Sambal Heh Bee (Dried Prawn Sambal)

My memories of 'Sambal Heh Bee' brings me back to the aroma that came from the kitchen. The pungent aroma would fill up the whole house. There was no escape. Not only did I not escape, I went into the kitchen, the source of all evil. I would watch my aunt patiently pound the ingredients with the heavy pestle and mortar until they become a paste. Then when she toss everything in to the hot wok, the smell starts to build up. Westerners might not like the smell at first but I was so used to the smell, I love it! But please don't be put off by that cause it tastes fantastic!!


Now I have an overload of 'Sambal Heh Bee'!! :D




SAMBAL HEH BEE RECIPE


Ingredients:


To blend finely:



  • 300g red onions

  • 1 bulb garlic

  • 4 fresh red chillies (de-seed)

  • 8 dried chillies (de-seed and soak in hot water)

  • 4 stalks lemongrass

  • 6 kaffir lime leaves

  • 2 tsp tumeric powder / thumb size fresh tumeric

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste

  • 2 tbs water





  • 300g dried shrimps (wash and soak in hot water)

  • 4 - 5 tbs oil

  • 4 tbs sugar

  • 1 tsp sea salt




Method:



  1. Coarsely pound the soaked dried shrimps or blend it slightly. Make sure they are not fine to give it texture.

  2. Set the dried shrimp aside.

  3. Blend the onion, garlic, chillies, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind paste and water into a fine paste. This blended paste will be slightly wet because of the 2 tbs of water that was added to make blending easier.

  4. Cook this paste without oil until it dries up. Add a tablespoon of oil and the coarsely pounded dried shrimps into the wok.

  5. Slowly add the oil in as you cook to make sure it does not stick to the wok.

  6. Let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

  7. Add the sugar and salt.

  8. At this stage, the sugar added will caramelise so it will burn easily. Remember to stir.

  9. Let it cook for another 15 minutes or so until it is caramelised and becomes a deeper brownish red.

  10. Serve as is or cook with something else.

  11. There will be plenty left unless you have a big family.

  12. Let it cool before storing in air tight container and refrigerate.


Tips:



  • This can be kept in the freezer. Thaw before use.

  • Sambal heh bee is very versatile. Stir fry with vegetables or sprinkle on top of steamed tofu. It is tastes good when fried with rice.



Sambal Heh Bee




Make a simple omelette by stir frying the 'Sambal Heh Bee' with oil until fragrant. Then add in the eggs and cook till just set and flip. Top with a scoop of 'Sambal Heh Bee'. So simple yet so delicious.


Watermelon & Goats Cheese



Whoever combined watermelon and goats cheese together is a genius!! Who would have thought the two would be match made in heaven. I vaguely remember seeing watermelon and goats cheese somewhere on the web and thought what crazy person would put those two together in their mouth?! I am now one of those crazy person.

To be frank, it was just a coincidence that I made this appetizer. One day after my third Bokwa class on my way to the tube station, I passed by Sainsbury's and thought I will buy some food back. And out of the ordinary, I bought goats cheese for the second time. The first time I had it, I did not like it at all but after so many years, I thought it is about time for me try it again to make sure I really hate it so I will never go near that thing again. Of course I was being quite a coward by getting the milder version, ranked number 2 on its maturity level.

When I got home to stock my refrigerator with food, I saw that quarter of a watermelon and thought this is the perfect time to try the food I never thought tastes good on its own and together. I meant goats cheese and, combination of goats cheese and watermelon. I love watermelon!! I had one bite with the two together and man, they are really meant for each other. I think they are the perfect couple.



I have shared the version I made in the recipe below. Hope you like it too. And if you have not tried this before, open up and try this at least once.

This is such a simple and healthy food.


WATERMELON & GOATS CHEESE RECIPE

  • Watermelon

  • Goats cheese

    • for vegetarians, please use a substitute cheese



  • Alfalfa sprouts

  • Mint


Method:

  1. For the more casual style, cut the watermelon in cubes. De-seed them if needed. Crumble the goats cheese on to the bowl of cubed watermelons. Add some chopped mint and alfalfa sprouts. Mix them all together and eat to your hearts content.

