Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese Cheesecake is known as a fluffy, light and creamy cheesecake.   There are different versions of recipes you can find on the internet.  I chose this recipe because it looks easy to make.   I baked the Japanese Cheesecake for the first time today, and it turned out exactly as described. I think this is going to be my favorite cheesecake recipe.

Japanese Cheesecake
Adapted from food.com

250g or 8 oz. cream cheese - I used microwave to soften it a little bit
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup icing sugar
3 eggs – separated
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons jam – I used Apricot
½ tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese and milk until smooth.
  4. Add half of the sugar, egg yolks, corn starch, lemon juice and continue beating until smooth again.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.
  6. Add the remaining sugar and cream of tartar to the foamy egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
  7. Gradually fold egg white mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
  8. Pour into the cake pan and smooth the surface.
  9. Place cake pan into a larger roasting pan fill with water – half way up the side of the cake pan.
  10. Bake 35-40 minutes.
For the glazing, mix jam and water together in a small microwavable bowl.   Microwave it for a few seconds.
Spread the glaze on top of the cake after it cools off.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shrimp-stuffed Bell Peppers

Shrimp-stuffed peppers is one of the dim sum dishes served in some Chinese restaurants.   Green pepper is the most commonly used bell pepper.  In my recipe, a bell pepper is cut into eight pieces.  The easiest way to do this is to trim off 1/4"  of the top, pull out the seeds and clean the inside. Then cut the bell pepper into quarters lengthwise and cut each quarter piece in half crosswise. Using a green pepper like the restaurants makes this dish look so ordinary, so I go with orange, yellow and red bell peppers.  With all these bright colors on a white plate, it sure makes the bell peppers stand out.  Since I only need eight pieces,  I save the remaining pieces of the bell peppers for other uses.

You can serve this dish as an appetizer.

Shrimp stuffing
1 bell pepper - cut into eight pieces
250g or 8oz. shrimp - peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch salt and pepper
Parsley & chives
Two tablespoons of oil for pan-frying the bell peppers
Rubbing a little bit of corn starch on each piece of the peppers.  

1 teaspoon oil
1 garlic clove -minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/3 cup water

  1. Put shrimp, corn starch, salt and pepper in a food processor and give a few pulses.  Don't over do it.  Just a light chop would be good enough.  
  2. Lightly rub some corn starch on the inside of the bell peppers. This procedure is to prevent the shrimp paste from falling off when pan-frying the bell peppers.  Don't put too much as the corn starch coating may not be cooked completely if the layer is too thick.  
  3. Spread the shrimp paste on the peppers.  
  4. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a flat pan over medium heat.  
  5. Put the peppers in the oil with the shrimp paste side down for a few minutes.  Then flip and pan fry the other side for another few minutes.  Do this a couple more times or until the shrimp paste is completely cooked.  Place them on a serving plate with the shrimp paste facing up.  
  1. In a bowl, mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, corn starch and water together.  
  2. Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a saucepan over low heat.  Saute garlic in the oil.  
  3. Add the corn starch mixture to the saucepan and cook until thickened.  Make sure the corn starch is all dissolved before pouring the mixture.  
  4. Remove from heat.  Pour the sauce over the stuffed-peppers.  Sprinkle some parsley, chives and serve.  Double the sauce recipe if you want to have more sauce.
Makes eight pieces.  2 servings. 

A thin layer of corn starch inside the peppers 

 Shrimp paste on the peppers

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chinese Cabbage in Mushroom and Prosciutto Cream Sauce

As you may know, Chinese cabbage is a firm-headed vegetable and the leaves are tightly wrapped.  It can easily be found in many supermarkets.   

When you go to a Northern Chinese restaurant, you may find a dish called ‘Chinese Cabbage in cream sauce’ on their menus.  Ham is mostly added to the cream sauce.  For me, I like to use shredded prosciutto instead of ham.  The saltiness of the prosciutto truly brings out the sweetness of the Chinese cabbage.  The cream sauce also adds a rich flavour to the whole dish.  I don't chop up the cabbage, but only cut it in half or in quarters lengthwise before I boil it.


