Thursday 6 December 2018

Steam Yam Cake (Orh Kueh)

Bought a yam sometime ago wanted to make "Orh Ni", however, was too busy and left the yam in the fridge. To prevent yam spoiled, today I made it into steam yam cake, chinese called it Orh Kueh. 

2 1/2 bowl of rice flour
4 1/2 bowls of water
1/2 Medium size Yam(shredded)
1/2 carrot (shredded)
1tbsp dried shrimp ( minced)
5 shitake mushrooms (diced)
1/2 cup tbsp minced meat (optional)
4-5 small red onion/shallots (minced)
Some oil for frying
2-3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chicken powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp five spice powder
2 tsp sugar
1Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp light sauce

Note: bowl refer to rice bowl. 1 rice bowl appr equivalent to 1 cup

1. Mix rice flour with water. Add salt, sugar, pepper, five spice powder & chicken powder. Stir well. Set a side

2. In a wok, put about 2 tbsp oil fry the onion n shitake mushrooms & shrimp till fragrance or slightly brown. Then add minced meat. Add yam n carrot n stir for a while. Add fish sauce n light sauce. Stir well. Remove from fire and set a side.

3. In the same wok pour in the rice flour mixture, stir until the liquid mixture thicken. Add 2.

4. Transfer into a round cake pan or steaming pan.

5. Boil a wok of water. When water is boiled, place the container of yam mixture into the wok, then put on the wok lid n steam for 40-50min.

6. After 40min. The steam cake is done

Note: seasoning is all estimation. You may adjust to your desire

Monday 26 November 2018


Today is a very rush day!
Wanted iron son’s clothing for his performance.  Unfortunately the iron decided to retired after serving us for 15years. What to do now? He needs to wear that shirt and that trousers. SOS!  Tried calling a few neighbours. They were not at home. May be year end go for holidays. Finally I found an old neighbour who lives few blocks away. Whew!
I had planned to cook bolognese sauce pasta. After I got the iron and finished ironing, I did not have much time left to cook the proper bolognese sauce pasta. So, have to change cooking plan. ONE POT PASTA came to mind. Yes, this is an easy and nice meal. Can get done in 30min including preparation. 
No need to do much cleaning after cooking and it is delicious!

You may find this in my facebook Catherine's Cooking Journal

Ingredients :
250g Linguine /Fusilli / any pasta
200gm minced beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic , sliced it
½ carrot , chopped
1 big tomatoes, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes
3 cup of water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light sauce
3 tbsp pasta sauce
Dash of dried basil and oregano
2 or 3 leaves of fresh basil, optional
1 tspn olive oil

Seasoning for minced meat : 1 tbsp light sauce, some pepper, 1 tsp corn flour

1. Season the meat with the seasoning.  Mix well. 
2. In a large pot, put in olive oil,  water, pasta , tomatoes, sliced garlic, chopped onion, chopped carrots, herbs, salt , pasta sauce and bring the mixture to boil.

3. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the base got burnt. Cook until the meat is cooked and pasta is tender. Approximately 15min.

4. Adjust the taste to your desire. You may add more salt or light sauce. Remove one pot pasta from fire and serve while it is hot.

5. Enjoy

Saturday 23 June 2018

Ang Ku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake)红龟粿 - Yellow Ku Kueh

Daughter saw a TV program on traditional kueh(chinese cake) and said "mummy , I feel like eating ang ku kueh..."

This motivated me to venture into making this traditional chinese cake which I like eating it when I was a child. This kueh comes in different types of fillings like peanuts , coconut and green bean. 

Personally, I like green bean and coconit fillings. Peanuts fillings is my least choice. 

In order to avoid using artificial colourings, I used pumpkin instead. So, when pumpkin was mixed with flour and coconut milk, it turns into yellow instead of orange. I was expecting orange kueh, but no, it looks more like lemon. Haha...

Yes, this cake is usually red in colour. "Ang" in chinese mean red. Ang ku kueh is also called red tortoise cake as the mold is a shape of tortoise shell. Chinese believe that tortoise has long life and so eating this will bring longevity and good fortune and prosperity. In the past, chinese family like to give this
as a gifts to relatives and friends when their new born baby turns one month old - it is also called full month or 满月。

After several search in google for recipe, I suddenly remembered my aunt 婶婶 is an expert in kueh making. She has been making this kueh for at least 30years. So I rang her up to ask for recipe. This is my aunt recipe but I have made some modification.

