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Japanese Green Tea Blancmange recipe

Japanese Green Tea Blancmange recipe


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Because I love green tea, I tried many different variations of this creamy dessert. I like it best made with a mixture of normal milk and soy milk because it gives it a smoother texture.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 100ml milk
  • 200ml soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon green tea powder (matcha)
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
  • 200ml fresh cream

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:15min

  1. In a heavy based saucepan, over medium heat, bring the milk and soy milk to the boil, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Add green tea powder and icing sugar; whisk briskly so no lumps form.
  2. Once everything is evenly mixed, stir in gelatine powder and turn off the heat.
  3. Place the bottom of the pan in ice-cold water, and wait for mixture to start to thicken. Once thickened, add the cream and gently stir. Pour the mixture through a sieve and then evenly pour into 6 ramekins or glasses. Let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Serve sprinkled with soybean flour (kinako) and black sugar syrup.

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Meg’s Blancmange

Author: Alcott, Louisa
Book: Little Women
Difficulty rating: Traditional recipe: Little Women. Modern recipe: Pride and Prejudice.
Deliciousness rating: Traditional recipe: Acceptable. Modern recipe: Acceptable.

It only took 6 attempts to get it right.

“It isn’t anything, only they all felt kindly and wanted to show it. Tell the girl to put it away for your tea. It’s so simple you can eat it, and being soft, it will slip down without hurting your sore throat.” (Alcott 49)

“That looks too pretty to eat,” he said, smiling with pleasure, as Jo uncovered the dish, and showed the blancmange, surrounded by a garland of green leaves, and the scarlet flowers of Amy’s pet geranium.

We are just barely getting this posted in the month of March. If you get why that is significant, you are a giant nerd, and LET’S BE FRIENDS.

Confession from Miko: I am a Little Women FANATIC. [Jenne: Me too!! I read my copy to pieces.]

The obsession began with this hilariously abridged picture book, which my grandmother sent me when I was in first grade.

And continued with this animated video, the dubbed English version of which was available for checkout at my hometown library in Ohio. I’ve read and watched the story a gajillion times in its many different versions: books and movies, Japanese and English, abridged and full-text. I do understand why a lot of readers find it super-boring and can’t get through it, but Little Women is one of my enduring favorites.

Meg’s Blancmange

THE TRADITIONAL RECIPE

It only took 6 attempts to get it right.

Found milk in glass bottles at Sprouts — felt it was more appropriate for an old recipe. Also, arrowroot powder in bulk: the little Ziploc baggie doesn’t make it look suspicious at all, not at all.

  • 2 cups of milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs arrowroot
  • Lemon peel
  • Molds

Take two tablespoonfuls of arrowroot to one quart of milk and a pinch of salt. Scald the milk, sweeten it and then stir in the arrowroot, which must first be wet with some milk. Let it boil once. Orange water, rose water, or lemon peel can be used to flavor it. Pour it into molds to cool.

We totally expected this to be super-simple, but… This recipe has got to have the measurements wrong. Or maybe modern arrowroot powder that’s sold in stores today is drastically different than the stuff Abba Alcott had on hand. Because, well…

The flavor of it is actually pretty tasty. Like arroz con leche without the rice. But even after an entire night in the fridge, it did not set. Appropriately, this fail reminded me of the part in Little Women where Meg throws a hissy-fit because her jelly won’t jell.

Onto attempt #2.
Jenne has family visiting, so I am on my own in further blancmange experimentation. Which bodes well, considering that I am certainly NOT the cook of the two of us.

I looked at other arrowroot blancmange recipes online, and settled on the following ratio: 2 cups milk: 4 tbs sugar: 4 tbs arrowroot: 1 pinch salt: 1 tsp lemon zest.

It looks promisingly thicker! But it is DISGUSTING.

