Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Chocolate Madeleines

Chocolate Madeleine
Out of all bread and parties available in the bakery shops, my boy has this passion towards Chocolate Madeleine. So whenever we are near ION, Orchard he would definitely get some Madeleine from “Bread Society”. He loves the moist and chocolatey texture of the cake which he could have at least 3 for his tea-snack.

And recently while arranging the bookshelves, I happened to come across this wonderful recipe which I jotted down from one of Donna Hay’s cookbook some years back. With that I decided to try making a batch of these chocolate madeleine for my boy.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

[Gyoza Mold Giveaway!!!] 3 Ways of Eating Dumpling or Wonton

Continue from the previous post on the "Steamed Dumplings with Assorted Vegetables". Here I will be giving away a set of "Gyoza Mold" which you can use it to wrap either Japanese Gyoza or Chinese Dumpling/Wonton. This is a handy and easy to use mold by just placing a gyoza or wonton wrapper on top of the press (mold), add in fillings, close and press tight to form a perfect sealed gyoza or dumpling.

If you are interested to win a set of this "Gyoza Mold", just leave your Name and which type of dumpling you prefer (steamed, pan-fried, boiled  or deep-fried) "I love xxxxx" in the comment box and I will pick one TWO Lucky winners on Tuesday, 19 April 2011. Do check the result after Noon, 19 April.

For this Dumpling/Wonton post, I will be sharing another two different ways of cooking dumpling/wonton dish which you could try it out anytime at home. First let's take a look at this "Chicken Dumplings with Chili Oil - 紅油抽手". This is one of the common dumplings dish that you can easily order from most Chinese Ramen and Steamed Bun Restaurants. Usually the ingredients are shrimp and pork mince that are wrapped in thin layer of handmade dumpling skin and serve with the unique spicy chili oil sauce.


Ingredients: (makes 10 Dumplings and 15 Wonton)
150g Mince Chicken Meat
20g Carrot, finely chopped/grated
2 Shallots, finely chopped
3 Fresh Water Chestnut, skin remove and finely chopped
1/2 Tablespoon Chopped Spring Onion

1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
Dash of Fish Sauce, optional
Dash of Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cornflour

1. Put all the ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well with seasonings and marinate in the refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or more.

2. Refer to the photo above, place 1 piece of round dumpling wrapper on the gyoza mold, top with meat fillings, close and press tight to form a perfect sealed dumpling.

3. Repeat the same process and makes about 10 dumplings using the gyoza mold.

4. Next bring a pot of 1.5 litres of water to boil with 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Slowly drop in the wrapped dumplings and cook over medium heat.

5. Once the dumplings float on the surface, lower the heat and continue to simmer for another minute. Remove the cooked dumplings and place it in a bowl of water to stand for another 1 minute.

6. Drain well and place the cooked dumpling in a serving plate. Drizzle some sesame oil then pour over the prepared spicy chili oil and top with some extra chopped spring onion and serve.

I use the Lao Gan Ma(老干妈) Chili Flavoured Oil(油辣椒) which you could purchased from either Sheng Siong(昇菘超市) or any provision shop in the wet market to create this Spicy Sauce for my dumplings.(Price:- range from S$1.95 - S$2.50)

Spicy Chili Oil Ingredients:-
2 Tablespoon of Lao Gan Man Chili Flavoured Oil
80ml Hot Water
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Vinegar, optional

1. Using a microwave safe bowl, reheat the chili flavoured oil on medium heat for about 1 minute or until warm through.

2. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in 80ml of hot water then add it into the prepared chili oil (add vinegar if using) and stir till well combine. Set aside.

Chicken Dumplings With Chili Oil - 紅油抽手

These fried Wontons will definitely be a great finger food or snacks during party or gathering and it goes well with cool icy beer too. You can prepared these ahead by wrapping the dumplings and keep them in the fridge for a few hours or a day before cooking. And these can be a very addictive finger food too... so beware!


1. Prepare the same fillings using the above ingredients shown for the dumplings.

2. Refer to the photo above, place about 1 teaspoon of meat filling in the middle of the square wonton wrapper.

3. Brush some water on the top 2 corner of the wrapper, fold it into half to form a triangle.  Pull the 2 edge below to form a diamond shape by sticking the two edge together.

