Updates: 338 recipes added!


Ingredients (serves 4):
2 tbsp oil
1 packet ready-made laksa chilli
200g dried shrimps, soaked in water for 20 mins and pounded until fine
2 cups coconut milk
3-4 cups water
300ml fresh milk
Salt and sugar, to taste
600g rice noodles, blanched
200g prawns, cooked and shelled
3 pieces fish cake, fried and sliced
4 pieces tau pok
200g cockles
Beansprouts, blanched
Basil or laksa leaves

1. Heat oil over a medium fire and stir-fry laksa chilli till fragrant. Add dried shrimps and fry till fragrant. Add coconut milk and stir. Add water and stir. Add fresh milk. Season with salt and sugar. Once it comes to a gentle boil and thickens slightly, the gravy is ready.
2. Place noodles in bowls and garnish with prawns, fish cake, tau pok, beansprouts and cockles. Pour gravy over and garnish with basil.

Recipe source: Women's Weekly magazine

Heh bee soft-shell crab

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 cups oil
400g soft-shell crab, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cornflour for coating crab
100g margarine or butter
40g dried shrimps or heh bee, rinsed and pat dry
10g curry leaves
4 chilli padi, sliced thinly
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Red chilli, spring onions and Chinese parsley for garnishing

1. Heat oil in a pan over a medium fire. Meanwhile roll crab pieces in cornflour. Shake off excess flour. When the oil is smoking hot, deep-fry the crab for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside on a strainer to drain excess oil. Discard oil.
2. Using another clean frying pan, add margarine and turn fire to low. Once margarine or butter has melted, add the dried shrimps. Gently stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add curry leaves and chilli padi. Stir-fry the mixture for another 30 seconds, making sure it doesn't stick to the pan. Keep fire on medium. Slowly pour in evaporated milk and stir continuously for about 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown and smells fragrant.
4. Add the deep-fried crab pieces and turn the fire to low. Lightly stir-fry the mixture until the crab pieces are well-coated. Remove to a serving plate and serve topped with red chilli, sliced spring onions and sprigs of Chinese parsley.

If you use butter for this recipe, you get a richer, tastier flavour. However, you can use vegetable oil for a healthier alternative.

Recipe source: Women's Weekly magazine

Bean and vegetable salad

Ingredients (serves 5 to 6):
Lemon garlic dressing:
6 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp light soy sauce or 1 tsp miso paste

60g French beans, sliced thinly
60g long beans, sliced thinly
50g fresh button mushrooms, sliced
50g red, green and yellow capsicum, sliced thinly
50g carrot, cut into strips
50g purple cabbage, shredded
50g cabbage, shredded

1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
2. Put the sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over and toss. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Women's Weekly magazine

Ginger fruit salad

Ingredients (serves 5 to 6):
1 orange, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 apple, cored and cubed
200g honeydew, skinned and cubed
200g rock melon, skinned and cubed
200g mango, skinned, stoned and cubed
200g rambutan or grapes, seeded
200ml orange juice
2 tsp finely grated ginger
4 tbsp honey
4 mint leaves, chopped

1. Put fruits in a salad bowl.
2. Mix the orange juice, ginger and honey together.
3. Pour into the salad bowl and toss to mix well.
4. Keep chilled in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Garnish with mint leaves before serving.

Recipe source: Women's Weekly magazine

Shepherd's pie

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
500g minced beef
1/2 cup red wine
500ml soup stock
2 sprigs rosemary
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Heat oil and fry onion till soft. Then add carrots and cook for 5 minutes more.
2. Add beef, quickly stirring so the meat gets seared.
3. Pour wine over, add rosemary and tomato paste with some salt and pepper.
4. Add half the soup stock and stir over low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, adding more stock as necessary. The consistency should be moist, rich and glossy.
5. Place potatoes in saucepan with enough water to cover potatoes. Add salt and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Remove, mash potatoes with butter, milk and pepper. Add cheese, reserve some.
6. Place meat in an ovenproof dish and spoon mashed potatoes over the top evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place at the top of a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is brown or crispy.

Recipe source: Women's Weekly magazine

Bready bacon salmon

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 salmon fillets
1-2 cups breadcrumbs
1-1 1/2 cups bacon bits
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper

1. Place salmon on a baking tray. For extra flavour, place sliced pieces of lemon grass, spring onions and carrots below the fish.
2. Gently rub soy sauce and salt into the fish. Scatter breadcrumbs over fish (the amount of breadcrumbs you use depends on your preference but make sure the crumbs cover the top of the fish entirely).
3. Top off with a generous sprinkle of bacon bits. Grind black pepper over the fish.
4. Bake at 200 to 220 deg C for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.

