Kuih Kosui (Rice Cakes with Grated Coconut)

Kuih Kosui (Rice Cakes with Grated Coconut)

Hello Everyone! The Bruneian traditional kuih (or kueh) is similar to many traditional cakes from around the region, such as in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Nobody knows where the true origins of each traditional kuih came from in Brunei, but we know it all started from the water village – Kampong Ayer many decades ago. Back in the day, due to limited supply of resources, Bruneian cake makers would make use of natural elements and materials to prepare the cakes, such as wrapping with leaves, and making use of all parts of a coconut or palm tree.

Today, Bruneian kuih-kuih (plural for kuih) are still as popular as ever due to the nostalgia and historical heritage that it carries with every bite. Upon researching traditional kuih-kuih native to Brunei, I came across a website entitled ‘Brunei’s Traditional Sweet Treats You Must Try’. Kuih Kosui was amongst the list, but as it turns out, it is actually native to Malaysia, as most kuih-kuih are.

Kuih Kosui is a saucer-shaped rice cake that is flavoured with either pandan (screwpine leaves) juice or gula melaka (palm sugar). It is also known as Kue Lumpang in native Indonesian language, and is actually very similar to what we have closer to home here in the Philippines, known as kutsinta.

Kuih Kosui (Rice Cakes with Grated Coconut)

Kuih Kosui is very economical to make. The kuih is characterised by its ‘dimple’ in the middle of the cake, lightly sweet taste, soft, yet wobbly and slightly bouncy in texture. They are then topped with a slightly salted, grated coconut topping to give that extra layer of flavour with the classic sweet-salty combination.

Unlike with a traditional kutsinta recipe, the soft, wobbly, and bouncy texture of Kuih Kosui can be achieved without having to add any alkaline water. You just need the right combination of flours and you can still achieve its distinct chewy texture and dimples.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on What To Cook Today by Marvellina.

Kuih Kosui (Rice Cakes with Grated Coconut) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS | MAKES 14 CAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp + 1 & 3/4 tsp rice flour
  • 2 tsp wheat starch
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For pandan flavour

  • 2/3 & 1/4 cup boiling water (cooled for 15 minutes)*
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pandan-infused water**

For coconut sugar flavour

  • 1 & 1/4 cup boiling water (cooled for 15 minutes)*
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp white granulated sugar

For the topping

  • Freshly grated coconut
  • Pinch of salt

Notes:

  • *Bring water to a boil and let it cool down for 15 minutes so it should feel lukewarm after that. The warm water will stabilize the starch/flour and they won’t separate when you steam. Make sure not to use boiling hot water as this will cook the starch/flour into a dough.
  • **Place the pandan leaves and water into a blender. Blend until the leaves are chopped very finely. Pour contents through a fine sieve and press against it using a spoon to draw out any extra juice. Discard the leaves.
  • Flour and starch measurements are for one recipe per flavour. If you want to make both flavours at the same time, make sure to measure out another set of flour and starch ingredients.

METHOD

  1. Topping: Add the pinch of salt together with the grated coconut and give it a good mix. Steam over high heat for 10 minutes and set aside once done.
  2. Kuih Kosui: Bring the water in the steamer to a boil and place the empty cups in the steamer. Allow them to heat up for about 5 minutes while you are preparing the batter This step is important to prevent the starch/flour from separating when steaming your rice cakes.
  3. Add the three different types of flour and starches, together with the salt, into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Depending on your chosen flavour, add the sugars, (then the pandan-infused water if making pandan flavour Kuih Kosui), and then the lukewarm water. Stir into a smooth batter until the sugars have dissolved.
  4. Pour the batter into the preheated cups, about 3/4 of the wall full and steam over high heat for 12-15 minutes (18 minutes if your cups are larger).

If your steamer cannot fit all the cups/batter in at the same time, work in batches. Do not pour the mixture into the remaining cups ahead of time and let them sit. The flour and starch mixture tends to settle at the bottom after a while. This is important otherwise your Kuih Kosui won’t turn out right.

  1. After steaming, remove the cups from the steamer and let them cool down for about 5 minutes. They can be easily removed by running a small rubber spatula around the edges to lift them up.
  2. Repeat with the next batch of batter. Make sure the steaming water is back to a rolling boil before steaming. Stir the batter first before pouring into the preheated cups.
  3. Once done, sprinkle with the prepared grated coconut topping. Serve and enjoy as an afternoon snack! Should make around 14 kuih-kuih.

