Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jade: Bitemycrullers

I love "you tiaw". It's one of the things I look forward to before going home...Piping hot, crunchy chinese crullers...Savoured as is....dipped in congee..dunked in bak kut teh..spread with peanut butter...or better yet, soaked in 'lek dao suan'...I could go on..It's probably one the few things that can get me out of bed at 6 in the morning..a trip to the market with my mum, carrying bags of fresh produce...barely registering where I am...all so I can be rewarded with some freshly made crullers, complete with the comforting oily scent of anything deep fried.

You Tiaw~ I was shown how to do this by an auntie I met right in the middle of finals. She used only SR flour and water...I thought I'd be clever and use beer...mine look like anorexic crullers:( cést la vié. Beggars can't be choosers.

1 cup SR flour
water/ beer~ enough to yield a soft dough. I thought beer would give it a nice yeasty flavour and extra lift
Pinch of baking powder and bicarb
Salt, you tiaw isnt you tiaw if it isnt salty

1. Sift all the dry ingredients.well...all 3 of them..make a well in the centre, add liquid of choice
2. Mix gently until it comes together to form a soft dough
3. Cover and rest for about an hour
4. Heat up some oil..I used a small saucepan because it meant less oil..maybe that's why my crullers didn't puff up as much
5. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, divide into little sticks. Stack 2 pieces together and press down lengthwise down the centre with a chopstick
6. Stretch the dough pieces, drop them in the oil and fry over medium heat till golden brown and hopefully puffy
7. Leave to drain on a rack and enjoy with some steaming hot congee:)

Jade: Bitemyscallions

You know one of those things you see in nearly every restaurant you go to, every blog you read..but you just never quite get around to trying. That's how scallion pancakes were like for me. Something more exciting always caught my eye....and I'm only sorry for how long it took me to get acquainted with this flaky, fragrant pancake. I was watching some food show and the hosts had gone to a rural part of China to have the famous 'lao bing' reminded me of scallion pancakes and that technique of slowly stretching soft dough until it was paper sheer you could see the woodgrains of the table holding it..well..I couldn't resist.

Cong You Bing~ adapted from Almost Bourdain

250 g all-purpose flour
salt~ I like my salt, but feel free to season to taste
110 ml warm water
1 bunch spring onions, bruised and chopped
Scallion/ shallot oil or lard~ I used shallot oil but I imagine lard would be amazing for flavour and extra flakiness

1. Make a well in the flour, add warm water slowly and mix slowly until you get a soft dough
2. Cover in cling film and let it rest for about half an hour
3. Cut the dough in 2. Take one portion and roll it out. I did what I learnt from the show~lift the edges of the dough and gently stretch it out..this probably warrants a step-by-step pictorial guide or a video of some sort but I can't even bring myself to get up and put on a jumper. So yes, coax the dough gently until it is paper thin..I was well chuffed when I could see the marbling on my counter top through the dough.
4. Brush generously with oil/lard and sprinkle on the spring onions
5. Then starting from the edge closest to you, roll it up, sealing the 2 ends.
6. Now roll it up again into a snail, flatten slightly and roll it out
7. Heat up some oil in a pan, brush both sides of your pancake with lard/shallot oil
8. Pan fry till crispy...cut into fat wedges that make the most satisfying crunch..serve hot:)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Testing 1 2 3. I don't want Jade to murder me for not posting enough. Hence this trial, so I can post on the go! (^_^)v
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device via Vodafone-Celcom Mobile.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jade: Bitemychickenwings

I have a friend who doesn't eat boned chicken..which pretty much means no dark juicy chicken tender drumsticks..and no chicken wings. Honestly, I think that is no way to live..I went through a phase where I had nothing but ready prepared chicken wings from retrospect it tasted pretty awful...thank god the whole thing only lasted about 2 weeks..My point is...chicken wings have got to be the most addictive parts of a chicken...that, and maybe chicken necks..Deep fried, baked, grilled,'s one of those things that is near impossible to ruin, no matter how crap a cook you are. Having said that, perfectly cooked wings are hard to come by...I'm just lucky to have grown up on the perfect wings~my mum makes the most amazing crispy wings that she marinades in honey, soy and chinese wine...So you'll understand when I say I think the oft under appreciated chicken wings deserve to be a food group on their own.