  2. If you are making this for a dinner party or just want to make pretty appetizer, cut the watermelon with a circle food ring so it looks neat round. Top it up with a bunch of alfalfa sprouts stacked neatly on top of the watermelon. Scoop the goats cheese on top and add a few leaves of mint.

Malaysian Snack : Chicken Curry Puff



Curry puff is essentially a dumpling filled with curried potatoes. It is a well-loved local snack in Malaysia. There are many variations; the most typical being curried potatoes or the curried potatoes with chicken. There is also a posher version which is the giant curry puff filled with potatoes, chicken, peas and quartered hard-boiled egg.

I will show you how to make a simple version of the chicken and potato curry puff. We will be using ready rolled puff pastry in this recipe instead of the authentic pastry just so you can satisfy your curry puff craving in an instant.

If you prefer to make an authentic version of curry puff, you will have to make the pastry and deep fry the puff instead of baking. The pastry recipe is available here. The authentic way of making the pastry as images below. It has to be rolled out into a flat sheet with a rolling pin then roll it up into a spiral baton. It is then cut into sections and rolled out flat again but make sure the spiral affect remains so when it is cooked, the spiral layers will expand into a beautiful crispy puff.









CHICKEN CURRY PUFF RECIPE
makes about 20

  • 375g ready rolled puff pastry

  • 325g chicken thigh fillet

  • 1 tbs worcestershire sauce

  • 3 potatoes

  • 1 large onion

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 15 dried curry leaves

  • 3 tbs curry powder

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp cranberry sauce

  • salt & pepper to taste


Method:


  1. Cube the potatoes and boil in salt water until partially soft.

  2. In the meantime, chop the onion, mince the garlic and cube the chicken.

  3. Marinate the chicken with worcestershire sauce and put aside.

  4. Pre heat the over at 180C.

  5. Heat up some oil in a pan. Fry the onions, garlic and curry leaves until fragrant.

  6. Add the curry powder in and mix it up.

  7. Toss the cubed chicken into the pan. Let it cook partially and mix in the potatoes.

  8. Stir and let cook until soft, adding sugar, cranberry sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Once the curried chicken and potato filling is cooked, set aside to cool.

  10. Cut the ready rolled pastry into circles.

  11. Wrap the cooled fillings in the pastry carefully, making sure the ends are tight.

  12. When all the puffs are wrapped, place on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.


Salmon and Mango Salsa Stack

There was a fat juicy mango sitting in the fridge for the past days, waiting to be eaten. I was just going to criss-cross cut each half, push the cubes out by flipping the skin inside out and devour the juicy sweet meaty flesh, cube by cube off the skin when I sit home and relax, not think about anything but chill on a Friday night.





Instead of just simply enjoying my beloved fruit on its own, she was very carefully prepared to be married with smoked salmon. I came across the 'scallop with gingered mango-tomato salsa' post on DorieGreenspan’s blog and thought I could spread this idea over to salmon. When I surfed further, I found Health Burst’s site on Salmon stack and  thought it looks stunning and delicious.  So I made my version of salmon stack and initiate my attempt to carefully stack the ingredients in the food ring. It looks really impressive. And it looks like it came straight out of a restaurant kitchen!

So easy and no cooking involved! Brilliantly simple.

My similar version of Healthy Burst's Salmon stack.