Kuih Kosui (Rice Cakes with Grated Coconut)

If you ever happen to find yourself travelling through Brunei on your next travel adventure, drop by any day or night markets and you’re bound to come across this kuih and many others. If you’re lucky enough, you can even catch the vendor making them fresh on the spot for you.

The best time to find all the local snacks and kuih-kuih in one place is during the holy month of Ramadhan at various food markets. You can find a plethora of local and traditional goodies for you to try. Alternatively, you can also get these at the Gadong Night Market or Tamu Kianggeh throughout the year and more often the vendors would be more than happy to describe each one to you!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ambuyat (Sticky Sago)

Ambuyat (Sticky Sago)

Hello Everyone and cheers to 2021! Wishing you and your families a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year! May the upcoming year be a time for healing, recovery, and reconnection.

For the loyal followers of Amcarmen’s Kitchen, you’ll know that a new year means a new theme on the blog. And so to kick off 2021, we’ll be sharing dishes inspired by the Flavours of Southeast Asian Cuisine! If you have an Instagram account, make sure you’re following me over on @amcarmenskitchen as I will be launching a challenge related to the theme to get everyone’s creative juices flowing for the upcoming year ahead.

We’re opening the new year with a Southeast Asian country very close to my heart; a country that I was born in and raised for 26 years of my life before moving back to my motherland a few years ago. A country none other than the Abode of Peace, Negara Brunei Darussalam.

Negara Brunei Darussalam - Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Brunei is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the insular Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island’s territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Bruneian cuisine is similar to, and heavily influenced by the cuisine of neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Additional influences from other countries such as India, China, Thailand, and Japan are also evident. As common in the region, staple dishes from Brunei are often spicy, and are eaten with either rice or noodles. Due to the predominance of the Islamic religion, the food is halal and pork is avoided. Alcohol is also banned in Brunei.

Because of the heavy influence of other cultures in Bruneian cuisine, it’s genuinely difficult to find dishes that are purely of Bruneian origin. Nevertheless, the recipe that I will be sharing today is known as the national dish of Brunei.

Ambuyat (Sticky Sago)

Ambuyat is a type of starch derived from the trunk of a sago palm and cooked as a delicacy in the country of Brunei. It is consumed with a two-pronged bamboo utensil known as chandas. Ambuyat is eaten with a variety of side dishes such as grilled prawns, fish, and an assortment of tropical sauces and vegetables. As the sago starch may be difficult to find outside of Brunei, it can be substituted with potato, tapioca, or cassava starch.

Before we dive into the recipe, there’s one more thing that I need to touch on. A popular tropical sauce dip that is always paired with Ambuyat is known as tempoyak, or in English, fermented durian. Now, if fresh durian is said to smell like putrid flesh, overripe armpits, and fermented gym socks, can you imagine what it smells like fermented? All I can say was that my kitchen was rancid. Imagine the smell of fermented durian, shrimp paste, and dried shrimp altogether…

Negara Brunei Darussalam - Fresh Durian

Nevertheless, it’s actually quite tasty for those with an acquired taste for durian. I’m probably 50-50 on this, and honestly leaning more towards the hate in this love-hate relationship. I never liked durian in the first place, but for the purpose of experimenting and experiencing the flavours of Brunei, I did it for the blog!

Fermented Durian Sauce (Tempoyak)

The flavour of tempoyak varies a lot and can be mildly sweet and sour or extremely pungent and a bit rank. You can alter the flavour by allowing the durian to ferment for different lengths of time and adding different amounts of salt. Less salt makes the tempoyak more sour, while more salt both makes the tempoyak more, well, salty, and allows it to keep for 3-6 months without being refrigerated.

Ambuyat (Sticky Sago) & Tempoyak Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the ambuyat

  • 3 cups cassava starch*
  • 2 & 1/2 cups water

For the tempoyak sauce

  • 50g fermented durian (tempoyak)**
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • Pinch of salt

*Preferably use sago starch if available, otherwise substitute with potato or tapioca starch.

**How you make your tempoyak is up to you. The most basic ratio to get you started is for every cup of fresh deseeded and mashed durian, add 1 tablespoon of salt. Mix well and seal in an air-tight container and keep at room temperature. It can be consumed after 2 days, or allowed to ferment for as long as 2 weeks, depending on your preference.

METHOD

  1. Tempoyak Sauce: Add the dried shrimp to a mortar together with the red chilli and pound using the pestle until well combined. Add the shrimp paste and mix using a spoon. Season with a touch of salt, to taste.
  2. Pour a little bit of hot water into the mixture and then add the durian. Mix until well combined and adjust the flavours to your liking. Once done, transfer to a small bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
  3. Ambuyat: Combine the tapioca starch with a half cup of room temperature water, in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl, and set aside for a few minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 cups of water, either in a kettle or on the stove. Slowly pour the hot, boiling water into the bowl with the starch while whisking continuously with a wooden spoon. The starch will appear sticky in texture. Continue to whisk the ambuyat until it is firm and starchy.
  5. Serve with the tempoyak sauce and various side dishes and enjoy!

