Auguest 2021: Chamaine

Spicy Purple Sweet Potato Soup

“Happiness is Homemade. Real cooking is more about following your heart than following recipes. Fresh is always better.” — Chamaine

Auguest 2021: Chamaine

Hello Everyone! Chamaine here taking over Amcarmen’s Kitchen tonight to bring you a Thai-inspired dish for the Flavours of Southeast Asia journey on this blog for this year’s Auguest theme. I am so grateful to be part of this series as, through this, I have learnt to explore other cuisines and dishes from countries outside of my home country and knowledge.

I believe that Happiness is Homemade. My favourite thing to do at home is COOK, and I season everything with LOVE. For me, cooking is an ART. I plate like an ARTIST and invent recipes like a SCIENTIST.

Spicy Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Thai cuisine has proven to be quite a challenge for me since I am not so familiar with it. Some ingredients are unusual to me, but since I am eager to learn something new, I accepted this challenge. Upon my research, I found this recipe for Sweet Potato Soup rather intriguing. All my life, I have known sweet potatoes to be used as a snack and finger food; I never thought that it could potentially be used to make a starter or appetizer in the form of a soup.

For this dish, I substituted some of the ingredients as I could not source some of them, but don’t worry, I have the best options in our pantry. If you do have these original ingredients readily available for you, then by all means stick to using them:

  • Kaffir lime leaves to bay leaves
  • Lime juice to calamansi juice
  • Coriander seeds to oregano
  • Red curry paste to red chillies

As a result, I can say this dish is absolutely appetizing. With its tangy, savoury, and creamy flavour, plus the slightly sour and sweet taste, everything complimented each other so well!

Spicy Purple Sweet Potato Soup

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium-sized purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce*
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp calamansi juice
  • 1 stalk spring onion
    A pinch of oregano

*Replace with salt for a fully vegetarian/vegan alternative

METHOD

  1. In a large frying pan over medium-high, heat the olive and sauté the ginger and onions until lightly golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, bay leaf, red chillies, fish sauce and toss, cooking for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and water, and add a vegetable stock cube. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to bring it down to a simmer. Continue to cook until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. Once done, remove the bay leaf, and then transfer everything into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the calamansi juice and gently mix into the soup.
  6. Transfer to individual serving dishes and garnish with more chopped chillies, spring onions, calamansi juice, and a sprinkle of oregano. Serve and enjoy!

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Spicy Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2021 | Chamaine (@chamaine_homemade)

BON APPÉTIT

– Chamaine

myTaste.com

Auguest 2021: Brendon D'Souza

Banana Peel Curry with Coconut Rice & Pickled Red Onion

“When someone cooks with love, the meal deserves to be celebrated. You get dressed, choose a killer playlist, and pour a glass of wine then sit down to share the magic with your loved ones.” — Brendon D’Souza

Auguest 2021: Brendon D'Souza

Hello Everyone! How’s life? It’s Brendon D’Souza from CookWithBrendon.com here. By day I work in sales and around the clock I spend the countless hours we have in lockdown doing my favourite thing – cooking for my loved ones and developing recipes for my blog.

After 6 years at my former blog Brendon The Smiling Chef, I realised there might be a space for online cooking classes and social get-togethers for like-minded foodies. After running a number of free workshops with my colleagues and friends I’m so ready to take it to the next level and open up the classes to the world. Let me know if you would like to join in the fun!

Now more than ever is the perfect time to try and find clever little ways to use up leftover bits and pieces you find in the kitchen. This curry will allow you to do exactly that, and is inspired by the flavours of Laos, Thailand, India, and Australia altogether.

Banana Peel Curry

By no means do I claim to be the creator of this dish. As I’m sure you’ve seen over your socials it gained cult status recently when Nigella Lawson wrote about it in her 2020 TV series and cookbook Cook Eat Repeat. It’s such a great way to transform something that would otherwise be destined for the bin. I was surprised to learn that banana skins are packed full of potassium so I’m hoping it’s doing that extra bit of good for my insides too.

I’ve also taken the liberty to use up some leftovers for this dish including a batch of leftover marinara sauce and some roast sweet potatoes. So you can absolutely feel free to swap out some of the ingredients for others which you may have at hand. Don’t forget to tag #CookWithBrendon so I can see your creations. Let’s cook!

Banana Peel Curry Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet potato (or use regular potato)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (or any other fresh or frozen green veg)
  • 1 bunch coriander

METHOD

Start this recipe 1 hour before serving time.