Coca-cola chicken wings~ Like my old flatemate from china used to make

1 pack chicken wings, cleaned and separated into drummets and wings
4-5 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic
Splash of shaoxing wine
Dark soy
Light soy to taste
250ml Coke ~no Diet please
Little bit of brown sugar and a little dribble of balsamic vinegar for more body
Dried chili [optional ~ but that bit of heat balances out the sticky sweetness really well]

1. Brown the chicken wings and set aside
2. In the chicken fat, fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant
3. Add shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan
4. Add chicken wings, give a quick stir, add soy sauces and coke
5. Bring to a gentle boil, pop the lid on and let it simmer for about half an hour
6. Add the sugar, vinegar and dried chili, and taste to adjust seasoning and let the sauce reduce for a further 10-15 minutes.. really depends how much gravy you want
7. Perfect with a big bowl of sticky sushi rice. Save your leftovers, if there are any...because these wings and all that thick gravy is divine with scallion pancakes...almost a more peasanty take on peking duck;)

Jade: Bitemyberries

I read a lot of food blogs..and I mean a lot. You'd expect..or in my poor dad's case hope to find at least some clever journals or revision sites on my list of bookmarked sites..but the last time I had a look there was one page I'd saved on heart murmurs about 4 years ago...Food related sites, that's a completely different story...there are about 6 pages on how to make bakwa...10 on ayam pongteh in my quest to find the most authentic version...and I'm not even going to bother keeping track of the memory space dedicated to cupcakes and cookies...I think the most interesting bit about all this, besides the odd 'why didn't I think of that' moments~coke float cupcakes anyone? observing the trends floating around. First there were cupcakes..then some point I think everyone was making artisan loaves....and then came the fruit pastry cake. Beautifully arranged fruit glistening like little edible jewels enveloped in tender crumbs of cake..I don't normally follow trends..but this time,I just had to make an exception..

Fruit pastry cupcakes~

100g salted
100g castor sugar-I used vanilla sugar
50g yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
210g SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
Fruit~ I used canned peaches and fresh strawberries because that's what I had

1. Preheat oven to 180'C.
2. Wash fruit and dry thoroughly
3. Add the zest to the sugar and rub to release the oils
4. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, then add eggs slowly
5. Add vanilla and salt, give it a quick mix and add yoghurt
6. Now either fold in the flour or beat on low speed..I wouldn't overdo the beating
7. Scoop the batter into paper cup
8. Cut your fruit into desired size, and go crazy with the arrangement, just don't press them into the batter or they'll just disappear when your cake rises
9. Bake for about 15 minutes, cover with tin foil to prevent over-browning and bake for another 10-15 minutes
10. Let cool and marvel at the sheer artistry of these little cakes. You could dust them with icing sugar..I was lazy

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jade: Bitemyweekend

Green tea latte, cheese baked kimchi fried rice with chicken katsu, Nigella's new book and thick pyjamas = the perfect weekend

Green tea latte
1 green tea bag~matcha powder would be so much better but beggars can't be choosers
Less than half a mug of water just off the boil
Half a mug of milk
Sugar to taste
Your favourite mug

1. Steep the teabag in hot water to get very very strong green tea
2. Heat the milk in a pan, whisking until it gets beautifully frothy
3. Add to your tea and stir in some sugar to taste

Jade: Bitemystew

I swear the film companies that make korean dramas all own secret ramyun factories. I mean, they must. I've yet to watch a korean drama that doesn't involve at least one steaming bowl of kimchi ramyun per episode...and at 11 at night, Didn't help that I woke up to a taiwanese food show that just had to be about korean food...and yes, they had a large wok filled to the brim with vegetables, tofu, ham, frankfurters, korean rice cakes and cheese....It took all the self control I had to sit and finish the show..granted there really isn't much of it to begin with...before I headed straight to my kitchen and had a quick fumble around. I had everything that was needed......hello korean army base stew for dinner.

