Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cheng Tng - Teochew dessert 潮州甜品 - 清汤

The hot weather plus a heavy workload is affecting my health. The past couple of days, I am having poor digestion and a sore throat.

Looking through my cherished stash of Chinese ingredients, I decided to make a pot of cheng tng for my family. This light and refreshing Teochew dessert will cool off the body. On a hot day, a bowl of chilled cheng tng is a fabulous thirst quencher.

For my son who would only drink the sweet soup, I will keep a chilled bottle of it in the fridge.

My platter of basic ingredients (anti-clockwise) :

white fungus
dried red dates
candied winter melon strips
dried longans
rock sugar
malva nut (centre)

Boil 2 litres of water and put all these ingredients to cook for half an hour. You can either drink it warm or cold.

There is no fixed rule on what you want to put in your pot of cheng tng. You can add ingredients that you like.

Malva nut (Sterculia lychnophora Hance) is known as :
Pang da hai (胖大海) in Chinese
Pong dua hai in Teochew
kembang semangkuk in Malay
Niranjan Phal or China Phal in Hindi.

The malva nut is commonly used in Chinese medicine to clear and sooth throat. Teachers and singers who have to use their voices a lot will drink a tea make from it to preserve their voice.

Soak the nuts in water for a few hours.   
胖大海泡一下水, 遇水会膨大 

Discard the skin and seeds.

This is how the malva nut looks after it has been soaked and cleaned.
泡好, 清理过的胖大海

天气炎热, 煮点潮州甜品 - 清汤 - 给家人吃。不同地方, 不同家庭都会有自己的煮法, 都是大同小异。

我用的材料 : 银耳、 红枣、冬瓜条、薏米、桂圆肉、原黄冰糖和胖大海等。自己也可以随意添加小白西米、红薯干、莲子、龙须、百合、燕窝、白果、干柿饼等。

胖大海 (又名安南子、大海子、大洞果) - 主治清热润肺,利咽解毒,润肠通便。用于肺热声哑,干咳无痰,咽喉干痛,头痛目赤。

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bibimbap Eastcoastlife - Korean Mixed Rice 家常韩式拌饭

Whenever my son says he wants to eat bibimbap, I would gladly prepare it for him because he usually doesn't eat his vegetables. But when I serve bibimbap with lots of vegetables, he readily eats everything in his bowl.

Bibimbap is an easy-to-prepare, healthy and absolutely delish Korean dish! If you don't add in the meat, it is a healthy vegetarian dish.

My bibimbap is a little time consuming because I have several vegetables and I have to cut them into strips.

Bibimbap (serves 3)
Ingredients :
3 rice bowls steamed white rice
purple cabbage
red pepper
2 eggs - make an omelette

Non-vegetarian version :
200 g pork fillet - cut into strips
Marinate with Korean BBQ sauce, pepper, minced ginger, sesame oil, sugar.
You may substitute with beef or chicken.

Seasoning :
gochujang sauce
sesame oil

For garnishing :
toasted seaweed strips
roasted sesame seeds

1.  You just need a little of each vegetable, blanch them. Cut all the vegetables and omelette into strips.

2.   Stir fry the pork fillet with garlic and onion.

3.   In a big bowl, put in the steamed white rice first. Drizzle some aromatic  sesame oil over the rice. Add pepper.

4.   Arrange the various vegetables and omelette individually in a circle on top of the rice.

5.   Squeeze some spicy-sweet gochujang sauce in the centre.

6.   Place the meat on top of the gochujang sauce and cover with toasted sea weed strips.

7.   Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over the dish. You are ready to serve.

When the dish is served, my son will mix everything in the bowl with his chopsticks or spoon. Looks messy but it tastes delicious. It's a joy to see him eat up everything.

Even my hubby loves it. See! He is scrapping every grain of rice in the rice cooker for his second helping. haha......

儿子喜欢吃韩国料理, 尤其是韩国拌饭, 不时都要我煮。我也很乐意煮给他吃因为他不爱吃蔬菜, 难得他要吃这道加入最少五六种不同蔬菜的韩式拌饭。韩国拌饭是健康又美味的料理, 外观也非常精致诱人。

韩国拌饭很容易煮, 在家也能做出美味的韩式拌饭。在一个大碗公里盛白饭, 只要把自己喜爱的菜切成絲, 放在米饭上面, 再加自己喜爱的肉和拌饭酱, 用汤匙或筷子搅拌几下。看着儿子大口大口的吃韩式拌饭 。。。我好幸福! 呵呵 。。。

蔬菜切成絲 : 紫包菜、红辣椒、小南瓜、黄瓜、红萝卜、煎蛋等 + 韩国辣椒酱 + 麻油

Batam Trip Day 2 巴淡岛旅游第2天

After a hectic first day in Batam, we were exhausted and woke up late the following morning. Our kinsmen had to hurry us to go for breakfast.

