Friday, January 29, 2016

Flax(seed)ing the muscles for some salted egg yolk cookie love! :)

Salted egg yolk cookies
Yields about 60 pcs (1 inch diameter, 5mm thickness)


125g plain flour
10g corn flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp milk powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
2 salted egg yolks
85g unsalted butter
30g caster sugar + 10g icing sugar
1 egg yolk (lightly beaten for egg wash)
Flaxseeds (for decoration)


Preheat oven at 160 degree Celsius.
Steam salted egg yolks till firm then mash coarsely and set aside.
Sift plain flour, corn flour, baking powder, milk powder and fine salt together. Set aside.
Cream unsalted butter and sugar mix till light and fluffy.
Add in mashed egg yolks and flour mixture and mix till combined to form a soft dough.

Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes for ease of handling. 
Roll out the dough to 5 mm thickness.
Stamp into desired shape with cookie cutters.
Line baking tray with baking sheet and arrange cookie dough on the baking sheet.

Gently brush the tops of each cookie dough with egg wash and sprinkle some flaxseeds.
Repeat as above for the remaining dough. 
Bake each batch for about 10 minutes till golden brown.
Let cookies cool till room temperature before storing in an airtight container.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Keep Calm and Eat Crab @ 瑞安炖汤美食馆

So this was my taste of childhood. Our family used to do trips across the causeway every other week back in the days when we still had a separate blue restricted passport for trips to West Malaysia.

Anyone still remember that? 

And that's when our love affair with this unique crab bowl started. On the third level of the market at Larkin. We'd pack ourselves in the car by 8am and be off on our way towards the Woodlands Causeway. Breakfast was a standard affair once we got to Larkin Market. No one tries to change their orders. It was a standard three stall order. A nondescript shop in the middle of the hawker centre selling pork trotters, braised intestines and of course the crab bowl, the store opposite selling hot drinks and perfectly executed half boiled eggs and the quiet congee stall next to it selling familiar comforts of pork and chicken congee. Oh and of course, grandpa always does a takeaway of the fried noodles in open trays wrapped in plastic sheets laid on top of newspapers. Life was simple. 

While we've skipped Larkin altogether these days except for the odd days where grandma is good enough for walks and would like to buy fresh foods from the market, I'm glad we no longer have to drive that far for our favourite crab bowls.

What's changed? The location, for sure. It's now situated just behind Leisure Mall Pelangi and you will pass by Moonlight cafe on your way down. Don't get distracted! The once nondescript stall at the run down Larkin Market now has their own air conditioned space along a row of shop houses at Jalan Kuning. And their menu has also expanded. So we now head over for a lunch fix instead. 

Make your request for lean meat if you aren't a fan of the fat or collagen that comes with pork's trotters (RM 10). They'll try their best to accommodate your requests.

All those eyes! Baby shrimp omelette (RM 12). Every bit of fluff and crisp in this one plate of yums.

Sambal baby sweet potato leaves (RM12). The sambal gravy was evil! So bad it was so good till the last drop. 

And while this might not be the best plate of hor fun, I loved the taste of the ample wok hei (RM 6). 

And the crab bowl (RM 7.50)? That's still my taste of childhood and they are still using the same recipe with the same great taste after all these years. That's the one thing that hasn't changed and that's what keeps us coming back. 

Do give them a try the next time you're past the Causeway.  

Swee Ang Restaurant 瑞安炖汤美食馆
70, Jalan Kuning,
Taman Pelangi.
Tel : +607-3337828
Operating hour : 8am - 9pm daily

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rice cooker dinners : Stewed pork, mushroom & cabbage rice


3 cups of rice, washed 
500g of cabbage, washed and chopped
10 small black mushrooms + 200ml of water, soaked and sliced, reserve water
20g dried shrimp, soaked and drained
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of stewed pork chops, bones removed and roughly shredded
1 tsp of dark soy sauce
1 tsp of light soy sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
0.5 tsp of sesame oil + 0.5 tsp of cooking oil
A dash of white pepper
1 tbsp of chicken stock concentrate mixed with 250ml of water


Set the rice cooker to cook function and fry garlic, dried shrimp in sesame + cooking oil till fragrant. Add in the roughly shredded stewed pork. 
Pour in the washed rice and mushroom slices with the reserve water.
Add in chicken stock mixture and the reserve gravy from the canned stewed pork.
Mix in the dark, light soy + oyster sauce and a dash of white pepper.
Add in the chopped cabbage and stir to mix well. Add more soy sauce here if needed.
Leave to cook.
Fluff up the rice and mix well to ensure that all the rice is cooked. 

