Design a site like this with
Get started

Tom Yam Seafood Pasta Stir Fry

I have certainly been trying to clear my fridge lately. I found this jar of tom yam paste-with only about 1-2 tablespoon left. Since I was in need for a pasta idea, I thought a quick stir fry with some seafood marinara and veges will make a quick and easy meal.

I had a few pieces of kaffir lime leaf and added that in. Oh and birds eye chili of course. The tangyness stimulated my taste buds straight away and I couldnt help but eat more!!

Tom Yam Seafood Pasta Stir Fry 
250 grams of cooked pasta
500 grams of seafood marinara
1 tablespoon of tom yam paste
1 onion sliced
2 birds eye chili chopped
baby corn

Saute onion till soft. Add paste and chili. Cook seafood till done. Toss in veges first then pasta. Toss for around 3-4 minutes. Serve hot!

Sharing this dish with my friends at Presto Pasta. This week, the awesome Ruth from Once Upon A Feast is hosting!


Food from the Heart- Dhal

Time flies and this is the 3rd time I am participating in Babe in KL’s yearly Merdeka event. Even though I am Singaporean, hubby is Malaysian-and so was my dad. So in our families, both National Day in Singapore and Merdeka Day in Malaysia are highlighted in our calender.

Babe in KL’s theme this year is Food From the Heart. I thought that since Hubby is Malaysia, perhaps he could share with us a dish from his childhood days prepared by his mother or grandmother, and then I could cook it.

Before he gave his answer, I was expecting dishes like “Mum’s Curry” or “Sweet and sour pork”, “Indian curry”..etc. To my surprise, his answer was a simple “Dhal”.

He explained to me that in many ways, his family come together to have dhal. Every Sunday morning, his family will travel to his dad’s favourite thosai places and have thosai with dhal. His mother would also make dhal on weeknights for dinner. Given the mixed heritage that he is from, it seems to be a dish that the whole family would tuck in happily. He recall his mum making this dish and often it would be more flavorsome with more ingredients than what was served out in the shops. Looking back, he said it was probably a good dish to have as money was tight (not that his family ever let him know that), and that he was satisfied with a good bowl of dhal with rice.

It never fail to amaze me that the simplest food can be the most heart warming ones. If someone were to ask me what food did I recall as most memorable as a child, I would say “Sweet and sour pork” that my grandmother would make from scratch (From marinating to deep frying to braising!) to a simple dish of fried egg, soya sauce and rice.

I asked our friend (who happened to be my colleague and AR’s  high schoolmate!!!) her recipe for dhal that she attempted a few months ago when we went over to their place for dinner. She gladly shared it with me. Thanks J! AR said that this resembles what he used to have-except I added in fresh mushrooms that was not available back in those days in Malaysia.

1 1/2 cups red lentils
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup of baby spinach, rinsed
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
1 carrot diced
1 fresh tomato diced
2 tablespoons spread
1 red onion, chopped
2 birds eye chili chopped
2 pieces of curry leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon garam masala

Rinse lentils and soak for 20 minutes. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and saute onions with cumin and mustard seeds, stirring often. Cook until onions are transparent.
Add water, stock, salt, lentils, turmeric and chili powder. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the spinach and other veges and cook 5 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Add more water if necessary.
Stir in garam masala.

Peanut and Oat Slice

I needed something really simple and quick to bring to friend’s place one evening. A quick searched in my “saved recipes” folder found this oat slice that I have never attempted before. It’s a melt and mix recipe which makes it sooo easy to do.

I certainly like the texture of this slice as it has a crumbly taste to it. A bit like the peanut cookie that we used to eat when we were kids I added some chocolate bits as well. 😉

Peanut and Oat Slice 
1/2 cup self-raising flour
 1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
80g butter
1 egg, lightly whisked

Preheat oven to 180°C.
 Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper in a slice pan, allowing the sides to overhang.
Sift the combined flours into a bowl Add the oats, coconut and sugar and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.
Place the peanut butter, honey and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until melted and well combined. Remove from heat. Add peanut-butter mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until slice is golden brown and set. Set aside to cool completely. Cut into squares to serve.

Italian Sausage Hot Pot

For a change, we decided to cook up a storm using chat potatoes. The “healthy” me says that’s better for us because we can have the skin too. But really the “lazy” me just didnt want to peel the potatoes! After a good scrub, they go into a pot of salted boiling water.

I picked up a packet of lean italian sausages from Woolworths the other day. Being time tight, I made this one pot dish for some winter warmth. This tastes better the next day for sure! We even freeze some for a rainy day (pun intended). ;p

Italian Sausage Hot Pot (Serves 4-6) 
1 packet (around 6 small size sausages) lean Italian Sausages
1 onion diced
1 chopped chili
1 zucchini diced
1 cup of diced mushrooms
1 red capsicum diced
1 carrot sliced
1 tin of diced tomatoes
1 cup of water
2-3 tsp of red chili flakes

8 chat potatoes cooked, drained and set aside.

Saute onion, chili and garlic. Add sausages and cook till brown. Add tomatoes and all other veges. SImmer with some water. Add chili and other seasoning. Simmer for around 15-20 mins. Serve with potatoes.

Red Wine Beef and Lentil Soup

Another winter meal for us. I have been using lentils in soups more often because it is tasty, cheap and good for us! The red wine provided a robust flavor to the soup. I like the use of celery and carrots as it seem to add a sweetness to the dish.

