Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yam Som-O (Spicy Pomelo Salad)

I was pleasantly surprised when I was checking my personal emails one evening to receive an invitation from Jasmine to attend a Food Bloggers tea-party. I did not know who Jasmine was but did know a couple of bloggers on the invitation list, namely Edith and Zhuoyuan . The tea-party would be hosted at Edith's house. This would not be the first time Edith would be hosting a food bloggers gathering. A year and half ago, she had hosted our first gathering and it was a tremendous success. Again Edith has so kindly opened her beautiful home to all of us.


Blog 4 1

As usual whenever food bloggers get together there would be a huge assortment of treats. This time round was no exception and the menu consisted mainly of desserts with a couple of savoury items thrown in. Almost everyone brought two types of desserts and we ended up with a huge feast. We had cupcakes, brownies, lemon bars, durian swiss roll, durian chiffon cake, cheesecakes, meat balls, macarons and more. Check out the below blogs of my "old" and new blogger friends, each and every one so very talented as well.

Edith of Precious Moments
Wendy of Wen's Delight
Cathy of Cathy's Joy
Jean of Noms I Must
Jess of J3ss Kitch3n
Jasmine of The Sweetylicious
Zhuoyuan of Baking Library

I decided to bring something savoury instead. And as I didn't have much time over the week, I made a Thai pomelo salad instead.

pomelo salad 2

Yam Som-O (Spicy Pomelo Salad)
Serves 6


1 medium sized pomelo or 2 grapefruits
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
150g cooked prawns, sliced half lengthwise
200gm cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 Tbsp dessicated coconut
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 Tbsp dried shrimp, toasted and finely chopped
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Handful of mint leaves


1) Peel pomelo and shread the flesh. Leave as chunky pieces.

2) Place lime juice, fish sauce and sugar in a bowl and stir to mix until sugar has dissolved.

3) Then add in the prawns, chicken, dessicated coconut and coconut cream. Toss to coat the pomelo. Add in the mint leaves and transfer to serving platter. Sprinkle the top with dried shrimp and toasted sesame seeds and a few mint leaves.

4) Serve immediately as this salad does not keep over night.

Pomelo salad 1

pomelo salad 2

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheesecake Chocolate Brownie

I have not baked for a long while now and was in the mood to do so after coming home from work. I wanted to make something that was quick and didn't take too long in the kitchen. Something which didn't require creaming and one of the recipes which fall into this category would have been a brownie. However I wanted something different, not the usual chocolate brownie and decided to try my hand at a cheesecake brownie. I love the swirl look of this dessert, coupled with the fact that it is intensely chocolatey, not forgetting you have the cheese element thrown in as well.

This recipe comes from "Ready for Dessert" by David Lebowitz, one of my recent acquisitions to my baking library books. You can serve this brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or just eat it on its own. Great with a cuppa coffee that's for sure! As usual my office colleagues benefited from my baking evening and they gave the thumbs up for this brownie.


Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies
One 9-inch (23cm) or 8-inch (20cm) square pan
Adapted from "Ready for Dessert by David Lebowitz"


85g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
110g bittersweet chocolate chips
110g sugar (reduced from original recipe)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
70g plain flour
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Valhora chocolate pearls, for sprinkling
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

For the cheesecake topping:

200g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
60g sugar (reduced from original recipe)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract


1) Line a 9-inch (23cm) or 8-inch (20cm), for a higher brownie square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).

3) In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the sugar, then the eggs.

4) Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and pecans. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5) In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

6) Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate pearls.

7) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set.

8) Let cool, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.

Storage: These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well, too.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

I guess if you happen to venture to a Vietnamese restaurant for a meal you would definitely order their fresh Vietnamese rolls. The fried version of this is called Cha Gio which does resemble the Chinese fried spring rolls. Cha gio comes in many different sizes and can be made with spring roll wrappers or rice paper. Traditionally, rice paper is used in Vietnam to make this rolls and you would likely find the filling to be made from pork, shrimps and crab meat. This is a really simple dish to make and makes for a delicious tea-time snack or an appertizer to a main meal.

Viet FSR1

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)
Serves 4 - 5


200g minced pork
150g medium prawns, de-shelled/deveined and minced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
50g mung bean noodles/cellophane noodles/glass noodles – soaked in hot water for 30 minutes or until they turn very soft, cut into 3" length
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 pieces fungus ear, soaked until soft and sliced thinly (can be replaced with 6pieces shitake mushroom, thinly sliced)
1 1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
Vietnamese rice paper


1) Place all ingredients into a bowl and mixed well. Leave in the refrigerator for about an hour before using.

2) Place some warm water into a large shallow plate. Set aside a clean dry kitchen towel on a flat surface. Quickly dip a rice paper into the water and place on top of the kitchen towel. Place 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling on the bottom 1/3 of the roll. Fold the bottom part of the rice paper over the filling. Then tuck in the sides, then roll to form a cyclinder about 3 inches long. Lightly dampened the edges to ensure that the roll is properly sealed.

3) Heat oil over medium heat in a wok or a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, gently place a few of the rolls into the oil Do not over crowd. Fry slowly until the rolls turn golden brown. Dish out and drain the excess oil by lining them over some paper towels.

4) Serve immediately with a chilli dip and fresh herbs.

5) To make the dip, minced 3 fresh red chillies and 3 cloves of garlic finely. In a bowl add 1/3 cup white vinegar and sugar to taste. Add in the minced chillie and garlic and set aside for about 15 minutes before using.

Viet FSR

Viet FSR 3

Viet FSR 2

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi)

I love eating mochi because of it's chewy texture and have always thought that it would be most difficult to make. When I did find out how easy it was and with so few ingredients, I could not help by giving it a try. I used strawberries and azuki bean paste as the filling and to me it so resembles Japanese desserts. I can once you have mastered a perfect mochi, you could put any type of filling inside. The possibility of different flavours is pretty much endless I think!

mochi 4

mochi 2

Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi)
Recipe adapted from Here
Makes about 6 - 8 mochi

1 cup glutinous rice flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup adzuki bean paste (home made or store bought)
6 to 8 strawberries
For dusting, corn flour


1) Wash strawberries and remove the calyxes. Wrap a strawberry with about a spoonful of adzuki bean paste and rounds to make a ball. Make 6 to 8 balls depending on the size of your strawberries.

2) Put 2/3 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a microwave bowl and mix well. Add glutinous rice flour in the bowl and mix well. Put the bowl in microwave and heat the dough for two minutes. Remove and stir quickly. The dough will be somewhat heavy and very sticky.

3) Dust a flat tray with corn flour. Also, dust hands with some flour. Remove the hot mochi from the bowl to the pan by hands. Dust hands with more flour and divide the mochi into 6 to 8 pieces, depending on the size of the strawberries.. The mochi is hot and sticky, so be careful not to burn your hands. Make 6 to 8 flat and round mochi.

4) Put a piece of strawberry and adzuki filling on a mochi piece and wrap it by stretching mochi. Pinch the ends tightly to ensure that they stick together. Lay each mochi, seam downwards, onto a plate lightly dusted with cornflour Repeat the process until all the dough has been used up.

mochi 3

mochi 1
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