Korean army base stew~ so much better than your standard packet of kimchi ramyun..If you do do give this a go, please don't leave out the all but melts into oblivion and it does serve to temper the almost acrid heat from the pepper paste

2 sausages, diced and browned
1 clove garlic, minced
1 spring onion, minced
leafy greens of your choice, roughly torn
oyster mushrooms
1 tbsp kimchi, chopped
1tbsp gochujang
1-2 slices cheese [ I used cheddar']
soy to taste
1 piece ramyun

1. Chunk everything but the ramyun in a pot, pour in a bowl of water or more if you'd like more soup, pop the lid on, and bring to the boil
2. Give it a quick stir, splash of soy to taste, and let it simmer for a few minutes
3. Add the ramyun and boil till the noodles soften
4. Top with a bit more cheese and slurp as noisily as you can :)

Jade: Bitemycongee#3

I have come to really appreciate the beauty of smooth, velvety congee......the contrast of creamy grains and crunchy yao char kuai, the robust flavour of good quality stock lifted by the subtle fragrance of jasmine rice...and with winter just around the corner, I forsee many many pots of congee bubbling merrily away on my stove. The secret to thick, lush congee that all but glides down the throat, I think, lies in the choice of rice. I've experimented with quite a few being the anal retentive person that I am..and for me, a mixture of sushi rice and glutinous rice with a ratio of 1:1 is perfect. Add a spoonful of shallot oil to marinade the rice with overnight and you're on your way to congee heaven.

Sweetcorn congee~ my new favourite thing to eat. If you love congee, you must try this....the perfect combination of savoury and that lovely golden sweetness you can only get from corn.

50g sushi rice
50g glutinous rice
1 tbsp shallot oil

2 pork ribs
1 small can sweetcorn
small handful goji berries
few dried scallops~mine are baby scallops so i used about 6 or 7
salt to taste

1. Wash rice grains until water turns clear and drain
2. Marinate with shallot oil and leave overnight
3. Blanche the ribs in boiling water, and drain
4. Put the ribs back in the now empty pot, add cold water and your can of corn. [ I don't actually measure out the water, I just generally fill it to about the level of the handle if that makes sense]
5. Add goji berries and scallops and bring to a gentle boil. I used a double boiler which is an absolute godsend when it comes to soups and congees. If you don't have one, keep an eye on the heat, and use a heat diffuser.
6. Now chuck in the rice and give it a good stir. If you're using a normal pot over direct heat, stick around and give it constant stirs to break up the grains and make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
7. I left mine to simmer gently for 2-3 hours only because I had a certain consistency in mind
8. Season to taste, garnish with fried shallots and tuck into a hot little bowl of bliss. Trust me when I say you don't need any other accompaniments... :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jade: Bitemypoundcake

Salted caramel pound cake. Because I'm on a self imposed shopping ban.......and I got really really really bored. Let me know if you want the recipe.

Jade: Bitemynaan

Fluffy homemade naan and creamy chicken curry. So easy..yet so satisfying. On a completely unrelated note, my patient told me I look I stuck in a large bore cannula instead of a bitty blue one....the things we do to get through the day....

Naan~adapted from here

1 satchet dry yeast, about 7g
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2.5-3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk [ 1/3cup milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar, left to curdle]
1 egg

1. Mix warm water and sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Make sure the water isnt too hot, else it'll kill the yeast. Leave the mix in a warm place until it foams, the oven is a good place as long as it's switched off please
2. Whisk the oil, milk and egg and set aside
3. Start off with about 2 cups of flour. Make a well in the centre of the flour and salt, add in the now bubble yeast mixture, give a few quick stirs, and add the egg mix
4. Once you get a clumpy, sticky dough, turn onto a well floured counter and knead, adding flour as you go along. You want a soft, smooth dough that doesn't stick to your hands
5. Pat into a ball and leave to rise in a lightly greased bowl for about 45 minutes. Again, oven is a good place.
6. Once it's doubled in volume, flatten slightly and divide into 8 balls
7. Heat up a non stick frying pan, you could grease it lightly if you'd like, I didn't bother. Roll out the bread dough, don't do it all in one go, best to roll one out and cook it straightaway.
8. Cook the bread on medium heat till it bubbles on top, flip over and cook for a while longer...generally takes a few minutes
9. Serve as is or brush with some garlic oil and sprinkle with chopped coriander...I'm thinking cumin seeds and crushed curry leaves for my next batch:)