  1. Banana Peel: Peel the bananas. Slice off the tops and tails.*
  2. Place the banana peels into a large heatproof bowl with 1/2 tbsp salt. Cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 30 mins. This helps to tenderise the skins and they will change in colour from yellow to brown which is totally fine.
  3. Pickled Onion: While the bananas are soaking. Finely slice 1 onion and place into a glass or ceramic bowl with the rice vinegar, castor sugar and 1/2 a tablespoon of salt. Give it a stir and then set aside. Repeat every 10 minutes or so while you’re making the curry and the onions will turn a vibrant pink and tenderise by the time you’re ready.

Banana Peel Curry with Coconut Rice & Pickled Onion

  1. Remove the banana peels from the soaking liquid** and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the peels finely into batons.
  2. Coconut Rice: Place the rice into a medium heatproof saucepan. Cover with enough cold water to reach 2-cm above the level of the rice, then add the coconut milk. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. When it is bubbling, immediately turn the heat off and pop on a tight fitting lid and let it sit there***. The rice will continue to absorb any liquid while you prepare the curry.
  3. Banana Peel Curry: Heat a medium saucepan over a low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, the cumin, coriander powder, and turmeric. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices, and then add the marinara sauce****.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger and the banana skins, and cook, stirring over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add 1/2 a cup of vegetable stock or water and bring to the boil. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the banana peels are tender.
  6. Add the sweet potato, frozen peas, coconut milk, and chopped coriander stems, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through. Finally, add the coconut milk and stir until combined.
  7. Serve with the coconut rice and pickled onion. Enjoy!

Banana Peel Curry with Coconut Rice & Pickled Onion

Notes:

  • *These can be composted. Save the banana flesh for another use (I’m thinking everyone’s favourite lockdown banana bread!).
  • **The minerals found in the banana peels such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium, will leach into the water. You can then use this liquid fertiliser for your plants.
  • ***I use my Mum’s absorption method trick to cook my rice and it works every time!
  • ****I’ve used 1/2 a cup of leftover marinara sauce with onion in it but you could easily substitute for 1 small onion and 1/2 a cup of crushed tomatoes.

Give this recipe a try and if you do be sure to tag #CookWithBrendon in your posts when you do!

I’m trying really hard to grow @cookwithbrendon on Instagram and now TikTok so if you have a second to visit and give both a follow I’d be so grateful.

Banana Peel Curry with Coconut Rice & Pickled Onion

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2021 | Brendon D’Souza (@cookwithbrendon)

BON APPÉTIT

– Brendon D’Souza

myTaste.com

Mee Goreng Mamak (Mamak-style Stir-Fried Noodles)

Mee Goreng Mamak (Mamak-style Stir-Fried Noodles)

Hello Everyone! We’re venturing forward on our Flavours of Southeast Asia journey through Malaysia with a dish that’s very close to my heart. Now, you probably already know that there are countless recipes for mee goreng (fried noodles), that vary depending on its country or region of origin, but tonight in particular, I will be sharing a Mamak-style mee goreng dish; a staple of ours that we would always order when my family and I were at our favourite roti canai eatery.

Mee Goreng Mamak (Mamak-style Stir-Fried Noodles)

Mamak is a local word used to describe people of Indian-Muslim origins in Malaysia; and thus with these two cultures merging together created a unique dish known as Mee Goreng Mamak, or in English, Mamak-style Stir-Fried Noodles. It is normally made with fresh egg noodles, boiled potatoes, fried tofu, and Chinese greens of choice that is tossed in a delicious sauce, but you can also bulk it up with other proteins such as chicken, squid, or seafood. Pork and beef are typically avoided for obvious reasons.

If you’re looking for a way to change up your weeknight noodle meals, then this is a recipe you should definitely try out. It’s quick, easy, and made with ingredients that you can easily source at your local market or grocer. Mee Goreng Mamak is a delicious blend of spicy, savoury, sweet, tangy, smoky (from all that wok hay), and sticky flavours in a single dish. The recipe that I will be sharing tonight is perfect for ovo-vegetarians.