It didn’t set in the mold either, just poured right out like alien goo from a sci-fi movie. Weird, slimy texture. Rather like eating a plate of Gak. Remember Gak? Anyway, hggblech! But I will keep experimenting with ingredients. Should I succeed with a future attempt, I did buy a scarlet geranium and some green ficus to have at the ready for garnishing.

Attempt #3!
2 cups milk, pinch of salt, 1 lemon’s worth of zest, 2 gelatin sheets.

Once again, Sloshy McSlosherson. And once again, I feel like Meg, as illustrated here in my beautiful Japanese edition of the book. Only, being more Jo-like than Meg-like, I am ANGRY instead of sad. BLANCMANGE, YOU ARE MY NEMESIS, AND THE DAY WILL COME WHEN I WILL CONQUER YOU.

Results: Too soft to unmold, but getting there!

Attempt 4:
1 cup milk, 1 sheet gelatin, 1/8 cup sugar, pinch of salt, lemon zest from half a lemon.

Attempt 5:
1 cup milk, 1.75 sheets gelatin, 1/9 cup sugar, pinch of salt. Milk flavored with lemon peel while scalding, but then taken out.

Results: Sigh. It had good texture and unmolded beautifully, but the white part of the lemon peel I had added made it bitter. It was like something Amy would make — an aesthetically pleasing dish that doesn’t taste very good. (Scroll to the top of the post for the photo.) But next time! I can feel it!

Do not do this. Only use zest, and be careful to remove the white part of the lemon.

Attempt 6:
AT LAST!! A recipe that made the blancmange of my imaginings!

1 cup whole organic milk, 1.8 sheets gelatin (each sheet is 4 grams), 1/9 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1 tsp lemon zest.

1. Soften gelatin in a bowl of water.

2. Start boiling water in a double boiler.

3. Put lemon zest in the milk and scald over medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spatula.

4. Add salt and sugar, and stir until dissolved. Take it off the heat. Wait till the mixture has stopped steaming quite so much — a few minutes.

5. Pull gelatin out of the water and wring lightly. Put in the double boiler. It should melt right away. Pour it into the milk and stir.

6. Take the lemon zest out by pouring the mixture through a strainer lined with paper towel.

7. Pour it into a small metal mold.

8. Cover with a small plate and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

9. Once it’s ready, let it sit in a pot of hot water for just a few seconds and flip onto a plate.

10. Decorate with flowers and leaves as directed by the text.

FINALLY! Nick approves and helps me celebrate this tremendous accomplishment!

Adapted from「お菓子の学校」(Okashi no gakkō)
THE JAPANESE RECIPE

Jenne and I were also curious to try a more modern version of blancmange. I had grown up paging through a dessert cookbook of my mom’s, and there was a recipe for blancmange in it that sounded pretty tasty. We gave it a shot:

  • 200g almonds
  • 50g sheet gelatin
  • 200cc of water
  • 250cc milk
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 200cc whipping cream

Directions:
1. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Throw in almonds for 30+ seconds. Strain, and then put the almonds in cold water. Once they’ve cooled a bit, strain the water and peel the almonds. It’s surprisingly easy! Just a teensy bit harder than popping edamame out!

2. Put the sheet gelatin in some cool water to soften it.

It looks like a jellyfish!

3. Stick the molds and beaters in the fridge/freezer to chill.

4. Put peeled almonds, water, and milk in the blender. Liquify!

5. Put in a saucepan and heat, stirring with a wood spatula. Add sugar and mix. Once it boils, take off heat and put a lid on it and steam for 15 minutes.

6. Put the mixture in cloth and squeeze out. Don’t burn yourself.

7. Heat gelatin in a double boiler and add to the mixture. Add vanilla (or almond extract). Mix as it cools.

8. Whip cream in a bowl till it forms soft peaks.

9. Add the sweetened almond milk mixture to the whipped cream slowly while mixing.

10. Pour into a mold, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

Did it measure up?
The almond doesn’t come through, as Mary Berry would say — we would just skip the almonds altogether, since that was a pain without much payoff.