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Monday, November 23, 2015

Orange Soy Glazed Salmon x Soba

Marinade for the salmon:
1.5 tablespoon of Kikkoman Soy Sauce
0.5 teaspoon of brown sugar (caster sugar works too :))
1 small knob of old ginger, sliced
A squeeze of orange
1 stalk of spring onion, whites roughly chopped

Place salmon skin side down into the marinade and coat both sides with the marinade. Then leave it flesh side down and set this aside for about half an hour or overnight in a ziplock. :) 

Buckwheat soba:
Boiled and drained, put into iced water immediately.

With a knob of butter in a pre heated pan, place the salmon skin side down and grill till the skin leaves the pan. Turn the salmon fillet around and sear it flesh side down. Pour the remaining marinade over the skin and fry up the ginger and spring onion slices on the side. 

Grill the salmon till well cooked and flip it skin side down to grill till crisp. :)

Serve with cold soba sprinkled with chopped negi, nanami togarashi and mentsuyu dipping sauce.

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Clarity in keeping focused

This was clarity. After all the soups I've boiled, this was by far the clearest pot. 

This was a medium sized chicken, chicken breast used for poached chicken slices on soba.

The thigh and the wings were used for sesame oil chicken.

Which leaves the neck, ribs and feet, aside from all the bones reserved.

So I blanched those, chopped up some carrots, corn and red dates and threw them all into my inner thermal pot for a fierce boil before I added a tablespoon of salt (4- 4.5L of water) and transferred it over to the outer pot to cook in its reserve heat for about 1.5 hours. 

And there we have it, chicken soup for the soul. Clarity in keeping focused. 

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Bittersweet Symphonies

Half a bittergourd, seeds removed and sliced thinly
(Soak the bittergourd in a heaped teaspoon of salt and water for 5- 10 minutes then remove and drain completely)
2 stalks of spring onion, chopped into 2 inch long slices
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 eggs, beaten with half a teaspoon of soy sauce and half a teaspoon of white pepper.
20 ml of water + a dash of soy sauce

Heat up the pan and a tablespoon of oil. Fry the minced garlic and the white ends of the spring onion stalks till fragrant.

Add in the drained bittergourd slices and stirfry with the water and soy sauce. Let the steam soften the bittergourd slices. 

Add in the beaten eggs and sprinkle the rest of the spring onion generously. 

Turn off the heat and let the reserve heat cook the eggs. 

Serve with fluffy hot white rice :)

*Alternatives: Stir fry with dried shrimp, preserved black bean sauce 

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Friday, November 20, 2015

No Bake Matcha Cheesecake

This was the second attempt on the same recipe. 

Except with matcha powder this time. :)

Exactly the same steps just replacing strawberry jam with 2 level tablespoons of matcha powder (I used the O'sulloc matcha powder from Jeju) and omitting the lemon rind. But don't forget the squeeze of lemon! :)

The green tea flavour was subtle. You might want to add more of it but I didn't want the bitterness to overwhelm the whole filling. The other way to do this would be to add a sprinkle of powder at the side to add as they wish.

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Friday, November 13, 2015

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake


For the crust:
150g McVities digestive biscuits (I used wholemeal this time)
30g caster sugar
85g unsalted butter, melted and set aside to cool

Mix the crushed digestives, sugar and melted butter together. Press in FIRMLY onto the bottom of a 20-23cm pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while making the filling.

For the filling:
1 block of cream cheese (227g) at room temperature
2 tablespoons of no sugar added strawberry jam
40 g of caster sugar (less if the jam isn't a no sugar added jam)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bottle heavy whipping cream 240ml (36-40% butter fat)
A few pieces of lemon rind, chopped into small bits and a squeeze of lemon.

Beat cream cheese until smooth, add strawberry jam, sugar and vanilla essence and beat again till light.
Beat the whipping cream separately until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat whipping cream or it will split and liquefy itself and the cream can no longer be used. 
Gradually fold in the whipped cream, a squeeze of lemon and lemon rind bits into the cream cheese.  
Pour in the filling into the crust base and smoothen the top. 
Chill overnight.

*I used the back of a chopper to crush up the biscuits but you could do it with a rolling pin or a simple food processor.
*I used a home blender with mill to do this. The cream cheese was a bit tricky. Remember to break into smaller pieces before turning on the blender. 
*Whipping cream was pulsed till the required soft peaks consistency and it turned out beautifully.
*I didn't use a springform pan and although the filling was a little hard to handle, it still came out easily in slices. This is really dependent on how well the crust was done. :)

Credits to

From our home to yours,
Brenda x