Cooking Tips & Recipe

Oh dear... I hope you are better now.

I don't know who wrote those nasty comments in my blog but the one that triggered off my post was my close friend.

You can still bake a cake without mixer. Try any pound/butter cake recipes, you only need a wooden spoon/balloon whisk.

I've tried once beating whole eggs manually to ribbon stage. It was nightmare. Whipping egg whites alone is already a tedious job, what's more with the yolks in it! My arms ached for 2 days.

Your chiffon cakes look quite dense. To incorporate whites well into yolk mix, you might want to use a balloon whisk first, mix till about 50% then use a spatula to fold in the rest, ensuring no more white streaks.

I thought I have your blog link in my favourites but I couldn't find it now. Can you pm me?

Don't know how the chiffon was done with bare hands but I've tried mixing the whites and yolks with bare hands. It was a mess, a very big mess. I've got batter on my arm too so no, not going to use this method again.

Good to know there is no pus!
Hope your ds wasn't scalded and didn't get a fright.

Haha, yeah, my chiffons look really dense yeah? They look more like donuts to me... Huge ones! :p

I didn't know we can use balloon whish to incorporate whites into the yolk mix. I always thought that would break the bubbles cos there are so many wires on the whisk! I'll try this method the next time. I am thinking of making the black sesame chiffon from Keiko Ishida's book.

Re. mixer, haha, I don't even have the courage to make butter cake without a mixer. Just cannot afford the time to mix it that way like how we used to do during Home Econs class. Ds is always bugging me here and there.

Am off to Genting tomorrow till the weekend so I won't be logging in here... I'm gonna try to stop by Tesco to stock up on their baking paper too. Read from Wendy that it's good. My last batch of macarons (3rd attempt) had nice feet, but I couldn't peel them off the cheap baking paper :p

Am also going to Malacca end of this year... will be staying at Courtyard at Heeren after seeing your post!
Hi all, need to ask how to make tau kee (beancurd skin, knots etc) more tasty on it's own? Tried for the first time cooking the knots. Not bad but the knots were a little bland...

Wong bak + driedprawns/garlic/shallots/seasoning + venus clams + knots.

Want to do learn how to do those crispy pieces so that I can make veg beehoon at home....
I usually braise the knots with whatever I am braising. Makes the knots really tasty.
Sometimes I add them into my soup, but usually not the knotted ones... Just the plain straight long ones. This will be pretty bland.

As for the deep-fried ones, I think you mean the dark colored crispy vegetarian goose? I don't think they're the same as these knots or the plain straight Fu chok? My mum buys the frozen vegetarian goose from the market and deep fries them herself. I believe it has some seasoning in it cos it's really tasty.

Tomorrow is dong Zhi. I just made some tang yuan. The dough is really good compared to the frozen ones. Made peanut version just now. Might attempt black sesame version tomorrow if I have the energy.
Hi Huskie,

Thanks for the tips. I meant the square cripsy beancurd skin that goes with vegetarian beehoon (zai1 er2). Just cooked our dongzhi 'brunch'. Fried white bait, ngor hiang, brocolli and omelette. Can never get sick of eating white bait - nutritious, tasty and no wastage/bones.

Happy winter solstice and new year to all
I also love zai er. Yeah, the one that my mum fries is zai er.
Do you mean you want to learn how to make the zai er itself?
Heh, if you managed to find the recipes, please let me know!
I love veg beehoon - my favourite stall at Telok Blangah Crescent has ceased operations, so now I eat at Chinatown Complex... which is not too bad too.
I saw your blog post on the $3.99 motorised train set from Giant.
I am going to IMM Giant to check it out tomorrow!
Hope they still have it!
Hi Huskie,

I think likely sold out by now 'cos I was there at 11.30am and only 6 sets were left. Good thing it was a Monday and Vivo City wasn't crowded. Talking about vivo --- murder/suicide? at level one toilet yesterday! Just saw the news.

