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Recipe: Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish (咸鱼炒银芽)

Recently, my schedule has been very tight and I wanted to whip up a fuss free vegetable dish. So I decide on Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish as one of my dishes. The only tedious part of this dish is the plucking of the roots off each bean sprout.

I have observed that quite a number of people disliked this dish when they were younger but for some reason begin to like this dish when they are older. Strangely enough, I am one of them. Up till today, I still wonder why…

Believe it or not, you will forget about the workload when you start enjoying the fragrant fried salted fish and the natural sweetness of the crunchy bean sprouts!

If you like this recipe, be generous and give us some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you, whether newbie or veteran. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube @beyondnormblog to get the latest updates and videos.

es 4 persons

Ingredients:

300g Bean Sprouts

3 pieces Salted Fish (cut into small pieces)

3 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)

2 Stalks of Spring Onions, cut into 3cm long

Fish sauce (to taste)

Chinese cooking wine

Cooking oil

 

Method:

  1. Heat a wok over medium-low heat. Add oil.
  2. Pan fry the salted fish till it is crispy. Remove and set aside.
  3. Using the same wok, add in the chopped garlic and fry till fragrant.
  4. Add in the bean sprouts and stir fry for a minute or till just cooked.
  5. Next, add in the salted fish.
  6. Add in some fish sauce (according to your taste) and cooking oil.
  7. Lastly, add in the spring onions and mix well.
  8. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
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Beauty Review: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty is a Toronto based beauty company solely focusing on lips. They manufacture without compromise by sourcing food-grade, or good-enough-to-eat ingredients, and producing each and every product in house —proving there’s no sacrifice in quality for products sourced from nature.

After swatching a sample of the Agave Lip Mask at Plush Cosmetics, a cosmetics boutique store, I decided to invest in the Agave Lip Mask in clear. I honestly did not know that it came in other colours too. Regardless, I’m happy with what I got. My favourite part of this product (as always) is the fact that it’s formulated without Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates.

The Agave Lip Mask is a soothing, leave-on lip mask that replenishes moisture. Bite Beauty claims that this innovative formula smooths, nourishes, and hydrates lips with a bioactive blend of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla co2 extract, and triple the amount of the antioxidant trans-resveratrol found in red wine. So I decided to put it to the test…

My first impression of the product was that the consistency is very thick and therefore it doesn’t come out of the tube easily. It has a sweet, vanilla-y scent that isn’t overwhelming, and honestly I quite enjoy it. One of the first things that I noticed was it left a sweet flavour on my lips. Fortunately, it’s made with food-grade ingredients so I can lick my lips without the guilt. 😊

I usually apply it at bedtime and only wear it throughout the day if my lips are particularly dry on that day and needs that extra hydration boost. I find the formula to be amazing as I go to bed with slightly dry lips and wake up with lovely hydrated lips. I would say that it would be a pain to use whilst out and about on a windy day as it’s got an extra thick consistency which will cause you hair to stick to your lips (just like it would when you have lip gloss on). However, thanks to its consistency, a little goes a long way and it definitely keeps my lips protected from drying out.  I would definitely consider repurchasing it again!

Recipe: Fried Dry Mee Siam (Nyonya Style)

There are two variations of Mee Siam (Spicy Rice Vermicelli), the dry version and the wet version.  The dry version is more popular in Malaysia whereas the wet version is a more common sight in Singapore.  For those who prefer the wet version, I have shared a recipe some time last year which you can try out – Mee Siam (Nyonya Spicy Rice Vermicelli).

This spicy noodle is fried with a homemade rempah and prawn broth, prawns, bean sprouts, chives and fried firm tofu. All these yumminess is topped with shredded omelette and served with a piece of small lime to give an extra tangy taste to the dish. If you like it extra hot, a dollop of sambal on the side will make a perfect plate of fried mee siam!!!

If you like this recipe, be generous and give us some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you, whether newbie or veteran. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube @beyondnormblog to get the latest updates and videos.

