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Wednesday 27 March 2013

Simple Japanese Chicken Curry

Hi everyone, good day to you.

Do you like Japanese Curry?  I loves Japanese Curry and usually I cooked it at home using the convenient and instant Japanese Curry Roux.  I only like to buy that "brand" and it is not always that I can get this brand at the supermarket shelves.  And other brands/packs only cook for 1 serving.

I read with ecstatic when Nami of Just One Cookbook posted her Simple Chicken Curry recently and even had a post on how to make curry roux from scratch !

Since the homemade curry roux is so easy to make, I have wasted no time to make this immediately.

Today my lunch is Simple Japanese Chicken Curry.  

Largely adapted from Nami of Just One Cookbook

500g boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots
2 onions
1-2 potatoes
½ tbsp ginger
2 cloves garlic
4 cups/1000ml chicken broth  
1 apple (I used Fuji apple)
1 tbsp honey (I didn’t add this)
2 tsp salt
1 recipe of Homemade Japanese Curry Roux * (please see below for recipe; make this
   ahead first)
½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Ketchup

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the extra fat and cut it into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Peel and cut the onions, carrots and potatoes
Grate the ginger and crush the garlic.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onions until they become translucent.  Add the ginger and garlic and give it a thorough stir.
Add the chicken and cook until the chicken changes color.
Add the carrot and mix.
Add the chicken broth (or water).
Bring the stock to boil and skim out the scrum and fat from the surface of the stock.
Peel the apple and coarsely grate the apple into the pot.
Add the honey (if you are adding this but I opt this out) and salt and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
When the potatoes are ready, add a ladleful or two of cooking stock and mix into the homemade curry paste.  Add more cooking liquid if necessary and mix well until it’s smooth.

Add the roux paste back into the stock in the large pot and stir to combine.
Add soy sauce and ketchup. Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curry becomes thick.

 Serve the curry with Japanese rice on the side and garnish with soft boiled egg.

Homemade Curry Roux
(Please go over to Nami's blog  for tutorial pictures)

42gm unsalted butter
4 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp chilli powder

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat.
When the butter is completely melted, add the flour.
Stir to combine the butter and flour. Soon the butter and flour fuse and swell. (Do not stop stirring because the roux will easily burn)

After 20-30 minutes, the roux will turn to light brown color. Add the curry powder, garam masala and chilli powder.

Cook and stir for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.

(If you are not using this immediately, store the roux in an air tight container and keep in the fridge for 1 month, and 3 months in freezer.)

Do I like this curry?  Of course and it taste awesome and delicious; almost perfect taste like the store bought instant curry roux.

                             Thank you NAMI for this wonderful delicious curry!

Tuesday 26 March 2013


"The filling for this tart is rich, dark and delicious.  The sweet caramelized onions ad wonderful depth and flavour to this simple yet classic tart."

Recipe quote from the "Best Ever Book Of Pastry" Cookbook.


1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
500g onions, sliced
Large pinch of grated nutmeg
1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs
150ml single light cream (I used 75ml whipping cream & 75ml milk)
50g grated Gruyere cheese (I used Mozarella cheese)
Salt and pepper

For the Pastry
75g plain all purpose flour
75g cup whole meal  flour (I used plain flour)
75g butter, diced
1 egg yolk
Ice water


Make the pastry
Mix the plain and wholemeal flours in a bowl.  Use your fingertips to rub in the butter.  Mix in the egg yolk and enough chilled water to form a firm dough.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface.

Knead the dough and gather it into a smooth ball.  Wrap in clear film/plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan.  Cook the onions over a low heat for 30 minutes until soft, stirring.  Add the nutmeg, sugar and seasoning.

Gentle cook for 5 minutes until the onions have caramelized. Cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 200C.  Lightly grease a loose based 14”x4” fluted tin pan.  Roll out the pastry and use to line the tine.  Chill for 20 minutes.  Prick the base.  Line with foil and beans.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and beans and add the onions.
(I did not blind bake the pastry).