Jade: Bitemypolenta

I love my carbs. I think there is very little in this world that is more comforting than a big bowl of steaming hot kimchi noodles...or a generous hunk of freshly baked bread. I don't, however, like potatoes...I know...I have my fish and chips without the chips..if I had my way I'd have it without the fish too..deep fried batter and tartar'd much rather have my sunday roast with steamed vegetables...and don't get me started on mashed potatoes...I wish I knew's actually quite inconvenient to have to nibble the crispy bits off big fat chips and leave the rest of it in a pile..

Polenta chips~ the answer to my tuberphobia...not sure how much healthier it is though, considering the amount of cheese that went into it..but I suppose if you really want healthy, you could always opt for a carrot stick instead. Adapted from NQN

1 cup full cream milk
1 cup stock
3/4 cup polenta
1/4 cup finely grated cheddar
salt to taste
some paprika for a little kick
oil to grease the pan with

1. Grease an 8x8 baking tin
2. Heat milk, stock and stock until it just starts to bubble
3. Grab a whisk and start whisking as you pour in the polenta slowly
4. Keep stirring until cooked, mine took about 5's not a science..they tell you what to do on the packaging
5. You'll know when it's end up with quite a stiff super thick cake batter
6. Stir in the cheese
7. Scoop it into your greased tin and level it out with a spatula
8. Stick it in the fridge to set....should take a few hours
9. When it's ready, cut into thick chips and either shallow fry it till golden brown and crispy or bake in a 220 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
10. Serve with a juicy burger and lots of dip :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jade: Bitemycheesecake

It's no fun to cook for one. It's even less fun to bake for one...especially when I don't have a sweet tooth. But you know those days when you're dying for some cheesecake....yet baking an entire cheesecake just seems excessive...and buying a sub-par slice from Tesco's is hardly worth the you go to bed feeling unfulfilled, wake up cranky the next morning, and spend the day secretly wanting to suspend analgesia for over dramatic patients...I'm a firm believer in not going to bed angry..enter mini cake tins, about the size of half a coffee mug, perfect for midnight cravings and those odd moments of self indulgence.

Mini lime and coconut cheesecake~ Because I had 1 lime, 1 carton of expiring cream cheese and a tubful of coconut cookies that never made it to the Tuesday MDT.

6 coconut cookies- the kind that's made of tightly packed toasted coconut and sugar
2 digestives [ you don't have to use coconut cookies, either use more digestives or add some toasted coconut]
2-3 tbsp melted butter, salted please

Abt 70-80g cream cheese
100 ml double cream
2 heaped tbsp sugar
Zest of 1-2 limes
juice of 1 lime
pinch of gelatine powder/ agar powder

1. Crush the biscuits till fine, add melted butter and mix until it looks like wet sand
2. Press firmly into a greased mini cake tin and pop in the fridge to set. I left mine overnight
3. For the cheese topping, rub the zest into the sugar to release all that gorgeous citrusy oil
4. Whisk sugar and cream into soft peaks
5. Zap lime juice and gelatine powder in the microwave for about 10 seconds
6. Add that to the cream cheese and mix till the cheese is softened. Don't overdo it or the whole thing will just turn to liquid
7. Fold the cream into the cheese mix, pour over your biscuit base and chill to set..again, couple of hours should do it, but I left it overnight
8. Makes one palm sized cheesecake packed with tropical flavour......that still took me about a week to deliciously tangy bite at a time

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jade: Bitemypasta #2

With weekdays spent on wards and moving to a new hospital every few weeks, I used to think weekends were pretty precious commodity in uni. But if anyone had told me how much rarer they were going to be once I started working..I would've made a conscious effort to cram every single Saturday and Sunday with all the books I wanted to read, backlogs of fashion magazines, leisurely pedicures and massive dinner parties....that, or I would've just quit med school all together. Nobody messes with my pyjama-time.