 

Serves 6 to 8 persons

Ingredients:

400g vermicelli

500g prawns

2 firm tofu/bean curd

2 eggs

Beansprouts (Quantity according to your taste)

Chives, cut into 1″ sections (Quantity according to your taste)

3 tablespoons tamarind juice /paste

Sugar (for taste)

Salt (for taste)

 

For Rempah/Spice:

9 dried chilies

5 red chilies

3 tablespoons dried shrimps, soak in water for 5 minutes

20 cloves shallots

7 cloves garlic

23g toast in oven or over the stove for a few minutes

3 tablespoons soy bean paste/taucheong

 

For Garnish:

4 to 5 small limes

Sambal Chilli (If using)

 

Method:

  1. Soak the vermicelli in water till soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Boil some water in the pot and add in the prawns and boil till the prawns is just cooked (up until it turns red).
  3. De-shell the prawns and set aside.
  4. Add the prawn shells back into the pot of water and continue to simmer for another 1 hour.
  5. Cut the tofu/bean curd into small pieces. Shallow fry in hot oil over medium-low heat till golden brown. Set aside.
  6. Cut the chives into 1-inch sections and set aside.
  7. Mix the assam with one cup or more of water.
  8. Soaked it for 10 minutes and then discard the seeds. Set aside.
  9. Fry the eggs into thin omelettes. Cut into thin shreds and set aside.

Preparation for the Rempah / Spice Paste:

  1. Soak the dried chilies in hot water, squeeze out the water and remove seeds. (If you like it spicy keep the seeds.) Cut into small pieces.
  2. Halve the red chilies and remove seeds. Cut into small pieces.
  3. Pound both the chilies in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  4. Blend the dried prawns, shallots, and garlic separately. Then set aside.
  5. Chop the toasted belacan and set aside.

 

Frying the Mee Siam:

  1. Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium-low heat.
  2. Add in the shallots and garlic, then fry for 1 minute.
  3. Then add in the chilli and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add in the dried shrimp, fry for 1 minute.
  5. Add in belacan and mix well.
  6. Add in the soy bean paste/taucheong and combine well.
  7. Fry till the mixture is fragrant for about 20 minutes (+/-).
  8. As the paste is drying up, add in some sugar and salt (adjust according to taste).
  9. Once the rempah is done, add in assam juice and 3 cups of prawn stock. Bring to a boil.
  10. Next add in the rice vermicelli and toss well using a pair of tongs and spatula.
  11. When the rice vermicelli has almost soaked up the liquid in the wok, add in the bean sprouts and chives. Combine well.
  12. Add in prawns and fried tofu. Toss well.
  13. Garnish with shredded omelette. Serve with small limes and sambal chilli (if you are using) at the side.

 

This recipe is adapted from “Traditional Nyonya Cuisine” by Luck Koh

Food Review: 6-Hours High-Tea @ The Rose Veranda (Shangri-la Hotel Singapore)

Located on the mezzanine level of Shangri-la Hotel is the Downtown Abbey-istic restaurant, The Rose Veranda. Honestly, this place would not have occured to me if Tammy had not suggested it as the location is tucked away from the main shopping district of Orchard Road.  The restaurant is known for their high tea offerings, and has an ambience that is both calming and exclusive. In addition to that, it allows its patrons to dine comfortably for a full 6-hours! I think I reached the peak of my tai-tai (lady of privilege) potential for the rest of the week…

The High Tea at The Rose Veranda is somewhat of a wholesome experience. Upon being seated, we were served with the tea menu and warm scones, accompanied by strawberry jam and clotted cream. The restaurant boasts a wide selection of exquisite artisan teas to go along with your dining experience. There’s also the option of tea cocktails or Monogram Tea Layering for an additional $5++ per pot.  You’ll most definitely be spoiled for choice.

From cooked food to sandwiches, Sashimi to cheeses; not forgetting their Signature Laksa (dubbed a must-try!), the restaurant showcases a delectable spread of local and international eats.

While I was overwhelmed with choices and wasn’t quite sure where to start, it was comforting to see that the selections came in dainty portions which allowed me to try a wider range of food.

     

Those with a sweet tooth will love this section as they had a huge array of desserts! I’ve never seen that many desserts on such a small area before. But it was evident that The Rose Veranda aimed to tickle the fancy of dessert lovers. To name a few, they had baby-sized Ang Ku Kuehs that looked too cute to eat, a chocolate fountain that was oozing pink, and delicious ice cream ready to be scooped into fancy metal goblets.

