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Nov 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Roasted Duck & Sundried Tomatoes Pasta

Okay, so I cheated, and used a store bought roasted duck. 
Hey, Thanksgiving isn't even celebrated big time here. It should, if not just to remind everyone to be thankful and doesn't have to be about any country's traditions and shmaditions if you don't want it to be. Gratitude is the keyword, not stuffing, yams or turkeys .... or even pasta ... well, it can be, but gratitude comes first, and then stuffing, yams and turkeys ... even pasta.

I'm thankful, even after several months of sadness, mishaps and not-nice whatnots, I still have some sanity and strength left in me. Thankful that I still have some time to make and post this. Thankful that you are reading this. Thankful to be here. 
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I've never had to roast a duck (I'm thankful for that too, altho I'd like to try do so one fine day). People seem to like giving me roast duck. I get this quite often. I love roast duck ... any which way. I'm happy.
I was given this, I said thanks. Thanks-given. Thanksgiving ... get it? Oh well ...
This one was roasted in the Cantonese style, with a strong flavor of five spice. You can use any kind of roasted duck meat.
The usual way we enjoy this is with fluffy steamed rice and perhaps some vegetable side dish. 
I like teasing off the meat and using them in all sorts of concoctions. This is one of our favorites.

Notice I don't have any measurements. It's up to you how much you stuff you want in your pasta. Just toss everything in.


Roasted duck meat, sliced
Garlic, finely chopped
Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (if not using those already packed in oil, soak dried ones in hot water until soft)
sweet basil leaves
salt, to taste
chilly flakes, optional

prepared pasta (I used Vermicelli, the finer spaghetti)


Saute chopped garlic in a little oil until fragrant but not burnt. (If you have duck fat, it would be awesome!)
Stir in chilly flakes, if using.
Add in duck meat. 
And then the tomatoes.
Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Toss the prepared pasta to mix evenly with everything.
Season with salt to taste.
Finally add in the sweet basil leaves just before serving.

Sounds simple? I can tell you, the sun-dried tomatoes, basil and the roasted duck goes perfect with each other! 
This is actually similar in method to the shrimp/seafood pasta recipe, just a twist to the ingredients.

                         ~ Thank you for being you ~

Nov 15, 2012

Palm Sugar and Coconut Cream Sago Pudding (Sago Gula Melaka)

The bare basics .... 
Just sago, coconut cream/milk and palm sugar syrup.
Simple, easy, minimalistic, yet a favorite among the locals and many non-locals who have tried it. An evergreen recipe. One that I'm not even going to "twist". It's just too perfect. One that can put a happy grin on my man's handsome face at any time. That's perfect!

Sissi of With a Glass made a comment on the previous post (Mango Pomelo Sago thingy) about having bought a packet of sago pearls (just because they look so cute) and wondering what to do with it. Here you go, Sissi, this one's for you. (PS: that comment really made me smile). 

Sago pearls come in different sizes and colors. I like using the tiny white ones. The greens are probably pandan flavored or colored and the pinks .... hmm ... 
Lately I've seen some yellows. Since I've no idea what is being used to color those things, I'm sticking to plain.


1 cup sago pearls
5 - 6 cups water (the more water you use, the less likely the sago will stick to your pot)
coconut cream / coconut milk
palm sugar syrup (or chopped palm sugar melted over a water bath)


Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Sprinkle sago pearls into the boiling water.
Boil for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the sago from sticking at the bottom.
Switch off heat and put a lid on the pot. At this point, you'll still see some white dots.
Let sit for another 10 minutes.
Sago should look translucent and starchy.
Using a sieve, strain sago over cold running water, stirring to remove excess starch.
Spoon into molds, refrigerate until set. 

To serve:

Remove sago from molds. 

Drizzle over coconut milk and palm sugar syrup ... as much as your sweet tooth will allow, and ...
Dig in!

(Alternatively, you can just put the sago into nice serving bowls, let it set and just pour on the coconut milk and syrup to serve).

Nov 5, 2012

Mango Pomelo Sago Dessert

What a mouthful for a dish.
How do I make a one-word name for this ....
Mangelo Dessert? Pomango? Pangelo?

Oh heck, whatever you call it, it isn't an original so perhaps I shouldn't change the name. Pretty boring tho, don't you think? For something so delicious, I'd call it something a little fancier ... like maybe, Golden Mango Puree with Pomelo Jewels and Sago Pearls .... oh, good grief! Cheesy!

I first tasted this in a Hongkong styled restaurant in Singapore. Totally fell in love with it! Very refreshing!
Altho it's very much in the Hongkong dessert trend, the Singaporeans claim it's created by them. 
Whatever. I've just recreated it and ... have added my own twist as well ... you know, my usual.
I've found a sprinkle of finely sliced sweet basil actually compliments the dessert beautifully. Those who aren't into basil, you can omit that. I personally think it's adds a certain sophistication to the flavors. 


2 medium-sized ripe mangoes
200 ml coconut milk 
200 ml water
pomelo flesh, amount depends on how much you want to put into it (Separate out the sacs. This takes some doing but I find it quite therapeutic)
1.5 cup sago pearls

simple syrup (see below for instructions)
finely sliced sweet basil leaves (optional)

*Note: You could substitute the pomelo sacs with grapefruit. I haven't tried it ... yet. Will keep you updated on that. 


First, prepare the sago.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Sprinkle in the sago pearls and cook for 10 minutes. Stir every now and then to prevent sticking.
Turn off heat and cover the pot. Leave for 10 minutes.
Drain into a fine wire sieve and rinse with cold running water to remove excess starch. Leave aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Peel and remove flesh off mangoes. 
Place in a food processor or blender together with the coconut cream and water. Blend til smooth.
Add sago to the puree, stir to mix and refrigerate. 
When you're ready to serve, add the pomelo sacs (about 1 or 2 tbs to each cup, or more if you prefer) and simple syrup to sweeten.
Serve cold with a sprinkling of sliced basil and extra cubed mangoes (if there are any left).

*Not to be kept too long as the mango flesh tends to turn brown due to oxidation. Still ok to eat but not too pretty.



1.5 cup sugar
1.5 cup water


Place both ingredients into a saucepan and heat on low until sugar has melted.
Cool before use.
(You can even do this in the microwave using a microwave safe container)

*I've found this amount to be enough for the above dessert portion. But if you have a sweeter tooth than I, just double up the amount or remember the 1:1 ratio of sugar to water.

For those who aren't too familiar with the fruit, you can check it out here:
It's similar to a grapefruit, 3 - 5 times bigger, milder, less bitter and have bigger and juicier sacs.
Darn, I should have taken a pic of the fruit before I massacred it!