Recipe source: Women's Weekly magazine

Baked curry puffs

Ingredients (makes 16):
3 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp meat curry powder
150g chicken fillet, diced
2 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
125ml water
4 sheets of frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into eighths
1 egg, beaten and mixed with 1 tbsp water

1. Heat oil and fry onion, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, curry powder and chicken together.
2. When chicken is cooked, put diced potatoes in, adding water to prevent burning. Cool filling.
3. Use the rim of a small bowl (about 12.5cm in diameter), press and cut circles in the shortcrust pastry.
4. Place 1 heaped tbsp of filling and a piece of hard-boiled egg in each circle.
5. Twist edges shut.
6. Place on a greased baking tray, brush tops with beaten egg and bake in a pre-heated 230 deg C oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

If you want your curry puffs flakier and lighter, substitute shortcrust pastry with frozen puff pastry.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine

Prawn porridge

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 cups rice
1 litre chicken stock
1 tub silken tofu, diced
3 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp preserved soya beans, mashed
1 kg medium-sized prawns, shelled and diced
coriander leaves, to garnish

1. For porridge, boil rice in chicken stock.
2. While porridge is cooking, fry diced tofu in vegetable oil until golden brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon.
3. Use the same oil, fry garlic with mashed soya beans until fragrant.
4. Add diced prawns and stir-fry until pink and cooked. Mix in fried tofu.
5. Serve porridge in individual bowls topped with prawns and tofu. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

For added spice, stir in a teaspoonful of chopped fresh chillies into each bowl of porridge.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine

Minced pork with mushroom

Ingredients (serves 6):
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
500g minced pork
pepper and salt to taste
4-5 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
3-4 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 can (425g) button mushrooms, sliced

1. Fry chopped garlic until fragrant.
2. Add minced pork. Sprinkle with pepper and fry until half-cooked. Add tomatoes and continue to fry until meat is cooked.
3. Add enough dark soya sauce to turn the mixture dark.
4. Add mushrooms. Season to taste and simmer uncovered until sauce thickens.
5. Serve with hot rice and some green vegetables.

Use fresh button mushrooms for a more robust flavour.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine

Teriyaki tau kwa burger

Ingredients (serves 1):
3 tbsp thick teriyaki marinade sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 slices brinjal, diagonally cut
3 slices zucchini, diagonally cut
2 slices sweet potato, peeled and diagonally cut
2 slices carrot, diagonally cut
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 large tau kwa (firm tofu), horizontally cut
1 iceberg lettuce leaf, shredded thinly
Small handful of golden mushrooms, washed and stemmed
1/2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix teriyaki marinade, balsamic vinegar and salt.
2. Marinate the 4 vegetables in the mix.
3. Heat oil in a large pan. Over medium heat, shallow fry half of tau kwa and marinated vegetables till soft and brown. Drain well on kitchen towel.
4. Assemble the burger in this order: tau kwa, salad leaves, vegetables, golden mushrooms and the other half of tau kwa.
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Go healthy: roast the tau kwa and vegetables for 20 minutes.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine

Steamed tau kwa with minced chicken

Ingredients (serves 2):
40g chicken, minced
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked till soft and chopped finely
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1 large tau kwa (firm tofu)
2 tbsp dark sweet sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 stalk spring onion, cut into 3cm strips

1. Mix the first 8 ingredients together and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Place tau kwa on dish, spread chicken mixture on top and flatten. Steam for 15 minutes.
3. Mix dark sweet sauce, oyster sauce and water in a bowl, stir well.
4. Heat oil in frying pan, fry garlic, shallots and red chilli for about 4 minutes, until fragrant.
5. Add the sauce mixture and fry until it thickens a little, about 2 minutes.
6. When the tau kwa is cooked, pour sauce on top and garnish with spring onions. Serve immediately.

Make this dish with silken tofu for a softer texture.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine

Stuffed white button mushrooms

These petite stuffed mushrooms will make a popular canape at your party.