Red Wine Beef and Lentil Soup (Serves 4-6) 
200 grams of lean beef chunks
1 cup of red wine
1 cup of mixed lentils soaked overnight
1 ltre beef stock
2-3 cups of water
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
1 carrot chopped
1 onion diced
1 bunch of celery diced
1 can of diced tomato
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp of garlic

Saute garlic and onion. Add beef. Cook till brown. Add lentils and veges tossing them together. Add stock, can of tomatoes, wine and water. Simmer for 2 hours till cooked through. Serve with crusty bread,

Moist Coconut Cake

You may recall that I have written previously how I was not a fan of coconut till recently. Even so, I’m pretty selective with the recipes using coconut as I’m not 100% custom to it yet- it must be an acquired taste thing!

Babe in KL wrote to say I may like this recipe and invited me to try it out. Funny enough, I was browsing my Womens Weekly recipe book a few days later and saw the SAME recipe (With icing though). I thought..Ahhh… the Lord must be telling me something.

I do love how moist it was. I added some walnuts instead and reduced the sour cream (as the reduced fat version comes in 180 grms container!), adding some soy milk. Thanks Babe in KL!  You were right, hubby loved this!

Moist Coconut Cake
Adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly

125g butter, soften
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
180g lite sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup of soy milk
1 cup of crushed walnuts

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a deep 22cm round cake pan; line with baking paper.

Cream butter, essence and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined.

Stir in half the coconut and flour with half the sour cream and milk, then fold in remaining ingredients; stir until smooth.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour. Stand 5 minutes before turning on to wire rack to cool.

Red Onion and Prawn Omelette

One of my favourite ingredients of all time is egg. It is so versatile and one can baked, steam, fry, poach,scrambled them into something amazing. Not to mention, it isn’t too expensive (or at least not yet!).

I sauté some red onion ( onion omelette-but that’s another post!) with prawns. Added a few drops of fish sauce and sprinkle of sugar. Pour in the eggs and I thought “this will be ok for dinner”, try to flip it and ..

ARGH… my flipping woes are sooo not over yet. (See my adventures over here and here)

Oh well, at least it did set ok… ;p

Red Onion and Prawn Omelette 
1 red onion sliced
4 eggs beaten with around 1/4 cup of milk
around 100-200 grams of shelled prawns
1 tsp of fish sauce
sprinkle of sugar
white pepper

Sauté onion, add prawns. Once it is cooked, add fish sauce and sugar. Add eggs, waiting for it to set for around 3 minutes or so. Try flipping or folding it into halves. Serve with rice and veges.

Twice Cooked Red Wine and Rosemary Lamb Racks

We are very blessed to have a friend who is a chef. On a gathering one evening, he brought gorgeous sexy looking meat for a bbq. Alas, they (and the rest of the crew) wanted steamboat and the meat was kept aside. As we were leaving, C started splitting the meat (I still have 2 pieces of steak in the freezer) and handed us the dorper lamb racks. They are the lamb to have in terms of best quality. The 1. something kg of lamb would have at least costs us AU$40ish if we buy it at retail.

You can just imagine my excitement.

 I decided to marinate these gems with some red wine, rosemary and garlic. Then, I was at abit of a loss. Should I roast it or pan fry them? Luck has it that I under cooked them by around 5-10 mins (hey, my first lamb racks, i wasn’t sure how long to cook them for, at least i under cooked it! ;p), and I finished them but quickly searing them on high heat.

Then, I pour the sauces into the pan, stir in some flour and some magic beautiful red wine gravy was born.

Twice Cooked Red Wine and Rosemary Lamb Racks
around 1 kg of lamb racks
1 red onion chopped
2-3 springs of rosemary from the garden
2-3 tablepoon of garlic
2 cups of red wine
sea salt

Wash and clean racks. Score the meat and marinate with onion, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and red wine for around 20 mins or so. Pre heat oven at 200C. Roast meat for around 20 minutes. Rest. Slice cutlets up and sear in high heat for around 1 min on each side.

Gravy-after roasting, keep gravy aside. Pour gravy into pan and add around 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir and stir. When it is thicken, lower heat. Simmer. Serve lamb with gravy and roasted veges.

Sambal Tofu Stir Fry

I was inspired by Noobcook’s dish recently and made a similar but totally different version of it. In fact, I cheated so badly that I wonder if I should still link back to her blog! ;p But it was a very quick and easy stir fry with some sambal, tofu and veges. I used oyster mushrooms which I lurveeeeee.

I didn’t use belachan and totally regret it. My sambal actually came from a jar! But hey, it works and made a good simple dinner. ;p

Sambal Tofu Stir Fry 
1/4 cup of sambal of your choice
1 tofu cut in cubes

1 red onion sliced
chinese chives a bunch sliced
1 tsp of garlic

Heat oil in pan and pan fry bean curd first. Drawn on some papertowels. In the same pan, saute onion, garlic and sambal. Add veges and tofu. Add around 1/4 of water if too dry. Serve with white rice.

Red Wine Caramelised Onion with Chickpea and Chicken Salad

what do you do when you have some red wine left? I was sautéing some red onions for a salad recently and decided to pour the rest of the red wine in the pan. I was happily surprised by the result as the onions has such a rich flavour to it! Toss it through with chickepeas and some chicken (although I reckon left over roast beef will do very well in this salad), it made a good hearty meal.

Red Wine Caramelised Onion with Chickpea and Chicken Salad
1/4 cup of red wine
1 onion sliced
1 can of chick pea
left over bbq chicken shredded
2 cups of baby spinach leaves

Saute red onions. Add red wine and leave it to simmer for around 5-10 mins till it becomes a nice sticky mess. Toss it through with some warmed up chickpeas and chicken. Pour mixture on to bed of baby spinach leaves. Enjoy!