Saturday, October 03, 2015

Jökulsárlón - Glacier Lagoon

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to colour all around

Credits to a master photographer and friend : Alwyn Loh

Soon :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sea(see)food Diets : Squid in dark soya sauce


2 large squids, clean and cut into pieces
2 medium sized red onion, chopped into pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of soya sauce
1 tbsp of shaoxing wine 
1.5 tablespoon of dark sweet soy sauce (I used Dark Soya Sauce for Chicken Rice)
2 large red chillies, seeds removed and sliced into thick slices
50 ml of water (Depending on amount of gravy preferred)


Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry minced garlic and chopped red onion till fragrant. Add in red chilli slices.

Add in the squid and stir fry. Add soy sauce, shaoxing wine and dark sweet soy sauce.

Add in 50ml of water and ensure squid is well coated with the sauce. Once the sauce comes to a boil, turn off fire and serve hot.

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Eating clean: Steamed chicken with Chicken Essence


1.2 kg chicken, chopped into pieces
(Marinated with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp hua tiao chiew, a small piece of finely grated ginger)
1.5 bottles of Chicken Essence
6 large chinese mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons of wolfberries
Handful of black fungus, sliced
A dash of sesame oil


Arrange chicken parts in a steaming plate. Place black fungus and chinese mushrooms on top of the chicken. 
Scatter the wolfberries over the top. 
Pour Chicken Essence over. 
Press in all ingredients to ensure that the liquid is sufficient. 
Finish with a dash of sesame oil before putting it into the steamer.
Steam for 20 minutes or until cooked.

*Add red dates for added sweetness :)
I added soya sauce for added fragrance, this can be omitted
Ginger can be chopped into matchsticks instead of grated it.

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Saturday, September 26, 2015

咸菜番茄炒廋肉 | Salted mustard greens and tomatoes stir fried with lean pork


3 cloves of minced garlic
6 leaves of salted mustard green, sliced (washed but not soaked)
2 tomatoes, sliced (I sliced each half into 6 parts)
250g of lean pork loin, sliced
1/2 tsp of soy sauce
300ml of water
a dash of pepper


Fry minced garlic till fragrant before adding lean pork slices. Fry till cooked before adding in a dash of pepper. Add in salted mustard green and tomatoes and stir fry it on high heat. Add 300ml of water and let it simmer over low heat.

Adjust the quantity of water if you find that it's too salty but that gravy is really addictive 
Just be careful not to add too much water till your gravy overwhelms the dish. 

My grandma used to soak the salted mustard greens before cooking but I tried it today without soaking and it was fine.

From our kitchen to yours, 

Brenda x

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One pot wonders: Stewed pork & chicken rice | 红烧排骨鸡肉饭


1 large can of stewed pork chops, roughly shredded with bone removed (I used Gulong brand)
1 chicken breast, sliced and marinated with 1 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil, a dash of pepper and shaoxing wine)
1 carrot, sliced
1 packet of baby bok choy, stem removed and chopped into thirds
20g of dried shrimp (1 small handful)
1 tbsp of chilli scallop floss (Sun Kee brand)
Soy sauce mixture: 2 tbsp of dark soya sauce + 1 tbsp of soy sauce in 250ml of water
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of oil

4 cups of rice
8 cups of water + 200ml of water 


Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add minced garlic, dried shrimp and scallop floss. Stir fry till fragrant. Add chicken breast and fry till cooked before setting it aside.

In the rice cooker, rinse rice and add water. Add stewed pork chops and gravy. 

Place carrot slices into the rice. Add the cooked chicken breast, soy sauce mixture and stir thoroughly to ensure that rice is evenly coated with the sauce. Set the rice cooker to cook.

Midway in the cooking process, add baby bok choy and stir it into the half cooked rice. Add water if necessary. 

Serve topped with chopped spring onions and cut red chilli. 

From our kitchen to yours,

Brenda x

*Lean pork slices can be used instead of chicken breast with the same marinade
*Chinese cabbage can be used instead of baby bok choy
*I would add chinese mushrooms :) except that I already had a miso barramundi soup with mushrooms.
*Only when my rice was partially cooked, I added the soy sauce mixture and stirred it into the rice to ensure that the sauce is evenly distributed throughout.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Gula Melaka Steamed Cake


150g gula melaka
100g milk
3 eggs
150g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
80g corn oil


Melt gula melaka and milk over slow fire. The aroma will be amazing. :)

Beat 3 eggs until creamy.

Add sifted self raising flour and baking soda to the egg mixture. Making sure that there are no lumps. Add the corn oil. 

