Spicy Satay Sauce

This is a must-try recipe for a delicious, spicy, aromatic and nutty peanut sauce. Share this with friends at your next bbq and they will love you forever!

Tastes great with chicken or lamb skewers, or just dip in with a bit of bread and enjoy.

You will need:

1 cup roasted peanuts
1/3 medium brown onion
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
One large clove of garlic
3 Tablespoons Malaysian Curry powder (I used Baba brand)
10 dry red chillis- seeds removed and soaked in a little hot water(more or less to taste)
3 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons Fish sauce (I used squid brand)
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Few tablespoons of lemon or lime juice, or tamarind juice to taste.

To make:

Blend the onions, garlic, ginger and chillis with a tiny bit of water until smooth. Fry off the paste in a couple of tablespoons of oil on a medium low heat until softened and all the rawness is cooked out. This may take 10-15 mins

Blend the peanuts and add to the mixture.

Add curry powder and cook on a slow heat after adding a bit of water. Stir regularly, and add more water when necessary. The sauce is almost done when the oil separates out of the sauce. This step is essential! Sometimes you need to leave it without stirring until oil starts floating up the top, scrape the bottom regularly and repeat the process until fully cooked and a lot of oil oozes out.

When almost done, add sugar, fish sauce, salt and lemon/lime juice or the tamarind juice and allow to cook through. Check seasoning and enjoy!

Stores well in an airtight container in the fridge.


Chicken ‘Satay’ with Veg Jasmin Rice.

It has been stinking hot here in Melba for the past few days.. Nearing 40 deg C.

I’ve noticed my cooking has changed to suit the weather.. no curries or slow cooked food, especially with an electric stove-top  that retains its heat for a longggg while.

I made this dish last weekend. The reason why I didnt call this satay chicken is because I couldn’t find any bamboo skewers and really couldn’t be bothered for just good looks 🙂

Anyway. Super easy dish to make, perfect for this kind of weather; marinate the chicken and cook for a few mins when it’s time to eat.


For the chicken:

2 medium chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips (you can bash a bit to tenderise, but I don’t)

3/4 tsp turmeric powder

pinch of chilli powder (to taste_

one minced clove of garlic

2 tablespoons brown sugar (can use honey or normal sugar)

2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use Maggin seasoning sauce)

salt to taste

sesame oil for cooking (can use any other mild tasting oil)

Kecap manis and lemon to serve

To cook:

Mix all ingredients together and allow to marinate for at least an hour (the longer the better)

When ready to cook, heat a little bit of oil in a skillet or non-stick  pan and add chicken pieces. Do NOT overcrowd the pan or turn too much. You want to turn only when the bottom side is cooked and picked up some colour. This way  you get a beautiful flavour without using a bbq.

Turn and cook the other side.

Serve with a drizzle of kecap manis and squeeze of lemon juice.

For the veg rice:

Chicken stock (i use the water I poach chicken in)

1 spring onion- sliced

2 cups jasmin rice

1/4 cup each diced carrots, peas and corn

1 small clove of garlic – minced

salt and black pepper to taste

To make:

Bring veg to boil in the stock with garlic and spring onions. Season well. Add pre-soaked and washed rice and cook according to packet instructions.

Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Salad

It’s been a while since my last post.. havent been feeling upto blogging much lately… Sometimes it feels like I blog to myself.. until I bumped into a family friend who told me she had been trying out recipes from my blog.. knowing that people are trying and appreciating my recipes encouraged me to get back into yet..

And my husband has been encouraging me too 🙂

Enough about me and now back to cooking ……….

This is what I eat when it is hot and I can’t be bothered standing infront of my electric stove top for long…

It is healthy and delicious.. try it out and it would be a sure favourite lunch for the hotter months.

