Ngoh Hiang (Chinese 5-Spice Meat Rolls), deep fried delicious goodness that is much loved by many families.
Ngoh Hiang (Chinese 5-Spice Meat Rolls), literally translated as Five Spice, is a unique Hokkien and Teochew (one of the many Chinese dialects) dish in Singapore. It is essentially made of various meats and vegetables, rolled inside beancurd skin and then fried. A humble dish with simple ingredients that is extremely flavorful and delicious.
My godmother would make this dish every year during Chinese New Year. We'd always have it as a side dish with our family hotpot dinner. About 6 years ago, she visited me in Houston and taught me how to make them. Since then, making Ngoh Hiang has also been my annual Chinese New Year tradition.
Ngoh Hiang (Chinese 5-Spice Meat Rolls)
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
1 lb Minced Pork
1 lb Shrimps (shelled, deveined & minced)
15 pieces Peeled Whole Water Chestnut or a 8 oz can (roughly minced)
1 Carrot (approx. 8 oz) (roughly minced)
2 Small Yams or Taro (approx. 6 oz) (roughly minced)
1 Onion (roughly minced)
5 cloves Garlic (roughly minced)
9 pieces Hup Seng Soda Cream Biscuits (crushed finely) or 3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
4 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp White Pepper Powder
1 tsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
Beancurd Skin (for wrapping)
1. Place all ingredients, except for the beancurd skin, in a large bowl and mix well.
2. Prepare beancurd skin by cutting them into rectangle sheets (approx. 5 x 7 inch)
3. Place about 6 to 8 tbsp full of meat mixture on the beancurd skin and roll it up, resembling a sausage.
4. Fry (either shallow fry or deep fry works) the meat rolls in oil until golden brown.
5. Cut into bite size portions and serve warm.
6. If making in advance, steam cook meat rolls for 10 min and refrigerate them for up to 5 days.
7. Remove from refrigerator and fry meat rolls in oil until golden brown before serving.
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky), a smoky, fragrant and savory snack that remains a popular Chinese New Year treat or any time of the year, really!
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky), a Chinese sweet and salty dried meat product that is similar to jerky, is immensely popular in Singapore and Malaysia where it is usually consumed during Chinese New Year. In the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, you'll often see a line of customers outside Bak Kwa shops, waiting to purchase this Hokkien delicacy. Prices of Bak Kwa before and during Chinese New Year often see a rise as well.
This is my second year making Bak Kwa at home, as I have not been able to find any here in Houston. My kids love it and so does my jerky loving friends. The recipe that I used is very simple, although a little time consuming. But what's better that kicking back with a glass of wine or a pint of beer as you grill some smoky flavored Bak Kwa with your family in your backyard!
adapted from "The Meat Men Singapore"
2.2 lbs Ground Pork
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/4 tsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp White Pepper Powder
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Hua Tiao Cooking Wine
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1. Marinate ground pork in a large bowl with cinnamon powder, 5 spice powder, coriander powder, white pepper powder, light soy sauce, fish sauce, cooking wine, sugar and dark soy sauce. Mix well and marinate for 1 hour.
2. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper.
3. Spread the marinated ground meat thinly onto the 2 large baking trays.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 min.
5. Cut the pork into squares and grill over a charcoal pit, glazing them with honey.
6. Grill for about 2 min each side or until it is lightly charred.
Kueh Bangkit, tapioca coconut cream cookies that melt in your mouth and often enjoyed during Chinese New Year.
Kueh Bangkit (Tapioca Cookies), may look plain and bland to some of you but I assure you, this airy and flavorful cookie is so fragrant and light that it literally melts in your mouth!
Chinese New Year is by far my favorite holiday when we were living in Singapore. After being away for over 7 years now, it is always around this time of the year that I get a little homesick.
I remember as kids, one of my favorite Chinese New Year activity is sampling all the yummy cookies and snacks at every relative's house that we visit on the first day of the Lunar New Year. We will be dressed in brand new outfits and children & unmarried young adults look forward to collecting "ang pows" (red packets filled with small amounts of money as a symbol of good luck).
