Friday, July 31, 2009

Thai Fish Cakes

Makes approx. 15


8 green beans, very finely sliced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered (or 2 spring onions, finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 thick slices peeled ginger
2 red chillies, trimmed (optional)
2cm piece fresh lemongrass
6 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed
¼ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
350g white boneless fish fillets, cubed
1 x 60g egg
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons red curry paste
3 tablespoons rice flour or cornflour
Oil, for shallow frying
Sweet chilli dipping sauce, to serve

  1. Process onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves and coriander in a food processor until it forms a paste.
  2. Add fish, egg, fish sauce, red curry paste, rice flour and process until mixture is well combined.
  3. Stir in the green beans and mix thoroughly.
  4. Using wet hands, form 1 tablespoon of mixture at a time into flattish pieces
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook the fish cakes until they are golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with a dipping sauce

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pad Thai

This is a quick and easy to cook dish from central Thailand, you add the chilli when it is served, so your guest can choose to make the dish spicy or mild.
For the pounded peanut, it's better to choose a dry unsalted peanut. Roast them in a dry frying pan then chop them up til they form smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry place. This process can be prepared ahead of time.

Serves 2


1 small pack of glass noodles/rice stick noodles/pad Thai noodles (approx. 200g)
1 egg
200g Thai flavoured tofu (chopped into small squares)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
50g bean sprouts (ends trimmed)
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
½ tbs Tean Gourmet crispy prawns chilli
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs lemon juice
12 medium green prawns (peeled, deveined, leave tails intact)

Serve with

Fresh beansprouts
Green lettuce

Garnish with

Unsalted peanuts (pounded/chopped to fine pieces)
Dried chilli flakes
Lemon or lime slice


1. Soak the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften them. Drain. Rinse under cold water.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok on high heat.
3. Add prawns. Stir fry until partially cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on plate lined with paper towels.
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok on medium heat. Add onion and cook til transparent. Then add bean sprouts and tofu. Stir fry for 1 minute.
5. Add noodles, seasonings and stir fry for another minute.
6. Move to one side of the frying pan to make room to fry an egg.
7. Break the egg into the wok and stir fry quickly for a few seconds to break it up.
8. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice, reserved prawns and stir fry til ingredients are mixed through evenly.

Notes and Tips

Prawns can be substituted with chicken

Chilled Strawberry Cheesecake

I had an abundance of strawberries yesterday after I got given some by my mum. So I decided to use them to make this chilled strawberry cheesecake :)

Strawberries are low in calories and an excellent source of Vitamin C. This chilled cheesecake is very refreshing with a layer of strawberry jelly over the fruits.

170g biscuit crumbs
60g unsalted butter, melted

250g light cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
60g caster sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon strawberry essence (optional)
200g strawberry purée (strained)
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
200ml thickened cream + 1 tablespoon icing sugar
Vertically sliced strawberries (trimmed to an even size/height to decorate around cake edge)

Horizontally sliced strawberries
50g strawberry jelly powder
5g gelatin powder
250ml boiling water

100ml thickened cream
1-2 tablespoons icing sugar, extra
5 small strawberries, halved

  1. Line base of 20cm/8" spring form cake pan with cling wrap or baking paper. Toss biscuit crumbs into melted butter and press firmly onto base of cake pan. Chill in the fridge for use later- approx. 30 minutes.
  2. Whip thickened cream with 1 tablespoon icing sugar till about 70% stiff or mousse state. Cover and keep chilled.
  3. Dissolve gelatine powder in 3 tablespoons boiling water. Keep warm but not hot for use later.
  4. Cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and strawberry essence together till smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the warm gelatine solution to strawberry purée and mix well.
  6. Add strawberry mixture into cheese mixture and combine till well mixed. Fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Place vertically sliced strawberry pieces evenly around cake tin (strawberry tip should be facing up).
  8. Pour cheese mixture onto cake base and chill for about 60 minutes or till slightly firm. Top it with a layer of horizontally sliced strawberry pieces. Cover and chill for at least two hours.
  9. Dissolve 50g strawberry jelly powder and 10g gelatine powder with 250ml boiling water. Set aside to cool for approx. 15 minutes. When cooled, pour jelly gently onto chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. 
  10. Use an electric beater to beat cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. 
  11. Place the cream in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm fluted nozzle and pipe rosettes around the edge of the cake. Arrange some strawberries around the cake between the cream rosettes. Cut the cake into wedges to serve.
Notes & Tips