Mee Goreng Mamak (Mamak-style Stir-Fried Noodles) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sambal paste
  • 2 tsp white granulated sugar

For the noodles

  • 2 x 500g packs fresh yellow noodles, washed and drained*
  • 4 pcs firm tofu, fried and cut into chunks
  • 2 medium-sized cooked potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Spring onion
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • Handful of celery leaves
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • Oil, for cooking
  • Chinese cabbage, blanched
  • Red pepper, sliced
  • Lemon wedges, optional

*Fresh yellow noodles are usually oiled. Rinse it in cold water to loosen up the threads and remove part of the oil, or you can quickly blanch it in hot water and drain before using.

METHOD

  1. Sauce: In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Mee Goreng Mamak: Add oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the garlic and white/light green part of the spring onion and sauté until the garlic is lightly golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the yellow noodles and fry for about a minute or two. Push the noodles to the side and add the eggs. Let the eggs cook a little to set and then mix it into the noodles.
  4. Add the fried tofu, cooked potatoes, celery leaves, and the sauce mixture to the noodles. Toss until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce, frying for about 3 to 4 minutes. Try not to mix too hard or it will break up the noodles into tiny threads.
  5. Add the remaining spring onion and bean sprouts. Give it another quick toss, about a minute or so for the bean sprouts to cook.
  6. Once done, transfer to individual serving plates and serve with red peppers and Chinese cabbage (or any greens of your choice). Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy immediately while hot!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Assam Pedas Ikan

Assam Pedas Ikan

Hello everyone! A new month means we’ve ventured onwards to our next Southeast Asian destination, and tonight we’re kicking off our journey through Malaysia! Having lived in Brunei for 26 years of my life, and Bruneian food being so heavily influenced by the cuisine of its neighbouring country, Malaysia, it’s no wonder that it’s a cuisine that’s very close to my heart and that I love so much on top of everything else that I seem to love when it comes to food *cheeky grin*

Assam Pedas Ikan

Assam Pedas Ikan, or literally translated as Sour Spicy Fish in English, is a classic Malaysian dish that’s undoubtedly sour, fiery hot, and super satisfying! Special ingredients such as tamarind peel, ginger torch flower, and Vietnamese coriander (laksa leaves) are key in achieving the flavour profile and aroma of Assam Pedas. However, while these ingredients may be difficult to source in certain countries, the sourness is the important component; and you can use tamarind pulp or paste for this. I guess that it’s also safe to say why everyone has their own take on this favourite Malaysian dish; the adaptations are endless! Ultimately, a good balance of sourness, saltiness, sweetness, and spiciness is all you need to make a good Assam Pedas dish.

Tonight, I’ll be sharing the way I remember how my Mom used to make it when we were still living in Brunei. It’s been a while since I’ve had this dish and I was actually surprised by how quick and easy it is to make, as well as how readily available all the ingredients are, for the version that I will be making of course. Instead of using water for my version, I used my own homemade fish broth from fish scraps to give the Assam Pedas more depth in flavour. Traditionally, locals would use ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel), or ikan pari (stingray), but my Mom and I prefer to use pomfret fish (pampano in Tagalog) for its delicate white flesh, subtle non-fishy and sweet taste, as well for its firm texture.

Assam Pedas Ikan Pedas

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the spice paste

  • 8-10 pcs dried red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (white part only), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sambal belacan paste

For the assam pedas ikan

  • 2 large pomfret fish
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Spice Paste
  • 1 tsp fish curry powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 cups fish broth
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, quartered
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • Spring onion, white part
  • 10 pcs okra
  • Salt, to taste
  • Spring onion (green part), to garnish

METHOD

  1. Spice Paste: Using a mortar and pestle, pound all the ingredients for the spice paste together, or you may also use a food processor to do so. Set aside.
  2. Assam Pedas Ikan: Heat cooking oil to a large pot over medium-high. Add the spice paste and fry for about 2 minutes or until fragrant before adding the curry powder, coconut sugar, and tamarind paste. Fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the fish broth, followed by the tomatoes, red onion, ginger slices, and white parts of the spring onion, and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
  4. Add the pomfret fish and cook for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Add the okra and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the okra is tender.
  5. Serve immediately while hot and enjoy with freshly steamed white rice!

Assam Pedas Ikan is best served with plain steamed white rice. You may also serve it with noodles, kind of like a laksa, if you’re using boneless fish. Rice noodles would be the go-to choice as they take on the flavour of the Assam Pedas best.

Assam Pedas Ikan

Assam Pedas Ikan

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Khua Mee (Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles)

Khua Mee (Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles)

Hello everyone! This will be the second and last dish that I will be sharing on our quick trip to Laos. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to Lao cuisine and will only be sharing recipes that I am familiar with in terms of taste and similar dishes from their neighbouring countries.