After the gula melaka mix has cooled slightly, add that into the mixture as well and stir till incorporated. The syrup is denser than the rest of the mixture so when you pour out the mixture, don't worry if you see gula melaka left over. Just stir it well into the final batter before steaming.

Steam for half an hour or until cooked. (Use a bamboo skewer. Cake is done when skewer comes out clean :))

It tastes a lot like the steamed Malay Cake. Although it's really rich in the coconut sugar taste, I think I might add a knot of pandan into the sugar to boil next time for added fragrance :)

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Not having a hotplate shouldn't stop you from cooking this! :)

Ingredients (Serves 8)

10 king prawns, deshelled and deveined
200g of minced pork, marinated with a dash of pepper and a dash of shaoxing wine, half a tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil
3 tubes of egg tofu, sliced into 1 inch thickness
A knob of ginger, sliced to matchsticks
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
3 tbsp of spicy bean paste (available from NTUC, Triple A brand from Taiwan)
1 tsp of light soya sauce
1 tbsp of cornflour, mixed with water for thickening the sauce
5 eggs, beaten with a dash of pepper, half a teaspoon of soy sauce


Pat dry the egg tofu pieces to prevent oil splatters before shallow frying. (You could deep fry it, but I'd rather the healthier and less mess alternative). :) Fry till both sides are golden brown. Set them aside on kitchen towel to drain excess oil and water.

In a heated pan, add two tbsp of oil and fry ginger, garlic and the white ends of the spring onion till fragrant. Add minced pork, oyster sauce, spicy bean paste, soy sauce. Add prawns and fry till well mixed with the seasonings. Then add about 250ml of water (depending how much gravy you'd like) and the pre-fried egg tofu pieces. Thicken with cornstarch and set it aside.

Heat up the pan again with 2 tablespoons of oil. Coat the pan well before pouring in the beaten egg and fry till brown on one side and cooked through. 

Place the egg on the bottom and spoon the tofu mixture generously over the egg base. 

Sprinkle the chopped spring onions over the top and serve with rice :)

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fried rice paradise using the rice cooker :)

So I've cooked a lot of extra rice to be frying rice for dinner tonight. And only half of that was going to fit into my happycall pan. But then, there's always the rice cooker. 

And after tonight's attempt at using the rice cooker, I have decided that I would forever be frying rice in the rice cooker. Until further notice. 


1 tbsp of oil + 1 tbsp of sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped 
Half a yellow onion, diced
Overnight rice (Filled a 1.5L ice cream tub) 
1 cube of Knorr chicken stock dissolved in about 500ml of water
Five slices of Luncheon meat, diced
Dry fried white bait, 80g to 100g
1 tube of Egg tofu, diced
1 egg, beaten
Dash of pepper


Set the rice cooker to 'Cook' function and once hot, add the oil into the pot.

Fry the garlic and onion till fragrant before adding in the luncheon meat, white bait and egg tofu. 

Add in the rice, breaking it up as you add it in.

Pour in the stock and a dash of pepper. Stir the rice till everything is mixed thoroughly. (Be gentle, you don't want to break up all your luncheon meat and egg tofu further)

Close the rice cooker and let it cook till it pops up to the 'Warm' function.

Add in the beaten egg and give it another stir to make sure everything's well mixed. (Use more eggs if you'd like. Daddy would've loved loads of eggs.) Wait for a bit till you get to switch it to 'Cook' function again and once it pops up to 'Warm', turn off the switch and you're all good to go :)

And there you have it. Fried rice paradise from the rice cooker, no less! 

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x

Sharksfin melon pork rib soup | 鱼翅瓜排骨炖汤


1 sharksfin melon, 1.1kg before removing skin and seeds, chopped into large pieces
2 corn cobs, chopped into thirds each
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 handful of wolfberries
6 red dates
600g pork ribs, blanched
5 small sized dried cuttlefish
1 tablespoon of salt, to taste
3L of water


I bought half a sharksfin melon. Cut the half into four slices (I find that it's easier to remove the rind this way). Use a spoon to remove the seeds before cutting up the melon into big chunks. 

Boil a pot of water and when it comes to a boil, blanch the pork ribs then drain the pork ribs.

Add 3L of water into a soup pot, put in the pork ribs, melon, carrot, dried cuttlefish, handful of wolfberries and red dates. 

Bring this to a fierce boil. Then add one tablespoon of salt (or to taste). 

Let it simmer till it starts to bubble again then turn off the flame. 

Bring it to a fierce boil again before serving. (I cooked this at mid day so that there's always time for a second boil before dinner comes around :))

I'll try it again with a whole chicken the next time round just to see if there's a difference. :)

From our kitchen to yours,
Brenda x