Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Blast from My Past: Nian Gao Recipe

Some people like this brand of Koda Farms sweet rice flour.
  • 1 lb. bag of glutinous rice flour  (Erawan Brand look for the green bag or Koda flour) approx. 480gm
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (or 5 flat pieces of cane sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 glass container to steam in (lightly sprayed with olive oil so it won't stick or else use banana leaves to line the container for easy removal. 

  1. Boil the water and brown sugar until fully mixed. Let it cool to room temperature. Add the glutinous rice flour and oil. Blend the mixtures until it is completely incorporated.  
  2. Steam the batter for 50 minutes on medium high.
  3. Let it cool before refrigerating it. 
  4. Slice the cakes, coat with egg and lightly pan fry on medium-low heat for about 3 min. on each side or until it's soft and gooey.
After it's steamed, it looked like this. 
Overnight it's hardened enough to be sliced into morsels to be dipped in egg.

Pan-fry them on medium heat till they are a gooey delicious shade of golden brown. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Lo Bak Go (Radish cake) that made the cut

So I've always made it without wheat starch but it's a necessary secondary starchy flour. I used 5 tablespoons of this with a cup of rice flour and it was magic watching it come together.

This is the brand that I am most familiar with living in Surrey, BC, Canada because Heng Long carries this brand which is very reasonably priced. 1 cup of this is needed. 
This was the messy pile of radish after shredding it and putting it in the wok. Cover for 12 minutes and it was all beautifully soft. 

This was after adding the thin rice and wheat flour mixture which coalesced into this goopy pre-lobakgo-ness.

After steaming for 45-55mins, this would be good enough to serve my grandma, my epoh, my mum and my mum-in-law (all too busy in heaven to pay any attention to my Chinese culinary skills!)

The "Glue"
1 cup rice flour 
5 tbsp wheat starch or corn flour

1 cup water

The "Liao"
1 white radish (medium)- Korean ones are fine.
1/2 a red onions
3 tbsp dried shrimps (soaked for 2 hours)
4-5 medium-sized dried scallops (soaked for 2 hours)
3/4 cup mushrooms (soaked till soft and diced)
2 tablespoons oil

The "Shesoning" (agar agar ok?)
1 tsp salt
1 pinch of sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
A dash of fish sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp Shaoxin wine
1 tsp Knorr chicken seasoning granules
A handful of cut spring onions to look pretty

The How-to
1) Add water to rice flour and wheat starch to make a thin batter.
2) Heat and add oil for stir fry (red onions, dried scallops, dried shrimps and dried mushroom, till fragrant and until golden brown.
3) Add radish and seasoning to taste until combined.
4) Cover and cook until tender and translucent, about 12 minutes on medium high. Radishes are famous for sweating lots of liquid. 
5) Using the same wok, Add the batter and stir them until slightly thickens, Pour mixture into a well-greased glass container and steam for 50-60 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool before sprinkling spring onions then chucking it into the fridge to ogle at the next morning. 

Monday, July 21, 2014


To be fair, this was pilfered from recipe #234 from Hamlyn's Cakes and Baking that I had bought in 1991, with slight alterations, of course. (If there weren't any alterations, I'd be sending you to the Hamlyn site.)

The first time I tried this recipe was on 21 August 1993, before my son was born. Probably for the International Fellowsheep Young Adults' Group back when I lived in Clarens, Switzerland. This is a quicky-feel-good recipe for the no-fuss, no-mess baking guru.

Then again, if you were a real baking guru, you wouldn't be reading this. No duh.

100g margarine
50g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
150g self-raising flour
175g chocolate chips
Handful of walnuts

Cream the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy.
Add the egg until incorporated.
Fold in the flour.
Then the chocolate.
Throw in the walnuts with flair and go "ka-bam-bam" for good measure.

Place a small teaspoon a little apart (it's margarine so it won't melt into a flatter cookie) and bake for 15-20 min on 180C. Makes about 30-35 small bite-sized morsels of crunchy goodness.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

2 July 2014 Kimchi courtesy of Mrs. Sun-Kyeng Park

Making the "Sauce" 
Add the other ingredients to make the "Paste"
Massaging the "Paste" into the cut cabbage  
The finished products in 1 litre jars

Sun and I in her Langley kitchen

Ingredients for four 1-liter jars of kimchi

2 cabbages
1 cup of salt
Cleaned, cut into rectangles and salt-rubbed overnight (or at least 5 hours)
Wash 2 or 3 times
Leave to drain for an hr

"Paste" for 2 cabbages 
2 cups of water 
2 tbsp glutinous flour
1.5 cups of gochu garu (red pepper flakes)
Quarter cup fish sauce
3 tbsp of crushed garlic
1 tbsp cut ginger
2 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
Cut 3 sprigs of spring onions in 1" pieces
Optional: Fresh chives 

Add glutinous flour into a pot with 2 cups of water on medium heat. Keep stirring until it becomes a translucent "paste". Cool a bit then add the gochugaru, fish sauce, crushed garlic, cut ginger and sugar. 
Take the cleaned and drained cabbage and put it in the largest mixing bowl or pot. Sprinkle sesame seeds and the chives before adding the finished "paste" which should have been cooling down until it's warm. Massage it into the cabbage well.