You will need approx. 3 punnets of strawberries for this recipe
Best to chill the cheesecake overnight to allow it to set better

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All in One Quiche

Whip up this easy quiche for a fuss-free lunch or dinner. Plenty of vegies in this recipe to help you meet your daily vegetable intake requirement :)

Serves 4


¾ cup pastry mix
¾ cup grated cheese
1 teaspoon butter, softened
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
310g can corn kernels, drained
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
50g diced ham
1 tomato, deseeded, diced
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated (liquid squeezed out)

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 3cm deep, 24cm (base) quiche dish
  2. Combine pastry mix, cheese, butter, eggs and milk in a bowl. Stir well.
  3. Add corn, onion, basil, ham, tomato, parsley, carrot, zucchini, and salt and pepper to egg mixture. Mix well. Pour into prepared quiche dish.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.
  5. Serve
Notes and tips

Ham can be substituted with 1 small barbecued chicken, skin removed, meat shredded

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Donna Hay's Lemon Salmon Pasta

This dish is very easy to whip up, with very little time needed for preparation and even less for cleaning up! For all you time poor people out there, this dish is for you :)

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay, No Time to Cook, page 106

Serves 2


200g thin spaghetti
¼ cup light cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
1 tablespoon salted capers
180g smoked salmon fillet, flaked


Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.

Add cream, lemon juice and mustard to pasta, toss to coat.

Toss through dill, capers and salmon, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Banana & Blueberry Loaf

I made this old family favourite today after I noticed I had some over ripe bananas in my fruit bowl and some frozen blueberries in my freezer. This version is low in fat and low in kilojoules :)

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes


Melted butter, to grease (or spray can oil)
½ cup mashed overipe banana
½ cup caster sugar
140g carton apple fruit puree
2 eggs (room temperature)
½ cup reduced fat milk
1 tablespoon light olive oil or vegetable oil
3/4 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
3/4 cup white self-raising flour
3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 6cm deep, 9.5 x 20cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper.

Combine the banana, sugar, apple puree, eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl.

Sift over the combined flours. Add the husks from the sieve. Use a large metal spoon to fold the flour into the banana mixture until just combined. Add the blueberries and gently fold.

Spoon the mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ginger Milk Custard

I was watching Episode 70 of MasterChef Australia the other day and saw that one of the contestants on the show, Poh had made a ginger milk custard as part of her cooking challenge. Realising that this dessert was actually something I had been shown how to make by my auntie in the past, hubby was quite keen on me making him some to taste :p

Ginger milk curd (Chinese: 薑汁撞奶), also known as ginger-juice milk curd or simply ginger milk, is a Chinese dessert. The main ingredients are ginger and milk.

It should taste like "tofufa" but with a nice kick of ginger. This tasty dessert is nice to eat at anytime of the day or night :)

So, here's my auntie's recipe for how to make Ginger Milk Custard:

Serves 1


125ml milk
1 tsp sugar
1 - 2 tsp ginger juice
a few drops of white vinegar (to help curdle the milk)


1. Put ginger juice and vinegar into a mug.

2. Heat milk with sugar in a small saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves. Once the milk reaches a simmer (when little bubbles form on the surface), take saucepan off the heat IMMEDIATELY.

3. Stir for one to two minutes with a wooden spoon. (This is to lower the temperature).

4. Pour milk mixture into the mug containing the ginger juice and vinegar. Then, using another mug (of equal size), pour the liquid in and out of the two mugs 10 times. When completed, pour the milk into a serving bowl and leave it to set. Do not disturb the mixture for around 10 minutes.

5. Once mixture has curdled, serve it warm. (Texture should be very soft, kinda like a “tofu-fa” )

Notes and tips:

To get ginger juice, you need to firstly grate the ginger (without the skin) and after that squeeze the grated ginger through a fine cloth or filter to get it's juice. Alternatively, grate the ginger into a bowl and then use the back of a spoon to press the grated ginger against the bowl to squeeze the juice out.

