Friday, 6 January 2012

Round Up Dishes For Chinese New Year plus SWANSON CNY Recipe Cards

It's almost 2 weeks to Chinese New Year and having Steamed Boat with family and friends is always something most family would prepared during new year get together session. And sometime we even gets to eat steamed boat everyday during Chinese New Year period when hopping around from house to house visit.

This year I am honor to join in the project on developing FOUR quick and easy Chinese New Year dishes using these all-time family favourite chicken broth from Swanson. On the recipe cards we have Scallop with Wolfberries Soup, Steamed Dan Gui Prawn, Meatballs in Crabmeat Egg Sauce and Braised Sea Cucumber with Abalone And Mushroom.

Currently Swanson Chicken Broth is having promotion pack at some of the supermarkets such as FairPrice where you could purchase the 3 packets(1 litre each) bundle at about S$8.50. Each bundle also comes with a recipe card featuring 2 quick and easy New Year dishes for you to impressive your guests.


Here I would like to share with you this "Meatballs in Crabmeat Egg Sauce" from the FOUR featured dishes in the SWANSON Chicken Broth Chinese New Year recipes card. This is pretty simple to prepare and it is quite similar to the "Braised Lion Head - 红烧狮子头" concept on making meatballs which is cooked in delicious fresh crabmeat sauce.

(serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 15 minutes)

150g Imitation Shark’s Fin
300g Minced Meat
4 Water Chestnuts, chopped
50g Carrot, finely chopped
2 Fresh Mushroom, diced

½ Teaspoon each of Light Soy Sauce, Cooking Wine and Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cornflour
Dash of Ground Pepper

1 Can Swanson Clear Chicken Broth
100g Fresh/Frozen Crab Meat
½ Teaspoon Oyster Sauce and Sesame Oil
1 Egg White
Dash of Ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon Cornflour + ½ Tablespoon Water

1. Season minced meat with marinade together with chopped chestnuts, carrot and mushroom till combined.

2. Using clean hands shaped 1½ tablespoons of minced meat into round balls and coats them with imitation shark’s fins.

3. Arrange on steaming plate, steam over high heat for 10 minutes until cooked. Remove and set aside while preparing the sauce.

4. For crabmeat sauce; bring Swanson Clear Chicken Broth to boil, add in crabmeat, oyster sauce and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Thicken sauce by stirring in cornflour solution, turn off the heat and swirl in lightly beaten egg white.

6. Season sauce with sesame oil and ground pepper, ladle over the meatballs and serve hot.

Below are some of the collections of my Chinese New Year round-up over the past years. Hope these could give you some inspiration while preparing the coming new year menu.


Stir-Fry 7 Assorted Veggies

Braised Mushroom With Sea Cucumber

Pan-fried White Spotted Rabbitfish With Leeks

Braised Chicken Wing With Arrowhead and Mushroom

Steam Salmon Fillet With Herbs

Steam Osmanthus Cod Fish


Lotus Seeds, Longan And Persimmon Sweet Soup

Sweet And Savory Nian Gao

Orr Nee With Gingko Nut And Pumpkin

Lotus Seeds Soup - 莲子羹

Glutinous Red Date With Osmanthus Syrup


Pineapple Tarts

Peanut Cookies - 花生酥

Deep-Fried Arrowhead Chips

Till then have fun trying out these recipes and I hope I could be in time to share with you more new recipes on Chinese New Year theme soon.

Pineapple Cakes from SunnyHills, Taiwan

Other than Bak Kwa(BBQ Pork), the next popular item on Chinese New Year goodies list I am sure would be the "well-known" pineapple tarts/pineapple cakes/pineapple rolls that either top or wrapped with generous amount of golden pineapple jam.

On Tuesday afternoon while we were busying with the spring clean at home I received some complimentary Pineapple Cakes from "SunnyHills(微热山丘) which is air-flown from Taiwan. Same as last year (read more) the SunnyHills distributor Mr Damian is kind to send us some samples to try out their products so that we could justify whether the products is still up to our expectation as compared to last year.

These pineapple cakes are made from fresh ingredients that do not contain any preservatives or colourings. From the photos you could see that each brick-shaped pineapple cake is individually packed and sealed to maintain it's freshness till the expiry date.

For ingredients wise it is made with premium New Zealand butter, Japanese gourmet flour and the healthiest plump yolked eggs sourced from their local farm in Taiwan. And these pineapple fillings are so natural that the cakes carry the flavour of the seasons with mellow sweetness in the spring harvest and zestier tang in fall.