Ambuyat (Sticky Sago)

The side dishes that we paired our ambuyat with are fish curry, fried fish, garlic butter prawns, sautéed kangkung (water spinach) in garlic and oyster sauce, sambal eggplant, and fresh vegetables. We decided to keep ours pescatarian, but you can serve it with other choices of meat as well, whatever tickles your fancy.

Ambuyat (Sticky Sago) Side Dishes

Note: Prepare all your sauces and side dishes before preparing the ambuyat.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Hello Everyone! Here’s my last recipe for the year 2020! Well, technically this was scheduled to go up earlier towards the beginning of the month, but with other commitments, both personal and work, and the festive season, I haven’t had the time to write this post and prepare the other recipes that I had wanted to share with everyone on the blog. I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas despite the circumstances, and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Traditional hummus directly translates to chickpeas and is a dip, spread, or savoury dish made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and in Middle Eastern cuisines around the globe. It can also be found in most grocery stores in North America and Europe.

Although multiple claims of its origins exist in various parts of the Middle East, the earliest known written recipes for a dish resembling hummus are recorded in cookbooks written in Cairo, Egypt, in the 13th century. The full name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means ‘chickpeas with tahini’.

But here’s a playful PURPLE alternative that’s perfect as a fun snack, appetizer, breakfast, or a light meal. This Purple Sweet Potato Hummus is a legume-free version of a traditional hummus for those who simply prefer it legume-free and/or because of allergies. Though chickpea-free, it still incorporates the flavours of tahini and spices in this ‘hummus’.

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It is served by itself (as a dip) or as a major ingredient in hummus, baba ganoush, and halva. If you can’t find tahini in stores, don’t worry because you can easily make it at home, which is what I did. Even if you can find them on the shelves of your local grocer, I highly recommend making your own so that you won’t have a jar of tahini sitting in your fridge waiting for it to go off because you won’t ever use it again – maybe. Just make enough for a one-off recipe.

Also, have you ever tried sweet potato… on toast? Put a vibrant twist to your morning toast with this complex carbs on carbs combination! *cheeky grin* It’s one of those combinations that surprises you just how good it is, together. Aside from its vibrant colour, it’s gluten free, paleo, and comes together with less than ten ingredients you probably have on hand or have easy access to from your local grocer. You may also substitute the purple sweet potatoes for other colour variants such as orange, yellow, or white, whatever is available locally.

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 Flora & Vino by Lauren.

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’ Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the homemade tahini

  • 1 cup sesame seeds, hulled
  • 2 to 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt, optional

For the sweet potato hummus

  • 1 cup cooked and roughly mashed purple sweet potatoes*
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Filtered water or unsweetened almond milk, as needed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Wholemeal bread slices
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Ground paprika
  • Roasted pistachio nuts
  • Toasted cumin seeds

METHOD

  1. Homemade Tahini: Add the sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly until the seeds become fragrant and lightly coloured (not brown), for 3 to 5 minutes. Sesame seeds can burn very quickly so keep an eye on them and be careful.
  2. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a baking sheet or large plate for them to cool down completely.
  3. Once cool, add the sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor then process until a crumbly paste forms, about a minute.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil then process for 2 to 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times. Check the tahini’s consistency. It should be smooth, not gritty and should be pourable. You may need to process for another minute or add the additional tablespoon of oil.
  5. Taste the tahini for seasoning then add salt to taste. Process 5 to 10 seconds to mix it in. Set aside until ready to use.**
  6. Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’: Add the mashed purple sweet potato, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin to a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until well-combined and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed to recombine.
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to the mixture. Taste and adjust if needed, i.e. add more lemon for brightness, cumin for spice, and tahini for creaminess. If the mixture is too thick, add filtered water or unsweetened almond milk in 1 tablespoon increments to reach your desired consistency.
  8. Serve with toast and top with your choice of toppings. I went with pistachio nuts, ground paprika, a sprinkle of toasted cumin seeds, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Notes:

  • * To cook the sweet potatoes, scrub and peel them, then cut the flesh into large cubes. Fill a large pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato cubes to a steamer basket and steam in the pot for about 7 to 10 minutes until the flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, place the cooked sweet potato in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  • ** Store any leftover tahini covered in the refrigerator for one month. You may notice that it separates over time, like a natural peanut butter would. If this happens, give the tahini a good stir before using.
  • Store leftover Purple Sweet Potato Hummus in the fridge for up to one week.

