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Recipe: Spaghetti Cake with Spinach, Cheese and Tomatoes

I was supposed to prepare a carbs dish for a birthday celebration and it was mind–boggling, especially when the accompanying dishes ordered by my friends were signature dishes from cafés/restaurants. I wanted something special so I thought what could be better than making a cake (a Spaghetti cake) for this special occasion!!

Everyone was of course very curious when I mentioned that I would be preparing a Spaghetti cake as no one had tasted it before. It was basically like Spaghetti Carbonara in a cake form with a crunchy top. I was very delighted that the cake was very well received that night. I hope you are curious and will start baking one for yourself soon!!

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 5 to 6 persons

Ingredients:

300ml double cream/thicken cream

3 eggs

Some grated Parmesan

120g grated cheddar

400g spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

6-8 rashers streaky bacon, chopped

50g ham, cut into small pieces

200g baby-leaf spinach

50g cherry tomatoes, quartered

Pinches of salt and pepper

Basil

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F

Preparation for the Spaghetti:

  1. In a large pot, add water and boil.
  2. Add the spaghetti and cook till almost al dente (less than the suggested cooking time on the packet).
  3. Remove and run it under cold water to stop it from cooking.
  4. Drain and set aside.

Preparation for the rest of the Ingredients:

  1. Rinse the basil leaves and set aside to dry.
  2. In a pan, heat up some olive oil.
  3. Add the onions and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the bacon and fry for another 3-4 minutes or until golden.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, add in the eggs, cream and 80g of cheddar cheese. Stir to blend them together.
  7. Mix in the tomatoes, bacon, ham, and spinach into the cream mixture.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the cooked spaghetti into the mixture and ensure that the spaghetti is well coated with the mixture of ingredients.
  10. Lightly coat the loose cake tin with olive oil and press some cheddar cheese to the side of the tin and the bottom.
  11. Then pour in the spaghetti mixture and level the surface. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and the grated Parmesan.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven. Press in the basil leaves.
  13. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the top is golden and the filling has set.
  14. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
  15. Slide out onto a serving plate, cut into wedges and serve.
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Recipe: Braised Fish Head with Bitter Gourd – 苦瓜鱼头

Bitter gourd might not be a favourite of many due to the bitterness of this gourd. I used to shun it till I found out how much nutrients it contains; and it is also low in calories!! However, if you are already a bitter gourd lover, then you are in for a treat!! First, the fish is fried to seal in the juiciness of the meat. Then it is braised with loads of garlic, ginger, red onions and black fermented bean sauce, and lastly topped with spring onions and red chillies.

I always had the notion that cooking this dish is very difficult, but once I changed my mindset and attempted it, I overcomed my own fear. At this point, I won’t say is an “easy peasy” dish but a manageable dish to conquer if you want to. I can only describe this dish by simply saying it in Chinese, “HAO CHI”! (好吃!); which means tasty or palatable.

I hope you like this dish as much as we do! Give us some comments or feedback via our blog. We would also like to invite you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers, whether you are newbies or veterans. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog and Instagram @beyondnormblog to get the latest updates.  If you love videos subscribe to our YouTube channel @beyondnormblog.

Can you smell the aroma that is exuding from the pot of braised fish head? It is making me hungry now!

 

Serves 5 to 6 persons

Ingredients:

1.2kg black Garoupa fish head (or red snapper)

1 large bitter gourd, cut into pieces

Oil for deep frying

2 red onions, chopped

8 cloves garlic, smashed

40g ginger, sliced

4 tablespoons fermented black beans

3 red chillies, deseeded and sliced

5 stalks spring onion

2 cups water

1½ tablespoon light soya sauce

1½ tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon dark soya sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

5 tablespoons Shaoxing wine

1½ tablespoons brown sugar

Dashes of white pepper

5–6 tablespoons oil

120g potato flour

 

Marinade for fish head:

½ teaspoon salt

Dashes of white pepper

4 tablespoons ginger juice

2 egg white

 

Method:

Preparation of the Fish Head:

  1. Cut the fish head into medium-sized pieces (my fishmonger cut it for me)
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of salt and rub it all over the fish pieces.
  3. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Then rinse off with water and remove all the blood and impurities.
  5. Drain and marinate the fish head pieces for at least 30 minutes or longer.
  6. Heat up the oil for deep frying.
  7. Lightly coat the marinated fish head slices with potato flour.
  8. Shake off the excess flour.
  9. In batches, place the fish pieces into the oil and fry till golden brown.
  10. Drain and set aside.

