Homemade Chinese Egg Tarts

Now that Chinese bakeries are mainly on the decline in London, and Chinese egg tarts are getting more and more expensive, it’s time to make my own… 
I used a recipe from my Chinese cookbook Quick and Easy Chinese – dim sum version… First attempt of course was too hard. Pastry was slightly thick and I should’ve added some sugar into it. The book said 20 minutes to bake, but this took 40 minutes! 😅
My second attempt, I tried to change the recipe to make exact 8 egg tarts. Big fail! Pastry was not crunchy enough. Too dry. Egg mix didn’t have enough water and I added less sugar this time. Cooking time was 20 minutes. 😆

Third attempt will be soon… 😋

Homemade Spicy Korean Style Ramen

Had a craving for spicy Korean food. Was watching too many cooking videos on Instagram… Master H (Miss Pinky’s youngest brother) mentioned that he was watching mini cooking videos on Instagram and I thought I might as well have a look at a lot of cooking stuff… which made me make this dish. >_<"

Didn’t take any pictures of the ingredients, but maybe you can tell what ingredients are used from the picture below…

No? Here’s a close up…

2 fried eggs – cook first!
Cheese mix: mozzarella and cheddar 

Packet of ramen (anyone… Korean ramen is the best)
1 teapsoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 heaped teaspoon of Gochujang (Korean hot paste)
1 tablespoon of cane sugar (or normal white sugar) – I just used cane sugar since I have a whole box to use
1 teaspoon of hot chili powder (you can add more if you like spicy food)
2 frankfurters cut into diagonal pieces
Small portion of white cabbage (you can use sweetheart cabbage)
1 small cup of water
Cooking instructions:
1. Cook the ramen without the sauce packets and sprinkles for 3-4 minutes. Drain water once ready.
2. Using a small frying pan, add the olive oil and fry the frankfurters for 2 minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add the tomato paste, gochujang, cane sugar and hot chili powder, Mix into the frankfurters and cabbage.
5. Add water to the mix, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for around 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
6. Add the cooked ramen and mix into the ingredients.
7. Serve in a bowl and add the toppings… Now enjoy. ^_^

Mashittda! 맛있다 ! Delicious!

Homemade Flapjacks with Chocolate topping

It was Baby B’s birthday last month. She’s one years old! Wow. I can’t believe I’ve been almost a Kai Ma 契媽 (the Cantonese version of a godmother a.k.a adoptive mother). I say almost because Baby B hasn’t given me a cup of tea to drink to officially become my Kai Neui 契女 (goddaughter a.k.a adoptive daughter) yet… It has to be an official celebration thing for us Chinese peeps. 
Miss Pinky and Mr Picky were deciding on a lot of things on how to celebrate this little baby’s birthday… In the end we ended up going to the Horniman Museum park area which is located around Forest Hill.
So what did we all have to do? Cook food! I was originally going to make brownies, but ended up making flapjacks!

I used this recipe but changed a few things: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/401/flapjacks.aspx.

Ingredients (they were actually all estimated ^_^ … I didn’t bother with the weighing scales):
~750g of Scottish oats
~500g of butter
~300g of baking syrup
~400g soft light brown sugar
3 bars of Milka original chocolate bars

1, Melt the butter and sugar and syrup together until it goes all gooey and brown
2. Mix in the above into the oats and stir all together making sure all the oats are soaked with the sugars and butters
3. Pour into a lightly buttered baking tray. You can also add a baking sheet to make it easy to pick up and cut – up to you!
4. Set the oven to around gas mark 5, and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes… I cooked it longer because there were so many oats!
5. Once done, take the tray out and set aside.
6. Place the chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat a pan of water and set the bowl on top of the pan. Whilst the water is boiling, the chocolate should melt. Stir the chocolate around to make it melt faster…
7. After all the chocolate is melted, add this on top of the uncut flapjacks (I didn’t smooth the chocolate down on purpose)
8. Cool the flapjacks overnight and cut when ready. ^_^ You can score the chocolate before it completely sets.

Mr Stingy loved them. I loved them. And everyone at the party loved them! Yum yum yum!! We just needed more main food dishes… But it looks like I will be making more of these in the future. Hahahahahah.
Here’s Miss Pinky with Baby B in her new unicorn night suit from M&S. Happy sleeping in it. LOL!