But what really caught my eye was the “Make your own Hot Chocolate” station which boasts 4 chocolate blends. Unfortunately, the experience was not as magical as I imagined it to be, but it was delectable nonetheless.

The main highlight of my meal was the amazing service from the staff. Even though we were there on a busy day, they smiled through it all. They were attentive to our needs and were prompt in clearing plates and replacing cutlery with fresh ones.

This is a place that you can try out if you’re looking to catch up with your friends or spend quality time with your significant other.

Location :
22 Orange Grove Road
Mezzanine Level, Tower Wing
Shangri-La Hotel
Singapore (258350)

Opening Hours : 
Monday – Thursday :  11.30 – 17.00
Friday – Sunday : 11.30 – 14.00 / 15.00 – 18.00

Website : http://bit.ly/2kume0B

Tech Review: Beats X

The Beats X is one of the newest (as of posting) wireless earbuds from the Beats lineup. Since Apple has taken over Beats, the company has only been going up. It took a pretty long for me to get my hands on this but I finally managed to. (YAY me!) I got the Beats X in blue as it’s a pretty unique colour.

This is my 2nd Beats product and really, the unboxing experience was awesome!!! Straight away you are greeted by the earpiece itself and underneath it was the manuals, the extra eartips of various size, as well as earhooks of various sizes if you require a more secure fit. Behind all the eartips and earhooks was the case and a charging cable. Unlike the previous wireless products made by Beats, this charger has a lightning adapter, so all those Apple users should be glad. My only slight complain is that the case is a dust magnet and it gets dirty super easily.

Now moving on to the earpiece… Syncing the Beats X to my iPhone was a breeze. The moment I turned on the Bluetooth on my phone and powered the Beats X on, my iPhone automatically detected and connected. It pairs with Android phones and

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For sound quality, I didn’t really expect much as wireless earpiece generally don’t sound that good but I was pleasantly surprised. It had the signature Beats sound. Super bassy with decent clarity in the mids and highs.

Another highlight of the earpiece is the sound isolation. It manages to passively block out a lot of noise around when I am out and about. In addition to that, the battery life is pretty solid too! With a full charge, I managed to get through a whole week, whilst using it for roughly 1-2 hours a day.

In conclusion, for those who can’t stand the iPhone 7(or the new iPhone 8/iPhone X) without the headphone jack or you just wanna go wireless, the Beats X is a solid buy. Costing S$199 on the Apple Store (the actual store) you get a sleek looking pair of earbuds and a good sounding one too!

Side note: After using it for about 4-5 months I encountered a problem with the Beats X and had to send it in for repair. Apple sent a brand new Beats X and it seems to be working fine now.

Recipe: Pork Belly with Salted Fish (咸鱼花腩煲/Ham Yu Fa Lam Pou)

I had been seriously craving this dish for a while… Last month, when we were in one of the Chinese Restaurants in Miri, Sarawak and guess what… One of the dishes my husband ordered was this dish!  Yeah, craving satisfied!! Hmmm…. he seems to be able to read my mind. Hahaha.

Upon returning home, I decided to whip up this simple dish in the comfort of my home. When eating in a restaurant or Zhi Char stall, you are at the mercy of the cook. But if I cook at home, I can adjust the seasoning according to our taste and add more salted fish too (yum yum!!)!! I think it is most ideal to cook this dish in clay pot. Why? Clay pot is known to retain heat very well, hence it heats up evenly. This will make the food inside, especially meat, cook faster while maintaining its full flavour.

If you like this recipe, be generous and give us some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you, whether newbie or veteran. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube @beyondnormblog to get the latest updates and videos.

 

 

Serves 4 persons

Ingredients

400g pork belly, cut into thin slices

 

For the Marinade:

½ tablespoon oyster sauce

½ tablespoon dark soy sauce

½ teaspoon dark soy sauce

½ tablespoon cornflour

 

Others:

Some cooking oil

25g to 40g salted fish

6 shallots, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, chopped

5 slices ginger

2 to 3 dried chillies, cut into several pieces

⅔ cup water

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon ShaoXing wine

5 stalks spring onion, cut into 3 strips

1 large onion, quartered and sliced

 

Method:

 

Marinate the Pork:

  1. Combine the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and cornflour. Mix well.
  2. Pour the above marinade on the sliced pork belly and set aside for 30 minutes or more.

