and set aside.
2. Soak the dried tangerine peel in water till soften, use a small spoon scrapped out the white pith from the peel to prevent bitterness.
3. Blanched the chicken feets in boiling water, rinse well and get ready a soup pot with 1.8 litre of water.
4. When the water boils, add in all the ingredients except wolfberries and let it simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes before low the heat and let it simmer for about an hour or so till the beans are soften and soup is flavourful.
5. Add in wolfberries, season with salt and serve.

Note:-

~ You can replace the chicken feets with chicken drumsticks, pork ribs or etc.



We loves the taste and texture of this soup especially with a hint of refreshing fragrant from the tangerine peel. But if you feel that these soup takes up too many ingredients that is not available from your pantry, you can always mix and match with your own preference according to the ingredients you have. But if you have tried and love the SOUP from "Fragrant Hong Kong Pork Rice", this recipe is worth giving a try.



Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Kichi Kichi Express Rotary Hotpot

When you talk about Hotpot, what is the 1st thing that comes in your mind? Varieties of Foods, Environment, Pricing or ? I am sure you would like to enjoy fresh quality of food when it comes to hotpot. No one would like to see a plate of dry and dull meat or wilted vegetables when making their selection.But in Kichi Kichi you can be assumed that all the food on their rotating conveyor belt are freshly packed and prepared in order to let patrons enjoy their food in peace of mind.

Steamboat is normally not my cup of tea, as I don’t like the hot and stuffy environment where we need to sit around the hotpot cooking each and individual items with a tendency that others might drop in uncooked food or items that I don't prefer before I retrieved mine.

But when we steps into Kichi Kichi last week I was kind of caught up by the bright and attractive layout as well as its interesting dining concept whereby each of us owns our individual hotpot with large varieties of food being easily access from the rotating conveyor belt. With this new dining experience it definitely makes meal more relax without being worry about the hot and steamy hotpot session that makes you sweat.

There are two types of sitting area available where patrons can choose either having individual hotpot on the highchair counter seats or enjoy family and friend quality time at booths fitted with ‘yuan-yang’ hotpots that can hold two different stocks for sharing between 2 - 6 people. And since all the hotpots are using heat sense that can auto control the temperature, patrons can easily adjust the temperature according to their preference without must trouble like those traditional charcoal steamboat.

From the ordering list, you can choose your own soup broth from their soup range such as:- Chicken, Tomyum, Mushroom(house's special), Sze Chuan, Prawn or Herbal(with additional S$1.50 top-up). During the tasting we tried their Mushroom(tasty and genuine broth with scent of mushroom aroma), Tomyum(indeed very spicy but on the downside it seems to be lacked of those traditional tomyum taste) and Herbal was rather better than tomyum with hint of herbal taste.

  While having your hotpot, don't forget to look out for one of these sauce that is on the rotating conveyor belt.   Kichi Kichi have 8 different types of homemade sauce which are:-

Row 1(in front): Vinegar and Ginger, Chilli Padi with Vinegar, Chilli Chin Chalok
Row 2(center): Chilli Padi and Soya Sauce, Kichi Kichi Chilli Sauce, Japanese Soya Sauce,
Row 3(back): Kichi Kichi Sesame Sauce, Hoi Sin

After trying these sauce a few of us voted Chili Chin Chalok as the best dipping sauce over the rest eventhough it taste a bit spicy but it is indeed a very appetising sauce that stands out from the rest. But if you prefer something sweeter you might want to consider their Kichi Kichi Sesame Sauce.

  Since Chinese New Year is around the corner, if you are having the mood to enjoy early steamboat with friends and family without having the trouble to prepare those ingredients and washup, perhaps you can consider visit Kichi Kichi and try their exclusive CNY Buffet Package! This CNY Buffet Package allows you to enjoy delicious hotpot buffet with additional items such as Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Salmon, Lo Hei and Mandarin Oranges too.
Price: CNY Buffet Package S$38.80 NETT

Each set of the CNY Buffet Package also come with a generous plate of Sea Cucumber which is a great steal if you like these jelly and crunchy texture stuffs.

Overall the food was quiet good with wide range of over 60 ingredients that are available for patrons to pick from their rotating conveyor belt. And we all agreed that their customers’ service was good and efficiency with friendly staffs clearing the empty plates regularly and asking to refilled the soup broth even before it reached the half line.

In addition to the buffet items, there is also a premium A La Carte selection items available such as Salmon Belly, Fish Head, Oysters, Scallops, Sliced Venison, Sliced Wagyu Beef and etc.
Price: Ranging from S$3.00 - S$5.00 ++ per plate

  Or if you are look for a quick and affordable weekday hotpot lunch, you can also choose from any of the 4 Combo Meals during Monday - Friday (except public holidays) from 11.00am - 3.00pm at any of their Kichi Kichi outlets(refer end of this post). And furthermore, each combo meal also includes a bowl of rice, soup, one soft drink and fruit too! (more details HERE)
Price: Ranging from S$7.99++ to S$8.99++ per set

After a good and fulfilling lunch, I was caught up by surprised from the group of friends as they have prepared my favourite "Chocolate" cake to celebrate my Birthday. I didn't thought that a normal food tasting session would turn out to be a Birthday celebrations and I am really touch and grateful to each and everyone of them who give me this warm hearted surprise. Thank you my dear friends!