Serves 2:

2 servings of dry thin rice noodles – cook according to packet instructions (usually you just soak in boile water for a couple of mins)

thin strips of red pepper and carrots – 1/4 cup each (i use a eg peeler to make thin ribbons of carrot)

1/4 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts

fresh mint and/or thai basil / corriander leaves – few roughly torn

small clove of garlic minced, added to noodles while hot (to avoid stinky breath!)

small handful fried shallots for garnish (optional)

For dressing

2 tablespoons of soy sauce (i use Maggi seasoning sauce as it has a nice flavour) you can also use fish sauce.

about 2 tsp sugar

squeeze of lemon or lime (approx 1 tablespoon )


250 gms beef  topside cut into thin strips

1 tablespoon kecap manis

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

1 small clove minced garlic

mix everything together and allow to marinate, then stir fry in some oil until crsipy, taste to adjust seasoning.

To make the salad, mix everything together and add dressing to taste.

Enjoy hot, warm or cold!


Homemade Laksa

Yesterday I  decided to make some Laksa at home.. I went on a quest for fresh Asian ingredients to make the perfect Laksa.

Laksa making is actually quite simple if you follow a few steps. The key is using the right ingredients, turning them into a paste and cooking it properlt to ensure maximum flavour.

Cooking your paste too quickly on a too hot of a flame will result in a burnt and bitter flavour. Not cooking the paste for long enough would give off a raw taste for the onions, spices etc which can be unpleasant.

You will need (makes 2 generous portions)

1 small chicken breast – sliced into thin pieces

about 8 prawn cutlets

handful of hokein noodles

handful of sliced green beans

4 tofu puffs (halved)

4 asian shallots or one small red onion

2 large cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

1 red chilli (optional)

1 stalk lemong grass –  dry exterior removed and soft inside chopped

2 teaspoons prawn paste

2 heaped tablespoons coconut cream (Ayyam brand is excellent)

0.5 to 1 teaspoon Malaysian curry powder (I use Baba meat curry powder)

1 teaspoon sugar (optional to taste)

lemon wedges to serve

To make:

Blend onion/shallots/ginger/garlic/lemongrass/chilli to a fine paste.

Toast the prawn paste in a hot pan then add a few tablespoons of oil. Add paste and lower heat to medium. Stirfry the paste until fragrant and until the oil splits from the paste. If you find it is cooking too quickly add some water and allow to reduce. Add curry powder and stir for a minute.

Once paste is ready add one cup of water and allow to simmer for about 15 mins. Taste ans season well. The mix is ready when no rawness can be tasted.  Add coconut cream and mix well. Add more water to form a soup (about 1.5 cups). Add chicken and beans. Allow to cook, then add prawns and chopped tofu puffs. Finally add the hokein noodles when prawns are almost cooked.

Serve with a wedge of lemon. You can also garnish with spring onions, beanshoots and hardboiled egg.

I find it tastes better the next day.


Indochinese Chilli Chicken – Take 2

I’ve blogged about this in the past, but have refined the recipe further, so decided to post it up again.

This dish is really tasty and I find it perfect for the warmer months.

You will need:

2 chicken thigh fillets – fat removed and cubed

1 green capsicum and 1 red capsicum – chopped into large pieces

1 stalk of celery – finely diced

1 medium onion – cut into thin wedges

2 spring onions – chopped

1 clove of garlic – mined

approx 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground corriander

3 tablespoons chilli sauce (i use shark brand)

1 tablespoon corn starch mixed well with a couple of tablespoons of water to form a milk like liquid

1 tablespoon vinegar (optional)

To make:

Cook chicken in a couple of tablespoons of oil in a hot pan. Add celery, corriander  and garlic half way through cooking. Stir a bit for a minute, then add capsicum and onions. Season well.

Allow to cook while stirring, then add soy sauce and chilli sauce one tablespoon at a time until desired flavour is achieved. Add vinegar and some water to make a thin sauce. At the end add the corn starch mix to thicken the sauce. Cook until the cornstarch thickens. Add spring onions at the end.

Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!


Sauce measuremenrs are just a guide, you will need to taste as you go.

Always err on the side of less than more, taste and add more if necessary.

Add more water if you want more sauce, or more cornstarch if you want a thicker sauce.

Always premix the cornstarch with water before adding to your dish. It will go lumpy if you add it directly to the hot pan.



Home made dim-sims

I love steamed fresh dim-sims.. not the frozen stuff..

They are fairly simple to make and much healthier than those in store..

(pic is of raw dim-sims)

You will need:

Chicken/veg filling (for recipe)

Wonton wrappers

To make:

Fill each wonton wrapper with about 1-2 tablespoons of filling (depending on the size of the wrapper)

Place on a steaming rack and allow to steam covered for about 15 mins or until filling and wrappers are fully cooked.

Serve with your favourite dipping sauce!


Wrapping dimsims requires a bit of practice, there are many videos on youtube demonstrating this. Find a technique that works for you, or develop your own!

Easy Malaysian Chicken Potato Curry

I dont usually like using ready made curry pastes, but I have tried one which is inexpensive and very tasty.

I add some extra flavourings to boost the flavour and freshness of the curry, but you can ommit these if you want your curry in a hurry 🙂

You will need:

One large chicken breast, or chicken thigh fillet, or about 300 gms chicken pieces on the bone. (thighs and chicken on bone would give the best flavour)

Approx 3 tablespoons A1 brand chicken curry paste

One large onion- sliced

One large clove of garlic- minced

One tablespoon minced ginger

1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)

approx 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

one red chilli (optional)

One large potato- chopped into chunks

salt and pepper to taste.

To make:

Saute onions for a few minutes in oil and then add the curry paste. Stir fry for a few minutes until the onions soften and begin to caramalise. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Stir until fragrant. You may need to add some water to prevent the mix from burning.

Add potatos and chicken (if using chicken on bone or thighs, add this before the potatos as they require a longer cooking time).

Add some water to make a sauce (but not too much, just enough to allow it to simmer). Cover and cook until everything is tender. Adjust seasoning and add coconut milk about 10 mins before everything is fully cooked. Add water if necessary while cooking, and conversly if the curry is too watery, allow to cook uncovered to reduce and thicken.

You can add some chopped corriander at the end.

I like to serve mine with some chopped cucumber, boiled egg , steamed rice and some toasted peanuts.

Nasi Goreng- Fried Rice

Some of us might know Nasi Goreng as the Chinese king who built the great wall of china (to keep the rabbits out)  .. But in reality most of us know that it is a delicious dish of fried rice belonging to Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines. 🙂

You will need:

1.5 cups of rice – seasoned with salt and cooked- fully cooled (preferrably cooled for a few hours or cooked the night before)

1 medium chicken thigh or breast fillet- chopped into 1 cm pieces

half a large carrot- cubed (approx 3/4 cup)

frozen peas (approx 3/4 cup)

3 spring onions – sliced (greens and whites seperated)

one medium onion-finely chopped

1.5 tablespoon minced ginger

1 medium clove garlic – minced

2.5 tablespoons kecap manis (more or less to taste)

1 tablespoon shark brand chilli sauce (more or less to taste) – this amount gives a medium spicy rice

2 eggs – whisked

a few tablespoons of oil for stir-frying

1/4 teaspoon prawn paste (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

To make:

Stir fry chicken and onions for a few minutes, then add carrots, ginger and garlic. Stir fry until chicken picks up some colour and is almost cooked. Season with kecap manis, chilli sauce. prawn paste and salt and pepper.

You need to work on a medium to high heat. Keep stir frying until some caremelisation occurs. Do not burn the mix. You can add the white parts of the spring onions now.

Push the contents to a side of the pan and add the eggs. Cook well and break up with a wooden spatula and then incorporate it into the other ingredients.

Check for seasoning.

