Lo Mai Kai (aka glutinous chicken rice)

Must be some temporary phase that I'm going through, either that I am in the midst of using the same ingredients for different dishes heh. The best part of this is that you can actually freeze the dish for about a month! It is also quite simple to make but of course the more pre-preperations you do, the tastier it'll get ;).

This dish is also seen when you go to a yum cha restaurant, where they serve it in lotus leaves. I wanted to get those but they were selling it in bulk :S. Also, my dear d suggested chestnuts, not water chestnuts because he thought that it was part of the ingredients but it wasn't!Haha, but it did taste rather good with it, so no harm trying it ;)


My ever ready steaming devices...

*kvt27 is going through some tim sum / yam cha phase*


Chinese Tea Eggs

The ultimate easy and healthy dish to make! Okai, lemme begin by the history of tea eggssssss...

"Fragrant and flavorful tea eggs are a traditional Chinese treat. The original recipe uses various spices, soy sauce, and black tea leaves in the recipe. A commonly used spice for flavoring tea eggs is Chinese five-spice powder, which contains ground cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns. Some recipes do not use tea leaves, but they are still called "tea eggs". In the traditional method of preparation, eggs are boiled until they reach a hardened cooked state. The boiled eggs are removed from the water and the entire shell of each egg is gently cracked all around. Smaller cracks produce more marbling when the egg is peeled for eating. The extra water from the boiling should be allow to seep out of the eggs on its own. After about ten minutes, the cracked eggs are ready to be put into the prepared spiced-tea liquid and simmered at medium heat. The simmering allows the spiced fluid to seep into the cracks and marinate the eggs inside their shells. After about 20 minutes, the eggs and the spiced-tea liquid should be transferred to a glass or ceramic container for further steeping in the fridge. For best results, the eggs should be allowed to steep for two days. The dark color of the spiced tea gives the egg a marbled effect when it is peeled to be eaten..."click here if you want to know more

What brings the flavour most out of these eggs is the soy sauce I think. It's one of my childhood dish as I was growing up. And I think if you love green tea cupcakes, loves to try out new herbs, is addicted to chai lattes then there's no harm in trying these eggs out!

As for making them, I used a ready made sachet but there are ingredients available if you want to do it from scratch =). Check out a recipe here. And it's super ultimately easy because all you do is just dump them into a pot and let it simmer.

As well as I learnt something new: The chinese 5-spice flavour or powder. What's amazing is that it encompasses 5 different flavours all in one - sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. And I can't believe that I grew up being expose to this all these while. What's even more amazing is that the ingredients are so healthy and is also used in Chai mixes - peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinammon and fennel seeds.

Talk about relation in food...they all share the same thing yet give out different flavorsome dishes


Le Cordon Bleu

There was an open house event at Le Cordon Bleu, one of the prestigious Parisian School who teaches fine cuisine and patisserie courses, ranging from short one day courses to a full year diploma programmes.

And I signed up to their newsletter, in which sometimes I receive nice recipes :). As well as this invite!

So I went to check out the place and the demonstrations of the introduction to cuisine cooking and patisserie of course.

To my lovely expectation, I was greeted by a dish full of canapes and drinks ranging from sparkling water to wine. And we were lead into a room with desks and bags of courses pamphlets.


It first started off with the patisserie dish: Dacquoise aux poires epicees et sauce chocolat au vin aka Spiced Pear Dacquoise with Chocolate and Red Wine Sauce (what a loooonnngg name). The demonstration was very interesting as there were some hints as the chefs cooked and explain (but I forgot a pen, DOH). Glad I got my phone to type the hints as well as there was a break in between, in which we could try the food demonstrated (NicE~)

There was also a raffle to win 2 lovely books and the person who got it sat beside me! Talk about so close yet so far.

The next dish was another long name one: St Jacques Marinees aux graines de vanille, bettrave en deux facons, 'espuma' au raifort aka Vanilla Marinated Scallops, Beetroot Two Ways with Horseradish 'Espuma' (far out, by the time I finish saying that, the whole dish would be finished. 

If you wish to grab the recipes, let me know :)

Overall, I find that the session was not as impressive as I thought (maybe it was because the building was slightly run down), in the sense that cooking was brought to a more serious stage, whereby I felt like I was in university all over again but this time it was slightly different as the kitchen is the lab / lecture hall. So yeah...I did have this vibe telling me not to take down this route as a career, and further conclude that this will be my all time hobby passion.

But hey, it doesn't stop me from taking the short courses ;). Tempted tempted...


Red Bean Cupcakes

I had to think for awhile on the title above as I was actually 'attempting' to make green tea cupcakes. As a 'punishment' for being stingy, it turned out to be cocoa cupcakes with red bean toppings...and a hint of green tea.

Yeah, I only used one tea bag and didn't bother to get green tea powder. Then again, those Matcha powders are extremely expensive! There were super cheap ones too like 50p but I didn't dare poison my lovely friends...


The cupcakes liners were kinda peeling off so I peeled them off coz it didn't give a nice look. Kinda wondering what happened there as I only just took off the milk from the batter. I guess I got lazy in creaming the butter and sugar bit.

