Tuesday, January 25, 2011

24 Jan 11 (Mon) - Steamed Sago Cake

Bought a packet of pearl sago some time back and didn't have a chance to cook it. Didn't want to make the usual sago melaka and hence surf the internet to look for other recipes that make used of pearl sago. Found a few that use the steaming method and so finally tried it out yesterday.

The recipe said to steam the sago at high heat and so I did but the water boiled and overflowed into the sago cake. Tried to salvage by scooping out the extra water and steamed using low heat. So instead of steaming on high heat for 30 mins, I used low heat for 1 hr. Waited for it to cool and tried to cut it. Sago still stuck to the knife and the cake was very soft. Guess it was due to the extra water that was why the cake didn't manage to set firmly.

Was eager to try it out and so opened the packet of grated coconut, add some salt to it and coated the four pieces of sago cake with coconut before eating. Didn't taste too bad. So used cling wrap to wrap up the rest of the cake and put it in the microwave oven and put the grated coconut back into the fridge. This morning woke up earlier than usual to warm the grated coconut before cutting and coating the sago cake with it and transported them to office.

The feedbacks were generally good. KC said it was a bit too sweet while EL said it was just nice. PN said she likes the texture of the cake, KH said it was too soft and the rest said it was yummy.

Sago cake before coating with grated coconut

Sago cake after coating with grated coconut

Steamed Sago Cake

335ml water
85g sugar
125g palm sugar (gula melaka)
3-4 screwpine (pandan) leaves, washed and tied into a knot
250g pearl sago, washed and soaked for 30 mins
1 packet of grated coconut
pinch of salt

1.  Bring water, sugar, palm sugar and screw pine leaves to a boil in a pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved
2.  Strain syrup back into pot and discard screw pine leaves.
3.  Drain soaked sago and add to syrup
4.  Stir over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened
5.  Pour mixture into an 18-cm square cake tin and steam for 1 hr over low heat
6.  Insert a skewer into the centre of cake. If skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready
7.  Leave cake to cool before cutting into bite-size pieces
8.  Roll sago pieces in grated coconut flesh with a small pinch of salt added

Monday, January 3, 2011

3 Jan 11 (Mon) - Chawamushi

Have a few pieces of chicken cake left from yesterday and thinking what else I can cook to go with them as tomorrow's lunch. So decided to make chawamushi. Googled for recipes and came across two. So copied them down and made some modifications by combining and changing some steps.

The ingredients stated in both recipes made four servings but I only need one hence did some calculations to try and derive the amount needed for one serving. Headed home after work and searched the fridge for whatever ingredients I can find. Found some seafood sticks, a slice of frozen fish and some wolfberries.

Defrost one seafood stick and a small piece of the fish while soaking four wolfberries in water. Then used 1/3 of the chicken cube to make chicken stock with 200ml hot water. Tried to cool the chicken stock by placing the cup in ice water and adding in the seasoning to the chicken stock but didn't manage to get it to room temperature in time. Thinking that 200ml of chicken stock seemed to be a lot, reduced the amount to 180ml. Added the egg to the mixture and stirred it till the egg combined with the mixture. However, because I didn't cool the chicken stock to room temperature, a bit of the egg was solidified.

Placed the cut seafood stick, cut fish and wolfberries in a microwavable bowl then strain the egg mixture into the bowl. Being lazy again, I didn't use cling wrap during the cooking process. Instead I just left the cover over the bowl and let it cook in the microwave oven on medium heat for 6mins. After 6mins, there was still quite a bit of liquid in the bowl though the egg seemed to have set somewhat. And also since I didn't cover the bowl properly, the surface of the chawamushi broke to pieces. Tried to cook it for another 2.5mins but the amount of liquid didn't reduce by a lot.

So the result was not the best looking chawamushi but the taste was just right. Guess I need to improve on the amount of chicken stock used and the cooking process. Next time I will get it right, just like the steam milk custard.