Ingredients (serves 10):
150ml light sour cream
2 to 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
2 slices streaky bacon
2 tbsp olive oil, for brushing
250g The Pasar white button mushrooms, rinsed and stemmed
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped spring onions

1. Mix sour cream with breadcrumbs in a bowl. Season with garlic powder and herbs. Set aside.
2. Fry streaky bacon in a pan over medium-high heat until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels and cut into tiny pieces.
3. Brush oil over the mushrooms and stuff them with the sour cream and breadcrumbs mixture. Place stuffed mushrooms on a roasting tray.
4. Sprinkle each with parmesan cheese and top with bacon bits. Place under the grill (medium heat) for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and turns golden brown.
5. Remove from heat, top with spring onions and serve.

You may substitute sour cream with cream cheese.

To clean mushrooms, first remove the stems, then gently wipe the caps with a damp cloth or rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Do not soak mushrooms as they absorb water and turn mushy when heated.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Tau kwa kebab

An excellent option at barbecues.

Ingredients (makes 8 sticks):
1 green capsicum, deseeded
2 small tau kwa (firm tofu)
1 red onion, cut into large wedges
8 long bamboo skewers
8 cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp light olive oil
1 tsp salt
Thai sweet chilli sauce

1. Cut capsicum and tau kwa (cut into 9 pieces) into cubes.
2. Separate the onion wedges.
3. Alternate the capsicum, tau kwa and onion on the skewer, using 2 wedges each, and place a cherry tomato at the tip.
4. Mix olive oil and salt in a small bowl.
5. Heat a large non-stick frying pan, and baste skewers with olive-oil mixture.
6. Lightly fry kebabs, 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Serve with Thai sweet chilli sauce.

Alternatively, thread tiger prawns with vegetables and baste with butter.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine

Chicken stew with celery and apple

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
4 stalks US celery, peeled and diced
1 red apple, peeled and diced
125ml chicken stock
125ml apple juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp bread crumbs (optional)

1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Brown onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
2. Add chicken to the pan and brown for 5 minutes. Then add celery and apple, and saute for 2 minutes.
3. Pour in chicken stock and apple juice. Lower heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Stir in balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste. (If you want to thicken the sauce, add 1 tbsp of bread crumbs and stir well.) Remove from heat and serve hot.

Do not overcook the celery as the quality of its texture will suffer.

For a more fuss-free alternative, you may make a salad by combining chopped celery and apple with Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, or mix them together for a blended drink.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Spiced pumpkin christmas cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 20 to 24):
200g cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake holders and pre-heat oven to 180 deg C.
2. Sift cake flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder, ground ginger, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl.
3. In a bigger bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars until pale.
4. Add the oil, pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla, then mix until blended.
5. Add the flour in 3 parts, mixing until just blended.
6. Stir in the walnuts.
7. Using an ice-cream scoop, portion the batter into the cupcake holders, filling them only to 3/4 of the way up. This will leave space for the cakes to rise as they bake.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
10. Frost the cupcakes with Spiced cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with decorations.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Mie goreng with stir-fried black pepper beef

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 packets Fairprice Mie Goreng
150g Banksia stir-frying beef (at Fairprice)
100g choy sum, washed
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp corn flour
2 tbsp oil
1 to 2 tbsp black pepper sauce (buy bottled sauce)
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped spring onions
1 tbsp deep-fried shallots (buy ready-made crispy shallots)

1. Season beef with soy sauce, sesame oil and corn flour for 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry onions until slightly brown. Stir-fry beef for 4 to 5 minutes. Add black pepper sauce and toss well for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch choy sum for 1 minute. Set aside.
4. To prepare noodles, follow the instructions on the packet.
5. To serve, top noodles with beef, choy sum, spring onions and deep-fried shallots.

For a more balanced meal, you can toss in more vegetables such as cabbage or shredded carrots, and top it off with a fried egg.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Spiced cream cheese frosting

Ingredients (makes about 1 1/2 cups):
170g cream cheese, softened
42g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or essence
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
A pinch of salt
100g icing sugar, sifted

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth.
2. Add the vanilla, spices and salt, then reduce the speed to low and add the icing sugar. Beat well until blended.
3. Raise the speed to high and beat until light and creamy, which should take about 1 minute.
4. Frost the cupcakes only when they are completely cool.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Trifle with strawberries and kiwi fruits

Simple dessert for a Christmas party.

