Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ban Guan Kueh / Soon Kueh

Ah yes, I have finally decided to blog about this Kueh recipe. There has been so many requests for it and because of so many reasons (shan't go there), I held back. Anyway, today's the day I share with all my readers my all time favorite kueh...Ban Guan Kueh...or Soon Kueh?
Frankly speaking, up till now, I am still a little puzzled over the name of this delicious savory kueh. So is it Ban Guan Kueh or is it Soon Kueh? Technically speaking, Ban Guan is jicama in Hokkien. And in this recipe, I used only jicama and no bamboo shoot which is "Soon" in Hokkien. In Chinese, known as "竹笋".So if you ask me...I really don't know haha! Perhaps someone that is reading this, whom also is a kueh "expert" for that matter, can enlighten me on this matter. ;) 

In all else, let's just get to the juicy part shall we? The recipe of course! I have tried so many different recipe and I finally come to one that I can say it works perfectly. All thanks to Anges Chang's book "Anges Chang's Hawker's Delight" which I believe Singapore bookshops have already stopped selling this book. *bummer right* One of her vegetable dumpling recipe uses this kueh skin which looks pretty close to a soon kueh skin. I tried, it turned out great and the rest is history! Anyway, I did minor changes to it and so here is my version:

Ban Guan / Soon kueh (makes about 20-23 kuehs)
Kueh Filling:
800-1kg jicama, peeled and shredded
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked till soften, sliced to thin strips
4 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water till soften, roughly chopped
3 garlic gloves, minced
5 shallots, chopped small

3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water (thickening agent)

Kueh Skin:
300g wheat starch (蒸面粉)
200g starch flour (aka Tapioca flour)
100g rice flour
1 tsp salt
825ml boiling water
4 tbsp shortening (those white vegetable shortening, can get in NTUC bakery section)

Some cooking oil and brush to coat the kuehs before and after cooking it
  • First we prep the filling: In a wok, heat up 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium low fire. Add in the minced garlic and chopped shallots, cook till fragrant.
  • Add the chopped dried shrimp and sliced shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for a good 3-5 minutes till the mixture is aromatic and slightly brown.
  • Add in the shredded jicama and seasoning, stir fry to mix well. Cover and cook till the jicama is soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Lastly mix the corn starch and water together and add into the jicama mixture. This will thicken the whole filling.
  • Scoop out the filling and let cool completely before use.
  • Next you make the skin: In a large mixing bowl, add in all three flours and salt. Next you carefully add in the boiling water.
  • Gently but work rather quickly, stir the whole mixture together (you can use the mixer) till it is all combined.
  • Add in the shortening and again mix well. Let mixture cool down before working with it.
  • Prepare the steamer before you start working on wrapping the kuehs. 
  • If you prefer, you can weigh out the skin portion by portion of about 70g each. Or you can
    just eye balled it. Because once you wrap, you will need to trim the sides to make it neater.
  • Roll out that skin dough portion into a flat round, then scoop about a heaping tablespoon of the filling on top, fold the skin and seal the sides. Give the kueh a good brush of cooking oil to prevent it from sticking.
  • Next is just repetitive work, roll, scoop, wrap ...repeat till all the filling or skin dough is used up. 
  • Steam in the steamer at medium fire for a good 10 minutes. Remove and brush with some cooking oil. Repeat till all have been steamed.
  • Enjoy the kueh while still warm with lots of sweet dark sauce and chilli! Yum :9

This is just one of those comfort meals that I think I will never ever get tired of. Brings back the good memories and nostalgic feelings. :)
So when was the last time you have a warm Soon Kueh? Been awhile? I guess it is time for you to get to work and make some for yourself and love ones! :D

Have a great day ahead all and Happy cooking!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chicken Curry Mee

Wow, I am surprise that I am blogging two days in a row! Haha! The fact of the matter is I really love this recipe so I have to record it down on my blog before it's gone. :P What recipe? A comforting spicy dish that every household should have... Chicken Curry ...with noodles! Yeah Chicken Curry Mee. I am sure many of us have seen and tasted it before, be it Penang style or local Singapore style, everyone has their own rendition. Well, so long as it taste good, that's all that matters right? ;) 

Plus the change of weather lately, having this on rainy nights is just so shiok!
Oh man, when I cooked this, I seriously didn't think it will turn out so good. :D It's like striking a jackpot! Lol! Anyway, the whole family loved it, even my kids who can't really take spicy food! Yay!

Okay! Let's get cooking! Here are ingredients we need for this yummeh curry mee. :9
Oopsie, I missed out the Sing Long Chilli Sauce in this ingredients photo. :P Anyway, you can click on the name to see how it looks like. :)

Recipe for Chicken Curry Mee (Serves 3-4)
Curry paste:
6 garlic gloves
5 shallots
1 large red onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
  • Blend everything together till smooth. Set aside for use later.
1.5 kg Chicken, cut into smaller pieces
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised with the back knife
3" thick young ginger, sliced thinly
4-5 Kaffir Lime leafs
1 package (200ml) coconut cream/milk
300 ml water 
1 tsp chicken seasoning
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 pandan leafs
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
5 fried beancurd (dao pok), sliced smaller
5-8 large shrimps, peeled and devined
1 pack of egg noodles
1 Japanese cucumber, julienned
Salt, sugar to taste
  • In a large bowl, place the cut chicken pieces in. Add in the paste and mix in so that all the chicken pieces are coated with the paste (as seen above). Let it marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  • Next in a heavy cooking pot, add 2 tsp of cooking oil over medium low fire. Add in lemongrass, young ginger and kaffir lime leafs. Cook for a couple minutes until aromatic.

  • Next add in the marinated chicken pieces in paste. Cook at medium fire for 5 minutes till most of the chicken has turned opaque.
  • Add in water, chicken seasoning, coconut milk and ketchup. Give it a stir and let it boil. Add in pandan leafs, salt and sugar.
  • Next add in cubed potatoes, fried beancurd and give it a good stir. Let it come to a boil, then reduce the fire to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, parboil the egg noodles in a pot of boiling water. Drain and divide the noodles in serving plates.
  • Taste test the curry and add more water if needed if there is not enough gravy. Ladle chicken pieces and gravy over egg noodles and top it with some julienned cucumber. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 
I am just glad I cooked this, and more glad I posted this. Will definitely cook this dish again. :9 You can change to serving this with baguette or bee hoon...which ever you fancy. ;) Most importantly, cook your yummy curry mee and eat it too! Enjoy!

Have a good night all!