Beat the eggs and cream, add the cheese and season.  Pour over the onions.
Bake for 30 minutes until set.

     After chilling another 20 minutes the roll out pastry into the pan, I add in the onions (I did not 
     blind bake it); add in the eggs/cream mixture, thereafter spread over the cheese and send it
     into the oven!

Very filling with just one slice of it.

Thursday 21 March 2013


I made a promise earlier but I lied..... I promised that after I made the Kumquat Shaker Pie I wouldn't be posting anymore kumquat recipe anymore but I just couldn't help it and this Ms Kumquat is at it yet another post again!

Well it is all because of the upcoming Bake Along #41 whereby the theme is Turnovers, so I thought I join in the fun to bake along with them and moreover I still have a little 'some'  kumquat jam left.

Initial, today post should be the savoury turnovers but I wasn't very pleased with the outcome of the bakes and therefore I post this Kumquat Almond Turnovers first.


(makes 4 triangles turnovers)

100g kumquat jam 
50g ground almond
50g melted butter
1 egg yolk (for egg wash)

5, store bought phyllo pastry sheet *
(when I unwrapped the pack of the phyllo, it was all broken into 3 parts therefore, I took one part which is the size of 3" x 12" to use instead or else I will take the whole sheet to fold, and fold)

Preheat the oven to 18C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix the kumquat jam and ground almond together till all combined.  Set aside.
Unwrap the phyllo, take out the five sheets needed, and place them on a clean counter. Cover with plastic wrap and then a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
Cut the phyllo sheet into the size of 3" x 12".

Take one cut sheet of phyllo and brush all over with melted butter, place another cut sheet on top and brush over again.  (One triangle turnover have 5 long strips).

Place 1-2 tablespoons of the kumquat mixture on the bottom right corner of the sheet and fold it up like a flag, corner to corner. Continue to flip the triangle (don’t fold them too tightly or the will explode in the oven), until you get near the end of the strip. Slice off the top left corner of remaining unwrapped phyllo, then brush remaining “tab” with melted butter and fold over to seal the pocket.

Place it on seam-side down, on the prepared pan. Brush the turnovers with egg wash.
Bake, uncovered, until the turnovers are browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on racks and serve warm.

 I added the ground almond into the kumquat jam so it won't be runny while baking but only need to seal the phyllo properly else it will 'burst' out.

Delicious and crispy!  You can always use mixed berries as the filling; and if I am making with phyllo again, I think I used blueberries.

I am submitting this post to Bake Along hosted by



Tuesday 19 March 2013


I am not a fan of avocado.  What about you?  I remember the first time I tasted avocado was many years ago, dining in an Indonesian Restaurant.  I can't remember who order me the Avocado Juice and one sip of it, eeeeweee, I don't think I like it and I swap the juice immediately with someone else.   Even when at later years, when my brother-in-law made sandwiches with avocado as part of the ingredients, I choose to opt that out.

But now as I have learned the nutrition goodness in avocado, so I got to appreciate this fruit.  

When Hui of Butterfly Waltz made this Avocado Chicken Parmigiana last February, I thought I should give it a try too for an easy way to prepare and cook for my lunch.

 Recipe sourced from Hui of Butterfly Waltz & from Esther, The Fuss Free Chef 

2 Chicken Drumstick (Boneless & Skinless), seasoned with salt & pepper
½ Cup Plain Flour
2 Tbsp Fresh Milk
1 Egg
1 ½ Cups Dried Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Cup Tomato Pasta Sauce
1 Avocado, Sliced
½ Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Salad Green & Cherry Tomato to serve

Line a baking tray with baking paper; brush the base with cooking oil.  Preheat the oven to 180 celcius.

Mix the beaten egg and milk in a shallow bowl.  Set aside.

