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Girls' Best Friend

Bright and sparkly. Gemstones came to my mind when I was removing this Dragon Fruit and Orange jelly from the mould. Like a combination of gemstones...rubies, amber and diamonds, all in one!

Dragon's Eyes

The literal translation for the name of a small brown, juicy exotic fruit from the lands of Asia, known as Longan in Chinese, packed into these muffins


A taste from the humble beginnings, the Long Bean Rice brings back beautiful memories of the yesteryears

Light and Fluffy

Lemon, Yogurt and Cranberries~a nice blend of flavours in a light and fluffy chiffon cake

Bread Stories

Asian style buns ~ Popular as breakfast food or snack, sweet/savoury fillings wrapped in soft, cottony bread

Friday, 19 April 2013

To Paste or not to Paste?

We are spoilt when it comes to instants pastes on this side of the world.  There are instant pastes for every other local dish that one can think of, even for some that you never know exist.  Like how we laughed over one very interesting one that Mum got as a CNY gift, Concubine Chicken what?? (Psst, still no idea what Concubine Chicken taste like)

So, to paste or not to paste?  It's really hard to decide, since the temptations are really strong.  It's hard to resist convenience at a price ranging from RM4-RM7 especially if time is not on your side.   I know, I know there's the ugly side to consider too.

Ok, confession time.  I do buy them occasionally.   Can't help it , they called out to me when I passed the aisle :))  Usually those for spicy dishes which involves pounding and grinding chillies (especially dried ones).  One hard task, boy those things are pungent, making one tear and cough plus leaving you with burning sensations on your finger tips for the rest of the day!

So, this is one half cheat curry, well you might say a cheat is still a cheat :)
There's instant curry paste but only like 5 tablespoons of it, i never give complete trust to any one of them out there.  So, paste gets half the credit only.   Some extras which basically are ingredients  for a curry paste from scratch goes in there too.  Yes, I still put myself through the painful steps but it's quickly done with when the amount is a lot lesser.  

This half cheat version tasted good though.  Not an endorsement of the particular paste, just one that meets the family's liking.  I was grinning ear to ear when MIL said it was better than hers!    

Curry goes well with rice, noodles, bread or on its own.   I had wanted to eat it with some string hoppers (it was Friday and I wanted to have a variation that meets my Noodle Friday theme :)) but unfortunately it rained real heavy that evening and the Indian man who comes by on a motorbike to sell them didn't turn up that day :(   Otherwise, it would have been nice eating with hands, soaking up curry with the string hoppers, drool!  Ended up rice with curry and vege for everyone. 

Thought I would borrow this photo to show those who are not familiar with string hoppers.   They taste really good with curries, like the one below :)

Photo courtesy of Bharat Moms


  • 1kg pork ribs
  • 5 tbsp instant curry paste (I used A1 Meat Curry Sauce)
  • 4 medium size potatoes (quartered)
  • 3 tbsp kerisik (toasted and ground grated coconut)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
Addition to paste
  • 4 dried chillies
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 thumbsize piece of ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass 
  • 1 small piece of belachan (around 2 cm square, toasted)
  • 2 candle nuts
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods (use seeds only)
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
  • Handful curry leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • Light soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Sugar

  1. Marinate pork ribs with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar.
  2. Combine and grind ingredients for additional paste.  A little water can be added to ease grinding.  After grinding, mix with instant paste.
  3. Shallow fry potatoes and set aside.
  4. Fry paste until fragrant and oil rises.  Add in spices (except kaffir lime leaves) and continue frying until fragrant.
  5. Add in pork ribs and mix well.  Make sure ribs are well coated with paste.
  6. Fry until pork ribs no longer reddish in color then add in thin coconut milk (Add water to 150ml coconut milk to around 600ml).  Throw in kaffir lime leaves.
  7. Add in potatoes half way through (so that potatoes will not be overcooked).
  8. Continue to simmer until ribs are tender and gravy has reduced.
  9. Add in kerisik if using followed by thick coconut milk.
  10. Season with salt according to preference.
  11. Turned off flame once it starts to boil.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

#Pray for Boston

My heart is so heavy today, the news about the bombing in Boston is just devastating.  It is awful waking up to news like this...

Why in the world inflict such pain on innocent ones??  No one should die in such a senseless manner.  3 are now dead not to mention scores who are seriously injured.  Among the dead is a 8 year old boy, I can't imagine the pains his family is going through, especially his parents.   

Boston, please know that the people around the world are with you in these difficult times.  We are grieving with you.

Please pray for Boston.  Let's all keep them in our prayers.

Father in Heaven, 

I pray for the people in Boston
I pray that you be with them as they suffer and grieve
I pray that you soothe and calm their troubled hearts 
I pray that you bring healing and hope to them
I pray that you give them courage and strength to go through this difficult times..    
Through Jesus Christ our Saviour I pray


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

And we know where the beef is...

