Posts Tagged chinese cooking

Mulberry Leaf Tea Part 2 – Dried

Mulberry tea series : Part 1 – Fresh, Part 2 – Dried, Part 3 – Fresh vs Dried

Preparing my own mulberry tea leaves turned out to be easier than I thought. All I needed were fresh leaves and lots of hot sunshine. Read the rest of this entry »


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Koochai koay (Chives dumpling)

What’s a girl to do when she sees a bunch of beautiful chives in the market? She buys them and then wonders what a girl to do with a bunch of beautiful chives!

So, what’s a girl to do with a bunch of of beautiful chives now that she has them, you might ask. Well, she’d be asking the same thing, only this girl asked her good friend, the esteemed litgeek
merlusyne , and the all mighty google.

The results were two kitchen adventures into ‘stuff we don’t usually do at home’.

The first is a fried prawn dumpling, which I may or may not write about in the future. Which works to some extent. Got the recipe from litgeek for the batter, which may I humbly say, is really awesome! Even for a hopeless cook like me who can’t fry anything without it being soggy, oil-logged, or black cinder.

Note to self: Find a significant other who can fry anything and
make it turn out heavenly.

The second kitchen adventure is my favourite breakfast, teatime snack, tim sum. Chives dumpling is a largish steamed dumpling with whitish or translucent skin and chives filling.It’s a version of chaikoay (vegetable dumpling) and the name depends on the fillings. There’s the jicama bangkuang version, which my brother likes, but not me. It’s sweeter rather than savoury since bangkuang is a sweetish, juicy kind of turnip. There’s mention of yam version too, but I’ve never tried it.

After some consultation with the oracular google, I’ve based my recipe on However, I prefer a closer to my hometown version and I don’t keep lots of diff cooking materials (flour and stuff) at home, so some modifications are inevitable.

100g mince lean pork
100g chinese chives (kuchai or koochai)
4 pieces black wood-ear mushroom (soaked)
dash of pepper
dash of salt
dash of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the fillings, I’ve added wood-ear mushroom since I soaked too much of them yesterday for a dessert. It’s optional. Stir fry everything but it doesn’t have to be fully cooked.

Crystal Dough:
160g wheat starch (aka timsum flour)
250ml boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sesame oil

I don’t have tapioca flour so I’ve decided to skip it. And sesame oil is my lazy substitute for garlic/shallot oil.

Mix flour and salt in bowl. Pour 250 ml boiling water into the mix. Stir it with chopsticks to make sure the water is spread around the flour. It gets lumpy and sticky. Let it cool down.

Once it’s cool, knead it until it becomes not lumpy and sticks into a ball shape and not on your hands.
Knead sesame oil into the dough.

Pinch off a section, roll into a ball and flatten it into circle. Add one tablespoon of filling in centre. Fold and pinch the edges close. Frill it for prettier looking dumplings.

Brush the dumplings with more sesame seed oil. Steam for 10-20 minutes till the skin becomes translucent.

Eat with chilli sauce.  Yum!

For more pictures of dumplings in progress, please visit

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