• Nov
  • 15
  • 2011

thai inspired pattaya (omelette) fried rice | nasi goreng pattaya

basil pattaya fried rice

Nasi goreng pattaya, or simply nasi pattaya, is a Malaysian dish made by covering or wrapping fried rice, in fried egg (omelette). It is often served with chili sauce, cucumber, and/or keropok. The name comes from Pattaya, Thailand.

Source: Wikipedia

basil pattaya fried rice

In Malaysia, nasi pattaya is just chicken fried rice wrapped in omelette. The flavours are basically the same as you would find in any nasi goreng. This dish was inspired by Secret Recipe (again! My last pasta dish was also inspired by SR) when they extended their menu and included a Thai Inspired Pattaya Fried Rice, it was so irrisistably good!  This is a thumbs up from the hubby!

basil pattaya fried rice

And because I am so in love with chilli, I made my own special batch (aside from my daughter and husband’s) for me to indulge in. If you love spicy food, it taste even better when its hot. You’ll be wiping your nose every second but its all worth it!  Can you spot out those little nasty buggers in there? Don’t bite it of you can’t handle it. Hubby accidentally did and in his words ‘ I felt like a knife was slicing through my throat’. Oops!

RECIPE FOR THAI INSPIRED PATTAYA FRIED RICE/NASI GORENG PATTAYA
Inspired by Secret Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients

3 cups cooked basmati rice (you can also use leftover rice)
16 prawns, shelled and deveined
1 chicken breast, cut into small bite size chunks
1 bulb garlic, sliced
Handful of basil leaves
1 chilli, cut
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup baby peas
1 large red capsicum
4 eggs, beaten (to make omelette)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (for rice colouring)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp basil infused olive oil (optional)
1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a wok and fry chicken pieces and prawns until cook. Remove and set aside.

2. Using the same oil, sautee the garlic until slightly brown then add the vegetables and chilli.

3. Add in the rice, dark soy sauce and basil infused olive oil and stir till evenly coated.

4. Season well with salt and pepper.

5. In a large pan, heat up a little oil and add the beaten egg (1 egg for 1 pan, covering the entire pan). Flip once and remove onto a plate. Do this for the remaining 3 eggs to make 4 serves of omelette.

6. Dish the rice from the wok into the middle of the omelette and cover the rice completely with egg. Drizzle with chilli oil and serve immediately.


  • Nov
  • 12
  • 2011

oreo buttercream chocolate cake with choc ganache

oreo cake

This cake combines both my love for chocolate and oreos. Ever since I found the perfect moist chocolate cake, thanks to my beautiful Aunt Nola, I’ve added many frosting variations to it. I’ve tried making this cake with an orange cream cheese frosting, strawberry buttercream and the classic chocolate ganache. All of them go down pretty well with this cake. But how about combining this chocolate cake recipe with buttercream + chocolate ganache and oreo biscuits? Its absolutely delightful and heavenly! Even my neighbours couldn’t thank me enough. But I really do apologize for the ugly looking cake as I am not a perfectionist in cake decorating. Can you tell I sliced my cake in 3 different heights…gaah! The perfectionist cake department would have to be my sis. Mashallah, she is one good baker and so is her hubby ( I think they might even open a cakery soon).

But don’t judge a book by its cover, because this cake is to die for!

RECIPE FOR OREO BUTTERCREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOC GANACHE
Oreo buttercream recipe adapted from various sources
Chocolate cake recipe adapted from my Aunt Nola
choc ganache recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

Serves: 12
Prep time: 30 mins
Bake time: 1 hour
Assembly time: 10 mins

Ingredients for chocolate cake

2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup hot coffee (made from 1 tsp coffee)

Method for chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 170°c.

Line the base and sides of a 20cm diameter springfoam tin with baking paper.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Pour all the wet ingredients into another large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined.

Then gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet bowl. Fold until well combined.

Pour batter into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Ingredients for  buttercream

120g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
2 cups broken oreo cookies

Method for buttercream

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it forms a pale colour. Then gradually add milk and icing sugar, beating until well combined. Finally add the broken cookie pieces and fold mixture.

