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Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh makes eggs the stars of the meal

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh makes eggs the stars of the meal

This common source of protein takes centre stage in these three recipes from The Star columnist.

WONDER BEANCURD BALLS ON A CLOUD

1 packet Japanese egg tofu
1 tbsp diced carrot
60g potato, steamed till soft and mashed
1 tbsp diced spring onion
3 eggs (Grade B), lightly beaten then remove 1 tbsp and set aside
150ml water
¼ tsp salt
1 heaped tsp cornflour
3 pieces of imitation crab sticks, sliced

Seasoning (A)
½ tsp chicken stock powder
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
Dash of pepper

egg recipes

Sauce (B)
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
1 tsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp sugar
4 tbsp water
Dash of pepper
½ tsp sesame oil

Mash Japanese tofu through a metal sieve and press out excess water. Mix the mashed tofu with carrot, mashed potato and diced spring onion. Add seasoning (A) and stir well to mix. Use a spoon to scoop out a ball of mixture. Shape into a neat ball and arrange in a plastic container. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Deep-fry the tofu balls in a hot wok of oil over medium high heat till done. Dish out and set aside.

Combine the beaten eggs with water, salt and cornflour. Whisk with a pair of chopsticks. Strain the egg mixture through a sieve. Grease a couple of small ceramic plates and place in a steamer over high heat for 30 seconds. Pour the egg mixture into the small plates. Add 2-3 pieces of cut imitation crab sticks and steam over medium heat for 3 minutes with the wok cover tilted (this is to allow air to circulate in). Once the egg is smooth and set, remove the steamed eggs and top each with a ball of deep-fried tofu.

Mix the sauce ingredients (B) together and cook to a quick boil. Spoon the sauce over the steamed egg. Serve at once with garnishing.


egg recipes

FRAGRANT SPICY EGGS WITH SOFT CENTRE

5 fresh eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp white rice vinegar
Sufficient water to cover eggs when boiling

Spice mix (A)
6 star anise
2 pieces cinnamon stick
10 dried chilies
1 packet herbal egg spices (store-bought)
1.5 litres water

Seasoning (B)
100ml light soya sauce
25g rock sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients (A) and (B) in a pot and simmer on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and allow the spicy fragrant sauce to cool completely.

Wash eggs well and set aside.

Put sufficient water, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Hold eggs in a metal sieve strainer and once the water boils, add eggs slowly to the pot and turn down the heat to low. (This is to avoid the water splattering and prevent the eggs from cracking.) Next, turn up the heat to medium high and boil the eggs for 6-8 minutes.

Remove eggs from the pot and immerse in an ice bath (a basin of water and lots of ice cubes) immediately to cool down the eggs. When the eggs are cold take the eggs out and peel them.

Add the shelled eggs to the fragrant spicy solution and soak for 2-3 hours before serving.


egg recipes

POACHED EGG ON PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM

1 slice bacon
2 tbsp vinegar
2 cups water
2 eggs
2 large portobello mushrooms, rinsed briefly
1 tsp chopped garlic
¼ cup edamame beans (cooked to packet instruction and peeled)
Adequate carrot pieces
1 tsp chilli oil

Seasoning
Pinch of salt
Dash of coarsely ground black pepper

In a frying pan sear the bacon slices till crisp. Dish out and chop till fine. Set aside.

Combine vinegar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmering boil.

Crack the eggs separately into 2 individual small cups.

Create a gentle whirlpool in the boiling water – this is to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip the eggs into the water, cover the saucepan with a lid and turn off the heat immediately. Cook the eggs for 3 minutes.

Remove poached eggs with a slotted spoon, cutting off any wispy edges using the edge of the spoon. Drain the egg on several layers of kitchen paper towels.

Arrange the portobello mushrooms on a tray and bake in preheated 180°C oven for 5 minutes. Once done remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with the seasoning.

Place a couple of edamame beans on each mushroom cap and add a poached egg. Sprinkle lightly with crispy bacon, a dash of chilli oil and a slice or two of carrot. Serve at once.

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh’s recipes for beancurd snacks

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh’s recipes for beancurd snacks

These snacks are easy to prepare and great for munching on.

DEEP-FRIED SPICY SAVOURY BEANCURD

2 packs soft beancurd

Spice coating
40g rice flour
40g glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp cornflour
¼ tsp five spice powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp white sesame seeds

Chilli dipping sauce (combined)
3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 heaped tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Remove beancurd from the packet carefully and cut into thick finger-size slices.