I want to know how to fry the zai er and/or make it tasty. Where to buy btw? Totally no clue about vegetarian food ingredients... Vegetarian beehoon very expensive these days. I only like the beehoon and zai er so ask for more = S$3.00!!! Add something else = S$4.00!!!!
I can ask my mum if there's any special way to fry the zai er when I see her this Sunday.
As to where to buy it, I've seen it at those wet market stalls that sell vegetarian stuff and tofu. Not sure if you stay in the west, but clementi wet market has such a stall and they sell a variety of mock meats. They should have zai er? My mum buys hers from this kind of stall but in Yishun.

Argh, you are right about the train set. They're all gone!
But it was still a fruitful trip cos I bought a top and a skirt for only $3 each from imm cotton on. And a dress for $10.
No being biased in that I didn't get anything for ds, but the boys' clothes were still minimum $10 a pc. And I didn't think the tshirts were worth that 

Making roast chicken with turkey stuffing style now! Also attempting red velvet cupcakes for Xmas gathering at inlaws' place tonight.
Oh yes, read the news abt Vivo gunshot. Chinese papers say no signs of foul play? Could it be suicide?
So sad. Our Society seems to be getting more stressful. Sometimes I wish we can slow down the pace a little.
A friend whose kid only just went to p1 is already planning the kid's dsa!
Hi Huskie,

Yes, I see many parents all stressed over everything. Very funny to see especially those who pack porridge and every conceivable baby gadget when they go out. I don't like to fuss over small things like temperature of water etc - amazing seeing some parents measure temperature before making milk. Better to have kids rugged and eating all sorts of foods (unless they have known allergies).

So many big local mishaps in the recent months - I cross my fingers that I won't kena any MRT breakdown. We were stuck a few times before (10 - 15mins) on/off but no blackout.

About planning for kid's DSA - I won't do such thing. The kid will have to do his own homework and decide his CCA etc. No point plotting and planning if he has no inclination for scholarships and academia.

Hahaha... saw the pics. Must say many local blogs are very entertaining. I sometimes read through entire blogs just to have a sense of head and tail.

Where's everyone else gone to, I wonder!
Hi ladies,
Here's wishing everyone a very merry Xmas and happy new year too!
I'll be in Malacca next week so will probably not log in so often till after the new year!
For butter cakes, I don't use the mixer as too lazy to wash. I just use a spatula to cream the butter and sugar :p

How was your trip to Genting? Did it rain? Wow... After Genting now to Malacca. I miss the food in Malacca.

Oh yes, I should have bought the baking papers from Tesco... Read in Wendy's blog too

I made macarons thrice with very short feet and mostly quite flat. Did you use a thermometer? I don't. Wonder if this is the reason why my macs don't turn out well.
Oh... Just saw your plum sauce chicken wings. I had hpthe same prob, not getting the dark colour as I used light soy sauce. Then I add in 1 tbsp dark sauce and voila!
Thanks for tips on plum sauce chicken! I'll add in a little dark sauce next time.

As for zai er, let me ask my mum this weekend. Forgot to ask her last weekend as we were too busy with xmas gathering and stuff.

Heh, I am just too lazy to use wooden spoon or spatula to cream butter and sugar till they turn white and fluffy... so I'd rather wash my hand mixer. My new Philips handmixer is pretty good - 350W and doesn't vibrate a lot.

Genting was fun - kids enjoyed it very much. Rained only in the afternoon so we made sure we had the outdoor part covered in the morning, nap in the afternoon and then a bit of indoor theme park in the evening.

If I can find the baking paper at Tesco Tebrau tomorrow, I should be getting quite a lot and I can pass some to you! But I think you'd probably be too busy to meet once the kids' school starts :p
Your dd will be in P3 next year yeah?