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Egg-in-a-Hole

Hello Everyone! How is it that we’re already more than half way through the last month of 2020? Where did the months in quarantine go by? Who would’ve thought that staying at home, isolated from the outside world, would actually fly by this quickly?

To be honest, never did I once feel a day go by so slowly. I’ve experienced slower days when actually in the office – the type where I’d look at the clock and it’d read 3pm. An hour later (or so I thought) and it would only read 3:05pm. At home, I’d look at the clock and it’d be 9am; 5 minutes later and it’s already 11am.

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not uploading a new recipe on the blog for the past two weeks. I actually had this recipe ready to be posted in the first week of December, but at the last minute, I was invited to join two Noche Buena (Christmas Feast) Challenges. Here are my two entries for two separate challenges:

Christmas Noche Buena Challenges

Left: Christmas ‘Spaghetti’ with Meat-free Baubles for the #LODINGNocheBuena Challenge

The theme for this challenge was ‘Christmas Essence on a Plate’. We had to prepare a Pinoy Noche Buena dish, entailing the story behind it. I decided to take a Classic Pinoy Spaghetti and put my own healthy twist to it (you can read the full story on my Instagram account. This was a challenge set by The Official LODI LPG to the Food IG Community and I’m proud to say that I bagged the top spot and won a plus 3,000php cash!

Right: Potato ‘Wreath’ Salad for the #WVNocheBuenaCookOff2020

The theme for this cook off was ‘Christmas Like No Other’. We had to prepare a dish that’s always present on our Noche Buena table and describe how this year’s Noche Buena celebration will be different from the previous ones. This is a campaign spearheaded by World Vision Philippines to help provide Noche Buena packs to World Vision registered children and families in the Philippines. The winners for this cook off will be announced on December 22, 2020!

You can find the recipes to both my entries by clicking on the links that will direct you to my Instagram page.

So here’s a little insight first and foremost, I initially wanted to serve this dish with some smoked salmon to bulk up this brunch dish. However, since I couldn’t seem to source any from the various grocery stores I’ve been to over the course of a month, I then decided to make my own smoked salmon at home after coming across a video on how to DIY without a smoker. Of course, I got lazy and scraped the whole idea of adding smoked salmon to the dish and kept it ovo-vegetarian instead for a simple and light brunch.

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

Rösti or rööschti is a Swiss dish that is made of potatoes in the style of a fritter. The potato, either parboiled or raw, is coarsely grated, and seasoned with salt and pepper. They are then shaped into rounds or patties and fried in either oil or butter. Rösti are most often pan-fried and shaped in the frying pan during cooking, but they can also be baked in the oven. Although the most basic of rösti consists of nothing but potato, various ingredients can be added, such as bacon, onion, cheese, apple, and/or fresh herbs. And that’s exactly what I did to put a little spin on a traditional potato rösti…

Keeping in line with our violet theme to end the year, I substituted regular potatoes for purple sweet potatoes instead and added an ‘egg-in-a-hole’ twist. An egg-in-a-hole is traditionally a piece of bread with an egg in the center, cooked with a little butter or oil. Serve with some pan-fried cherry tomatoes and asparagus on the side and you’ve got one heck of a brunch. Feel free to add any meat of choice to bulk up your brunch meal.

Newsflash! Breakfast just got a <em>hole</em> lot more interesting!

See what I did there? *cheeky wink*

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato rösti

  • 2 cups shredded purple sweet potatoes (about 4 small-sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • Asparagus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chives or parsley, chopped
  • Lemon slice

METHOD

  1. Wrap the shredded sweet potatoes in a clean cheesecloth and wring out any excess moisture from it until dry. Place in a large mixing bowl and add one egg, garlic, onion, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high and add oil. Add half a cup of the shredded sweet potato mixture in an even layer and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Flip and use a round cookie cutter to remove the center of the rösti.
  3. Drop an egg in the center of the rösti and cook until the whites are set. Remove the rösti from the pan and repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes until all are cooked.
  4. Top with fresh chives or parsley, and salt and pepper. Get creative at this point and serve with your choice of veggies; I went for some pan-fried asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ube Biscoff Cheesecake

Ube Biscoff Cheesecake

Hello Everyone and a Happy belated Birthday to me! I was supposed to get this recipe up on the day of my birthday, but only having baked this Ube Biscoff Cheesecake the night before, I didn’t have time to edit the photos and videos for uploading and for my Instagram posts. Nevertheless, to make up for that, I have a special announcement to make, which you can read at the end of this post!