For a stronger ginger taste, I would recommend adding 2 teaspoons of ginger juice to this dish

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chocolate Brownies

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 40-50 minutes
Makes 24


150g butter, chopped
125g dark chocolate, chopped
3 eggs (at room temperature), lightly beaten
1½ cups (375g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup (125g) plain flour
¼ cup (30g) cocoa powder
Icing sugar, to dust
Strawberries, whipped cream, ice cream to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) square tin with oil or melted butter. Line the base with baking paper, extending over two opposite sides (to help you lift the brownies out).
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a microwavable bowl. Melt in microwave for 30-45 seconds and stir until smooth. Set the bowl aside and cool slightly.
  3. Use a whisk to beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk together. Stir in the combined sifted flour and cocoa. Do not over beat.
  4. Pour into the tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until slightly risen and just firm. Leave to cool in the tin (the brownie will sink back down on cooling). Lift out and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar, serve with whipped cream and/or ice cream and/or strawberries. Yum! :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thai Jungle Curry

This Thai curry is unlike many of the Thai curries that you will be familiar with. Jungle curry contains no coconut milk since no coconuts grow in the jungles of northern Thailand. It was also originally prepared from wild boar but these days it is mainly prepared from pork or chicken.

Serves 4


For the Jungle Curry Paste

4 birds eye red chillies
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only
4 shallots, peeled
2-3 cm piece of galangal
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 lime leaves, shredded
1 tsp green peppercorns in brine

For the Curry

1 tbsp vegetable oil
600g wild boar/pork fillet, cut into strips
½ red pepper, cut into strips
75g bamboo shoot strips, tinned
16 pea aubergines or 2 small aubergines, quartered
6 baby corn, halved lengthways
75g thin green beans
1 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp palm sugar
300ml chicken stock
2 lime leaves, torn
Handful Thai basil leaves
50g roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped


To make the paste, roughly chop the chillies, lemongrass, shallots, galangal and garlic. Place in a food processor with the shrimp paste, lime leaves, peppercorns and 2 tbsp water. Blend to a paste.

Toast the peanuts in a dry pan until browned.

Heat a wok with the oil and add 2 tbsp of the paste cooking until fragrant. Add the wild boar/pork and red pepper and stir-fry until the meat is just cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add the bamboo shoots, aubergine, baby corn, green beans, fish sauce, palm sugar, chicken stock and lime leaves.

Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Return the meat to the wok, stir in the basil and serve with boiled jasmine rice with the peanuts sprinkled over.

Notes and tips:

Substitute palm sugar with brown sugar if none available

La Tratt

Went to La Tratt last weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday dinner and had a fantastic time. The food was excellent and service was attentive. For entrée I had the pan seared scallops with parsnip cream, salmon roe & lemon pressed olive oil, which was cooked to perfection:)

And for main... I had the oven roasted duck breast with potato and leek purée  Yum! Duck was very juicy and succulent. The only critique about my main was that my serving of duck seemed smaller than the rest of my friends that also ordered the same dish!

Highlight of the evening was definitely the dessert: vanilla pannacotta with vincento wine jelly and poached rhubarb!

The vanilla pannacotta was just so light, smooth and silky. It matched perfectly with the jelly and poached rhubarb. Nice and delicately balanced. Absolutely sensational!

Hubby had the chocolate fondant with mascarpone cheese, which was also quite nice. The chocolate centre just oozed out like molten lava, mmm....

La Tratt on Urbanspoon

Mini Baked Cheesecakes

Makes 6


250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbs lemon juice
2 eggs
100g sweet biscuit crumbs
40g butter, melted
Berries and icing sugar, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. To make biscuit base: Combine biscuit crumbs and butter in a bowl. Mix well making sure all the crumbs are coated in the butter.
  3. Divide biscuit base mixture evenly amongst 6 large muffin pans.
  4. Use the back of a metal spoon to press the biscuit mixture evenly over the inside of the muffin pan.
  5. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until the base is firm. This helps the base retain its shape when the filling is added.
  6. Meanwhile to make filling, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  7. Pour the cream cheese filling into the prepared bases.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly risen and just beginning to crack a little on the surface.
  9. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes, before placing on a plate or wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Top with fresh or frozen mixed berries and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
  11. Optional: Line muffin pans with 2 paper cases prior to adding biscuit base and filling.
Notes & Tips

Use a silicone muffin pan as it is will be easier to remove the cheesecakes
    Hi! Welcome to my blog. This blog features a lot of Asian recipes as well as recipes from across the globe. I have included my own recipes, recipes from my family as well as variations of recipes from other blogs or books. In cases where I have used or modified other people's recipes, I have acknowledged and cited their contributions. This blog will also occasionally feature restaurants that I visit and my thoughts about their food, service, ambiance and value for money. Please leave your comments about how you liked my blog or any comments on the recipes or restaurant reviews. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!
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