Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Mee Hoon Kueh 金瓜面粉粿

Not sure why, but I think my parents had not really been fans of Mee Hoon Kueh. I made this conclusion because I don't remember eating it when growing up. Strange I know, especially we are such a traditional family, with both my parents Hokkien. And the first encounter with this Mee Hoon Kueh was when I lunched out with my husband (still BF that time) eon years ago at a hawker center. I remember asking to try it, but unfortunately it didn't leave me a good impression. I couldn't understand that slightly thick doughy mouth feel .....I much rather have Kwey Tiao or Bee Hoon haha. Nonetheless, the soup was rather delicious with sweetness from ikan bills and pork. And consecutive encounters with this dish, even at my in law's, never really turned out that memorable as well. Okay nothing wrong with my in-laws' cooking by the way if you're thinking about that haha. 

So why AM I posting this you ask? Well, because it is one of my husband's favourite childhood dish! Who else can better help him reminiscence this fond memory other then his lifetime partner. :) #goosebumps

And in view of the fall season and my love for pumpkin, I created this Pumpkin Mee Hoon Kwey! Okay, I shan't call it pumpkin flavoured Mee Hoon Kwey because frankly speaking, the pumpkin taste was not that evident. But it did give the kueh a nice orange hue nonetheless. Looks way better then the plain white ones if you ask me. And looks and presentation does play a big part in this modern world. :P
Taste of home right here. Rustic and yet so comforting in every way. And today I think I've fallen in love with this dish! Perhaps by making it from scratch allows me to truly appreciate the labour of love involved, every component that comes together to make this dish so wonderful. Transporting me back to my childhood moments that I actually missed eating it!

Recipe for Pumpkin Mee Hoon Kueh

Pumpkin Dough Recipe
250 g plain flour
1 large egg
100 g peeled, steamed pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
90-100 ml water 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients and knead using a stand mixer. Dough will slowly come together but will be slightly sticky initially. 
  • Continue to knead with a 5 minute break in between to let the dough rest before continuing to knead. Allowing the dough to rest will make it easier to reach the elasticity stage you want.
  • Once the dough completely pulls away from the side of the bowl, it is ready. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover to let rest.

Stock for Mee Hoon Kueh

500 ml water
40 g ikan bilis in gauze bag
250 g pork ribs 
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced (reserve the soaking liquid for use later)
200 g minced pork
some bak choi 

  • Blanch the pork ribs once in a pot of boiling water. Drain and set the ribs aside.

  • Add the water into a soup pot. Place the ikan bills gauze bag and the balanced pork ribs in. Bring to a boil and then lower the fire to a simmer. Let the stock slow cook for at least 35-45 mins.

Marinate for minced pork
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tsp cornflour
  • First we marinate the minced pork with all of the marinating ingredients and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before use.

  • Pan fry the cleaned ikan bilis till light golden brown. Dish up and set over paper towels to drain. Be watchful while you fry it as it will get burnt easily and end up having a bitter burnt taste. #NotGoodEats

  • On a non stick pan, add 1 tsp cooking oil and minced garlic. Cook till fragrant and add the mixture into a small soup pot. 
  • Add in some soup stock, about 2/3 the amount. Bring to a boil and to a simmer.

  • Pinch small amounts of the marinated mince pork into the simmering pot of soup. Continue to add till all the marinated pork has been added.
  • Now you can pinch small pieces of the pumpkin mee hoon kueh dough (using a kitchen scissors  helps too) and drop them into the simmering soup. Once the dough pieces are cooked, they will float.

  • Add in the bak choi or any fresh greens you like. Cook for a minute and you are ready to serve.
  • Scoop the kueh and soup in to a serving bowl and top it off with those crispy fried ikan bills.

Not that bad right? Pretty much like cooking a pot of noodle soup, just that you need to make the kueh yourself. So rewarding when this whole pot of deliciousness is done!

The kids were a little apprehensive in the beginning when I presented them these. Since this is after all the first time I am cooking it at home. But they are too hungry at that point to think that much haha.

