Puto or Filipino Steamed Rice Cake

Fluffy puto

Puto is a famous traditional snack from the Philippines. It is a sweet steamed rice cake traditionally made from slightly fermented dough. I have been wanting to do it for a while but was worried that I might fail. But this week, I finally gathered my courage and tried it out. Turns out, I was quite pleased with the results.

So these are the things you need to make the dough. Rice flour, distilled water and a clean covered clear jar. I started the fermentation last Monday night ( May 20). Weigh out 10g of rice flour and 10g of water, put it into the jar, mix thoroughly, then cover the jar. Leave it overnight at room temperature which is about 25-27 degree celsius.

The next morning which for me was Tuesday May 21, about 12 hours after the last time you made the paste. Add another 20g rice flour and 20g water, mixed thoroughly with the paste. This is called ‘feeding, and it helps to make the yeast stronger’. Cover and set aside at room temperature 25-27 degree celsius.

At night, after 12 hours from the last feeding, I discarded half of the mixture, leaving only 30g. Discarding is to limit the quantity of your paste unless you intend to make a huge batch. Now with this 30g, add 30g of rice flour and 30g of water. Mix thoroughly then set aside and leave it overnight at room temperature at 25-27 degree celsius.

The following morning which was Wednesday May 22, you should see visible signs of fermentation, like bubbles. Look at the sides of your jar, you should also be able to see a few bubbles. Feed the fermented paste with 90g water and 90g rice flour. You should end up with a total of 270g. As you mix, you can begin to feel that the paste becomes sort of airy. After 8 hours you should be able to see more bubbles, especially when you look at the sides of the jar. It may not rise too much as the yeast are not very active yet, however it has sufficient strength to make Puto. Now it is time to prepare the ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 230g Fermented Rice Flour mixture
  • 10g double acting baking powder
  • 45g fine Sugar
  • 2g coconut extract

Mix all the ingredients gently using a whisk. You have to preserve as much of the air in the batter. Transfer the mixture to oiled tins. Use coconut oil. Then steam immediately on high heat.

My tins are a bit tall, so the steaming time was about 25 minutes. Please adjust accordingly if you’re using smaller tins. You can use a skewer to poke a hole through the center and check if it comes out clean. This means that the Puto is ready. At the last 5 minutes of steaming you may want to add slices of cheese on top.

Can you see the tiny air bubbles that still remains after steaming??
Fluffiness in every bite
Jiggly Jiggly like Jello

Hope you will enjoy the recipe! Hasta La Vista.

Braised Pork In Dark Soy Sauce with Leeks

Braised Pork In Dark Soy Sauce

This dish is quite common in my mom’s kitchen. Her’s was made particularly with lots of patience and love and I’ll tell you why. When she added leeks to her braised pork, she would shred them ever so thinly. During those times, she did not have any tools for shredding, so she had to manually use knife for this rods and lengthy process. I never thought that it would be so much work until I was doing it myself. It has always been one of my favourite dishes, but I never tried to learn it when she was still alive, primarily I did not have the interest to learn, thinking that my mom will always prepare it for me anyway. Sadly she passed away in 2003. It was sudden. When she left, I started to crave all the things that she had cooked for me, So slowly one by one, I try to recreate the dishes she made. I am glad to say that I was able to make it the same way as she did, it might not be 100 percent but quite close. This dish also became my children’s favourite.

Ingredients

  • 3 Big bunch of leeks
  • 1000g pork shoulder cut into cube
  • 125g Chinese cooking wine or huatiaojiu
  • 90g Superior Soysauce or Jiangqing
  • 55g Light soy sauce
  • 33g Dark soy sauce
  • 5g salt
  • 12g sugar
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 pack tofu puff ( optional)
  • 2 packs fried gluten (optional)

First , clean your leeks leaf by leaf. Remove all the dirt and put it into the strainer.

Shred the leeks into thinner strips. I used to use scissors as well but was lucky to find a multi-blade cutter at Daiso and it was quite useful for me.

My children are quite sensitive to spring onion taste, but they love leeks, because their first encounter with leeks was cooked in this way so i’m sure your children will love this dish too.

Now heat up your Wok until it is hot, drizzle 3 tbs of oil, then sauté your leeks until soften, set it aside.

Using the same wok, put in all your meat cubes. Sauté it for about 3-4 minutes.

Pork Shoulder

Now add in the sautéed leeks, pour 1400ml of water, add in all the seasonings. When it starts to boil, add your hard boiled eggs, tofu puffs and fried gluten. Cover your wok and let it simmer at low fire until the meat becomes tender, this will take about an hour to an hour and a half. Turn up the heat a bit high to reduce the liquid as to your liking. You may use your thermal pot or slow cooker to cook this dish too.