Khua Mee, or in English, Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles, is the Laotian cousin of what Pad Thai is in Thailand. Now, while I’ve never had Khua Mee before until I experimented for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I’ve had plenty of Pad Thai before, from my trips to Thailand, or just a visit to an authentic Thai restaurant back home in Brunei, and when I was living in Australia. Khua Mee is actually more sweet than savoury, and has a more unique flavour to it. This flavour comes from caramelising the sugar at the start of the cooking process which is then accompanied by other savoury flavours such as oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce. The sweet and savoury marriage of flavours is what sets this dish apart from other noodle dishes.

Khua Mee (Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles)

The dish is fairly easy to put together. I guess the only tricky part would be the caramelisation of the sugar if you’re not used to it. You want to keep the heat on a medium-low temperature and watch it like a hawk so that the sugar does not burn. Traditionally, this noodle dish is topped with a fried egg omelette and bean sprouts. If you want to make this dish more substantial, you can also bulk it up with beef, pork, chicken, or prawns. To keep this ovo-vegetarian friendly though, my choice of protein was firm tofu. I also used mushroom sauce instead of oyster sauce, and omitted the fish sauce by adding more salt, as needed, instead. To add more flavour, I used homemade vegetable stock instead of water as the liquid base for the rice noodles to soak up.

Push the Pad Thai aside for now because once you take a bite and get a mouthful of these caramelised noodles, fried omelette, fresh herbs, and fried chillies, you will know why this is a much loved Laotian dish. It’s also a perfect potluck party dish as it tastes even better when served at room temperature.

Khua Mee (Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles) Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the fried omelette

  • 4 large free range eggs
  • Spring onion, green part
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

For the fried noodles

  • 1 packet (500g) rice noodles
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 small red onions, halved then sliced thinly
  • 1 & 1/2 cup homemade vegetable stock*
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mushroom sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Spring onion
  • Fried red chillies
  • Fried tofu
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Calamansi or lemon, to garnish

*You can use store-bought vegetable stock, or water instead.

METHOD

  1. Noodles: Soak the rice noodles in room temperature water for 30 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Fried Omelette: While the rice noodles are soaking, whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl, season with salt and cracked black pepper, and add the spring onion.
  3. Add cooking oil in a large pan over high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until firm and slightly brown around the edges, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for a further 1 minute then transfer to a plate and cut into long strips. Set aside.
  4. Fried Noodles: Add the 4 tablespoons of cooking oil in the same pan, and bring the heat down to medium-low. Add the sugar and caramelise until melted and lightly golden in colour.
  5. Add the minced garlic and onions, and cook for about 30 seconds. Don’t cook it for too long as the sugar will start to darken faster and most likely burn at this point.
  6. Immediately add in the vegetable broth to stop the caramelisation process of the sugar, followed by the light and dark soy sauce, mushroom sauce, white part of the spring onion, and season with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium, mix, and then leave to simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes for the flavours to develop.
  7. Add the soaked rice noodles and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed before adding the bean sprouts, fried tofu and fried omelette slices. Mix and cook until the liquid has been absorbed then add in the green part of the spring onion and the fried red chillies.
  8. Transfer to individual serving plates and add a squeeze of calamansi or lemon juice before eating. Enjoy!

Khua Mee (Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles)

Khua Mee (Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Laab Paa (Fish Herb Salad)

Laab Paa (Fish Herb Salad)

Hello Everyone! For the later part of June, we’ll be saying goodbye to Indonesia for now and will be venturing off to Laos and since I am not very familiar with Lao dishes, I’ll only be covering two dishes that I’ve had similar experiences with.

The first Lao dish that I will be sharing tonight is known as laab (can also be spelt as larb). Laab is a type of Lao minced meat salad that can be made with either chicken, duck, beef, pork, fish, or mushrooms. It is seasoned with fish sauce, lime juice and padaek, a traditional Lao condiment made from pickled or fermented fish that has been cured. It is thicker and more seasoned than the fish sauce. Chillies, assorted vegetables, and fresh herbs such as mint, are also added to give the salad more flavour.

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Though this is the first time I’m tackling a Lao dish, I am familiar with the process and taste of laab. My Thai aunt taught me how to make the Thai version of this dish using chicken, beef, and pork; this was way back when I was still in university and used to eat meat. Even though this is the ‘unofficial’ national dish of Lao, it is also eaten in a certain region in Northern Thailand where the majority of the population is of the Lao ethnicity. Variants of this dish can also be found in Myanmar (Burma) and in the Yunnan province of China.