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp sugar
570ml milk
2 slices pound cake (2cm thick)
2 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
8 strawberries, diced
2 green kiwi fruits, peeled and diced
2 golden kiwi fruits, peeled and diced
Grated chocolate for garnishing
1 tbsp icing sugar for garnishing

1. Make the custard by mixing custard powder and sugar with 2 tbsp milk in a bowl. Bring the remaining milk to almost boiling point, then pour it into the custard mixture, and stir well. Return the custard into the pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until smooth. Set custard aside to cool down.
2. Fill bottom of glass with the pound cake base. Drizzle with 1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Top with strawberries and kiwi fruits.
3. Drizzle 1 tbsp Cointreau over the fruits (optional).
4. Pour custard over the fruits to form a layer. Top with more fruits, then another layer of custard.
5. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
6. Before serving, garnish trifle with more fruits, chocolate shavings and dust with icing sugar.

1. You can substitute strawberries and kiwi fruits with raspberries, blueberries or canned fruits such as peaches, apircots and mandarins.
2. You may use any type and amount of liqueur such as sherry, rum, Amaretto, Frangelico, Kirsch.
3. You can incorporate layers of mascarpone cheese or chocolate mousse if you like.
4. You can add other toppings such as fruits, crushed almond cookies, nuts and cocoa powder.
5. Serve in martini glasses or cocktail glasses.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Seafood with white wine sauce

A simple and healthy meal for Christmas.

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 to 3 tbsp olive oil or butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
250ml chicken or fish stock (dilute 1 stock cube in 250ml water)
250ml white wine
150ml cream
250g threadfin, cut into cubes
250g salmon, cut into cubes
300g prawns, shelled and deveined
300g scallops
200g squid, cleaned, internal shell removed and sliced
8 green olives
A pinch of thyme
1 sprig coriander (for garnishing)

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Fry garlic and onions until lightly browned.
2. Pour stock into pan and bring to a boil. Add white wine and reduce until it thickens slightly, then stir in the cream.
3. Add fish and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add prawns, scallops and squid. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add green olives and thyme, stir to mix.
4. Dish out and garnish with coriander leaves.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Baked cod fish steak

Ingredients (serves 2):
400g cod steaks
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup canned tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup white wine
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dried Herbs de Provence
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Season cod with salt and pepper.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook potato slices for 3 to 4 minutes and drain.
3. Arrange a layer of potatoes in an oven-proof dish. Season with some salt and pepper, and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil.
4. Spoon tomatoes over potatoes, and place the cod on top. Drizzle the remaining olive oil, white wine and lemon juice over the cod.
5. Spread breadcrumbs on top of the cod and sprinkle some herbs over the dish. Place the dish into a pre-heated oven at 200 deg C and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Serve hot with bread or rice.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Pan-fried fillet of fish with tom yam sauce

A Thai cuisine.

Ingredients (serves 4):
4 fish fillets (about 125g each)
30g flour, mixed with 1 tsp ground white pepper and 1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced finely
1 inch galangal (blue ginger), chopped finely
2 kaffir lime leaves (limau purut), sliced finely

Tom Yam sauce:
2 tbsp oil
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced
1 inch galangal (blue ginger), sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves (limau purut)
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
125ml chicken stock
125ml cream

Pan-frying fish:
1. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves on low heat until crisp. Lift and drain oil on paper towel.
2. Dredge fish fillets in flour and pan fry in remaining oil over medium heat until golden brown. Drain oil on paper towel.

Tom Yam sauce:
1. Heat oil in a saucepan and saute lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and chilli flakes.
2. Add fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, switch off the fire and add in cream and lime juice. Pour sauce over pan-fried fish fillets and sprinkle pre-fried lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Prawns with tom yam sauce

Tom Yam is a spicy and sour Thai soup.

1.5 litre water
210g NTUC Tom Yam sauce (1 bottle)
50g lemongrass (remove the outer layers and use the lower 5cm portion), thinly sliced
300g tiger prawns, peeled and deveined, leaving tails intact
200g fish (threadfin or any white fish fillet), cut into cubes
100g shimeji mushrooms, washed and drained
1 sprig coriander, for garnishing

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Stir in tom yam sauce and add lemongrass.
2. Add prawns and fish. Lower heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Dish out and garnish with coriander. Serve with rice.