Miko: We added vanilla instead of the almond extract that the recipe called for, since I’m not super-fond of the latter. But now that we’ve made it, I do think it would be better with almond extract. I’m also not crazy about eating whipped cream on its own, but people who are would probably find it pretty yummy. This dish is basically fluffy whipped cream. I feel like I can’t grade its deliciousness, since it’s just not something I’d like, even if it turned out beautifully. Jenne?

Jenne: I liked the modern version a lot, because whipped cream is probably my favorite thing in the whole world. I would also like to try it with almond extract. On the other hand, I don’t think I’d bother making it again–the texture is a little weird and I’d really just as soon have plain whipped cream instead of strangely bouncy whipped cream. I did serve it to friends with some fresh berries on the side and it went over pretty well.

Hildie was a bit dubious, but Cam loved it!

It doesn’t seem like something I’d want to eat when I was sick–too rich! The Alcott recipe seemed like it would be better for that, if we could get the texture right. I would try using gelatin, or agar-agar if it needed to be vegetarian. I haven’t cooked with arrowroot before but it acts a lot like cornstarch, so I don’t think you’d ever get a nice texture–it would just get gloppier and gloppier and never really hold a shape.

Speaking of which, did you know that in England blancmange is sometimes called “shape”? Cam (pictured above) said her mother used to make it when she was a child, and it was also terrible, “with a leathery membrane on top”.

Alcott, Louisa. Little Women. New York: Viking Penguin Inc, 1989.


NOW Bakery: MSW Durian Mochi And Milk Pudding Blancmange Rolls In City Hall

I was at a photoshoot when I casually mentioned that I’d be trying NOW Bakery’s new mochi and cakes to a colleague. Two other people in the room turned to us, one of whom said, “Wow NOW Bakery! My condo keeps doing group buys for their cakes.” The envy in her voice did not go amiss, and my excitement to try these coveted goodies only grew.

A little context: NOW Bakery opened last October in Capitol Piazza, drawing long queues . The cake store’s signature was their Blancmange Rolls, but they eventually expanded to making Swiss rolls, Classique layer cakes, Hokkaido cream cupcakes and, their latest, Musang King Durian Mochi. Everything at the bakery is made with quality ingredients sourced from Japan and Taiwan.

The Musang King, or Mao Shan Wang (MSW) Durian Mochi ($33.90 for 10 pieces) is dangerously addictive. Being a lifelong durian lover, I had to force myself to share this with my colleagues because I was this close to eating all 10 alone.

Perfectly bite-sized, the charcoal skin on the mochi is thin and chewy, breaking easily to let the 100% premium MSW durian pulp shine. These arrive frozen, so it’s best to let them thaw just a touch before eating so the durian gets really creamy. Rave reviews from the Eatbook crew were a given, naturally.

Next, the Blancmange Rolls . Perfectly smooth cake rounds are filled with a rectangle of jiggly Japanese-style milk pudding that match the flavour of the roll itself. In total, there are five flavours.

Texturally, I was in awe with how the airy sponge meshed with the lush, almost fudgy pudding.

The crowd favourite was a tie between the Chocolate ($15.90) and the Gula Melaka Coffee ($14.90).

The Chocolate flavour is made with 75% cocoa. Not sugary at all, the mellow dark chocolate comes through with every velvety bite, made silkier with the chocolate milk pudding middle.

As a twist on a coffee cake, the Gula Melaka Coffee Blancmange Roll is as fragrant as can be, so much so I want it for breakfast along with my kopi every morning. Only palm sugar, not white sugar, is used along with top-grade beans so that every bite is suffused with coffee.

The classic Vanilla ($15.90) is great if you like milky Japanese desserts, but it is discernibly milder in flavour. Real Madagascan vanilla beans are used in the recipe and are speckled through the pudding and sponge, so you know you’re getting the good stuff.

