Pan Fried Buns


Lately, I’ve been watching too much Korean drama. ūüė¨ There’s this one where a baker guy used to sell hotteok on the streets.

Hotteok? Is that like a hotdog?

Last week, I came upon it while doing grocery shopping online. I looked it up and realized it’s a pan-fried bun! That’s like my favorite food already!

I’ve never been to Korea, never had a real fresh hotteok on the streets. But from the ingredients listed and description, I can just taste it in my head.

Here’s my take on the pan-fried bread. ¬†Don’t know if it’s authentic but it’s good. ūüėč

Pan-fried Bun (8 buns)

1 cup room temperature water

1.25 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1-2 tsp instant yeast

2.5 – 3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp oil

Filling of your choice e.g. Red bean paste, Nutella, peanut butter etc

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a big bowl.

Add enough flour so that the dough is soft and a little tacky. That’s usually about a little less than 3 cups for me.

Now add in the oil and mix. Stop mixing when the dough begins to feel a little sticky again. This should take less than a minute.

Cover your bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm place until double. If you use more yeast, it will take a shorter time. For me, if I were in a hurry, I would use 2 tsp yeast. It would take about 30-45 minutes. If I had a couple of hours, sometimes I would use only 1/4 tsp yeast and let it work its magic slowly.

When the dough has doubled, pat it down and divide it into 8 portions.

Oil your hands to keep from sticking.

Flatten each piece on the palm of your hand, put the filling in the middle of the dough and pinch up the edges to close. Pat to flatten.

To cook, heat up a pan with oil. Gently pan-fry each side. At some point, I  covered the pan while frying.


Its best enjoyed while fresh but it’ll still be good the next day. I tell you, the smell of fresh pan-fried bread is really something.




Pumpkin Buns


I only started watching Korean drama last month.¬† It was more like “companionship tv-watching”.¬† I watch it to keep my daily guests company.

There’s this particular series where a girl works¬†for a grouchy baker who makes wonderful pumpkin bread.¬† After a few episodes, I felt like I needed to get my hands on some pumpkin bread!¬† And you know me.¬† Won’t occur to me to go out and search for pumpkin bread.¬† Instead I searched for pumpkins!

My foray¬†into pumpkins ended about 20 years when I broke 2 knives trying to cut open an acorn squash.¬† Of course those were cheap knives.¬†¬†But, you know,¬†these days the grocery stores sell them in pieces.¬† It’s much easier to cut them when they are already cut open.¬† So I just peel it and cut it into smallish cubes just so that it will¬†steam up¬†faster.¬† It’s ready when it crumbles under my potato masher.¬† Then add it into my bread dough.¬† It’s not difficult.¬† Don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.¬† Now I’m making up for lost time.

Oh ya, this is a no-knead bread recipe.

Before baking


Butter Bomb Pumpkin Buns (updated)

300g fresh pumpkin (steamed and mashed)

1 cup water

1 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

about  3.5 cups plain flour

about 3 tbsp soft butter or oil

Topping: little bits of butter and sugar

extra butter to oil your hands

In a large mixing bowl, put in water, sugar, salt, yeast, mashed pumpkin.  Using your hands, mix in enough flour to get a soft and slighty tacky dough.  Next, add in the butter/oil and mix until the dough is slighty just about to get sticky.  Stop right there.  You should have a soft, pillowy dough now.  Cover and leave it in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Divide into 15 pieces and roll into smooth balls and place on well-buttered cookie sheet. ¬†If your dough is sticky, please don’t add more flour. Just Oil your hands with butter. ūüėčUsing your thumb, make thumbprints on each dough.¬† Fill up the thumbprints with a little knob of butter and sugar.¬† Leave it to proof for another 15 to 30 min, depending on how warm your place is (my¬†room temperature¬†is about 29c).¬† Mine was almost ready to go when I was done filling up my thumbprints with butter and sugar.

No need to preheat the oven.  Bake at about 160c for about 20 min.

Please let it cool a bit before eating.¬† Although I can’t imagine why, it’s better when it’s not burning hot.




Soft Chewy Cookies



I LOVE cookies.  Cookies are like intense, compact version of cakes.  I have good memories of cookies.  Somehow, I have vivid happy memories of me eating yummy cookies.  I guess cookies is my answer to temporary happiness. lol

I got this recipe from the internet.  After looking at it for a few months, I decided to make some changes.  I read that bread flour makes cookies chewy.  So I swapped out some of the plain flour for bread flour.  Swapping half the white sugar for brown sugar should make it softer and flavourful.  I cut down on the salt coz 1 tsp of salt sounds like a lot.  2 Tbsp of vanilla sounds like overdose too!  Lastly I doubled the recipe. Duh.

It’s a good thing I doubled it.¬† It’s worth my fat space.



