Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chicken in Sambal Sauce

Tried this new chicken recipe from a cooking forum, and it came out very good. The kaffir lime leaves and the lemongrass combined with the rempah (a combination of spices mixed together in a food processor these days, with a very specific texture and density) gives added favor to this dish.

Used, 4 large, half chicken breasts, cubed, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ketcup, soya sauce, kicap manis (thick dark sweet soy sauce),salt and sugar. The ground ingredients were chili paste, shallots, onion, garlic, and ginger. Not very saucy, but very tasty. Will make again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yam Ring with Meat and Vegetables

I had tried this dish before CNY, and it didn't turn out satisfactory. The yams I used before were small and more like taro, and my ring was thicker and no crispy enough to my liking. So, after discussing with C. and L. about the dish, I decided to try again with the bigger size light-colored yams available here. However, I didn't purchase enough yams, and ended up with a smaller, thinner, and delicious yam ring. Didn't take a picture of the final result as H had cut into it already! So here's a plated picture instead. Thanks GFs for your tips. Used the recipe by Amy Beh


600 yam

90g wheat starch or tang mein fun

50g shortening

50g maragine


2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

1/2 tsp pepper


400g chicken meat, skinned and cubed

Seasoning for the chicken:

1/2 tsp oyster sauce

1/4 tsp sugar

A dash of pepper

A pinch of salt and sugar

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chopped garlic

Handful of fresh mushrooms, soaked and cubed

1/2 c water chestnuts, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1 c baby-corn

deep-fried cashewnuts

Seasoning (combine):

1 tsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp chicken stock granules

A dash of pepper

1/2 cup water or stock

1/2 tsp corn flour

Steam the yam until cooked. Mash the yam and add shortening, seasoning and wheat starch. Mix thoroughly until mixture becomes a paste and does not stick to your hands. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove yam paste and shape into a ring. Deep-fry the ring in hot oil until golden brown. Deep-fry the beehoon until crispy. Dish out and place on a large plate. Place the deep-fried yam ring over the crispy beehoon.

Heat oil and sesame oil in a wok, saute garlic until fragrant. Add the seasoned chicken and stir-fry well. Stir in mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients. Mix in combined seasoning.

Bring to a boil then simmer for one to two minutes until the gravy turns thick. Pour the mixed vegetables into the yam ring and serve the dish immediately.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Spicy Pork Loin

Saw this recipe from a fellow blogger's site, and thought I'd try it out with pork instead. Made this for dinner with some variation to her recipe which was originally taken from a forum called KC. This is my adaption of S's chicken recipe. Thanks S.
Marinate overnight 3 lbs. pork loin, cubed or sliced, seasoned with tumeric powder, curry powder, salt and black pepper.

In a food processor, process 4 shallots, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 thai chilies, and 1 inch piece of ginger.
In a large hot non-stick skillet, add oil and add a piece of cinnamon and crushed lemon grass to infuse the oil. Add marinated pork and cooked till browned. Add about a cup of tomatoes, cayenne pepper, black pepper a cup of chopped onions, a small amount of tamarind and water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

This dish is spicy!

Had this with fried bee hoon.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Spiral Puff Class

Had a great time at a CNY gathering yesterday, and met a lot of wonderful people. One of the ladies gave us with a spiral curry puff class. Here are the pics. Will try to make them soon.

She was telling us about how to make the filling.

Rolling the oil(using crisco) and water dough together to creat the spiral effect
Deep frying
The final product that was photographed together with C's Fatt Koh.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cranberry Pork Chops

Ever have one of those days that you crave for carbs for no reason. Thank god the Atkins craze is over (for most people, at least), cause I don't think I can't imagine life without sweet potatoes, french fries, or rice pilaf. LOL! Okay, so I was craving for mashed potatoes today. Not only that, but I spend the whole day thinking of what I would like with my garlic mashed potatoes. Oh yeah, I narrowed down on the type of mashed potatoes in the first hour. I guess it all started last night when I was going into the cold garage and saw a bag of yukon potatoes that I had forgotten about in the midst of all the lunar new year celebration. The frugal side of me insisted that I use up those potatoes asap, hence the unintentional thoughts of potatoes most of the night.