The variety of snacks and cookies is so vast, it is hard to just pick one favorite. Kueh Bangkit is definitely on the top of my favorite list.
Traditionally, the tapioca flour is pan fried with pandan leaves (screw pine leaves) to infuse its flavor in but I found a simpler way that would also generate less mess. And because I do not have the traditional Kueh Bangkit wooden cookie molds, I use regular cookie cutters instead.
This is my first attempt making them and it was a great success. The kids have been snacking on them ever since I made them!
Kueh Bangkit (Tapioca Cookies)
adapted from "Malaysian Chinese Kitchen"
1 lb Tapioca Flour
6 to 8 Pandan Leaves (screw pine leaves)
2 Egg Yolks
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Thick Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
Red Food Coloring
1. Rinse and dry pandan leaves.
2. Place tapioca flour in a baking tray. Cut pandan leaves into 3 inch lengths and place them in the flour, burying them in.
3. Bake the flour at 200 degrees F for 1 hour.
4. Remove from oven and let tapioca flour cool. Discard the pandan leaves.
5. Sieve the flour and reserve 1/4 cup for dusting.
6. Beat egg yolks and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
7. Add 1/3 portion of flour and 1/3 portion of coconut milk/cream. Mix well. Continue doing so until all the flour and coconut milk/cream is used up.
8. Gently knead the mixture to form a soft dough. It should be soft and does not stick to your hands. If it appears to be too dry, you may add 1 to 2 tbsp of additional coconut milk/cream.
9. Gently roll the dough till it is about 1/4 inch thick. Use approximately 1 inch sized cookie cutters, dip them into flour and cut them into shape.
10. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 to 25 min, depending on the size of your cookies. The bottom of the cookies should lightly browned when ready.
11. Dot cookies with red food coloring, if desired.
Makes 60 to 65 (1 inch sized) pieces
Chinese Egg Tarts, one of the best Chinese desserts among the dim sum spread in Cantonese cuisine.
Chinese Egg Tarts - a simple tart with a silky egg yolk custard in crisp pastry shells that are found in bakeries, kopitiams and on dim sum carts.
Last night, it was all quiet at home with Bella off to a sleepover at a friend's home and Jamie tucked in bed already. I decided to make some egg tarts while Kian hangs out with me in the kitchen over a glass of wine. Ok, maybe we had 2 glasses each. Or 3? Never mind, I digressed.
Egg tarts (baked pastries crusts filled with egg custard) are most recognizable in Singapore's dim sum restaurants and bakeries. Often consumed as a dessert or snack, egg tarts are made from a few basic ingredients - eggs, flour, sugar, butter and milk; all of which could already in your pantry and refrigerator. Other variations of eggs tarts that is popular is the Portuguese style ones - an adaptation of pastel de nata and the ones with flaky pastries.
The ones I made is the Chinese traditional ones that have a buttery pastry crust and a soft & extremely smooth, melt-in-your mouth custard. And like so many Singaporean dishes, you can have them at any time of the day. They go really well with coffee or tea. And perhaps wine.
Chinese Egg Tarts
inspired by "Snapguide"
5 oz Chilled Salted Butter (cut into cubes)
1 3/4 cup Flour (sieved)
2 tbsp Sugar
Egg Custard Ingredients
3 eggs (whole)
1 egg white
2/3 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2/3 cup Hot Water
1. Prepare pastry first. Using finger tips only, rub chilled butter into flour in a large bowl until it resembles bread crumbs.
2. Add sugar and egg into the mixture and knead until a soft dough is formed.
3. Wrap dough with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 to 30 min.
4. Prepare the egg custard mixture. Beat all eggs together and set aside.
5. Mix sugar, milk, vanilla extract and hot water in a large bowl until well mixed and sugar has dissolved.
6. Add egg mixture in to the milk mixture and mix well.
7. Pour mixture through sieve to remove egg chunks. The mixture will be runny. Set aside.
8. Roll dough with a rolling pin till it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch diameter circles and place them into muffin tray cups. Press them in gently, ensuring that there is no air trapped in-between the dough and tray to form a pastry cup.