Soft Chewy Cookies

1 cup plain flour

1 cup bread flour

2/3 cup white sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar (i didn’t pack it)

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 stick melted butter (salted)

chocolate chips


Melt butter in a pot, allowing it to brown a little.  Let it cool (otherwise chocolate chips will melt. I learnt it the hard way).  Then add in the sugar and eggs.  Mix it well. Add in the rest of the ingredients.

Refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight.

Each cookie dough should weigh about 50-60g.¬†Flatten the dough to about 1 cm thickness. Don’t crowd the cookie sheet.¬† Bake at 180c for about 14-15 min.

They store well in an air tight container for a few days.


Durian Smoothie


Recently we happened upon a stall selling durian smoothie in Bangkok. I tell you, it’s BRILLIANT. SIMPLY BRILLIANT.


All you need is durian (remove the seeds), plenty of ice cubes, a bit of condensed milk to sweeten it, and a little water or milk for blending.

You gotta try it.


Browned Butter Banana Bake



Sorry, I just had to alliterate that.¬† It’s actually just banana muffin. heheh.

This is the muffin which I bake for my mom almost every week.  There are variations, of course.  I always believe in variety.  Mostly I try to keep it as natural as possible.  That means no coloring, no artificial flavoring etc.  And I almost always sneak in some oats and/or flax seed meal.

It’s a quick,¬†one pot, one¬†whisk recipe.¬† Minimal washing.¬† Probably about 30 min from start to finish.¬† Great for those who need muffins in a hurry.¬† Like for when you have a muffin emergency.¬† My Coz said there’s no such thing as a muffin emergency.¬† Oh, my dear Coz, sometimes you just need cake.

Browned Butter Banana Bake (makes about 10 )

about 125g or 1 stick butter

less than 1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (just mash it coarsely with the whisk)

1/2 tsp instant coffee (in lieu of artifical vanilla essence)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup instant oatmeal

1/4 cup flax seed meal

less than 1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup nuts

1/2 chocolate chips

In a pot, melt the butter until slightly brown.  Take it off the heat.  Add in the bananas and mash it coarsely with a whisk.   Add in the sugar and eggs.  Mix it with the whisk.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips. Make sure the batter is cool before adding choc chips.

Line muffin pan with paper cases.  It saves on washing.

Bake at 350F or about 180c for about 20 min.


30 min to cake.¬† About¬†same time¬†as going to the stores to get artificially-flavored cake.¬† I think it’s a good deal.

Sardine Pizza



About 30 years ago, Pizza Hut sold sardine pizza in Singapore. My dad had a friend who worked in the kitchen and he would make one and give it to my dad for us every now and then.  It was such a treat for me because we would never have been able to afford pizza otherwise.  And I love sardines as well.  I wish I knew who that kind friend was and been able to express my gratitude.

The other day, while cracking my head, wondering what to cook for dinner, the memory of sardine pizza came back.¬† I decided to make it.¬† I mean my family has nothing against sardines.¬† Not great fans, but nothing against it.¬† It’s worth a try coz if they liked it, it’s such an easy dinner for me to make. You can make¬†the topping¬†as simple as you like with only a can of sardines and¬†cheese or you may add in onions, chilli, olives etc.

Sardine Pizza

1 can sardines in ketchup

1-2 cups grated mozarella

Pizza dough

Pour away most of the ketchup sauce. Mash up the sardines coarsely.

Spread mashed sardines on the dough


Top with cheese

Bake as per pizza recipe found in the link.


I had added black olives and fresh basil leaves onto my pizza.

Pizza Hut has already stopped selling sardine pizzas.  I guess it was not a very popular choice.  Although I love it, for the taste as well as the convenience, nobody else in my family seemed that keen on it.  I guess you just gotta be a sardine fan.

To my dad’s friend, thank you very much.

Perpetual Soup


On December 21st 2016, I started making soup in my slow cooker and I haven’t turned it off since that day…..That would be mean that I have been cooking soup for¬†about 70 over¬†days!¬† When I told people about it, I was greeted with reactions of mostly incredulity.¬† Usually they are puzzled how¬†I could¬†drink soup that was 30, 40,70-day old? lol¬†They also wonder if my electricity bill is through the roof.

I started a few days before Christmas, one of my busiest days of the year as I host gatherings at my home for friends.¬†¬† When¬†a good friend¬†told me about bone broth, it sounded easy enough.¬† So I¬†threw some pork ribs, pork bone marrow, onions, carrot, garlic¬†into my slow cooker and that was dinner.¬† As I was rather busy, I didn’t relish the thought of cleaning my slow cooker that night.¬† So I had a brain-wave to add in more water and keep the slow cooker going (just to put off cleaning heehee).¬† Then every day¬†ever since¬†then I have just been topping¬†up the slow cooker with more filtered water and fresh food.

A friend asked me for my recipe.

Let me put it simply.