As you can see from the above being inspired by the Year of the Dragon, the collection also features artwork depicting the auspicious Chinese dragon in the full glory of the Dragon Dance which believes to bring good luck. This traditional dragon dance artwork can be found on each bag and box label features all four of SunnyHills founders wishing all their customers "Wang Lai(Prosperity Arrives) for the year of the Dragon".

To make gifting even more personalized, SunnyHills' Festive Sets are available in option of:-

~ Box of 10 @ S$25.00 nett
~ Box of 15 @ S$37.50 nett
~ Box of 20 @ S$50.00 nett

* Orders above S$200.00 are entitled to a 10% discount. For more information, please refer to their ordering website HERE.

If you are working or shopping around City Hall area, perhaps you would like to drop by their outlet at Raffles Hotel to personally try out some samples of their pineapple cakes as well as get to know more about their products too.

SunnyHills 微热山丘
Raffles Hotel Arcade
#03-05 325
North Bridge Road
Singapore 188719
Ordering Hotline: 8522 9605

Operating Hours:
Sunday And Monday: 11.00am - 6.00pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 11.00am - 8.00pm

Thursday, 5 January 2012

NOYA Traditional Chinese New Year Cookies

Every year about a moth before Chinese New Year you would be able to see a lot of these so-called Chinese New Year cookies at bakeries, supermarkets and etc. This year we are delighted to receive some early New Year goodies from NOYA (Tai Sun (Lim Kee) Food Industries) which we could try out some of their products that are on sales at major local supermarkets such as Cold Storage, FairPrice, Giant and etc. 

Traditional Pineapple Tarts (380g | S$10.80/jar) with good balance of base and golden pineapple jam on top. We love the taste of the pineapple jam which is not too sweet and without those commercial artificial taste.

Rolled Pineapple Tarts (380g | S$10.80/jar) with good proportion of pastry to fillings and each is coated with golden glazed layer to enhance the buttery taste of the tarts. If to make a choice between the two types of Pineapple Tarts, my vote would goes to the one with pineapple jam on top of the pastry as I felt it taste much better compared to the rolled type.

Personally I love those round Almond cookies from Hong Kong or certain pastry shop whereby the cookie will melt in your mouth when eaten. But this Almond Delights (300g, | S$10.80/jar) from NOYA was rather special with a after taste of sweet and salty mixture that makes you crave for more. And for your information this is also one of NOYA bestselling signature cookies which made from Tai Sun's premium USA Almond.

This Macadamia Delights (300g | S$11.80/jar) has a slight crunch on the outside and a lovely creamy texture inside which made from top-quality of macadamias nuts from Australia. Furthermore the few of us who had tried all comes to a conclusion that this cookie has a very special taste which is quite similar to Horlicks .

The Kueh Bangkek (250g | S$6.50/jar) on the other hand was rather a bit disappointed for my taste as I was expecting something more fragrance with those melt-in-mouth texture. Although it has a light pandan fragrant but I think the taste could be better in order to bring out that traditional taste.

Traditional Jade Delights (300g | S$8.90/jar)  are actually green peas cookies in pale green colour which resembles Jade. I love the nutty and buttery flavour which comes with hint of salty taste lingering in your mouth.

Ah-Ma Love Letters (400g | S$11.80/tin) comes in those old school tin can and each piece of the Love Letters are made with traditional recipe using cane sugar. Although they are light and flake but to us we think it still lack of some coconut fragrance.

Lastly I would like to thank Esther from Tai Sun who sent us these lovely NOYA traditional Chinese New Year Cookies.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Joining the Happy Call craze - Bak Kwa, Stir-fry Choy Sum and Grilled Teriyaki Saba

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Bracing into a brand new Year, a good head start with healthy cooking and diet would be my aim for this 2012. As age is catching up we have to be more careful with the food we eat and the way it is prepared. So since two months back I have being trying to in cooperate more steamed and baked dishes such as at least two steamed fish per week and daily stir-fry/blanched green vegetables.

We also tried to cut down or replace fatty meat and high carbo stuffs to perhaps once a week or every two weeks. Sometime I think working in the kitchen is rather more difficult and hectic than working in the office. As we have to plan the daily menu, grab fresh ingredients and at the same time monitor the in take of food in order to create a healthy life-style which I think is not an easy job. In this post, I would love to share with you a new pan and a facebook group which I have discovered recently and I hope it might add some good tips to your kitchen pantry and meal planning too.

Actually I got to know Happy Call pressure pan(HPC) quite long ago through my mum as she is using it for cooking since 2 years back.  And since I have my own loyal brand of non-stick pan I didn't bother to find out more about Happy Call pan from mum and I also seldom use it in my daily cooking. It's only until recently that I bump into a Happy Call group(known as Munch Ministry) in facebook where the members use it to cook up a lot of delicious and effortless dishes then I realise the magic of this pan.

