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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just like those from Chinatown

Beautiful and glossy Char Siew

I discovered that you do not need any Char Siew Sauce in a bottle anymore. It is so much easier to make your own Char Siew. I never liked those cooked red coloured tough biting meat that you buy from the morning market stalls any way too. Make them yourself at home.

First of all, get good quality pork with a little fat, do not get the leanest or it will be tough. Marinade overnight with a generous amount of soya sauce (light sauce), a little thick black sauce, sugar and pepper. Take the meat out without the sauce and put it in the oven at 200 Celsius for an hour, turning it over at half an hour. In the mean time put the left over marinade (sauce) in a heat proof pan and simmer on low fire till marinade turn nice, thick and glossy. Take the cooked Char Siew out of the oven after an hour and pour sauce all over and return to oven for another 10 minutes. It will be nice and glossy after that. Cut it into thin slices. It is as simple as that! They will taste like those from the famous Cantonese Roast stalls in Chinatown.
Do not waste time with those bottled sauce.

King of the Cat Mountain

I have not eaten durian for a long time, because I have not much desire to. I used to like it a lot and would not miss the season to savour them. It came to a point that whether it is D24, D2 or D13, did not make a difference to me any more, they all tasted the same. All these durian do not give you that 'kick' any more.
The other day, a friend told me she bought an apartment in Yio Chu Kang Road. Where in Yio Chu Kang Road? It is a very looong road. "Near the Highland Centre, she told me. "The famous durian place to get THE BEST durian, the Mau Shan Wang or nothing" She went on and on about THE durian.
It got me thinking and thinking, and I was there in no time after dinner. I asked for 'Mau Shan Wang' durian and the guy said 'wise choice!'. It happens to be the most popular at the moment. They will open it for you and show you to a table, give you pure drinking water and a box of tissue. Its flesh was very smooth, dry, bright golden yellow and fibreless, perfect! Here comes the taste. It is sweet when you first bite it but turns bitter sweet in your mouth after. When you reach the seed, what seed? It is absolutely FLAT. Just a few seeds will fill you up. What superb durian! I have not eaten such good durian for years.
It is not cheap however, the one and only durian cost us S$21. But it was worth every cent.
Grab some durian puffs for your friends while you are there too. I will definitely be back there.

717 Trading
22 Yio Chu Kang Road,
Highland Centre
2 PM to 1 AM daily

Monday, August 21, 2006


I am head over heels with Pumpkins these few days. Last week, I was at Tangs shopping at the electrical department and I chanced upon the cooking demonstration by the man selling big black clay pots. Many years ago, I bought one for my mom to make pig trotters vinegar and she has been raving about the pots.
So I stood there to see the cooking demonstration. He was making pumpkin kaya, yes kaya! (bread spread) But with pumpkin and no eggs, are you sure? How long will it take, we can't be standing there for hours? He assured us that it will only be a short while. It turned out beautifully and I have been hooked ever sinced! It is very simple to make, just 3 to 4 ingredients, the most. Try it and you won't regret.


200g pumpkin
5 tbsp sugar
250ml coconut milk
3 pandan leaves (optional)

Remove seeds and skin of pumpkin. Steam until very soft and cool. Put pumpkin into any heavy based pot. Add sugar and mash with a metal whisk. Then add coconut milk and mix well. Set on very low fire all the way to prevent lumps. Add pandan leaves and keep stirring, about 15 to 20 minutes till tiny bubbles appear. When it is not watery any more, it is done. Discard leaves and spread it on toasted bread and butter. Enjoy!

Please take note that the coconut must be the first santan (do not add water to extract) or you can use the the carton box or packet coconut cream.