Chestnut Flour Pancakes


Happy New Year! May your 2017 is a sweet one!

I was very curious about the chestnut flour when I found it in a quite corner of my local grocery shop. I love roasted chestnuts. I wonder what is its flour taste like. What can I do with it? After an extensive research, it seems making pancakes is my best option. It can’t go wrong. It is going to be marvellous. I served them with maple syrup, fresh figs and berries. Perfect!


chestnut flour (1 cup), baking powder (1 and 1/2 teaspoons), caster sugar (1/4 cup), 2 eggs, milk (1 cup), maple syrup, figs, black berries, blue berries.


What to do:

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl, add eggs and milk, whisk until smooth.
  2. In a large none stick frying pan, add pancake mixture to form about 3 inch circle. Cook each pancake under low heat until it starts to bubble on the top and looks set, then flip it over and cook the other side for about 20 second, or until cooked through. Repeat the process until all of the pancake mixture has been used up.
  3. Serve with maple syrup, figs, black berries and blue berries.

Spicy Seafood Soup


Christmas is only one week away. Lots of people at work have already left for holidays. Life is at a very slow pace right now. I am finally not too tired to cook anymore. A demanding boss can really take a lot of energy out of you. It was sticky hot when I went to the market today. Seafoods are definite the popular choice of protein in summer days. I saw some beautiful clams, muscles and prawns in the local seafood store. It reminded me the good old blogging days. I love how today’s photo came out after playing around with the remote flash. Of course Ian was helping with the setup. Lucky me!


Clams (2 dozens), muscles (a dozen), tiger prawn (half dozen), olive oil (3 tablespoons) ripe tomatoes (4), brown onion (1), button mushrooms (6) dried chilli (4), garlic (2 cloves), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Clean clams and muscles.
  2. Peal the tiger prawns, reserve the prawn heads for later.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and brown onion.
  4. Slice the button mushrooms.
  5. Heat olive oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Add prawn head and dried chilli, cook for 5 minutes. Add brown mushroom and onion, cook until soften.
  6. Add wine and tomato, cook until tomato turn into a nice sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add mussels and clams simmer, cover for 5 minutes or until the shell fishes just opened (discard any that do not open). Remove clams and mussels and transfer to a bowl.
  8. Add prawns to the pot and simmer until cooked through.
  9. Sprinkle with crushed chilli flakes and serve with toasted bread.

Beef Noodle Soup

beef noodle soup

It was rather cold last week. Winter is well truely here. I didn’t expect Sydney to be this cold. Cold weather like this, a bowl of hot beef noodle soup is the best thing to keep warm. I used gravy beef to make the broth and it was simmering for hours. The house is filled with  the beautiful aroma. Noodle is freshly made using my noodle machine. Can life get any better than this?


gravy beef (about 1.5 kg), water, soy sauce (4 tablespoons), dried ginger powder (2 teaspoons), white pepper corn (1 tablespoon), sichuan pepper corn (1 tablespoon), dried chilli (4), bay leaf (3), star anise (2), cinnamon sticks (2),  nutmeg (1), salt, coriander and fresh red chilli for garnish.

What to do:

  1. Place gravy beef in cold water (enough to cover the meat) in a pot, and bring to boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then transfer the meat into a clay pot, and tip the water into the sink.
  2. Top up the clay pot with some fresh boiling water (enough to cover the meat). Bring it to boil and the turn the heat down to low, let it simmer. Add soy sauce, ried ginger powder, white pepper corn, sichuan pepper corn, dried chilli, bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon sticks,  nutmeg. Season with salt to taste and simmer until the meat is falling apart. (Note: use a metal mesh spice container to hold pepper corns and sichuan pepper corns together, so it is not everywhere in the broth)
  3. When soup is ready, cook some fresh ramen. Serve with the above beef broth. Garnish with chopped coriander and fresh red chilli.

Weekend Meal-Homemade Dumplings

homemade dumplings 1

homemade dumplings

I bought a pasta/noodle machine recently, which costed me a fortune. But I really like it. All you need to do is add flour (up to 500g), then it will tell you how much water it needs. Push the start button, pasta comes out from the other end after 3 minutes mixing. It is gorgeous!  The pasta came out the machine doesn’t stick together, which was my primary worry. It can make 7 different kind of pastas. So far we like the penne the most. Today I am trying the dumpling/ravioli wrapping. It came out as a long sheet and you can cut into squares or circles afterwards. Oh! I am in heaven!