Oh, but I couldn't just have potatoes for the family. So, the next step I took was to look into the fridge to decide on what proteins to cook. There were chicken breasts, beef sirloin and pork chops. And there cranberries and ingredients for a salad. After deciding on pork chops, that became the menu for the evening. And I thoroughly enjoyed my garlic mashed potatoes while the family feast on the chops. Doubled this recipe from Bon Appétit.

1 tablespoon butter
2 5- to 6-ounce boneless pork chops
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup cranberry sauce (sub with dried cranberries and home-made broth)
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Sauté pork until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer pork to plate. Add wine to same skillet. Bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits in bottom of pan. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Return pork and any juices to skillet. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer pork to plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Recipe from Bon Appétit

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chicken Sauté with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes & Lemon Pan Sauce

H wanted chicken, and I decided to try it out this recipe from a cooking magazine. It made a tasty and a quick and simple dinner for the family.

Recipe by M Driscole:

2 medium-size boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs, plus 2 tsp olive oil
8 grape tomatoes, halved
6 medium asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 large cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons water or homemade chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (I used Thai Basil)
lemon zest for garnish

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and the asparagus is golden brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Heat another 1 tablespoon oil in the pan and add the chicken. When the underside of the chicken has turned deep golden brown, (about 1 minute), turn it with a metal spatula. Turn occasionally for even browning until almost cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken to the bowl of vegetables.

Reduce the heat to medium and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan. Add the garlic, cooking until golden brown, about 1 min. Add the water or broth and the lemon juice, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits in the pan and blend them into the sauce. Simmer for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the butter. Return the chicken, asparagus, tomatoes, any juices, and the basil to pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Change of Cuisine

Had a lot of fun making south-east asian foods for the reunion dinner. And I have had so many different asian bakes and kuihs in the last couple of weeks that H is commenting that I should go back to some western dishes even though he enjoyed sampling most of it. So, I am back on the western track for now, but don't be surprise to see some asian ingredients popping out once in a while. LOL!

In the meantime, here's a few more of the CNY bakes and desserts...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai


Here's wishing you a safe, happy, prosperous, and healthy Chinese Lunar New Year!

Updated: 2/22
There were several request from C. and GG to post the pics, so I finally had the reunion dinner dishes uploaded. Here's some of the dishes.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

CNY Bakes

It's Chinese New Year's eve, and I am finally done with my last batch of cookies. It has been a fun experience, especially the pineapple tarts since my 'Martha Stewart' side (rarely seen) started making different shapes of it. LOL! Yippee! Hooray! Gan-Pei! Now onward to dinner preparations.

Here's some of the bakes besides the fatt goh and the nian gao posted earlier.

Fatt Goh and Long Yok/Bak Kua

One of the many bakes for CNY, this little cupcake is actually made from rice flour, sugar, milk, and steamed. There are many variations on this recipe, but the kids like this one best.Also made some long yok/bak kua for CNY.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Nian Gao/Neen Gow/Chinese New Year Steamed Gooey Cake

Nian Gao is a steamed gooey cake that is usually served around chinese new year. A dear friend send me this koi fish plastic mold (for steaming and making jello) and some ang pows. I made some nian gao in it. I used the recipe from Grace Young, halfed the ingredients, and made a smaller nian goa to try. It came out very nice, but I will have to wait for CNY before I cut into it to do the taste test! :)

Recipe from Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen:
3 Chinese dried red dates
5 slabs brown candy (peen tong), about 11 ounces
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
7 cups glutinous rice flour
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 large egg
vegetable oil, for pan-frying

In a small bowl, soak the red dates in 1/4 cup cold water for 30 minutes, or until softened. When softened, remove and discard the pits.
Cut each brown candy slab into 8 pieces. Place sugar in a heatproof bowl, pour 2 cups boiling water over the sugar, and set aside until dissolved and completely cooled.

