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Cook’s Nook: Three beef recipes to beef up everyday meals

Cook’s Nook: Three beef recipes to beef up everyday meals


1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped onion
150g Australian chilled grass fed beef tenderloin, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
20g red capsicum
2 tbsp chicken stock/water
1 tsp cornflour
some romaine lettuce, outer leaves separated
1/2 a tomato, diced
A few sprigs cilantro, chopped
A handful of edamame beans

Heat oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion until just soft. Add minced beef and season with salt, sugar, pepper, light soy sauce and sesame oil.
Stir and cook until meat is cooked through. Add red capsicum and fry for awhile.
Add chicken stock or water and cornflour and stir occasionally until mixture is well combined and gravy dries up.
Dish out and spoon mixture onto romaine leaves. Top up with tomato, chopped cilantro and edamame beans.
Serve as an appetiser.


100g beef tenderloin, cut into small thin strips
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
15g carrot slices
50g siu pak choy, cut into wedges
10g red capsicum, cut into thin slices
150g kuey teowSauce (combined)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
a dash of pepper
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar or to taste

Season beef with salt and cornflour and set aside.
Heat a non-stick saucepan with oil till hot. Add the seasoned beef strips and fry briskly till meat is fairly cooked. Dish out.
Heat a clean saucepan with sesame oil and sauté garlic till lightly golden. Add carrot, siu pak choy and red capsicum. Toss and fry briskly. Dish out and set aside.
Put kuey teow into the saucepan followed by 1 to 2 tablespoons of the combined sauce ingredients. Fry the noodle lightly around the saucepan over high heat. Add in the rest of the sauce and pre-fried vegetables and beef. Toss briskly for about 30 seconds but do not over-mix the noodles. Once done, dish out and serve immediately.


500g Australian chilled grass fed beef chuck tender
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400ml water
Sauce (combined)
2 tbsp premium oyster sauc
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp castor sugar
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp grated garlic
2 tbsp rice wine
3 tbsp honey or to taste
1 tbsp maltose
1 tsp red yeast rice (hoong kok mei), blend finely

Cut meat into two strips. Rub bicarbonate of soda on beef strips. Place in a bowl. Pour water to cover the meat. Set aside for 30 minutes then drain well.
Add prepared soaked beef with the combined marinade sauce mixture. Mix well then put in a zip-lock bag and leave in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the marinated beef together with the marinade mixture. Cook to a simmering boil over low heat, covered for about 35 to 40 minutes or till the gravy has thickened. Remove the meat and reserve the remaining gravy.
Put the char siu beef on a heavy based saucepan and char the meat on both sides. Cut into slices and drizzle gravy over the meat. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Nook: Delicious sweet and savoury afternoon snacks

Cook’s Nook: Delicious sweet and savoury afternoon snacks


For the batter
20g potato flour
30g plain flour
150g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
200ml water, or as needed
1 small egg
20g chopped chives
20g shredded, chopped carrot
2 tbsp oil

For cooking
oil, for deep-frying
250g small prawns, intact with shells

Combine all flours, baking powder and seasoning in a mixing bowl. Pour in water and stir to mix. Break in the egg and add in chopped ingredients and oil to combine into a batter.
Heat a wok with enough oil till hot. Put in a stainless steel wok turner to heat up.
Add enough batter onto the turner and place a piece of prawn on top. Make sure the prawn sits securely on the batter.
Dip the turner into the hot oil and deep-fry until the patty turns golden brown and crispy.
Remove the turner and patty from the hot oil and place patty over several pieces of kitchen paper towels.
Repeat with the remaining batter and serve the patties with desired chilli sauce.


White layer
100g tapioca flour
20g rice flour
20g mung bean flour
105g castor sugar
150ml lukewarm water
1/3 tsp salt
120ml coconut milk

Green layer
100g tapioca flour
20g rice flour
20g mung bean flour
70ml lukewarm water
80ml pandan juice
105g castor sugar
120ml coconut milk
1/3 tsp salt
a tinge of green food colouring, to add during steaming

Yellow layer
100g tapioca flour
20g rice flour
20g mung bean flour
150ml lukewarm water
105g castor sugar
1/3 tsp salt
120ml coconut milk
a tinge of yellow food colouring
60g canned sweet corn kernels, divided into 3 portions (to add during steaming)

White layer
Combine all flours in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix sugar with lukewarm water, salt and coconut milk. Stir till sugar dissolves.
Pour this mixture into the combined flours. Mix into a runny batter. Divide this into 3 equal portions.

Green layer
Combine all flours in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix lukewarm water with pandan juice and stir in sugar and add coconut milk and salt. Stir till sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into the flours and mix into a runny batter. Divide this into 3 equal portions.

Yellow layer
Combine all flours in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, stir sugar and salt into the lukewarm water till sugar has dissolved completely. Add in coconut milk to mix then pour into the combined flour mixture. Add a tinge of yellow food colouring. Mix into a runny batter. Divide into 3 equal portions.