Pork mince (500 g), prawn (a dozen, coarsely chopped), egg (1), canola oil (1 tablespoons), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), ginger (about 1 tablespoon, minced), shallot (3), shiitake mushroom (4, coarsely chopped), cabbage (200g, coarsely chopped), Chinese cooking wine (1 table spoon), water (1/2 cup), soy sauce (1/2 tablespoon), salt and white pepper, dumpling wrappings (500 g).

What to do:

  1. Place pork mince and chopped prawn in a mixing bowl, add egg, canola oil, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine and soy sauce, mix in one direction (I do clockwise, this is to help mince stuck together).
  2. Place ginger, shallot and water in a blender, and blend to yield ginger & shallot water.
  3. Add 1/3 of the above ginger & shallot water into pork mince and mix clockwise, then do the same 2 more times until the ginger & shallot water used up. This step to make sure water is well combined with pork mince and won’t split. At this stage the pork mince should be very easy to stir as it absorbed all that moisture.
  4. Add chopped shiitake mushrooms and cabbage, and mix clockwise until well combined.
  5. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  6. Now you can start folding dumplings. Because they the square wrapping, start from folding it in half to have a rectangle shape then fold two of the bottom corner together to have the shape in the picture.
  7. In a large pot, boil dumplings in salted water.
  8. Serve with Chinese vinegar and chilli oil.

Rustic Country Roast

rustic country roast 3

rustic country roast 1

rustic country roast 2

My little herb garden at the balcony has been very handy this summer.  I have got mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, origano, parsly, coriander and spring onion, which is a big collection.  So far, mint and basil are the easiest to grow in a pot. Parsly and coriander has been difficult. They always dry out if there is couple of hot days and I forgot to water them in time. It doesn’t stop me from trying though. Having continuous supply of herbs is so good.


Chicken maryland (2), mushrooms (6), olives (a handful), onion(1), garlic (2 cloves), dry white wine (a splash), origano (2 sprigs), rosemary (1 sprig), thyme (6 sprigs), chilli power (1 teaspoon), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Preheat to oven to 220 degres Celsius.
  2. Rub chilli power, salt and pepper on the chicken, set aside.
  3. In a hot pan, add some cooking oil and cook mushrooms and onion until they are soften.
  4. Add chicken and fry until both sides looks golden brown.
  5. Add olives and a splash of dry white wine. Cook under high heat until the wine has been vaporized.
  6. Transfer everything into a baking dish, add the fresh herbs.
  7. Roast until the juice come out the chicken runs clear. (about 1 hour, depend on the size of the chicken)

Risoni with prawn, chorizo and chargrilled capsicum

Risoni with prawn chorizo and chargrilled capsicum

Risoni is a very small shape of pasta. Almost look like some kind of rice or grain. It tasted very interesting. Probably because the way I cooked it, I kept expecting it to be rice. But it is pasta. Next time I would try to put it in a salad or a soup. I imagine it would suit better with its texture.


Risoni (250 g), Chorizo (2, about 200 g, sliced), prawns cutlets (a dozen, peeled and deveined), Spanish onion (1), red capsicum (1), garlic (4 cloves, minced), fresh ripe tomato (4),  fresh parsley (1/4 cup, chopped),parmesan cheese, olive oil.

What to do:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. Chargrill the capsicum on the open flame of the gas stove until the  capsicum becomes soft and has a nice charcoal color on the skin. Leave it on the chopping board to cool.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the Chorizo, and then add Spanish onion and garlic. Saute until the onion starts to caramelise.
  4. Add chopped tomato and cook until the tomato is soften and turned into a nice sauce.
  5. In the meat time, peel the chargrilled capsicum flesh off, throw out stuffs inside, i.e. the seeds and all. Roughly chop the flesh into strips and add it into the sauce, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat and add prawn. As soon as the prawn changed color, turn off the heat.
  7. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.

Turkey Salad

Turkey Salad

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are having a good one.

I am normally not a salad person. But last week Ian ordered something from a salad bar which was really tasty! So good that made me want to jump up and make something just like that. The key was the zesty dressing, after long search online, this tasted close enough.


Roasted Turkey (chopped into big chunks), mixed salad greens, parsley leaves, tomato (chopped), kalamata olives, sundried tomato (cut into strips)

Dressing: olive oil (1/2 cup), red wine vinegar (1/4 cup), sugar (2 teaspoon, add 1 teaspoon first, then adjust to your taste), dried oregano (1 teaspoon), dried basil (1 teaspoon), garlic (1 clove, minced), dijon mustard (1 tablespoon), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix all the dressing ingredient in another small bowl, whisk with a spoon until well combined. Adjust all seasoning to suit taste, including the sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing all over the salad, toss to combine.