Month: May 2016

Bitter melon 苦瓜 with beef, chili and oyster sauce

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I am a big fan of bitter melon for reasons unknown to myself. I was fascinated by it the day that my mum said eating bitter melon at Chinese New Year would bring ahead a year of hardship.

In restaurants, stir fry bitter melon is often cooked with black bean. I however like it with chili and oyster sauce so the melon preserves most of its bitterness.

Bitter melon with oyster sauce and chili

Recipe is as follow:

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Barramundi in an Asian spiced broth (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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Winter is finally here with chill in the air – time for a nice bowl of hot soup. This simple & light barramundi broth is gentle and tasty, perfect for a lazy lunch.

Barramundi in an Asian spiced broth, FODMAP Friendly, Gluten Free

Recipe is as follow:

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Kids fun – cooking

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‘Have you loaded up my food pictures yet?’ my little boy asked again today. The neighbors kids were over a few weeks ago and we had a cooking competition. I laid out some easy ingredients in the kitchen and off they went with the great focus and dedication – their food looked awesome.

Sesame and peanut slice

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Earlier today I made some  sweet glutinous rice balls and had some peanut, sesame & coconut coating left, so I made this simple & delicious sweet snack, sometimes found at the street market stalls around Asian.

Sesame and peanut slice

Recipe is as follow:

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Sweet glutinous rice balls with walnut, sesame, peanut & coconut

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These sumptuous sweet rice balls are such a treat – often served at special occasions such as the Chinese Luna New Years or the Moon Festivals. The balls are sweet, nutty and slightly chewy, so very delicious.

Sweet glutinous rice balls with walnut, sesame, peanut & coconut

Recipe is as follow:

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Asian style kebab on lemongrass stick (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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With winter coming, I cut back a bush of lemongrass in the garden. I ended up with a huge bunch of lemongrass sticks which I used for this pork and beef kebabs.

Asian kebabs on lemongrass sticks, FODMAP friendly

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Garlic chive pockets 韭菜餅, and memories of a TV set made of a heart rate monitor

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Garlic chive pancake with eggs, Chinese mushrooms, shrimp shells and mung bean vermicilli

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by my cousin Yang’s skills in making dumpling wrappers.

Yang was the eldest daughter of my 2nd aunt. My aunt joined the army and met her husband in Northern China. They settled there for over 10 years before moving back to GuangZhou and re-trained as experts for mending medical equipment. My aunt made our first TV set out of an abandoned heart-rate monitor. It was the only TV set in the neighborhood. I still remember watching a green and grey version of the ‘Sound of the Music’ on the 3-inch diameter screen. It didn’t have a protective case in the back – we could see all the wires and connections. My grandfather put all his newspapers next to it. One time,  grandfather asked me to fetch him an old paper. I climbed up the drawers under the TV and reached for the paper.  I felt someone hit me with a stick from behind. I turned and looked, my grandfather was sitting at his desk working on something, and there was no one else in the room. I was zapped by electricity from the TV set!

Cousins from GuangZhou
A rare photo of the cousins in early 70s. Clockwise from top left, Yong, Zhi, Yang, Jie, myself

Anyway, Yang was a true master of the rolling pin from a young age – she could make hundreds of wrappers in no time at all. Her fingers were magic and I used to watch her whenever I had the opportunity. Their apartment always smelt of noodles, dumplings and aged vinegar… yum!

Being a ‘southerner’, my rolling pin skills are lacking – I am just too slow. To get around my deficiency, I discovered that my Italian pasta machine can produce wheat based wrappers rather efficiently. The trick is to first roll a small amount of dough into a ball, then press it to a round disc, and put it through the pasta machine a few times rotating each time. To show off my newly developed ‘skills’, I made these northern style garlic chive pancakes with eggs, Chinese mushrooms  and shrimp shell.  The traditional pancake uses heaps of garlic chive and has as a very strong taste. In this recipe, I used smaller amount of garlic chive and added chicken and mung bean vermicelli for extra texture and flavor.

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