I’ll be sharing a pescatarian-friendly version known as Laab Paa, or in English, Fish Herb Salad. It is refreshing because of the fresh mint and fresh ginger slices that cut through the saltiness, sourness, and spiciness of the dish as a whole. While the fish meat is soft and tender, you also get a different texture from the crispy-fried fish skin that is mixed into the salad. The dish is served at room temperature and usually with a serving of sticky rice and raw or fresh vegetables. You can even serve them as lettuce wraps. We served ours with rice noodles instead.

Laab Paa (Fish Herb Salad) Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g minced fish, I used red grouper fish
  • Fish skin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2-3 red chillies, minced
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Handful of blanched bean sprouts
  • Mint leaves
  • Spring onion

METHOD

  1. Add about a tablespoon or 2 of cooking oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high. Add the minced fish and season with salt, to taste. Cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. While the fish is cooking, heat oil in a separate pan and fry the fish skin until browned and crispy. Once fried, break them into smaller sizes. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked fish together with all the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, i.e. add more fish sauce for saltiness, or more lemon juice for sourness.
  4. Plate up and top the laab paa with the crispy-fried fish skin. Serve and enjoy!

Laab Paa (Fish Herb Salad)

Laab Paa (Fish Herb Salad)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Tahu Telur (Indonesian Tofu Omelette)

Hello Everyone! So if you saw my recipe yesterday for Homemade Egg Tofu, you’ll know that I’m back with a recipe that uses them in the dish that I will be sharing tonight.

Back in my very first post in May when we first landed in Indonesia for our Flavours of Southeast journey, I mentioned that there was this Indonesian restaurant in Brunei that my family and I would always go to on a weekly basis. One of the dishes that we would always order is Tahu Telur, or in English, Indonesian Tofu Omelette. It is an inexpensive and humble dish that originated from East Java, and although meatless, it is packed with protein from the eggs and tofu, making it perfect for those on a ovo-vegetarian diet. The dish may seem intimidating in terms of its preparation, but trust me, it doesn’t require much skill and is actually easy to put together. It’s also worth it!

Tahu Telur (Indonesian Tofu Omelette)

What makes this tahu telur dish stand out from other omelettes out there is its tower-like structure. You can also find flat versions of this dish, but it’s not as exciting and dynamic as a vertical omelette in my opinion. To achieve this tower, you’ll need a ring mold to cook the eggs and tofu in. If you do not have a ring mold, you can DIY one from a tin can that is at least 4 inches in diameter and 5 inches high. This is what I did when I could not seem to find ring molds in stores; and it worked just as good!

When fried the eggs are fluffy and crispy on the outside, but soft and moist on the inside when you cut through it due to the tofu that’s mixed in it. You can top it with various fresh vegetables of your choice to add a different crunch that’s refreshing to the palette. The dish is then brought together with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce that you can easily adjust to suit your liking.

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PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the tauhu telur

  • 5 large free-range eggs
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Homemade egg tofu*, deep fried
  • Cooking oil

*I used a quarter serving of this recipe, and cut them into 8 rectangular pieces.

For the peanut sauce

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 red chillies
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp kicap manis
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp peanut butter

To garnish

  • Blanched bean sprouts
  • Fresh red chillies, chopped
  • Spring onion

METHOD

  1. Peanut Sauce: In a small pan, fry the garlic cloves and chillies until soft and browned. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced and slightly thickened. You may want to add more kicap manis at this point to darken the colour of the sauce. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside. Reheat later if needed.
  3. Tauhu Telur: Beat the eggs, tapioca flour, and salt together until well combined. Dissolve as much of the flour as possible.
  4. In a large frying pan, heat over medium-high, enough oil so that you are able to scoop up using a ladle, I used about 6 to 8 cups. Place the ring mold in the center of the pan and ladle the hot oil over the mold to prevent sticking while cooking.
  5. Pour about a third of the egg mixture into the ring mold and let it cook for about 30 to 45 seconds. Add half of the deep fried egg tofu to the eggs and cook for a further 30 seconds, ladling hot oil into the mold.
  6. Add another third of the egg mixture and top with the remaining egg tofu. Ladle more hot oil into the mold, and then add the remaining egg mixture on top.
  7. Reduce the heat down to medium and cook by continuously ladling hot oil on top of the mixture. Remove the oil if it stops sizzling and pour hot oil on top, repeating until golden brown in colour, about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the egg is cooked enough that it can hold its shape upright.
  8. Using a knife, gently scrape the inner side of the mold to loosen the egg. Use tongs to slowly and gently pull the mold away from the egg. Continue to cook until the sides are golden brown in colour.
  9. Once done, remove from the pan and shake off any excess oil. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any more excess grease.
  10. Transfer to a serving plate with the peanut sauce, and top with the blanched bean sprouts, fresh chillies, and spring onion. Enjoy!