Place the beancurd slices on several pieces of paper kitchen towel to absorb the moisture and dry the beancurd. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to dry as much as possible.

If the beancurd is still too wet, dab with paper kitchen towels so that the pieces dry thoroughly. This will help them crisp up during cooking.

Mix the ingredients for the spice coating.

Heat oil in a wok till hot.

Dredge the beancurd pieces in the spice coating. Deep-fry the pieces over medium high heat until golden and crispy.

Dish out and serve the beancurd immediately with chilli dipping sauce.

beancurd

Mixed vegetable and meat date roll

MIXED VEGETABLE AND MEAT DATE BALLS

Ingredients A
150g minced meat (chicken or pork)
30g bamboo shoot (canned or fresh), chopped
50g chopped carrot
2 tbsp chopped spring onion
1 tbsp black fungus, soaked and shredded
1 dried Chinese mushroom, soaked to soften and diced
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped coriander

Seasoning
1 tbsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chicken stock powder
2 tbsp cornstarch

2 sheets dried beancurd skin, cut into 4 pieces
Oil for deep-frying

To make the filling: Mix all the ingredients with the seasoning, and stir until sticky and well-combined. Divide into two equal portions.

Place a beancurd sheet on a work surface and spray with a little water to soften it.

Place a portion of filling on one side and roll up to form a log. Repeat to make another roll.

Use a piece of kitchen string and tie the roll at 2cm intervals to shape into dates (refer to photo).

Lightly oil your palms and grease each section of the roll.

Place the two prepared rolls on a steaming plate and steam over rapid boiling water for 8-10 minutes.

Remove and cut off the strings. Leave to cool slightly.

Heat oil for deep-frying, deep-fry meat date rolls in medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through.

Dish out and drain.

Serve with chilli sauce.

beancurd

Delightful prawn meat crisps

DELIGHTFUL PRAWN MEAT CRISPS

½ sheet beancurd skin

Filling
200g shelled prawns, minced into a paste
2 tbsp chopped spring onion
2 tbsp finely diced carrot
2 tbsp chopped water chestnuts
1 tsp chopped garlic

Seasoning
¼ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp salt

Cornflour solution
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp water

Combine prawn paste with spring onion, garlic and the rest of the filling ingredients, and the seasoning. Mix together until well-combined.

Keep aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Cut beancurd sheet into four squares. Divide the filling into four portions.

Spoon a portion of filling onto each beancurd square.

Wrap into a roll and seal the edge with a little cornflour solution.

Heat oil in wok and deep-fry the rolls over high heat until cooked and golden brown.

Dish out and drain. Serve piping hot.

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh’s recipes for stuffed taco shells

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh’s recipes for stuffed taco shells

For your next trendy party, stuff crisp taco shells with all sorts of tantalising fillings and your guests may just do the salsa!

FRIED TEMPURA FISH IN TACO

4 taco shells
120g fish fillet, cut into slices
1 egg, lightly beaten + dash of salt and sugar
¾ cup plain flour
½ cup tempura flour mixed with adequate cold water

French fries ingredients
60g frozen French fries
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp shallot, chopped
1 tbsp dried shrimps, rinsed and coarsely chopped
½ tsp chilli powder
Dash of MSG
Dash of pepper
½ tsp salt

Marinade (A)
Pinch of salt
Dash of pepper and ground black pepper
1 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce

Ingredients (B)
Some salad leaves
Some shredded carrot
Some shredded cucumber
Adequate sour cream
A few slices cheddar cheese (optional)

Prepare the French fries: Deep-fry the fries in hot oil until crispy then drain well.

Sauté garlic and shallot with 2-3 tablespoons oil until fragrant. Dish out. To the same oil, add the dried shrimps and fry till crispy. Add chilli powder and toss in fries, garlic and shallots. Stir in seasoning to mix.

Prepare the French fries: Cut fish fillet into thick slices. Season with marinade (A).

Dip fish slices in beaten egg then into flour. Shake off excess flour and coat with tempura batter.

Heat enough oil in a wok and deep-fry fish slices till crunchy and golden brown. Drain from oil and put on crushed paper kitchen towels.

Bake or grill taco shells in a preheated oven at 160°C for 3-4 minutes till extra crunchy.