May 5 is the day, the day when Malaysians will go to the polls.   I am sure many of us are already feeling the excitement, I definitely am!  As they say it's going to be mother of all elections, like it or not the winds of change is blowing really strong this time!  I believe in this age, many of us will be making wise choices, we know where the beef is, there is no need to tempt or blind us with some sweets although we will accept them politely.  Oh, and i don't think we need reminders or advertisements on how promises have been fulfilled.
Now, let's talk about a real beef dish :)

Like a kid discovering new toys at a toy store, that's how i felt when I saw Wagyu beef being sold at Mid-Valley, Jusco supermarket.  Now, I don't normally shop for groceries there, I am not sure when they started carrying it (so this might be stale info for some of you) but I am pretty sure they don't sell it at the branch that I frequent, hence the excitement.  They come in small packs of 300-500g (if i am not wrong) and at a reasonably affordable price (read can buy some to play with).  When i got home and the excitement kinda settled down, i recalled reading one of my blogger friends mentioning about Wagyu available in Mid-Valley, Junco.  After some googling, it lead me to Yen of Eat Your Heart Out, who did a fabulous looking steak with it.

There's not that much that I know about Wagyu except for the few occasions that I have tried them in Japanese restaurants, indulgence for me at the price that it comes with.  But I pretty well know they are very tender and juicy.    The higher the degree of marbling the more tender and juicy it is.  I am not sure of the marbling degree of the ones that i bought, i dont think it's written on the pack, too low to state probably :)

So, i bought a small pack for stir-frying to lay my hands on.  They were already sliced into small pieces,  a little bigger than bite size though.    I stir-fried more than half the portion with black pepper for dinner and I was pretty glad that it turned out well (Phew, thank god no unexpected disaster that would make the meat come to waste!).   This was what I did with the remaining portion since it was not enough to make it a dish of its own.

Taking a cue from how the beef tasted pretty good stir-fried in black pepper and since we didn't mind an encore, I played along to come up with this black pepper spaghetti.  More like a twist off the Aglio Oglio, some portebellos, romaine and cherry tomatoes thrown in to make it a balanced meal.  It tasted quite good and I love how it turned out looking colourful.


  • 150-200g beef
  • Spaghetti for 2 pax
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 portebello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, cut in smaller pieces
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Slice beef into bite size and marinade with some salt, freshly grounded black pepper and a dash of worchester sauce for 30 minutes.  
  2. Cook spaghetti in boiling water with some salt added in until al dente.  Drain spaghetti and mix with a teaspoon of olive oil so that spaghetti will not stick to each other.
  3. Heat up olive oil in a pan then saute garlic until almost golden.  Add in the portebellos followed by beef.  Stir fry until beef changes color.
  4. Add in spaghetti and toss to mix.   Add in more freshly grounded black pepper and salt.
  5. Add in around 1 cup of spaghetti water and grated cheese.
  6. Mix in shredded lettuce and tomatoes then toss.
Note : If you notice a pale yellow patch somewhat in the centre, it's shredded mozzarella added to make it a little more cheesy but mostly just for the fun of it and to add colours :)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Heat is On...

The heat is on! Besides it being unbearably hot these days, if you are a fellow Malaysian you will know what i mean. Finally, the parliament has been dissolved yesterday after months and months of anticipation.   The election mood is on!  So,  this is the time fellow Malaysians,  let's all go out there and make wise choices!      Let's do this for all of us, this is our chance to right the wrongs!

In such heat, how about a cool, refreshing dessert?  

This is a twist of the red dragon fruit jelly recipe that I used for making mooncake jelly.  I doubled the recipe for the fillings, added a squeeze of lemon juice and some lychees to fit them in a 8 inch square pan.  


Source :Adapted from Mooncake Selections by Khoo See Yew 


Milk Layer
  • 50 gm. caster sugar
  • 3 tsp agar-agar powder
  • 250 ml water
  • 250 ml fresh milk
  1. Boil sugar, agar-agar powder and water in a pot until agar agar and sugar dissolves. 
  2. Lower flame and mix in milk.
  3. Pour in prepared pan.
  4. Wait for jelly to be half set  (i.e. soft but with a film developed on surface).  Use a fork to make light scratches on surface.  This is to make sure the layers will stick to one another. 
Dragon Fruit Layer
  • 100 gm. sugar
  • 4 tsp. agar-agar powder
  • 600 ml water
  • 150 gm red dragon fruit (just use a fork to mash it)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 pieces pandan leaves 
  • Half  a can of lychees
  1. Boil sugar, agar-agar powder and water with pandan leaves in a pot until agar-agar and sugar dissolves.
  2. Lower flame and mix in blended dragon fruit and lemon juice. Let it simmer for awhile.
  3. Pour into pan with milk layer after milk layer is half set following instructions for milk layer. 
  4. Top with lychees after red dragon fruit layer slightly set or else it will sink to the bottom.


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