Chinese Cabbage
1 lb Chinese cabbage – cut in half or quarters lengthwise
1 tablespoon salt 
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Mushroom Cream Sauce
4 mushrooms - sliced
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup cream – substituting milk if you are health conscious
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
¼ cup prosciutto - shredded
Pinch salt and pepper
¼ cup green onion - chopped


Chinese Cabbage
  1. Put the Chinese cabbage in a large pot of boiling water.  Add salt, oil and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat until tender. 
  2. Remove the Chinese cabbage from the water.  Drain it as much as possible before putting it on a serving plate.  Trim off the tip of the head so that the leaves become detached.  Cut the leaves into a few parts.  Set aside.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat.  Add mushrooms and sauté until tender.  Add flour and stir slightly.  Then add cream and chicken broth and stir until thickened.    Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.
  2. Add prosciutto to the cream sauce and pour it over the cooked cabbage.  
  3. Sprinkle green onion on top and serve immediately.
 Makes 3 to 4 servings

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fried Calamari

We order fried calamari once in a while when we go to a restaurant.  Because of the high levels of cholesterol in squid, I am not so keen on making it at home.   

Yesterday I felt that I had an urge to make it, thinking that treating ourselves occasionally with something that is not considered healthy shouldn't hurt.  So I looked up recipes of fried calamari on the internet and noticed that most of them are quite similar.  The basic ingredients are flour, salt and pepper.  I decided to go with the one from Giada De Laurentiis on the Foodnetwork channel.   I made my own dipping sauce, simply a mixture of 1 tablespoon of mayo and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. For a bit more flavor, I also added some dried parsley and chives to the dipping sauce.

Fried Calamari
Adapted from Food network: Giada De Laurentiis

1 lb clean squid cut into 1/3”to ½” thick ring
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Pinch salt and black pepper
2 lemons, cut into wedges – I didn’t serve with lemons
Marinara sauce – I made a different dipping sauce.

  1. Pour enough oil into a large saucepan.  Heat over medium heat to 350ºF. 
  2. Mix flour, parsley, salt and black pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Working in small batches, toss the squid into the flour mixture to coat.
  4. Add the squid to the oil and fry until crisp, about 1 minute per batch.   
  5. Transfer the fried calamari to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
  6. Place the fried calamari on a serving plate.
  7. Sprinkle with salt.
  8. Serve with dipping sauce.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salmon Fish Soup

I went to the supermarket today.  As I walked pass the seafood section, a lady who works there asked me if I wanted any salmon bones.  I know her quite well as I always go there and check on their seafood.  Since I never bought salmon bones before, I didn’t know what I should use them for.    The lady suggested that I could use them to make soup.  Well, I thought that was a good idea.  So I took the fish bones home and came up with a recipe immediately.   Remember one time my sister-in-law told me that she always uses V8 original juice to make spaghetti sauce.  So I tried to use V8 as one of the ingredients to make my soup.

We had the soup at dinnertime.  It was delicious.  

2 lbs salmon fish bones
2 cups carrots - chopped
1 onion – chopped
6 garlice cloves – chopped
3 green onions – cut into 3 sections
3 cups V8 original cocktail
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
5 basil leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 potato
Pinch parsley or green onions

Salmon fish bones

Sauté garlic, onion and green onions


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add garlic, onion and green onions and sauté for about one minute. 
  3. Add salmon bones and continue to sauté.
  4. Add chicken broth, V8 original vegetable cocktail, water, basil and bay leaves and bring to boil. (Leave potato for later use)
  5. Then turn to minimum heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  6. Drain the fish soup by using a strainer.  Transfer to another pot. 
  7. Add potato into the soup and simmer for half an hour.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Sprinkle some parsley or chopped green onions and serve.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oysters in Curry and Coconut Cream Sauce

When I bought the oysters at the supermarket yesterday, I didn’t know how I was going to cook with them.  After looking through my refrigerator and pantry, I came up with a new recipe.  They turned out quite yummy, and my husband loved them.   The only thing I like to warn everyone is that the liquid inside the oysters may burst out, that may create a little mess or give you a little burn when you pan fry them in oil.  Make sure you don’t turn up the heat too high. 


6-7 large shucked oysters (BC oysters preferred)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
4 tablespoons oil

Curry and Coconut Cream sauce
1 cup sliced onion
8 tablespoons coconut cream
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 tablespoons chicken broth
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch – for thickening

Cilantro and sesame seeds for garnishing (Optional)

1 tablespoon oil for pan frying

Pan fry oysters

Sauté onion

Stir oysters in coconut cream sauce
  1. Fill a small pot about 3/4 full of water.  Bring to a boil. 
  2. Add oysters and boil for 2- 3 minutes over medium high heat.  Drain well.  Let oysters dry for half an hour. 
  3. For the coating, mix flour, corn starch, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Place oysters into the flour mixture and form a coating. 
  4. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. Drop oysters into the oil one at a time.  Pan fry until both sides are brown.  Remove from heat.  Set oysters aside.  Discard excess oil.
  5. Mix corn starch with coconut cream, curry powder, chicken broth and sugar until smooth.  Salt and pepper if desired.  
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a frying pan.  Sauté sliced onion for about one minute.  
  7. Add corn starch mixture to onion and stir slightly.
  8. Add oysters and stir gently for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on your preference. 
  9. Remove from heat. 
  10. Serve over rice.  
  11. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds on top. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carrot Pineapple Cream Cheese Muffins

