Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hokkien Ngoh Hiang (fried meat roll)

Ngoh hiang is synonymous with Lunar New Year in my household. As far as I know it, my grandmother made it each new year. My mum didn’t make it but someone in the extended family who did would pass some over to us. Now that the older folks have either retired from the kitchen or have gone on to enjoy everlasting life in a much glorious kingdom, I decided I shall attempt to make this perennial favourite this year, from scratch.

I was pretty nervous about it at first. No doubt I knew the steps and main ingredients that are used, but I was wrought with trepidation that it wouldn’t turn out as I remember it. I hate it when I don’t get the taste at least 90% right on the first attempt.

During the few weeks leading to this festive season, each night I would imagine the taste of the ngoh hiang that I know and attempted to “sniff” out the”winning combination” and running through the sequence in my head. Well, guess what, I nailed the recipe on the head on my maiden attempt. Very very pleased with myself. Hubby commented that it tastes like those sold outside 😊.

As a side, whilst making those rolls, I was telling myself, what was I thinking when I decided to make this? It is a lot of work – peal, hchop, marinade, cut, wrap, steam, cool, pack, freeze till ready to eat, thaw and then pan fry before I can slice and savour it!!!!

For this recipe, I used minced lean pork, diced water chestnuts, chopped spring onions, 5 spice powder, corn flour, eggs, salt and bean curd skin for wrapping.

One batch that has been steamed, cooled, packed and ready for freezing.


End product after pan frying. Yumz.



Gong Hey Fatt Choy

The Cantonese greeting for 恭喜发财 (gong xi fa cai). A blessed Lunar New Year to all my Chinese friends and readers.

I have been pretty much out of action the past few weeks trying to settle everyone from young to old into the routine of the new school year, especially since the eldest girl has just crossed a milestone and started primary (grade) school.

How I wished I didn’t have to wake up by 5.30am each morning. Bahumbug.

Anyway, I’m gonna enjoy this new year break. I only made 1 new dish this new year. See my next post.


Butterfly cupcakes

A Blessed New Year to all. I just realised that I haven’t really posted anything in 2014.

These days, life is hectic with all 3 kids at different stages of the education ladder and requiring me to be out of bed before the break of dawn. *yawn*

Just made these sweet little cuppies for my eldest child’s good buddy who just turned 7. It is a vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream. I made the fondant butterflies but bought the ready made sugar paste flowers.

I wasn’t really happy with this batch of vanilla cupcakes. However, all those who ate said that it was good. Maybe it is just me being critical of my own work or those people were being very kind. But I did like the chocolate buttercream though, even though I am not a fan of frosting. I prefer my cakes naked. That is when you can taste the real thing and not have it overshadowed/masked up by frosting.

For those of you who want a simple and fairly fool proof chocolate frosting that goes with almost everything and it can withstand the tropics and humidity, here is the recipe.

Chocolate buttercream

250g unsalted butter (straight from the chiller)
250g icing sugar (chilled beforehand, sifted)
90-120g unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (preferably straight from the fridge too. Amount depends on individual taste. I used around 100g)
Teaspoon of vanilla extract

If you are feeling lazy, just dump everything into a mixing bowl with paddle attachment attached and whisk on low until combined before shifting to medium and eventually on high till all well combined, creamy yet fluffy. This should be enough to frost a 7 inch cake.

The long method (which is what I did) will be to cream the butter till light and fluffy, add the sugar gradually, then add the vanilla extra followed by gradually adding the cocoa powder. The whole process should take no more than 10 minutes.

You can make this ahead. 2-3 days ahead if you are keeping it in the fridge. Be sure to whisk it before use. If you are freezing it, I say it should keep for a month at least.

Play around with the proportion of sugar and cocoa powder till you get a taste you like.


Baking into 2014

Whilst everyone else was counting down to 2014, I was assembling a chequered cake for my BFF’s birthday celebration on New Year’s Day.

Decided on a pandan and vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream frosting. It turned out pretty well but not quite the level I was hoping to achieve. The pandan fragrance didn’t come through strong enough.

I squeezed out the pandan essence from pounding the pandan leaves in a pestle and mortar. I didn’t use any artificial flavour enhancer. Guess this batch of pandanus leaves are less fragrant.

Anyway, this is wishing all of you a Blessed 2014. May The Lord continue to keep you safe and bless you with wave upon wave of grace and abundance.