SALMON AND MANGO SALSA STACK RECIPE
adapted from the Healthy Burst
Makes 1 stack

Ingredients:


  • 60g smoked salmon
  • ½ avocado (sliced)

Mango Salsa


  • 1 mango (1cm cube)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • ¼ cucumber (cubed)
  • ¼ red onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ chilli; deseeded (finely chopped)
  • ½ lime
  • Small bunch of mint (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Lime Chilli Mayonnaise


  • ½ lime
  • ¼ chilli
  • 1 tbs japanese mayonnaise

Method:


1.  Prepare the lime chilli mayonnaise first. 
2.  Stir the mayonnaise with juice of half a lime and finely chopped chilli. Put aside for later.
3.  Prepare the mango salsa by mixing the ingredients together. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Place a the cylindrical food ring on the plate you are serving with.
5.  Layer it with the salmon then avocado. Push them down slightly to make sure they are compact.
6.00Top it up with the mango salsa and make sure they are well packed so they keep in shape and will not fall off when the ring is lifted out.
7.  Lift the ring when ready to serve and spoon some of the mayonnaise mix on to the salmon stack.


All ingredients well packed and supported by the ring



Tips:


  • I would try make the mayonnaise with a pinch of chilli powder or curry powder the next time.



You may also like:
 Halloumi Fig & Pomegranate Salad
Halloumi Fig & Pomegranate Salad
 Salmon Ceviche
Salmon Ceviche
 Watermelon & Goat’s Cheese
Watermelon & Goat’s Cheese

Chicken Chop Malaysian style

My phone was flooded with messages of my family discussing about dinner my sister was arranging. She was planning to make chicken chop for a family dinner get together. Obviously, I was kept in the group conversation only because they try to include me in family updates, but that was making me miss home and salivate for home made chicken chop. My sister's chicken chop is pretty awesome! I decided to not feel left out just because I am 7,000 miles away. So I made chicken chop for the weekend too!!

This chicken chop is a Malaysian take on a western style dish. The chicken is usually battered and deep fried but I do not like deep frying food in my kitchen, especially when I know how much oil is involved in the process. Just say that it is not healthy, and not because I do not give a fuss about deep frying. The positive side is that I made a healthier version; pan fried the chicken instead!

My first attempt to chicken chop and it was so delicious!

"I never knew chicken could taste so good!" ~M

CHICKEN CHOP RECIPE

Adapted from Recipe from Malaysia
Serves 2

Ingredients:
Chicken marinade

  • 2 chicken legs (debone)
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Ground white pepper (to taste)

Method:


  1. Marinate the chicken with all ingredients overnight, or about 3 hours.

The cooked chicken on its own, without sauce.

Mashed Potato

  • 2 potatoes
  • 10g butter
  • Boiling water & salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Boil the potatoes in salt water until soft.
  2. Mash the potatoes with the butter until smooth.
  3. Add pepper to taste.
  4. Put aside a cup of the water used for boiling the potatoes for use in the sauce later.

Sauce

  • 1 onion (wedge)
  • ½ carrot (small cubes)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4 tbs potato water (from boiling of potatoes)
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 2 tbs tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 150g canned chopped tomatoes
  • oil

Method:

  1. Place the light soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, tomato sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat some oil on the pan. Stir fry the onion until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add in carrots and garlic and fry until carrots are partly soft.
  4. Pour the mixed sauce and potato water. Let cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
  5. Combine the chopped tomatoes in to the sauce until it boils.
  6. Let the sauce simmer. Taste and make sure no extra seasoning is needed.
  7. Keep the sauce hot until ready to serve.

Assembly Components

  • ¼ cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 carrot (cut into batons and boiled until just cooked)
  • 6 leaves of lettuce gem

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Marinated chicken
  • Cooked sauce

Assembly Method:

  1. Decorate two plates with the sliced cucumber in a fan-like pattern.
  2. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and place on plate with the hollow side upwards so they function like cups.
  3. Heat the pan with oil. Place the chicken thighs or legs on the hot pan and let cook in medium heat undisturbed for about 4 minutes (depending on size of chicken) until brown.
  4. Flip over the uncooked side on to the pan and let them cook. Check whether the chicken is cooked by slicing it open. Make sure it is not over cooked to avoid them being dry. Place the cooked chicken on a plate lined with kitchen towel to drain any access oil.
  5. In the mean time, place the boiled carrot batons in the lettuce leaf cups.
  6. Scoop the mashed potatoes on to the plates.
  7. Stack the chicken on the mashed potatoes or put them on its side.
  8. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the chicken and serve hot.