This dish is best serve with a bowl of steaming hot rice. Yum!!

These leeks that goes well with a scoop of rice.

Hope you will enjoy this recipe! Til my next post. Hasta La Vista!

Baked Souffle Pancake

Baked Souffle Pancake

I love pancakes that are light, fluffy and especially jiggly. So that is what I’ll be presenting you today, a jiggly pancake! I prefer to use the oven instead of the stove as with the oven I can just leave it and do other things while it is baking. My soufflé’s risen so much, but as you know it has to be served and eaten quickly though I was so busy plating that it deflated. (Oops! Hahaha)

Ingredients

  • 117g egg white
  • 55g egg yolk
  • 45g sugar + extra for coating the ramekin
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 57g sifted All purpose flour
  • 50g melted butter + extra for brushing the ramekin
  • 95g buttermilk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Prepare your ramekin, melt some butter and lightly brush the inside, coating it with some sugar, this will help to more easily release your pancake. Tap out excess sugar, and avoid using too much butter, you do not want to end up having an oily and too sweet pancake. I prefer to use sugar instead of flour because I do not want to see any white residue when I release the pancake from the ramekin. Preheat your oven to 190 degree celsius.

Now beat the yolk, vanilla extract, melted butter, and buttermilk altogether. Mix it until all are incorporated. Then add in your sifted flour. Beat it all together until no lumps or white residue from the flour can be seen.

Now prepare your meringue. Start by adding your egg white with the lemon juice. Use your mixer to beat until foamy. Gradually add in the sugar in 3 portions then continue beating until soft peak. Remember to not over beat!

Soft peak

Now fold in the meringue into the egg yolk batter in 3 batches. I prefer to use the whisk to slowly mix it instead of a spatula, but do it gently. You do not want all the air to pop.

Now scoop the mixed batter into your ramekin. Fill it up to 3/4 full. Bake it for about 18 minutes. Your soufflé’s should have risen nicely. Now flip your ramekin to release the pancake onto your serving plate. Sprinkle some snow powder on top for presentation.

look at the texture!

Silver Fish/White Bait Fish Omelette Foo Yong

This is not only easy to prepare, but also economical. Silver fish cost less than 3 Singapore dollar for about 150g. The rest of the ingredients added are not expensive as well. Living in Singapore, which is the most expensive city, and has already surpassed Hong Kong , you need to know how to cook and look for ingredients that are inexpensive yet healthy.

Ingredients For omelette

  • 150g silver fish
  • 50g grated carrots
  • 4g spring onion (can add more as to your preference)
  • 40g minced shallots
  • 4 large eggs (64g each)
  • 1 Tbs black sesame oil
  • 1 Tsp rice wine
  • 1 Tsp chicken powder
  • 1 Tsp oyster sauce

Ingredients for the gravy

  • 1 pack of bunashimeji
  • 160 Ml water
  • 3 Tbs oyster sauce
  • 2 Tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp chicken powder
  • 1 tsp sugar

Beat your eggs then add in the rest of the ingredients except the one for the sauce. Prepare your hot wok, drizzle sufficient oil only when your wok is hot, you should start seeing a bit of smoke. Then pour in your omelette mixture. My wok is big enough to pour everything in.

Flip the omelette to fry the other side. When ready place it on a dish. Now we are going to prepare the gravy. Remove excess oil, leave only about 1/2 Tbs, this is good enough to sauté your mushrooms. Sauté until soften then add in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients for the gravy. As our soy sauce and oyster sauce might be of different brand, so please adjust accordingly to suit your taste. I do not need to add cornstarch to the gravy as the oyster sauce also helps thicken my gravy exactly the way I wanted it to be. But if you wanted to thicken it more, just add some cornstarch slurry. Last step would be to drizzle your gravy onto the omelette. Yum! Let’s eat!

Easy Ma Lai Koh (马来餻)

This is a steamed cake commonly found in dim sum restaurant, and of course it has always been in my order list. According to an article I have read, real chefs in Hong Kong would use a starter dough or levin to create this. However for the convenience of most home cooks I experimented instead with an instant yeast. I will experiment on my next cake using starter dough, and compare the difference between the two. So watch out for my post.

Ingredients

  • 240g sifted plain flour
  • 6g instant yeast
  • 200 ml warm water
  • 60g custard powder
  • 190g brown sugar
  • 256g eggs (equivalent to 4 large eggs, my egg is 64g each)
  • 3g sifted baking powder
  • 3g sifted baking soda
  • 60g melted butter
oops sorry I forgot to include my butter in the picture, sign of old age …

Now, prepare an 8 inch square pan lined with baking paper, set aside. Mix in all your ingredients except the baking soda, baking powder and butter. Ensure all ingredients are incorporated with no visible lumps from flour or sugar. Set aside and let it proof for an hour.