9. Gently pour in egg mixture into the pastry cups.
10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 min. Watch the tarts closely, ensuring that they don't over bake.
Makes 12 tarts.
Beans & Leek Begedil, a Malay style fried bean patty that is low carb friendly and still satisfying and flavorful.
Beans & Leek Begedil (Malay Style Fried Bean Patties) that is slow carb diet compliant, a diet from Tim Ferriss's 4 Hour Body. In addition to our regular exercise routine, we started this diet 11 days ago and we are already seeing positive results. Kian and I lost 6.5 lbs and 6.2 lbs, respectively. More importantly, for me, my bloating issue has gone down tremendously and my belly is significantly smaller.
The diet is really simple and can be summarized as the elimination of all white carbohydrates & starches, dairy products (with the exception of cottage cheese, butter and ghee) and anything sweet (that includes fruits and artificial sweeteners), with a strong preference for protein, legumes and vegetables. Fortunately, you are allowed 2 glasses of red wine a day! Follow these rules for 6 days and have an off day (or cheat day) to eat whatever your heart desires. I've included a link to the book above if you are interested to find out more.
I have to be honest, the first few days upon embarking on this diet was a huge challenge. Rice and noodles have been a staple in our daily meals. But I think we started off with the right attitude and eventually got the hang of it. Tim Ferriss did mention in his book that the diet is not meant to be enjoyable but he didn't say we cannot attempt to make it easier. So, with a little creativity, I modified one of my previous Begedil (Malay Style Fried Potato Patties) recipe to try and make it slow carb diet approved. I must add that we are still experiementing, and this recipe is an experiment as well so if any experienced slow carb dieters out there feel that this recipe will not be approved, please let me know.
Beans & Leek Begedil (Malay Style Fried Bean Patties - Slow Carb Diet)
by Miss Crumbs-A-Lot
1 29oz Can White Kidney Beans (drained)
1/4 cup Leek (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup Fried Shallots (thinly sliced and fried in grapeseed oil)
1 lb Minced Chicken or Minced Beef
1/2 tsp White Pepper Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 cloves Garlic (finely minced)
Grapeseed Oil or Olive Oil
1. Lightly mash white kidney beans, but not to a complete pulp.
2. Add leeks, fried shallots, meat, pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt and garlic. Mix well.
3. Mold bean mixture into 1/3 cup sized patties.
4. Beat eggs and coat patties in egg wash.
5. Shallow fry in oil till golden brown.
Makes 15 patties
Savory Steamed Rice Dumplings will forever change your breakfast goals with its amazing flavors of garlic and Chinese dried radish.
Savory Steamed Rice Dumplings, or as what we commonly refer to as "Chwee Kueh" in Singapore, is a popular breakfast dish back home. "Chwee Kueh" literally means "water rice cake". It is a really simple dish - a rice flour and water mixture that is steamed in small cup-shaped containers or saucers and topped with a savory dried radish topping.
After 2 1/2 months, my mom's visit has come to an end. Before she left yesterday, we asked her what she'd like to do or eat. Although she was going back to Singapore where Singaporean cuisine was readily available, she wanted me to cook Hainanese Chicken Rice for lunch. And I made some "Chwee Kueh" for her breakfast as well.
I have not made these rice dumplings in a while and made a mistake by filling the mold cups almost to the brim and that caused the dumplings to sink a little in the middle while steam cooking. But that worked in our favor as the little indentation served as a cup to hold more toppings, although the bottom of the rice dumpling was a little too densed for my liking. So, do note not to fill up your molds too much when you make this.
