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Asian Treats

In Asian Treats, Recipe on
November 11, 2014

Black sesame coconut mochi

I’m not really the forgetful type, so when there’s something that I just can’t seem to remember, no matter how hard I try, it really bugs me. Most of the time, if I think about it long enough, I eventually do remember it, but then there’s times when it never comes to me. Like these mochi- not that it’s important, but I can’t seem to remember where I used to have mochi as a kig! Was it yum cha? Was it from a bakery? Was it home made? All possible but still no closer to remembering.

It’s not something I had often as a kid, and to be honest, the only memories I have of eating any type of mochi are the frozen sort that we used to buy from the 7-eleven downstairs from my grandma’s place in HK when we used to visit. Infact, it was those mochi balls that inspired me to make (ice cream) mochi for the first time years ago.

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In Asian Treats, Recipe on
October 6, 2014

Steamed Tapioca Layer Cakes (Banh Da Lon)

We used to buy these steamed cakes from the Asian supermarket every once in a while- they were always cleverly placed near the checkouts so that whilst we were waiting in line, we’d be tempted by the bright colours of the many varieties available. My parents liked buying the nice round ones with red bean, but I liked the off cuts because it tasted the same, but you’d get a lot more than with the nicely shaped ones. They were always soft and chewy (unless we kept them for too long) with a fragrant pandan coconut taste but one packet was never quite enough for our family of four!

It took me a while, but I eventually managed to find the name of these cakes, and a recipe too! 🙂 Turns out they’re Vietnamese (although there’s Indonesian/Malaysian versions as well, they’re just not quite the same as the ones I used to have), and are made of tapioca, which gives them the nice chewy texture.

As I had all the ingredients in the pantry, and the method was quite simple (i.e. mix everything together and steam), I got to work quickly. There is a bit of skill involved in the layering- add the next layer too early and the two layers will mix, resulting in less defined layers (like my bottom later). Add the the next layer too late, and the layers will be too distinct and will peel off each other when cooled (like my top few layers).

To save time, I made mine all in a big pan and cut it into diamonds- they don’t look as impressive as the store-bought ones, but they tasted every bit as amazing! Only thing was they didn’t keep past a day, because they turned hard afterwards. It’s alright though- we could easily finish off the whole batch in one go next time anyway!

Steamed Tapioca Layer Cakes (Banh Da Lon) Recipe

1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
400mL coconut milk
1C water
2 cups tapioca starch/flour
1/2 cup Rice Flour
a few drops pandan essence

  1. In a sauce pan over low heat, dissolve sugar and salt in coconut milk and water. Let cool. In a large bowl, combine tapioca , rice flour and the coconut mixture. Stir well until dissolved. Divide the mixture into two bowls. In one of the bowls, pour a few drops of pandan essence to make a green batter.
  2. Grease a pan or mould with oil. I used a round cake tin.
  3. Fill pan with a layer of the green green mixture and steam until surface is dry, then add white mixture onto the green layer.
  4. Continue steaming until the white layer is dry (it will turn translucent) and then continue to add some green mixture to create another layer on top. Repeat this, with alternating colours until the mixtures are used up.
  5. Let cool completely and cut into pieces with a greased knife. It is best eaten within a day, but if you keep it longer and it goes hard, just put it in the microwave for a bit and it will soften again.

In Asian Treats, Recipe on
February 17, 2011

Honeycomb Crisps/Cookies (糖環)

It’s only just starting to hit me that the holidays are ending soon, and I might never have this much time to bum around again until the end of the year 🙁 So I’ve gotten off my lazy butt and started doing the things I had meant to do since I came back from holidays.

Just yesterday, I turned on the oven for the first time since I came back and baked a couple of pots of creme caramel -a recipe which I’ve made a billion times (but have yet to upload onto this blog) But then I went to watch a movie …….and completely forgot about it until a whole hour later (double the time they should have spent in the oven). Strangely enough, they turned out to be the best batch I’ve ever made- almost perfectly smooth and silky (perhaps because my electric oven is a lot cooler than my gas one which I usually use?)

So yes, I’ve officially re-entered baking land and have started going through all those recipes I’ve bookmarked over the last couple of months (most of which I’d completely forgotten about). Meanwhile, here’s another chinese new year snack we made a while ago. I’m not quite sure how to name them but they’re basically a sweet coconutty batter (sort of like a pancake batter)deep fried until crispy- and they’re terribly addictive too!

To make, these, you need a special mould (like the one in the instructions on this site). I’m not sure whether you can buy them in Australia… We bought ours in Hong Kong- we’re buying one or two different moulds everytime we go to there now and are slowly building up our ‘special mould’ collection 🙂 So I might have a few interesting Asian snacks up on this blog soon!(egg waffles anyone?)

Coconut Sweet Rings (糖環)

140g plain flour

140g cornflour
3 eggs
140g sugar
1 cup each of coconut milk and evaporated milk, mixed

1. Beat the sugar and the ggs until fluffy
2. Add flour and mized milk in batches alternately to the egg mixture. This should be done in 4 additions (beat thoroughly after each addition). Set aside for 1 hour.
3. Heat oil (to deep fry) to meadium heat. Place mould in the oil for a few seconds (until hot) and then remove from oil.
4. Coat mould with flour mixture carefully (dip the mould into the batter)
5. Place the mould in the hot oil. The cooked rings will separate from the mould after frying (we used chopsticks to help them off). Deep fry until golden brown. Drain well and place in an airtight container when cold- they should keep for 1-2 months.
Note: If the oil is too hot, the rings will become brown really quickly and not shape well


In Asian Treats, Recipe on
February 9, 2011

Chinese New Year Snacks ….

I’m back!

So. I realise I’ve been gone for quite a while now, half because of holidays but mainly because of reasons associated with laziness, but let’s not worry about that now 🙂

Well, since it’s a little past chinese new year, and I have so much time on my hands right now before uni, I got a chance to try out a couple of Chinese new year snack recipes! We make these fried pastries almost every year but this is really the first time we’ve come close to success- perhaps because of the recipe or because of experience. In chinese, they’re called 角仔, which litterally translates into ‘litle horns’ because of their shape but are actually pastries filled with a sweet peanutt-y filling.

I’m pretty terrible at pleating the dough though- mine all turn out more ike a child’s first attempt at pleating dumplings than anything (the ones in the photos are probably my mum’s ) but it’s still fun getting my hands all oily and sugary 🙂


New Year Crispy Triangles (角仔)

(as named by the chinese cookbook I got the recipe from)

640g flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup lard (I replaced with butter)
125g water

320g fried shelled peanuts (I’m not quite sure what that means- I just used plain peanuts)
80g fried white sesame seeds (we used plain white sesame)
240g white sugar
2 Tbs desiccated coconut
(I doubled this becuase I like coconut)

1. Grind peanut and mix with sesame, sugar and coconut to form filling
2. Sieve flour onto tabletop and make a well in the middle
3. Add eggs and lard and mix. Gradually pour in water, kneading at the same time until a soft dough is formed
4. Cover with damp cloth and set aside for 30 minutes
5. Roll dough out with a rolling pin and cut rounds with a saucer (we used a cup). Wrap in filling and fold edges in a zigzag pattern.
6. Deep fry on low heat until golden brown and the pastries float to the top (about 8-10 minutes although I’m pretty sure ours didn’t take that long…..)