See the difference of the bubbles? This is what you should see after proofing.

Scoop some batter into a separate bowl (about 100g), add in your melted butter, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Then pour it back to the batter. Ensuring all are mix well. Mix gently as you do not want all the air bubbles popped. Transfer it to your pan. Tap your pan gently on your table a few times to pop off some big air bubbles. You want your cake to have more uniform texture. Steam for 45 minutes to an hour on medium high heat or do a skewer poke test. Poke the skewer at the center of your cake, if your skewer comes out clean then it is ready. Avoid opening the cover for the first 30 minutes.

As I do not have a big cloth to use for covering my steamer to prevent steamed water going in, I just cover my square pan with an aluminium foil. It works perfectly for me.

Now the most awaiting moment!… tan tan tan tan….

If you like my recipe, or you made the steamed cake using my recipe, please let me know, I would love to see it. Thanks for checking on my blog!

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Pistachio and Beer Sourdough

I was at the grocery the other day, as I walked by the liquor section, a sudden idea came to my mind. hmm… What would my sourdough be like if I hydrated it with beer? I find it amusing to have such idea for someone does not drink. I have gastric problem that gets aggravated by drinking liquor. But…But I would like to try how my sourdough would taste like. I am curious. So I grab one pilsner made in Singapore, look at its alcohol content. hmm it is 5.4% , I guess not too strong, which is good because I do not want my sourdough to end up very bitter. So here I am sharing my recipe. My husband and I loves the texture and taste. And it goes perfectly well with my homemade cheese pimiento.

Ingredients

  • 155g white flour
  • 100g wheat flour
  • 200g pilsner beer
  • 6g salt
  • 6g avocado oil
  • 23g honey
  • 90g starter (1:4:4)
  • handful of grinded roasted pistachio

Mix both kinds of flour together with the beer, mix well. Autolyse overnight, about 12 hours. The next day I added in the starter. Mix well and waited for 30 minutes. Add in the honey, mix well, then the oil, then the salt; ensuring everything is well incorporated. I did my first stretch and fold then mixed in my grinded pistachio. I did a total of 3 stretch and fold with an hour interval in between. Then I shaped the dough and let it proof for 4 hours at 25 degree celsius.

Preheated the oven with a cast-iron pan at 300 degrees celsius, then lowered to 250 degree celsius and baked with steam for 20 minutes followed by another 20 minutes at 220 degree celsius.

The loaf has risen nicely and tastes wonderful. It gives a subtle hint of bitterness from the beer, sourness from the lactic acid and the nutty flavour from the pistachio. Together with my homemade cheesy pimiento spread, it gives rich flavours in just one bite. Now this is a keeper. I will definitely bake this over and over again.

This looks good isn’t it?

Follow me instead of bookmarking my site, so you will be notified immediately once a new post is up, enjoy!

Ginger and Pepper Beef Soup

This soup is very easy to make, and it’s perfect for a rainy day. Meat is so tender that it easily fall apart, plus it is loaded with lots of vegetables. Hence you do not need to cook other dishes when you have this pot of soup. Normally, I would use the slow cooker to slowly simmer my soup. I simply just dump in most of the ingredients and do other things that I need to do, it can be a chore, a hobby or just want to sit back, relax and watch your favourite Korean series hahaha!

Ingredients

  • 1kg beef chuck or beef shank (you can add in some beef bones for added flavour)
  • 85g sliced ginger
  • 500g carrots
  • 500g Cabbage
  • 2 Big potatoes
  • 2 TBS salt
  • 1/2 Cup Premium Soy Sauce (Fenghe Jiangqing)
  • 3 litres of water
  • Beef Tendon (optional)
  • freshly grind pepper (I put a lot!)

Chop your beef into cubes and boil it, this is to remove all the blood or scum coming from the meat. Then rinse it off. Put 3 litres of water in your pot or slow cooker, then put in all the meat cubes together with the ginger. Now start peeling your potatoes and chop it into big chunks, same with your carrots.

Throw in the potatoes and carrots into your pot. You may add more potatoes, however it will dilute your soup because potatoes has a lot of water content, you might have to add more seasoning according to your taste. Adding a lot of carrots in your soup will give the soup a sweeter taste. Chop your cabbage,I prefer my cabbage to be chopped in big chunks, then set it aside.

Add in your soy sauce, salt and pepper. Slow cook for about 4 – 5 hours.

Add in only the cabbage when your meat is tender, this is to avoid it to become way to soggy. let is simmer until it becomes soft. Now your soup is ready to be served with a warm cup of rice!

piping hot soup perfect for a rainy day!

Extra Cheesy Muffins

CHEESY!!!