To steam
Lightly grease a 20cm or 8” square tray and place in the steamer to heat up the tray for about 5 minutes.
Pour the first layer (white) into the heated tray. Steam for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Add the next layer (yellow). Sprinkle liberally over with one portion of sweet corn kernels and steam for 3 minutes 30 seconds till set.
Next add the green layer and steam for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Continue adding layers until the last top layer.
For the top layer, add a little green food colouring to the batter to darken it slightly.
Pour this last layer over and steam over high heat for 4 minutes. Open the lid of the steamer slightly and continue to steam over medium heat for 10 to 11 minutes till the surface is completely set and smooth. Remove kuih from the steamer and set aside to cool completely before slicing into serving pieces.


Coconut sauce
100ml thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp rice flour + 1½ tbsp water

200g glutinous rice flour
15g castor sugar
120ml coconut milk
70ml blue coloured water (made with 30 blue pea flowers soaked in 80ml water for 10 minutes, then sieved)
1/2 tsp salt
banana leaves, cut into 20×30 cm rectangles, dipped in hot water for 30 seconds and wiped dryCoconut filling
(mixed together until sugar dissolves)
50ml hot water
50g soft brown sugar
10g dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
100g finely grated white part of coconut
1 screw pine leaf, knotted (remove after mixing)

Sweet potato filling
20g orange sweet potato
20g purple sweet potato

To make coconut sauce
Bring coconut milk and salt to a simmering boil. Stir in rice flour mixture. Continue to stir till mixture comes to a fairly thick consistency.

To prepare dough
Combine glutinous rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, blue pea coloured water and salt together. Knead into a soft dough. Divide into 10 equal portions.
Take a piece of banana leaf, brush lightly with cooking oil and make a cone shape from the banana leaf.
Fill each portion of dough with a little coconut filling and purple and orange sweet potatoes in the centre. Make into a ball. Add the ball of prepared dough into the cone shaped banana leaf. Add a tablespoon of coconut sauce over and wrap up the dough with the banana leaf. Tuck in the ends neatly.
Arrange kuih koci in a steamer and steam for 12 to 14 minutes over medium low heat. Serve at once.

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh’s family-friendly dishes

Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh’s family-friendly dishes


For marinating prawns
10 large prawns
1 egg white
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ginger juice
dash of sesame oil
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp plain flour
For sauteing
1 stalk spring onion
4 slices ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic

For pepper-salt mix (to mix together)
1 tsp five-spice powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp castor sugar
1/2 tsp pepper

For garnishing
deep-fried crispy basil leaves

Make a cut on the back of the prawns and remove the black veins. Rinse and drain dry.

Season prawns with marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.

Saute spring onion, ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add prawns and stir, and toss well to combine.

Add in pepper-salt mix and stir well to combine. Once done, dish out and serve.


1 medium-sized black pomfret, cut into big slices (discard the head)
1 tsp salt
4 to 5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp halba
1 stalk lemon grass, smashed
250ml thin coconut milk
2 tbsp tamarind pulp mixed with 100ml water and squeeze for juice then strained
200g bitter gourd, de-seeded and cut into 3cm slices
100ml thick coconut milk
1 onion, sliced

For the spice mix
1 tbsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp fish curry powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
6 shallots
3 cloves garlic

For the seasoning
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp sugar or to taste
1 tsp ikan bilis stock powder

Season fish with salt and put aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic, curry leaves, halba and lemongrass till fragrant. Add in spice mix and fry till oil rises.

Pour in thin coconut milk and add tamarind juice. Cook till it reaches a boil. Add bitter gourd pieces and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add in fish slices and simmer until fish is cooked and bitter gourd is just tender.

Pour in thick coconut milk and add onion. Adjust with seasoning to taste, stir to combine and serve hot.


For marinating chicken
2 tbsp meat curry powder
2 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chicken stock powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp water or just enough
2 whole chicken legs, chopped

For cooking
2 cups oil
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, smashed till finely split

Combine marinade in a mixing bowl. Add in chopped chicken pieces and stir to mix well. Marinate for a couple of hours.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry curry leaves and lemongrass till fragrant and crispy. Dish out.

Add in marinated chicken and deep-fry over medium heat until meat is cooked through. Dish out and set aside for awhile.

Put the chicken pieces into the hot oil again and re-fry for the second time till golden brown. Dish out and serve hot with curry leaves and lemongrass.

Cook’s Nook: 3 great bakes with dough

Cook’s Nook: 3 great bakes with dough


For combining
250g high protein flour
50g plain flour
5g instant dry yeast
65g castor sugar
½ tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
100ml water
20g butter

For filling
100g crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp castor sugar or to taste
50g raisins

To make 

Combine all ingredients for combining, except butter into a mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients with a dough hook till mixed. Add butter and continue to knead till dough is smooth. Cover with cling film wrap and allow dough to proof till doubled in size.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured tabletop. Punch out the air and roll into a big ball. Allow to rest for about 10 mins.

