Friday, 22 March 2013

Suki Dipping Sauce for Steamboat

We had steamboat at L's house today and I brought a pavlova roulade for dessert and some chilli dipping sauce to go with the steamboat. I have only eaten at Coca (a Thai Suki steamboat restaurant chain) a couple of times, and that was many moons ago. However, I vaguely recall the special dipping sauce that came in little plastic bowls. It had a slightly gooey consistency with plenty of sesame seeds in it. I couldn't quite remember how it tasted like exactly, but I decided to make a sauce that hopefully came close to it. Hot, sweet and salty, with a little zing and a touch of earthiness from the bean sauce, here is the recipe below:

Suki Dipping Sauce Recipe


5 cloves garlic, chopped
A handful of red hot chillies, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
1-2 tbsp ground bean sauce
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
3-5 drops of sesame oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp chopped coriander


Blend all items together (except for sesame oil, sesame seeds and coriander) until smooth, then add sesame oil. Check for seasoning and adjust according to taste. Garnish with sesame seeds and coriander before serving.

  1. Ground bean sauce is made from fermented soy beans. Make sure you use the salty one, and NOT the sweet bean sauce.
  2. Make a large batch, and any leftover sauce (and steamboat ingredients if any) can be used to make a quick stir-fry the next day!

Thai Steamboat Dipping Sauce

Hello people. I shall update a whole new category of entries from now on. So, for a start, to those who love to eat steamboat - the Chinese style, Thai style, Japanese style or even the Korean style, I'm here to enlighten your taste buds into trying to dip all of those beautiful, fresh, amazing seafood, beef strips, chicken, lamb and veges with this Thai Dipping Sauce!

I was pretty much inspired by our (me and Farid) favourite Thai Steamboat Restaurant; Johnny's Steamboat. Well, to be honest, the place isn't that good but not so bad either. The selection of items for the steamy soup "skin-dipping" session may be a little bit limited. Even the fresh beef is not that fresh. Some of the items we usually have would be the fish noodles, Enoki mushrooms, and lots and lots of fish cakes/balls. The soup is acceptable to our tongues - not too salty and not that tasteless like some other steamboat restaurants we went before.

*Veges, some balls and tofu!

*Put EVERYTHING into the pot!

*Photos are taken by dad and I got it from him!
Mostly, we love the dipping sauce that we had gone crazy eating at other Steamboat Restaurants not tasting the same like theirs! So, in solution, I tried googling and recreating the dipping sauce during the Chinese New Year dinner with my family and well, I think it tasted almost the same! Except for I was lied by Mom saying that we have a full bottle of Sesame oil at home and to find none in the kitchen.

If you have a Steamboat pot at home, try preparing all the ingredients you love (I'd go for Enoki mushrooms and lots of BEEF!), make some chicken stock or any seafood or beef broth and the sauce yourselves!

I'm sorry that I don't have the pictures at the moment since I am an amateur and since I've never really thought of doing this in the first place. I promise to upload the cooking/preparing/serving in the next recipe!

Ingredients needed:

Group A

  1. 4 tomatoes
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. A handful of chilli padi (depending on how hot you want your sauce)
  4. 2 cm of ginger
  5. 2.5 cm of galangal or lengkuas
  6. 2 lemongrass or serai
  7. An onion
  8. Coriander leaves
  9. 2-3 cups of water
  10. 3 tbs of olive oil
  11. Salt and sugar
Group B
  1. 4 lime (get the juices)
  2. 3 tbs of Nempla or the Thai Fish Sauce
  3. 3 tbs of Sesame oil and seeds (which my Mom lied to me so didn't put any but if you put this, your dipping sauce will definitely taste more authentic!)
  4. 3 tbs of Cooking vinegar
  5. 2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
  6. 2 tsp of Paprika
  7. Salt and sugar to taste
  8. This is optional but if you want to make your sauce thicker, you could either put a tsp of corn flour or 2-3 tbs of thatThai Chilli Sauce
Here are the steps to make the magic:
  1. Heat up a pot and pour in olive oil. Then, saute all of the ingredients from Group A for 5-6 minutes. Add the water and let them simmer. Add salt and sugar to taste. Don't overcook the tomatoes. Take it off from the heat and let them cold for a while.
  2. Next is to blend all cooked ingredients earlier on in your food processor. You probably don't want to add anymore water as the cooked ingredients, especially the tomatoes are now juicy and wet! You don't want to dip your food in soup now do you?
  3. When you have food-processed everything, pour back into the pot on a slow heat. Now, challenge your taste bud. Try and put the ingredients in B and get the taste right!
  4. Of course, some of you might like it extra hot, so add more of the Cayenne and Paprika. But if you prefer it to be sour, add more of the cooking vinegar or the lime juice. So as to those who love salty and fishy dipping sauce!
  5. To serve this dipping sauce, pour it nicely into the sauce plate and pour a bit of the sesame oil and seeds and some chopped coriander leaves!
You can add the sauce into your soup so it will taste more spicy or you could just dip your fish cakes/balls in it! Whichever way you're having it, you'll love it!