Coat the chicken pieces with flour and shake off excess.  Dip each chicken piece into the egg mixture and then coat it evenly with the breadcrumbs.

Arrange the meat in the dish, spray or brush the top evenly with cooking oil and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 min, or until the crumbs have turn a golden brown.  Turn the meat over halfway.  You might need to do this probably 2-3 times per side, each time at a shorter interval, depending on the thickness of the chicken meat.    

Once the chicken is just cooked through, spoon the tomato pasta sauce onto the chicken meat and smear evenly.  Arrange some slices of avocado on top, followed by a generous sprinkle of grated cheese. 

Bake for another 5 min until the cheese has melted and is starting to bubble and brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately with a side salad. 

This recipe also from Cuisine Paradise


                         I sprinkle some dried parsley on top; 10 minutes before took out
                         from oven.                                                   

                         A satisfying lunch....oh, of course together with a cup of tea too.

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by


Friday 15 March 2013


Yesterday after seeing Sonia of NasiLemakLover made her Blueberry Yogurt Muffin and I thought I should start to clear up some of my frozen blueberries in my freezer.

It has been quite awhile now I have not been baking because I thought I have put on a little weight and my tummy gotten a little obvious seen the "3 layers fat"  (every woman fear of!....hehehehe....).  Nevertheless, if you have long not doing any bakes of cakes, pies, tarts or anything.... I just feel like something missing in life for me..... so dull.

Clearing up some of my frozen blueberries in my freezer, herewith Brown Butter Blueberry Muffin ~ With Crumble Topping!

Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins
(Adapted from Emma of Poires auChocolat)
(Makes 12 muffins)

For the muffin mix:
105g butter
90ml whole milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
175g plain flour
170g caster sugar (I put only 140g)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
250g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.  Put muffin liners in a muffin tin. 
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Keep heating it over medium heat until it has foamed up and brown bits have appeared and it smells nutty and delicious. Make sure you keep an eye on it as it happens - it takes a while but can burn quickly. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. 
Whisk the egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla together, then add the brown butter and whisk again. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl and combine. Pour the liquids into the bowl and fold in until just combined. Fold the blueberries in. Spoon out into the muffin cups. 

For the crumble topping:
45g butter
60g flour
80g golden caster sugar  (I put only 60g)

Measure out all the ingredients into a small bowl. Rub together until you have a crumbly mixture. Divide between the muffins. Put into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, until they are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for a bit before eating. 

  Like Emma said, "they're crunchy and sweet on top, fluffy with that wonderful brown butter flavour in the middle and studded with juicy blueberries."  
And yes, I agree with her too that they're definitely the best blueberry muffin I've ever made or tasted.

I've browned the butter a little longer therefore resulted the cake texture brownish in colour.

Blueberries provide a variety of benefits to so many parts of the body, and are considered a superfood.  Full of antioxidants, they can have a positive effect on the hearts, the brain, the bladder and many more organs and tissues.

Thursday 7 March 2013


My Sister S made this Puff Pastry Cheese Sticks the other day and thought of sharing it with you since it is so easy to make this.

These cheese sticks or cheese straws are just the right thing for children's party, TV snack time, oh....anytime of the day if you are craving for some munchies!

This photo courtesy from my Sister S


2 sheets puff pastry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
40g finely grated parmesan cheese 

Preheat oven to 200 Celcius,  Grease one oven tray.
Brush one pastry sheets with the beaten egg  and sprinkle the grated cheese all over.
Top with other pastry sheet  and lightly press together.
Cut into 1.5cm (1/2") strips and cut each strip into half.  
Twist the strips, and place about 2cm apart on the baking trays.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until strips are browned lightly.

Easy right?

A snap shot pic taken from the "Women's Weekly ~ Baking Day" : Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

Wednesday 6 March 2013


I loves using banana to bake cakes.  But I just don't get the chance to wait for the banana to get fully ripe for my bakes because it will soon disappear before that.   So this time, I have to hide a few away in order to bake a banana cake. 

