Sunday Kitchen – Ondeh Ondeh Recipe

 Ingredients required

  1. Sweet Potato Mash (See #A1) – 64 grams
  2. Glutinous Rice Flour – 90 grams
  3. Coconut Milk – 90 grams
  4. Gula Melaka – 60 grams (or as much as you require to wrap in glutinous rice balls – See #C1)
  5. Desiccated Coconut – 50g (the more the merrier for coating really)
  6. Pandan Paste or Pandan Juice (Boiled down – see #B3)
  7. A Pinch of Salt

Note: Proportion of ingredients 1, 2 and 3 is always 64:90:90. If you want to make more, just adjust accordingly. This recipe makes about 14 Ondeh Ondeh.

Equipment required

  1. Digital Weighing Scale
  2. Steamer (for Desiccated Coconut)
  3. A Pot of Boiling Water (for cooking)
  4. Large Mixing Bowl

Steps

A. Prepare Sweet Potato Mash, Desiccated Coconut and Gula Melaka

  1. Steam the sweet potato, mash it up and push it through a strainer – this is to remove any bits and pieces of sweet potato and fibre threads. Set aside to cool till you are able to handle it.
  2. Get your desiccated coconut on to a plate with a pinch of salt. Set it in the steamer or however you usually steam for 20 minutes while you prepare the B. Dough.
  3. Chop Gula Melaka into small chunks – about the size of peas, set aside.

B. Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with your coconut milk and knead slowly into a dough. If your dough is not coming together, slowly add more coconut milk and knead till you achieve your dough.
  2. Add sweet potato mash prepared in #A1 into the dough mixture in #B1 and knead it together to combine.
  3. Here’s when you add pandan paste till desired colour and combine it well. I would suggest starting with 1/2 teaspoon and slowly adding to desirable colour. Otherwise, blend about 10 pandan leaves and boil it down with 200ml of water, strain it through a cheesecloth to get pandan juice.

C. Wrap and cook! 

  1. Pinch a small piece of dough (about 13g each) and flatten slightly. Fill the center of the dough with Gula Melaka and roll them into a smooth ball.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your glutinous rice balls in the boiling water. When the rice balls floats to the surface, remove it with a slotted spoon and place these little babies into your desiccated coconut prepared in #A2.
  3. Roll it around to coat it generously with desiccated coconut and SERVE!

There are different variations of recipes for Ondeh Ondeh online, if you’ve tried others or have any suggestions to make this even better, do share! 🙂

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I also used the remaining Desiccated Coconut and Gula Melaka to make Kueh Dar Dar. Perfect for tea time with your ondeh ondeh and really, I hate having leftover ingredients that I will ultimately forget about which is a waste. Enjoyed this with some Sri Lankan tea thanks to Andrew Chua‘s Sri Lankan Trip earlier this year.

Buttery & Sweet Fluffy Pancake Recipe

I literally just made some incredibly fluffy pancakes with a rich buttery taste and a slight hint of sweetness from some leftover ingredients. I had some leftover whip cream, eggs and butter which would have been a waste if I left it in the fridge and soon forget about it.

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Perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or supper. Pancakes are just perfect for any occasion! Easy, cheap and you can store it in your fridge – just microwave it the next time you’re ready for some. It taste so good that you can eat it plain!

Ingredients

Eggs
2
Granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (depending on your preference)
Salt
a pinch
Milk
80 ml
Heavy cream
50 ml
Unsalted butter
30 g
Cake flour
200 g
Baking powder
2 teaspoons

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Preparation

1. Melt your butter in the microwave or over a double boiler. Meanwhile, sift the flour and baking powder together, set aside.

2. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar & salt. Now put some muscles in – beat it with a whisk till its pale/off white to ensure smooth, lump-free batter (if you bake butter cakes often, it should look like the colour of your well beaten butter & sugar).

3. Add the milk slowly while mixing. Followed by the heavy cream and mix well.

4. Add the sifted ingredients and melted butter in (1). Mix well until smooth and thickened.

Your pancake batter is ready! Try this for yourself and you will never, ever buy pancake mix in a box that is tasteless and twice the price.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over low heat. Make sure your pan is heated evenly to give you a beautiful brown finish later. When ready, add a small ladler of the batter from (4). I made mine in 5cm diameters with a bit more height for fluffy pancakes. But make sure you cook on low and constantly adjust the heat so that it is cooked through but not burnt. Otherwise, play safe and make 10cm diameters.

6. When bubbles pop on the surface, flip them over. Cook the other side, then transfer to a plate. Repeat the process with all the batter. Makes about 10 pancakes 🙂

Technically you don’t need oil for a non-stick pan but I like my pancakes with extra oomph so I use a tiny bit of butter.

You can serve it with honey or whipped cream. I will probably have mine with the raspberry jam I bought from Perth!

With love, Joan

 

6 Days in Western Australia

IMG_5254I’ve spent some time working in Sydney a few years back and there are just countless things about the lifestyle in Australia that makes it a great place to live in. Since Andrew’s leave was only approved a month before, we decided to head somewhere we can drive, offers a varied experience and ideally cost less than SGD500 to fly. Perth came up as the top choice within mere seconds on Scoot (SGD420 per person for return ticket).

Perth is one of the largest metropolitan in Australia stretching from Two Rocks in the north to Rockingham (near Mandurah) in the south – 7 times larger than Singapore. Imagine the urban planning involved to provide public transport and utilities to such a large city. Our 6 days itinerary focuses road trips north and south of Perth. 

