Wednesday 18 February 2015

He Will Love You

A very Blessed Lunar New Year to all! These two Peranakan dishes, Babi Ponteh and Chap Chye were cooked in advance for the family Chinese New Year lunch. I have cooked them in the late afternoon, covered and chilled in a chiller,  I'm doing this way so that I can be free of cooking some of the dishes on the day itself. Moreover, these dishes just taste better overnight.

When cooking Peranakan dishes, I usually refer to this book, Cooking for the President by Wee Eng Hwa.  I'm very pleased with both dishes I have cooked especially the Babi Ponteh. I have added sea cucumber, an expensive ingredient which I'm cooking for the first time. Recipe below is an adaption from the book with some modifications.

Babi Ponteh
serves 4-6 persons


750g Pork Belly, chunks
20ml oil
30g shallots, pound finely
40g garlic,pound finely
30g light brown taucheo, crushed
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tbsp thick dark soya sauce
30g gula melaka
4 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water, quartered
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
150g sea cucumbers, approx. Cut to bite size
1 cup water

  • Blanch pork in boiling water and marinate with 2 tsp of dark soy sauce for about 30 minutes.
  • In a wok, fry shallots in hot vegetable oil till translucent. Add garlic and stir fry till everything is lightly golden.
  • Add taucheo and fry till semi dry, intensely aromatic, and color changes, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to very low. Add pork and fry till fragrant. Add the light and dark soy sauces.
  • Stir fry for about 10 minutes and transfer to a pot. Deglaze wok with 1/2 cup water. Add gula melaka, mushrooms and mushroom water. 
  • Top up enough water to just cover. Bring to  boil. Cover and simmer till pork is tender. 
  • Add sea cucumber and cooked for another 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Gravy should be thick.
  • Served with sambal belachan.

He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. Deuteronomy 7:13

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Be Patient

 Grissini or breadsticks are great delectable start of a meal. I dearly missed them, they seem to disappear in many restaurants here! It is great that I have now found a simple recipe to make at home.

This is a great recipe to do, and with some basic ingredients in your pantry you can bake a basketful of grissini at any time. You can add in your own variations too with this basic recipe.

My first batch of grissini was made in a hurry. I have planned to cook pasta, and beef tagliata for family dinner, and thought this week's Bake Along theme 'Grissini' would make an ideal complete Italian meal at home.  Though they were unevenly rolled, they taste great, and very crunchy too. I also wrapped some with prosciutto and rocket leaves.

The Breadkitchen
makes about 20 sticks


225g bread flour
135ml lukewarm water
2 tbsp extra virgin oil
11/4 tsp salt
11/2 tsp dried yeast
1-2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Olive oil for brushing


  • Mix the yeast with the water and leave for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in the yeast/water and the olive oil. Mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough.

  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. 
  • Add the Parmesan into the dough and knead it in.
  • Roll the dough out to about 6" x 8" on a floured surface. Brush with olive oil, cover and leave to double in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Cut the dough in half across the shorter length, then cut each half into 10 strips.

  • Stretch and roll each piece to about 12" long (mine was about 10") and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet (baking paper).

  • When the baking sheet is full brush each piece of dough with olive oil. Leave the baking sheet in a warm place, uncovered, for about 15 minutes for the dough to rise a little again.
  • Bake the grissini at 200C for between 10-15 minutes until grissini are slightly brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
Note:The bread should crunch when you bite into it. If it doesn't, simply return the grissini to the oven for a few more minutes. Apart from changing the herbs you can also roll the breadsticks in sesame seeds before baking.

This post is linked to Bake Along theme 'Grissini' hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours,
Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Trials and Temptations

The call is for patience or longsuffering. God is still in control, even when we do not see it. He will return. Just as the farmers looks to the rain, we look to our Father in heaven. We must prepare our hearts to endure patiently until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be Patient, the, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. James 5:7

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