I have two sizes of Happy Call pressure pan - which are the Normal pan and Deep Ocher Pan both can be used for cooking, baking and steaming. Below are 3 quick and easy recipes using HCP which I hope you would find it useful if you do own a HCP too. (for your information this is not a advertorial post, it is only base on my personal view and sharing)


Chinese New Year is barley about 3 weeks around the corner and everyone is busying with spring cleaning, storing up groceries and etc. Recently at the Happy Call facebook group where most of its members are using Happy Call pressure pan to make interesting snacks and pastries. And since Chinese New Year is approaching everyone is joining the craze to make Bak Kwa - BBQ Pork

Recipe adapted from Munch Ministry website, HERE.
(Make: 5 pieces | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 15 - 20 minutes)

250g Minced Pork Meat
1 Tablespoon Maltose
1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Cooking/Rose Wine
1 Teaspoon Red Glutinous Rice Lees
1/4 Teaspoon Five Spice Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar


1. Marinate the minced pork with the rest of the ingredients for about 30 minutes or more in the refrigerate.

2. Cut the baking paper according to the size of your Happy Call pan, set aside.

3. Spoon about 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of meat mixture on prepared baking paper, spread out thinly according to your preference. (refer to the photos above)

4. Preheat Happy Call pan (without oil) for 1 minute, place a sheet of the meat spread on the pan. Once the base is cooked, flip the meat over and slowly remove the baking paper.

5. On low heat continue to pan fry each side until cooked and a bit charred. Remove and repeat on another sheet of meat spread. (you can wipe the pan with paper kitchen towel in between to remove any burnt residue or stain )

Although ours is not as nicely done as compared to those commercial ones outside but this is indeed our 1st time making Bak Kwa at home and it is definitely something interesting.  At least we know what kind of ingredients is being used and we can to control the amount of sweetness and taste accordingly to our preference too. For more information and video on how to make Bak Kwa you can refer to the website at HERE.


Using Happy Call pressure pan to stir-fry vegetables retain it's natural green and crunchy texture which our family loves.  And moreover the quick cooking due to the heat pressure enable food to cook faster and less hassle due to oil splashing and etc during cooking.

(serves: 4 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)

1 Bunch of Baby Choy Sum, cut into sections
3 Fresh shiitakeMushroom, thickly sliced
3 Slices of Ginger
2 Clove of Garlics
1 Teaspoon of Oil
1 Teaspoon Knorr Hao Chi All-in-1 Seasoning 1 Teaspoon Cooking Wine

1. Soak and rinse the vegetables at last twice before draining it well and set aside.

2. Preheat Happy Call pan for about 2 minutes, saute ginger, garlic cloves and mushroom with some oil for about 1 minute(pan closed and locked).

3. Open the pan, give the wilted mushroom a quick stir, evenly spread the drained vegetable on top. Cover the pan, locked and cook for 20 seconds before flipping the pan and cook another 20 seconds.(flipping the pan enables the dish to be evenly cooked)

4. Flip the pan over, open(red seal facing upwards) and drizzle some cooking wine and seasonings over the vegetables, give a quick stir and remove from pan.

5. To serve, top it with some fried shallot to enhance the flavour.


Finally at the 1st day 2012, I managed to spot fresh Saba fish at one of seafood stalls in my wet market. So without hesitate, I bought medium one to try out our favourite grilled Teriyaki Saba. Even though we love fish especially those pan-fried or grilled over stove but the stinky fishy smells always put me off cooking it until I discover this Happy Call pressure pan.

(serves: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 8 - 10 minutes)

1 Medium Size Saba Fish, halves
Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoon Homemade/Bottled Teriyaki Sauce

1. Rinse and pat dry the fish with kitchen paper towel. Lightly marinate it with some salt and pepper, set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Preheat Happy Call pan for 2 minutes on low heat. put in the fish as shown above. Cover, locked and cook for 3 minutes before flipping over and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes. (I cook on medium heat for the last 1 minute to get that golden brown and crispy skin)

3. Lastly flip the pan over open, evenly drizzle the teriyaki sauce over the fish and let it cook for 10 second on low heat.

4. Remove and serve with either rice or noodle.

As you can see from the photo above, Happy Call pressure pan can cooks meat and fish perfect leaving it with a moist and tender texture. This fish is cook for around 8 minutes and we love its juicy and soft texture which compared some dry ones sold in certain Japanese restaurants or food center. And moreover the most importantly fact is it reduce that stinky fishy smell when frying fish and as well minimize the greasy area around the stove.

For the next Happy Call post, I would try making some cakes/pastries which I hope I would be able to share my experience with you too.