There is also the earthy, nutty Black Sesame ($14.90) for goma fans, though we wished this was just a touch sweeter. The Green Tea Red Bean ($15.90), however, was a win for matcha enthusiasts, so vibrantly green and aromatic with premium Japanese matcha.

Apart from the Blancmange Rolls, NOW Bakery’s Classique range is another menu highlight that will appeal to those who enjoy denser cakes. These compact layer cakes come in five flavours. The Classic Chocolate ($15.90) , a flourless cake, is a must thanks to the rich dark chocolate ganache, and the Pandan ($13.90) is another, with pillowy chiffon-like sponge sandwiching Madagascan vanilla cream. Only fresh pandan juice is used to make this cake.

Other flavours include Almond Sesame ($14.90) , Almond Coffee ($14.90) and the Sushi Cake Roll ($15.90), savoury with ham, chicken floss, cheese and seaweed.

To celebrate their one year anniversary, NOW Bakery is having some engaging promotions, including their 10 Seconds Challenge game ! For every $10 spent, get one chance at the game, where you have to stop the clock at exactly 10.0000 seconds to win a Classique cake. This can only be played in-stores.

They will also be having a 50% discount off your second box of Musang King Durian Mochi, redeemable in-stores and online . This discount is only applicable once per person.


Layered green tea and black sesame cheesecake

A tiny little black seed is taking the pastry world by storm. Flavor of the month? Absolutely not -- for pastry chefs from Paris to Tokyo, from Los Angeles to New York and over to Spain, it’s the flavor of the year.

Black sesame seeds -- earthy and nutty, distinctively bitter, with a smoky, almost peppery flavor -- are appearing in tuiles and macarons, ice creams and eclairs, cakes and panna cottas and doughnuts.

This is no mere trendy garnish. “It’s a staple,” says Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef at Jean Georges in New York City. “It isn’t overly sweet or cloying so it helps maintain the integrity of other ingredients in a dessert.” Iuzzini uses black sesame seeds in the ganache for his chocolates. Other New York and Los Angeles chefs are using them in ice cream and creme brulee at the new Patisserie Chantilly in Lomita, Keiko Nojima is featuring them in cream puffs and atop white sesame blancmange, a cooked pudding.

At El Bulli north of Barcelona, pastry chef Albert Adria has fallen for the seeds. With a handful or two, he has fashioned the spiral, a hypnotic swirl of black sesame crunch, dehydrated raspberries and lime gelatin, with a quenelle of coconut ice cream. Another dessert, gran creu negra, an outsize cross of smeared black sesame paste with chocolate-lime sorbet and chocolate cake, is Adria’s homage to abstract-expressionist Catalan painter Antoni Tapies.

At all-dessert restaurant Espai Sucre in nearby Barcelona, chef Jordi Butron is known for a lapsang souchong tea cream with chocolate cake, black sesame tuile and yogurt.

Even in Paris, black sesame seeds are making a showing. At the very chic Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, the black sesame macarons and black sesame eclairs are among the most popular pastries, says spokeswoman Sandra Bourdier. Pastry chef Aoki also uses black sesame in chocolate bars, ice cream and truffles.

They’ve long been a traditional ingredient in Asian sweets. So what is it about the little seeds that’s now captivating Western chefs? “It reminds me of toasted sunflower seeds that I ate in my childhood that in Spain are colloquially called pipas,” says Adria, brother and partner of chef Ferran Adria.

MAYBE it isn’t used as frequently as, say, vanilla or cinnamon, but “it’s a flavor that I keep coming back to,” says Ron Mendoza, pastry chef at Sona in West Hollywood, who has a black sesame ice cream and a black sesame brittle in rotation on the menu. Mendoza is experimenting with black sesame seeds in his Pacojet, a high-tech machine for making ice cream, sauces and purees. He says “with summer coming up,” a black sesame caramel sauce might be “paired with fruits like peaches and nectarines.”