Good luck to those who are brave enough to try. I've tried and I succeed. And mom and dad let me take the steamboat pot home. So, guess what dish I'll prepare for Farid once we're married?  


Nut Brittle

  • 1 c walnut pieces
  • 1 c pecan pieces
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  1. Lightly toast walnut and pecan pieces in a 350 F oven for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and grease lightly with vegetable oil.
  3.  In a bowl, place butter, vanilla and baking soda together (no need to blend) and set aside.
  4.  In a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, bring sugar, corn syrup and 1/3 c water to a boil. While sugar cooks, brush sides of the pot, right next to the edge of the sugar, with cool water.
  5.  Boil sugar until it turns a light amber colour, about 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and baking soda quickly with a wooden spoon (the baking soda will make it foamy).
  6.  Stir in walnuts and pecans until coated and spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Spread brittle out as much as you can.
  7.  Allow to cool completely at room temperature.
To Assemble
  1.  To serve brittle, crack into pieces.
  2.  Store brittle between layers of plastic wrap or paper in an airtight container at room temperature.

Green Apple Bread Pudding

Yields: 1 9-inch square baking dish 6 Servings 

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 large baguette, cubed
  • 1 cup green apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp Irish cream (optional)
  • Sugar for sprinkling
  • Maple syrup for brushing
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking dish with half the melted butter.
  2. Toss bread cubes, apples and raisins together with remaining melted butter and spoon into baking dish.
  3. Whisk together egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar. Whisk in cream, milk and vanilla.
  4. Pour over bread cubes and press down gently on bread to help soak in. Let stand for about 15 minutes. If you wish, drizzle with Irish cream.
  5. Place baking dish in a water bath and sprinkle top of pudding with sugar.
  6. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the center of the pudding springs back when pressed.
  7. Remove baking dish from water bath. Brush maple syrup over surface of pudding. Serve warm

Pineapple Carrot Cake

Yields: 1 8-inch square cake 9 to 12 Servings

  • For Cake
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup golden brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup diced or crushed pineapple, fresh or tinned (drained)
  • For Frosting
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square pan.
  3. Whisk together oil, brown sugar, eggs, maple syrup and grated ginger.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir into wet mixture to blend.
  5. Stir in carrot and pineapple and pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  8. To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together.
  9. Beat in icing sugar until smooth and stir in vanilla.
  10. Spread over cooled cake and store chilled until ready to serve.

Cranberry Clafoutis

Yields: 8 servings  

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam, heated
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar.
  2.  Pour 1/2 cup of cranberries into 8 ramekins and place on a baking sheet.
  3.  In a food processor, blend remaining ingredients until smooth.
  4.  Pour over cranberries and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until top of gratin is an even golden brown colour.
  5.  Serve clafoutis warm, brushed with apricot jam.

Cranberry Mille Feuilles

Yields: 1 8-inch square mille feuilles 4 to 6 Servings  

Mille Feuilles means a thousand sheets , and this dessert's many flaky layers are filled with a creamy custard and fragrant cranberry filling. Irresistible!

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of unssalted butter
  • 1 tbsp of brandy (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of whipping cream
  • Cranberries
  • 2 cups of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 6 tbsp of water
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 of vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp of brandy or rum
  • Puff Pastry
  • 1 pkg of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  1. For pastry cream, bring milk and vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Whisking egg mixture constantly, gradually add milk, a ladle at a time, to the egg mixture until all the milk has been added.
  3. Pour mixture back in pot and return to medium heat. Whisking vigorously, bring mixture up to a simmer.
  4. Due to the cornstarch, pastry cream will thicken quickly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and, still whisking, stir in butter (this will help halt the cooking process).
  5. Stir in brandy, cover surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap and chill completely.
  6. Whip cream to medium peak and fold in.
  7. Chill until ready to assemble.
  8. For cranberries, simmer cranberries with water, sugar, scraped seeds and pod of vanilla bean and cinnamon, stirring occasionally, until most cranberries have popped, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat, stir in brandy and remove vanilla bean.
  10. Cover cranberries directly on surface with plastic wrap and chill until ready to assemble.
  11. For puff pastry, preheat oven to 375°F. Cut puff pastry into three equal pieces and keep two chilled while rolling first.
  12. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a square about 8 inches.
  13. Trim edges with a ruler to create straight lines (or use bottom of a cake pan). Place on a parchment-line baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces (you should be able to fit 2 squares on 1 baking sheet). Chill for 10 minutes.
  15. Dock pastry with a fork and place a sheet of parchment over rolled dough.
  16. Place another baking sheet on top of pastry and press down gently. Bake for 12 minutes.
  17. After 12 minutes, remove top baking tray and parchment and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more, until puff pastry is an even golden brown colour.
  18. Allow to cool.
  19. To assemble place one pastry square on a platter.
  20. Fill a piping bag with a large plain or star tip and fill with pastry cream.
  21. Pipe cream over pastry square, covering completely, but without going right to the edges (the weight of remaining layers will fill out cream).
  22. Lay second puff square over pastry cream. Gently spread cranberry filling over square.
  23. Top with last layer of pastry.
  24. Dust top of mille feuilles with icing sugar.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Easter Egg Pastries