A juicy slice of chicken

This plate of food finished in a blink of an eye. The plate with almost dried up, the sauce was completely wiped out too!

Piña Colada Cake

Who loves coconut?!! Who loves pineapples?!! And what do they remind you of?

SUMMER!!

Yes, it is summer! We have been waiting for this weather for a very long time. It is finally here, and everyone is enjoying the sun in the park. People are throwing frisbee across your head while you sip on that ice cold beer. Everyone is taking every opportunity to barbecue or go for a picnic, and of course the very important sun tanning. Some workaholics actually sit in the park with their laptops too!! Looks like no one wants to miss out on the sun.

If you are dreaming of being in a tropical country but is stuck here with a moody summer, I bring you my version of piña colada cake. Hopefully this will give you some joy of being in a pretend tropical holiday.

The piña colada cake!!


PINA COLADA CAKE RECIPE

adapted from Craving Chronicles

Coconut Cake
Makes 1 x 9" square cake; Half the square cake to assemble a 9" x 4.5"

Ingredients

  • 160g plain flour

  • 25g corn flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 160g cups caster sugar

  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup canned sweetened cream of coconut

  • 2 large eggs yolks (whites reserved)

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp coconut extract

  • ½ cup buttermilk



  • 2 (reserved) egg whites

  • pinch of salt


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Line and grease your cake tin.

  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

  4. Beat the sugar, butter and coconut cream until fluffy for about 3 minutes.

  5. Add in the egg yolks, vanilla and coconut extract. Beat until combined.

  6. Mix in the dry ingredients then buttermilk until blended. It is okay if it looked curdled.

  7. On a separate clean bowl, whip the reserved egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peaks. Gently fold into cake batter until just combined.

  8. Pour into greased cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes.

  9. When ready, let it cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the sides and invert the cake on a rack to cool completely.


Tips



  • I used  9 inch square cake tin but you can always double it up to make a 2 x 9 inch round/square cake.

  • This cake can me made ahead and frozen.



Left to right: Pineapple compote; Spread the pineapple compote on half of the coconut cake.



Pineapple Compote

adapted from CDKitchen

Ingredients

  • 260g pineapples

  • 3 tbs brown sugar

  • 10g butter

  • 2 tbs pineapple juice

  • Freshly ground black pepper


Methods



  1. Melt the butter and sugar in a small pot on low heat.

  2. Add the pineapples and let it cook in medium heat for about 10 minutes.

  3. Put the pineapple juice and black pepper in to the pot and let it simmer for another 10 minutes or until almost dry.







Mascarpone Cream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 240g mascarpone

  • 150g double cream

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 1 tbs rum (optional)


Methods

  1. Whisk the mascarpone, rum, vanilla extract and coconut cream until creamy. In another bowl, whip the double cream to soft peak.

  2. Fold gently until well combined.



The assembled cake;

Pineapple compote sandwiched between the coconut cake, frosted with mascarpone cream, covered in shredded coconut.




Assembly 

Components




  • 1 x 9 inch square coconut cake cut in half

  • Cooled pineapple compote

  • Mascarpone cream frosting



  • 2 tbs coconut rum (optional)

  • 2 tbs pineapple juice



  • 1 ½ cup shredded coconut





Cake assembly

  1. Set one half the coconut cake on a plate. Poke a few holes into the cake with a toothpick or fork.

  2. Mix the rum and pineapple juice and brush the cake with half of the mixture and allow it to soak in.

  3. Top the cake with pineapple compote.

  4. Layer it with mascarpone cream, just covering the pineapple compote.

  5. Place the coconut cake on top of the pineapple and cream layer.

  6. Brush the cake with the rest of the pineapple rum mixture.

  7. Spread remaining mascarpone cream over the top and and sides of the cake.

  8. Press the shredded coconut lightly on to the top and side of the cake.

  9. Lastly, place the pineapple rings on top of the assembled cake to give it some colour. Make sure the pineapple rings are dry before placing it on the frosted cake.