If you had asked me where or how I would be spending my birthday this year at the start of our country-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine due to the on-going pandemic, I would’ve never guessed that 8 months later, we’d still be celebrating birthdays in quarantine. Nevertheless, I’m still super thankful that even with the virus still spreading, my family, friends, and myself included, are all safe and healthy.

Ube Biscoff Cheesecake

So to be perfectly honest, this wasn’t the cake I had intended to make for my birthday. I only made the last minute decision (as in the morning before my actual birthday) to make an Ube Biscoff Cheesecake, inspired by an Instagram post I saw about a week or two ago. Well okay, the plan was to still push through with the cake I originally had in mind, and then bake mini Ube Biscoff Cheesecakes to share with my workmates, but baking two cakes in one day sounded daunting. I could already foresee the countless mishaps that are bound to happen juggling two recipes at the same time.

This Ube Biscoff Cheesecake is the perfect recipe for all the ube, biscoff, and cheesecake lovers. If you’ve never tried biscoff before, you should definitely try this dessert! This is utterly delicious and different to my other cheesecakes I’ve made in the past – the biscoff spread on top gives a nice rich addition to the cheesecake and creates a delicious spiced cookie flavour. The biscoff crust is buttery and sweet, and the cheesecake filling is thick and rich with ube that just melts-in-your-mouth with every bite. Honestly, it’s everything a cheesecake should be, and you may opt to do a no-bake or baked cheesecake with this recipe.

Ube Biscoff Cheesecake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the ube cheesecake mixture

  • 450g cream cheese
  • 250ml all purpose cream
  • 2 large free-range egg
  • 1 cup ube halaya (or ube jam)
  • 1/4 cup white or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ube extract

For the biscoff crumb base

  • 200g Lotus biscoff cookies, crushed
  • 75g unsalted margarine, melted
  • Pinch of salt

For the biscoff spread

  • 50g Lotus biscoff cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted margarine, melted
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 130C (250F or gas mark 1).
  2. Biscoff Crumb Base: Add the crushed biscoff cookies, salt, and melted butter together in a small mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined.
  3. Grease an 8” spring-form pan with a bit of margarine and line the bottom and sides it with parchment paper. Cover the outside of the pan with tin foil. Press the crumb into the base of the cake pan and set aside in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set.
  4. Ube Cheesecake Mixture: Using an electric handheld mixer, beat, on medium speed, the cream cheese and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.
  5. With the mixer running, add in the eggs, all purpose cream cream, ube halaya, and ube extract, mixing for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared spring-form cake pan, evenly covering the biscuit base.
  7. Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 1 hour, or until just set.
  8. Allow to cool down to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for about half an hour before serving.
  9. Biscoff Spread: While the cake is chilling in the fridge, add the crushed biscoff cookies, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and butter into an immersion blender cup. Blend until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  10. Add the water and blend further until you have a nice, smooth, and creamy spread. Set aside until ready to use.
  11. Assemble: Carefully remove the cheesecake from the spring-form pan. Top the cheesecake with the biscoff spread and a biscoff cookie. Serve a slice or two… maybe three, immediately! *cheeky grin* Enjoy!

Ube Biscoff Cheesecake

Ube Biscoff Cheesecake

And now, here’s the announcement that I promised to share with you guys. One of my Auguesters, known as Karina Pineda a.k.a. @wanderlittlegirl, partnered up for my birthday to launch our very first Instagram Giveaway! The giveaway was launched on Monday and will run through until November 20. Further details of the giveaway are specified on my Instagram post which you can find here on @amcarmenskitchen. The giveaway is only open to residents in Metro Manila, but if you have family or friends living in the area, feel free to share the giveaway with them. My goal is to help my lovely friend promote her smol home-grown business (@madebywanderlittlegirl) and also in return, treat two (2) lucky winners with some home-baked goodies!

#AMCxMADE Cookie Giveaway

#AMCxMADE Cookie Giveaway

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 Butterfly Pea Lemonade

Magic Butterfly Pea Lemonade

Hello Everyone! Tonight I’ll be sharing my last blue recipe for the year! I honestly thought that this would be a difficult colour to feature when I was first planning dishes for this theme, but I enjoyed cooking up the blue dishes that I shared with you guys over the past two months! I don’t think I ever talked about the butterfly pea flower and its many benefits in any of my posts so I thought I’d share them here to wrap up my blue theme.