1. You can replace fish with squid, clams or other seafood if you like.
2. You may sprinkle some shredded lime leaves for a distinctive taste. To add more zest, squeeze some lime into the soup before serving.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Thai mango salad

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 large green mango
100g dried shrimps
10 bird's eye chilli, chopped
10 small red onions (shallots)
1 large red tomato
1 bunch coriander, chopped
Juice of 4 large limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Sugar to taste

1. Peel mango and cut into thin strips.
2. Wash and dry the dried shrimps well. Dry-toss shrimps in an unoiled pan until aroma rises and shrimps are slightly crisp. Cool and set aside.
3. Peel and slice shallots, separate into thin rings. Cut tomato in half and remove pulp and seeds. Cut into thin strips.
4. Mix lime juice, fish sauce and sesame oil, and add sugar to taste.
5. Pile shredded mango, shallots, tomatoes and chopped coriander onto a large platter. Pour fish sauce and lime juice dressing over and top with toasted dried shrimps and chopped bird's eye chilli. Serve chilled.

Try to choose very firm, almost hard, green mangoes.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Mushrooms on olive ciabatta toast

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 punnet button mushrooms
1 packet fresh lemon thyme
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp butter
1 olive ciabatta loaf
Butter for toast
Salt and pepper

Prepare toast:
1. Slice the ciabatta into thick slices.
2. Generously butter the ciabatta slices on both sides.
3. Toast or grill until golden and crisp (about 10 minutes if using the oven).
4. Keep toast warm while your prepare the mushrooms.

Prepare mushrooms:
1. Wipe each mushroom to get rid of any stray dirt. Cut into thick slices.
2. Heat up a frying pan and add the butter.
3. Add minced garlic and fry until fragrant but not too browned.
4. Turn up heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and keep tossing the mushrooms so they sear but do not stew in their juices. That will give you a dry mixture and the mushrooms will not "sweat".
5. Arrange ciabatta toasts on individual plates and divide the mushrooms mixture on top of the toasts.
6. Chop up the lemon thyme and sprinkle on mushrooms. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Christmas snowman cookies

3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp clove powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 1/2 cups fine sugar
1 cup softened margarine or butter (250g)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
red, white and green Royal Icing

Home Made Royal icing:
2 egg whites
12 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

1. Mix dry ingredients together except for the sugar.
2. Cream the softened butter or margarine with the sugar in a large bowl for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat well. Mix in the dry ingredients, knead well and put into a bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and lightly grease the paper.
4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4cm thickness. With a cookie cutter, cut into star and snowman shapes. If you do not have a cookie cutter, just cut into round shapes.
5. Bake for 15 minutes till lightly coloured and cooked. Remove to wire rack and cool before decorating with Royal Icing.

Royal icing:
1. Put the egg whites in a bowl and pour the icing sugar over, stirring well to form a homogenous mixture, not too runny and not too dry. It should be like a soft and slightly runny dough. Add more egg whites or sugar, according to the texture of the mixture.
2. Divide into 3 and colour 1 portion red, 1 portion green and leave 1 portion white. Use a thin piping nozzle and pipe patterns on to the cookies.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Organic lotus leaf brown rice

A vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4):
4 tbsp organic black eye peas
4 tbsp organic dark red kidney beans
4 tbsp lotus seeds
4 tbsp Chinese chestnuts
500g organic brown rice
1 medium organic carrot (diced into cubes)
10 pieces dry shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp organic olive oil
1 small root ginger (smashed)
1 tbsp organic soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp organic pepper
1 piece lotus leaf

1. Soak the black-eye peas, kidney beans, lotus seeds and chestnuts for 5 hours.
2. Put rice, salt, olive oil and ginger in an electric rice cooker and cook the rice.
3. On a medium fire, stir-fry the remaining ingredients (including the soaked beans and seeds) with the seasonings for 10 minutes.
4. Mix the cooked rice with the contents of the frying pan and stir-fry for 10 minutes.
5. Place the contents onto the clean lotus leaf which has been soaked in warm water, wrap it up and steam for 20 minutes.
6. Add garnish (optional). Serve.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Mushroom spaghetti

A vegetarian recipe.