In a slow cooker, put pork bones/bone marrow/chicken bones, vegetables (like carrots, onions, tomatoes, whatever) and seasoning (garlic, ginger, bay leaf, salt etc). Top it off with filtered water.  Turn on the slow cooker on high until it starts to boil.  After that, turn it on low and just let it cruise.  We usually have it for dinner with rice or groats.  At the end of the meal, I just top up the slow cooker with more filtered water and add in more bones/meat/veg.  Hey! That means my dinner is always done!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is your electricity bill through the roof? – There is no big difference in my electricity bill.¬† In fact, for some reason, it’s lower than before.¬† But, having said that,¬†my slow cooker is a very¬†simple one.¬† It is also 10 years old.

How can you drink 70+day old soup?? – Well, it isn’t really 70+ days old.¬† We eat it up everyday and I just leave the bones there for about¬†2 days before fishing them up and adding fresh bones.

Don’t you get sick of the same soup everyday? – I vary the ingredients I add into my soup.

Won’t your slow cooker explode? –¬†I don’t think so.¬† So far, it hasn’t exploded.

Don’t you need to clean the slow cooker?? – Er….but I’m still cooking!

Do you plan to keep this up forever?? – I’m probably going to keep this going until end of May.¬† That’s when our school hols start.¬† You’ll have to turn it off if you aren’t going to be home.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to check the water level everyday to make sure it does not dry up.

How To Peel A Pomelo



Pomelo is like a mega grapefruit. Except that the flavor is milder and sweeter.  We all love it.  Except that peeling it takes quite a bit of time.  How come? you ask.

Because this is the way my grandmother taught me to peel it and this is the way I now insist on peeling it.  And now I want to record it down for posterity.


Using a sharp knife, cut off the top as shown.


Then score the pomelo with a knife about 2/3 of the way, abput 1-2 cm deep.


Using your hands, peel the skin but do not peel it off totally.  Leave the bottom attached together.  Remove the fruit and peel off the white pith.


Tadah! Now wear the pomelo hat and parade around the room as per my tradition!


Or fashion it into some kind of lantern and parade around.


Pineapple Tarts


We Singaporeans love our pineapple tarts. ¬†It’s our special Chinese New Year treat and staple. ¬†Every household will have at least a jar of pineapple tarts during this festive season. ¬†Every store will be selling, everybody will be buying/baking pineapple tarts. The internet is not short on pineapple tart recipes as well.

So what makes mine so special? ¬†It’s special because it is done the way I like it. ¬†You know what gets my goat? ¬†When people eat my tarts and say hmm, you didn’t put enough pineapple, your crust is too gummy/hard/soft/crumbly, not sweet/sour/salty enough, too small/big, too much /little crust. ¬†They seem to think there is One Pineapple Tart to rule them all and that I need pointers from them to achieve this elusive One Pineapple Tart. People should just eat, appreciate the free tarts and say mmm, yummy, thank you. ¬†It’s simply good manners and grace.

Over time, our taste buds change and our needs change and hence my recipes change. ¬†I used to love pineapple tarts that melt and crumble in the mouth. ¬†I no longer do. ¬†Now I like something with more crunch and more robust, not so delicate as I need them to survive the journey to my kids’ school. ¬† I still like it really buttery, and have equal amount of pineapple to crust. I’m more about flavor and taste than looks. ¬†So it’s perfectly all right to me if they come out looking a bit pale and cracked. ¬†I also have to make sure the recipe has no milk as some of us are lactose-intolerant, as well as no other unnecessary artificial additives like coloring and artificial flavoring.

So here’s my 2017 version. ¬†It’s slightly crunchy, buttery (not flour-y or doughy), bite-size and equal amount of stuffing to crust.

Pineapple Tarts (sorry I don’t know how many it makes. Just a lot. ¬†Like about 250?)

250 g cold salted butter (use the best butter)

425 g plain flour

pinch of salt

1 egg (70g size), beaten

4 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp desiccated coconut

Rub butter into flour using finger tips until resembles bread crumbs. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix into a smooth non-sticky dough. ¬†If it is a little tacky, it’s ok as you can dust with flour later. ¬†Leave dough to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or a few days.

Pineapple paste/jam

Sorry, these days I take short cuts and buy the packet of paste from the shops.  BUT, when I was in Michigan and desperately needed pineapple tarts, I used canned crushed pineapple in juice. Boil the crushed pineapple (with juice, for flavor).  Sugar if you wish and boil until you get dry-ish pineapple paste.

So as for mise en place, first roll all the pineapple paste and all the dough approximately equal in size. Then stuff the pineapple into the dough.  Roll in the palms of your hands to achieve a smooth dough.


Short crust pastry don’t exactly expand when cooking, so go ahead and place them close together. ¬†I can make about 77 0n one cookie sheet.

Bake about 160 c for about 15 min, rotate pan if you need to, egg wash if you wish (I don’t), bake another 15 min.

It takes longer to make than to eat.  So do make more! 8D