July 4, 2008

Ambitious Day At Home

Just begun a part-time work which I only work 3 days a week. I'm not working today and have been thinking of making/cooking things which I needed the time and the mood to do.

1. Dao suan (mung bean warm Asian dessert)
2. 汤圆 tang yuan (glutinous rice ball, another Asian dessert)
3. Fried ikan bilis (anchovies) and peanut
4. Pea and ham soup
5. Lemon tart

I endeavoured to make/cook all of the above today but didn't manage to because I realised that I left the cream that I bought for the lemon tart in the office yesterday (wanted to make lemon tart because I had left over egg yolks after making coconut macaroons last week) and I forgot that I needed thyme for pea and ham soup (hubby took the car to work and I couldn't go anywhere to get it). Nevertheless, I managed to make/cook 3 out of 5 food and still had the time to do other household chores, knit and watch Home Alone 4 (which happens to be on tv).

dao suan dessert

Dao suan is my favourite warm dessert. In fact, its the only warm dessert that I eat. It is cooked mung beans or shelled green beans. You can get easily buy it at any Asian grocery store. Soak the beans (preferably overnight). Steam the beans for about 15 minutes until the beans open up. Cook the beans in a pot (I used a slow cooker) with just enough water to cover the beans. Add rock sugar to your taste. When it is almost cooked, add starch (potato flour or corn flour) to thicken it. Serve with cut you tiao . You can buy them at Yuen's Grocery (in Brisbane. A pack of 4 double fritters cost A$4)

油条 you tiao - fried dough fritters (cut)

Was reminded of my liking for fried peanuts and anchovies (ikan bilis in Malay) when I ate the Indonesian version a couple of weeks ago. JQ's aunt's friend actually was able to bring a packet of it through the aussie customs. After I finished the small supply of it, I decided that I'd make something myself so that I can have that constant supply to go with my rice or porridge.

I saw a packet of anchovies at Coles (you can also get it at Asian groceries) and bought it last week. Along with a packet of blanched peanuts I bought some time back, I dry-fried both of them separately in my wok until they are toasted and then later combined both of them to continue frying with a bit of spray oil and a little bit of salt. And I am very pleased with the result, especially when this is my first try. Didn't think that it'll be that easy and non-messy. Next is to try to add sambal and sugar to make the other type of ikan bilis.

Fried anchovies and peanuts

I also bought some red bean paste in a can to go with my green tea ice cream. However there was so much left over that I wasn't sure what to do with them. The idea came to make them as stuffings to 汤圆, aka glutinous rice balls.

It is simple. Buy a pack of glutinous rice flour. Add enough water until you can knead a smooth dough. Roll out about 4cm-diameter (or whatever size you want) balls. Flatten each one into a flat round piece. Put a round ball of red bean paste into the end and close up the dough to form a ball. Smoothen out the cracks of the ball, roll it in a plate of excess flour. If possible, freeze the balls immediately. This is so that they will not absorb moisture and be too moist and sticky. When you want to eat them, take them out of the freezer and throw them into boiling water to cook. When the balls float up on the water, they are ready to be taken out of the water. I love to eat my 汤圆 with peanut soup. And I am so pleased to find the peanut soup at Yuen's. Instead of boiling the 汤圆 with plain flour, they could be boiled with peanut soup. Yum!

Balls of red bean paste

The end product - 汤圆 (glutinous rice balls)

My favorite peanut soup

This leaves me to try pea and ham soup and lemon tart another day... That was enough to keep my day busy at home!

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