Tahu Telur (Indonesian Tofu Omelette)

1909

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

Hello Everyone and a Happy November to all! I honestly didn’t think that I would be spending my birth month still under general community quarantine, but at least it means that we’re still taking safety precautions… Or are we really? I went grocery shopping over the weekend, and it seemed like people weren’t keeping their distances. I was queuing up at the pharmacy and though there were evident markings on the floors on where you should stand, this one lady behind me kept standing right behind me. The security guard had to tell her to follow the markings.

Mini introductory tangent aside, gnocchi (pronounced ni-yok-ee; singular gnocco) are a variety of pasta consisting of various thick, small, and pillow soft dough dumplings that are primarily made by combining potatoes, flour, and egg, but may also be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients. The dough for gnocchi is most often rolled out before it is cut into small pieces about the size of a wine cork. The little dumplings are then pressed with a fork or a cheese grater to make ridges that can hold sauce. Alternatively, they are simply cut into little pillows.

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

Gnocchi are generally homemade in Italian and Italian-immigrant households. They may also be bought fresh from specialty stores. Packaged gnocchi are widely available either refrigerated, dried, or frozen, if industrially produced. Like many Italian dishes, gnocchi have considerable variation in recipes and names across different regions. Gnocchi are commonly cooked on their own in salted boiling water and then dressed with various sauces depending on the type of gnocchi and recipe used. Common accompaniments of gnocchi include melted butter with sage, and pesto.

For tonight’s recipe, I decided to put a little spin to it by using sweet potatoes instead or regular potatoes. In addition, since it’s a new month and therefore a new colour theme on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I specifically used Japanese purple sweet potatoes that I sourced from PruTazan, for my last colours of the rainbow theme for the year! That’s right, for the month of November and December, I will be sharing violet recipes with you guys.

Also known as Murasaki Imo, which means “purple potato” in Japanese, contains dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. The flesh also contains anthocyanin, a naturally occurring antioxidant that gives the tuber its purple hue. They are used in a variety of culinary applications including desserts and snack foods and are valued for their sweet flavour and high antioxidant content. They are also commonly dried and turned into powder for use as a natural food colouring.

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato gnocchi

  • 1 kg purple sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour, plus more if needed as well as for dusting
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the creamy parmesan sauce

  • 250ml all purpose cream
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Chives, finely chopped
  • Danablu Cheese, crumbled
  • Pistachios, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Bake the sweet potatoes in a preheated oven at 230C (450F or gas mark 8), for 45 minutes or until completely tender when pierce with a fork. Once done, set aside to cool.

Note: Japanese purple sweet potatoes are best steamed or roasted. When boiled, they will lose their purple hue. So to retain their vibrant colour, they should be roasted or steamed.

  1. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the sweet potatoes and in a large mixing bowl, roughly mash them using a fork. Add the flour, egg and season with a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mixture together to form a dough.
  2. Gently fold and press the dough a couple of times, adding flour as necessary if the dough feels sticky. Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Cut the dough into four equal parts and form each quarter into a ½-inch diameter log using the palm of your hands.
  3. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces and then press over the tine of a fork to create ridges. Transfer to a baking sheet dusted with flour and repeat with the remaining dough. I managed to make about 76 pieces of gnocchi with this recipe, more or less depending on how you roll them out/cut them.

