Saturday, February 8, 2014

Radish Bacon & Cilantro Pancake

There is something about Radish or Daikon that is delicious. Slightly peppery and  a tinge of bitterness, after cooking it  mellows down to sweet and crunchy. Like the Taro, some people don't have an acquired taste for it but if cooked properly seasoned and with the right ingredients, it may just convert some tastebuds.

I made up this recipe for a Lunch with my new neighbor. For ladies lunches, I love making lighter dishes like this and dim sum type of morsels. Basically, you can put in any type of fillings into the pancake dough. The only thing is that patience is required when gathering the filling and wrapping it up inside the dough which is then rolled out flat before pan frying. To avoid rupture and bursting during rolling, use gentle pressure and roll from the middle out.  

75g grated Radish/Daikon
50g Bacon/Ham, diced to small pieces
1 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
1 tsp Salt
Pinch of White Pepper

250g All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup to 1 cup Boiling Water

1. Marinate the Shredded Radish with the 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Let it sit for about 10 mins to draw the liquid out. Discard the water and squeeze the radish to rid of excess water.
2. Heat 1 tsp cooking oil and pan fry the Bacon/Ham for 2 minutes.
3.Add in the Chopped Cilantro and the drained Daikon. Stir to mix all ingredients for another 
   3 minutes. Season with white pepper. Dish up and let cool completely.
4. Add 1/2 cup of the boiling water to the All purpose flour. Stir with spatula to mix and when cool enough to handle, using your hand to knead the mixture into a pliable dough. You will have to continue to knead for a total of 3 minutes to actually see all the flour being absorbed and forming a smooth dough. If extra water is needed, add extra 1 tablespoon of the hot water as you go. The dough will feel like a very smooth pie dough and not wet on the hands. Divide the dough into 4 to 6 equal size balls. Set aside.
5. Take one dough, roll it out round about 1/4 inch thick. Take some of the radish filling and place in the middle. Do Not overload, from the whole of the dough circle, fill up to only 1/3 of its size from the middle. Gather the sides and pinch & pleat to seal up in the middle. Slowly using the rolling pin, roll out a disk, careful not to burst the pouch. Continue with the rest of the dough and the filling to yield about 4 to 6 pancake.
6. Heat about 2 tsp cooking oil in a non stick pan, when hot, pan fry 1 pancake, about 3 minutes on each side, slightly brown. Dish up and pat with kitchen paper towel for excess oil. Heat another 2 tsp cooking oil and continue with the next pancake.
7. Cut each pancake into smaller pieces and serve with whatever dipping sauce you like.

Makes: 4 to 6 pancakes

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Egg Tartlets

Egg Tarts is the quintessential sweet bake of Chinese pastry shops everywhere and I have never come across anyone who doesn't like it. Truth be told, it is really not difficult to make it at home but you just need a reliable oven with a bit of patience during the baking time to get the exact silky custard texture with perfectly brown crust.

I found and followed this great recipe and made them in a muffin tin. I must say that the taste and crust were great, exactly like those you will taste at a Hong Kong style bakery! Follow the recipe exactly and you will not be disappointed!

Chinese New Year 'Yee Sang' Platter

Chinese New Year was on Jan 31. It is the 14th year that I haven't celebrated this Chinese Tradition with my family and relatives back in Malaysia. I still remember fondly how my childhood celebrations were when firecrackers were lit at the stroke of midnight on the 1st night and the fulfilling reunion dinner before the New Year day. My cousins and I were ever so excited to get the Red Packet money from the elderly of the family and couldn't wait to go home to count how much lucky money we got for the New Year.

This salmon and vegetable platter had never been a tradition of my family and I believe that it only became very popular after I left Malaysia. Inspired by an Aunt , I made this platter for my potluck party on the second day of the Chinese New Year celebration. Auspiciously conscious, I chose 8 dishes to fill the platter with an array of fresh and inviting colors.

The shredded red cabbage and seaweed were parboiled for 1 minute, drained and macerated in vinegar and sugar overnight. Packaged jellyfish is so easy to use, all ready cut to strips and ready with sesame oil. Using my Japanese Omelet pan, I made square omelet and rolled it up to cut into julienne strips. The remaining ingredients were raw shredded lettuce, carrot, smoked salmon pieces and crispy noodle.  For the sauce, I used duck sauce diluted in lime juice and toasted sesame seed.