Simple Roast Pork Belly

Did you know that the roast pork belly you see in the windows of a Chinese restaurant is very, very easy to make? It doesn’t take a genius to put this all together.
This is another recipe from my geeky parents (they’re of course not as geeky as me).
– Pork Belly (any size) – you might be lucky to find this in your local supermarket, if not I suggest going to the butchers for a nice cut
– Salt
– Char siu sauce (or hoisin sauce … or anything you like i.e. bbq sauce, plum sauce or add Chinese five spices…)
– teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice (optional)

1. You can do this part at any stage of the preparation. If you have either a boneless pork belly or one with bones you will need to cut the under part length ways ensuring that the skin at the top stays intact.

2. Next using a fork, preferably one that is long, poke the skin. You need to make a lot of holes in that skin so imagine you’re poking someone you really, really hate. Some Chinese people like using a device called a poker – so if you one of those then I suggest you use that. DaddyGeek recommended using kitchen scissors… it’s really up to you on how you poke!

This picture is not clear, but it should look like it’s been poked a lot!

3. You can do this part last, but for some reason I chose to this part next… Add the sauce of your choice at the base of the pork belly. Make sure you add the sauce into the parts you had cut earlier. Spread evenly and make sure none of it gets onto the skin.

4. Place a metal plate or an oven safe dish on top of a baking rack + tray.

5. Flip over the pork belly and place on top of the metal plate.

6. This part you can do after the poking… add lots of salt onto the skin. Rub it throughout the skin as if you’re having a sea salt scrub ^_^

At this point you can add a splash of vinegar of lemon juice to give it some extra crispiness. Add more salt and scrub that skin! Then leave for 3 hours so that the skin dries before roasting.

7. Preheat oven to the highest gas mark. Then put in the pork belly. Roast the “left side” for 20 minutes then switch and roast the “right side” for a further 20 minutes.

You should hopefully have a crispy top… unfortunately this didn’t dry too well… but tasted good!!

Of course I had some for dinner!!!! ^___^

This was my second attempt… still didn’t get that really crispy skin texture…. Maybe third time lucky????

Simple enough? I think it is…

Simple Cantonese Roast Duck – DaddyChef’s recipe

I did say I was doing more cooking this year! Hopefully I can come up with more recipes. Heheh.

I’ve mentioned in the past that my father DaddyChef is an ex-Cantonese chef, has worked in many restaurants and was once a head chef – Gordon Ramsey style (as in lots of swearing and volcano eruptions in the kitchen – I heard this from MummyGeek). Back in his days I think Gordon Ramsey style was an in thing for chefs. ¬,¬” Thankfully I have never seen him in a restaurant’s kitchen, otherwise I think I would have keeled over by now. Heheh.

Well one recipe which DaddyChef has taught MummyGeek is how to roast a duck. Cantonese Hong Kong style. And I’ve loved this recipe since I was very small. 
With permission from my parents (as this recipe is quite popular – but not the exact same ingredients are used throughout) I’m posting this version on my blog. I wonder if DaddyChef had any disciples that know this version…
– Small to medium sized duck (if frozen, defrost this overnight). We used a large duck here and a couple of smaller ones later.

Stuffing Ingredients:
– 3-4 Crushed Star aniseed (you can use the powder version if you can’t find this OR use hoisin sauce OR charsiu sauce)
– 2-3 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spices
– Garlic (1 teaspoon) dried or fresh
– 2-3 Spring onions chopped
– 1 small chunk of Ginger chopped
– 2-3 tablespoons of salt (use less salt for a smaller duck)
– Half a mug of White wine vinegar or any type of vinegar can be used
– 2 heaped spoons of Maltose (if you can’t get this use Golden Syrup as suggested by my parents)
– Water
– Metal (or wooden) skewers 
– Metal hanger – you can find in cooking shops or make your own using metal coat hangers

So the recipe is in photo order. Good luck.

1. Gather the ingredients, duck and utensils… salt is not in this picture

2. Add the garlic and crushed star aniseed

3. Then add the chopped ginger and spring onions. We used a blender to chop everything. Easiest way!

4. Add the five spices.

5. And finally the salt. Mixed these ingredients well with a spoon.

6. If you have bought your duck whole and frozen you may get a duck with its head still attached! Yeek. If you don’t want to roast the duck head, then I suggest you chop it off. Disgusting to do I know.
Take the duck out of its packing. Start washing the duck in cold water.

7. From the bottom end, there is hole where they have gutted the duck and may have left the kidneys and stuff inside a plastic bag – if you see this, take the bag out and discard.