As more pastry chefs rethink the concept of dessert, a transition from purely sweet toward more salty, sour, spicy and bitter is accelerating. Chefs are using ingredients such as vinegar, chiles, herbs, spices, fleur de sel and coarse black pepper in their desserts.

“Black sesame can center a dish,” Mendoza says, “so that you have a more natural combination of flavors, not as sweet. I definitely like more bitter components.”

At cutting-edge restaurant wd-50 in New York, pastry chef Sam Mason makes a black sesame ice cream with a pink grapefruit gelee, tarragon meringue and warm grapefruit confit. “It’s not easy to harness the flavor of black sesame,” Mason says, “but there’s nothing else like it.”

Another innovator, Josh DeChellis, chef at Sumile and Jovia in New York, was looking for an alternative to chocolate for the dessert menu at Sumile. He says black sesame when sweetened is “vaguely reminiscent of the flavor profile of bittersweet chocolate.” Inspired by the flavor, he came up with “black sesame dice,” Japanese black sesame paste whisked into a sugar solution with a little lemon juice and gelatin. When set, it is cut into cubes, piled on a plate and served with raspberries or cherries, whatever fruit is in season. “I will never ever ever take it off the menu,” he says.

In Los Angeles, customers at Kiriko have been known to come in just for the black sesame ice cream that sushi chef Ken Namba makes. (Namba says he has to turn them away because he barely has enough space to accommodate his sushi patrons.) He uses black sesame paste and black sesame seeds that he toasts, then grinds in a food processor as well as by hand in a mortar and pestle, “for extra aroma. When you eat it, the smell of sesame should be strong.”

American chefs have been using black sesame since about the mid-'80s in sauces and to encrust fillets of meat and fish. Chef Thomas Keller, of the French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York, says he has been incorporating black sesame into his menus since 1984. One of his current signature dishes is a black sesame “cornet” of salmon tartare with creme fraiche. But black sesame seems to have come into its own in desserts, where the strong flavor can be balanced with some sugar. Keller has had a dessert of mango sorbet, yuzu-scented genoise, sesame nougatine and black sesame coulis on his menus.

Black sesame seeds tend to be more bitter and a little richer than their white counterparts. When roasted, as they often are, the bitter quality of black sesame is intensified. Pastry chefs are enthusiastic not only about their flavor but also their color. Mason of wd-50 infuses his ice cream with a superfine black sesame powder imported from Japan.

“It’s fine like dust and it turns the ice cream a mad gray color,” he says. “I love the battleship gray. It’s gorgeous. It’s super sexy.”

The black sesame urge can be traced to Asia, where it is a common flavor in traditional Chinese and Japanese sweets. Chinese cuisine offers a variety of black sesame desserts, especially in dim sum. Black sesame seeds are sometimes used in Japanese sweets known as wagashi. Middle Eastern and Central Asian sweets known as halva are made with sesame seeds, too, but they are usually white. Aesthetically, the inspiration clearly seems to be coming from the Far East.

EL BULLI’S Adria says he began incorporating black sesame into his desserts in 2004 after a trip to Japan, which is in the throes of a “sesame boom,” according to industry insiders. Japan is the largest single importer of sesame seeds in the world.

There, traditional uses include goma dofu, a sesame “tofu,” and some wagashi. But in the last several years, a new focus on the health benefits -- some proven, some not -- of sesame seeds and “black foods” (black soybeans, black rice, Chinese black tea) have helped popularize black sesame in a variety of products. Black sesame ice cream has been a long-running trend that seems to have picked up steam stateside, on plated desserts and by the scoop, such as at Il Laboratorio del Gelato in New York.

Even the doughnut has been to Japan and back. When New York’s popular Doughnut Plant opened branches in Tokyo, black sesame, along with yuzu and shiso, were premier flavors. Owner Mark Isreal brought the black sesame flavor back to his original store in New York, where it is one of his occasional doughnut specials.