Lastly I would also like to say thanks Jasmin and Kichi Kichi - Express Rotary Hotpot for hosting this food tasting event.



BUFFET PRICING AND ADDRESS OF KICHI KICHI OUTLETS












Kichi Kichi Express Rotary Hotpot
City Square Mall(outlet)
180 Kitchener Road
#02-23/24


Ngg Ann City(outlet)
391A, Orchard Road
Podium Block, Level 5
#05-32

Website: http://www.expressrotaryhotpot.com/


Reservation And Enquiries @ (65) 9170 1146











Cassata with Walnuts

Cassata is a traditional sweet treat from a town in Italy. Sometime it may also refer to a Neapolitan ice cream top with candied or dried fruit and nuts. This dessert is made using sponge cake moistened with fruit juice or liqueur then layered with candied peel, chocolate or vanilla ice cream together with chopped nuts.

Continue from last week Philips, MyKitchen (www.philips.com.sg/kitchen) recipe post on the "Baked Sweet Chili Chicken", this week let's look at some sweet dessert which you can prepare ahead and served after meal to impress your guest.



Cassata with Walnuts


Preparation Time: 15 Minutes                        Baking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients For Batter:
250g Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
375g All-purpose Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
10 Tablespoons Olive Oil
200ml Boiling Water
A Pinch of Salt

For the Filling:
1 Litre Vanilla Ice Cream
4 Tablespoons Walnuts, chopped

For the Chocolate Fudge:
200g Milk Chocolate
125ml Cream
2 Tablespoons Cognac
500ml Sour Cream
6 Tablespoons Sugar

Method:
1. In the mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, olive oil and vinegar.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate, salt and then the boiling water.

3. Place on a greased tray. Bake at medium heat (180°C) for approximately 30 minutes. Set aside and let it cool completely.

4. To make the fudge, melt the chocolate and add the cream and the cognac. To make the frosting, beat the cream and sugar in the mixer until you have whipped cream.

5. To assemble, line a rectangular baking dish with baking paper. Add alternate layers of ice cream, chocolate cake, chopped walnuts and chocolate fudge.

6. Decorate with green and red M and Ms and mint leaves.


Tips:
If you don’t want to use spirits, use milk instead of cognac. Or for variation, try using chocolate chip ice cream instead of vanilla ice cream.


Although I have not I have not tested this recipe yet but it look rather easy to prepare from the list of ingredients and instructions shown. Perhaps I would get a ready-baked sponge cake from bakery (to shorten the preparation time or those without oven can also use this shortcut) to try assemble this traditional Italian dessert.

For more quick and easy recipes you can refer to Philips MyKitchen at www.philips.com.sg/kitchen or stay tune for next week post on Chinese New Year - 5 Treasure Soup.


Monday, 24 January 2011

8 Chicken Choices from Burger King

Recently as a part of Burger King ongoing commitment to their consumers, they have served up 8 different sumptuous chicken varieties meals for chicken-lovers. Be it grilled or fried, juicy or crispy, spicy or mild, from set meals to snack treats there is sure a deal that suits your choice.

From "The Classic - BK Chicken" to "Mushroom Swiss Tendergrill Chicken" or Snack such as "Mexican Drumlets" to the NEW "Black Pepper Basil Drumlets", Burger King leaves you spoilt with all its chicken varieties that you can enjoy during anytime of the day.


Whenever you look step into Burger King there is always varieties of items on their menu  such as  creating your desire Whopper with any of the different add-ons sauce/toppings, chicken-lover you can select your choice from the 8 different types of chicken varieties or fish burger. With these I am sure there is definitely one choice that sure your mood and taste for the day. 

And if you fancy something spicy and crispy, this "Spicy Tendercrisp Chicken" that made from 100% premium chicken thigh meat, deep-fried to perfection with every succulent and juicy bites would be a great choice. This burger is also served with bed of fresh shredded lettuce, slice of ripe tomato and creamy mayo sauce in between corn-dusted bun.


  [Good News!] From 13 January - 16 February 2011, you can get 2 pieces of Black Pepper Basil Drumlets FREE with any purchase of  LARGE Chicken Meals(comes with large fries and drink). These Black Pepper Basil Drumlets are perfect as an appetising snack or serve it as an extra side for a satisfying value meal. Most of us who tried  it during the tasting love its hint of aromatic basil flavour and spicy black pepper taste.

You can purchase this separately without ordering the set meal at:-
~ 2 Pieces @ S$1.95
~ 4 Pieces @ S$3.90



Furthermore as part of the new campaign for its 8 chicken varieties, Burger King release "NEVER CHICKEN OUT" spoof videos to send a message of empowerment. You could check out the spoof videos  and their facebook fan page contest at the following links for a laugh or
opportunity to win a Microsoft XBOX 360 and Burger King food voucher :-

1. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BurgerKingSg

2. Burger King Singapore Facebook Fan Page: http://facebook.com/BurgerKingSingapore



Friday, 21 January 2011

Babi Pong Teh - Braised Pork with Salted Bean Paste

Nyonya Cuisine reflects the cultural mix of the community from Malay ingredients such as lemongrass, glangal, and chilies with Chinese pork in basic style of food preparation. In modern society we could easily prepared authentic traditional Nyonya cuisine from those ready packed spices or using a food blender to blend the spices instead of pestle or grinding stone.