We were the last two hotel guests having breakfast at their coffee house. LOL ..... Batam time is one hour behind Singapore, their breakfast starts at Singapore time 6 am. They were going to close the breakfast counter and prepare for lunch buffet.

Fortunately we still have some time for a quick breakfast and there were chefs available to cook a bowl of steaming hot ayam mee soto (chicken noodle) or fry pancakes and omelettes. Our kinsmen kept us company while we ate.

After breakfast, a few of us spent some time taking pictures on the hotel terrace and lobby before our coach arrived to send us to the ferry terminal. It was a sunny and breezy morning, we could see the city in the distant. Nice to know there is an outdoor swimming pool below the hotel.

Our coach picked us up at 11 am. It was a short ride to the ferry terminal as there was no traffic jam. Our ferry would depart at 12.50 pm, we still had more than an hour to while away. Our kinsmen preferred to wait in the ferry terminal.

Hubby suggested going for A&W fast food as he misses the rootbeer float, waffle with ice cream and curly fries. So we crossed the connecting overhead bridge next to the Immigration Office at Batam Centre Ferry Terminal and arrived at Mega Mall Batam Center. The fast food restaurant is on the ground level.

Finally hubby has his fix of the fast food he was craving for. Since the closure of this fast food restaurant in Singapore, we could only taste their signature items when we are in Jakarta and Bangkok.

We went back to the ferry terminal after our meal as the shops in the mall were not tempting enough to make us shop. We checked in and needed to clear Immigration, but were horrified to see a loooong snaking queue with only 3 counters opened. Oops.... we had only 25 minutes before the ferry departs.

We were worried we might miss our ferry. Many people in the queue were fidgeting too. Nobody dared to complain nor make noise as there was a notice that says "Silent - no talking." We heard that visitors get fined for disobeying this rule.

Finally we cleared Immigration with only 5 minutes to board our ferry back to Singapore. We heaved a sigh of relief once we were on board the ferry. Our kinsmen were getting worried for us as they had to go through the long queue at Immigration too.

Farewell Batam! We will be back soon.

在巴淡岛度过忙碌的第一天 , 第二天睡到自然醒已经不早了。乡亲们开始担心, 打电话催我们去吃早餐。哈哈 。。。我们是团里的年轻人! 还好有点时间, 酒店餐厅要准备自助午餐了, 食物所剩不多, 快快拿了一些可以填饱肚子的。

吃过早餐, 就与两位乡亲们在酒店阳台欣赏风景, 还有拍照留作纪念。

上午11点,出发去码头, 酒店安排车送我们去。我们的船大概一点才开, 看看时间,还是很早。轮渡码头有一座连廊通向对面商场, 我先生提议去商场吃久违的A&W快餐。

乡亲们不去, 我们两通过高架天桥直达商场, 十分便利。在快餐店里吃完东西, 商场的店面都不能引发我的购物欲, 匆匆赶回轮渡码头。却没料到移民厅大排长龙, 只有三个人在工作。我们开始担心赶不上回家的轮渡。 幸好我们能顺利过关, 只剩五分钟就开船。


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homemade Chinese Dumplings 自制中式饺子

My son loves to eat Chinese dumplings, be it boiled, pan-fried or deep fried. They are easy to make and a quick meal by itself.

I usually make 100 pieces (2 kg of minced meat) at one go and freeze them. My son will add some dumplings to his noodle soup or pan fry them as snacks whenever he craves for them.

I prefer to boil my dumplings and eat them with a black vinegar dip. I like to serve pan fried or deep fried dumplings as appetisers at parties.

I used to make the dumpling wrappers but have been buying them from the supermarket or Chinese grocery shop so as to save time. I would buy both the white round ones and the yellow (egg added to the dough) round ones.

Do not leave the dumpling wrappers in the open air for too long because the edges will start to dry out. Cover them with a damp towel as you work and freeze any unused dumpling wrappers in an airtight sealed plastic bag.

Be creative with the fillings. I use all sorts of meat (pork, chicken, beef) combine with vegetables (cabbage, leek, spring onion, carrot, pumpkin) and/or prawn, black fungus mushrooms.

