Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halibut steamed with fresh ginger

Lunches has always been just 2 kids affair. I will eat whatever left (when what I cooked wasn't in the kids' favour) or just something else (when it is simply delicious to them). Like I say I have always been cooking and trying out new dishes. How can I not be sick of cooking the same dishes again and again for 1 year?

Halibut is a kind of fish, easily found in my local supermarket, so very happy with this dish made up of simple ingredients. Furthermore, this dish can amaze the kids with the sizzling sound at the last step of preparation. I purposely called my kids to catch the moment and they went "oooo". OK, they are mountain tortoise lah. :)

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry or shaoxing rice wine
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound halibut fillets, or another meaty fish such as cod or snapper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion


  1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil, and stir well. Place it by the stove for preparing the sauce right after cooking. Put the vegetable oil in a small saucepan or small skillet and place it by the stove as well. Set a serving plate for the fish by the stove, along with a long-handled spatula or V-shaped metal tongs with which to transfer the fish from its cooking plate to its serving plate, where you will add the seasonings.
  2. To use a standard steamer, fill the base of a steamer set or a wok with about 4 inches of water. Place the steamer basket over the water. Set out a plate that will fit inside the steamer basket, on which to place the fish.
  3. Arrange the fish skin side down on the plate. (if you have more than one piece, leave a little space between them). Sprinkle the salt lightly over the fish. Scatter the ginger over the fish. Put the plate in position inside the basket or on the rack, and bring the steaming water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  4. When the steam is flowing well, adjust the heat to maintain an even steam flow, and cover the steamer basket with its lid. Cook the fish for 10 minutes, or until it is done to your liking at the thickest part of the fish. Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the steamer while you heat the oil.
  5. Place the small pan or skillet of oil over medium-high heat. Let it heat up until it is hot but not smoking, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and keep it handy.
  6. Carefully transfer the fish to a serving plate, leaving any liquid behind. Quickly pour the soy sauce mixture over the ginger-covered fish, and scatter the green onion on top of the ginger. Slowly pour the hot oil over the top of the fish, expecting a big sizzle and gingery aroma. Serve hot.

Phew! What a big chunk of alphabets, but trust me, after reading a few times and understanding the order of the steps, it is nothing difficult. Actually, along with the steps are just explanation. You do not really have to follow so strictly. For example, you may prepare the sauces while the fish is steaming instead of having them standby around the stove (taking up precious counter top space) before cooking.

This dish is slightly too salty for my family's liking, so I reduced the seasonings when I cooked again. After that the kids love this dish to bits.

Due to infrequent cooking, I am not able to buy any spring onion, so all I had was ginger. I strongly believe that some orange shreds of carrot and spring onion will brighten up my dull looking dish.
Here's my steam halibut.

This recipe is taken from the book "Quick and easy chinese 70 everyday recipes" by Nancie McDermott.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Although baking is my hobby but being a housewife, cooking is usually one of the default task. Since I cannot bake as often in the past, I try to find recipes that uses the oven.  I am worried that both the oven and my KA will go to waste. :-(

Actually, cooking in the oven saves some effort. I do not have to keep standing by the stove. I just need to do periodic checks on the food in progress. For the past half a year, I have collected quite a number of recipes and also tried on them. Some of them my kids like, some of them my kids do not. I will try to post by the "Last out, First in" method (ie, last to be cooked, first to be blogged. Haha)

I came across this recipe in Pinterest. You can also see it from this link

Both my kids and hubby sang praises to this dish. Maybe it is the first time they try? But I am happy they like it. Here is my half eaten chicken.

I am sad that it doesn't look as brown, but who cares when the family like it. The recipe below is for my easy reference (of course you can refer to it too :) )

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken breast (I use chicken thigh meat)
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoon brown sugar.
3 teaspoon olive oil (this ingredient only appear in Pinterest )


1. Preheat oven to 500F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
2. In small saute pan, saute garlic with the oil until tender.
3. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
4. Place chicken breast in a prepared baking dish and cover lightly with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bake uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes.

I hope you will like this simple dish. I think I am going to cook this again next week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Coming back ...

It has been a long 7 months since I wrote a post. I am finally able to write a simple update now. Although I am not active in my blog, but with the handy handphone, I am able to keep in touch with all my friends in Facebook. They have kept me happy at my sad moments. Thank you very much my friends. I also have friends dropping me messages here but I usually took a long time to reply them as it is not so easy to access my blog through the handphone.

My mum passed away on 25th June. After living on earth for a big part of a life, all it takes was a 3 days funeral and everything became a past. After the funeral, I helped with packing of my mother's room while my brother was still on his no pay leave. It took on and off, a month to really clear up her room. I also cleared my store to house some of the things I inherited. Then comes the kids school tests ... and school holidays ... now it is the last term of the school which means SA2 is coming. In fact next week is the oral exam! Life has been hectic, busy and with the early sleeping time targeted at 12 nightly, it is getting harder to switch on the PC. Imagine I woke up late and two kids will get punished for lateness to school? So I cannot risk that by sleeping late now.

I hope I will slowly get use to updating my blog again, baking again, beading again, and not forgetting to use the bread maker and the sewing machine that I inherited from my mother.

Busy life goes on .... I still have to cook and wash. Been cooking and trying out new dishes which I need to update the recipe here. If not everytime I want to cook something, I have to look through my thousands of photo in my iphone, and some in my ipad, and some in the PC. It is my trend now to snap recipes from library books. Easier and faster than scanning them. Also avoid the situation for borrowing  a whole book when I just need that page. I guess you will see more recipes of dishes than bakes for the near future.