Add the cooked rice and stir fry on high heat until well combined and you hear the rice ”sizzle”. It needs to very lightly pick up some colour and crispiness. Add the green part of the spring onions in the last minute or as a garnish.

I like to eat mine with a fried or boiled egg.


  • If your rice is hot, dont bother making fried rice. It will turn gluggy. If you are in a real rush and insist on making it, spread your rice in a flat tray and put in the fridge to cool quickly.
  • Dont be scared of using prawn paste, it adds a subtle flavour to the final fish that is not fishy at all.

Sushi – Cooked Tuna Hand-roll

With a bit of practice, sushi can be enjoyed at home, at a fraction of the cost of outside. Here is how I make it.

For the rice: (makes about 4-6 full nori sheets)

1.5 cups of sushi rice -cook according to packet instructions

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

For the filling: (makes about 2-3 full nori sheets)

1 large can (185gm) of sandwich tuna in oil- drained

2 tablespoons whole egg mayonaise – I use reduced fat Praise whole egg mayonaise (more or less to taste)

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Avocado, cucumber fingers, lettuce or any other vegetable of your choice. (optional)

Mix everything together

To make:

Mix the vinegar, salt and sugar together until dissolved. You can use the whole amount on the rice, or less if you want a milder taste. Mix well with the rice, and ensure the rice is fully cooled before rolling the sushi..

Place about 1/3 or less of the rice on a sheet of nori. Spread it out to a few mms thick. Place mixed tuna filling on the rice, add vegetables and roll to form a sushi roll.

Slice up into desired poriton sizes and serve with soy sauce.


Do not use full amount of sushi seasoning at once. Add half, then mix and taste. You may prefer to use less or more.

Have a bowl filled with water handy to wet your fingers as you spread out the rice. It prevents it from sticking to your hands.

Beef Rendang

My first experience with rendang was during my melbourne uni days.  You couldn’t beat 3 dishes and rice for $6.50 at Noraisa’s kitchen on swanston st. I didnt actually know what i was eating at the time, except for the fact it was meat and it was delicious!

Rendang seems like a scary thing to make. But with this recipe, you will be making delicious rendangs!

You will need:

1 kg chuck beef – chopped into large cubes

1.5 Tablespoon Ginger* -minced

1.5 Tablespoon Galangal*- minced

1 cup grated onions

4 large garlic cloves (minced)

Approx 1.5 Tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass*

1 cup dessicated coconut

3 birdseye chillis* (more or less to taste)

0.5-0.75 cup coconut milk

3 kaffir lime leaves*. finely chopped. approx 1 tablespoon

1.5 Tablespoons malaysian meat curry powder. Baba brand is nice

2 Tablespoons sweet soy sauce- kecap manis.

Few tablespoons of oil for frying


*optional  ingredients, but impart a beautiful flavour to the dish.


Heat some oil in your cooking pot. Add onions, garlic, ginger, galangal, chilli and fry off on medium heat until fragrant and onions become very lightly golden.

Add curry powder and mix for a few seconds until fragrant.

Add lemon grass, lime leaf, meat and mix for a few minutes or you can skip this step. I just like to fry it off a little until the meat picks up a bit of colour.

Cover with water.

Meanwhile toast the dessicated coconut in a seperate pan for a few minutes. Mixing reglarly. It only takes a few seconds for the coconut to start browning. So do not leave the stove. You want it to achieve a golden toffee colour.

Once done add to the cooking pot.

Cover and allow to cook on gentle heat for about 1.5 hours(this will depend on cut of meat and desired tenderness, the following step should be done at about 30 mins away from doneness as a guide).  Check regularly if more water is needed.

Remove the lid, add the soy sauce, salt and coconut milk. Reduce until it reaches a point where you are almost stirfrying (ie have almost no water in the pot). Stir for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant. Adjust seasoning. Once done add more water and allow to cook for final time. Then reduce the gravy to desired consistency. It should not be too dry or too watery.