If you are looking for a tasty carrot muffin recipe, this one is certainly not going to disappoint you.   The muffins are so yummy that you can be addicted to them.   Adding pineapple to the muffins surely increases the moisture.  The cream cheese filling also enhances the taste.   In terms of the sweetness,  I use less sugar in most of my baking including this recipe.
Hope everyone enjoys the muffins as much as I do.
I use giant cupcake liners.  Makes 12 muffins.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 oil
2 large eggs - room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple

Cream Cheese Filling
125g or 4 ozs cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg - room temperature


  1. Mix and sift the first five muffin ingredients.  Set aside
  2. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add oil, vanilla, grated carrots and crushed pineapple and beat for about half a minute.
  4. Add sifted dry ingredients to the mixture and beat until well mixed.
Cream cheese filling
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and continue beating until well mixed.
To finish muffins, spoon mixture into lined muffin pan until half full.  Place 1 tablespoon of 
cream cheese filling in the center.  

Top with more mixture until the cups are almost full.  

Finally, add one teaspoon of cream cheese filling on top 
and bake for 35 minutes or until brown.   

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mini Fruit Tarts

Do you ever want to impress your guests when you are hosting a party?  These mini fruit tarts will surely be the perfect treat for everyone.  Not only will the colorful presentations brighten your table, but the absolute delicious taste of the tarts will also make your event enjoyable.   

You need 1  24-cup mini muffin pan or 2  12-cup mini muffin pans.  Make 24 - 28 tarts.  

Tart shell Crust
1/2 cup butter - room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg - room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour

Chocolate chips - coating.

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon gelatin
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup water

Any desired fruits.  



  1. For crust, preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
  3. Add sugar, egg and flour and continue to beat until it forms a soft dough.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and divide into two parts. (I find it easier to handle if I divide the dough)
  5. Wrap each dough with plastic and roll into 1 1/2" in diameter.
  6. Refrigerate until dough is slightly firm.
  7. Cut the dough to about 1/2" thickness and drop each small dough into a mini muffin pan. Use fingers to press the dough firmly into each muffin cup and poke the bottom a couple of times with a fork.
  8. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until brown.
  9. Remove from oven, drop 4 to 5 chocolate chips into each crust shell immediately while the shells are hot.  Use a small spoon to spread the melted chocolate all around the shells to make a coating.
  10. Let cool.
Cut the dough to 1/2"thick

Place them into the cups

Use fingers to press the dough

Drop some chocolate chips in the shells once they
come out of the oven

Spread the chocolate to make a coating 

  1. Beat egg, sugar and flour together until smooth.
  2. In a saucepan, heat cream to a boil over medium heat.  
  3. Pour cream into egg mixture while beating at medium speed.
  4. Transfer mixture to saucepan. Heat over medium heat, use a quick motion to stir until custard is formed.  
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add vanilla and butter.  Stir until mixed.
  7. Let cool.   
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan.  
  2. Stir until slightly dissolved.  
  3. Add sugar and heat over medium heat. 
  4. Remove from heat when gelatin is dissolved.  
  5. Let cool for a little.
Spoon custard into the crust shells.  Decorate with fruits on top of custard.  Spoon or brush glaze over fruits.  Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Asian-style Fish Cakes

A food processor will surely come in handy if you are considering of making this dish.  You can choose any fish that you like for this recipe.   I normally use cod or snapper, but haddock or turbot should also work.  Make sure you don’t puree the fish. Just a quick mix or chop would be good enough.  I like to add water chestnuts as they can give the cakes a crunchy taste. Some fish may have a fishy taste, with the sweet and sour sauce on top when served will turn the fish cakes into a delicious dish.