Butterfly Pea Flower Health Benefits

Also known as Clitoria Ternatea, they have been consumed for centuries as a memory enhancer, brain booster, anti-stress and calmative agent. It is an amazing brain boosting herb native to tropical equatorial Asia. It is jam-packed with health promoting antioxidants, flavonoids, and peptides, and has shown considerable promise in studies as a natural remedy for a range of health complaints.

Butterfly Pea FlowerSource: Freepik

In studies to date, Butterfly Pea has shown to act on several key systems of the body:

  • The Nervous System – it has a calming effect on the brain.
  • The Digestive System – it is an antiemetic (anti-nausea), anti-dyspeptic (anti-indigestion), mild-laxative, and stimulates flow of bile from the liver.
  • The Circulatory System – it helps stop bleeding and is a blood purifier.
  • The Respiratory System – it acts as an expectorant and has shown to reduce the irritation of respiratory organs, and is useful in treating colds, coughs and even asthma.
  • The Urinary System – it is a diuretic, helping promote normal urination and can be used for difficulty in urinating.
  • The Reproductive System – it is reported to be spermatogenic, aiding in normal sperm production
  • The Integumentary System – pre-maturing ageing is often a problem of the skin. Flavonoids present in the butterfly pea flower haa been found to boost collagen production, increasing the skin elasticity…

…And that’s only just naming a few of its health benefits.

Butterfly Pea Flower in Food

Butterfly Pea FlowerSource: Freepik

Known for its luminous indigo colour, the butterfly pea flower is traditionally used as a vegetable in cooking, to colour desserts, or to make a strikingly vibrant coloured tea. In traditional Thai cooking, butterfly pea flowers are squeezed for their blue extract, which is then mixed with coconut milk and other base ingredients to naturally colour Thai desserts blue and purple.

Traditional butterfly pea flower tea is made from the ternatea flowers and dried lemongrass. One of the most distinctive characteristics of butterfly pea flower tea, and indeed other drinks that use the butterfly-pea flower extract, is that it will change color when the pH balance changes. A deep blue tea will turn purple with the addition of lemon juice, turning a deeper shade of purple the more lemon juice is added. If mixed with fuchsia roselle hibiscus leaves, the tea will turn a bright red colour.

Magic Butterfly Pea Lemonade

Similar to the recipe that I shared last week, the magic in this recipe comes from this little blue flower and the addition of lemon juice. Like most magic tricks, this one is based resoundingly on science. The magical colour changing effect comes when these two components are mixed: the blue tea turns purple and eventually magenta the more acid is added. I think we can all agree this is quite possibly the prettiest (and most entertaining) lemonade ever.

To make this magic lemonade, you’ll need to get your hands on some fresh or dried butterfly pea flowers. These are steeped along with sugar and hot water to make a vibrant blue sugar syrup, which makes up half the final lemonade. The other half is simply lemon juice and soda water. You may also use sparkling or just plain water.

Magic Butterfly Pea Lemonade Ingredients

PREP TIME <10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the blue sugar syrup

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried butterfly pea flowers
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 8-10 large lemons)
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint leaves (optional)
  • Sparkling soda water

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the blue sugar syrup in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer and then remove from heat.
  2. Cover and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids, and then set aside to cool.
  3. Fill individual serving glasses with ice and pour the cooled butterfly pea flower sugar syrup, filling the glass to about a third of the way.
  4. Add the juice of about 1 lemon together with some mint leaves. At this point, you’ll start to see some colour changes happening.
  5. Pour the soda water and watch the magic happen! Enjoy!

Magic Butterfly Pea Lemonade

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

Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes)

Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes)

Hello Everyone! Pulut Tai Tai is a Nyonya kuih made of fluffy glutinous rice that is steamed in coconut milk, and tinted with a beautiful natural blue colour from butterfly pea flowers. You can leave it out if you can’t find butterfly pea flowers, as it’s mostly for the colour, but it wouldn’t be as elegant-looking without it.

It is typically served with a coconut-pandan spread where the contrasting colours of green together with the vibrant blue and white of the glutinous rice makes the kuih all the more delightful and pleasing to the eyes of the beholder. In addition to colour, the slight tinge of saltiness of the glutinous rice coupled with the sweetness of the kaya makes this kuih a delight to savour.

Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes)

Tai Tai refers to a rich man’s wife who enjoys a life of leisure. It is said that this specific kuih was only served to the wives of rich men back then. This kuih is also known as Pulut Tekan which literally translates to ‘pressed glutinous rice.’

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe for these Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes over on Bake with Paws by Yeanley.

