Month: November 2015

Flaky shallot pancake (蔥油餅)

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I was chatting with Li, another school mum about a forthcoming international food festival at school.  I mentioned that I’d make some shallot cake, a traditional snack from Northern China.  There were twinkles in Li’s eyes. “For one of my birthdays,” Li said, “my mother made three pieces of those really tasty flaky shallot pancakes. I asked why there were only three pieces.  To make these pancakes for my birthday, mum used up every drop of cooking oil in the house. Those days, cooking oil was rationed in China.”

Yes, I remember ‘those days’.

An 250 gram cooking oil coupon
A 250 gram cooking oil coupon

That afternoon, I made my family a batch of shallot pancakes – flaky, oily, chewy and incredibly comforting!

Flaky shallot pancake

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Vietnamese pork kebab (Nem Nuong) on noodles, salad and fresh herbs

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A lady who worked with me in the same company some years ago is also a mum at my little boy’s school.  She helped serving Asian food at the school fete and saw the mountain of food sold out in an hour or so.  ‘Next year’, she declared, ‘I will bring my husband and a grill to serve Vietnamese pork kebabs.’

At my work, I sit next to a young Korean lady, across from a Malay, a Vietnamese, an Irish and a Russian. So I took the advantage and asked about the pork kebabs. The best pork kebabs, I was told, was from an old lady at Cabramatta in Western Sydney who takes orders during the week and delivers the kebabs with a delicious peanut sauce via a fruit shop on Saturdays. She will be there for 2 hours each week, and she does not speak any English.  Now, that would be a problem, as I can’t speak Vietnamese.

So I went on continuing my research efforts. Weeks later my little boy had a play date with Ben. It so happens that Ben’s mum is the best friend of Sue whom I had crossed path at my work last year.   I caught up with Sue for coffees and found out that she is a third generation Chinese grew up  in Vietnam, and she lives nearby.  ‘No need to go to Cabramatta’, she said,’ there is a butcher shop just 10 minutes from your house, and it sells very good pork kebabs”.

Here we go, I finally found the pork kebabs today. I grilled them and serve them on a bed of bean sprouts, rice noodles, pickled carrot, mint and coriander; then I poured over a fish sauce mixture (nuoc nam).  Tasted so good & nearly no recipe required.

 

Vietnamese kebab nem nuong

Recipe is as follow:

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Malaysian chicken curry and leek pie

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I have set myself a challenge to make 4 different type of mini meat pies – traditional beef, pepper steak & mushroom, curry chicken, potato & leek. I started with curry chicken because I had some leftover curry from the night before.  I was not prepared at all – I didn’t have time to make the pastry myself and I used ready made puff and short crust pastry.

So here is my lazy Sunday afternoon chicken pie  – hmm.. they taste pretty good.

Curry chicken pie

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Pork and leek pastry ‘cha siu su’ style

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I like the buttery ‘cha siu su’ at yum cha, but found them a bit too sweet for me. For the school fete, I made my own version of pork puffs inspired by ‘cha siu su’.

Pork puff pastry 'cha chiu su' style

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Sambal eggs with vegetables, drizzled with a tangy son-in-law sauce

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There was a fete in my little boy’s school and I made some of these for the Asian food stall. It was a fusion of sambal eggs & son-in-law eggs – spicy, tangy, sweet, salty and delicious.

Sambal eggs with son in law

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Cloud ear ‘salad’ with tofu and garlic chive

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A mum from my little boy’s school was over one Friday afternoon. She was born in the countryside in northern China and taught me a dish with cloud ear, egg and soy/oyster sauce. The dish was dark and mysterious, I was not too sure about it.  But I was inspired by the idea, and made this cloud ear salad with tofu for the Asian Food Stall at the school fete.

Cloud ear salad with tofu & garlic chive

Recipe is as follow:   Read the rest of this entry »