I saw your posts on the terrible customer service and I must agree that some service staff in SG are not quite up to standard.
I recently ordered some vitamins sent to my Vpost account, and they made a mistake, charging me $126 shipping charges as they keyed it in as 14kg. But I checked with UPS and UPS stated that it was only 2.3lb. I called them up, and they said the guy said it's definitely 14kg if it's keyed into the system as 14kg. After much explanation from me that they are just a few bottles of vitamin capsules, he said they will re-weigh the item within 24 hours. After 24 hours, I checked and it was still $126 so I called them up again and they said to check after another 24 hours and call back again if it's not changed. And that's only after trying to pull a fast one on me by telling me the US guys are still sleeping... now how can they not have passed a day after 24hours?
I finally left this alone for 4 days and checked back my account, and it was still $126! Can you imagine how furious I was? And I even scanned the UPS page which stated the parcel (with its tracking number) was 2.3lb to them... although I did not receive any email reply from them.

Finally I called for the third time today, and haha, I got addressed as "Miss Moon" because the customer service officer could not pronounce my name and mixed up my surname and dialect name. But she seemed genuine in trying to help me fix my problem and even guaranteed that it should be solved by tomorrow morning and that she will personally call me at 8am in the morning. Hmm... let's see if VPOST can resolve this.
Anyway I am boycotting VPOST after this incident... gotta start to look for alternative shipping intermediary!

Oops... sorry for my ranting!
Hi Huskie,

That's terrible! 1.4kg became 14kg??!!! Sigh... some people just cannot bother to undo their mistakes so better to just insist, hoping that customers give up and just pay the extra.

Yes, please let Reena and I know where to find the zai er. Also want to do my own vegetarian beehoon

Was really pissed with the crocs woman 'cos her voice was quite loud and imagine a stranger insisting that your hb shoe size cannot be so large etc... Sometimes I wonder where they hire such local aunties from when so many other graduates are available and don't mind lower pay. Totally doesn't suit the image/brand they're working for. As for Uniqlo, I was really very disappointed 'cos almost all of our casual bottoms and pyjama tops (we get their plain singlets and shirts) are from the place. Hb is a great fan of their since his uni days so he constantly throws out a nearly-kaput pair and buys the exact same thing every year. And the girl had the cheek to say "NEVER" sold such items before. Crazy. It's almost like Louis Vuitton staff telling you they never sold diaries before.
Musings, reena,
I checked with my mum on the zai er. She buys it from those shops that sells vegetarian stuff. Wet or dry markets should have such shops.
She pays about $5 per pack. When you open the pack, there will be some sticks in them. She says don't remove them or your zap er will not hold its shape when fried.
Just put the whole piece into the wok with enough oil and low fire to deep fry. If the oil is too hot, it will turn brown very easily... So low fire is the key to successful zai er.
Only after you've fried and taken it out of wok and cooled it, then you cut it into smaller pieces.

I also like whitebait! But I am too lazy to wash and fry them.
I just noticed that you've got a new blog dedicated to food!
I think that's such a good idea

Also saw your post on colleagues who play politics. Lots of such people around - best is to stay away from them. I find politics such a draining activity to engage in!

I've got my Tesco unbleached baking paper! Last 8 rolls of them at Tesco Tebrau. I haven't tried it out to see how good they are though... do you want any?
Hi Huskie,

Happy new year! Yes, I have a new neater space now called mumusings-eat. Hahaha... the previous one is getting messy. I should have created one earlier but was wavering 'cos I have pretty many visitors on the main one.

This year I will just do arrowhead chips for myself. Too scared of injuries (touch wood).

Office politics- aboslute waste of time. I wish people would just leave others alone. It's a nice break from all those women. Wonder why women derive pleasure from creating misery for other women. Ironic, isn't it? I find the Motherhood forum a refreshing change and wish I had discovered this before I had a child. Would have learnt so much more here and also prevented myself from being fleeced out there by retailers
Good morning and Happy New Year!