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Working in batches, add the gnocchi to the pot, gently stirring once or twice to prevent them from sticking. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the surface, about 3-5 minutes, and then cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray lightly drizzled with oil. Set aside.
  2. Creamy Parmesan Sauce: Heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high, in a medium-sized pan. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately add in the onions and continue to sauté until fragrant and slightly golden in colour and onions have softened and begin to go translucent, a further 45 seconds.
  3. Add the cream and season with a touch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix and bring to a gentle simmer. Once simmering, add in the parmesan cheese. Mix until the cheese has melted and then remove from the heat.
  4. Assemble: Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Working in batches again, add the gnocchi to the pan and lightly fry until golden brown in colour.
  5. Spread the creamy parmesan sauce on a serving dish, and place the pieces of fried gnocchi on top. Add crumbles of Danablu cheese* (or any other type of blue cheese) and top with roughly chopped pistachios, and chives.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

This recipe for Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi creates a vibrant and eye-catching dish that is as visually pleasing as it is delicious. You get the best of both worlds with the light, soft-pillowy interior and golden-crispy exterior in every mouthful. These gnocchi are a touch sweeter than those made from regular potatoes, and therefore are best complimented by salty and savoury flavours, like a Creamy Parmesan Sauce. Sharp, rich, and bold especially with the danablu cheese. Balance it out with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to cut through the creaminess, and you’ve got yourself a killer dish!

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Magic Vietnamese-style Glass Noodle Salad

Magic Vietnamese-style Glass Noodle Salad

Hello Everyone! This bowl as a whole reminds me of a deconstructed version of Vietnamese spring rolls – vibrant in flavour as they are in colour, topped with poached prawns, fried tofu, snow peas, fresh carrots and mint leaves, and a sprinkle of crushed roasted peanuts.

Magic Vietnamese-style Glass Noodle Salad

In fact, the recipe for the sauce/dressing used for this dish is based off of a Vietnamese spring roll dipping sauce. It is made with lemon juice, fish sauce, sugar, and a bit of fresh garlic and chillies. The sauce is very acidic, which is exactly what you need to trigger the color changing properties of the butterfly pea flower. These striking blue and violet glass noodles, steeped in butterfly pea flowers to achieve their rich colour, transform before your eyes when mixed with the acidic sauce.

It’s cool, refreshing and perfect for the warmer days of spring and summer! But before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe where I drew my inspiration from over on Love and Olive Oil by Lindsay.

Magic Vietnamese-style Glass Noodle Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the glass noodles

  • 3 packets (80g per pack) glass noodles
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dried butterfly pea flowers
  • Pinch of salt

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, finely minced

To assemble

  • Carrots, shredded
  • Firm tofu, fried
  • Mint leaves
  • Prawns, poached
  • Roasted peanuts, crushed
  • Snow peas, blanched

METHOD

  1. Dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a small to medium-sized bowl and mix well. Adjust taste to your liking by adding more fish sauce, lemon juice, or chillies. Set aside.
  2. Glass Noodles: Combine the dried butterfly pea flowers in a small saucepan together with the water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat off and leave to steep for about 10-15 minutes. Discard the flowers.
  3. Place the glass noodles in a large mixing bowl and pour the blue-infused water over the noodles. Give it a good mix, making sure that the noodles are covered with water. Place a clean tea towel over the bowl and set aside for the noodles to soak and cook, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the noodles are cooked through, drain and separate into two batches in bowls. Drizzle half of the prepared dressing in one of the bowls and give it a good mix. You’ll see that the colour will change from blue to violet in a matter of seconds.
  5. Assemble: Place an equal amount of the blue and violet noodles into individual serving dishes and top with vegetables and meat of your choice. I kept mine pescatarian so went with poached shrimp and bulked it up with tofu as well. I added vegetables such as shredded carrots, snow peas, mint leaves, and topped it off with some roasted peanuts.
  6. Add more dressing as you wish and enjoy as a room temperature or cold dish on a hot summer’s day!

Magic Vietnamese-style Glass Noodle Salad

Magic Vietnamese-style Glass Noodle Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2020: Jiemei Sisters

Nasi Kerabu

“The kitchen is the heart of the home” — Jiemei Sisters

Auguest 2020: Jiemei Sisters

Looking back on my childhood, I am flooded with memories of the kitchen: our pantry in which we would sneak into to get little chewy sweets called sugus, sitting at the kitchen counter and having a cup of Milo and some biscuits after school, opening the fridge and exclaiming in disgust after sniffing an opened can of beer. As we grew older, we would stand in the kitchen and help our mom with menial tasks such as mincing garlic, chopping onions, cooking rice (ok, this one is not so menial) and other things.

Without fail, every night our family would have dinner together. Sitting around the dinner table, chatting about our day, what we did at school, and what we might want to do during the weekend – food was something that kept our family bond tight.

After I left home, it would take about 8 years before I would be reunited with my sisters in the same city. This time, while chatting about anything and everything in the kitchen, we started cooking dishes that are nostalgic to us.