 

Preparation of the Spring Onion:

  1. Cut the white part of the spring onions into small pieces and cut the green parts into 2 inches in length. Set aside.

 

Preparation of the Bitter Gourd:

  1. Cut the bitter gourd into half, lengthwise.
  2. Scrap off the seeds by using a metal spoon.
  3. Cut the bitter gourd into slices.
  4. Rub all the pieces with 1 tablespoons of salt for about 10 minutes.
  5. Then rinse and drain and set aside.

 

Final preparation of the dish:

  1. Heat up the 5 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add in the ginger, garlic, white part of the spring onion and red onions. Fry till fragrant.
  3. Add in the fermented black beans and stir for another minute.
  4. Add in the light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Mix well.
  5. Add in the bitter gourd and ensure that they are well coated with the sauce.
  6. Add in the water and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, cover with a lid.
  7. Now add in the pieces of fried fish head.
  8. Give it a mix or two before glazing it with 4 tablespoons of Shaoxing wine.
  9. Cover and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the bitter gourd is cooked through.
  10. Next add the spring onions and sliced red chillies. Mix well.
  11. Cover and let the dish rest for 2 minutes before serving.
  12. Dish and pour 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine and serve with steamed rice.

 

Note:

If you want the dish to be spicy, add the chillies in Step 20 and use bird eye chillies instead of the big red chillies.

Munch Crunch ‘N’ Dine @ The Peranakan – No MSG. Just plenty of old fashioned TLC.

Outside_Sign

Who would have known that at this more ‘ulu’ part of Orchard road, Claymore Connect (a lesser-known mall) would house an interesting eatery, The Peranakan. The moment we entered the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by a friendly server who showed us to our table. What caught my eyes was the table card displayed on each table clearly stating “No MSG”. You will be fascinated by the different elements of the restaurant, from the lighting to the cutlery to their decorations, as they showcase the rich Peranakan history.

Outside_Seating

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We started off with the Tok Panjang set, this has two different sizes named after the two very famous Peranakans; Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Wee Kim Wee. We had the LKY size which included an array of 10 different dishes from their menu.

TokPanjang_3

Personally, Nasi Ulam was one of the highlights of the Tok Panjang. We were not only entertained by Executive Sous Chef Shirley Tay, who sang us the Peranakan song that accompanies Nasi Ulam, but the freshness of the finely cut herbs, spices and raw long beans really teased our taste buds. The flavour was well blended and nothing was too overpowering. Another dish worth mentioning is their Beef Rendang, it was extremely tender and melted in my mouth.

PeranakanHighTea_MeeSiam

Mee Siam

Next, they served us their Peranakan High Tea. The star of the show was the Mee Siam (which was SOOOO good) as they only serve it in their High Tea set. The noodles absorbed the flavours from the sauce and it was extremely tasty. Their Pulut Enti Kelapa (Glutinous rice with Sweet Coconut topping) really reminded me of my childhood. The rice was very fragrant and with the shredded coconut… It was just WOW. This is something you really do not want to miss!

GilaDurian_5_PulutEnpi

Pulot Enti D24

We were almost stuffed to the brim after we finished the Peranakan High Tea, but the eating must CONTINUE!! Who could possibly resist the Gila Durian, an 8-course set that’s power packed with durian! Each and every creation is served in beautiful crystal-ware and served course by course – just like fine dining. They also have an intermezzo to ease you from all the durian goodness.