Kids are down with stomach flu - so tiring mopping up puke! PD says lots of flu bugs esp. stomach flu going around in schools. Should have let her skip school the first week :p

I love arrowhead chips! It's also called "see-ku" yeah? Where do you get the arrowhead from? I've never seen them around before. I won't attempting this as my friend will be giving me 2 bottles. I am thinking of making cashew nut cookies - got all my ingredients... now just analysing different recipes

Yes, SMH forum is really good esp. for SAHMs like us. Lots of enterprising mommies who bring in goods at a great discount to retail shops!
Hi Huskie,

Can get the arrowhead bulbs from supermarkets. Just bought some this morning to make for own consumption. They're only available during the CNY season (they like cold cold weather). Normally you see them in ponds (those tall plants with arrowhead shaped leaves). Got a pic here - hehehe one stall holder was growing some.

Enjoy baking! Am keeping everything plain and simple. Stocking up on frozen stuff. In Singapore, shops open Day Two so there's really no need to get into a buying frenzy.
Hi Huskie and all,

Wrote something about choosing arrowhead bulbs.

Feel a need to do so because I see people plucking off the shoot/base when they buy to shave off some weight. Terribly terrible if these people are using for prayers or hoping for sons/grandsons. The last time I was at ShengSiong, a lady plucked off 4 bags worth of arrowhead. I dare not say anything 'cos she looked very angry and anxious to buy them. Some people don't believe in such things but better to leave these auspicious plants 'intact' when buying...
Hi musings,
Sorry for this late post - dd got revival of stomach flu again... this bug is quite resilient! Started vomitting again last Sunday. Keeping her away from school this whole week so no time to even turn on my comp!

Thanks for arrowhead bulbs tutorial! Now I vaguely remember studying about this plant in school... after seeing the pic.
Also started to notice the bulbs at Sheng Siong. Didn't really pay much attention to it, thinking they were gigantic water chestnuts that only come by during CNY! :p

Aiyah, SG is full of funny people... yesterday I broke open my eggs and realised one of them was very much smaller than the rest. Obviously someone has been exchanging the eggs at the supermarket, like your own experience.

Am also keeping everything simple - so simple that I am not having any goodies at home! Afterall, I spend most of my CNY visiting the elders, and am hardly at home. Every year, I either have to throw away the goodies, or beg my hub to bring to his office pantry so we don't waste them.

Just finished my cashew nut cookies - thinking of trying macarons again to use up the egg whites I have in my fridge.
Hi Huskie,

So you kena egg-swapped too!

I've already finished up a tub of pineapple tarts (hb and I) and also 20+ worth of arrowhead bulbs (crisps). That's really alot of fat
As for sweets etc, I keep all in the freezer, away from site or else my son will eat all of them up at one go.

Yes, the arrowhead bulbs do look like water chestnuts and the narcissus. I used to hate them so much because my granny fried them raw with vegetables and bluffed me they were water chestnuts just to get me to eat them. These bulbs only taste good fried. In fact, very nice in thicker slices (done manually).
yes, I got egg-swapped!

I just got my arrowhead crisps from my friend yesterday - dd was already eyeing it and counting down to the day she can eat it

Made my 4th attempt on macarons yesterday - still not good enough. I'm on the quest for perfect macarons, although I don't eat much of it.

How's your air fryer? Is it good?
Hi Huskie,

Good luck with macarons. I have no patience with baking absolutely and marvel at how ladies like you spend time making all the cakes and pastries.

Hahaha... all pineapple tarts finished. Just got fresh new year cakes from Chop Tai Chong Kok in time to pass to my mom and relatives. I'm not going to do much cooking till maybe mid-next week. Break time
Thanks for offering the baking paper but how to collect from you? Got to give it a miss :-( BTW, how much is it? Maybe I can ask my friend to get it for me when she visits Msia. So is it good? I'm using Glad but very expensive and I only buy when NTUC having 20% discount :p

I tried 3 times but failed, either flat feet or tiny feet.

So far so good. Yet to post pics in my blog but I've updated in my FB account.
Hello ladies,
Here's wishing you a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Dragon and good health to all!

I'm just not too happy that I can't get the macarons right

Hub says I'm like a engineer except I experiment in the kitchen.
I actually go to the extent of comparing recipes and jotting down notes, keeping all factors constant while changing just one at a time... that's why I have to make so many attempts

Unfortunately I live in the West, but I do go to East Coast Park sometimes. I think I read from your blog you sometimes go there too? If you can't get your friend to get them for you, I can pass you the next time we go there.