That someone in my house loves to eat banana, but has indicated to me that won't eat anything that is called banana cakes whereas my Sister S won't eat bananas, but any cakes that uses banana, she will eat!  So funny, right? 

Banana Nut Bread
Recipe source from Joyce of Kitchen Flavours ~ adapted from "The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book")
Makes one 9 by 5-inch loaf

6 tbsp (90gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250gm) sugar  (I use only 150g)
2 or 3 very ripe bananas, coarsely mashed (1 only have about  200gm)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups (315gm) all-purpose flour (I use 250g)

1 tsp baking soda  (I use only 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (90gm) coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (I use walnuts only)

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. 

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined. 

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two-thirds full. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the pan sides, about 55-60 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean. 
Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve.

Since this is a banana related post, I thought I would like to share it AGAIN with you.  I posted this in my previous post, in case you have missed this about banana's fact.

I am baking along with JoyceLena and Zoe, do hop over to see their banana breads and also the rest who are joining us. 

Tuesday 5 March 2013


The "Ms. Kumquat", that's me, Mel, is at it again.  Posting another kumquat recipe.  I promise that this will be my last kumquat recipe.  Hope no one is complaining....  I wonder why should anyone complained when I am posting some delicious dessert here, right?

Recipe from
Makes a 9-inch pie 

6 oz kumquats (about 180 -200g)
1 large lime
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (divided)  (I put in 130g but still sweet!)
4 large eggs (divided)
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
1 tablespoon water
1 All Butter Pie Crust with Almond (see below recipe)

Rinse kumquats and lime thoroughly. Cut kumquats in halves to quarters lengthwise, depending on the size. Remove the seeds. Slice the kumquats into eighth inch thickness. Place sliced kumquats in a small, non-reactive bowl. Zest the lime, and add the zest to the kumquats. Juice the lime into the bowl with the kumquats, making certain not to incorporate any seeds. Add salt and 1 cup sugar to the bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside overnight, or up to 24 hours, stirring once or twice during that time.

Place a rack in the lower middle position of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425º F.
Separate one of the eggs, placing the white into a small bowl, and the yolk into a medium bowl. Set the white aside. Add the remaining 3 eggs to the bowl with the yolk. Whisk until foamy. Whisk the melted butter into the eggs in a steady stream. Whisk in the tapioca flour until no clumps remain. Stir the kumquat mixture into the egg mixture. Set aside.

Roll out the bottom crust of your pie dough, and place in a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the top crust so it barely overhangs the edge of the pie pan. Give the filling a final stir, and pour it into the crust. Gently spread out the kumquat pieces.

Add the water to the reserved egg white, and whisk until combined. Brush the egg white mixture onto the outer half-inch or so of the bottom pie crust. (This will help to create a good seal between the top and bottom crusts.)

Roll out the top crust of your pie dough. Gently drape it over the pie. Trim so there is about a half-inch of overhang. Tuck the overhang over, so the edge is between the top crust and the pie pan. Flute the edges to seal. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white mixture, and sprinkle evenly with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Cut several steam vents in an attractive pattern near the center of the pie.

Bake pie for 30 minutes. Rotate pie 180º and cover with foil. Decrease oven temperature to 350º F. Continue baking until the top crust has puffed up and a knife inserted into one of the steam vents comes out clean, about 25 more minutes.

Let fully cool on a rack. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, but bring to room temperature before serving. 

All Butter Pie Crust With Almond
Recipe from

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
3 to 6 Tbsp ice water, very cold

1 Start by cutting the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and placing in the freezer for 15 minutes so that they become thoroughly chilled.

2 In a food processor, combine flour, almond flour, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.

3 Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4 Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

5 Add filling to the pie.

                         What do you think the pie pattern shape I made?  Nice ?

                 See the kumquat rind?  Ooo.....I love it!