Ingredients for choc ganache

200 g dark chocolate
50 g butter (or 160ml cream)
120ml milk

Method for choc ganache

In a saucepan, heat milk, butter and dark chocolates until melted. Stir to combine.

 

To assemble:

Once the cake it cooled, cut it in 3 even layers. Spread the oreo buttercream on the bottom layer and put the cake on top. Repeat this again. Then finally pour the chocolate ganache, covering the entire cake evenly.


  • Nov
  • 10
  • 2011

creamy spaghetti napolitana with prawns

spaghetti creamy napolitana

When I’m in a rush, I think of pasta. Spaghetti to be precise. This one here, can be whipped up in a jiffy. All you need are a handful of fresh ingredients (well, not the pasta unless you want to make it yourself :p) and you’ve got a quick meal for a midweek dinner that the family will love. I know my husband would! Here is the recipe for this wonderfully quick pasta dish.

RECIPE FOR CREAMY SPAGHETTI NAPOLITANA WITH PRAWNS

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 20-30mins

Ingredients

400g spaghetti & some water to boil
16 medium sized prawns
300ml thickened cream
1 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 small-medium sized onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large red capsicum, sliced
1 large green capsicum, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp basil, to garnish
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Bring water to a boil then put spaghetti in with a bit of salt.

2. While pasta is boiling, heat up oil in a saucepan and sautee onions and garlic.

3. Add the prawns and vegetables and cook for a few more minutes before adding tomato paste.

4. Then add the thickened cream and stock, and bring to a boil.

5. Simmer on a low heat and season well with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

6. Once pasta is cooked, drain well and mix it with the creamy napolitana sauce.

7. Serve onto individual plates and sprinkle with some basil.


  • Nov
  • 08
  • 2011

vegetable spring rolls | popiah goreng

Spring rolls make the best appetisers for any gatherings, big or small. What I love about them is that they are so crunchy on the outside and very moist on the inside. One spring roll is definitely not enough, two, three…heck I can even gobble up 5 or more depending on how big they are.

spring rolls

Usually home made spring rolls are larger than store bought ‘cocktail’ spring rolls. Though tedious to make, I still prefer making it myself. I roll them a bit bigger, around 6-8cm long so it saves me time standing up rolling one by one.

jicama

For those not familiar with jicama, this vegetable is used in the filling of the spring roll. Its a sweet root vegetable kind of like a turnip.

spring rolls

And this is how you roll a spring roll. Get a big sheet of spring roll pastry and put the filling in the middle towards the end bit.

spring roll

Then roll the side closest to you, covering the filling.

spring rolls

Roll the left flap in.

spring rolls

Roll the right flap in.

spring rolls

Then roll it once before brushing it with the cornstarch + water mix (acts as a glue).

spring rolls

Roll it closed. Seal tightly. And deep fry for a couple of minutes.

 

RECIPE FOR VEGETABLE SPRING ROLL

Makes: 15
Filling prep time: 10 mins
Wrapping time: 30-40 mins
Cook time: 1-2 mins each

Ingredients

15 sheets large spring roll wrappers
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 medium sized prawns tail off, chopped finely
1 large carrot, shredded
1 large jicama, shredded
1/2 cabbage, cut thinly
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup baby green peas
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black papper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp peanut oil
vegetable oil for deep frying
sweet chilli sauce, for dipping

For gluing the spring rolls
2 tsp corn starch
4 tsp water

 

Method

1. Heat peanut oil in a pan and sautee the garlic.

2. Add all the vegetables and stir for a few minutes.

3. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and give it a final stir. Do not overcook or it will become soggy.

4. Leave to cool before wrapping them in the spring roll wrappers.

5. See pictures (above) on how to roll spring rolls.

6. Heat up vegetable oil in a wok/deep fryer. When it is hot enough, fry the spring rolls until golden brown.

7. Drain excess oil on a paper towel and serve immediately with some dipping sauces.


  • Nov
  • 05
  • 2011

ayam lemak cili padi | spicy chilli chicken in coconut turmeric gravy

ayam lemak cili padi

Ever since pregnancy, my tolerance for spicy food has really hit the roof! I need to have my daily dose of spice so I tend to add sambal or chilli in a lot of the food I eat. One of many Malaysian spicy dishes I absolutely love is ayam lemak cili padi or in english, spicy chicken in coconut and turmeric. The smell and flavour really compliments one another and is quite addictive. I learnt this recipe from my step mum, who by the way, is a fantastic cook mashallah. She said the key to make an excellent ayam lemak cili padi is to make sure you fry the chicken first then the rest of the ingredients follow…