Day 1 – Perth International Airport – Hertz Car Rental -Fremantle for the night (Cool Studio via Airbnb)

Day 2 – Lancelin: Sand Dunes & Sand Surfing – Nambung National Park: Pinnacles & Desert drive – Fremantle for the night (Cool Studio via Airbnb)

Day 3 – Head South to Busselton Jetty – Lunch at The Goose – Eagle Bay Brewing Co. – Cape Naturaliste – Sugarloaf Rock – Coles @ Margaret River – Margaret River for the night (No.12 Garden Studio Apartment via Airbnb)

Day 4 – Margaret River Food & Wine Day: Margaret River Dairy Company – The Margaret River Chocolate Company – Providore – Hay Shed Hill (Best lunch!) – Vasse Virgin (Soup Factory) – Ashbrook Estate – Vasse Felix – Teddis Big Spoon (Korean Dinner) – Margaret River for the night (No.12 Garden Studio Apartment via Airbnb)

Day 5 – Head back to Perth – Bunbury Farmers Market – Mandurah – Flipflopfisheries (Shark Fish & Chips) – San Churro Mandurah – The Old Crow (Dinner in Perth) – Perth City Night View from Sir James Mitchell Park – Subiaco for the night via Airbnb

Day 6 – Outdoor activities on Good Friday: Brunch at Harvest Espresso – Fremantle streets and market – Fremantle Prison – Drive along the coast – Cottesloe Beach – London Court Cafe – Perth International Airport

Personal Tips I’d like to share

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How to find good food on the go

It used to be called Urbanspoon when I was still in Sydney, now it’s Zomato. With the same interface, user experience and strong community – it is still my go-to app to find out what’s trending, what the locals like and what is around the area when I just want to fill my stomach.

driving

Driving in WA

We are less of a city-traveller, which is why we chose self driving as one of the best way to experience this land. Renting a vehicle was probably the easiest to begin with as there are tons of car rental companies at Perth International Airport. Andrew did most of the homework but what I gathered was:

  • Rental – If you and your partner can prove that you live together (same residential address), you don’t need to pay additional fees for authorizing a second driver
  • Car Insurance – There’s usually quite a high excess payable for any accidents or damages to the car. Read carefully the details to your vehicle insurance prior to renting. We decided to purchase travel insurance that covers excess to vehicle rental up to SGD500. You can do some travel insurance comparison on GoBear like I did to familiarize yourself with the different travel insurance out there.
  • Parking is generally more expensive in the city. We tend to look for street side parking but do take note of the different pricing indicated on the signs. There’s 1/2P, 2P, 3P etc, which refers to number of hours you can park within a specific timeframe usually indicated below that – along with whether it’s free or payable. Unlike Singapore, free parking is only allowed for the stipulated time frame on the sign. If you’re a homework person, there’s more information here.
  • Petrol surprisingly didn’t cost us too much despite us driving 1372km in a little Ford Hunchback. Each pump cost about 30 odd Aussie dollars for us. The petrol prices varies depending on location and provider/operator of each petrol station so if you’re looking for the cheapest petrol around you or in a particular area you’re heading to, use WA Fuel Finder

My new found quirk of the trip – Splitwise

It’s free, user-friendly, intuitive and so simple! Genuine review of this new app Andrew discovered for bill splitting – Splitwise. However, we used it more for tracking of expenses into 2 buckets – Airfare + Accommodation which is more of your pre-trip expenses, and cash expenses during the trip. We didn’t have to worry about scrimping and saving or overspending as long as we know we are on track and it is so much easier to decided who to pay what. Since he paid for pre-trip (SGD1.4k), I paid for everything during the trip (SGD1.2k) which end up somewhat balancing out the accounts 😉

Phew…took me a few hours on and off for this. Hopefully this overview itinerary will give you some ideas to toy with! I will be providing more of my thoughts and details for each sightseeing spot or restaurant and maps in subsequent posts.

If you have any cool finds from your trips or any comments, please let me know!

 

Starting right

I have a reputation for being an early bird, morning person, etc. And it puzzles my friends how I can wake up early, naturally. Of course, I had my periods of laziness and snoozing for gazillion times! But its actually really easy to kick start your day early and feel super productive.

Here’s a Business Insider I stumbled upon:

http://www.businessinsider.sg/how-to-get-up-early-2015-1/

My take on the tips? Definitely give it a try! Well…reading a book and not drinking alcohol before bed time is pretty much a no-brainer, yet something really hard to achieve. Because it’s really hard to put your phone away in the first place? haha…yeah I know…

But Getting sun as soon as possible is something I know works for me, indefinitely. It really helps reduce that dreadful lethargic feeling with the right amount of sunlight and “heat”. Drinking water chokes me in the morning but it helps, cause I end up trying to “wake up” so I don’t actually choke…

Yoga in the morning sounds too daunting, consider stretching your calf muscles by tip-toeing in bed, do some ankle rotations and stretch your arm all the way back above your head. Loosening up all that stiffness and you will be ready to spring out of bed!

Kickstart your day at work

Last tip, clear your morning. “The Most Important 20 Minutes of the Day” is usually in the morning right? Or so says famous founders, entrepreneurs, lala… I don’t disagree with that, but I do have a tip of my own.

Instead of planning, prioritising and organising your day in the morning, try this. My Daily Routine:

1. At the end of each day, look at your task list and check them off one by one. (Satisfaction!)

2. Reassess, and immediately create a new list for the next day.

I personally think that this helps you leave work feeling good that you’ve accomplished a quantifiable amount and knowing what to expect for the next day allows you to relax and rewind for the night.

3. The next morning, look at your list, and START! Keep the adrenaline pumping. If you have ad hoc activities, add them in as the day goes by but make sure its prioritised accordingly.

This is especially useful for me as it reduces the inertia to kickstart the day at work. You can give it a try and share your tips with me too! What works for me may not work for you.