Please note the measurement are just an estimation because I did not measure but based on the texture and description given by my aunt.

Ingredients - Fillings:
250g -300g split green beans
Water for soaking
100g sugar
2-3 stalks Pandan leaves

Ingredients - ku kueh skin
300g glutinous flour
63g icing sugar
4 oz oil

50g rice flour
3/4 cup water

250g coconut milk

Pumpkin(with skin & seeds is 500g)
Pandan leaves

Banana leaves

1. Wash the split green bean until water is clear. Put water cover 1cm above beans for 2hours. Then remove water.  Rinse and discard water. Boil water in wok/steamer Place soaked beans and pandan leaves in a wide tray and place tray into steamer to steam for 30mins or until beans are soft. Stir once in a while.

2. After beans is cooked or soften, transfer into a food processor to blend until it is fine in texture. Like the one in picture.

3. Place the blended into a non-stick wok with medium low heat, add in sugar and gradually add oil bit by bit. Until you can roll the beans fillings into balls. I did not measure oil as I just pour, approximate a quarter of 250mil. You may add more sugar and oil to your desire taste and texture. Once it is done set aside let it cool. Then roll into small balls of your desire size. Mine is approximate 30g.

Method - Kueh Skin

1. Mix rice flour with 3/4 cup water in a saucer and bring it to boil. Keep stiring. The mixture will be thicken and a little translucent. Do not over cooked. It should be soft texture like thick porridge. Off the heat.

2. Rinse and remove pumpkin skin and seeds. Cut into wadges. Put pumpkin wadges into a small pot then add water that is enought to cover them and bring it to boil. Remove from heat once pumpkin is soft. Remove the pumpkin from water and puree pumpkin by going through a seive. Keep the water that was use for boiling pumpkin
Note: in future I will try steaming instead of cooking over fire in water.

3. Put coconut milk and pandan leaves  in a saucer and bring them to boil. Remove from fire when it os boiled.

4. In a large bowl, place glutinous flour , icing sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, thick rice porridge, oil and half the amount of coconut milk into the mixture. Mix them together to form a soft dough. If it is too dry, then slowly add in the rest of coconut milk and the water from cooking pumpkin. 
Note: how much coconut milk and water will depend on how wet the pumpkin puree is? If puree is dry, then more liquid will be required.

5. Roll the dough into 30g balls.

6. Prepare a mould. Dust with glutinous flour. Flatten the 30g dough and wrap with 30g bean fillings. Press it into the mould then knock it out and place it on a piece of cleaned banana leave. Continue to wrap the rest.

7. Steam the kueh in boiling water for 7mins. Serve when it has cool down.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Banana Cake (using oven toaster)


Craving for banana cake..
I used an oven toaster to bake this cake. The result is acceptable. Please remember to pre-heat if baking cake.

Personal view is I find toaster oven is not so good for baking cake as compare to a normal oven. The cake still rise but a normal oven will do a better job.  I have also done a cake in bread maker. Compare between bread maker and toaster oven. Toaster oven definitely has better result. In conclusion, if I want to bake a small cake and want to save time and energy,  I will  use a toaster oven to bake small cake like this one😊

1 and 1/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe banana - mashed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar**
1/4 cup fresh milk
1 egg - beaten
100g  butter 
1/4 salt

1. Boil water in a pot. Put butter in a large metal/glass bowl. Place the bowl on top the pot of boiling water and stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add sugar, vanilla, milk, beaten egg, salt and lemon juice onto melted butter and stir them well.

3. Mash banana with a fork and stir into butter mixture. Mix in sifted flour and baking soda.

4. Pour batter into a baking tray(4x8inch) lay with parchment paper. And bake in pre- heated oven temperature 180° for 50min. Or until a tester inserted into thecentre comes out clean

5. Remove from oven. Let it cool and then slice it and serve.

Personally I do not like cake to be too sweet. You may add more sugar (1/2 cup) if you desire sweeter cake.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Korean Sweet Potato Glass Noodle (Japchae)

This week is princess recess week. Since she is at home, I can make this korean glass noodle which I had bought a few week ago. I always look forward to my children to be around so that I could cook special dish for them.

On a normal day, I will just settle with simple lunch.

My mum-in-law likes to cook also glass noodle. But she usually uses the very fine and thin white glass noodle. She cooks glass noodle with minced meat and eggs without veggies. Hers is real savory without any sugar added. The type that I used in this recipes are the thicker type which is a little grey in colour. There are made from sweet potato. Mum-in-law uses those made from green beans.