8. Keep washing the duck. Now take the wings and make them into folded arms on the back (not the breast side – this is the meaty part)

9. If you have chopped off the neck or if there is an opening on the head side use a skewer and sew the skin and meat together… so prick, twist the skin and meat over the skewer and then prick again. Repeat until the opening is completely sealed.

10. At the bottom end, add the stuffing. You may use your hand or a spoon and spread the stuffing around the inside.

11. Then again as with the neck, seal the bottom with a skewer.

Ta da! Isn’t my mum cool!

12. Heat a wok or a massive pan and add water. Boil the water.

 13. Add the duck into the wok and start bathing it! Yes, give it a bath!!

14. Add the vinegar into the water.

15. Then add the maltose into the water. This sugary syrup is really tough! So put some strength into it to get load out. >.<""

16. Make sure you coat both sides of the duck with the water – do this for about 10 minutes. This gives the skin a crispy sweet coating at the end of roasting. ^_^

17. DaddyChef made these metal hooks using metal hangers. So cool! And inexpensive!
Put the metal hangers underneath the duck wings.

18. Now hang to dry – add newspaper on the floor in case it falls or lots of fluids come off. If you are doing this at night, let it dry overnight. If from morning, then a good 5 to 8 hours is recommended depending on the size of the duck.

19. After a long time of drying place the duck on a baking tray with a rack on top so that the juices can drip into the tray.

Here’s some extra duck legs we bought…

20. Preheat your oven to gas mark 8 or 9 – depending on what type of oven you have really. Highest heat gives the best result. It is recommended that you have a gas oven to roast this.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the duck.

21. Now take out the duck and turn the tray over to roast on the other side. Roast again for 20-25 minutes.

22. Take the duck out again and now turn over to roast the back of the duck. Repeat roasting as above (steps 20 and 21).

23. Now it’s night time…
Completely remove the duck and leave to cool before eating!! Remove the metal skewers before chopping up. ^_^

Forgot to turnover the duck legs… but tasted ok.

And here’s another smaller two ducks that we bought from ASDA… but were kind of rubbish because they chopped of the legs and so it was harder to seal one end – improvising was needed here using several metal skewers and string.

Now it’s your turn!! Roast that duck away. Yum yum!!

Happy geeky cooking!! … if you still get stuck cooking this then I suggest you have a look on YouTube for some tips. 

Simple Okonomiyaki (made with Miss Money)

Two weekends ago, Mr Games, Mr Sensible and I went to visit Miss Money’s new room – basically a place with more space. We all decided (with a lot of explanation in between) on what to eat… and in the end it was one of my favourites: okonomiyaki! Savoury Japanese pancake. Did I have any in Tokyo? I don’t think I did. 😦
Well here’s just a very simple way we made it without seafood so no bonita flakes in this.
Ingredients (Miss Money bought these):
– 1 white cabbage – you only a quarter chopped finely, the hard part you can discard
– Okonomiyaki flour (you can get these in most Asian stores
– Half a red onion chopped (or use spring onions if you don’t like red onions)
– Bacon rashers or bacon strips
– 2 eggs
– 200 mls of water
– Vegetable oil
Optional ingredients:
– Cheese
– Kimchi
– Prawns
– Okonomiyaki sauce (the brown one)
– Japanese mayonnaise or normal mayonnaise 

White cabbage, okonomiyaki flour and okonomiyaki sauce

Miss Money made a mistake and bought mustard mayonnaise (because it was on sale)

Bacon rashers

I chopped up the cabbage… poor work 😛
Firstly, add the flour into a bowl, add the 2 eggs and mix. Then add the water in gradually… and mix at the same time

Add the cabbage and mix

Add the chopped red onion and keep mixing…

Next heat a frying pan, add some vegetable oil wait until it’s a bit hot… then spoon out the batter and make it into a round shape. Then add two pieces of bacon on top. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Next flipover – you may have to do this in a swift move. ^_^ And cover with a lid. To make it cook faster on the inside, just add a little water.

And voila, remove from fying pan and place on a plate. Miss Money and I ate this one to try out. ^_^

Here’s another one we made – the second one.

Add okonomiyaki sauce first, then mayonnaise. At this point you can add bonita flakes if you like seafood.