4. Repeat the process to make about 7 Triangles and Diamond shape wontons.

5. Preheat a pot of oil and deep-fried the prepared wonton on medium heat till golden brown, remove and drain well.

6. Serve with desire dipping sauce.

With a little effort done, you can whipped out two homecook dishes by just using one prepared meat fillings. Isn't this wonderful! I am sure your family will loves these quick and simple dish. If spicy food is not your choice, you can always replace it with just light soy sauce.

Non-Spicy Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 Tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce
80ml Hot Water
1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour over to the cooked dumplings.

Total cost for these two dishes is about S$4.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ 150g Mince Chicken Meat = S$1.50
~ 3 Water Chestnut = S$0.50
Wonton Wrapper = S$1.00
~ Carrot, Spring Onion, Shallot = S$0.50
~ Chili Flavour Oil = S$0.50

Updates: I am so happy that many of you are interested in this "Gyoza Mold". So in order to increase the chance of winning, I will be giving away "2 Sets" instead of 1 to "2 Lucky" winners. Good Luck, everyone!


Are you the Lucky One!!!!!

Monday, 11 April 2011

[$20 Budget Meal] Five Nuts Soup and Steamed Dumplings with Assorted Vegetables

Quick and Easy meal that comes with good and healthy combination of meat and vegetables are always something that busy working adults or parents look for. Here we have a fusion of Asian Steamed Dumpling with array of colourful vegetables such as Pumpkin, Carrots, Peas and Broccoli that will definitely cheers up your Monday Blue evening. These two sets of Steamed Dumpling and Five Nuts Soup meal only cost about S$12.20 which can serves around 2 - 3 persons.

To make a complete meal, I have boiled some five Nuts Soup that consists of 5 different colours of ingredients such as Fresh Fox Nuts, Lotus Seeds, Chinese Barley, Wolfberries and etc. This is a great nutty flavour soup which helps to calm nerves, strengthen Qi and nourish the body. The fresh fox nut can also helps to heal indigestion, diarrhoea and poor bladder control too.


Ingredients: (serves 2 - 4)
300g Pork Ribs (排骨)
1 Packet of Fresh Foxnuts(茨实)
20g Chinese Barley (中国薏米)
20g Lotus Seeds (莲子)
10g Wolfberries (枸杞子)
5 Big Red Dates (红枣)
1.8 Litres of Water

1. Blanched Pork Ribs in boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes, remove and rinse with tap water. Set aside.

2. Soak lotus seeds (unwashed) in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. Remove the green pith in it to avoid bitterness. Rinse and set aside.

3. Rinse Chinese barley 2 - 3 times in a big bowl, remove any decay seeds and dirt.

4. Bring 1.8 litres of water to boil in a soup pot. Add in all the ingredients except wolfberries and when the mixture comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes till lotus seeds and barley are soften.

5. Add in wolfberries and season with salt to taste according to own preference.

Total cost for this dish is about S$6.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Pork Ribs = S$3.00
~ Fresh Foxnuts = S$1.50
~ Lotus Seeds, Red Dates, Wolfberries, Barley = S$1.50

Making of these dumplings can be hassle free by using the “Gyoza Mold(shown below)” which comes in handy by just placing a gyoza or wonton wrapper on top of the press (mold), add in fillings, close and press tight to form a perfect sealed gyoza or dumpling.


Ingredients: (serves 2, makes 12 dumplings)
125g Broccoli, cut into florets
70g Snow Peas, trimmed
120g Butternut Pumpkin, cut into 1" cubes
Half Medium Size Carrot, cut into 0.5" thick sticks
12 Round Wonton Wrappers
3 - 4 leaves of iceberg lettuce, optional

150g Minced Pork
100g Medium Prawns, shelled, removed vein and cut into chunks
4 Water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon ginger juice
1/2 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cornflour
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
Dash of Ground Pepper
Some Chopped Spring Onion

~ You can replace Wonton Wrapper with Gyoza Wrapper too.