GilaDurian_7_DurianCendol

D24 Durian Chendol

Overall, I was pretty impressed with their food and it was an extremely wonderful experience. With their belief of no MSG in their food, the flavours were nicely blended together and the dishes were seasoned perfectly. Some may find their food a tad bit bland, but for me it hit just the right spot. I would definitely come back for more!

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Location :
Level 2 Orchard Hotel – Claymore Connect

Singapore

Opening Hours : 
Monday – Sunday :  11.00 – 22.00

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/ThePeranakanSG

Website : https://www.theperanakan.com/

Tel :  +65 6262 4428

Recipe: Salted Egg Yolk Chicken (牛油黃金鸡)

The reaction I had from my daughter was, “Yeah!!” when I mentioned that I will be cooking the salted egg yolk chicken. Salted Egg Yolk is amazing on chicken, squid or prawns, and oh yes, crabs!! I have decided to prepare this dish in a healthier way, by eliminating the step of deep frying the chicken with a batter. The dish turned out to be amazingly delicious and rich in taste; it is coated with this creamy sauce, mixed with curry leaves, and chopped chilli of course!!

I am very fortunate to be able to buy just the salted egg yolk on its own from the market near where I live. If you can’t get hold of the yolk, just buy salted eggs and separate the yolk from the white. Don’t discard the white, you can add them and some lean meat into porridge the following day to make another meal.

We love to hear from you so once you have tried this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments either via our blog or by joining our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group. You can also like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog via the right side bar to get the latest updates.

 

Serves 4 persons

INGREDIENTS

3 pieces of boneless chicken thighs without skin

2 to 3 chilli padi, chopped finely

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

30 curry leaves

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

30g butter

 

Marinade for the chicken

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Dashes of white pepper

2 tablespoons of Chinese wine

 

Salted egg yolk sauce

6 salted egg yolks

A pinch of sugar

 

Method:

Preparation of Curry Leaves:

  1. Rinse and dry the curry leaves.
  2. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of cooking oil into a pan.
  3. Add in the curry leaves and fry till fragrant and set aside.

Preparation for the Chicken:

  1. Rinse and cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch chunks.
  2. Add sugar, salt, pepper and cooking wine to chicken and marinate for 30 minutes or more.

Cooking the chicken:

  1. Using the same pan for the curry leaves add the butter.
  2. Add in garlic and the chilli and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add in the marinated chicken pieces and fry till almost cooked.
  4. Dish out and set aside.

Preparation for the Salted Egg:

  1. Steam the salted egg yolks for 10 mins.
  2. Remove from steamer and mash the salted egg yolks to as fine as possible.
  3. Using the same pan that cooked the chicken add the mashed salted egg yolks and fry till foamy.
  4. Toss in the chicken and ensure that it is fully cooked through and evenly coated with the salted egg.
  5. Then add in fried curry leaves and mixed well.
  6. Serve immediately.

 

Note:

If you prefer a spicier sauce, don’t deseed or you can add more chilli padi.

If you find that your salted egg sauce is too dry, you may add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.

Recipe: Laksa Roast Pork (Siu Yok) – “No Poking” Method

Never heard of Laksa Roast Pork right? I don’t think anyone has ever thought of a dish like this before. Hahaha. If you like our popular Hassle-Free Roast Pork (Siu Yok) (with perfect crackling!!!) recipe… Hmmm….  you may love this more!!! 🙂

Thanks to Singapore Home Cooks and Dancing Chef for the collaboration with Mummy’s Kitchen.  This collaboration has given us a challenging opportunity to create a traditional dish with a twist.  This one of its kind dish made its way to our dining table a few nights ago (17 July 2017) and I hope that it will make it to your table soon!!  My family felt that this was more flavourful (no need for a chilli sauce to go with it) compared to the traditional Roast Pork and rest assured that the crunch is not compromised!!

We certainly hope that for anyone who recreate this dish in their home or eatery will credit this dish back to Mummy’s Kitchen at Beyond Norm Blog.