Grease a heatproof 8-inch round, 3- to 4-inch-deep, straight-sided bowl, such as soufflé dish, with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, place rice flour. Make a well and stir in cold sugar water. Knead dough in the bowl, adding an additional 1/3 cup cold water until dough is smooth, slightly moist, and shiny, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough in the prepared dish and pat until it fills the dish evenly.

Cut the red dates into halves and place cut-side down in a ring around the outside of the dough, leaving a few to decorate the center.

Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Coat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, using your fingers and lightly pressing down on the dates and sesame seeds.

Bring water to a boil over high heat in a covered steamer large enough to fit the dish without touching the sides of the steamer. Carefully place the dish into the steamer, cover, and steam 35 to 40 minutes on high heat. Check the water level and replenish, if necessary, with boiling water. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Carefully remove the dish from the steamer and pour off any excess liquid on the surface. Place on a rack to cool. Loosely cover and set at room temperature in a cool room until the next day, when it will be ready to eat.

Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen sides. Place a cake rack over the bowl and invert to unmold. Flip the cake right-side up onto the cutting board. Wrap the cake in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to eat, cut the cake into quarters. Cut each quarter crosswise, not into wedges, but into two 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into scant 1/4-inch-thick slices. This is the typical way of slicing a cake Chinese style. Beat an egg in a small bowl, until frothy. Dip the slices in egg.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet, over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add just enough vegetable oil to barely coat the wok, add the egg-dipped slices in batches and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Grace Young

It's also good sandwiched with yam and/or sweet potatoes in a batter, then fried (according to my friend C.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Growing up on Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches were both tasty and addictive. So when I saw a recipe for nutella cupcakes, I had to try it, and made some of these cupcakes for Valentine's Day.

I used a recipe found in baking sheet's earlier postings, and I added peanut butter to her recipe. I used half the batter for cupcakes and the half was baked in heart-shaped silicon molds. Both turned out wonderful, and was a big hit with the family. Here are some pictures of my bakes. Thanks Baking Sheet for this recipe!

My children love lamb. And I love watching them chomp down on these trimmed racks of lamb while holding them with their little fingers. Made these today, and everyone enjoyed it!
On the menu today was Rack of Lamb with saute spinach, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted grape tomatoes. I found the recipe for the breaded and baked lamp chops from Gourmet, and here's the recipe.
For lamb
2 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For herb coating
1/2 head new garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Brown lamb: Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides (not ends), about 10 minutes per batch.Transfer racks to a roasting pan.
Coat and roast lamb: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and oil. Coat meaty parts of lamb with herb mixture, pressing to help adhere. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Cut each rack into 4 double chops.

Recipe from Gourmet

Happy Valentine's Day!

It is that special day in February reminding us to show our appreciation to the people who mean something in our lives. Not that we all need a reminder, and we are all aware that it is another commercialized event. BUT, it is nice to be remembered on this day.

So, here's wishing you a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY in case you didn't get a card from me!LOL.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Banana Fritters/Goreng Pisang

Bananas, bananas, bananas. Great to have in the kitchen when in need for a snack or a topping to cereal, ice cream, or in the fruit salads, banana cream pie, banana bread, banana foster, banana etc. I have a family that only eats banana at a certain ripeness, and then not touch the bananas afterwards. So, there will always be creative ways to work these bananas in different recipes and as part of the ingredienst of something that my picky eaters would consider munching on afterwards...

Almost anything deep-fried is a treat for me, and growing up with goreng pisang made from the small, frangrant asia-grown bananas that were easily accessible at various food outlets had been convenient. To replicate this treat is very easy, and I used Amy Beh's recipe which turn out very well. I sprinkled some powdered sugar onto the fritters for the kids. Before my health concious cousin start commenting on what we should eat, I want to add that this is another occassional goody for the family. LOL!

CNY 5 Days Away!