1. Mix all the dumpling ingredients in a bowl, stir till well combine and set aside marinate in the refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Place a piece of dumpling wrapper on the dumpling(gyoza) mold, scoop 1/2 tablespoon of the mince mixture on the wrapper and fold and press the edge of the mold to enclose the fillings. Repeat with the remaining mince mixture.

3. Line two bamboo steamers with iceberg lettuce/baking paper. Divide broccoli, carrot and pumpkin and wrapped dumplings equally into each steamer, drizzle with some sesame/olive oil.

4. Stack the steamers, covered and place it into a big steamer pot or over a pan of simmering water.

5. Steam for 3 minutes on medium high heat, swap the bottom layer of the steamer with the top and continue to steam for another 2 minutes before adding in the snow peas and steam for another 1 minute or till tender.

6. When done, remove from heat. Drizzle evenly with 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce mixture (50ml hot water, 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce and dash of sesame oil) and serve immediately with steamed rice or on it's own.

Total cost for this dish is about S$6.20 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Pork Minced = S$1.00
~ Prawn = S$1.50
~ Wonton Wrapper = S$0.50
~ Broccoli, Pumpkin and Water Chestnut = S$2.00
~ Carrot and Sweet Peas = S$1.20


For those who is interested in trying out some dumpling recipes, do stay tune on the next upcoming post on “3 Ways of Eating Wonton/Dumpling” and plus a chance to WIN a set of this "Gyoza Mold" shown above. Have fun!!!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Chicken With Red Glutinous Rice Wine Lees (Hong Zao Ji - 红槽鸡)

Hong Zao Ji (红槽鸡) is one of the common dishes that most confinement lady would cook for the new mum to consume during the first 30 days after childbirth. Usually Old Ginger, Wine and Black Vinegar are the main ingredients used during confinement period. But nowadays you can easily purchase or cook similar confinement dishes with access of those ingredients.

A few days back, I happen to view on "Noob Cook" site that she had whipped up this lovely Hong Zao Ji dish using her homemade wine lees, which makes me drooling over the luxury gravy. And since I have a bottled of this Red Glutinous Rice Lees in the fridge, I decided to try out her recipe and it turns out wonder.

Ginger is to enhance the fragrance of this dish as well it posses warm and healthy properties which can “expel winds” in the body. Whereas wine is helpful in warming and nourishing the body, which promotes blood circulation.

(Recipe adapted from Noobcook, HERE)
Ingredients: (serves 2)
½ Chicken, chopped to smaller pieces
* 250ml Glutinous Rice Wine (红槽酒)
1½ Tablespoon Red Glutinous Wine Lees (红槽)
4 Slices Ginger, cut to thin strips
2 Slices Ginger
I Packet of Shimeiji Mushroom
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
½ Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
¼ Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
2 Small Cubes Rock Sugar (about 3 - 5g)

1 Tablespoon of Hua Diao Jiu (花雕酒 )
Splash of Sesame Oil
Some Coriander

* I replace Red Glutinous Rice Wine with normal glutinous rice wine since I have some leftover in the fridge.

1. Heat up a wok or claypot with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add ginger strips and fry them until crisp and set aside the ginger strips for garnishing.

2. Using the remaining sesame oil in the wok, add ginger slices, chicken pieces and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked on the surface.

3. Add in glutinous wine, wine less, mushrooms, light and dark soy sauce. Stir well. Cover with lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.

4. Using spatula to flip the chicken pieces over so that they can absorb the sauce evenly.

5. Next add rock sugar for sweetness as well as enhance a beautiful glazed finish. Simmer with lid closed for another 5 - 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

6. Turn off heat, drizzle one tablespoons of Hua Diao Jiu and splash of sesame oil for extra fragrance and taste.

7. Garnish with fried ginger, coriander and serve with steamed white rice.

Chicken With Red Glutinous Rice Wine Lees (Hong Zao Ji - 红槽鸡)

Although there are many different way of methods in preparing this confinement dish but like what "Noob Cook" has shared the key factors still lies on that good quality of wine leer which makes a great different in taste for this dish. But if you can’t get hold these homemade red glutinous wine lees, you can easily purchase those bottled wine lees in any leading supermarkets or Asian grocery stalls. You can take a look at another simple recipe of mine with a photo of the bottled wine lees shown, HERE.