Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year! On CBC's Weekend Morning Show

 Happy New Year!  Tomorrow, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Interim Host, Laurie Hoogstraten, I will be presenting these Sichuan noodles, known as Dan Dan Mian.  The long noodles are for happiness with a long life.  There are many dishes for luck and wealth for the new year.  In the year of the Rooster, Dumplings, for wealth, sweet rice balls for family togetherness, rice cake to increase your status or income, citrus fruit for wealth and fullness, and fish, also to increase prosperity.
I was fortunate to live in Chongqing, Sichuan for a period, and enjoyed these noodles with ground pork.  The most remarkable place was at the Great Buddha in Leshan.  
Enjoy for luck, long life, and because they are really yummy!
* For the Chilli oil, great chili oils can be purchased.  I used this one with peanuts that I can purchase at SunWah Grocery Store.  

?? ? ?? ????!
Ch�c m?ng nam m?i!

Dan Dan Mian, aka for me, Great Buddha Noodles 

1. For the Chilli Oil: (you can purchase good chilli oil)
                2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
                1 inch-long piece of cinnamon
                2 star anise
                1 cup oil
                1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes

2. For the Meat and Sui Mi Ya Cai:
                3 teaspoons oil
                8 oz. ground pork (I�m using veggie ground round and it works nicely with the taste and texture)
                2 teaspoons sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce
                2 teaspoons shaoxing wine (I often use Mirin or Vermouth)
                1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
                1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
                1/3 cup sui mi ya cai (optional Sichuan ingredient of dry fried vegetable. Packaged in small foil pouches)

3. For the sauce:
                2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini) (I often use peanut butter as a substitute)
                3 tablespoons soy sauce
                2 teaspoons sugar
                1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
                1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder (we ground whole Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle)
                1/2 cup of your prepared chili oil (to your taste)
                2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
                � cup hot cooking water from the noodles

4. For the Noodles & Veg:
                1 lb fresh or dried white noodles, medium thickness
                1 small bunch leafy greens (spinach, bok choy, or choy sum)
                chopped peanuts (optional) chopped scallion (optional)

Cook the sauce and the vegetables and set aside.  Cook the long noodles and toss with sauce, vegetables and optional scallions and peanuts.  Enjoy for a long life!
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Shanghai Pancake With Pineapple Jam Filling [Tefal Expertise Fry Pan Review]

Shanghai Pancake is different from the normal crunchy pancake that is made from pastry skin. Comparatively, Shanghai Pancake is easier to prepare, no deep frying required. All you need is a trusty good quality fry pan to pan fry the pancake till golden brown, crispy on the outside, soft and sweet in the middle. 

Recently, I have received a Tefal Expertise Fry Pan which is made with an extra thick Titanium hard base and top coat. It has a mineral reinforced layer for anti abrasion and it's innovated with three times the durability for 12 years of usage. The Expertise series cookwares are PFOA free and are made in France. 

With the reinforced layer for extra non-stick, this Tefal Expertise Fry Pan guarantees an unparalleled non-stick performance. Thus, I have decided to try out this recipe using the leftover pineapple jam from my Chinese New Year pineapple tarts baking. I would like to test it out and see if I could get a crispy and nicely brown Shanghai Pancake. This was a challenge and YES! Tefal product never disappoint me. 

I have got this nicely pan fried Shanghai Pancake with the perfect texture that I wanted to achieve.  

The Tefal Expertise Fry Pan comes in the following sizes:

  • Tefal Expertise Fry Pan 20cm 
  • Tefal Expertise Fry Pan 24cm 
  • Tefal Expertise Fry Pan 26cm 
  • Tefal Expertise Fry Pan 28cm (mine is this size)

  • I'm not selling the pan and I'm not earning any commission from this. If you are interested to find out more, feel free to visit Tefal Singapore Website for more details. 

    Ingredients: ??


    45g All Purpose Flour ?? 45?

    15g Rice Flour ??? 15?

    1/4 tsp Baking Powder ?? 1/4??

    1 tsp Sugar ??? 1??

    1/8 tsp Salt ? 1/8 ??