Who doesn’t love cheese?? Being a cheese lover, I always try to incorporate cheese in every possible ways. So here I am sharing with you a cheesy muffin recipe. And yes, my family loves it! My niece who just stopped by to visit me also cannot resist my muffins in-spite of her on dieting mode. It is so good you would definitely won’t just stop for one.

Ingredients

  • 265g sifted cake flour
  • 11g sifted baking powder
  • 113g fine white sugar
  • 125g melted butter
  • 196g condensed milk
  • 124g eggs
  • 20g cheddar cheese powder (optional)
  • 27g parmesan
  • 120g grated cheddar

The nice thing about making muffins is that you do not need a mixer. You just simply mix everything then bake and that’s it!

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degree celsius
  • Sift your dry ingredients which are the flour, baking powder and cheese powder together . I bought my cheese powder at iherb.com, set aside
  • Mix your melted butter, eggs and condensed milk. Make sure all are incorporated well. Slowly mix in your dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
  • Add in your parmesan and 60g of grated cheddar, the remaining 60g are to be used as toppings.
  • Scoop the batter into your muffin liners, about 3/4 full. Topped it with some grated cheese.
  • Bake it for about 18-20 minutes.
Nom Nom!!

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Jalapeño Dubliner Sourdough

Ever since I learnt to make sourdough, I have been addicted to it. Through trail and error, I have been making and testing different combinations and flavours to achieve the perfect sourdough. Today I’ve decided to blog it out and share my recipes with you.

Ingredients

  • 255g Bob Mill Artisan Bread Flour
  • 195g water
  • 5g Salt
  • 6g oil
  • 90g levain (fed 10g of mother starter, 40g flour, 40g of distilled water)
  • 150g shredded dubliner + 50g shredded dubliner for the toppings
  • Jalapeno
  • Jalapeno and garlic seasoning (optional, or you may add in roasted minced garlic)

Autolyse the flour and water overnight for 12 hours at my counter table at 28 degrees Celsius. Add in the levain, and incorporate it well into the autolysed mixture. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Add in the oil and salt, ensuring that everything is incorporated well. Cover and set aside the mixture for an hour. I did 2x of stretch and fold with an hour of interval. Then I went out and was not back after 3 hours, hence the timing between my second and third stretch and fold was a bit longer. When I came back, I took out my dough, sprayed some water on my table and stretched out the four sides of the dough, spreading over it around 150g of shredded dubliner and sprinkling 2 TBS of jalapeño and garlic seasoning. Fold it in and shape into the banneton and cover, let it rest for about an hour at 25 degrees Celsius before keeping it into the refrigerator. I leave it there overnight for about 12 hours.

I preheated my cast iron to 300 degree celsius in the oven, the brought it down to 250 degrees Celsius to bake for the first 20 minutes with steam. I did this immediately after I took it out from the fridge. After 20 minutes, lower down the temperature to 200 degree Celsius. Took out the bread and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top then add in the chopped Jalapeño. Bake the bread for another 20 minutes.

hmmm the aroma!
See the oven spring?
yummy yummy !
Say no to diet!!

I decided to indulge myself a little by toasting it with mozzarella and beef salami. Whoops! There goes my diet!

Eggplant With Minced Beef

Delicious!

This is a memorable dish that my mom would often would cook for my family when I was a kid. However she would use pork instead of beef. It is a very simple dish yet incredibly flavourful. It easily became one of my favourite dishes and is now even one of my children’s favourites too!

Ingredient

  • 2 big eggplants
  • 350 grams of minced beef
  • 4 TBS minced garlic (you can add more for more garlicky flavour)
  • 1 TBS of oyster Sauce
  • 1 TSP of cooking wine
  • 4 TBS of soy sauce ( I prefer FENGHE JiangQing soy sauce as it gives a more distinct umami flavour to my dishes. Another alternative with would be Knor seasoning or Maggi seasoning soy sauce)

First, boil your eggplants until they become tender. I prefer to boil it first before frying as the eggplant can absorb a lot of oil. When boiling ensure that your eggplants are fully submerged, this will prevent it from oxidising which causes it to darken in colour. I use a weighted bowl to hold down the eggplants as they boil so that they don’t float. After boiling, set aside the eggplant.

Prepare your heated wok. Drizzle 2 Tbs of oil and sauté your minced beef. Add 1 tsp of cooking wine, 1 TBS oyster sauce and 4 TBS of minced garlic. Sauté until cooked then set it aside.

Using the same wok, drizzle 3 TBS of oil, lay all your eggplants flat onto the wok. Then evenly spread out your minced beef over your eggplant, drizzling 4 TBS of soy sauce on it, then pour your beaten egg on top. Cover your wok for about 2-3 minutes.

Now your dish is ready to be served with a generous serving steaming white rice! Enjoy!