Sausage and asparagus pasta~ because my mum decided she didn't like the sausages she bought and left them in my freezer. Thanks, ma

2 pork sausages~preferably non-mushy ones...not like the ones my mum left
2 cloves garlic
5-6 stalks of asparagus
double cream
1/2-1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

100g penne

freshly cracked black pepper
torn up basil

1. Boil some water and cook the pasta
2. Chop the sausages into bite sized pieces and pan fry till you get crispy little nuggets
3. Add the garlic and asparagus and sauteed on low heat till tender
4. Add double cream and mustard
5. Season to taste, toss in the cooked pasta and coat with the silky cream
6. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and some torn up basil. Sheer comfort food..the perfect ending to a lazy weekend...the kind where you do nothing but laze around in a soft kimono and red lipstick:)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jade: For Phoebe

For you, Phoe. Jie hopes wherever you are, you can see all the pretty things around you again...and may there be lots of peanut butter. I miss you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jade: Bitemybakwa

It's the end of the day, everyone's huddled around the ward computer, going through papers for journal club.
Registrar: Here's one. Sex as a prognostic predictor for stroke recovery
Jade: *snicker*...*starts going on about how she saw a pamphlet on sex after stroke and suggests bringing one in as a prop for the presentation.*..*giggles like a mad woman*
Dr. P: Jade....they mean gender..
Jade: *locks herself in the stationery room and prays everyone forgets she's there*

In my defence, it's probably because I usually have more important things to think about. Like how gorgeous Pierre Hermes salted caramel macaroons are...or if Selfridges will still be open by the time I finish my oncall this weekend...or how to make my own Bakwa because frankly, at about RM 40 for half a kilo of roast pork, Bee Cheng Hiang is a bloody rip off.

Bakwa~ adapted from Taste of Time. Perfect for Chinese New Year..think fire crackers, loud chinese music and smoky sweet roast pork...

250g streaky bacon
1 tbsp fish sauce [ I like my bakwa sweet so I would actually do less than a tbsp]
Pinch of 5 spice just because I don't like 5 spice all that much
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
30ml maple syrup
25ml golden syrup

1. Run the bacon slices under the tap, lay them on some kitchen towels and pat dry

2. Pour over the marinade and mix it all up with your hands
3. Separate the bacon slices and arrange them in a container, pour in the rest of the marinade and pop it in the fridge for about 2 days
4. When you're ready to roast the bacon, preheat the oven to 220 degrees, line a baking tray with foil [ else it will be a pain in the arse to clean], and lay on your bacon strips
5. Brush the strips with the remaining marinade and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. I say 15 if you prefer more gooey, charred bits
6. Once they're done, leave them on a cooling rack for a while....although if I were you, I'd have at least 1 strip of glistening, meltingly tender bakwa fresh out of the oven...and in the time it takes for the rest to cool, I'd pop down to the shops to get summore bacon to make a second lot;)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jade: Bitemycurrypuff

Because after 5 years..I've only just realized my camera has a sepia mode....Recipe to follow..perhaps when I'm feeling less sheepish..

Jade: Bitemykuaytiaw

Of all the noodles, kuay tiaw is probably my least favourite...i think it's a textural thing. Yet whenever I'm away from home, char kuay tiaw is the one dish I never fail to crave for. And it makes sense if you think about's one of those dishes that appears in most coffeeshops, each trying to make their mark by dishing up their own take on these incredibly versatile rice noodles. In my hometown alone, there is a stall that does gorgeously smoky sambal fried kuay tiaw, another that has perfected the dry version of tomato kuay tiaw... one of my family's favourite restaurants does a pretty impressive plate of 'gon chau ngau hor' [beef kuay tiaw]..and I'm still wondering what happened to this one stall that did the most amazing kuay tiaw mee with char savoury..yet balanced with just the right amount of sweetness..oh and that wok hei...mmm..

