The Cook Book Challenge – Week 17 : Vietnamese

Week 17 : Vietnamese

Recipe :  Xoi Nuoc Dir A (Steamed Sticky Rice in Coconut Cream)
Cook Book : Asia.  The Beautiful Cookbook

I have plenty of Asian cookbooks simply because I love Asian cuisine.  For this week’s theme, I was going to use Luke Ngyuen’s Song of Sapa.  However, I knew nearly everyone has a copy of that book.
I found this recipe in a cookbook that I bought my mum years ago.  It even has made it’s way to and from the Philippines a couple of times, but for now, I’ve got it on permanent “loan”.
I was keen to try this recipe for a couple of reasons. I love rice and I love coconut cream.  I love the texture and the flavour of this dish, however I wasn’t in love with the way it was chilled.  I think I would’ve preferred this dish warm.  If I attempt this dish again, I will make it a warm dish, like an Asian rice pudding.
  • 315g short grain glutinous rice
  • 1 tbl salt
  • 875ml thin coconut milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • young banana leaves
  • oil
  • Sauce Recipe
  • 125g palm sugar
  • 180ml water
  • 375 thick coconut milk
  1. Rinse the rice in cold water twice
  2. Place in a saucepan with the salt and thin coconut milk
  3. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down. Simmer till the rice turns into a thick paste
  4. Cool to lukewarm, then quickly stir in the beaten eggs
  5. Place a banana leaf at the bottom of 4 one cup capacity ramekin dishes and brush with the oil
  6. Spread the rice over the leaf, then cover with another piece of oiled leaf. Oiled side down
  7. Place the dish on a rack in a steamer and steam till firm
  8. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  9. Combine the palm sugar and water in a small saucepan and gently simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool
  10. To serve, turn out of the dish into the serving plate. Add a little palm sugar syrup and coconut cream.

Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 16 : Noodles

Week 16 : Noodles
Recipe :  Noodle salad with crispy tofu
Cook Book : Off the shelf – cooking from the pantry by Donna Hay
I have collected a few Donna Hay books along the way.  She has quick easy recipe ideas that you can make during the week or a busy weekend.
I have quite a few cook books that have noodle recipes.  Probably because I have a lot of Asian cook books.  I decided on this noodle salad with crispy tofu because of a number of reasons.  Firstly, It was a weekday and I just finished a busy shift at the shop so I needed something quick and easy, as well as tasty.  Secondly, I was looking for a vegetarian dish.  We have been having lots of meat and needed change it up a little and finally, I had most ingredients in my pantry and fridge.
I changed the recipe a bit (as I usually do).  With salads, it’s easy to change to suit your taste.  Instead of going for plain tofu, I opted for satay marinated ones. I thought it would go perfectly as there were peanuts in the salad.  Speaking of peanuts, I found some nice hot chilli roasted peanuts, which went perfectly.  The dressing was changed too.  I found that the amount of sesame oil in the recipe was too much.  The smell and taste was too strong and that was all I could taste, so I added more lemon juice and soy sauce.  I’ve adjusted the recipe below.
Hubby and I enjoyed this salad.  It was perfect for a warm day.  It was fresh and had layers of different colours and textures.
  • 400g egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 375g firm tofu, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise
  • dressing -
  • 1/2 tbl sesame oil
  • 3 tbl soy sauce
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish
  1. Follow instructions on how to cook the noodles on the packet
  2. Heat frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and fry the tofu until crisp (about 5 minutes). Drain.
  3. Make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients.
  4. To serve, toss the noodles with the tofu, carrots, peanuts and dressing. Place the cucumber on serving plates and top the the salad.
  5. Garnish with the coriander and more peanuts.

Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 15 : Muffins

Week 15 : Muffin
Recipe :  English Muffin
Cook Book : The big book of Bread by Anne Sheasby

So, this week’s theme is muffins.  I looked through all my cook books and there were some amazing flavour combinations both sweet and savoury.  It was hard to decided.  I wanted to make something that challenged me and something I haven’t tried before.  Then I saw a recipe for English Muffins.  I love baking bread and take on any opportunity to practise.
This recipe seems like most bread recipes.  However when it came to actually baking the bread, the instruction was not to bake but to cook on top of the stove on a griddle.  I was a bit a apprehensive about that method.  I didn’t want to get to this point of my muffins and then totally ruin it.  I, therefore, decided to just place in hot oven and it totally worked. Maybe one day, Ill make this again and try cooking it in a griddle pan.

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 easy blend dried yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 55g melted butter
  • 150ml warm milk
  • about 150ml warm water
  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  1. Generously flour a large baking sheet and set aside. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre, then add the melted butter, milk and enough water, mixing to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic. About 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. It could take about 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Knock back the air in the dough then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a circle, and roll it to about 1-2cm thick. Place on baking sheet, cover and leave to rise again for 30-40 minutes or until springy to the touch.
  4. Preheat oven to 230c.
  5. Bake towards top of the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn over and bake further 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. To serve, when fresh, spread with butter and your favourite topping. When cold, slice in half and then toast both sides and then spread with topping.

Bon Appetite,


The Cook Book Challenge – Week 14 : Japanese

Week 14 : Japanese
Recipe : Matcha Chiffon Cake
Cook Book :  New Tastes in Green Tea by Matsuko Tokunaga

I know technically a chiffon cake is not traditionally Japenese but I saw this week’s theme and I thought of Matcha green tea. Matcha is a Japanese green tea which is traditionally used in Tea Ceremonies but is now more commonly used as a flavouring ingredient in sweets.

I bought this book last year because of the different ice tea flavour ideas and for the different ways tea can be used as an ingredient.  I’ve had my eye on the Green tea chiffon cake for a while.  Today was the perfect time to bake it.  I have never used tea as an ingredient before and I was looking forward to baking this.  Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo below, it didn’t turn out as green as I hoped for and it didn’t rise much.  Contrary to that, though, the green tea flavour was definitely present and the cake turned out to be very airy and soft.  I am still happy with the outcome.
  • 115 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp matcha
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tbls vegetable oil
  • 1/3 water
  • 4 egg whites
  1. Preheat oven to 170c
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and matcha.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg yolks and beat until the mixture turns pale in colour. Add the oil and water and mix.
  4. Gradually add the sifted flour to the mixture and lightly mix.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and slowly add remaining sugar. Continue beating until peaks form.
  6. Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Fold the rest of the egg whites in, stirring carefully.
  8. Pour batter into an angel cake tin.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Place the pan upside down and let it cool completely.
  11. Can be served with fresh whipped cream.

Bon Appetite,