    1 Egg ?? 1?

    90g Water ? 90?


    100g *Pineapple Jam (chilled) ??? 100? ,?????????????

    *Can be replaced with red bean paste or lotus bean paste.

    Cooking Oil ????

    If you are sharing this recipe, kindly attach the link to this blog instead of screen capture/ copy & paste/ use in your blog and claimed as your recipe! Thank you. 


    Method: ??

    1. Roll out the pineapple jam as shown in the picture below.

    2. Sift (A) into a bowl. Stir in (B), mix well and strain through a sieve.

    3. Use a kitchen towel, wipe the Tefal Expertise Fry Pan with some oil. 

    4. Heat the pan. 

    The signature Thermo-Spot has now comes with a new design that turns red completely once the pan is heated to the prefect temperature. It is now easier to see clearly the exact moment to start frying and searing. You may click here to see how does the Thermo-Spot works. It's pretty interesting and it helps a lot especially when I have to multitask cooking 2 dishes + baking at the same time (my 7yo can help me watch the Thermo-Spot :P ).

    5. Pour some batter into the pan, swirl to form a thin pancake. 

    6. Once it is set, remove from pan and place the pineapple jam on the pancake.

    7. Brush the sides with some batter, fold into half and seal. 

    8. Heat oil in the pan, pan fry the pancake until golden brown on both sides. Dish out and drain the excess oil. Cut into pieces and serve right away.

    If you like my recipe, click hereLIKE & follow my facebook page to receive more recipe updates. Don't forget to change the setting to 'SEE FIRST' if you wish to see my post on your Facebook news feed. Enjoy!

    Some feedback from those who have tried this recipe:

    By Cleo Jinyan Liu

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    Saturday, January 21, 2017

    Thai-style pork in crock-pot and sriracha cole slaw


    Seriously so easy and tasty. I got the idea from my new lovely book - I didn't know my slowcooked could do that - and decided to make it the other day. I had coriander roots in the fridge so I added a few and they really seemed to add to the wonderful flavor. Highly recommended. The whole dish was a little too salty though, so you might want to cut down on the soy. In my case, I believe it was the pork that was the culprit. I used "fl�skytterfile" rather than pork tenderloin. 

    Thai-style pork 
    800 g pork tenderloin (or fl�skytterfil�, but look for one that's not so salty)
    60 ml fresh lime juice (about four limes)
    60 ml japanese soy sauce (light) 
    2 tbsp honey
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
    3 coriander roots. 

    Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Place the pork in your crockpot and pour the sauce on top. Place the coriander roots on top.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until tender. Remove the pork and shred it using two forks. Add some of the sauce back to moisten, and season to taste. 

    Serve in flour tortillas with pickled red onion, crumbled feta cheese, extra coriander if you have it, and a lovely sriracha slaw made from white cabbage, carrots, lots of coriander and mayo with sriracha and garlic and a splash of vinegar. Easy and super tasty. 

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    Thursday, January 19, 2017

    Coconut Loaf Cake


    A friend often travels to Sri Lanka, and he recently brought me a huge bag of coconut. Lovely stuff! In return, I decided to bake him a cake, with that coconut of course. I wanted a simple loaf cake with lots of flavor, and for a special zing I made a simple lime glaze. He, and everyone else, loved it. I thought it was pretty great, and I'll definitely make it again. I might add some lime zest to the cake itself - as it was, I didn't think about that until I was mixing the glaze and the cake was already done. Oh well, next time!

    This cake is pretty soft and crumbly, but I like it like this. If you want it sturdier, add another egg.

    Coconut Loaf Cake
    200 g butter, softened
    200 g sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract OR 2 tsp vanilla sugar
    3 eggs
    200 g flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    3 tbsp milk
    100 g coconut (unsweetened)

    For the glaze:
    1 lime
    powdered sugar
    toasted coconut

    Start by creaming butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla, and eggs, one at a time. Mix well between each addition. Add flour, baking powder and milk, a little at a time, and mix. Finally stir in the coconut.

    Prepare the tin by buttering it well and then shaking coconut around it as you would breadcrumbs. This ensures the cake won't stick.