 

AYAM LEMAK CILI PADI/SPICY CHILLI CHICKEN IN COCONUT TURMERIC GRAVY
Adapted from my step mum

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thigh, cut into curry pieces (with bones)
2 tsp turmeric powder (to marinate chicken)
1 tsp ginger paste (to marinate chicken)
1 tsp garlic paste (to marinate chicken)
1 tsp salt (to marinate chicken)
1 cup veg oil (for deep frying chicken)
3 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tin coconut milk (200ml)
1 tsp of shrimp paste (belacan)
2 medium potatoes, quartered
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt

To blend until  a fine paste:

2 tbsp dried small prawns
5 candlenuts
1  red onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp turmeric powder or 3cm fresh turmeric
3cm ginger
3-5 cili padi (birds eye chilli -warning: they are very spicy)

 

Method

1. Marinate chicken pieces with ginger, garlic, turmeric and salt for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat up 1 cup veg oil and fry the marinated chicken. Only fry till it is 3/4 cook and leave aside to cool.

3. Remove  half of the oil and fry the blended ingredients till aromatic. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, turmeric powder and cook for a few minutes until the oil separates.

5. Add the fried chicken, potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

6. Simmer on a low heat and add the coconut milk, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

7. Season well with salt and serve with rice.

 


  • Nov
  • 03
  • 2011

flame grilled eggplant

eggplant

This is my husbands favourite when he wakes up on a lazy Sunday. Flame grilled eggplant/aubergine sort of like a dip. But then an eggplant dip is called baba ghanoush which is made with tahini and other seasonings. This one here, is basically just an eggplant with oil and salt. Easy to make but very smelly when cooked on a flame. Not to mention the burnt skin goes everywhere. But it taste so good!

Just pop it on the stove like this. Turn it around after a few minutes. It needs to shrink in size and start peeling before you remove it.

eggplant

Then start peeling the skin off. Beware, its very hot!

eggplant

Use a fork to give it a good mash and season well with olive oil and salt. I added a couple of garnishes for some extra colour – for photos sake, but its not necessary. Serve with Lebanese bread and you have yourself a quick and easy healthy brunch!

 

RECIPE FOR FLAMED GRILLED EGGPLANT
Adapted from my Lebanese Mother-in-law

Ingredients

1 large eggplant  (1/2 kilo)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt

Method

1. Wash the eggplant and put it directly on the stove. Leave for a few minutes then turn around until all sides are equally cooked. Eggplant should shrink in size and the skin should start peeling off.

2. Remove from flame onto a wooden chopping board and leave to cool for a bit before starting to peel the entire skin off.

3. Place the filling on a plate/bowl and use a fork to mash.

4. Season well with oil and salt.


  • Nov
  • 01
  • 2011

moist banana cake with cream cheese icing

banana

We love bananas! But, ever since the floods hit Queensland a couple of years back, we’ve stopped buying bananas. They were as high as $14.99 a kilo, yikes! However recently, prices started to drop to around $5-6 (at the market) and now we’re back  to eating them again!  But if you go to the local supermarket here,  they’re still selling them for around $9.

banana cake

For this cake, I used 4 really old and black bananas.  I bought them for $3.99 a kilo at the market.   Dad said ‘Wow, you must be rich!’ thinking that I had spent $10 a kilo just to make this cake! The secret to making a perfectly moist and yummy banana cake is to use extremely and I mean extreeeeemely ripe bananas to get the flavour, look and texture right. There was once when I used ordinary yellow bananas, it didn’t turn out quite as nice. So don’t be fooled by these pictures that have a yellow banana in the background, it has to be black and mushy, ok?

banana cake

Apart from celebrating the drop in banana prices, this cake was served exclusively upon the arrival of my aunt and uncle who came down to visit us from Malaysia. This is for you Uncle Dil and Aunty Nola, love you heaps!