Miss Money left me to do the cooking on the last okonomiyaki XD…

There you go… you don’t have to use the same ingredients as we did but the most important ingredient is the white cabbage! Try adding kimchi, cheese and prawns… 

Happy geeky cooking B-)

Char Siu Cheat (BBQ Pork 叉燒)

Since I have a new cooker I thought I might as well try out some more oven cooking since I hardly used the old one.
In this post I will be introducing you the easy cheat way on how to make the famous Chinese BBQ pork a.k.a char siu 叉燒 (pronounced in Canto as “chaa siu” literally meaning “fork-roast”). The history goes like this: in ancient times they used a fork to hang the pork and roast it. ^_^ That’s it. It’s very different to the Japanese chashu so don’t mistake this as being Japanese!
So here I am using pork loin, pork belly and leftover chicken breast meat and a char siu (cheat) sauce from Lee Kum Kee. In the end you will be so proud of yourself making such a delicious dish.
– Pork loin or pork belly or pork shoulder meat (shoulder meat is the leanest; belly is the fattest)
– Char siu marinade sauce (Lee Kum Kee version)
– chicken breast, chicken wings
– a few drops of red food colouring
That’s all you need!! Already so simple. ^_^

1. First clean the meat and get rid of any unwanted bone then dry it

2. Marinade both sides of the meat generously (you can add red food colouring to the marinade to make the meat red like in the restaurants)

3. Leave in the fridge overnight and take out when you are about to do the roasting

4. Pre-heat oven to about Gas mark 7

5. Put water into the baking tray and place rack on top

6. Add meat to tray and then stick in the oven. Leave for 30 minutes.

7. Remove from oven then flip over the meat and re-marinate with remaining sauce

8. Roast for another 30 minutes

9. After time is up remove from the oven and leave to cool… cut up and enjoy with some rice!

Simple right? Defo simple!! I think I might roast them a bit longer next time… probably 40 minutes and use pork shoulder.

If there are any leftovers, refrigerate or freeze until you next want to use it. ^_^
Happy cooking!! 

Cheesy Scotch Eggs

O-hoho. I do love a scotch egg. When I went to Miss Pinky’s one weekend, Mr Picky started about making scotch eggs with herbs and stuff and telling me how they can be made, so now it’s in my head that I have to try this out plus add an extra twist to it.
I have watched a couple of YouTube videos and started reading online with people using grated cheese in the sausage mix but what about a melting cheesy middle part? I couldn’t see any of that online or maybe I’m just searching for the wrong words online.
Well, anyway, here’s how I cooked it (something to do on a cold rainy day).
– Pack of 8 thick pork sausages (I used Wall’s because it was half price)
– 5 boiled eggs
– 1 egg whisked
– Plain flour
– Panko breadcrumbs (or normal breadcrumbs, I just couldn’t find the normal one in the supermarket)
– Vegetable oil for cooking
– Dairylea cheese slices (or any cheese slices)

Scotch egg ingredients

I used Dairylea cheese slices because that’s all I had ^_^

1. Take one sausage and de-skin it as shown in the second picture below. You may want to use 1 and a half sausages per egg (depending on the egg size and how thick you want your scotch egg to be).

De-skin the sausage
2. Dust the sausage with the plain flour and then mould and flatten into a circular shape, maybe the circumference of a small plate.
Sprinkle with flour and flatten the meat
3. You may want to do this beforehand… Split the cheese slice in half and wrap the egg with one half going from top to bottom and the other half from one side to the other.
Wrap the cheese slices
4. Next carefully cover the egg and cheese with the sausage and ensure there are no gaps in between.
Wrap the sausage meat

 Your scotch egg should now look like this:

A round scotch egg

 Here’s 4 of them

4 scotch eggs

 I used the last two sausages and made a big one.

And the last one
5. Heat up your pan and add some vegetable oil (about 3-4 cm in height). Then dip your scotch egg into the whisked egg.
Dip into whisked egg

6. Then coat the scotch egg with the panko breadcrumbs.

Coat with breadcrumbs

 7. Gently add into your pan of oil and then fry for 5-10 minutes.

Deep fry them

 Keep turning the scotch eggs… don’t panic if your scotch egg splits, you have the extra ones to do!
Don’t panic if the cheese oozes out!!
 8. After cooking, gently lift them out and place onto a clean plate. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes before eating!!
And voila

Nice stuff

So cheesy

Here’s the last 3. I burnt the last one!!

Burnt the last one

This one looks perfect!

This is actually my very first time eating fresh scotch eggs. I’m so pleased with myself. ^__^ Love the cheesiness of it all. 
Have to cook these again but I might change to a different sausage brand.

p.s. They taste really good the next day after being in the fridge… The cheese was still in its melted form too!