    Pour the batter in your prepared pan, and bake at 175�C for about 35-40 minutes. Do check with a cake tester, it might need longer than that.

    Let the cake cool completely in the tin before turning it out.

    Toast the coconut for the topping - it takes a few minutes in a dry frying pan over medium heat.

    For the glaze, just stir together lime juice and powdered sugar until it's as thick as you want. Mine was probably a little runny but still very tasty. Drizzle on top of the cake, top with the toasted coconut and you're all done!

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    Saturday, January 14, 2017

    Get to know your Butcher on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

     This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host Laurie Hoogstraten, I am featuring a pork dish using pork buttons that I got from Denny's Meat Market.  This is a rather "old school" kind of cut of pork and many stores and butcher shops don't carry them any longer but these are so simple to prepare and a great value. 

    I'm always telling people to get to know where they get their fish, vegetables and meats.  Getting to know your butcher is really recommended for your own interest.  They will give you a great deal of information on what you want or what you may try and they may specialize in products that you can't find anywhere else.  Denny's Meat Market, for example, also specializes in fresh sausages of a wide range of flavours.

    For this dish, you can use the pork buttons, pork belly, or cuts for Kalbi.  For the vegetarians, this segment doesn't leave you out either.  You can use the marinade for seitan, tofu, eggplant, firm mushrooms or cauliflower.

    Dwaejibulgogi (from

    For the marinade :
    � cup of crushed Asian Pear
    � cup onion pur�e (I put a yellow onion and the garlic in a small blender container with a bit of water and pur�ed it)
    4 cloves of minced garlic
    � ts of minced ginger
    1 chopped green onion
    1 tbs soy sauce
    2 tbs brown sugar
    a pinch of ground black pepper
    2 ts of toasted sesame oil
    3 tbs hot Korean pepper paste (Kochujiang)

    I used a package of pork buttons from Denny�s Meat Market.  I let them marinade for several hours.  You can then grill, broil or cook in a pan until tender.  Serve with rice, lettuce leaves, fresh chilies, green onions, or on their own as an appetizer.

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    My favorite photographer


    Today I won't really talk about food, although I have a massive overdue post about our 13-course dinner. Instead, I want to give you a tip about a great photographer for anyone in the Stockholm area. Her name is Lisa-Marie Chandler, and she does all kind of stuff but specializes in kids, family portraits, pregnancy photos and weddings. I've had her photograph my kids  many times and it's always such a delight - she's fun and sweet with them, and the finished pictures are simply amazing. She even came to Dante's third birthday party (can't believe that's nearly two years ago!) and the photo above is one of my favorites.


    So, if you need a photographer, give her a shout! Tell her I sent you! :-)

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    Tuesday, January 10, 2017

    Steamed Hoisin Sauce Pork Ribs ??????

    I have a long list of steamed dishes. Simply love it because the preparation is easy and can be prepared ahead of time. Just add the seasoning, let it marinate in the fridge, when it's time to cook, put it into the steamer and my job is done. 

    That's how I prepared raw ingredients ahead of time.
    The miso salmon at the back was for dinner, the ribs was for lunch the next day ;)
    Photo taken: Dec 2016, during school holiday

    This recipe is adapted from my Black Bean Steamed Ribs recipe. Using Hoisin Sauce instead of black beans sauce, with a hint of sweet taste from the hoisin sauce, the steamed ribs goes well with a bowl of warm rice. My son loves this especially with the gravy in rice.


    Ingredients: ??

    240g Pork Ribs ??/?? 240?

    1/2 tbsp shredded Ginger ?? 1/2 ??

    Seasoning: ??

    2 tsp Hoisin Sauce ??? 2??

    1 tsp Bean Paste ?? 1??

    1 tsp Shao Xing Hua Tiao Cooking Wine ????? 1??

    1 tsp Tapioca Flour ??? 1??

    1 tsp Soy Sauce ?? 1??

    2g Sesame Oil ?? 2?

    1/4 tsp Dark Soy Sauce ??? 1/4 ??

    Garnishing: ??

    1/2 tbsp shredded Ginger ?? 1/2 ??

    1 tsp chopped Spring Onion ?? 1??

