Thursday, August 27, 2015

[Recipe] Chinese Rojak Dipping Sauce and Where To Get That DriedCuttlefish

If you love the flavors from our Singapore rojak sauce, and you have never tried making it at home, maybe it's about time!

However, before I go on with the easy peasy recipe, I would like to share the story of my hunt for dried cuttlefish to panggang (grill), you know, those that you find at the Chinese rojak stalls and served with you char kway (Chinese cruller or fried dough stick). So I did an internet search for it and found out a very likely source that may be selling it. 

Off I went in search for Chai Wee Cuttlefish, located at Blk 335 Smith Street, #02-65, Chinatown Complex (the shop is within the hawker centre) But I was disappointed that even though they sell freshly made caramelized, crispy cuttlefish snack, they were not allowed to sell me the dried ones. Though through the kind lady boss, she directed me to their supplier that would be able to sell me some. Funnily, I was really excited!

The very yummy crispy cuttlefish by Chai Wee Cuttlefish. Go support them!
Finally, I got my hands on the dried cuttlefish at Tungsan Food Industries. Because they are one of the major food suppliers' for hawkers and restaurants, I had to buy the cuttlefish in a BIG PACK of 1kg, no less. It costs $48, if I remember correctly. And no lah, I can't possibly finish this pack alone! I will be sharing some portions with friends and hopefully share some pungent smelling good time at a BBQ gathering soon. 

*Psst by the way, it takes about a minute to grill the cuttlefish to crisp in oven at a 180 degree setting. Leave the oven door slightly ajar while doing so else it may create a lot of smoke in the oven.

It's a lot of dried cuttlefish in here! Good thing I can keep it refrigerated.

You can find their retail branches and drool over what they sell at :

Ang Mo Kio Branch
Blk 554 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10
Singapore 560554

Bedok Branch
Blk 539A Bedok North Street 3
Singapore 461539

Ok I shan't go on about my cuttlefish shopping adventure! Here's the simple recipe you can make for your rojak dip if you are ever craving for some at home.

(Yields about 3/4 rice bowl portion)

Ingredients for sauce :
- 3 tbsp hei gor (shrimp paste)
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 4 tbsp water (to boil tamarind with)
- 1 juiced calamansi lime
- 3 tsp sugar (or more if the sauce is too salty to your liking)
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or more if you like it spicier)
- 2 tbsp ground peanuts

Method :
- cook the tamarind paste with water for a few minutes. Set aside to cool. We will be using just the tamarind juice so do sift out the seeds.
- Scoop the hei gor into a large bowl, add chilli powder and sugar.
- Add the tamarind juice in halve portion first and do a test taste. Mix well and adjust to your liking.
- Squeeze the lime into the mixture and add the crushed peanuts. Continue to mix. The dipping sauce consistency should be just a little bit runny. Transfer to serving bowl.
- Top the sauce off with more ground peanuts before serving.

We have chosen our favorite ingredients here to dip with the rojak sauce - cucumber, mang kwang (turnip), you char kway and of course, the grilled cuttlefish. Other popular ingredients to dip with are grilled tau pok (beancurd puffs) stuffed with bean sprouts and cucumber, jambu (water apple), pineapple and even green mangoes. These would surely whet your appetite!


Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Current Obsession with Felt

This is for sale HERE
If you follow me on instagram or Adeline's Loft facebook page, you would probably notice a flood of photos on felt creations that I have been making recently. Somehow, I feel that working with felt has allowed me to explore and unleash my truest-to-the-true creative juices... in an artistic kind of way. Truth be told, I find that it gives me immense gratification when I see my ideas come to life. And I can't seem to stop making them for now!

This is for sale HERE

Felt, if you look around at craft shops, is not an expensive material to work with. Having made quite a number of felt creations already, apart from getting sparked with ideas, I think the only factor that I will attribute to it's "complexity" in completing a piece is the time I spend on each creation. Hence, it also explains why it may cost a little more. These days, I need to draw out my ideas and see if it is a feasible design to work. Thereafter, I would need to draw a template of the designs before I cut the shapes out from the felt. I just love the flexibility of creating a shape (any shape!) out of a plain material and thereafter adorning it with beads to make it different from the norm.

This is for sale HERE
Apart from the drawing and cutting of material, the step that takes up the most time would be putting the pieces of felt together and lovingly hand stitched. Each completed creation is bound by 2 pieces (front and back), double stitched on the edges so that it can hold up the shape nicely and not just a floppy single piece of felt. In the case of this birdie pendant necklace above, it is stuffed with cotton wool for a three dimensional finish.

This is for sale HERE

Wearing a felt based jewelry is all about having fun while sprucing up your outfits, in a very artistic kind of way. It can be bold like the red one above, which is truly a stunning piece I have ever made. (Yes, I love it very much actually!) Or even sweet subtler pieces like this patchwork style bib necklace I have recently been commissioned to make :

This is NOT for sale. However, you can commission a similar style from me.
I am still very excited about what else I can do with felt and am very sure you will see more designs very soon. If you are inspired by my work and perhaps considering a custom made jewelry anytime soon, do drop me a message and follow me on my facebook page for updates too!

If you like any of the felt pieces you see on this post that is for sale at my facebook page, you will be happy to know that I am offering a very special one time 10% discount off the published price. Only while it lasts! And remember that these are all one-of-a-kind creations so there will never be one that will look entirely the same in the world.

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

[Recipe] Braised Yong Tau Foo in Bean Paste Sauce

This dish is one of my favorite childhood dishes. If I remember correctly, it was almost considered a luxury when my mum cooked this for us. Servings were always not enough but it was good that we got to drizzle the sauce on the rice. Who can forget the taste of mum's cooking? It's so very simple and  filled with lots of love which warmed our hearts!

Quite naturally, this has become one of our family's favorite dishes too! Yong tau foo is inexpensive and it didn't even cost any more than S$8 to cook this for dinner. Comfort food has never been better.

One thing about this yong tau foo dish is that there's no restriction to what type of yong tau foo to use. Choose those that you and your family like to eat. This recipe served 4 of us. Just in case you want to know the portioning of yong tau foo I put in mine, here's what I bought :

- 1 packet of fresh fishballs (about 10 pcs)
- 1 packet of fish dumplings or herh kiao (about 10 pcs)
- 4 pcs of triangular tau pok (fried beancurd puffs) with fish paste filling
- 6 pcs of tau key (beancurd skin) with fish paste filling
- 2 pcs of bittergourd with fish paste filling
- 1 green chilli with fish paste filling
Here's other ingredients you need :
- a bunch of chinese parsley, cut to pieces (the more the merrier for me!)
- a few stalks of spring onions, cut to pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp of sugar (I use brown ones for my cooking)
- 1 tbsp of ground soy bean paste or tau cheo* (see picture below)

*do note that it is a fine paste.

Before I start cooking, I would cut the yong tau foo to bite sized pieces and then blanch them with hot water for about 5 minutes minutes so that it's partially cooked. This helps to ensure that the fish paste will be thoroughly cooked through during the cooking process and it also helps lessen cooking time. Also, set aside about 3/4 cup of the water that you use to blanch the yong tau foo for the sauce.

Method : 
- Heat up your pan with about a tbsp of cooking oil, stir fry the garlic with the bean paste till fragrant.
- Add the yong tau foo and stir fry them for about a minute.
-  Then add the water and sugar, cover the pan to let it simmer for about another 2 minutes.
- Do a quick taste of the sauce here, if it's too salty for your liking, add more water. 
- Lastly, add the parsley and spring onions. Give it a good few seconds stir before turning off the fire.
- Serve and enjoy!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!


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