The ingredients and the methods below are adjusted to be used on my next attempt. Shall report on the results when I try them or if there are any readers out there who want to try them out. Let me know the results. The ingredients listed below are just for the egg mixture, basically one can add anything to the chawamushi, such as fishcake, shredded chicken meat, etc.

1 egg
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cooking sake
1/4 tsp mirin
1/4 tbsp light soya sauce
1/4 chicken cube
125ml water

1.  Dissolve 1/4 chicken cube with 125ml water to make chicken stock
2.  Add sugar, cooking sake, mirin and light soya sauce to the chicken stock
3.  Make sure the chicken stock is at room temperature before adding the egg
4.  Use a chopstick to stir the egg in a cutting motion to combine egg and chicken stock without creating too much foam
5.  Place other ingredients that you like (e.g. fishcake, shredded chicken meat) into a bowl
6.  Strain the egg mixture into the bowl
7.  Cover the bowl with foil
8.  Steam over high heat for 10mins
9.  Off the heat and serve hot

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 Jan 11 (Sun) - Steamed Milk Custard (炖奶)

Wasn't happy about the failed steamed milk custard (炖奶) yesterday and decided to give it one last shot today before the weekend is over.

Refined some steps and even added an extra step hoping to make it perfect. My hard work didn't go to waste, I finally got it right! Put it in the fridge after it cooled down and ate it after my lunch. So refreshing and satisfying on a hot day.

Steamed Milk Custard (炖奶)

1 egg white
140ml milk
1/2 tbsp sugar

1.  Warm the milk in the microwave but do not boil it
2.  Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl
3.  Add the egg white and sugar to the warm milk and mix well
4.  Strain the mixture to another bowl
5.  Cover the bowl with foil
6.  Steam it for 12mins in a pot with a lid on using medium-high heat
7.  Lift the lid up a bit to release some steam every 4mins
8.  Off the heat after 12mins and leave it in the pot for another 3mins
9.  Serve hot or chilled

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1 Jan 11 (Sat - New Year's Day) - Steamed Milk Custard (炖奶)

Happy New Year Everyone! It's the first day of 2011. Woke up early to start the day off with cooking! Since I needed milk to eat my cornflakes, so measured some milk to try out the steamed egg custard (炖蛋) and steamed milk custard (炖奶) again.

This time round I used one egg for both desserts, the egg white for the milk custard (炖奶) and the egg yolk for the egg custard (炖蛋). Warmed both bowls of milk, then added egg white to one bowl and egg yolk to the other. Added sugar to both and beat both the mixture lightly. After that used a spoon to remove the foam from both the mixture.

Since I still didn't have alumimium foil so used cling wrap for both bowls and this time, I used the microwave method instead of the conventional steaming method as stated in one of the steamed egg custard recipes. Was contemplating if I should used the microwave method on the steamed milk custard and the lazy side of me got the better. Therefore, placed both bowls and a cup of water in the microwave oven. Turned the microwave oven on medium heat and set for 5mins.

After it was done, checked on the mixture and they seemed to be still watery. Hence, put them back in and set to cook for another 5mins. This time round, the egg custard (炖蛋) didn't set very well while the top portion of the milk custard (炖奶) was a bit hard although the inner portion was about just right. I guess the steamed egg custard (炖蛋) cannot do without egg white as well since I think it is an important ingredient to make the dessert set properly.

As for the milk custard (炖奶), I guess I should have either steam it using the conventional method or should have just set it to cook for another 2mins instead of 5mins and on top of that, I should have whisked the egg white first before adding the milk to it. Nevertheless, placed the steamed milk custard (炖奶) in the fridge and ate it chilled after lunch. It was refreshing on a hot day.

Well... you know what they said about "Failure is the mother of success", next time I will get both of them right.

Steamed Milk Custard (炖奶)

1 egg white
140ml milk
1/2 tbsp sugar

1.  Warm the milk in the microwave but do not boil it
2.  Add in the egg white, sugar and mix well
3.  Cover with cling wrap and placed in the microwave oven with a cup of water
4.  Turn the microwave oven to medium heat and set for 7mins
5.  Serve hot or chilled