We grew up partly in Brunei and partly in Malaysia. Our parents were well travelled and adventurous with food (a trait that they passed down to us). We like to try and cook everything from scratch (as much as we can), to try and replicate that taste of our childhood. That taste that brings back memories of our warm kitchen, with the black countertops and white cabinets, the pantry with the treasure trove of goodies, and the feeling of warm familial love.

Nasi Kerabu is a dish that we used to get only during Ramadan and Hari Raya. I don’t know if it was sold frequently at other times, but this was the time during the year where our mom would, after an exhausting day at work, pick us up from school and stop at a “gerai” (malay stall) on the way home. Nasi Kerabu was always a favourite. It reminds me of a salad. But, a good salad. None of that wilting leaves drenched in balsamic vinegar and oil. A good hearty salad with substance. The blue rice, fragrant herbs, refreshing vegetables, topped with the Kerisik Ikan (fish floss), accompanied by a good sambal sauce, along with keropok (fish crackers) – oh man. This dish is To. Die. For.

Last year, I moved away from the city I called home for the last 10 years. So, when my sisters came to visit, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to cook together. Because I live in the interior, we were not able to hunt down some of the Southeast Asian herbs that are essential to the dish, but we made do. And it was still so very good.

Nasi Kerabu Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

For the nasi kerabu

  • 10 pieces butterfly blue pea flower (this is to give the rice its beautiful blue hue)
  • 3 pandan leaves
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice

For the kerisik ikan

  • 1 mackerel fillet (we used the salted fillets that are popular in Korean grocery stores)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup dried shrimp

For the kuah sambal

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp oil
  • 8 dried chilies (boiled in water for about 10 minutes)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 large red chilies
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt, to taste

For the grilled fish

  • Mackerel (we love mackerel in this household, but feel free to use whatever fish you like)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Salt, to taste

To garnish

  • Bean sprouts, cut in half
  • Cabbage, diced
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Keropok
  • Mint, finely sliced
  • Salted Egg
  • Snake beans, finely diced

Other garnishes, if available, kaffir lime leaves, torch ginger flower, banana flower, and daun kesum. These are more herbs that you can add. We had to omit them due to the lack of variety in the small town I live in.

METHOD

  1. Kerisik Ikan: Broil the mackerel fillet in the oven on high heat for 8 minutes. Let it cool down before removing the skin and bones.
  2. Toast coconut flakes in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden brown.
  3. Toast dried shrimp separate from the coconut flakes, in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until fragrant.
  4. Pound ingredients separately with a mortar and pestle until finely shredded. Mix everything in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Nasi Kerabu: Steep blue pea flowers in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  6. While waiting for the pea flower water to cool down, wash your rice. Clean the pandan leaves and tie it up in a bundle.
  7. When the pea flower water has cooled down, combine rice, pea flower water, and pandan leaves together and put it in the rice cooker and let it do its magic.
  8. Kuah Sambal: Blend shallots, garlic, chilies, lemongrass, 3 tbsp water and 1 tbsp of oil in a blender until it turns into a nice paste.
  9. Heat the 1/4 cup of oil in a pan and pour in the chili paste. Simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly for the first 3 minutes, and then every 2-3 minutes. Do this for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. The paste will start to pecah, which means “to break” in Malay. You’ll know it’s ready when the oil starts to separate from the paste. Sometimes it takes longer than 15 minutes. Your best indication to know when it’s ready is the separation of oil and paste.
  11. Add in the tamarind juice, sugar, and salt to taste. Then add in the coconut milk and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and set aside, in the pan, once done.
  12. Grilled Fish: Marinate the fish with oil, turmeric, and salt.
  13. Broil on high for about 8 minutes. Note: this timing is for a fillet of mackerel. You will need to adjust accordingly if you use a different type of fish.
  14. Plating: Scoop the rice onto the middle of the plate. Surround the rice mound with your garnishes and grilled fish and top rice with kuah sambah and kerisik ikan. Serve and enjoy!

Nasi Kerabu

Like I mentioned above, this dish reminds me of a salad. Mix your garnishes and rice together. Top your spoonful of “salad” with a piece of fish and a little bit of the salted egg, and take a bite of the fragrant, harmonious, refreshing dish that is Nasi Kerabu.

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2020 | Jiemei Sisters (@jiemei.sisters)

BON APPÉTIT

– Jiemei Sisters

myTaste.com