Leave to ferment for a day in summer room temperature before refrigerating the next day.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


It seems appropriate
To describe my restlessness
Like a sleepwalker desperate
To lie down
But finds herself walking unconscious.

It seems appropriate
To be thoughtful and gracious
Yet, I cannot find it within myself
To extend kindness
Though it is not asked of me.

It seems appropriate
To expect my Father to help
My ingrown awkwardness
My violent feelings-
My exasperation of self.

It seems appropriate
To want nothing more than healing
Nothing less than health
At the quickest instant
Her words to lose their affect
Words to lose their sting
Words to lose their meaning
Yet I cling, or they cling to me
Like burrs of a Velcro fruit.

It seems appropriate
To cry foul, or at least air the room
For it is still with musty ill-kept silence
There seems nothing to do,
Nothing to say,
No where to start,
No place to heal,
No one to bridge the gap,
Nothing more to add.
There is only dullness
And on my part, elusive waiting
Wanting to get away,
Feeling wronged,
Not getting out
Nor staying in.

I have so much to say
Yet cannot say it.
I have so much I wish to ask her
But trust not to speak my mind.
I have been desperate to understand
Yet have been so misunderstood.
I have longed for opportunities
That now, feels stale from waiting.
I want to be a friend,
But don’t know how.
I want to befriend,
But am not taught how.
I am upset by my lack of knowing
what is simply

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Power of No

The power of No

I do my best thinking on the treadmill these days. Maybe it’s the perspiration or the endorphins that gives my spiritual cortex a keenness I don't expect when idling. I was drawn to the passage in Matthew 26:39-44 when God refused to let the cup of suffering pass from Jesus’ lips.  

Three times, Jesus asked “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

Denial is an ugly noun, made uglier for the inherent meaning it carries- the refusal of the request. I’m not talking about the asking for something fence-sittingly good or a downright dumb request. I’m talking about a vehemently good request like the asking for healing for a friend dying of cancer or a plea for relief for someone going through hell and high waters. For Jesus to ask it of the Father strikes me an odd thing. Didn’t Jesus know that this was the reason for which he was sent to earth? As if that wasn’t strange enough, he asked it three times. Was it for our benefit that he asked?

“No” is a word I do not like to use. I’m a yes-person because I’ve always thought myself a positive individual but here I’m compelled to rethink the positivity of “no”. God said “no” even though God did not express it in words. It was clear he meant no since Jesus drank from the cup of God’s wrath (Jeremiah 25:15). Jesus wasn’t thinking about himself. Jesus was thinking what drinking it would fully, finally and perfectly accomplish. Defeat death in its totality.

Recently in my life, in my waiting on God to direct me to a teaching job and international homestays, I’ve sensed it a “no” throughout. I’ve sent out 12 resumes since Feb 22 and put up ads for an available room to rent to schools all around North Surrey. While God had blessed me with so many homestays before and jobs even before I finished school, this time I’m challenged to grow in my faith. The power of no is actually going to affect me positively. It’s already started. I’ve sensed God saying “no” to many things in my life before but His “no” is going to accomplish something in me that no “yes” is ever going to.

So, today being Saturday while Jesus once lay in the tomb between death and resurrection, I await tomorrow’s victory. I’m learning to accept, be thankful for and to enjoy the nos in my life as God’s guarantee for the greater good that I know He is planning for me. Oh for Sunday to arrive! Christ is Risen!

Monday, May 14, 2012

When Struggling Mothers Praise

When our homes are muddied and untidy,
Let's praise the Lord in His Sanctuary
When you smell something sickly in the oven,
Praise him in His mighty Heaven!
When our little kidlets refuse to shower,
Praise Him for His acts of power
As mums we know, (how we know!) our weaknesses,
Praise Him for His surpassing greatnesses
Ignored, slighted, resigned we will get,
Praise Him with the sound of trumpet
When they speak unkindly, indifferent, full of ire,
Praise Him still with harp and lyre
Dwell not on his laziness nor her lying,
Praise Jesus with timbrel and dancing
Cease the endless worry throughout the night,
The better praise is with strings, flute and pipe
This passing phase will soon come to settle,
By praising Him with clash of cymbals,
Praising Him with resounding cymbals.
The sounds of our praise will wake our deafened child to God.
Let all struggling moms who has breath give praise to her Lord.
Look out you, dark enemy of our soul,
For He, worthy of praise, is our goal.

Based on the Psalm 150.