    1 tsp sliced Red Chili ???? 1??

    If you are sharing this recipe, kindly attach the link to this blog instead of screen capture/ copy & paste/ use in your blog and claimed as your recipe! Thank you. 


    Method: ??

    1. Mix all seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Add in pork ribs.

    2. Add in pork ribs, mix well. 

    3. Transfer the ribs into a lined steam basket. Cover and chill in the refrigerator, let it marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.

    4. Add in shredded ginger, cover and steam in a hot steamer for 40 minutes.

    5. Remove the ginger. Garnish with spring onion, shredded ginger and red chili. Serve warm with steamed rice.


    If you like my recipe, click hereLIKE & follow my facebook page to receive more recipe updates. Don't forget to change the setting to 'SEE FIRST' if you wish to see my post on your Facebook news feed. Enjoy!

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    Tuesday, January 3, 2017

    Saffron chicken in crock-pot


    I bought myself a cookbook (or five) for christmas. This one is called "I didn't know my slow-cooker could do that" and it's full of weird recipes that you might not normally make in a crock-pot. And a few really useful ones, as it turns out. I was immediately drawn to one that was called "Moroccan Tagine-Style Chicken Thighs" and though this isn't that, it's heavily inspired by it.

    Saffron chicken in crock-pot
    Serves 4
    1 kg boneless chicken thighs, skinned

    3 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp water
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground cardamom
     good pinch of chili flakes

    about 15 dried apricots, quartered
    400 ml water or chicken stock
    1/2 g saffron

    salt and pepper to taste

    To serve: 
    cooked cous cous
    fresh cilantro
    Creme fraiche or sour cream
    toasted almonds
    raw red onions thinly sliced
    Cooked sliced carrots (my favorite way is to thinly slice, then cook in a tight-lidded container in the microwave until soft, then add a little butter and salt) 

    Start by mixing the marinade. Add this and the chicken thighs to a plastic bag, massage well to distribute the marinade and then place in the fridge over night. 

    In the morning, tip the entire bag into your crockpot. Add water or chicken stock, the apricots and the saffron. A little salt and pepper if you'd like, but you can always add that at the end. Give it a good stir, and then put your crock-pot on low for about eight hours. (I usually do half an hour on high just to give things a start, but that's not strictly necessary.) 

    When you're ready for dinner, prepare all the sides and then taste the stew for seasoning. And that's all, folks! 
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    Monday, January 2, 2017

    Happy New Year! Portzelki! Aka, New Year's Cookies, Olliebollie, etc.

    Yesterday, even though I rarely deep fry food, I decided to give my hand to this traditional Russian New Year's delight.  I took some videos and images for a step by step process and, when breaking it down, it isn't too difficult.  Just get the Mise en place and it goes quite quickly.

    First, soak the raisins in hot water and then dry on a tea towel in a slightly warm oven to plump up.  Set aside.  Second tip, I warmed the milk, butter, saffron and sugar together.  To cool the milk mixture enough so as to not kill the yeast, I added in the cooled raisins.

    Third tip, separate the eggs and whip the whites prior to needing to mix them in and set aside.  Fourth tip, add salt at the end of the mixing of the second rising with the additional flour, again, so as to not kill the yeast.

    Fifth tip, cook in a pot that will allow the portzelki to turn over and deep enough to hold enough oil.  If cooked at the correct temperature, the fritters will not absorb much oil or burn.
    Have fun!


    2  pkgs (~4 1/2 tsp) yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
    1 tsp sugar
    Let stand for 10 minutes

    2 cups warm milk
    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 cup sugar
    4 eggs, separated
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 lb raisins or currants (soak and then gently dry on low oven on paper towel until water is off but plumped)
    Flour for soft batter (~5 cups)
    Optional:  good pinch saffron in warm milk

    Combine milk, salt, sugar, baking powder, raisins and egg yolks.  Add 2 cups flour to yeast and milk and stir.  Let stand until bubbly.  Add remaining flour.  Beat egg whites to stiff peak and fold into batter.  Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil (375�F).  Space evenly and do not over crowd.  Allow room for portzelky to turn over.  When fully cooked, drain and cool.