“I thought people would be freaked out by a black doughnut,” he says, “but it sold.”

In the U.S., white sesame seeds still are more familiar than the black. Called benne, sesame seeds were brought from Africa to the U.S. in the 17th century. Most of the sesame seeds produced in and imported to the U.S. are still used for hamburger buns, bagels, bread and crackers. Traditionally, very little of it has been used for confection or sweets, although the benne wafer, a cookie made with toasted white sesame seeds, brown sugar and maybe some pecans, is a Low Country specialty.

Sesame seeds are cultivated on a modest scale in the U.S., much of it in Texas. Other than what’s grown in research nurseries, none of it is black, according to Nathan Smith, consultant to Paris, Texas-based sesame seed developer Sesaco Corp. Black sesame seeds are imported mostly from India.

“We’re pretty far behind in terms of what sesame can be . but we’ve seen the market for sesame grow significantly,” Smith says, and the cultivation of black sesame seeds is being considered as demand increases. “It’s exciting what’s happening for those of us in the sesame industry.”

At Mutual Trading Co. in Los Angeles, a wholesale purveyor to local restaurants and Asian markets, sales of black sesame seeds doubled in 2005 from 2004, according to assistant vice president Atsuko Kanai. Sesame seeds are “up and coming,” she says.

The newest addition to the dessert menu at Beacon in Culver City includes a black sesame creme brulee. Pastry chef Daniel Espindola says he was inspired by a Chinese sweet black sesame soup, called zhi ma wu. The creme brulee is thick and creamy and dark.

Black sesame cream puff is a bestseller at Keiko Nojima’s 10-month-old Patisserie Chantilly in Lomita. Nojima didn’t offer that flavor every day until customers demanded it. She says she was inspired by pastries in Tokyo, where she had served an apprenticeship and where patisserie flavored with black sesame is common. Nojima also makes black sesame tuiles and a white sesame blancmange with black sesame seeds and kinako sauce, made with soy flour. She says she is considering adding more black sesame pastries.

Black sesame seeds may have already found their way into your favorite dessert. “I believe that in the near future their use will become established,” says El Bulli’s Adria. “They’ll be a normal, everyday product.”

Sesame seeds -- whose colors include black, brown, red, yellow and beige (or white) -- come from the Sesamum indicum plant, a leafy annual that grows 3 to 6 feet tall and that was recorded as a crop in Babylon more than 4,000 years ago. Small, oval pods encase as many as 100 oil-yielding seeds. The pods of some plant strains split open abruptly at maturity, scattering the seeds, which may have inspired the phrase, “Open, sesame.”


Japanese Green Tea Blancmange recipe - Recipes

Rice Dumpling Festival or Dragon Boat Festival is commonly known amongst Singaporeans and Malaysians. The official Chinese name is Duan Wu Jie (端午节) in mandarin. It is celebrated annually on the 5th day of the 5th month in accordance to the Chinese lunar calender. This year it will fall on 20 June 2015.

You might be wondering what does dumplings and dragon boat have to do with each other…

In modern China the festival commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC) of the ancient state of Chu during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty. A cadet member of the Chu royal house, Qu served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance and even accused of treason. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry. Twenty-eight years later, Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River.

It is said that the local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him or at least retrieve his body. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi (dumpling)

When we were children, my mum used to toil from night till the wee hours of the morning to complete all the wrapping and steaming of the dumplings so that when we woke up we could enjoy the fruits of her labour. She will make more than 100 of dumplings so that she can keep some for the family and give some away to our relatives.

Recently, I was fortunate to have my mum in our home and I requested that she teach me how to make this kind of Nonya dumplings that I enjoy eating. She was really enthusiastic to do so as she has stopped making these dumplings for many years because of her age.

Just for your information, nowadays, bak chang are available commercially but nothing beats some good homemade dumplings. If you don’t mind the hard work give it a try… It is worth the effort.