Another year is around the corner. The year of the Wild Boar. I prefer it's tamer and cuter cousin, the pig. But they are interchangable in the Chinese zodiac(so I am told). The wild boar sounds more exotic, I guess. Anyway, it's time to clean up, sweep away and discard all the 'cobwebs' of this year and welcome the new chinese year. That's means spring cleaning, and I am still working on it!:( The tradition in my family is to remove any old boxes laying around the garage, wash the car (not an easy task in with the melting snow and cold!), clean up the house and welcome the upcoming chinese year with new hopes, traditional new year foods, and laughter with family and friends. And let's not forget new clothes and ang pows for the little ones too. Most people of chinese decent will make their way home to their parents to celebrate the eve of the new year together at the reunion dinner. And CNY's eve is this coming Saturday!

Hence, this is the week of last minute cleaning and baking before the Chinese New Year festivities begin next week. The real fortunate ones will celebrate all 15 days of CNY, but modern life and work schedules only allow a couple of days of celebration. In most of South-East Asia, it's a three day holiday, so my friends are taking this time to take a mini break from work. Lucky guys!

My oven had been going all night, whipping up sweet, melt-in-the-mouth favorites of the family's CNY traditional and new recipes like peanut cookies, almond cookies, pineapple tarts, cornflake cookies, and then some. After Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year,superbowl, and valentine's day, the baking and cooking continues to celebrate the new year of the wild boar (or otherwise known as the year of the pig). Will post some pictures of my bakes soon. In the meantime, here's a picture of one of my aquarium as you requested, Ching.:)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Kuih Salat

I decided to take a little break from CNY baking and cleaning to make a familar kuih using the fragrant pandan flavors. This kuih has a sticky glutinous rice bottom-half later with a sweet, soft, custardy top-half, and is usually eaten as a snack during the day.
Another one of the many yummy kuihs...
Recipe was adapted from a fellow blogger sbasc who got it from Patricia Lee's book Delicious nonya kueh and desserts. FYI, kueh is also spelled kuih these days. Used pandan paste as I can only find frozen pandan leaves at the asian market, and didn't have any at time of cooking.
Kueh Salat/Kuih Salat Recipe:
400g glutinous rice
200ml thick coconut milk with 100ml water
2-3 pandan leaves
pinch of salt

6 eggs
800 ml thick coconut milk
200g rice flour
320g sugar
few drops of pandan paste
pinch of salt

For the bottom layer:
Soak glutinous rice overnight. Rinse and Drain. Steam the rice with a pinch of salt for 20 minutes or till tender. Remove from steamer and add coconut milk. Mix well. Back into steamer for 10 minutes till cooked. Lay a saran wrap on the bottom of an 8 inch square tray. Place steamed rice in the tray and press down firmly with a banana leaf on top to compact it. Return to steamer and steam for another 5 minutes. The bottom layer has to be hot when the top layer is poured.

For the top Layer:
Beat eggs in a mixing bowl with fork. Mix in rice flour. Strain. Cook coconut milk, pandan paste, sugar, and salt over low heat. Keep stirring and add in the egg mixture. Stir continuously over low heat, until mixture thickens. Pour the yellow mixture over the steamed glutinous rice in the steamer slowly. Steam for 20 mins. or till toothpick inserted into the top layer comes out clean. Cool the kueh before slicing.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Chewy Sticky Peanutty Mua Chee

I had a lovely conversation with a friend recently, and was describing to her the various kuihs and snacks that were made from rice flour and glutinous rice flour. In Asia, there are a huge variety of dessert-like snacks and they have different degrees of texture, intensity of sweetness and some are even quite gooey or chewy. One of the desserts we discussed was the Mua Chee. It is a chewy glutinous rice dough cooked with an infusion of shallot-oil, cut into little sticky morsels and coated with finely crushed peanuts and fine sugar. The vendors in Asia usually sell them in a little container with toothpicks to pick up the individual pieces. Not a favorite of everyone in my family, but an easy, occasional treat and snack to make, especially in the microwave. This recipe was taken from a forum that is originally posted in another forum, and everyone raved about it. Then I tried it at C's house, liked it, made it, and I am posting it here for G and so that I won't forget it!