Now it is time to cook lunch for the kids before fetching them home. Morning time are used for housework and afternoon time are rightfully reserved to coach my kids. Bye for now, my friends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A sad news

Dear friends and readers,

I will be busy with taking care of my mother as she is down with luekemia. I will not be able to handle my hobbies at the moment. Please pardon my absence.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Edible decoration

I made oreo milkshake for the kids sometime back. I only used the biscuit part and normally discard the cream. Too much of those sweet creams are no good anyway. Before I threw them away, I used them to make into a flower. Maybe it can serve as a decoration in my future oreo cakes? Here is sharing a picture of it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coconut Cakes

I was hoping this could be my entry for the Aspiring Bakers Challenge. However, I am writing this entry late and the method used in the recipe seems to be of the muffin way.

I have always love anything with coconut and I still have a packet of coconut cream that I bought for the purpose of last month's kuih challenge, so I planned to try this recipe when I am browsing the book after the kids' exam. It is a pity the maid side of me took over and I started cleaning the house on the first week when school holiday starts. It also happened that there were half day events like CCA etc in the same week so time flies and I was left with last 3 days of November. I finally made this at 8.30pm on 30th November but only has time to post it now so still not in time for AB challenge. :-(

My understanding was that cupcakes are made by creaming butter with sugar first, or whisking of eggs first. The wet into dry ingredient method usually means muffin. But this recipe with the title "Coconut Cakes with Lime Syrup" has the following short description :-

"These moist, coconut-lime cupcakes make an excellent dessert. for a sweeter touch, replace the yogurt with the same quantity of Chantilly Cream."

See that? It says coconut-lime cupcakes! Later on in the recipe I "attached" below, you will see it is the wet into dry method. So is this still a cupcake? Anyway, to make sure I will make it, I melted the butter before I cook my dinner. So the melted butter was sitting around for about 3-4 hours before it was being used. Would this affect the result? The batter was really very thick, so thick that whatever I spooned into the cupcake liner, it will stay in the shape that it went in. The batter did not change at all after 45 minutes of baking time accept the higher peaks of the batter turned golden brown. For some recipes, the thick batter melts into flat top then rises, some just rises as it is but this, I did not see any changes. The "peaks and valleys" were still where they were when I spooned batter in. The recipe mentioned it only takes 15-20 minutes and it is done when the tops spring back but I actually baked 45 minutes since it took so long for them to turn golden brown on top. After I took out the batch, I started to ponder, do I need to bake till it is golden brown at all? Perhaps they are never meant to be brown tops (book has no picture of the cupcake).

The cakes tasted lovely. Sweetness is just right as I reduced the sugar by 50g. Every one of them have slightly crispy top and a firm body. Every mouthful is filled with the desiccated coconut, just like eating the traditional coconut tart. I love it!

Here comes the recipe, from "desserts - 250 recipes for every occasion"

Coconut Cakes with Lime Syrup (Makes 8 cupcakes)

Coconut Cakes
2 cups (300g) all purpose (plain) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups (270g) sugar
1 cup (125g) shredded (desiccated) coconut
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (250ml) cream of coconut
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup (250ml) plain yogurt

Lime Syrup
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
5 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1/2 cup (125ml) water

1. Preheat the oven to 350dF (180dC/gas 4). Lightly grease eight muffin cups.

2. To prepare the coconut cakes, mix the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the sugar and coconut, stirring to combine. Combine the eggs, coconut cream, butter, and lime zest in a medium bowl. Whisk until blended to a smooth liquid. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert onto the rack. Turn right side up and let cool completely.

4. To prepare the lime syrup. combine the sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until thickened to the consistency of honey. Pour a few spoonfuls of syrup over each cupcake. Allow to cool and absorb the lime syrup. Serve with a dollop of yogurt on the side.

Now, doesn't that look simple.

As usual I omitted the syrup, but I am sure it will taste better with the syrup. A little sweet sweet, a little sour sour ....

Here are the cupcakes in oven.

The results - see, no change from uncooked besides the brown top

The firm body

I hope someone will read this post and bake this and let me know what happen to her/his entire process and experience. I would love to see how much it differs from mine.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Pink Tiramisu

This is a strawberry tiramisu cake I made for my girl's birthday in the month of Oct.  It came from a magazine which I have returned to the library. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the recipe that I have snapped from the magazine and  again forgotten to note down the title of the magazine. There are many recipes that I wanted to try in that particular magazine so I will go and hunt for it again in the magazine section. After that I will update the recipe here.

It is a straight forward cake just like any tiramisu. The ingredients are almost the same except for dipping mixture. In place of the usual coffee and coffee liquor, it uses cranberry juice. I remember the magazine said that this cake is kid-friendly. However raw egg is one of the ingredient in the cake. :-(

The process of making the cake is pretty smooth. I asked the boy to help as I knew he would love to have a part in making his sister's birthday cake. He was in charge of cutting the strawberries into small pieces and helped assemble and decorated the cake. Everyone loves how the cake turned out and the taste was great. One thing I was puzzled about was the liquid found at the bottom of the cake. I do not remember giving the finger biscuits extra juices.

Let me get hold of the magazine as soon as possible. I will update the recipe once I get that.

Meanwhile, I will let the picture reminds me that the silver decoration balls went flat/melted into the cake after a night.

It is time for me to sleep again. 3am already. Gotta wake up early to bring kids out and about.

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