Char Kuay Tiaw~ because that last packet of kuay tiaw in Chinatown was just begging to be taken home. Nevermind the fact that I'd never cooked kuay tiaw before..

Half a packet kuay tiaw/hor fun
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, smashed and minced
1 stalk spring onions sliced thinly

Some lap cheong, sliced thinly [ this is optional, but it does give a really subtle sweetness]
Fishballs, sliced
Chinese leaves, julienned

1 large tbsp spice paste [ see curry laksa~ I had quite a lot leftover, and it's such a beautiful addition to this dish]
Kicap manis
Fish sauce to taste

1 egg

1. To prep the kuay tiaw, I like to peel them apart to make sure there're no clumps or thick pasty strands. Also handy to put some water on to boil.
2. Heat up some oil, chuck in the garlic, shallots, spring onions and lap cheong
3. Add the spice paste and some boiling water to loosen everything up
4. While that's bubbling gently, put your noodles in a colander, pour boiling water over it, drain and add to your pan/wok. The only reason I did it is because the noodles I got were quite brittle and I could just see them falling to pieces if I didn't soften them up somehow.
5. Turn the heat all the way up, stir quickly to make sure the noodles don't clump.
6. Add the vege and fishballs, giving the pan a good shake every now and then
7. Generous splash of kicap manis...or 3..and fish sauce to taste
8. When everything is nicely coated, make a little well in the middle, crack in an egg, break the yolk with your spatula, let it set ever so slightly, and give everything a quick toss. The residual heat from the noodles will cook the eggs to creamy perfection.
9. Plate, drizzle some chilli sauce over it..and tuck in while it's piping hot.....

The only things missing are some plump, briny cockles and a bottle of ice cold Tsing Tao...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jade: Bitemycurrylaksa

It's a cute little place, Basingstoke...horrendously boring...but there's a Zara in town..and it's about 45 minutes to it could be worse. What properly pains me is how difficult it is to find the most basic ingredients...I used to be able to walk into any store in Southampton and come out with bagfuls of lemongrass, galanghal and nissin noodles...and on a good day, half a pound of okra and a sizeable daikon. I went into 3 supermarkets here the other day looking for lemongrass... one of the shop assistants asked me to spell it for him. Made me seriously reconsider working here for another year. ...And no, I wasn't being difficult...I wanted to make curry laksa now that Supreme is no longer an option...and laksa paste without lemongrass is like nasi lemak without utter waste of time.

Curry Laksa~ adapted from Rasa Malaysia...with minced lemongrass that came in a jar. I'd be semi disgusted if the end result wasn't quite so good. But just in case, I made a trip to Southampton today and bought 6 ginormous stalks of lemongrass.

* I didn't make the chili paste because I was lazy and my guest was hungry. But I imagine it would've lent the soup more depth and a much prettier colour


1 heaped tbsp belacan
2 large shallots [ I used the long, brown ones you get in supermarkets here]
Half a bulb of garlic
2 tbsp lemongrass paste
2 tsp dried chili flakes

1 tsp thai dried chili shrimp paste

4 tbsp coriander powder
Small handful chopped fresh coriander and basil
5 tbsp oil


3 cups chicken stock
100 ml coconut milk
Brown sugar and fish sauce to taste

Spritz of lime for some much needed acidity~ I didn't have any lime so I drizzled in some balsamic vinegar. I thought it tied everything together beautifully


Egg noodles
Bee hoon

Mixed seafood

Chopped spring onions to garnish

1. Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste until very fine

2. Heat up some oil and fry the paste till the oil separates from the solids

3. I only used half the paste since there was only 2 of us. In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to boil, add the spice paste

4. Lower the heat and bring the soup to a gentle simmer, stir in the coconut milk

5. Season to taste

6. Blanch the seafood, noodles and taugeh

7. Arrange in a bowl, ladle the rich coconut broth over the noodles, garnish with seafood and spring onions, and possible a dollop of chili paste..........close your eyes, slurp and pretend you are home :)