Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ondeh Ondeh (番薯蛋)

Following the runaway success of The Little Nonya (小娘惹) drama, everything and anything Nonya has become popular with many Singaporeans.

For me, it would have to be the mouth-watering Nonya cuisines. :)

Ondeh Ondeh (番薯蛋)

Ingredients (材料):
50g sweet potatoes (50克 番薯)
200g glutinuous rice flour (200克 糯米粉)
2 pieces gula melaka (两块 椰糖)
2 tsp pandan essence/green colouring (两茶匙 绿色素)
1 bowl water (一碗 清水)
100g grated coconut without skin (100克 去皮椰丝)

Method (做法):
(1) Cook the sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water. Once cooked, mash it.

(2) Melt the gula melaka slightly with your hand temperature and roll into small balls.

(3) Mix the mashed sweet potatoes with flour. Slowly incorporate water and the green colouring till a dough forms.

(4) Roll the dough into balls, flatten it with your palm and add in the gula melaka balls. Shape the dough again into a ball and ensure that the gula melaka does not leak on the outside.

(5) Add the ondeh ondeh balls to a pot of boiling water. Once cooked, the balls will float to the water surface. Drain the balls of water and roll them on a plate with the grated coconut.

- the gula melaka can be a bit sweet so if you do not have such a sweet tooth, you might want to cut down on the sugar

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

These are a few of my favourite things....

My Favourite Things (from Sound of Music)

"Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things"

My favourite milk tea would have to be the Hong Kong style bitter-sweet milk tea:

My favourite breakfast set from Starbucks consist of almond croissant and mocha green tea latte:

These are a few of my favourite things... :)

Brotzeit @ VivoCity

Brotzeit in German language translates to "Bread Time". So if one day, Bread Talk decides to launch it's first European branch in Germany, it could be called "Brot Sprechen".

Recently, I finally mustered enough courage to try the two dishes which I have grown to like so much during my one year training stint in Austria - Wiener Schnitzer and Goulash - at Brotzeit.

Singaporeans are relatively familiar with Wiener Schnitzer which is a well-known Austrian traditional dish consisting of deep fried veal coated with breadcrumbs served with lingonberry jam, potato salad and a slice of lemon. The taste was very similar to those served in Austria but the veal was relatively thin. For me, the magic lies in the combination of lingonberry jam with every mouthful of schnitzer.

Goulash, interestingly, originates from Hungary. It is a stew made from beef, onion, paprika and various spices. Armed with a french loaf, I could easily glup down a big bowl of goulash. Such were my fond memory of this simple dish formerly made by cattle stockmen.

While the beef cubes were tender, the gravy was quite a disappointment. It was too thick and salty so after a few mouthful, I had to wash it down with some plain water. Halfway through, I was already quite full with half my tummy filled with water and there was no way I could finish the entire serving of goulash.

I could imagine myself going back to the restaurant for the ambience and the casual bench-style sitting arrangement. As for the choice of food, it would have to be somewhere else.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy 牛 Year (年初一)

It has always been the tradition in my family to observe strict vegetarian dietary rules before noon on the first day of Chinese New Year. Lunch would be served at around 11am and it would always be the same two vegetable dishes accompanied by Cheng Teng (sweet dessert soup).

In addition to the reunion dinner, we would all be looking forward to this special vegetarian lunch. As of today, we still do not know why our mother never recreates all three dishes on any of the 364 days of the year.

Any of the dishes when presented on any other day alone without the other two simply doesn't taste as nice. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy 牛 Year - Reunion Dinner 2009

I realised something interesting during reunion dinner this year. While we are having increasing family members gathered around the dining table each year, there's ironically lesser varieties spread across the table.

But I'm not complaining as long as my favourite fish haw soup, fishballs, scallops, ngoh hiam and mango sago makes their usual appearances. :)


Japanese Cheesecake - Take 2 & Take 3!

I tried out the recipe for the Japanese Cheesecake as posted in an earlier blog entry and found to my dismay that while it is generally a good idea to use a cake tin with removable base in most instances (it saves the hassle of laying the base with baking paper), it is quite the opposite in this case.

The recipe calls for the placement of the cake tin in a water bath during baking and seemingly, it's quite "fill-in-the-blank" of me to use a cake tin with removable base. So in the end, the base of the cake was wet and I guess I could have baked for a longer period of time as the top of the cake is still quite moist to the touch.

On the second day following the flop attempt, I used a 'normal' rectangular cake tin and baked for a longer period of time, checking the cake with a wooden stick from time to time. This time, it turned out better. :)

Moral of the story: "Cutting corners to save a little effort could end up with disastrous result" or simply put in Singaporean term "It's okay to be smart, but don't ever try to act smart!"