Easter morning was always so much fun when I was young. We didn't have candy in our house unless it was a holiday, so awakening on Easter Sunday knowing that my pretty wicker basket filled with candy was hiding somewhere in the house got me to jump out of bed.  The four of us kids would scramble to find our own baskets.  If the Easter bunny hadn't hid one of our siblings baskets too well, it might get hidden again in a more out of the way location, like a closet or the oven. I remember the day my mom turned on the dryer to fluff up the clothes and heard a big thump. Yep, one of the baskets ended up in the dryer but luckily no bunny was harmed.  After our hunt, when we had all found our treasure, we'd enjoy a few jelly beans, a bit of a chocolate bunny ear, or marshmallow Peep before having to gobble down some breakfast and head out the door to church.

When I was dreaming up recipes for Easter, I imagined what I would have wanted to eat for Easter breakfast as a kid and Pop Tarts came to mind.  My mom did not stock the pantry with Pop Tarts as a general rule, and I had only had them a few times as a kid, but have eaten my fair share of them as an adult and have to admit I really like them. I've been seeing so many recipes for homemade versions of these breakfast pastries and I thought it would be fun to give them and Easter twist. This recipe is very simple and I wanted to keep the ingredients simple, so you can devote your time to the decorating process.  So, I used Pillsbury Pie Crusts to create my egg shaped pastries and filled them with a variety of store bought fillings: lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread, jam, and caramelized banana pie filling. There are so many fillings to choose from, that I'm sure you will find something to your liking.

I used the scraps of pie dough to cut out small decorations that I sprinkled  with a rainbow of colorful sanding sugars then attached to the eggs before popping them in the oven. I recommend decorating your eggs on a rimmed baking sheet as this will help to contain any spilled sanding sugar - I spilled some just opening the container! Dont' worry about the mess, just have fun. Get the kids involved too, they will love creating their own designs. Your imagination can go wild here as you design your own array of colorful Easter egg pastries. I've demonstrated four different designs, but am sure you could come up with dozens of different eggs. These pastries aren't only great for breakfast, they would also make a festive dessert for your Easter dinner.

Easter Egg Breakfast Pastries  (makes 4 pastries)

1 Pillsbury Pie Crust, thawed according to package instructions
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash
4 tablespoons of filling (ex: lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread, jam, banana pie filling)

Special Equipment Needed:
rolling pin
small pastry brush or food only paint brush
small cookie cutters, pizza cutters, ravioli cutters, knife
non-stick foil lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet


Unroll pie dough onto a work surface (I used a pie mat.) The dough will measure 11". Use a rolling pin to roll the circle out to about 12". This will thin out the dough enough that when you sandwich two layers of dough together and add decorative pieces of dough, your pastry will not be too thick. Cut out 8 eggs using a 4" x 3" egg shaped cookie cutter.  Reserve dough scraps to make your decorations.

I would recommend that you place four of the pie dough eggs onto a non-stick foil lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet (I put them on a cutting board then had to move them once decorated.) Spoon about a tablespoon of your preferred filling in the center of each egg.  Spread the filling out leaving a 1/2"-3/4" boarder. I used lemon curd (so good), Nutella (yum), raspberry jam (tasted good, but a lot oozed out during the baking process), and caramelized banana fruit-tart filling (my absolute favorite) to fill my eggs. Use what you and your kids will like. Of course, if you are like most families, everyone will have their own favorite filling, so a variety is nice.

Use a small pastry brush (or food only paint brush) to brush egg wash onto the pie dough all around the filling.  Lay another egg onto top of each of the filled eggs. Press down all around the edges of the dough to seal the two egg shaped doughs together. You'll want to make sure you have a good seal all around the egg. If you want, you can crimp the edges using a fork (I chose not to.)

Use mini flower and round cookie cutters, mini Easter cookie cutters, a pastry wheel/pizza cutter, alphabet cookie cutters or a knife to cut out shapes from the dough scraps. I cut out some flowers, some polka dots, and even my name. If you want to put names on your eggs, usingsmall alphabet cookie cutters, they need to be short enough to fit.  Four to five letters will fit across the width of an egg and six to seven will fit lengthwise.  There are so many mini sized cookie cutters on the market right now, that you will have so many choices in decorating your eggs. I also made some striped eggs. To get just the right size stripes for my eggs, I cut out an egg using the 4" x 3" egg shaped cookie cutter, then use the crimped edge of the pastry wheel to cut out my stripes.

