Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Yam Cake

With the excuse of cooking or baking something for the Singapore Asian Food Fest month, I have at first a whole long list of what to cook or bake and then I realised it's only 1 month long. We are almost towards the end of the month as it is. Time really flies.

I have been wanting to make yam cake for a long long time now. Yes you are right. This is on my to-cook bucket list.

This recipe is adapted from KitchenTigress who adapted it from Cooking for the President. See my modifications or comments in blue. To see the video on how to make this, see this link.


40g dried prawns, rinsed and soaked and chopped roughly
30g dried mushrooms, rinsed and soaked and chopped 
500g-600g yam, peeled and trimmed to yield about 300g yam, cut into small cubes
100g shallots, sliced thinly
80ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp five spice powder
1 1/2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Ingredients to make batter:

200g rice flour
240ml water that comprises of water from dried prawns and mushrooms
600ml pork or chicken stock, boiling


spring onions, chopped
coriander, chopped
red chilli, sliced
huge dollop of sambal chilli


  1. Prep the dried prawns, dried mushrooms and shallots accordingly as per above.
  2. In a wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and stir fry the shallots until lightly golden. Turn off heat and continue stirring until nicely golden brown. Remove the shallots with a skimmer and set aside. This should give you about 1/3 cup of fried shallots. Yummy!!
  3. Reheat the woke and oil until warm.
  4. Over medium heat, fry yam until just soft but not brown for about 2-3 minutes. This is where I should have controlled my frying as mine did turn abit brownish. Turn off the heat. Remove the yam to a big bowl. Immediately sprinkle the yam with 1/2 salt and 1/4 tsp five spice powder. Toss until evenly mixed and set aside.
  5. Remove all but 2 tbsp oil from the wok. By now, my wok has literally no more oil left so I simply added more oil. Reheat till very heat.
  6. Over medium-high heat, stir-fry dried prawns until lightly golden.
  7. Add mushrooms and stir fry until fragrant and lightly golden. 
  8. Add light soya sauce and ground white pepper. Stir until evenly mixed and turn off heat.
  9. Add mixture to yam together with all of the fried shallots except 2 tbsp. Stir until evenly mixed and set aside.
  10. Line bottom of a square 8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some paper overhanging so that it can ease you taking the yam cake out of the pan after steaming.
  11. Top up water from soaking dried prawns and mushrooms to make about 240ml.
  12. Pour liquid into wok and stir to deglaze.
  13. Add rice flour and stir until smooth.
  14. Add boiling chicken or pork stock.
  15. Stir until evenly mixed and remember to turn the heat to low at this point.
  16. Stir continuously, scraping sides and bottom of wok.
  17. Reduce heat to very low as batter gets hot. If you notice lumps appearing, turn off heat immediately, stir vigorously till smooth, then turn on heat again. When batter thickens, add fried ingredients except the 2 tbsp shallots. Stir till batter is thick enough to coat a spatula thinly. This step is very tricky so remember to watch the video above carefully to see exactly how it should work before attempting.
  18. Go for a thinner consistency if you like your orh kueh softer. Turn off heat and transfer batter into cake pan.
  19. Smoothen and level the batter before steaming it for 40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean or almost clean.
  20. Remove orh kueh to a wire rack to cool completely and cut into desired pieces. Garnish accordingly.
This is one of Mr G's favourite dishes which was why it inspired me to want to learn it.

To be honest, Mr G really liked the full flavour of this yam cake but he did mention that it could be slightly more moist. I would say that for my 1st attempt to try and cut a yam singlehandedly, cook this yam cake by using kitchentigress' recipe, I'm very glad that it didn't turn out to be a globby mess. However, on my own personal standards, I think this yam cake can be improved much further. Hopefully on my next attempt, this yam cake will be a perfect success.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #11 Sept 2014 : Singapore hosted by Life can be Simple.

I'm also submitting my post to Cook-Your-Books#16 organized by Joyce of kitchen flavours.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chicken with Leeks and Lemon

Sunday is the day we all rest or at least most of us. It's usually the time for family. So alot of people either eat out together to enjoy more family time and to avoid spending hours in the kitchen cooking just so they can rest. What about you? What did you do today?