Microwave Mau Chee
250g glutinous rice flour
375ml water
2 tbsp oil
250g peanuts
50g castor sugar

Roast the peanuts and process in food processor till fine. Mix with sugar and set aside.

Mix flour, water and oil til smooth, the mixture will resemble a batter mix.
Pour into a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 6-7 minutes, depending on your microwave.

Careful as the mua chee will be very hot. Cut up the mua chee and into small pieces using scissors, and mix in the peanuts mixture. Toss till well coated and serve.
Serve immediately.

Recipe was from KC

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tau Suan/Sweet Mung Bean Soup Dessert

Was craving for tau suan, and made this thai version of mung bean dessert soup. The consistency of the soup in this recipe was a little 'thicker' than the ones I had before, but while I like the taste of the additional coconut milk in this Asian dessert, I still miss my yow char Kwai/chinese crullers addition in the tau suan, but the asian bakery is just too far away. Anyway, this warm pudding-like dessert took me away from the cold and snow outside my window to the hot equatorial temperatures of another longtitude and latitude. If only for a brief moment...

Tau Suan
2 cups water
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup mung beans
1/3 cup coconut milk
Boil mung beans in 2 cups of water until tender. It should take about 20 minutes. Dissolve tapioca flour in a cup of water and add to the boiling mung beans. Stir quickly and constantly to prevent the bottom from burning. It should get a little sticky. Add more water if it gets too sticky. Add more flour if too watery. A consistency of gravy is ideal. Add sugar, bring it back up to a boil and turn off the heat
In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup of coconut milk with salt. Heat it up in the microwave for a few second just to warm it up. Don't let the coconut milk boil, or else it will separate.
Serve hot with coconut milk on top.

Recipe from thaitable

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

East Meets West Guacamole

Tried this recipe for the superbowl party, and it's very interesting. H enjoyed it, and I quite like the sesame oil flavor infused into the guacamole with the added crunch of water chestnuts and the extra kick from spices and the vietnamese chilli sauce.

East Meets West Guacamole recipe

3 medium ripe Haas avocados
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (2 TB)
1 tsp cumin powder, ground
1/2 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tsp Sriracha hot chilli sauce (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp hot sesame chile oil
2 TB cilantro leaves, minced
juice of 2 small or 1 medium fresh lime, (3 TB)
sea salt, to taste
4 green onions, thinly sliced
8 cilantro sprigs

Cut the avocados and scrape all of the pulp into a medium bowl.

Roughly mash the avocado while mixing in all the ingredients till salt, making a coarse, thick and creamy mixture. Garnish with green onions and cilantro sprigs.

Recipe adapted from Wholefoods Market.

Monday, February 05, 2007

East Meets West Steak Fajitas

One of the superbowl party feast:
6 sirloin steaks
-- soy sauce
-- minced garlic
-- worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs vegetable oil
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup sliced onions
2 medium red or green bell peppers, thinly sliced
8 flour tortillas (6-inch size), warmed
-- shredded cheddar cheese
-- salsa
-- sour cream
-- fresh cilantro, minced

Combine steaks, next three ingredients, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Grill.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in non-stick skillet. Add cabbage, onions and peppers; stir-fry 2 mins. Add the marinade and cook another 2 mins. Dish into a plate.

To assemble, place a warmed tortilla on a plate, add slices of steaks, cabbage stir-fry, and desired toppings. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl Party Foods

What a game it was! The Bears started strong, but in the end, the Colts won. Since 75% of this family is down with the seasonal cold and flu, we opt to stay home and not spread the virus to our friends and family. As a gesture to the other 25% that is healthy (for now), I made up some party food to please the small masses...