Brush some egg wash on the top side of a pie dough decoration. Sprinkle colored sanding sugar over dough, completely covering the piece. Set aside to dry.

Sprinkle sanding sugar over all of your decorations. Lay them out next to their respective eggs.

Brush egg wash over the top surface of an egg.  Attach the decorations by laying them over the egg and gently pressing down the edges. 

Place your little eggs in the freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bake Easter egg pastries for 5-7 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees half way through the baking cycle (to ensure even browning.) Bake until golden brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.  Serve hot or cold.  You can even bake them ahead of time and heat them up in the toaster before serving.

If you like this recipe, please share it with others by using the share buttons below. I really appreciate being Stumbled Upon, and am always grateful to those of you that share my ideas on your website. I do request that you don't post my entire tutorial, but rather share a picture with a link and be sure to mention the recipe came from Hungry Happenings. If you make this recipe, I'd love for you to send me a photo to Thank you for visiting Hungry Happenings - Beth


Chocolatescapes on a Stick

Create homemade Easter chocolate eggs with different colored layers with this fun and edible chocolate Easter egg craft for kids. .  These chocolate Easter eggs on a stick make a great treat to add to your child's Easter basket
Be sure to visit our main Easter index for even more ideas including Easter egg decorating ideas, more Easter craftsholiday recipesprintables and more.


  • Small eggs
  • Chopstick or skewer
  • Chocolate candy melts in various colors
  • Plastic zipper sandwich baggies
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Cardboard egg carton
  • Small bowl

Cooking Instructions

  1. Pick up an egg; poke the bottom (largest end) with an ice pick or steak knife.
  2. Use your fingertips to pinch off little bits of the egg around the hole. Make the hole almost the size of a dime. (Note: Yes this seems large, but you have to get the chocolate back inside!) (See photo.)
  3. Hold the egg over the mixing bowl, stick the chopstick up inside the egg and break the yolk. Shake the egg into the mixing bowl. Set egg shell on plate. (See photo.)
  4. Repeat with remaining eggs.
  5. Use the eggs in mixing bowl in a recipe or cook up a batch of scrambled eggs. (Yum!)
  6. Take egg shells over to the sink and rinse them out.
  7. Fill each egg shell with warm water and place in pan.
  8. Gently cover the eggs with warm water about an inch above the tops of the eggs.
  9. Place pan on stove and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Note: This step was provided by our local County Extension Food Economist to eliminate salmonella.
  10. Remove pan from heat.
  11. Use slotted spoon to remove egg shells, one at a time, from water. Place egg shell in strainer or on cooling rack placed in sink. (If you do not have a rack that fits in your sink, place kitchen towels on countertop and place strainer or cooling rack on towels.) Carefully (they are hot!) tip the egg to drain the water out.
  12. Repeat for all egg shells.
  13. Be sure to wash thoroughly anything, including your hands, which may have come in contact with the raw eggs.
  14. Let egg shells dry thoroughly (overnight).
  15. Place the eggs in egg cartons with the open end facing up.
  16. Place a handful of melts into a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for one minute. Continue for another 30 seconds (50% power) or until all pieces are melted.
  17. Fill a zipper plastic bag halfway with one of the colors of melted chocolate. (See photo.)
  18. Squeeze all the air out of the bag and push all the chocolate to one corner.
  19. Twist the remaining areas of the bag around to form a mock pastry bag.
  20. Snip the tip of the corner off with scissors. (See photo.)
  21. Squeeze melted chocolate into the egg shells through the opening. Repeat with other colors to create layers. (See photo.)
  22. Just when you think you are done you will need to firmly but carefully tap the egg carton on the table or counter to help get rid of any air pockets in the chocolate. Top off eggs with more chocolate.
  23. Before the chocolate sets, be sure to stick in a lollipop stick. (See photo.)
  24. Place the eggs into the refrigerator to set.
  25. Once chocolate has set, remove the egg carton to the counter.
  26. One egg at a time, carefully tap the sides of the egg on the counter.
  27. Peel the egg shells off the chocolate.
  28. Eat and enjoy! (See photo.)

Tips & Tricks

  • Be careful not to tap the shell too hard on the counter as you can break your molded chocolate egg.
  • Try different decorating ideas like creating one solid colored egg, then after you have peeled the shell dot on other colors or drizzle.
  • Be sure to get the smallest eggs that you can as this can be a considerable amount of chocolate!
  • Stick your chocolatescapes into some floral foam covered with Easter grass and place in a basket for a very cute table decoration! (See photo.)