RECIPE FOR MOIST BANANA CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING
Adapted from Exclusively Food, with slight changes

Serves: 12
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For cake:
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
140g butter, softened
200g brown sugar
130g caster sugar
350g mashed ripe bananas ( 1.5 cups)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
For cream cheese icing:
90g cream cheese, softened
45g butter, softened
210g (1 2/3 cups) icing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Method for cake

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius fan-forced. If you don’t have a fan forced oven, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Grease the side and base of a 22cm diameter round cake pan. We use a springform pan for easy removal of the cake. Line base of the pan with non stick baking paper.

3. Place butter, sugar, banana, vanilla and eggs in a food processor.

4. Process for about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of processor. Add milk and pulse to combine.

5. Sift flour and bicarb soda together into a large bowl. Add flour mixture to food processor and process until just combined.

6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer or knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

7. Leave cake to cool on a wire rack.

8. Spread cooled cake with cream cheese icing.

 

Method for icing

Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add lemon juice and beat to combine. Spread icing over top and sides of cooled cake


  • Oct
  • 28
  • 2011

claypot chicken rice

claypot chicken rice

I remember when I was 11, mum used to take my sis and I to Bangsar food court because they had the yummiest claypot chicken rice. Seriously sizzling. Seriously yum. This is a popular chinese dish served commonly at hawker stalls around Malaysia. The original claypot chicken rice is cooked with chinese sausage and dried salted fish. The version I made did not have both of these, but it still tasted just as good.

claypot chicken rice

The secret about a good claypot chicken rice  is getting the right amount of ginger and soy sauce. Of course the hero of this dish is the smokeyness that comes from cooking it in the claypot itself that you won’t get with any ordinary cooking pot. Claypot gives you that extra flavoursome crust you find at the bottom. Kinda like a paella crust. In which you leave the best for last. My sis and I used to fight for this.  Get a spoon and just go crazy scooping and digging in. That for me my friends, completes my eating experience from this small humble claypot.
claypot chicken rice

So after all the fun comes the ugly part. Washing up. Who likes scrubbing out burnt rice?

RECIPE FOR CLAYPOT CHICKEN RICE
Adapted from Malaysian favourites(cookbook), with slight changes

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

2 cups rice, soaked (I used basmati)
6 medium chinese mushrooms, sliced (or normal mushrooms)
1 boneless chicken thigh, cut into cubes
8 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 small shallots, finely diced
2inch old ginger, finely diced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
2.5 cups water (to cook rice)
1 cup chicken stock
handful of spring onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp oil


Method

1. Marinate the chicken and mushrooms together with all the sauces.

2. In a rice cooker, cook rice with water. Remove rice when cooked halfway.

3. In a claypot, heat up oil and sautee shallots, garlic and ginger until aromatic.

4. Add in chicken and mushroom pieces and cook for 7 minutes.

5. Add in chicken stock and half cooked rice to the mixture and combine well.  Cover with claypot lid on a low – medium heat for 20 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.


  • Oct
  • 25
  • 2011

chicken and prawn noodle soup

chicken noodle soup

The day before yesterday I got sunburned under the scorching sun at our local Sunday market. It almost hit 30 degrees. Then within a flick of a swith, that all changed. Wave goodbye sun and hello rain! From 30 down to 11, SubhanAllah. So yesterday I had to wear 3 layers of clothing because it was freezing. But why am I acting all surprised? I’ve been living here for the past 10 years. That’s Melbourne! So if you ever want to experience 4 seasons in a day, book your next flight down here!

chicken noodle soup

This is what we usually have on a chilly day. Soup. Chicken noodle soup. A hot bowl of this in your hands on a couch with the family is what I call comfort food. And don’t forget the blanket of course.

chicken noodle soup

Yes I know I’ve been making a lot of easy dishes lately. I don’t exactly want to scare you off Malaysian cooking. Buy hey, if you’re an adventurous cook, why not try my chicken rendang recipe here. You can also make it with beef but let me warn you, be prepared to stay in the kitchen for up to 4 hours! For now, here is the recipe for this amazingly yummy and easy soup.