Before I tackled this recipe, I read that soaking the glutinous rice with the addition of vinegar or lemon juice will reduce the phytic acid found in the grain. It also helps in breaking down the gluten and aids for better absorption of the blue colour from the butterfly pea flowers. Now, while I included lemon in the ingredients shot below, I in fact did not use the lemon at all for one main reason – the addition of acidity to the butterfly pea flower infused water would make it turn violet in colour. Since I am all about sharing blue recipes for this month, that’s definitely not what I want. I found that the glutinous rice absorbed the blue colour well anyway without the need for vinegar or lemon juice.

Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes) Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 30-45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

* Additional 4 hours min. overnight max. for soaking time

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups white glutinous rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 25 pcs dried butterfly pea flowers
  • Banana leaves
  • Pandan (screwpine) leaves
  • Lemon juice (optional)

METHOD

  1. Bring a small saucepan of water and the dried butterfly pea flowers to a boil, over high heat. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Cover and leave to steep for 10 minutes before straining. Press down on the flowers to extract the blue colour from the flowers. Set aside to cool.
  2. Wash the glutinous rice until the water is clear. Soak 1/3 of the glutinous rice with the blue-infused water and the remaining 2/3 in water. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. After 4 hours or the next day, drain them both separately.
  3. Prepare your steamer by lining with clean banana leaves. Light grease with a touch of coconut oil and top with pandan leaves followed by the glutinous rice; blue rice on one side and white on the other.
  4. Mix the coconut milk and salt together. Pour half of the coconut milk mixture over the rice and mix well. Steam over high heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from the steam and fluff the rice. Add the remaining coconut milk mixture and then return it to the steamer to cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Line a square pan with banana leaves and lightly grease with coconut oil. Transfer the cooked rice to the pan, alternating between the white and the blue rice. Level the surface and cover with more banana leaves. Place another pan on top of it and weigh it down with heavy objects to compress the rice. Set aside to cool.
  6. Cut into small rectangular pieces and serve with some homemade Nyonya-style kaya. Enjoy it as a mid-afternoon snack!

This kuih can be kept for a couple of days if stored in the refrigerator. Before consuming it again, steam or heat it in a preheated oven at 70C for 10 minutes to soften it.

Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes)

PS: Before I end tonight’s post, let’s see if a particular someone actually reads my blog from start to finish *cheeky grin* I would like to take this opportunity to wish a special person in my life, a Happy Birthday! I hope you like the little gift I had sent to you earlier this afternoon. I wish you an abundance of happiness, good health, peace, and prosperity in life. To many more birthdays and hopefully I can spend them all with you by your side!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Stir-fried Handmade Noodles with Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince

Stir-fried Handmade Noodles with Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already October – how did the months in quarantine fly by so fast? I felt like March was just last week! I hope everyone is staying safe at home, and only going out when necessary, for work or essentials. I still haven’t reported back to the office since our country declared enhanced community quarantine, and I hope that I won’t have to go back until this pandemic is under control.

That aside, I will continue sharing blue-inspired dishes for the month of October, and what better way than to kick things off with this recipe for Stir-fried Handmade Noodle with Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince. I initially drew my inspiration for this recipe by Blue Willow, a thematic bar and bistro located in Singapore that derives its inspiration from one of our favourite science-fiction movies of 2009 – Avatar.. Now, I haven’t been there myself, but when I was doing research earlier on this year to look for blue-inspired dishes, I came across Blue Willow’s Eywa Natural Blue Carbonara, where pasta dough is naturally coloured using butterfly pea flowers.

Chinese Handmade Noodles

My initial idea was to recreate this exactly as it is, a blue carbonara. As the months went by and drew closer to tackling this dish, paired with hours of research for new recipes (not necessarily just for this dish in particular), my idea shifted to making Chinese-style handmade noodles instead of pasta. To be honest, this was actually a recipe that I had initially planned for the third week of September, to serve with the Chinese Blue Tea Eggs (茶叶蛋) that I had also made earlier last month. However, I wasn’t happy with how the dish was put together, in terms of how I dressed the noodles. I didn’t want to share something that I wasn’t happy with, visually and taste wise, so it wasn’t until I did more research and tackled this dish once again towards the end of September – and finally something that I am happy to share with you guys!

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe for Handmade Noodles over on The Woks of Life by Sarah, one of a family of four cooks. Also, check out the original recipe for Tofu and Mushroom Mince over on Scruff And Steph by Scruff.

The making of the noodles really tired me out for they were kneaded, rolled, and cut from scratch, and all by hand. If you have a mixer with a dough hook attachment, it’ll be a piece of cake! If not, you need a bit (lot) of elbow grease, and you’ll be making noodles the same way cooks have been making them in China for centuries.