While I was searching for Korea glass noodle or also called sweet potato glass noodle 冬粉, I realised that those selling in the supermarket are mostly made in China although they are called Korean Glass noodle.

As I could not find any Korean glass noodle that are  made in Korea, even those Korean branded in the supermarket that I have patronised are made in China, so I have to settle with China made Korean Glass Noodle.

Daughter was delighted when she saw the noodle. She took second serving after she finished those in her plate. When she is happy, I am happy too😁

This is the recipe :

Ingredients :
140gm Korean Glass Noodle/ Sweet Potato Noodle (Half pkt of 284g)
3 pcs Dried shitake mushroom, soak in water to soften, then cut into thin strips
3-4pcs Black fungus, soak to soften then cut into thin strps
1/2 Carrots , cut into thin strips
1/2 Red Capsicum
2-3 leaves of Cabbages, cut into thin strips
1/2 Red Big Onion, slice into thin strips
2-3 stalks of Spring onion, cut into 1inch length 
150g Beef( i used frozen shabu shabu), cut into strips
1 tbsp cooking oil( i use olive oil)

Some fried white sesame(optional)

Some Water for boiling noodle

For mushroom:
1tsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
Dash of pepper

For Beef:
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp raw sugar (can use any type of sugar)
1/2 tbsp cooking wine
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
Dash of black pepper (can use white pepper)

For Noodle;
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp raw sugar (can use any type of sugar)
1/2 tbsp cooking wine
1 tbsp sesame oil

1. Boil water in pot. Once water is boiled, add in the noodle. When the noodle is soften, approx. 1-2min. Off the heat. Remove from water and rinse the noodle with cold water until noodle is cold. Set aside

2. Season cut mushroom and beef with seasoning accordingly. Set aside. 

3.  Use a non-stick wok/pan, add oil. Add in sliced onion. Stir fry onion until is soften, add seasoned mushroom and also black fungus. Stir until mushroom is fragrance, add seasoned beef and carrots and cabbages. Stir fry until beef is about cooked, add capsicum. Stir fry 1-2 min until beef is totally cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. In the same wok, add the cooked glass noodle as in the above (1). Add also the noodle seasoning. Stir fry and mix them well. Return the beef mushroom mixture from above (3) into the fry pan/wok.. Mix them well. Add spring onion. Mix well. Sprinkle some fried white sesame.  Remove from heat. Dish japchae/galss noodle into individual serving plate. Serve. 


1. As my daughter doesn't like savory food sweet, so I have reduced the sugar. You may add extra sugar if you prefer more sweet taste japchae.

2. You may adjust the seasonning accordingly to your taste.

3. You may replace cabbages with spinach or other green vegetables.

You may be interested in the following recipes too :

Friday 9 March 2018

Beef Meatballs (Ikea meatball copycat)

9 Mar 2018

Can't decide whether to make "ikea" meatball copycat or seafood pasta, so in the end cooked both. I have wanted to homemade Ikea meatball since last year. However, did not manage to do this dish until today. 
I googled several recipes online to have an idea how others make these meatballs. With wisdom from above, this is how I  homemade "ikea" meatball copycat😃..

Surprisingly, it taste very good though this is my first time making it. Hubby and dauggter loved this meatballs and hubby ate half of them. As he eat, he kept saying "nice! Very nice". Daughter too like these meatballs. She said "nice leh!"

This is the recipe. .

500g minced beef
100g minced pork
1 egg
1/4 tsp pepper
1 slice of wholemeal bread - cut into small pieces
1 big onion - chopped
3 garlic - chopped
2-3 Tbsp milk
1.5 Tbsp light sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tsp corn flour
1 Tbsp oil

1. In a frying pan add oil then onion n garlic a d fry until onion is soft and fragrance. Remove from heat and pour into cutted bread. 

2. Add milk into the bread n fried onion mixture. Combine them.

3. In a large bowl add beef and pork, egg, salt, light sauce, bread mixture and corn flour.
Combine them and mix well.

4. Prepare a baking tray layed with parchment paper.
Wear disposal glove and take some meat mixture and roll into 1inch meatball with hands. Place meatball onto the baking tray. Continue to roll all the rest of the meat mixture until all are made into meatballs.

5. Place tray of meatballs into preheat oven  200°C and bake for about 20-30min.