Posts Tagged Kitchen Adventures

Mochi

Mochi is a Japanese snack from the wagashi category. It is not dessert, but a tea-time snack. Wagashi is a confectionery that was meant to be eaten with green tea. It tends to be sweet to accompany the unsweetened hot tea.

Green tea and brown sugar mochi

Green tea and brown sugar mochi

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Motivation and breaking out

I confess. I am a lazy person. I’d rather laze around with a good book than go socialising. My bed is probably my most used and favourite furniture. When I’m in comfort zone, I don’t want to move out.

Now, I’ve been thinking. Something that got me excited enough to start breaking out of my comfort zone and do things I originally thought of as impossible, has to be pretty amazing. I’ve met several people that inspired me. And inspiration is not their goal or their purpose. Rather, that inspiration and motivation is a by-product of sharing and friendship.
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Roti Jala, at last!

Third time’s the charm!

I’ve been craving roti jala since I starting living more in Singapore than Malaysia. Even in my hometown, I know one or two places that makes roti jala.

So, a few months back, I was excited to find frozen roti jala, made in Malaysia, in local supermarket. It’s rare find, a bit expensive, but what the heck. Sadly, it was a disappointment. Unlike frozen canai (aka prata), it smelled funny and was not the soft and delicate roti I know and love.

So, I tried to make some of my own. Googled some recipies and combined their best and simplest features. But wait … no roti jala cup. Nevermind, I improvised. Sadly, my first two attempts were miserable failures.

First, the improvised cup didn’t work so well. Punching holes into plastic container cup is kinda neat idea and less mess all around, but it didn’t work too well. Could be the holes were too small. But it could have been a problem with the batter too. Using a ketchup squeeze bottle was a little better, but the hole was too big.

Second time around, the batter was too watery. I got round splatters and not thin long streams of batter. And the texture was all gluey.

Well, I went back to Malaysia, found me a nice roti jala cup and finally got to try it again.

Roti Jala

Roti Jala

Roti Jala Recipe (8 small pieces – 1dinner portion)
100g wheat flour
1 egg
120ml cup water (adjust so it’s just thin enough to give a smooth stream from the holes)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch tumeric powder (optional)
1 pinch coriander powder (optional)

Steps
1. Sift flour.
2. Add all ingredients into a bowl.
3. Mix thoroughly until you get nice smooth batter.
4. Sift batter to remove any lumps.
(This is important or the lumps will clog the holes in your cup)

5. Heat a flat-bottomed pan or skillet.
6. Coat a thin layer of oil. (I just fold a piece of paper towel, dip in oil and wipe pan)
7. Ladle batter into roti jala cup.
8. Hold cup over pan and move it in circular pattern. (Just make pretty pictures with it)
9. Wait till 2 minutes (or the edges curled upwards)
10. Fold into quarters or roll into blanket or any pattern you like.
11. Continue with next piece.

12. Eat with curry (preferably curry with a lot of gravy). Roti Jala is great for soaking up the gravy and melts in your mouth.

Notes:
Tumeric is a strong colourant. So watch where it drips and wipe quicky. Also, best to use metal or good ceramic bowls that will not stain. Tumeric will most likely stain plastic anything and even countertops. Leave it out if you don’t have any or have ‘white’ kitchen.

Notes:
Tried to substitute with rice flour. It turns out to be crispy and drier. Not the soft type that I like.

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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
http://cornercafe.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/koo-chai-kuih/. 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.

Fillings:
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 picasaweb.google.com/cathy001/Misc

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