500g spaghetti
30g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
30g button mushrooms, sliced
30g straw mushrooms, sliced
200g carrots, sliced
150g vegetarian mutton, chopped
1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
2 tbsp black soy sauce
A pinch of salt, sugar to taste
5ml oil
5g tapioca flour
500ml water
20g mozzarella cheese
Oregano and lettuce to garnish

1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water with a pinch of salt and a little oil till it is done.
2. Place the mushrooms, carrot, vegetarian mutton and water in a pot. Bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add vegetarian oyster sauce, black soy sauce, salt and sugar.
4. In a separate container, mix the tapioca flour with 20ml of water. Pour the mixture into the pot and stir.
5. Spread some grated mozzarella cheese on top, ladle on the mushroom sauce and sprinkle the garnish. Serve.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Sticky rice with mango

A Thai-style glutinous rice dessert.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 1/2 cup glutinous rice, washed and soaked overnight in water
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup water (optional - add water if the coconut cream is too thick)
1/2 cup gula melaka, chopped (or palm sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 strawberries, diced for garnishing

1. Drain the glutinous rice and place into a bamboo or metal steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam the rice over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is cooked.
2. Heat the coconut cream and water over medium-low heat until hot. Make sure it doesn't boil. Add gula melaka and salt, and stir until sugar dissolves.
3. When glutinous rice is ready, pour half of the coconut milk over the rice. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. Set aside, covered with a tea towel, for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to absorb.
4. To serve, spoon the rice into individual serving plates. Drizzle the remaining sweetened coconut milk over the rice and garnish with mango and strawberries.

1. After steaming the glutinous rice, it must be immediately tossed with the sweetened cream so that so that the flavour can be absorbed by the rice.
2. To add more fragrance to the rice, add pandan leaves when steaming it.
3. Steamed sticky rice must be kept covered with a cloth to prevent it from hardening and drying out.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Spicy orange prawns

500g fresh prawns
1 tbsp rice wine

2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chili Bean Sauce (辣豆瓣酱)
125ml freshly-squeezed orange juice
2 tsp sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
2 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely shredded
1 tbsp grated orange zest
fresh coriander leaves

1. With scissors, cut along the back of each prawn shell and remove the vein. Leave shells and heads on. Rinse prawns and pat dry, then mix with wine and let stand 10 minutes, covered and refrigerated.
2. Mix all sauce ingredients together and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. When very hot, add garlic and shallots and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add prawns and fry for 30 seconds more, then add sauce mixture. Cook, stirring vigorously. When prawns are cooked and sauce is thick and glossy, let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.
4. Dish up and sprinkle with chilli, orange zest and coriander. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Oat and cranberry cookies

Ingredients (makes 24):
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g brown sugar
4 tbsp instant oats
100g cold butter, cut into small pieces
50g cranberry, soaked in hot water

1. Sift flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add sugar and oats, and mix well.
2. Add butter and rub in the mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough bread crumbs. Add cranberries, then form a dough with the mixture. The dough should not be too sticky or soft. If it is too dry, add a few drops of cold water.
3. To make the cookies, roll the dough into small balls and place them about 3cm apart on a greased baking tray. The cookies will spread and become flat when baked.
4. Place tray in pre-heated oven at 200 deg C for about 25 minutes until they turn golden brown.
5. Remove from oven and place the cookies on a wire rack to cool before serving.

1. These cookies are the crispy version. If you want them to be even crispier, try substituting brown sugar with white sugar.
2. If you prefer your cookies to hold their shape instead of spreading out, refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours before baking.
3. Store the cookies in air-tight container. They can be kept for about 3 to 4 weeks.

Recipe source: Today newspaper

Vegetarian bee hoon

Ingredients (serves 4):
Half a packet of bee hoon (rice vermicelli)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
A handful of coriander, torn
4 sprigs spring onions, chopped
2 red chillies, sliced
1 can FairPrice Chai Charng (斋肠)
1 packet bok choy (or any leafy vegetable), washed
A handful of bean sprouts, tailed and washed
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the bee hoon in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and then add the garlic and fry till fragrant.
3. Add the bee hoon and fry for 3 minutes; add some water if it starts to get too dry.
4. When the bee hoon starts to get soft, add the dark and light soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir well to combine.
5. Add another cupful of water and fry till the noodles are soft.
6. Taste and add salt and pepper, or more soy sauce if you like.
7. Add the bok choy and fry for 1 minute or until it just wilts.
8. Turn off the flame.
9. Open the can of Chai Charng and pour some of its braising liquid into the noodles. Taste and add more if desired.
10. When ready to eat, transfer the noodles to a plate and arrange the Chai Charng on top. Garnish with coriander, spring onions, bean sprouts and chillies.

Recipe source: Today newspaper