We love to hear from you so once you have tried this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments. Like and follow us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram (@TheRealBeyondNorm) and YouTube (@BeyondNormEats), to get the latest exciting updates and videos. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you, whether newbie or veteran.

(Makes about 30 rice dumplings)

String (To tie the dumplings)

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of pig’s fats (You may opt for normal cooking oil instead – although it may not be as tasty)
  • 1 kg shoulder butt pork (Or chicken)

  • 350g of dried small sized prawns
  • 12 to 15 pcs of mushrooms
  • 2kg of glutinous rice

  • 120g of coriander seeds, wash and roast them in the wok till fragrant and pound them into powder. If you can’t get it in seed form use the powder (but in my opinion it is not as fragrant as the seeds)
  • Superior black soya sauce
  • Salt
  1. Get the good piece of fats from the butcher and cut the lard into small cubes (fortunately my butcher did the cutting for me)
  2. Rinse and dry them before putting into the wok.
  3. Stir occasionally until all the oil oozes out
  4. Remove the crispy fats and store them in a jar in the fridge for future use.
  5. Put away the lard (oil).

(If you’re using cooking oil, you can skip this step.)

1. Peel and slice the shallots, then stir fry with the lard (or cooking oil) over low fire till slightly brown and set aside.

2. Peel and chop the garlic, then stir fry with the lard (or cooking oil) over low fire till fragrant and set aside

For steps 1 and 2, make sure you watch them like a hawk as they burn easily.

3. Boil the water chestnuts for about 30 minutes or until they are cooked. Then remove the ones that are bad (Those are usually very hard even after they are cooked and have kind of a funky smell.) The good chestnuts usually smell “sweet”. Cut them into small cubes and set aside.

4. Soak the dried prawns for about 15 minutes. Rinse and cut the prawns into 2 or 3 pieces and set aside.

5. Soak the mushrooms till they are soft. Rinse and cut them into ½ cm by ½ cm and set aside.

6. Wash and cut the pork (or chicken) into small cubes like ½ cm by ½ cm. Add 2 tablespoon of corn flour into the pork and mix well.

7. Heat up some lard (or cooking oil) and the pork (or chicken), and stir fry for 5 minutes.

8. Add in the mushrooms and stir fry for another 5 minutes.

9. Add in the dried prawns, chestnuts, shallots and garlic and mix all the ingredients.

10. Add in the dark sauce and mix it evenly into the ingredients and taste. If it is not salty enough add some salt to increase the level of saltiness.

11. Add in the coriander powder and mixed them well with the rest of the fillings.

12. At this point, the filling is already well seasoned so you can cover it and set it aside to cool till the following day when you are ready to wrap the dumplings.

  1. Wash rice and soak overnight.
  2. Rinse the rice the following day.
  3. Heat 8 tablespoons of lard (or cooking oil) into the wok and stir in the rice with 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt for a couple of minutes.
  4. Scoop out and set them aside.

For the bamboo leaves and the strings:

  1. Wash the bamboo leaves and soak them and the strings overnight.
  2. The following day, you may pour hot water on them to ensure that they are soft.

Steps on how to wrap the dumpling are as follows:

  1. Prepare a big pot of water, add 2 tbsp of salt.
  2. When water is boiling, lower down the rice dumplings.
  3. Boil for at least 1 hour to 1 ½hours. The water level has to be always above the rice dumplings.
  4. Take out the rice dumplings while it is done.
  5. Drip dry the rice dumplings by hanging.

The inside of your dumplings should look something like this:


Bak Kut Teh (BKT) in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) literally means Pork Rib Tea. When I was a child, my mum would cook this herbal soup using the herbs/spices from the Chinese medical shop. Nowadays, most grocery stores and supermarkets in Malaysia and Singapore carry the sachets which contains the powdered herbal mix ready to be used.