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.

HAPPY CRACKING!!

 

Serves 4 to 6 persons

Ingredients:

1 slab of pork belly (500 to 700g)

3 to 4 bulbs of garlic

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup dry white wine

Alternatively;

1 cup of milk or 1 cup of wine

1/2 teaspoon oil

Sea salt

1 packet (100g) Dancing Chef laksa paste

 

Method:

Preparation for the Pork Belly:

  1. Rub 2 tablespoons of salt to the pork belly to get rid of the pork smell.
  2. Leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse off with water.
  3. Pat dry with paper towels. Make sure the whole slab is DRY.
  4. Turn the slap skin down and make 2 or 3 slices across the belly meat, deep enough for you to rub the marinade into it, but don’t cut through to the fats.
  5. Use 80g of the laksa paste and rub it all over the meat portion only (including the in between of the belly meat).
  6. Clean off any laksa paste that is on the skin with a paper towel.
  7. Leave the pork skin side up and uncovered in the fridge for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Remove from fridge just before cooking.

 

Preparation for Cooking the Pork Belly:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 130°C to 150°C, depending on your oven (for mine I preheated to 150°C)
  2. This is an optional step. Score the skin across with a sharp knife (not too deep), about 1 cm apart. This will make the cutting easier after the meat is cooked.
  3. Rub the oil on the skin.
  4. Rub sea salt on the skin until you see a visible layer on top.
  5. Slice a ¼ off the top of the bulbs of garlic and place them in the baking tray.
  6. Then pour in the milk and white wine. (I used milk only).
  7. Place the pork on top of the bulbs of garlic. Make sure the skin does not touch the liquid. The belly flesh, however, may be immersed/in contact with the liquid at this point and this is alright.
  8. Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil, making sure the tray is tight but doesn’t touch the skin of the pork. Otherwise, salt won’t dissolve and will form a salt crust instead of crackling.
  9. Bake in oven for 2 hours.
  10. After that, remove the foil and increase the heat to 240°C. Bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until skin has completely crackled.
  11. Take it out of the oven and transfer the slab of pork belly to a cooling tray.
  12. Leave it to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Laksa Crispy Fried Chicken Wings with Laksa Dipping Sauce

What do you usually do with laksa paste? A bowl of yummy Laksa!! However, when Singapore Home Cooks approached a group of us to take up the campaign of using Dancing Chef’s Laksa paste to cook other creative dishes apart from Laksa, Mummy’s Kitchen was one of those who were honoured to do so.

I wanted a dish that will bring out the original flavour of the paste without tampering with it too much. As chicken is kind of bland, a strong paste like this will blend in very well. I am so proud to present to you our Mummy’s Kitchen Crispy Fried Chicken with Laksa dipping sauce, born on 15 July 2017! The Laksa sauce on the Laksa Crispy Fried Chicken Wings just round up the dish so well! Hope you enjoy this dish and I humbly request that you make mention of Mummy’s Kitchen @BeyondNorm if you ever recreate this dish in your kitchen and post it online.

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

6 pieces of chicken wings with the drumlets

1 (100g) packet of Dancing Chef Laksa paste

150ml fresh coconut cream/milk

2 to 3 sprigs of laksa leaves

½ to 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Enough peanut oil for deep frying of chicken wings

 

Ingredients for the Batter (adapted from one of Dr Leslie Tay’s recipe)

80g plain flour

80g potato starch

1 egg

100ml water

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate

¼ teaspoon baking powder

 

Method:

 

  1. Rinse the chicken and separate the wings from the drumlets.
  2. Next add 50g of the laksa paste and ensure that the chicken pieces are coated evenly and set aside.
  3. Then mix all the ingredients for the batter till smooth.
  4. Add the batter to the marinated chicken pieces.
  5. Mix well and marinade it for 8 hours or overnight.

