Melbourne, the food capital of Australia, where multi-cultural cuisines reign supreme. You've arrived at a food blog where good food has no boundaries - be it restaurants, cafes, takeaway joints and any other eating places. Recipes to try out with successes and failures blogged to no shame. The focus is on authentic Asian (Singapore) food found right here in the heart of Melbourne. Just remember, the best dining experience could surprise your tastebuds when you least expect it. Get ready to be surprised on my food journey. Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Teochew Kiam Chye (Salted Veg) Singapore Style Recipe


This dish goes really well with staples such as muay (plain porridge) or even kway chap. I've tried looking for this dish for a while now, and been surprised to find that the only people who sell this dish here don't prepare it as they do in Singapore. Probably because most of the restaurants that do are from Hong Kong or China. Their version is a pickled version and is more sour than ours. I noticed as well that the Asian supermarkets tend to carry more of the pickled vegetables than salted vegetables which is what we need for this dish. My Singapore version of Kiam Chye is literally melt in your mouth with a bit of sweetish salty taste to it. I've looked on the Internet for suitable recipes but I guess as usual I would rather do it my way to my own picky taste. Note that you do require a few hours of cooking time for this.

Ingredients

2 Salted Vegetables chopped very finely
250gm Belly Pork chopped with skin intact
2 litre chicken stock
3 tb sugar
Salt to taste

Method

Place chopped salted veg into a pot, pour boiling water just enough to soak all the kiam chye. Then boil for about 3 min. Drain.

Then put chopped belly pork and blanched kiam chye into a pressure cooker. Add 1 litre of chicken stock (and water if not enough) to at least 10cm above the kiam chye. Place the lid of the pressure cooker on and cook on medium heat for 45 min.

You'll find at this point that the kiam chye would have soaked up most of the stock and/or water. Now is the time to add the sugar and slowly simmer the kiam chye for the next couple of hours, replenishing with water or stock as needed so it doesn't dry out. Some people choose to put a bit of oil in it, I don't. It is time-consuming but definitely worth the effort for this dish. When it's almost ready, add salt to taste and maybe a cut chilli.

Kiam Chye

Belly Pork

All chopped up

In pot for blanching

Drain

In the pressure cooker after the 45min stew followed by 2 hours of slow simmer

All done and ready to makan

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ming Jiang Kueh Recipe - Chewy Pancake with Peanut Filling


Ming Jiang Kueh is something not generally found in Australia. There were not even that many places selling them in Singapore where it came from. It's a thick chewy textural pancake of some sort with fillings such as the usual red bean, peanut/sugar or kaya. But I remember a savoury cheesey one from when I went to Singapore for a visit probably about 11 years ago. So any filling goes. My favourite though has to be the peanut/sugar filling. I've been craving it for a while so decided to search for a recipe on the Internet and see how we go.

With some modifications to the original recipe from Cook, Eat and Live, here is the recipe for Ming Jiang Kueh:


Ingredients:
  • 300 g Cake Flour
  • 15 g Plain Flour
  • 500 ml Warm Water (approx 40 degree celsius)
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tb Baking Soda mixed with 1 tb water
  • 1 tbs Yeast
Method:
  1. Mix all ingredients throughly and leave to rise for 2 hours. At the end of 2 hours it should have doubled in height.
  2. Lightly oil a flat frying pan. Ensure the fire is turned down very low so the base does not burn. Ladle half the batter into a large flat-based frying pan. The height of the Ming Jiang Kueh should be uniform.
  3. The batter should cook for approx 4-5 min. Make sure you check on the base to prevent burning. Once the top appears fully cooked through resulting in a spongey and slightly bouncy texture, turn the fire off and sprinkle the peanut filling generously on half the pancake. Fold it into half.
  4. Cut to serve.
 Cake Flour and Yeast

 Baking Soda
Mix the ingredients together, no lumps. Cover with cling wrap.

After 2 hours of letting the batter sit, ladle into a flat pan with about 5cm thickness

As it cooks...


Add fillings to half of the pancake and then fold



Peanut Filling is simply made up of 200gm of unsalted peanuts ground up with 80gm of sugar.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Or-Nee (Yam or Taro Paste) Dessert Recipe


This is not a common dish found in Australia. There's only one place in Melbourne that sells it, that is Crystal Jade in the city at the corner of Russell and Little Bourke. I remember eating this as a child in Singapore at Teochew restaurants. They normally serve it with gingko nuts and swimming in a layer of oil. Sometimes there would be a bit of pureed pumpkin in it as well.

It might surprise some, but or-nee is a relatively easy dish to cook. We can do it the traditional method with all the complications of mashing, turning it over and over in the pan, etc... But I chose to do it the easy way with the same result. Excuse the pics in this post, I thought of posting halfway through chowing down on it. So it might look unappetising, but I promise you it tasted absolutely delicious.

 

Ingredients

4 Yams/Taro (approx 1.2kg)
200gm caster sugar
2 tbs veg oil

Method

Steam peeled yams till really soft. While the yams are steaming, cook up your sugar syrup. Add a cup of water to the caster sugar in a pot and stir to medium heat. When sugar is dissolved, remove the pot from the stove. When yams are done, place them in a mixer bowl (I used Kitchenaid) and use the paddle attachment to put it on low-medium setting (alternate between 2 and 4). While the mixer is going, add the oil slowly. After about 3 min, start adding the sugar syrup very slowly to the yam paste while the mixer churns through the paste. If it's still looking a bit dry, add water till the consistency is smooth. You can either eat it immediately as is, or for an even smoother consistency, mash the paste through a sieve.

Voila! All done and you ready to get stuck into the gooey goodness of Or-Nee!