Monday, December 29, 2008

Mama’s Radish Cake (萝卜糕)

I always believe that following the recipe book to the dot does not guarantee success. A perfect example is my Mom's 萝卜糕. The original recipe is from a cook book she read many years ago, (Delightful snacks and dim sum by Agnes Chang) but she only succeeded in making it super delicious after MANY failed attempts and MANY adjustments to the recipe.

Recently I've documented down her own revised version and now I'm sharing it with everybody, so we don't have to go through the painful trial and error process. Heehee...Thanks Mummy!

600g White Radish
300g Rice Flour
75g Tapioca Flour
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 cups of cool water
1 cup of warm water
Salt and Pepper

Optional Items
Chinese waxed sausages
Dried Shrimps


Grate the radish coarsely and set aside.

Rice Flour Batter
Mix rice four, tapioca flour, ½ a teaspoon of salt and pepper with 4 cups of cool water. Mix well and set aside.

Optional Items
- Chinese waxed sausages: Soak sausages in boiling hot water for 5mins. Drain and chop into small pieces.
- Dried Shrimps: Soak in water for a few minutes, drain and set aside.
- Mushrooms: Chop into small pieces.

1. With a little oil, stir-fry the garlic with the grated radish

2. Add 1½ teaspoons of sugar into radish mix and stir fry in high heat till radish becomes slightly soften.

3. Add 1 cup of warm water.

4. Add in optional items, cover up the frying pan and cook in low heat until radish becomes soft and slightly yellowish.

5. Mix the rice flour batter well and pour into radish mix through a sieve.

6. Add salt, pepper and a little msg before stirring the mixture.

7. Continuously stir the mixture in one direction until it forms into a thick ball of dough.

8. Scoop into an oiled tin and smoothen it out.

9. Steam for 35 to 40 minutes or until chopstick inserted in center comes out clean.

There's so many ways to enjoy this dish!
1. Steamed: Slice it up and serve it with a little soya sauce or chilli
2. Pan-Fried: After it's cooled, slice it into small pieces and pan-fry it till it's a little golden brown.
3. Stir-Fried: Chop it up into small pieces and stir-fry it up with dark soya sauce, chilli and garlic. Hawker style!

The cake can be kept in the fridge after it is cooled. Try not to keep for more than 1 week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wah Kee Prawn Noodles

Hands down, this has got to be the BEST PRAWN NOODLES I have ever had. This is actually the 2nd time I went there, because on the first attempt, the noodles was completely sold out even before the lunch crowd has dispersed.

This prawn noodles is not exactly your typical prawn noodles. On the store front, you may be shocked to see that the prices may range up to $10.00! Well, since the reputation is SO GOOD, might as well go all the way and order the best they can offer!

We waited for about 45mins, (I think it's due to the inefficient aunties and uncles working at the store) but it was sure worth the wait I tell you! Where do I start..?

The THREE, sweet, succulent, super fresh, JUMBO prawns?
The unbelievably sweet, or in chinese, very 鮮, seafood flavour of the soup that reminds me of lobster bisque??
The wonderful noodles, cooked to perfection with that amazing chilli sauce and generous sprinkle of fried pork lard???

Like I said, it's not the typical prawn noodles taste, which is more salty. Honestly I CANNOT find any fault in that wonderful bowl of goodness. I actually felt a little lost because everything was so good that I seriously could not decide which to devour next. A big bite into the prawns? A mouthful of noodles? Or should I only drink the sweet sweet soup? Dilemma...

My poor hubby was allergic to prawns, so I felt a little sorry for him, who had to watch me munch down the food greedily. (do I detect some drool at the corner of his mouth?) So I promised him that next time we'll both have the prawn noodles, and we'll go home immediately after that so that he can have his allergy breakout at home. Somehow I think he would find it all worth while!

*TIP* MUST go early to avoid disappointments! I went around 11.30am...