Savory Steamed Rice Dumplings
adapted from "Singapore Hawker Food"
14 oz Chinese Dried Radish
4 tbsp Chopped Garlic
15 tbsp Cooking Oil
1 tbsp Sugar
2 1/2 cup Rice Flour
2 tbsp Caltrop Starch or Cornstarch
6 1/3 cups Water
1 tsp Salt
1. Soak chinese dried radish in water for 15 to 30 min. Drain and mince in food processer.
2. Heat oil in a pot and place the dried radish in. Simmer on med/low heat for 40 min.
3. Add chopped garlic and stir well. Simmer for another 10 to 15 min or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
4. Add salt into water and bring it to boil. Remove from heat.
5. Add rice flour and starch into water and mix well.
6. Pour mixture into molds. (Small 2 inch diameter cups) Fill about 1 inch deep.
7. Steam cook for 15 to 20 min.
8. Serve with radish topping and sambal chilli, if desired.
Pineapple Tarts with a unique pineapple jam and buttery pastry that they simple melt in your mouth.
Pineapple tarts, a delicate sweet treat that is a Chinese New Year must have. In a blink of an eye, we have taken the leap of faith and plunged into 2017. And now, it is time for me to get into the full swing of things to prepare for one of my favorite holidays that we celebrate in Singapore - Chinese Lunar New Year!
After the year of the Monkey comes the year of the Rooster, which begins on January 28. Celebrations traditionally start from the evening preceding the first day, with a "Reunion Dinner", where families make it a point to get together for a special dinner that is comparable to the American Thanksgiving dinner. Homes would have been given a thorough cleaning and all customary Chinese New Year snacks and pastries prepared in time for the first day.
One of the Chinese New Year snack that I always prepare every year is Pineapple Tarts. This melt-in-your-mouth little pastry tart is a popular snack amongst my family and friends whom we celebrate this auspicious occasion with annually. So, it only make sense for me to make them in large batches. I usually take a day to prepare the pineapple jam and the next day to bake the pastries. It is best store the tarts in the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before consuming.
By Miss Crumbs A Lot, inspired by "Rasa Malaysia"
4 Pineapples (skinned and core removed)
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Whole Cloves
2 Whole Star Anise
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Sieve or Cheese Cloth
5 cups All Purpose Flour
4 tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
8 tbsp Powdered Sugar
2 cups Butter (4 sticks)
4 Egg Yolks
1. Cut pineapples into small chunks and blend them in a food processor.
2. Pour mixture through a sieve or wring it with a cheese cloth to remove as much juice as possible.
3. Place mixture in a non-stick pot or a dutch oven pot with sugar, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
4. Reduce heat to low if pineapple mixture is burning. It should brown gradually until it is dry, golden brown and easily molded. (It usually takes me 2 to 3 hours)
5. Remove the spices and allow the jam to cool. It may be refrigerated for later use. (I usually do this a day in advance)
6. Roll cooled pineapple jam into 1 tsp full sized balls and set aside.
7. Sieve flour and cornstarch into a large mixing bowl.
8. Cut cold butter sticks into small cubes and place in flour.
9. Using your finger tips only, rub the cold butter cubes into the flour, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
8. Add salt, powdered sugar, egg yolks and mix until a soft dough is formed. The dough should not stick to your hands. More butter may be added if it is too dry.
For Open-Faced Tarts
1. Roll out the dough till it is about 1/4 inch thick and use a flower shaped cookie cutter to cut out the dough.
2. Place rolled pineapple jam onto each flower shaped cookie dough and place on a baking tray.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 min.
4. May be refrigerated but best to consumed at room temperature.
For Enclosed Tarts
1. Pinch about 1 1/2 tsp of dough, roll it into a ball and flatten it to form a 2 inch circle. Place rolled pineapple jam in the middle and wrap it with the dough. Shape it into a oblong shape, score the top gently with a knife and apply egg wash (1 egg yolk and 2 tbsp of milk).
2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 min.
3. May be refrigerated but best to be consumed at room temperature.
Makes approximately 200 pieces
A Singaporean SAHM living in Houston, Texas. Discovering her potential in the kitchen with authentic Singaporean Cuisine. And exploring the dynamic food scene Houston has to offer.