To serve, place a piece of salad leaf on each taco shell, top with some shredded carrot and cucumber. Add a piece of fish, a slice of cheddar cheese and some sour cream on the side. Serve immediately with a little topping of French fries.

stuffed taco shells

ROAST CRISPY CHICKEN IN TACO

3 pieces crunchy taco shells
1 piece roasted chicken drumstick (store-bought)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour

Garnishing
2 tbsp shredded red capsicum
Adequate salad leaves, shredded
A few strips carrot and Japanese cucumber
Adequate purple cabbage, shredded

Sauce (combine)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi mayo sauce
Pinch of sugar and salt

Debone roast chicken drumstick and cut into 3 equal pieces. Lightly season with dark soy sauce and sprinkle with a little cornflour. Lightly pan-fry.

To serve, spread some shredded capsicum and salad leaves into the taco shells. Add a piece of prepared chicken. Top with the rest of the garnishing ingredients and serve with a drizzling of mayo wasabi sauce.

stuffed taco shells

AVOCADO SALSA IN TACO

3-4 pieces crunchy taco shells
1 medium tomato
1 medium ripe avocado
1 tbsp diced carrot
1 tbsp diced yellow capsicum
30g cucumber, diced
30g diced celery
2 tbsp fresh corn kernels
1 tbsp coarsely chopped coriander
1 tbsp chopped spring onion

Sauce ingredients
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp plum sauce
2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice

Garnishing
Lettuce leaves

Cut tomato into quarters, remove the seeds and dice. Dice avocado and drizzle with a little lemon juice (to prevent oxidation).

Combine tomato and avocado with the rest of the vegetables in a bowl. Mix well.

Add sauce ingredients and toss to combine.

To get taco shells crunchy, bake them in a preheated oven at 160°C for 3-5 minutes.

Place a lettuce leaf in the taco shell. Spoon the avocado salad filling ingredients over and serve at once.

Cook’s Nook: 3 recipes with eryngii mushrooms

Cook’s Nook: 3 recipes with eryngii mushrooms

Eryngii mushrooms, also known as King Trumpet or king oyster mushrooms, are meaty and low in calories.

eryngii

Crispy Eryngii Mushrooms with Chili Mango Sauce.

CRISPY ERYNGII MUSHROOMS WITH CHILLI MANGO SAUCE

3 pieces fresh eryngii mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Adequate plain flour for tossing

Batter
80g plain flour
50g rice flour
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp cornflour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp corn oil
200ml water

Dipping sauce – mixed
3 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped and seeds removed
1 ripe mango flesh blended into a paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp chilli sauce
2-2½ tbsp soft brown sugar or to taste
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp thick coconut milk

Combine all batter ingredients (except water and oil) well in a mixing bowl. Pour in water and stir well with a hand whisk then mix in oil.

Coat mushroom pieces with egg white then with some plain flour. Lastly put mushrooms into the batter.

Remove each piece of mushroom from the batter and deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain on several pieces of kitchen paper.

Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low simmering boil. To serve sprinkle some toasted black sesame seeds over the crispy mushrooms. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Salted Egg Yolk with King Oyster Mushrooms

SALTED EGG YOLK WITH KING OYSTER MUSHROOMS

3 salted egg yolks
200g eryngii
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 stalks curry leaves
3 bird’s eye chillies, chopped

Batter (A) – combined
70 g potato starch
30 g cornflour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp pepper

Seasoning (B)
1-2 tbsp castor sugar
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp chicken stock powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Garnishing
chopped red chilli

Steam salted egg yolks over medium heat for 10-15 minutes till cooked. Remove and mash with a fork into a fine paste.

Cut mushrooms into medium-sized chunks. Coat the mushroom pieces in the beaten egg, then dip each piece in the combined batter ingredients and deep-fry in hot oil over medium high heat till crispy and golden.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and sesame oil in a clean wok. Add bird’s eye chillies and curry leaves. Fry till fragrant then stir in mashed salted egg yolks. Keep stirring till bubbles appear.

Add prefried mushrooms followed by seasoning to mix. Toss and fry briskly to combine. Once done, dish out and sprinkle with some chopped red chilli.

Stir-fried Mushrooms with Crispy Garlic

STIR-FRIED MUSHROOMS WITH CRISPY GARLIC

4 pieces eryngii
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped sweet mustard (sweet choy poe)
1 tsp ginger slices
1 tbsp diced red capsicum
1 tbsp diced green capsicum

Seasoning
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp pepper
½ tsp chicken stock powder
3 tbsp water

Wash eryngii mushrooms well. Cut into slices on the slant.