Things kinda went from bad to worse as I was trying to avoid cream in my icing :(. The mascarpone cheese that I relied for it's texture went frozen. So I had to whip double cream and added my yogurt batter for taste. Sigh, and all I wanted to do is to use alternative ingredients to replace cream cheese.

Oh well, it's all a good excuse to practice icing! Just hope my friends don't mind the superbly different cupcakes to what I promised tonight.


I ♥ Vitality Show

It's similar to NZ's women's expo but different in a way that the people here display different products...but all for the main objective(s) :)

Held at Earl's Court 2 building, this expo is happening starting today till the weekend. I wanted to go last year but couldn't get tickets. As well as me being super stingy, I manage to get them for £5 instead of the usual £15 if I go today.


It was quite a great night as it wasn't too crowded either.


There were different type of stores but all divided to sections mainly broken into career and motivation, beauty, pamper, active and not forgetting which I hung around that area more often for the free samples :P. There were also places to hear motivational talks, how to lose weight talks, and a cooking show area too. It wasn't super huge, it was just enough to cover for 2 hours unless you're willing to line up for a cheap massage or pedicure.


I shall not bore you on the amount of things I found from but there were 3 highlights from the shows. One being this Awesome Monitor where it can monitor 5 things: Calories intake and eaten, how many steps you take (pedometer), how much you sweat and how you sleep. It even knows when you wake up in the middle of the night! Very good technology since it was long applied in the hospital and is now commercialised.

Another cool thing from the show was how food was made gluten free, oil free and organic. Love the pure chocolate samples, the muesli, the seed snacks (they've produce apricot kernel that tastes ultimately delicious as a snack) and they have also got lactose free milk! Yumm.

Last but not least, there were quite cool nifty kitchenware in which I so wish I could buy such as a blender and stove in one. It's pretty much a blender, but has a heat feature. Gosh, tefal was there and a kitchen and knife company were there too.


Happy me


Woohoo freebbiiieeessss

I should end this post with something but I keep thinking 'Till Then'. Hehe, talk about zoning out....
Till Then :P


Fancy a little Turkish?

Last weekend, we tried turkish for a change. So we checked this place out in Covent Garden called Sofra and apparently it lives by the motto 'if it's not good, I will take it back and re-cook it' or somewhere around that lines.

The head chef is Huseyin Ozer, and he's got like an online website too and I found that the prices of the dishes were quite reasonable as it not only has the usual specials and standard dishes but also set meals and offers over season.

So I tried the Healthy set menu. Oh, we were accompanied by bread and a dish of humus, olive oil and pickles to start off with as complimentary I think.

Anyhoo, I wasn't sure what I was in for as the menu listed a lot of things, like 12 different things to try from Fallafel to duck roll. But this was what it looks like when it came:

I quite liked it because it's pretty much a spoonful of different things to try.

The dish further came with 3 different meat and boy it was very tender and moist. That was the highlight. I quite liked the baby broadbeans and it wasn't really spicy at all. All for the price of £12.95 which is quite reasonable =). They do have Autumn meal deals in which £9.95 can get you a starte and mains. Not bad at all.

Dessert was Apple tea, and it tasted really good although it took awhile for the waiter to bring it (think he forgot).

So far, I recommend it! For the price to try and for the set meals =)

More information

36 Tavistock Street
Covent Garden/, London WC2E 7PB
020 7240 3773


Peanut Cookies

And a very Happy Birthday to me! :). I was feeling rather 'giving' today and attempted to make those Chinese New Year Peanut cookies for the office. As well as there was this big bag of uncooked peanuts hibernating quite comfortably in the shelf since last year, haha. The steps are quite interesting as the difference between this and a normal cookie batter is that the egg is not mixed but rather used much later in the baking process.


Anyway, I kinda went abit usual...

Yes, I actually peeled the nuts, one by one


Word of advice: Get ready made roasted peanuts. This was quite a mission! It may only way 250grams but my fingers were all sore towards the end.

But I actually learnt a new tip on how to get rid of the skin off the nuts quickly. To roast them before peeling them of course, rather than peel them's a good website to go to for more instructions.

It was a great day regardless, with wishes from work, and family were racing to wish me at 12am my time and it ended with 3 high notes: Suprising flowers from my family, my favourite Japanese restaurant and more wishes on Facebook! Thank you all for making my busy Wednesday too wonderful :)


Lychee and Vanilla cupcake

The Ironcupcake UK challenge for March is: The perfect pair. I'm only allowed to create a cupcake with two flavours

The moment I read the challenge, the 2 flavours I thought straight away is:

Lychee and Vanilla


But instead of just an icing and the cupcake, I made another texture to 'spice' things up ;)


I attempted to make Lychee jam!He he, well it's sort of like jam but not done well as fruits are normally removed from the mixture to form a nice texture. I wanted a 'puree' type texture so that people can taste the fruit when they eat it.

Wish me luck...this round there is category whereby the winning are split up to 2 groups: Amateur and Professional. So we'll see how things go. I've also baked smaller portions of cupcakes and made a sponge vanilla cake instead so that it makes it easier to eat and taste, talk about being serious in the competition.

But if you're keen to grab a light snack / dessert, grab this recipe because it's got a light texture and filling to it.

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