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

Chinese Handmade Noodles Ingredients

For the handmade noodles

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp loose dried butterfly pea flowers
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Stir-fried Handmade Noodles with Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince Ingredients

For the spicy tofu & mushroom mince

  • 250g firm tofu, mashed
  • 1/2 cup dried sliced shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated finely minced
  • 1/2 cup dried wood ear mushroom, rehydrated and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, minced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the stir-fried noodles

  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • Spring onion stalks, white part only

To serve with

  • Chinese greens of choice
  • Spring onions, for garnishing

METHOD

  1. Handmade 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 and set aside to cool down completely.
  2. Add the all purpose flour to a large plate (or even directly onto your clean kitchen countertop). Create a well in the middle and bit by bit, pour the blue water into the flour, mixing with a pair of chopsticks, spatula, or even just your hand as you go. Once all the water is added, the dough should be in shaggy threads with little/no dry flour in the bowl.
  3. Begin pressing the dough together. Avoid the temptation to add additional water, as this will affect the texture of your noodles. If you find the dough is too dry and there’s still dry flour that’s hard to incorporate into the dough, drizzle just enough water until there’s no dry flour left. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes. During this time, it will continue to absorb moisture, and become more pliable and elastic.
  5. Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince: While the dough is resting, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium. Add in the ginger together with the red bird’s eye chillies and sauté until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Immediately add in the garlic, continuing to sauté until fragrant and slightly golden in colour before adding the onions. Cook until the onions have softened and begin to go translucent, a further 45 seconds.
  6. Add the mashed tofu, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook for 5 minutes and then add in the light and sweet soy sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir the tofu-mushroom mixture around for a further 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Set aside and cook your noodles.

Chinese Handmade Noodles

  1. Stir-fry Noodles: After the dough has rested, knead it a few more times to get any air bubbles out of it, about 2-3 minutes. Form into a ball and cut it in half.
  2. On a floured surface, roll one half of the dough into a thin sheet, about 2mm thick. Flour the surface of the sheet thoroughly, flip over, and thoroughly flour the other side. Once floured, fold the dough so you have 4 layers. Slice the noodles with a sharp knife to your desired thickness. As you’re cutting the noodles, gently separate them out with your hands and toss them in flour so they don’t stick.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness. Keep an eye on the noodles as they cook and taste them to determine when they’re cooked. There is a lot of variation depending on how thinly they were rolled and cut, so test in real time to determine when they’re done. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Add sesame oil in a separate frying pan over high heat until smoking. Add the spring onion stalks together with the boiled noodles and fry for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Transfer to individual serving dishes and top with the Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince. Garnish with spring onions and serve with Chinese Greens of your choice. Enjoy!

Stir-fried Handmade Noodles with Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince

You can also follow the recipe for Chinese Handmade Noodles and basically make anything and everything with them! These deliciously chewy, springy noodles can be served in soup or mixed with whatever tasty sauces and toppings you can dream up for a delicious meal. Here are just some key tips for success:

  • Use bread flour (high gluten flour): The way to get a good chew in your noodles is to develop the gluten in the dough. Using flour with high gluten content makes a big difference. That being said though, all purpose flour works fine too.
  • Don’t add too much water: The dough will look rather dry and lumpy at first, but do resist the temptation to add additional water. Too much water will make the noodles gummy rather than springy. You just have to have faith and give the flour enough time to absorb moisture through kneading.
  • Use lots of flour when rolling and cutting: The action of cutting the noodles with a knife will press the layers of dough together. To prevent them from sticking, be sure to thoroughly flour both sides of the dough before folding and cutting. This is another reason to avoid using too much water in the dough – to prevent it from sticking.
  • Be mindful of thickness: The noodles will expand when cooked, so whatever thickness you see when cutting the raw dough, the cooked noodles will be significantly thicker. Keep this in mind when rolling and cutting. You may want to roll the dough out thinner and cut the noodles thinner than you initially think.

Storage Tips:

  • Cooked Noodles: If you plan on reheating, you can slightly undercook the noodles (to al dente) to create a better texture once reheated. Store the noodles in an airtight container or a ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen Dough: Let the frozen dough thaw in the fridge overnight. Transfer the refrigerated dough to room temperature and let it rest for 2 hours. The dough will become super soft and can be gently shaped, rested for another 10 minutes or so, and rolled. Follow the method stated above to cook.

Stir-fried Handmade Noodles with Spicy Tofu & Mushroom Mince

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com