    Serve with small bowls of sugar for dipping.
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    Sunday, January 1, 2017

    Lemon garlic parmesan lobster


    So, I eventually had my first experience with lobster - both cooking and eating it. We were thinking about serving it for a starter for New Year's Eve, but we didn't want to make it then for the very first time, so we got a practise lobster first. Smart move!

    As it turns out, we're not huge lobster fans. If you are, then this recipe is great - the flavor combination is right on - but if you're not, well, make something else. I'm not big on shellfish in general actually, I find the entire idea a little off-putting... but sure, it's tasty enough. Anyway. On to the recipe. 

    It's basically just about making a flavored butter - I took lots of finely zested lemon, grated garlic, and  a heft dose of grated parmesan and stirred into slightly softened butter. I split open the lobster, cleaned it, and slathered it with butter. Finally I sprinkled on a bunch of panko breadcrumbs and stuck the whole thing in the oven at 225�C for about ten minutes. (It could have been there for a little longer actually, you want the topping to crunch up a bit.) 

    We ate it with some truly awesome sourdough toast. (And I have to say, dipping the bread in the leftover pan juices was the best part.) 

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    Rice Cooker Soy Sauce Chicken Leg ???????

    Soy Sauce Chicken is a Cantonese favourite cuisine. Most people cook this dish using whole chicken, braise in a pot of soy sauce flavoured watery gravy. It is quite tedious to braise a whole chicken as you need to stand by the stove, rotate the chicken to get an even colour and flavour. Fred not! The recipe that I am sharing here is my simplified method. Use chicken leg, cook in a rice cooker, the simplest method.

    The reason why I cooked soy sauce chicken leg instead of whole chicken is simple 'because I do not like to eat chicken breast meat.' 

    The rice cooker method is rather simple and straight forward. Just 2 steps:

    1. Get the ingredients ready and put in a rice cooker.

    2. Close the lid, set to cook.

    Of course, you can do as I did, flip the chicken at the end of the cooking to get a nicer colour and flavour. The last step is optional, do it if you want your dish to look gorgeous! ;)

    ?????????,???????????????????,??????????,?????,?,??,?,???????????????? �????�,??????,??????!??????,?????????????????,?????????????,?? �?�?????,??????????

    Ingredients: Yield 2-3 servings 

    3 Chicken Legs ??? 3?/ 2??? + 2????,??500?
    (or 2 chicken legs + 2 chicken wings, about 500g)

    2 Cooked Eggs (optional, peeled) ??? 2?,??

    6 cloves of Garlic (pounded) ?? 6?,??

    8 slices Ginger (12g) ? 8?,??12?

    1 stalk Spring Onion (15g) ? 1?,??15?

    450g Water ? 450?

    30g Shao Xing Hua Diao Cooking Wine ????? 30?

    3 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce ??? 3??

    65g Light Soy Sauce ?? 65?

    27g Rock Sugar ?? 27?

    1/8 tsp Five Spice ??? 1/8??

    1 Cinnamon Stick ??? 1?

    1 Star Anise (small, optional) ?? 1?? (??,???????????)

    3 Cloves ?? 3?

    If you are sharing this recipe, kindly attach the link to this blog instead of screen capture/ copy & paste/ use in your blog and claimed as your recipe! Thank you. 


    Method: ??

    1. Put all ingredients in the inner pot of the rice cooker. Close the lid, turn on DIY mode, set 45 minutes cooking time and press start. If you are using a regular rice cooker without DIY setting, just press start to cook, check the progress in the middle of cooking and adjust the time and water accordingly. 

    2. When the cooking is done, open the lid, flip the chicken and eggs. Close the lid, set the time to 10 minutes (DIY mode), press start and let it cook. When it's ready, serve warm with rice, noodles or porridge.

    If you like my recipe, click hereLIKE & follow my facebook page to receive more recipe updates. Don't forget to change the setting to 'SEE FIRST' if you wish to see my post on your Facebook news feed. Enjoy!

    Some feedback from those who have tried this recipe:

    By Juliet Jau

    By Linda Tan

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