Roll the dough out flat into a rectangle. Lightly spread the peanut butter in the centre and sprinkle over with sugar and raisins.

Fold over both sides to cover the peanut butter. Press lightly to seal. Now roll out the dough into a long sheet and fold in both the sides again. At the final stage, roll the dough into Swiss roll style and cut into equal pieces.

Place the cut out pieces onto a lightly greased baking tray and set aside for the dough to rise again for about 35 mins or until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 mins.


For the pizza dough
150ml lukewarm water
1 tsp easy blend yeast
1 tbsp castor sugar
115g plain flour
110g high protein flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the filling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, sliced
100g Muar otak-otak (store-bought), lightly mashed
50g canned tuna chunks, lightly mashed
¼ tsp pepper
Tomato paste, for spreading on pizza
100g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
3 black olives, diced
1 green capsicum, cut into thin rounds
1 Roma tomato, sliced

To prepare the dough

Put lukewarm water in a cup then add the yeast and sugar. Stir gently then let it sit until it is active and foamy.

Place both flours in a mixing bowl. Add salt and olive oil and attach the dough hook to the mixture. Stir the flour mixture gently while adding the foamy yeast mixture. Now run the mixture on low speed until mixture is combined and wet. Let the mixture come together into a ball that is just a bit sticky.

Next spray a second mixing bowl with cooking spray and put in the dough. Cover with cling film wrap and let it rise to double in size.

To prepare filling

Heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry onion until softened. Add Muar otak-otak and tuna pieces. Adjust with pepper to taste and stir to combine. Dish out and put aside.

Roll pizza dough to fit a 32-35cm greased pizza tray. Prick the pizza dough base with a fork and brush with a little olive oil. Bake in preheated hot oven at 220°C for 7-10 mins.

Remove pizza dough base from the oven and spread with tomato paste on the half baked dough. Top lightly with half of the mozzarella cheese and prepared otak-tuna mixture. Add black olive pieces, capsicum and tomato. Sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for a further 20 mins or until the edges are golden brown and pizza is done.


For the dough
250g high Protein flour
50g plain flour
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
2 tbsp castor sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
100ml water
25g butter

For the filling (stir together until even)
200g freshly grated coconut (white part only)
80g castor sugar
2 tbsp condensed milk
1 tsp salt
1 egg (Grade C)

To make

Combine all dough ingredients except butter into a mixing bowl. Beat well with a dough hook. Add butter and continue to beat until a pliable dough is achieved.

Cover dough with a damp tea towel. Leave aside to proof about 50-60 mins or till doubled in size.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Spread the coconut filling in the centre, keeping extra filling for garnishing. Roll up the dough into Swiss roll style.

Cut the roll into equal sections. Arrange the rolls on a greased baking tray. Cover with cling film wrap and set aside to proof for an hour or until doubled in size. Sprinkle extra coconut filling on as a garnishing.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20-25 mins or till done. Remove rolls onto a wire rack to cool.

Cook’s Nook: Century eggs take centre stage

Cook’s Nook: Century eggs take centre stage


2 century eggs
1 block soft tofu, well chilled for about 2 hours
For the seasoning
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp garlic oil
½ tsp sugar or to taste
1 tsp sesame oil

For garnishing
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and stalks
1 tsp chopped bird’s eye chilies
20g meat floss (store-bought)

Cut century eggs into small cubes. Place around a serving plate.

Cut tofu into slices and arrange in the centre of the plate.

Combine seasoning together and stir to mix well. Pour over the tofu.

Sprinkle spring onion, coriander leaves and stalk, bird’s eye chillies over the tofu and top with meat floss. Serve as an appetiser.


2 tbsp wasabi paste
2 tbsp mayonnaise
½ a ripe avocado, diced
1 tbsp diced tomato, seeds removed
55g steamed crab meat
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
adequate salt, pepper and coarse ground black pepper
6 slices toasted French baguette
2 century eggs, peeled and sliced

Mix wasabi paste with mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl. Add avocado and mash lightly to combine.

Add diced tomato, crabmeat, and spring onion and adjust with salt, pepper and coarse ground black pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture over each piece of toasted French baguette and top with slices of century egg.


For coating clams and prawns
35g shelled clam meat, rinsed and well drained
65g shelled prawns, diced
a little tapioca flour
¼ tsp five-spice powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp beaten egg

For mixing together
50g corn flour
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp finely diced bird’s eye chillies
2 century eggs, cleaned and diced

For garnish
some fried vermicelli

Coat clam meat and prawn meat with a little tapioca flour, five-spice powder and sea salt followed by beaten egg.

Return to the cornflour mixture. Lightly make small balls of clam and prawn meat with the cornflour and the rest of the ingredients. Make sure it binds well together. Toss the balls in adequate corn flour.

Deep-fry the balls in hot oil till golden brown and done.

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