To be frank as a Teochew and my Granny being a Nyonya I have never appreciate most of her Nyonya dishes during the days when she was around. And in this case, I don’t really have deep impressions on how she prepares her signature dishes. From my memories, I only remembered her  “Acar”, “Belacan Stuffed Fish”, “Pengat” and this “Babi Pong Teh”.

If you have watched MediaCorp drama "Little Nyonya (小娘惹)" which is very popular in year 2008 till now, you would be familiar with this "Babi Pong Teh" dish which is being prepared by one of the leading actress in the drama. Although the ingredients might various from each recipes but the key ingredients would be more or less the same using Pork Belly and Salted Bean Paste.

These are the basic ingredients for preparing this homecook Nyonya Braised Pork Belly dish.

Ingredients: (Serves 2 - 4)
350g Pork Belly, cut into 3cm pieces
100g Shallots
50g Garlic
30g Salted Bean Paste
1/2 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce, for colour
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
300ml Hot Water

Seasoning:
20g Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder
Salt and Pepper To Taste



Method:
1. Remove the outer skin of the shallots and garlic then blend them together with salted bean paste till it form a smooth paste.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in small saucepan, add blended paste and fry over medium low heat till fragrant and slightly golden brown.
3. Add pork belly and dark soy sauce and continue frying for 1 minute and pork is evenly coated with the bean paste.
4. Add in hot water to cover pork belly, stir in seasoning and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until pork is tender.
5. Serve hot with steamed rice.


This is a very authentic dish that can be easily found in every Nyonya household or even in the menu of any Nyonya restaurant. The taste of this dish should be slightly sweet with a hint of saltiness from the salted bean paste and it gives out a great aroma braising this dish with these blended ingredients. For a healthier version you could also replace the pork belly with chicken pieces or chicken wings.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Lotus Seeds Soup - 莲子羹

During the Eve of Chinese New Year, usually most of the household would prepare a sweet dessert to be served during the 1st Day of Chinese Luna New Year as an auspicious treat for the family or relatives. The common sweet dessert(Tong Shui) are Cheng Teng(清汤), Red Bean Cream(红豆沙), Lily Bulb and Lotus Seeds(百合莲子), Glutinous Rice Balls Soup(汤圆) and etc.

For a Teochew household like us, we usually have our favourite "Yam Paste(Orr Nee)", "Cheng Teng(清汤)" or "Lotus Soup(莲子羹)" which is shown in this post. Last year, I made Glutinous Red Date With Osmanthus Syrup for Chinese New Year dessert but this year I would like to share this Lotus Soup post with you.

This photo shows some of the ingredients and steps in preparing our all-time favourite dessert during Chinese New Year.

Ingredients: (serves 6 - 8)
300g Dried Lotus Seeds
150g Brown Sugar(in pieces form)
30g Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
1 Bundle of Pandan Leaves
2.5 Litres of Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Potato Starch(生粉) + 1 Tablespoon Water




Method:
1. Bring a small pot of water to boil, add dried lotus seeds and cook for 5 - 8 minutes or till soften.
2. Drain, rinse and remove the green sprout from each seeds and set aside.
3. Use a big soup pot, bring 2.5 litre of water to boil, when water comes to boil add in pandan leaves and cooked for about 5 minutes before adding it the pieces of brown sugar.
4. While waiting for the water to boil, season the cooked lotus seeds with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and set aside.
5. When the pieces of brown sugar melt, removed the pandan leaves, add in seasoned lotus seeds and simmer on medium low heat another 15 - 20 minutes till the lotus seeds achieves your desire texture when bite.
6. Next slowly add in the remaining 30g of brown sugar to sweeten the dessert to your liking.
7. Stir in potato starch mixture over low heat to thicken the soup accordingly.
8. Remove from heat and serve warm.


Lotus Seeds(莲子)are actually nuts from the lotus plant that are commonly found in Asia. The typical lotus seed is small, round and slightly white in appearance that is usually sold in dried and pre-packaged. The most common use of the seed is in the form of a paste for making moon cakes and bun or sometime they are found as one of the ingredients in Asian dessert or soup.

It is believed that when using lotus seeds to cook soups, congee or dessert, it actually act as a cooling tonic that "clears heat" according to the Chinese Physician. being sweet and neutral, they have been known to tonify the spleen, reinforce the kidneys and nourish the blood too. But within the seed lies a "green sprout" that is quite bitter and it is usually removed when lotus seeds are use in sweet dessert.

No matter which Chinese New Year dessert you preferred or made at home I am sure everyone would love to have something Auspicious for their family. So if you have some special dessert which you prepared for Chinese New Year do share with us, if you don't have a blog you can Email me your recipe and I would be most delighted to do a [Guest Post] on your behalf



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