RECIPE FOR CHICKEN AND PRAWN NOODLE SOUP WITH ASIAN GREENS

Serves: 3
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, quartered into chunks (this will then be shredded to serve)
1/2 kilo chicken neck/bones/carcass (this is only to make stock, will be thrown out)
12 prawns
2 cloves garlic
500g hokkien noodles (egg noodles)
1 bunch of Asian greens, Bok Choy or Choy Sum
2 cup vegetable stock (or 1 veg bullion)
3 cups water (or enough to cover chicken)
3 boiled eggs, halved
10 tofu puffs
1 packet of fish cake, sliced
Handful of bean sprouts
Handful of spring onions, sliced (for garnishing)
3 tsp fried shallots (for garnishing)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 birds eye chilli, cut
Salt and pepper, to taste

To make chicken broth:

1. Marinate the prawns with garlic and set aside.

2. In a stock pot, boil water with the chicken neck/bones along with the chicken breast chunks and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Remove excess chicken foam floating on the surface. Then leave to simmer for 40 minutes covered.

3. In a pan, sautee the marinated garlic prawns until evenly cooked through. Set aside.

4. Blanched noodles in warm water for a couple of minutes and strain. Set aside

5. Throw away chicken neck/bones as well as the 2 garlic cloves from the stock pot and remove the chicken breast pieces to a chopping board. Back to the stock pot; season with salt and pepper and add the cooked prawn pieces and asian greens. Give it a quick stir.

6. Turn off the stove but lid on.

7. In the mean time, slice the chicken breasts into thin long strips and divide them as well as the noodles, tofu puffs, fish cake slices, boiled eggs, bean sprouts, spring onions and fried shallots between 3 bowls.

8. Pour the hot soup and serve immediately. While pouring the soup, divide the poached eggs and prawns evenly between bowls. (Optional: Serve with chilli soy sauce.)

To make chilli soy sauce:

1. In a small serving bowl, combine soy sauce, chilli and sesame oil.

My tip for a tastier soup is to put one teaspoon of fried shallots in the pot just towards the end. It’ll be soggy, but boy, I tell ya…it adds a hint of shalloty flavour that simply bursts in your mouth!

Click ‘Read More’ to print the recipe and leave a comment.


  • Oct
  • 22
  • 2011

30 minute chicken curry

chicken curry rendang with roti canai

Making a traditional and authentic chicken curry would simply mean staying in the kitchen for hours, pounding fresh ingredients and so forth. These days, you’ll easily find a lot of the supermarkets selling curry powder and curry paste. But I wouldn’t recommend buying curry powder from your local western supermarket though. Try to get them from any Asian grocery or even at your Indian grocer. There are many types but I only prefer one. Baba’s Meat Curry Powder, made in Malaysia.

When I first got married to my Lebanese husband, my mother in law made a pot of chicken curry (bought locally). The taste? Well, it didn’t come close to a curry. But then again, I can’t blame her. She’s not familiar with Asian cuisine so she and the rest of the family enjoyed it thoroughly. I just ate in silence. One day, I introduced my version of chicken curry using Baba’s and she fell in love. The look on her face was priceless, it was as though she had not tasted good chicken curry in her life.

baba's

There are many types of chicken curry; dry, wet, yellow, red, brown etc. The different variety of curries made by Malay, Indian, Chinese, Indo also slightly differ from one another. This curry here, I would say its a mix between Malay and Indian. Its so yummy and literally done in 30 minutes (if you use small cuts of chicken). I usually make a big pot so I have leftovers. Serve it with some rice, prata (roti) or yellow glutinous rice and there you go,  a meal for the next 3 nights.

 

RECIPE FOR EASY MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY

Serves: 3
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

1/2 kilo chicken, cut into small pieces (with bones)
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 medium tomato, quartered (optional)
1/3 cup coconut milk
2-3 tbsp Baba’s curry powder (I like mine really hot so I use 5 tbsp)
2 cups water
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
4 tbsp oil

Method

1. Heat oil and sautee onions in a medium size pot. Add all the spices and tomato and fry until fragrant for about 5 mins.

2. Add the curry powder, chicken and water and cook on a medium heat for 15 mins.

3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until well combined.

4. Season well with sugar and salt then simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

5. Serve with rice or pratha(roti/bread).

Click ‘Read More’ below to print the recipe and leave a comment.


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