Saturday, October 15, 2011

15 Oct 11 (Sat) - Red Ruby Dessert [Thap Thim Krawp] (红宝石甜品) and Steamed Fish Paste Egg Rolls

It was already two weeks since my last visit to my sis’s place so decided to go visit over the weekend and also to settle the itinerary for the upcoming trip to Australia with my BIL. Recalled that my BIL’s sister mentioned that she has tapioca flour and so planned to cook the red ruby dessert (a recipe that I found in as well as try out the steamed fish paste egg rolls recipe that I saw from a food blog some time ago. Apparently, red ruby dessert is also known as "Mock Pomegranate Seeds in Coconut Syrup", "Thap Thim Krawp" and "Tub Tim Krob". Anyway, messaged my sis last Thursday to tell her my plan and she volunteered to get the ingredients such as water chestnuts, fish paste and thick coconut milk from NTUC in Tampines Mall the next day.

Woke up at 8am today, ate breakfast and then started cooking after my sis and BIL went out for their usual weekly grocery shopping. The last round I used grounded pearl sago as tapioca flour and the result wasn’t good coz they didn’t stick to the water chestnuts properly and after cooking, the coatings came off for some of them. Also for the last round, I used about 10 to 12 pieces of water chestnuts and it wasn’t enough to go around so this time I used about 24 pieces of water chestnuts.

Peeled and cut the water chestnuts to small cubes ranging from 0.5cm to 1cm. Then dyed them with about 1.5 teaspoon of red food coloring to make them redder than the previous round before coating them with tapioca flour. Noticed that water chestnuts were more well coated this time coz of the fine tapioca flour used. After cooking them in boiling water and cooling them down, the coating didn’t come off like the last round.

Since I still have some tapioca flour left from the coating, I poured them into the boiling water and let it cooked till transparent before taking it out to cool. Went on to make the sugar syrup, added in the thick coconut milk, cooled the mixture and distributed them into eight plastic takeaway containers. Then added the red rubies into each container and added the cooked tapioca flour into my portion before chilling everything in the fridge.

Compared to the last round, today’s attempt was much more successful than the previous round. The color was much redder, the coatings were thicker and didn’t come off. Maybe one thing to improve on was to leave the red rubies in the ice water till they are ready to be added into the coconut milk mixture to prevent them from sticking together.

Uncook coated water chestnuts

Cooked water chestnuts

Red ruby dessert

Ingredients (Serves 8):
1.35l water
150g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
300ml thick coconut milk
100g tapioca flour
1.5 tsp red food coloring
24 pcs water chestnuts, peeled and cut into 0.5cm to 1cm cubes

1.  Put water chestnuts in a bowl, add red food coloring and mix until they are evenly dyed
2.  Put tapioca flour into a clean plastic bag, add dyed water chestnuts and seal bag by twisting near the top
3.  Shake bag until water chestnuts are evenly coated with flour.
4.  Remove water chestnuts from bag and shake off excess flour
5.  Boil water in a large pot, add water chestnuts and return to boil
6.  Remove water chestnuts with a slotted spoon as soon as they float to the surface and transfer them to a bowl of tap water
7.  After about 5mins, transfer the cooled water chestnuts to a bowl of ice water and set aside
8.  Put water, sugar and salt into a large pot. Bring to boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved
9.  Add thick coconut milk and return to boil
10.  Remove from heat, allow to cool thoroughly before adding in the water chestnuts and refrigerate until chilled

Later the evening, I cooked the steamed fish paste egg rolls while my sis cooked curry chicken, cabbage meatballs soup and steamed prawns. Couldn’t remember which food blog I saw the recipe from and so googled for it and found out that actually this recipe was widely experimented. Therefore, I combined some of the ingredients and steps from a few well-known food blogs such as Food 4 Tots, The Little Teochew, Chubby Hubby and My Kitchen Snippets to create my version. So happened that my colleague gave me a packet of seaweed yesterday and so made one with seaweed and one without since some of the people doesn’t like seaweed. The end results wasn’t too bad and I prefer the one with seaweed while most of them opted for the no-seaweed version.

It was a pity that the main dish for the evening was curry chicken and hence my younger niece and nephew’s attention were on that. My BIL commented that the steamed fish paste egg rolls were nice while his sister said the fish paste was a bit too salty. Well… I guess it couldn't be helped since it was ready-made kind from NTUC. If I had managed to get the fish paste from the wet market, perhaps I could have been able to control the saltiness.

Steamed fish paste egg rolls - Outside view

Steamed fish paste egg rolls - Inside view

2 eggs
1 sheet of seaweed
200g bobo brand fish paste
handful of carrot, chopped
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Seasonings for eggs:
dash of pepper and salt
1/2 tsp mirin

1.  Stir in carrot and sesame oil into the fish paste
2.  Add pepper, salt and mirin into the eggs and beat lightly
3.  Heat up oil, pour half of the egg mixture into the frying pan and fry on one side to make one large, round and flat omelet
4.  Repeat step 3 for the second omelet
5.  Lay the omelets on a chopping board, line one with seaweed
6.  Spread evenly half of the fish paste on each of the omelet and roll them up into a tight roll
7.  Place the rolls seam-side down on a plate and steam for about 15-20 mins with high heat
8.  Slice the rolls into 0.5cm slices and serve warm

---------------- Edited on 16 Oct 2011 ----------------

The red rubies tasted better after soaking in the coconut milk mixture overnight coz the coatings expanded hence bigger rubies and the coconut flavor was infused into the rubies.

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