Wah Kee Prawn Noodles
Blk 41A Cambridge Road Hawker Centre (Pek Kio)
7.30am to 2pm
Closed on Mondays

Tiong Bahru Hua Yuen Porridge

If I have to choose what is my favourite dining out breakfast, this is it. A hot and piping bowl of fried big intestine porridge (炸大腸粥)from Tiong Bahru Hua Yuen Porridge. Located at the Tiong Bahru food centre, the store has been around since before the renovation and it serves good, authentic Cantonese porridge.

So far I have not come across another store that sells fried intestine porridge. Maybe it's because it's a lost art really. Many people just don't bother to sell fried intestine dishes anymore because it is such back breaking work! You have to wash it VERY thoroughly or else it would smell (yah gross right), and the folks at Hua Yuen sure knows how to make good intestines!

I love the contrast of the crispy and crunchy intestines with the smooth and silky porridge. It is the ultimate comfort food for me, especially on a cool morning.

Of course, if you are having breakfast at Tiong Bahru Food Centre, it would be a real shame if you went all the way just to enjoy ONE dish. In fact, it would be a down right sin!

So before we even start on the porridge, we would always have at least 4 pieces of the famous zhui kueh. The pickled turnip topping is SO good, Cobby would even mix a little into the porridge.

Of course, how can you have porridge without some freshly fried you tiao (油條)? Imagine dipping the hot and crispy fried dough stick into the porridge before sinking your teeth into them.... yummm... heaven...

I love you tiao...

Perfect combination...

Of course, if you're not a fan of fried intestines, they also have the usual pork, chicken or fish porridge, which is just as good!

Tiong Bahru Hua Yuen Porridge
30 Seng Poh Road
Tiong Bahru Market and Hawker Centre

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah

We were around the area this afternoon, so we stopped by the store at Balestier and bought some yummy tau sar piah, or bean pastries.

Balestier road is well known for the several tau sar piah stores. The story that I heard was that it started with just one store, opened by the master yoda of tau sar piahs. Then, the apprentices learnt how to make the beautiful pastries from the master and left the nest to open their own stores all over Balestier! Ingrates...

Anyway, it's super easy to spot the original master store. Located right at the end of Balestier Road, the very first store, is the store that looked like time stood still. The store looks quiet and sleepy from the outside, but walk into the store and you'll find a whole army of aunties, rolling trays and trays of dough and wrapping bean paste into them.

You can even enjoy the pastries, fresh out of the oven, with a nice cup of coffee at the store, which is super vintage with the marble table tops and wooden chairs.

The tau sar piahs come in either sweet or salty versions. 60 cents each... Super fluffy! I also like it that they do not wrap too much dough around the bean paste. Very light and great for tea break! :D

Loong Fatt Eating House & Confectionary
639 Balestier Road
Tel: 6253 4584

Mon-Sat & PH: 8am - 4.30pm(Closed on Sundays)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mellben Seafood

If you are looking for a good quality crab but not wanting to travel all the way to East Coast for your seafood, you can drop by Toa Payoh for your fix!

Mellben Seafood is more popular for their crab beehoon and their more unique crab dishes like their Golden Sand Crabs, but Cobby and I aren't really fans of crab beehoon. So we went for the classic Chilli Crab for our dinner that night.

They have a interesting system at Mellben. You actually have to order your food before they prepare a table for you. I guess in this way, you get your order faster as the restaurant is crowded almost everyday at Mellben.

The wait is definitely worth it! Even though we ordered 2 small crabs, it was heavenly! The crab was so meaty with nice, firm flesh! The sauce was not very spicy, but the flavour was just nice to dip the delicious fried man-tous in. Perfect complement to the crabs!

This was what we ordered that night:

2 small crabs $49.40 (1kg+ per crab)
crispy baby squids $12.00
stir fry baby kailan $8.00

Mellben Seafood
Block 211, Lor 8 Toa Payoh
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