One roll costs only RM4.90.
And the best thing is, the width is longer, so we can use the width for the length of our cookie sheets (I believe we have the same sized ones since our ovens are the same).
And it's 8m long vs Glad's S$3.50 one which is only 5m long.
Unbleached but treated with food grade silicones so apparently easier to pull out macarons... although at my last attempt, they still stick a bit.

This time, I had a bit more luck. Feet was good but it just got stuck to the paper and I had to bake it much longer, risking it turning brown on top.

Which method did you use? The French Meringue method or the Italian meringue method?
Can I know which rack you bake your macarons on?

Here's my macaron. Quite satisfied with it although it's far from professional-looking

Only grouse is that it seems a bit shiny? I like the very matte look, but read that the Italian meringue method will give that look. I used the French meringue method.

Am hoping to attend the macaron class at Kitchen Capers too. I saw that they had a class on macarons recently but I couldn't make it as my kids were down with cough and stomach flu for 3 consecutive weeks during that period.

Also love that shop! They have really pretty polka-dot cupcake liners and even ground almonds imported from France. The owner is also so generous with her recipes in her forum.
Bought a whole load of stuff like cupcake sticks, ground almonds and CNY cookie containers etc from there 2 weeks ago.
Am now eyeing her rosewater, earl grey powder and alphabet cutters for fondants. Might pop by tomorrow to pick them up plus the polka dot cupcake liners which is only $6.80 per roll now

Hi Huskie,

Congrats on the macarons. Looks great to me

Been cooking more veg-based dish 'cos really overdosed on the pineapple tarts and snacks last week.

Here's my stir-fry fugui veg dish with pacific clams.


These days I just do fried white bait. I can eat this everyday without feeling sick of it. No bones and no fishy taste so the kid thinks it's some sort of french-fry product hahaha...
I saw your bought your vanilla pods from UK, which site did you order through? I've got some pods with me but I havent find the time to DIY vanilla extract :p

BTW, your mac looks great!

Oh yes, I've been to KC too, very interesting stuff they've got there. They have online shopping too.
I bought fu gui cai before two years ago, but really don't know how to cook it. In the end, it sort of tasted weird and waxy... hubby didn't like it.

Do you buy the white bait from NTUC or wet market?

Think I didn't write in my blog clearly... I bought the vanilla pods from USA. It was the CDs that I ordered in Nov that were from UK, and those took 2 mths to reach me!
The vanilla pods cost USD26.99 for 1/2lb, which works out to be about 55 pods. Shipping is USD7. I bought from

Are you storing the pods well? says not to store in fridge cos they'll dry out. My pods will probably last about 6mths-1yr if stored properly... but I am already using them for the buttercream for my macs.... lovely!

Thanks for compliments on the macs

I just made a batch about 2 hours ago - they turned out pretty well with no sticky bottoms. This time I sort of followed Tartelette's directions but use My Humble Pie's recipe. Actually both of theirs are very similar, just very slight difference in sugar level.

I cannot afford KC's online shopping! Their delivery charge is too high
But I do like to go there to browse through their stuff, and it helps that their website has a lot of info about their products, so I usually make my list then go there to buy.

Dd's birthday with the cousins this Sunday... cracking my head as to what cake to bake! Thought of making the steamed choc cake from your blog, but my cake pan can't really fit into my wok properly.

Just saw from your blog you made the hong zao mee sua! I love love that! And I just bought the wine yeast biscuit and red rice yeast from KC. Will be attempting to make my own hong zao wine soon! I am Hakka, so we make our own moonshine too, but we usually make the yellow glutinous wine. I'm gonna learn that from my mum soon too

For the mee sua, I tried this recipe, which is pretty similar to my cf nanny's, and it's good!
Hi Reena and Huskie,

Very suaku here. What's the Kitchen Capers about?