For us, we usually prefer to eat at home to avoid crowds on weekends and it is also much healthier. Today, I decided to make one of Nigel Slater's all-time favourites for a good and easy supper. That would definitely be a wise choice for making dinner so that dinner will be a one-dish meal that makes it easier for prepping, washing and cleaning up. I love one-dish meals!!

This recipe is from Nigel Slater's Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch. This book contains more than 400 recipes and extensive gardening notes and is great as a visual guide for growing and cooking vegetables from your own garden. If you have a vegetable in your garden that you don't know what to cook with, check out Nigel's book mentioned above.

You would note that this recipe serves about 8. See my modifications or comments in blue.


2 tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs (I used 5 chicken thighs and removed the fats in between the thighs)
4 medium-sized leeks (I used 2 leeks)
2 carrots, sliced lengthways
1 packet sliced wild mushrooms
a glass of dry vermouth like Noilly Prat (I used my favourite Riesling)
zest and juice of a lemon
500ml chicken stock (I used about 300ml chicken stock and added 200ml water)
a small bunch of parsley I used spring onions
a splash of worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves

  1. In a large casserole, warm the olive over moderate heat, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until pale gold in colour.
  2. Wash the leeks thoroughly, shake them dry, then cut them into pieces the length of a wine cork.
  3. Lift the chicken out of the pan, then add the carrots and cooked till they are soft. then add the wild mushrooms and leeks.
  4. Cover and let them the vegetables and mushrooms cook, gently and at a low heat, until they are soft but relatively uncoloured. Whatever happens, they the leeks should not brown.
  5. Once they start to soften, add the vermouth riesling, the zest and juice of the lemon and the chicken stock.
  6. Once the liquid comes to a boil, return the chicken pieces and its juices to the casserole, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
  7. Taste the sauce for seasoning and then stir in chopped parsley spring onions.

I love this one-dish meal as it is. If you feel there isn't carbo and you needed some, you can eat it with steamed rice or some baked potatoes. I love the acidity of the lemon in this stew, it gives a nice sourish taste to the gravy. Also, the sweetness of the carrots and leeks add a nice and sweet taste to this stew. Overall, you can savour hints of the riesling but yet it doesn't overpower the taste of the ingredients in this chicken stew. I love this nice and heartwarming stew. You bet! I slurped up every morsel of this stew as well as the gravy. Yummilicious!!

This dish is perfect (to me) for I Heart Cooking Club's Ladle it Up theme this week.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Club.

I'm also submitting this post to Cook-Your-Books#16 organized by Joyce of kitchenflavours.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

To go with my pork vindaloo, I've decided to go all madhur jaffrey by cooking her stir-fried cabbage with fennel seeds. It's not a dish that you see and go WOW!! However, I would say that this is a homely dish that you eat and reminds you of home. Another advantage about cooking this dish is, you cram incredible flavour into this stir fried cabbage in such a short time.

This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking and its name definitely says it all for this easy peasy vegetable dish.


1 1/2 pounds green cabbage (half a large head)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 medium-large onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  1. Remove the coarse outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into half, core the middle and cut it lengthwise into fine, long shreds. You can use a mandoline for this as well.
  2. Put oil in a wide and nonstick pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cumin, fennel and sesame seeds. As soon as the sesame seeds start to pop, put in the onion. Stir and fry for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion has browned a bit.
  3. Put in the cabbage. Stir and fry for about 6 minutes or until the cabbage has browned somewhat.
  4. Put in the salt and cayenne pepper. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring now and then, for another 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions appear caramelized and soft.
  5. Add the lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

To enhance the flavour of this cabbage dish, I would add 1 to 1.5 tsp turmeric powder. This goes well with any curry dish.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Club for September Potluck.

I'm also submitting my post to Cook-Your-Books#16 organized by Joyce of kitchen flavours.

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Link up your recipe of the week