Love the slight chewy bite and yet soft enough texture of the kueh. And I believe adding the pumpkin into the dough makes it softer. So happy how it all turned out! Saved a portion for my husband and he had it for dinner. He loved it and gave me his seal of approval! Happy. :)

Will definitely be making this Mee Hoon Kueh again soon...perhaps another flavour! We shall see haha!

Hope you will give this recipe a try too. But as we all know, this is truly a family recipe which everyone has their very own version. Whichever way you like it, I am sure the family will enjoy it nonetheless, because it is made with love! <3 i="">

Happy cooking always everyone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Salted vegetables with duck and vermicelli soup, 咸菜鸭汤加冬粉 (aka Giam Cai Ar )

Cooking soup has become an almost daily affair for me ever since my kids were very young. Yes it has been THAT long. Having a picky eater child really puts a parent to the test on trying out different recipes or just ways of getting nutritious meals into that small body. And some how boiling a pot of wholesome soup usually does the trick. This child of mine would have plain rice and soup for her dinner no problem, even if it means every night. You would think by now I have tried out thousand of  soup recipes! Haha unfortunately, we all know that once we are comfortable with just a handful of good ones, we are just contented. 

I do try to look for new soup recipes even till this day. Because my readers will know my 两菜一汤 menu every night on my IG account, 不可以少了那碗汤!But because I personally feel that some of those soup is so common, it is really not worth mentioning it here on the blog haha!  But today, this particular soup I am writing is somewhat like an old treasure I found after many years. A recipe which I grew up eating and yet haven't had the time to replicate it. After reading up several recipes and watching countless youtube videos, I have concluded my very own recipe for this Salted vegetables with duck and vermicelli soup, 咸菜鸭汤加冬粉.

This is such an old school recipe, I am sure many of you must have drink this before. Personally I love that distinct tanginess of the soup which the cured vegetables gives it. It should be a starter dish if you ask me, sure to whet anyone's appetite! The saltiness from the cured vegetables also cuts into the greasiness of the duck fat, so drinking a big bowl will not make you feel too "Ger-lat".

I added fresh tomato slices and vermicelli to make it a heartier soup. The family had this and they love it. Perhaps its due to the fact that I added less salted vegetables, so it is not overly sour and sweetness from the duck meat can permeate through better.

Ingredients for Salted vegetables with duck and vermicelli soup, 咸菜鸭汤加冬粉
1/4 duck, preferably the drumstick part, chopped into smaller pieces
200 g salted vegetables aka Giam Cai, sliced into smaller pieces and some of its soaking liquid if desired.
4-5 slices ginger
1 fresh tomato, sliced (missing from the photo above)
1 bundle of dried vermicelli, pre-soaked in water
1 spring onion
800 ml water, more if you like it more soupy

1.5 tsp sugar
pinch of salt (ONLY if you think it is not salty enough)


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then carefully place the chopped duck pieces in and par boil for a minute. 

  • Drain and fill with a fresh pot of water, add in the ginger slices and bring to a boil again.
  • After 10 minutes, you can spoon out any fat or impurities that surface on the soup. 
  • Now add in the slices salted vegetables. You can choose to rinse away the salty water that is packed in the vegetables or you can reserve some to be added in to the soup. I added about 2 tbsp worth.
  • Continue to boil the mixture for another 5-6 minutes till the duck meat is tender and the salted vegetables are soft.
  • Finally add in the tomato slices and the vermicelli noodles.

  • Let the mixture simmer for another 3-4 minutes, add your seasoning and remove from fire. And it is ready to be served!

A pot of wholesome goodness! Okay, maybe not that wholesome but it is definitely worth my calories. The next time I make this soup again would be to add another duck drumstick to add more flavour. And you notice I didn't even add much seasoning except for that sugar, to counter balance the sourness (in case my family can't take the tanginess haha).

Do give this recipe a try and let me know how you like this version. Have fun!