Heat adequate oil in a wok and deep-fry garlic till golden and crispy. Dish out and set aside. Add the choy poe to the remaining hot oil and deep-fry till crispy. Dish out and set aside.

Heat a saucepan till hot; add 1 tablespoon oil. Add mushrooms; stir-fry over high heat till just done. Add ginger, both capsicums and stir in seasoning to mix.

Toss and fry briskly, then add the prefried garlic and choy poe. Mix till well combined. Dish out and serve immediately.

Cook’s Nook: Spaghetti prepared Asian style

Cook’s Nook: Spaghetti prepared Asian style

Substitute mee, beehoon and kuay teow with spaghetti noodles in your favourite Malaysian dishes.

STIR-FRIED SPAGHETTI WITH VEGETABLES

100g spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chopped garlic
20g sliced onion
2 stalks baby bok choy, stems separated and sliced
1 piece fish cake, sliced
4 straw mushrooms, sliced
30g carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 medium large prawn, peeled, halved and scalded till cooked

Seasoning
2 tbsp light soy sauce or to taste
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Adequate salt, sugar and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil
¼ cup chicken stock/water

Garnishing
Some chopped coriander leaves, fried shallot crisps and sliced red chillies

Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions till al dente. Remove, drain and put in a colander. Sprinkle in a little olive oil.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil and add chopped garlic fry till lightly golden. Toss in onion and add spaghetti. Stir fry well and mix in seasoning.

Add bok choy, fish cake, straw mushrooms and carrot and prawn. Toss and keep frying till well combined.

Dish out and serve with garnishing.

Spaghetti in Mee Rebus Style

MEE REBUS-STYLE SPAGHETTI

150g spaghetti
2-3 tbsp oil

Spice paste (A) – ground into a paste
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 thin slice ginger
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp belacan stock powder
2 candlenuts
1 tbsp dried prawns, finely ground
1 tbsp fermented soybean paste (tau cheong)

Seasoning (B)
2-3 tbsp chilli paste or to taste
1 tbsp curry powder

(C)
250g cooked and mashed sweet potato paste
250ml water
50ml evaporated milk
1 tbsp palm sugar
Adequate dark soy sauce
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp chicken stock powder

Condiments (D)
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced in half
2 limes, halved
Adequate fresh red chilli, sliced
50g beansprouts, blanched
½ piece beancurd, deep-fried and cut into cubes
1 stalk coriander, chopped
1 small potato, cooked, peeled and cut into rounds

Boil spaghetti in a pot of boiling water with salt and olive oil added until cooked al dente. Strain and set aside.

Heat oil and add ground spice paste and seasoning (B); fry till fragrant. Stir in ingredients (C) and bring to a boil. Cook until gravy is smooth and fragrant. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

To serve, put some prepared spaghetti and beansprouts into a serving plate. Ladle adequate gravy over and add the other condiments. Serve immediately.

Fried Spicy Spaghetti Ala Mamak

FRIED SPICY SPAGHETTI ALA MAMAK

120g spaghetti
½ onion, sliced
½ small tomato, cut into wedges.
2 stalks Chinese mustard greens (choy sum), cut into sections
1 tbsp sliced red chilli
1 tbsp sliced green chilli
1 cooked potato, peeled and cut into wedges
a handful of beansprouts
2 large prawns, blanched till cooked through

(A)
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp chilli paste
¼ tsp belacan stock powder
¼ tsp anchovy stock powder

Seasoning (B)
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp fish sauce
¼ tsp thick soy sauce

Garnishing
Adequate fried crispy shallot crisps
1 piece beancurd, deep-fried and sliced into thin slices
some coriander leaves
1 calamansi lime, cut into halve

Cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt and some olive oil until pasta is al dente. Dish out, strain well and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil and add chopped garlic, fry till golden. Add chilli paste, anchovy stock powder and belacan powder. Sauté till fragrant. Stir in seasoning (B) and stir-fry well. Dish out the sauce and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wok, add onion, tomato and mustard greens. Stir-fry over high heat briefly. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons prepared sauce and stir-fry well to combine.

Put in spaghetti and fry for a minute then add both types of chillies, potato and beansprouts. Toss and fry briskly over high heat until fragrant. Add prawns and toss evenly. Cook for 30-40 seconds and dish out into serving plates.

Adjust with garnishing and serve.

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