My mom's a fan of the red hong zao anything and she says the longer you keep the gravy, the bester tasting it is. She eats it with mee sua and instant noodles (the leftovers). I'm personally terrified of the taste and look of the dish hahaha... Hb likes it so when my mom/hb has this dish, I stay 20 feet away from the kitchen.

Hi Huskie,

I get whitebait from either the wet market or from Sheng Siong (frozen S$3.50 box of nearly 40 pieces of large white bait). I keep boxes of these in my freezer and buy more when I am down to one box. Small white bait is available also at Cold Storage, NTUC etc. They're more tedious to devein though but go well with egg better.
Kitchen Capers is all about cooking and baking

More baking though.... baking supplies shop!

You should try hong zao mee sua! The first time I saw it, it did look terrifying, especially since we Hakkas eat only the yellow wine and we don't eat the dregs. But it's so yummy! Especially topped with fried ginger strips. Apparently has lots of benefits like lowering cholesterol etc.

Thanks for whitebait info. I never knew they come in frozen form. I bought from the NTUC chiller once, but they were so smelly even with lemon juice that I never bought them again. Only order them from restaurants or if my mum cooks them.
Hi Huskie,

My mom started liking hong zao around 15 years ago and initially I ate a little. But somehow after that I couldn't stomach the overpowering colour and smell of the dish hahaha... Whole family likes it except me so I stay far away from the kitchen whenever anyone makes this dish.

Sheng Siong's whitebait okay. You must season it with pepper, sesame oil and a little salt. Lemon maethod doesn't really work for me either. Either that or devein the fish no matter how tiny it is.

Will check out the kitchen capers site in a while. Thanks
I finally found out why my hong zhao mee sua is different from mil's. I only use the rice wine but mil uses the "zha" to fry the chicken. No wonder hers taste better. But my gf told me the store bought ones sucks, so I don't bother to buy.

I saw noobcook's recipe but I think will be too thick for me.
Hi ladies,
Sorry for not posting - a little busy cos ds started preschool this week and I am busy from following him in class.

Your saba kabayaki looks good! I've still got some frozen Saba in my freezer but they're the plain uncooked ones. Dunno if I can find kabayaki sauce to make something similar.

Hi badtz,
Muffins are usually quite dense but should still rise. Reena could be right abt your baking powder. Can you share your recipe to let us take a look?
Yes, i also fry the chicken with the zha, but not the deep fried style, just stir fry. But my sauce is thick with lots of zha.
Store bought ones are definitely not as good. I bought a jar and am still trying to finish it now.
Am gonna attempt to make the red rice wine soon but cannot find a large enough glass jar. Bought the wine yeast and red rice yeast from KC a month ago!
hey musings,
Sorry for not posting much.
Whole family has been sick since the Easter weekend!
DD only went to school after one week at home and ds has been home for the past 2 weeks!

We're much better now, but throat is still painful and voice still nasal.

Your India dosai looks decent for something homeamde! I recently bought some atta (indian wholemeal flour) from NTUC and thought of making chappati, but with this cough and sore throat virus thing going on, it's gonna be a long time before I attempt that!

I've recently started cooking more bento style food so my husband can pack lunch to work. Just got a Zujirushi 3-tier thermal flask which is great in keeping food warm. Japs are really thoughtful in their designs! Wanted to get another one during the Robinsons cardmember sale just this Wed, but discount wasn't as good as what I paid for a week ago, so cheapskate me held back on the purchase

Got a new oven and made a honey kasutera cake today... quite yummy!
I just had bailing gu yesterday! My mum fries shredded bailing gu with shredded celery. For me, it's just too much work shredding all that stuff! Very yummy though.

Honey kasutera is a kind of japanese honey cake. Haha, I've never bought the real stuff before, so seriously, I have no idea if mine is authentic

Here's how it looks like:

btw, i also use this lady's recipe for braised bittergourd with black bean sauce... thumbs up!

Thanks for the link, Huskie!

I find bailingu too strong (smell/taste) but hb loves it. Will try shredding and frying it to see if it tastes better that way

Wonder where's everyone else... seems so quiet these days.