 

After 8 hours or the following day:

  1. Wash and rinse the laksa leaves and pat very dry.
  2. Add some oil into a non-stick pan and fry the laksa leaves till crispy. Set aside.
  3. Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge.
  4. Add enough oil for deep frying into a wok. Heat up the oil for 30 seconds or till it is hot.
  5. Add in the drumlets one by one.
  6. After 30 seconds separate them so that they do not stick together.
  7. After 1 minute or more turn the chicken.
  8. Fry for another 3½ minutes or till golden brown.
  9. Transfer the fried chicken to a cooling rack and set over a baking sheet.
  10. Add the wings one by one.
  11. Repeat steps 9 to 12.

 

Making the sauce:

  1. Add 50g of laksa sauce into a non-stick pan.
  2. Add in coconut cream/milk.
  3. Add some brown sugar to tone down the saltiness.
  4. Once it simmers, turn off the heat and transfer it into a small serving dish.

 

Final touch of the dish:

  1. Transfer your cooled crispy wings to a serving plate and sprinkle with the crispy laksa leaves.
  2. Add a few crispy laksa leaves into the laksa sauce and serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

Tips:

  1. If you are not eating the wings immediately and want to keep your fried chicken wings crispy, turn your oven to 100-120 °C and transfer them into the oven. This will keep them warm and crispy.
  2. Don’t transfer your fried chicken wings to a plate lined up with paper towels as this will cause steam to be collected underneath and make the chicken wings soggy.

 

 

Recipe: Steamed Glutinous Rice (Lor Mai Fan/糯米飯)

Steamed glutinous rice or Lor Mai Fan (in Cantonese) is an easy to prepare, traditional dish. This dish is often sold in ‘dim sum’ restaurants across Asia. It is also a common sight in Malaysia where this flavourful dish is sold in small disposable aluminium bowls, steaming in huge steaming cabinets together with different kinds of Chinese buns and fried fish balls.

Personally, I love to line my steaming tray with bamboo leaves and then topping the bamboo leaves on the tray of rice before steaming. This creates a special aromatic flavour to this dish. If you like something fancy, you can also use bamboo leaves to wrap them in small packages before steaming them. The bonus for this is the extra packages can be stored in the freezer for future consumption.  The fragrance which exudes from the bamboo leaves is just amazing!!! Just thinking about it makes me hungry now…….

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 5

INGREDIENTS:

550g glutinous rice

3 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into desired cubes

10 Shiitake mushrooms – soaked, drained, stems removed and cut into small cubes

50g dried shrimp, washed and drained

50g dried scallop, soak and drain (optional)

30g to 50g toasted peanuts (optional)

6 shallots, sliced

5 cloves garlic, minced

Cooking oil

350ml homemade chicken stock/water

 

Seasoning:

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon thick soy sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon white pepper

 

Garnishing:

Chopped spring onion

Chopped Chinese parsley

Sambal Chilli/Garlic Chilli

 

METHOD:

  1. Soak glutinous rice with water for 3 to 4 hours. Drain well.
  2. Marinate chicken with the seasoning ingredients for an hour or more.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok and add in the shallots till brown and crispy.
  4. Remove the fried shallots and when cool, keep it in an air tight jar.
  5. Using the same oil, add the minced garlic and stir-fry till fragrant.
  6. Then add in dried shrimp, dried scallop, mushroom and the marinated chicken with the seasoning. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. When the chicken is almost cooked, add in the glutinous rice and 350ml chicken stock/water.
  8. Transfer all ingredients from the wok to a steamer tray.
  9. Add in the toasted peanuts.
  10. Heat up sufficient water in the wok and transfer the tray of rice into the wok. Cover with a layer of bamboo leaves and steam over high heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  11. Remove from steamer. Garnish with spring onion, Chinese parsley, and fried shallots.
  12. Serve it hot with chilli of your choice.

 

Notes:

  1. Dry scallop is added to enhance the flavour of the dish, and my family loves it too! So, it was a good ‘reason’ to do so.
  2. If you are a peanut lover like my husband and son then you can add peanuts to give a “crunch” to the texture. Otherwise, you can omit it.

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