Being a strong advocate of healthy eating, I still prefer to use the loose herbs mix in this dry BKT dish. Reason? I once bought a packet of ready to cook BKT sachet and realised that there were preservatives in it. How disappointing!

Klang town in Malaysia is famous for its BKT in soup form. Some years ago a dry version originated from this town and is now not only popular around Malaysia but also in Singapore. The BKT soup is dark and strong (with spices and herbs) in Malaysia whereas the soup is pale and peppery in Singapore.

My family and I love the strong and robust flavours in this dry version the additional ingredients are fried dried cuttlefish, mushrooms and the chillies which gives it an oomph to our palate!!

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Serves 4 persons

Ingredients

For the broth:

600 pork shoulder ribs/pork ribs, Salt and rinse off after 5 minutes

15 cloves garlic, rinsed skin on/off

15 pieces of Wolfberry (gei ji), rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon thick dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

For the dry BKT:

1 to 2 medium dried cuttlefish, soaked, drained and sliced into strips

6 pieces dried shitake mushrooms, soaked, drained and sliced thinly

10 ladies’ finger/okra, washed and sliced diagonally about 1cm thick

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

½ tablespoon thick dark soy sauce

Preparation for the broth:

  1. Add the water into a pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add in the aniseeds, cloves and cinnamon stick into the boiling water.
  3. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the pork, garlic, wolfberries, dark soy sauce, and light soy sauce.
  5. Simmer in low heat for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the pork from the broth and set aside. Keep the broth for later use.

Cooking Dry BKT:

  1. Add some oil in a pan/pot, fry the dried cuttlefish for 30 seconds
  2. Then add the dried chillies, and chili padi until fragrant.
  3. Add in the mushrooms and stir for another minute.
  4. Add in the ladies’ finger and fry 30 seconds.
  5. Add in the pork (from Step 6). Fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the broth till it adequately covers the ingredients. (Or top up some water.)
  7. Adjust the taste by adding in the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Simmer until the gravy is reduced to the consistency which you like.
  9. When it is ready to serve, garnish it with the chopped coriander.
  10. Goes well with steamed rice.
  1. If you want your dry BKT to be spicier, you can cut some of the dry chilli into half.
  2. I used only the basic herbs/spices for this dish.
  3. If you prefer a firmer texture for the ladies’ finger/okra, add them in in at Step 14 halfway through the simmer.

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Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at BeyondNorm.com in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.


Tag: Japanese desserts

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  • 2 tablespoons kuzu
  • 500ml (17. fl oz) soymilk
  • 60ml (2fl oz) agave
  • teaspoon concentrate agar agar powder
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Strawberry sauce
  • 30g (1oz) real brown sugar
  • 25ml (.fl oz) water
  • 5 strawberries, chopped

1. Break the kuzu into powder and dissolve with a small amount of soymilk in a saucepan.

2. Add the rest of the soymilk, agave, agar agar and tahini over a medium heat, stirring continuously. You will see the mixture begin to

continuously. You will see the mixture begin to

thicken. Bring to the boil then turn down and

simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously

(agar agar needs to be cooked for at least 2 minutes with a boiling liquid, otherwise, it won’t melt so it won’t set).

3. Spoon the mixture among five ramekins and refrigerate to set.

4. Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce. Bring sugar and water to the boil in a small pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until syrupy.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until syrupy. Remove from heat and add the chopped

strawberries and stir. Leave to cool.

5. To serve, dip moulds briefly into warm water, turn onto plates and spoon strawberry sauce over the top.

Tip: There are many types of agar agar. If you use Japanese agar agar powder, use . teaspoon.

If you use an agar-agar flake or bar, use 1 teaspoon and soak for at least two hours before

cooking. You can also make black blancmange, simply use black tahini instead of white.

You can also create the two-colour blancmange you see in the photo opposite.


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Otoro Sushi - Enjoy this prized part of the tuna two ways, seared and drizzled with yuzu juice or just with a bit soy sauce. Either way it melts in .


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