Superbowl party

Every year in late January or early February, two american football leagues compete for the title of superbowl champions, and this year it is the Chicago Bears and the Indiapolis Colts. It's a fun day when everyone gets together and cheer for their favorite team, munch down on some finger foods and chili, and watch some new commercials that will usually air with the game. Since my favorite team is not a contender this year (again!), it would be nice to see the underdog win. In this case, it's the Bears. And the bears are my father-in-law's team, so I hope they get a head start, at least. According to my sources (namely H), the Colts are favored by 7 points. Don't have a bookie, so what do I know!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lok Bak Gow/Radish Cake

It has been a tiring week so far. One of the kids has an ear infection and a wet cough, while another has the croup, a viral infection that usually occurs in children 3 months to 5 years of age between winter and spring. The little one has a barking cough and a hard time breathing. Caring for my little darlings has left me little time for anything else, so I have been making the regular stand-by meals of chicken soups, home-made broths and whatever I can get them to consume. I resorted to a little baking and experimenting in the kitchen in the wee hours of the night. It was my little 'me time' with my hobby in my kitchen.

A friend of mine had mentioned about having lok bak gow or radish cake for breakfast in Singapore. The last time I had that was at a local dim sum place and it was greesy and cold. So after she revived my memory of the crispy, savory snack found in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong (that I've tasted so far), I decided to try my hand on making some too. Tested this recipe on Lok Bak Gow/Radish Cake from Grace Young in Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen which is also available at epicurious, and substituted some ingredients based on what I have in the fridge and pantry. Her description of the method was very thorough, and not complicated at all. I halved the recipe and it came out very tasty. I might have added too much bacon then called for in the recipe this time. Curbed my craving for the time being. Will tweak on this recipe or try another when I have more time on my hands.

Recipe from Grace Young
6 ounces Chinese bacon (lop yok) (I used a slab of smoked applewood bacon)
1 large Chinese white turnip/daikon, about 2 pounds
8 Chinese dried mushrooms
1/2 cup Chinese dried shrimp, about 1 1/4 ounces
2 teaspoons Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups rice flour (I used a little more for a firmer cake)

Cut the bacon into 3 equal pieces and place in a 9-inch shallow heatproof bowl. Bring water to a boil over high heat in a covered steamer large enough to fit the bowl without touching the sides of the steamer. Carefully place the bowl into steamer, cover, reduce heat to medium, and steam 15 to 20 minutes, or just until the bacon is softened and there are juices in the dish. Check the water level from time to time and replenish, if necessary, with boiling water. Carefully remove the dish from the steamer and set aside to cool.
Peel the turnip and grate to make about 4 1/2 cups. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine grated turnip and about 1 quart cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, or until very tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup cold water 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Cut off and discard stems and mince the caps. In a small bowl, soak the dried shrimp in 1/2 cup cold water for 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Finely chop shrimp and set aside.
Remove the bacon from its dish and reserve the juices. Cut off and discard the rind and the thick layer of fat. Cut the remaining meat into paper-thin slices and then finely chop. In a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet, stir-fry the chopped bacon over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until meat releases fat and just begins to brown. Add the minced mushrooms and shrimp, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice wine, sugar, and pan juices from the bacon, and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
Return the cooked, drained turnip to the saucepan, add the bacon and mushroom mixture, and stir to combine. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and the reserved mushroom and shrimp soaking liquids, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the hot turnip broth. Pour this batter into the saucepan, add the salt, and stir until combined. The consistency will resemble that of rice pudding. Pour mixture into a heatproof 8-inch round, 3- to 4-inch-deep, straight-sided bowl, such as a soufflé dish.
Bring water to a boil over high heat in a covered steamer large enough to fit the dish without touching the sides of the steamer. Carefully place the dish into the steamer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and steam 1 hour, or just until cake is set and is firm to the touch. Check the water level and replenish, if necessary, with boiling water. Carefully remove the bowl from the steamer and allow to cool on a rack for about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours.
Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen sides. Place a cake rack over the bowl and invert to unmold. Flip the cake right-side up onto a cutting board. Wrap the cake in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to eat, cut cake into quarters. Cut each quarter crosswise, not into wedges, but into two 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into scant 1/2-inch-thick slices. This is the typical way of slicing a cake Chinese style.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet, over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add just enough oil to barely coat the wok. Add the turnip cake slices in batches and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Serve immediately with chilli sauce.

Recipe from Grace Young in epicurious.