 

Preparation and cooking the dish:

  1. Heat up some oil in a pan and pan fry the salted fish till fragrant. Set aside.
  2. Heat some cooking oil in the clay pot.
  3. Add in shallots, garlic, ginger and dried chillies. Fry till fragrant.
  4. Stir in pork belly and mix well.
  5. Add water and bring to a boil.
  6. Cover the clay pot with its lid and simmer over low heat until pork belly is soft. (If necessary add more water).
  7. Add salted fish, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, and shaoxing wine and continue to simmer for a few minutes more.
  8. Stir in spring onions and onions. Toss well for a few seconds.
  9. Serve immediately with steamed rice (we had ours with brown rice, healthier choice).

Beauty Review: Custom Lipsticks @The Lip Lab Perth

Ever since I walked pass Lip Lab in Freo, I’ve been itching for a go at customising my very own lipstick shades. However, I did also want someone to go with who would be equally enthusiastic about the experience. Fortunately for me, I had just met Tammy, my fellow lipstick enthusiast. Spurred on by Safiya’s Bite Lip Lab experience, we booked our appointments and excitedly headed down to the Lip Lab in Perth city.

Prior to visiting the Lib Lab, I went through numerous reviews trying to find out if the lipsticks were worth the splurge because let’s be practical, beyond the experience, I wanted to know that I would still use my custom shades and enjoy them. However much to my disappointment, there wasn’t a peep about it. So I made it my mission to do some “fieldwork” and report back to all the wonderful people on the interwebs. 😉 I guess you could say, “I did it for the blog”. Haha.


I would be lying if I didn’t admit that we were as excited about being in LipLab as kids would be at a candy store. We were ooh-ing and aah-ing at everything. We met our two mixologists, Gaby and Kim, who both did amazing jobs! The experience was so thorough; from the colours that we wanted, to the scent, to the finish, to the 3 different optional additives (for an extra $3 a pop)! Everybody’s lipstick has a different formula depending on what you choose and that was part of the magic. They also provide a consultation card specifying your personalised blend so that you can re-order if you wish to.

Since we were customising our own lipsticks, we went all out. We had the option of two different lipstick shapes, the standard or the “gothic” (which is exclusive to Liplab by the way). So OF COURSE we went for the gothic shape. We also had an option of the classic lipstick case or a squared one… You guessed it, we selected the squared one! One of my favourite parts about the lipstick case is the magnet between the holder and the lid, so every time you close it, you can hear the magnets snap back into place.

I opted for one shade to be my-lips-but-better and the other to be a dark purple-ish shade. I had both of mine with a matte finish. Meanwhile, Tammy opted for a nude my-lips-but-better shade and a darker brown-ish nude. Our main goal was to have nude shades that wouldn’t make us look like undead zombies. (Haha.) Now we had our perfect nudes and more!

You should’ve seen how excited we were when we finalised our personalised shades of lipsticks. Naming our custom colours proved to be quite a challenge. But armed with a touch of narcissism and inside jokes, our babies were named. (And we really couldn’t have been more pleased.) The difficult part was having to wait 24-hours before using/swatching the lipsticks so that it cools down and sets all the way through. It felt like the longest 24-hours everrrr….

After a few months of testing out my custom lipsticks, I can safely say that I am happy with my “babies”. My nude shade has become one of my go-to lipsticks for obvious reasons, and I’ll be sad when I’ve used it all up. Maybe I’ll have to re-order it… 🤔

 

The dark purple-ish is something I grab from time to time. I love the colour, however, my only disappointment is that the coverage is no longer as opaque as it used to be.

Overall, I think that it is worth splurging for the Liplab experience at least once in your life. You could make a good girly date out of it (like I did) or you could do it for a special occasion like a birthday party or hens night!

Note: Prices to customise your makeup start from $30. For more details, check out their website: http://www.theliplabperth.com.au