Geeky Egg Fried Rice

The Geek has been lazy and not making cooking posts last year. Reason: just being lazy. 😀 So today I’m going to show you the easiest Chinese cooking dish which has been probably shown a billion times around the world and brought down to many Chinese generations. There’s probably so many videos on how to cook egg fried rice…

It’s damn bloody simple! (Sorry for bad language usage here). I get asked so many times on how to make this especially how to cook the takeaway version. This is something for teenagers and young adults to learn when they’re by themselves really… and also a good way to impress family and friends on Chinese New Year!

– Cooked and cooled long grain white rice (you can use brown rice, jasmine or basmati rice – you decide)
– 1 egg, but I used 2 eggs here (because I like it eggy)
– 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 1-2 tablespoons Light Soy sauce (optional) and a teaspoon of Dark Soy sauce for colouring
– 1-2 tablespoons Oyster sauce (optional)
– Salt (optional)
If you want to spice up your egg fried rice you can add other ingredients in:
– Cold cooked meats (optional)
– Vegetables or spring onions (optional)

Main ingredients in pictures:

Cooked, cold long grain rice (do not EVER use uncooked rice for this recipe)

Must use cooked rice

 My two eggs (bought from Icelands – you can buy from anywhere)

Eggs (duh!)

How to cook (for 1-2 people):

1. Heat your frying pan (you don’t need to use a wok to cook this, a normal frying pan is ok) and add your vegetable in.

2. Add your cooked, cold rice into the frying pan

3. Stir fry and flatten out the lumps by using your spatula for 1-2 minutes (or whatever cooking utensil you use to stirfry). Make sure the rice is coated in the oil whilst stir frying.

Before adding the eggs you can add here your cold meat or vegetables in for extra geekiness (more like for extra flavouring). ^_^

4. Add 1 or 2 eggs on top of the rice (you can also scramble the eggs rather than adding the eggs like below – DaddyChef usually scrambles them and MummyGeek usually adds them straight in like below).

5. Stir fry the eggs into the rice for 1-2 minutes and you should get a yellow texture on top of the rice, if the egg looks too runny keep stir frying until you see your pan browning with the egg

6. The following is optional, I add oyster sauce into my egg fried rice

7. If you don’t want to add salt then add soy sauce (I added too much here and it got too salty). If you want Chinese takeaway style add the soy sauce plus add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce.

8. Here I placed mine in a container as it was for lunch! ^_^

Hope this will enlighten you to cook more. I will try my best to add more cooking stuff this year. 
Chinese New Year is on February 19th!! Year of the Goat.

Laksa Curry Fishballs (Really Really Spicy!) 咖哩叻沙辣魚蛋 (真係好辣!)

The year of 2013 ends with this post… Another post on cooking spicy fishballs, which you can make for under £5!
A lot of people (like me) still like spicy fishballs, so coming back from Hong Kong, I wanted to make some spicy, very spicy, EXTRA SPICY fishballs like the ones in Cheung Chau. So I went to one of my local Asian supermarkets, bought some Malaysian laksa curry paste (which you can find in most Asian stores), fried fishballs (all Asian stores sell this) and I also some coconut water from a local convenience store… Just 3 ingredients!
Malaysian Curry Laksa Paste
Coconut Water
Fried Fishballs
Fish Stick… I had some left
Prepared the fishballs
In goes the curry paste into a pan of boiling water… I used the whole packet to get the really spiciness of it all.
Laksa paste in the pan
Next I added the coconut water (about half the can) and also the fishballs. The coconut milk is to make the laksa less spicy.
Fishballs and coconut water is in the pan
Boiled for 10 minutes or so… Lower the temperature if you’ve made too much
Boil, boil, boil
They should float to the top.
Fish balls and fish stick will float to the top
Then scoop them out.
And serve… VERY SPICY!!
Phwoooor… Extra spicy it is!! Drink the rest of the coconut water whilst eating this, it will cool you down. ^_^
Use the remaining laksa soup base for noodles or cool down and refrigerate and re-use again!!
Hope you all have a spicy New Year’s Celebration with this (if there’s still time to make this and if you have the ingredients, heheh!!)

Have a Happy New Year!! \(^∀^)メ(^∀^)ノ. 2013 has been a mixed year of ups and downs, so I hope 2014 will be better!! ^_^ Fingers (doubly) crossed…