1 lb cod fillet – cut into small pieces (approx. 1” wide)
½ cup flour
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
2 garlic cloves – chopped
¼ cup green onion – chopped
¼ cup onion –  chopped
¼ cup waterchestnut - chopped

2/3 cup Japanese bread crumbs for coating (regular bread crumbs would be fine)
2/3 cup oil for pan-frying

  1. Combine fish with flour, chicken broth, egg, 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper in processor.  Mix for 15 to 20 seconds at medium speed. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients of green onion, onion, garlic and water chestnuts and give a little pulse.  Fish paste will be created.
  3.  Form the paste into patties. to 2 to 3 inches in diameter and half an inch thick.  Drop them into bread crumbs to form a coating.  Should make about 6 patties.  
  4. Heat 2/3 cup of oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Place the patties in hot oil and fry them until golden brown.  You might have to reduce the heat to medium low if the bread crumbs turn brown too quickly, or to use a spatula to press down the patties while frying.  This way, the inside of the patties can be cooked faster.
  5. Remove from heat and serve with sweet and sour sauce.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons corn starch
4 teaspoons water

  1. Combine corn starch with water.  Stir until dissolved.
  2. Place the vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  
  3. Add corn starch mixture and stir quickly until sauce is thickened. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crabmeat Egg Foo Young

The way I make the Egg Foo Young is different from the traditional recipes.   My recipe is more like a scrambled egg rather than a pancake style.   I like to use fresh, cooked crabmeat if I can find live dungeon crabs at our local seafood markets.  It is certainly time consuming to remove meat from the crab shells after they are cooked, but when you think about the freshness that you can taste from the fresh crabmeat, you will agree that it’s worth it.   Using fresh bean sprouts is also another perfect idea for this recipe. Always buy crisp, bright-colored sprouts that look firm and fresh.  To retain the crunchiness when you stir-fry them, make sure you dry the bean sprouts thoroughly after wash.  Also, don’t overcook them as they have high-water content.  I would prefer to use high heat.  Because of the E-coli outbreak, bean sprouts should be cooked.   
This dish can stand on its own

Firm and crispy bean sprouts

For a traditional recipe, a sauce is served with the Egg Foo Young.  I like it without the sauce when I am using fresh crabmeat.  It is too overpowering when the sauce is added as it will destroy the taste of the crabmeat. 
If you like to serve it with the sauce,  here is the one that I would recommend:

1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup chicken broth - low sodium
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar

  1. Stir all the ingredients in a saucepan until smooth.
  2. Bring it to a boil while stirring over medium heat.   Cook until thick.
  3. Serve on the side of the egg foo young.

Egg Foo Young
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh cooked crabmeat
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup shredded green onion
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
4 tablespoons cooking oil
A few slices of tomatoes
Cilantro for garnishing

  1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan over high heat.  Add bean sprouts and stir fry for 25 to 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Set aside on a plate.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl.  Add ¼ teaspoon salt.  Use a fork to whisk gently.
  3. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in the pan over medium heat.  Pour in the beaten eggs. Stir quickly.  
  4. Add crabmeat before the eggs turn solid.  Stir fry a few seconds. 
  5. Add green onion and bean sprouts and continue to stir for another few seconds.  
  6. Add some black pepper.  
  7. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate when the eggs are done.
  8. Garnish with cilantro.  Put a few slices of tomatoes on the side of the dish.   Serve with rice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shrimp in Mayo Sauce with Peaches

This ‘Shrimp in Mayo Sauce with Peaches’ dish, which contains ingredients, such as condensed milk and mayo that don't seem so harmonized until you try it.  You will then agree that these two ingredients and shrimp work so well together.  Tossing with the mayo sauce, it doesn't ruin the crunchy coating of the shrimp at all.  The peaches also play a big role in this dish.  They add a fruity taste to it.  No wonder every time when I am in a Chinese restaurant, I frequently see customers order this dish.  I really enjoy this great recipe, and I have never failed with it.  

40 -41 raw shrimp  (size 41/50) - peeled & deveined 
1/2 cup canned sliced peaches - drained
1 cup oil for frying shrimp

Shrimp batter
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

Sweet mayo sauce
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons condensed milk
Mix well

Mix shrimp batter

Mix the Mayo sauce

Dip the shrimp into batter and fry

Put the shrimp on a lined paper towel

Put the fried shrimp into a flat pan over low heat
and toss in mayo sauce and peaches
  1. Dry shrimp with paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Mix all batter ingredients in a bowl with whisk or fork until smooth. 
  3. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat.
  4. Dip shrimp into batter and drop the coated shrimp into the hot oil one at a time over low heat.  
  5. Fry until both sides turn gold but not dark brown.    
  6. Remove from oil and put them on a plate lined with paper towel.
  7. Put the fried shrimp into a pan over low heat and toss in sweet mayo sauce.  Add peaches, toss again slightly.  Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately. 
Makes 4 servings