Friday, January 25, 2013

Lamb Kebabs for the Australia Day

It wouldn't go wrong to celebrate Australia Day with this lamb kebabs on the BBQ.  One time I asked a visiting student from China who has spent a few days with the Australian family that what was the most memorable time she had in Australia.  Her answer was the BBQ!  The great thing of BBQ is that you throw in all sort of different things such as sausages, chops or prawns onto the BBQ and you talk and drink while cooking the food.  The atmosphere is relaxing and food are cooked to your liking.  And lamb, I would say it's the number one red meat that Aussie love!

Have a lovely Australia Day!

Lamb Kebabs
(make about 10)

500g trimmed lamb, cubed
mushroom, halves
onions, cubed

1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic mince
cracked black pepper

Marinate the meat with the marinade for at least an hour.  Spike each piece of meat alternatively with onion and mushroom (or capsicum). Pan fry it in the grill pan or on the BBQ, turing regularly till you get a nicely charred meat on the outside with juicy pink on the inside.

Source: adopted & modified rom the cookbook "jamie's kitchen" from Jamie Oliver.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Japanese Melon Bun (日式蜜瓜包)

This Japanese melon bun is similar to Hong Kong's pineapple bun (香港菠蘿包), only it has a fair looking as it does not glaze with egg before baking.  The cookie dough topping is not as flaky as the HK pineapple bun.  And the texture is firmer and a little floury but it still very good after it has been a few days old.  It is sometimes labelled as Japanese pineapple bun in some bakery.  The name of the melon bun is derived from the rough cracking look of the cookie dough.  The joy of eating this bun is liked having a milk bun topped with a soft cookie.  And I really think it tastes like the Chinese's giant cookies (光酥餅). I have doubled the recipes to make 12 buns using the bread machine. If you want to watch the video kneading the bread by hand, please click here.

Japanese Melon Bun (日式蜜瓜包)
(make 12)

For the bread dough:
2 tablespoons egg
140ml milk
30g butter
70g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
280g bread flour
6g dried yeast

For the cookie dough topping:
50g butter
70g sugar
50g egg
160g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Following the sequence of the order from the bread dough, putting the ingredients into the bread machine, starting from the liquid and putting the yeast last.
  2. Press the "dough" button.  When it is ready, punch down to release excess air.  Sprinkle some flour on the workbench and knead till the dough is smooth and not sticky.  Divide the dough into 12 equal sized portions about 45g each.  Make into bun shape and put onto 2 paper lined baking trays.  Let it rest in a warm place (a warm oven) for about 45minutes or until it is double in size.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the cookie dough, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together.  Make a well in the middle, add the egg and mix well.  Add the butter and knead till a soft dough form.  Keep in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the cookie dough into 12 portions. Roll into round flat shape with a roller, then lay on top to cover the bun.  Use a knife to mark a criss-cross patten on top. Let it rest in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for about 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Asian Style Iced Milk Tea (中式凍奶茶)

What does summer mean to you? Hot, lazy or nothing grow in the garden?  We start the beginning of the year in the middle of summer and we have been having long hot summer this year with the temperature over 30c most of the days.  Since it has been so dry with no rain, bushfire is happening in many places.  You just want to hide yourself in the shade most of the time.  Sitting at the veranda relaxing, I enjoy this refreshing iced milk tea to help to ease the heat.  This is the type of tea you'll get at asian cafe using condensed milk and evaporated milk instead of fresh milk.  Some people like to mix the tea with coffee and called it yuen-yang (鴛鴦), a bit like the mocha only it is a mix of coffee and chocolate.

Asian Style Iced Milk Tea
(make 1 tall glass)

Put hot water into a mug about 2/3 full with a ceylon tea bag.  Let it rests till the tea is cool down a little and fully infused.  Pour 1 1/2 tablespoon of condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk into a tall glass, add the tea and stir till well combined.  Fill another tall glass with ice and pour the tea into the other glass and serve immediately.  Enjoy!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Chinese Style Mango Pudding (eggless)

Living in Australia, we always have mangoes for every Christmas.  My husband would buy a whole tray of mangoes and the Bowen (Kensington) mango is my favourite as it is sweet with no fibre in the flesh.  When I was about 9 or 10 years old while living in Hong Kong, I tried to open the seed of the mango thinking there would be something fantastic inside since the flesh of mango tasted so nice.  Of course, I found nothing interesting there but every summer we would enjoy at least a whole tray of mangoes.

When I went to Yum Cha in Sydney, the waitress was pushing the food trolly with mango pudding and mango crepes around the tables.  Mango is a really nice fruit to make into dessert.  I like this pudding recipe from Christine's Recipes as it is eggless and light.  After all the big feast we had from Christmas, this is a simple and nice dessert to have for the hot summer!  With the summer holiday having kids at home, why not get them to help making this yummy dessert? 

Chinese Style Mango Pudding (eggless)
(make 4)

1 packet of 85g mango flavour jelly crystal
90ml milk
40ml evaporated milk
110ml hot water
55ml cold water (boiled)
2 large mangoes


  1. Dissolve the jelly crystal with the hot water, then add the cold water.  Stir in the milk and the evaporated milk.
  2. Pour the jelly mixture into four glasses.  
  3. Cut one of the mangoes into cubes and add into the jelly mixture.  Keep into the fridge for 2-3 hours or until the pudding is set.
  4. Cut the remaining mango into cubes and add to the pudding before serving.
As this dessert is not very sweet, it is best to consume as it is.  I have tried to serve it with ice-cream, the sweetness of ice-cream covers the taste of mango which is not a recommended combination.