Friday 28 September 2012

Stew Beef

My husband like to eat stew beef. Many years ago, I used to work and seldom cook at home. Part of the reason was I only know how to cook simple dishes. Unlike my mum-in-law who is a real super good cook. Because of this reason I seldom cook but watch her do the cooking most of the time. There are time when I happen to end work early, I will come home and be her "disciple". Help in the kitchen and at the same time asking her questions "how to cook this? how to cook that?.....". My mum-in-law is really good at chinese dishes...and she does cook stew meat but not beef. She used pork instead of beef. But my husband love beef instead of pork for this dish.

In the past,each time when we go out for meal and happen to see a stall that sell stew beef, my husband will surely order. Each time as he eat, he will say "very nice"..... For this reason, I gave myself this challenge that must learn how to cook stew beef.

Ingredients :
500gm short rib beef  cut into cubes
1 potato cut into cubes
1 carrot cut into cubes
1 big tomato cut into 8 pieces
1 big onion cut into 8 pieces
3 garlic remove skin (no cutting)
1 can of button mushroom /some fresh swiss brown mushroom

3 tbsp light sauce (I used Tai Hua Special grade)
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Heniz worcesterhire sauce
1 tsp black soya sauce for the color
a dash of pepper
3 black pepper corn
2 pcs of clove
1 bayleaf (optional)

1 tsp of cornflour / potato flour

1. Season the beef with above seasoning  then add in 1 tsp of cornflour . Let it season for an hour.
2. In a deep pot or Happy Call Pan (HCP), add 1 tsp of oil. Pan fry the potato and carrot. Remove  potato and carrot from fire and set a side when they are slightly brown on each sides. Pan fry mushroom and remove from fire and set a side
3. In the same pot/HCP, add another 1 tsp of oil, put in the big onion and garlic to fry till fragrance.Put in the beef to pan fry until all sides are slight brown
4. Add water that cover the meat. Roughly 1/2 cup. You may add more if needed.
5. Once it is boil and add tomato and you can at this point check whether the seasoning is of your desire and add a little more light sauce to suit your taste, lower the fire and cover and continue simmer about 1 hour.  After an hour, add carrot and mushroom and a dash of basil. Continue to simmer another 30min.
6. Add potato when the meat is tender. Continue to simmer another 10min. Off fire and serve with rice.

Note : if you find it is too watery, add 1 tsp of cornflour/potato with 2 tsp of water and stir into the stewed beef before off fire.  This dish can be replaced by pork if you do not take beef. But need to reduce the cook time by 30 min.

Slow Cooker Method
From above point 5 - After adding tomatoes, once the stew start to boil, off fire and transfer to slow cooker and set at High heat to allow to cook still you see bubbles. Then add potatoes and let the stew continue to cook until meat is tender. Then switch off electricity.

27 Sep 2016:
Pressure Cooker Method:
After above item 2. , I put raw beef cubes and all the fried onion and potatoes and carrots, etc into pressure cooker and add water to almost cover ingredients and seasoning. Closed the cooker cover. Put to function for beef /mutton and cook until it completed the cycle. It is about 35mins.

You may be interested in some of the meat dish:
1.Char Siew
2.Toaster Oven Roasted Pork Belly- Siew Yuk

Monday 24 September 2012

Sweet Corn Custard Pudding

The last time I made and eaten this pudding was easily 20 years ago. When I was a child, our family used to make this pudding quite often. Back then, whenever there is a party, you will definitely find this dessert on the party table. Sweet corn custard pudding was a quite "popular" when I was a child. Every household seems to know how to make it. Because it is very nice and very easy to make, I guess almost every household know how to make, thus, you will see this dessert everytime there is a party. However,nowadays we hardly see people doing this dessert. So last Friday I went "retro", I decided to make this "long lost" pudding for the alpha course that our cell is hosting. My daughter asked me "what is this?" In fact, this is the first time that she ever see and try this dessert as I have never make them since she was born.
Making and eating this dessert brought me alot of good memory of my childhood and childhood friends and games and things that we used to do and play...

Ingredients :
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup custard powder
2 cups coconut milk
2 1/2 cups water
1 tin (425 g) cream style sweet corn
a pinch of salt
3 leaves of pandan leaves

Method :
1) Wash pandan leaves and put into a blender with 1/2 cup of water. Blend and extract the juice(1/2cup).
2)  Place sugar, salt, custard powder, coconut milk, remaining water(2cups) and pandan juice(1/2 cup) in a deep pot/sauce pan.  Stir till custard powder and sugar dissolve and is not lumpy. Add in the cream sweet corn.
3)  Put to boil on medium flame, stirring all the time till the mixture thicken.
4)  Pour into a lightly oiled 10" square cake tray.  Leave to cool.
5)  Chill in the fridge.  Cut and serve

Friday 7 September 2012


My family loves otak. Especially those otak homemade by my mum-in-law. Part of the reason I learn to make otah as my precious son does not like to eat fish. However, I notice each time when mum-in-law cook this dish, he will keep eating in order to encourage my son to eat fish the only way is to make otak.. Also, would want my son to have the calcium that is found in fish. As for my precious daughter, she likes all types and kind of fishes, so I am always very happy to cook this dish for my family. Each time when I visit the wet market, I will look for Mackerel fish, as this type fish is not found in all season in the market that I patronise. Whenever, I see it, I will buy and store in my freezer. According to my mum-in-law, other kind of fishes are also suitable to use for otah.  I had tried other fish, even those fish fillet sold in NTUC supermarket. After trying few types, I would still prefer using Mackerel fish meat. The texture is better.  So come, let cook !

What do you need ? 
Go to wet market and look for Mackerel Fish. Usually I will buy one whole Mackerel and ask the fishmonger to remove the bone for me before I bring it home (remember to also bring the bone home because there are also meat within the bone, don't waste!) When I reach home, I will wash the fish and remove the meat using a spoon, if I am going to make the otah the same day. However, if I do not have time to make that day, I will keep the fish in freezer and defroze the next time when I am going to use it.

500gm Mackerel Fish Meat                                                       
2 tsp sugar                                                                                 
1 tsp potato flour / cornflour                                                            
3 big tbsp homemade chilli paste / replace with store bought laska chilli paste
1 tsp tumeric powder
a dash of pepper

250gm coconut milk ( I usually use Guan Heng brand)

1.5 tsp sea salt

1. Combine all the ingredients (except coconut milk and salt) in a big bowl. Mix them well with a pair of chopstick or fork.
2. Add coconut milk. Mix them well. (do not over mixed)
3. Add salt and mix them very quickly (do not over mixed. else it will be tough)
4. Cover the bowl of mixture with cling wrap or any kind of cover and leave in the fridge for about an hour. You can always prepare this in the morning and leave them in the fridge until time to cook.
5. Pour the mixture into a baking tray with pre-prepared banana leave on top of alu foil. Level the mixture. Put into oven toaster to toast for 30min. or put into pre-heat oven 220 degree and bake for 20-30min or until it is slight brown.
6. However, if you wish to make like the one in this picture,  instead of pouring everything into a tray, you just need to use your bare hand to make into shape. Bake in oven or toaster for 30min or when it is brown depending on individual oven.

P.s. : Salt has to add last, as once it is added, the mixture will start to harden.