Prawn and pork dumplings

Ingredients for Meat Filling (for 2 - 3 people) :
500g minced meat
300g prawns
100g spring onion /leek /cabbage (chopped) - optional
20g ginger (minced) - optional
4 cloves garlic (minced) - optional

Seasonings (according to one's taste) :
soy sauce
cooking wine
sesame oil
chicken stock granules - optional


1.   In a large bowl, add soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, pepper, chicken stock granules, spring onions, ginger and garlic to the minced meat. Mix them well.

2.   Take a wrapper and place some filling at the centre. Fold together and pinch the wrapper from the middle to seal the two sides.

3.   Fold two pleats on each side of the pinched centre to seal in the filling. You will have a pretty fan-shaped dumpling.

4.   Sprinkle some cornflour over the dumplings to prevent sticking. Space out the dumplings, do not let them stick together.

5.  Boil a large pot of water and throw the dumplings in. The dumplings are usually done when they float to the top and look transparent. If using frozen dumplings, they may need a longer time to cook.

6.   Scoop out the boiled dumplings. Serve dumplings with some black vinegar and young ginger shreds.

Freezing Chinese dumplings

Sprinkle cornflour over the dumplings to prevent them sticking together. Pack 10 dumplings in a box each and store them in a freezer. You can take them out and cook delicious dumpling dishes with them.

How to serve your Chinese dumplings?

A quick meal on its own - my Chinese dumpling soup with a plate of stir-fry vegetables.

Chinese dumplings noodles in chicken soup

You can add some Tom yum paste and have a spicy noodle soup base.

pan fried Chinese dumplings

我儿子喜欢吃饺子。我一有空就会包饺子, 一次包大约100个, 把它们冰冻起来, 儿子想吃就自己弄来吃。饺子的吃法非常多,可以清蒸,可以油炸,除此之外还可以水煮。我有时一个人懒得做饭, 就自己下一碗水饺, 蘸着醋来吃。

饺子制作简单, 以前我都喜欢自己擀饺子皮自己包饺子。现在为了省时间, 我买现成的饺子皮比较方便。呵呵。。。

饺子是春节过年的传统美食, 把馅料放入饺子皮包起来的过程寓意招财进宝。有大陆的朋友说,吃水饺主要是希望往后的日子财源滚滚。哈哈哈。。。那一定要多吃饺子!

Hainan Batam Huiguan 9th Anniversary Dinner 巴淡岛海南会馆9周年晚宴

Together with our president, vice president, advisor, assistant secretary and 4 other members of Singapore Hainan Tan Clan, we attended Hainan Batam Huiguan's 9th anniversary dinner celebration in Batam.

It was held at the ballroom of Crown Vista Hotel with guests coming from various parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore filling up all the 100 tables.

We were given a table for ten. On our table was the auspicious Hainanese yi buah (glutinous rice cake with sweet coconut shred filling). There were two types of sweet fillings; coconut shreds and coarse peanut paste. We could help ourselves to the cans of assorted beverages and bottles of red wine placed on our table.

The first course of our dinner was a plate of fried mee sua (vermicelli). We were pleasantly surprised that the noodle dish was served first. The explanation given was : since it was the anniversary of the clan, the mee sua was served as a congratulatory dish.

Other dishes served were steamed white chicken, braised pork trotters with steamed buns, crab meat soup, smoked duck, fried prawn rolls, braised mushrooms with spinach, sweet and sour fish. Most of the dishes were delicious.

After the cake cutting ceremony, it was a karaoke session where participants have to donate a token amount of cash to sing on stage. I was fascinated when people walked up to the stage to give ang pows (red packets containing cash) to the singer.

I thought the singer would receive the cash but all the cash received was donated to the clan. I guess more than 100 million Rupiah was raised. It was a successful fund raising event.

The representative from our Singapore Hainan Tan Clan sang a Hainanese song and received much applause from the audience.

星期日, 新加坡海南陈氏公会受邀出席印尼巴淡岛海南会馆九周年会庆晚宴。我与8位海南宗亲们一早就搭渡轮前往巴淡岛。晚上的会庆宴会就在我们住宿的酒店楼上 - 新香格里拉酒楼。

一到现场我们就拍了团体照和个人照留念。我们的桌上摆了传统海南粿 - 薏粑, 有椰丝馅和花生馅两种。宗亲们可能饿了, 就先品尝薏粑。



宾客们一起唱生日歌祝贺巴淡岛海南会馆, 然后蛋糕切了都分给大家吃。

卡拉OK时间,嘉宾唱歌时, 宾客纷纷上台献红包。红包里面可是现金喔! 大家都把红包捐给巴淡岛海南会馆作为活动基金, 表现了乡亲们互助互爱的精神。

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