Author Archives for Geraldine's Kitchen Journey

About Geraldine's Kitchen Journey

A simple woman who has a strong passion for cooking and baking. Amidst all setbacks, she is determined to keep going.

Hokkien Popiah

This is the kind of popiah that I grew up eating. It has garlic sprout, carrots, cabbage, taukwa (firm beancurd), prawn and fishballs. Wrapped together with lettuce, Chinese coriander and ground peanut with sugar. My mom’s version would even have beehoon and oyster cake, together with some kind of seaweed that they called “ho thi” in Hokkien wrapped altogether❤️. This is what we called 润饼. This dish is also a very common Hokkien dish for the Chinese in Philippines often served during Chinese New Year.

When my mom cooked this, she will share it with my aunties. She would pack tubs and tubs of it to send to them because everyone loves it. I never really got to learn it from her, so after she passed on, I knew I would never be able to eat it her exact recipe again. Hence I tried my best to recreate the dish based on my memory. It is a simple dish but tedious, because it requires a lot of chopping and grating. During her time, she didn’t own any food processor except a grater, chopping board and a knife. So you can imagine how much time it required to cook this dish on top of taking care of 5 children and household chores without any hired helper. So that’s how you know that this dish was made with lots of love.

Surprisingly, not every Hokkien person knows about this dish, I have searched around Singapore hoping to find one and buy it instead of making it, however my search came up empty. So in order for my kids to be familiar with the food that my mom used to make for me, I make it every now and then. I am blogging it today so that someday they can cook it for themselves. I once jokingly told them that they should maintain my blog if ever I passed on, so that they can still enjoy the home-cooked meals even after I’m long gone.

My quantity might be a bit much for you, so you may just halve or a third the recipe. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 600g chopped garlic sprout
  • 500g French beans
  • 1.5kg grated carrots
  • 800g grated fishball
  • 1kg chopped prawns
  • 1kg thinly sliced cabbage

Assembling

  • Bunch of Lettuce
  • Bunch of Chinese Coriander
  • Ground Peanut with Sugar – the amount of sugar depends to your liking, though for me I prefer the ratio 1:1 🙂
  • Spring roll wrapper


Method

Note- It is necessary to keep on mixing as you sauté, ensuring each ingredient is well distributed as you cook.

  • In a heated wok, drizzle some oil to sauté the garlic sprouts for a minute or two, followed by the prawn. Prawn is added first to ensure that it is fully cook as it gets harder to mix when all of the other ingredients are added in.
  • Add in the French bean, sauté for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the cabbage, mix for about 3-4 minutes
  • Add the carrots, mix for about 3-4 minutes
  • Add the taukwa and fishball, mix thoroughly and continue cooking until all the ingredients are softened and cooked
  • Salt to taste

Assembling

  • Lay the spring roll wrap on the plate
  • Place 1 or 2 pieces of lettuce, followed by a sprig or two of Chinese coriander
  • Place 3-4 tablespoon of the cooked mixed vegetables. ( depends on how well you can wrap. Note that you should avoid scooping in the liquid vegetable broth to prevent the wrap from breaking) . By the way, for the broth, I usually will just scoop some on a bowl and drink it.It is a very nutritious and tasty broth. Try it.
  • Sprinkle some peanut and sugar mixture on it and wrap. I usefully start wrapping it from the bottom right corner going to the center , then upper left corner going to the center overlapping the one from the bottom right corner. Then grab the left bottom corner and fold it towards the center, then the right top corner to the center. For kids I would usually just wrap it along with cling wrap so that they can just unwrap it as they eat.

If you can relate to this dish, leave a comment! I would like to hear from you.

Chicken and Prawn Money Bag

Delicious and Crunchy Money Bag

As Chinese New Year is around the corner, I started to think of dishes I could prepare. This year I am planning to make money bag, as opposed to the typical dumpling. Both represent wealth, but the money bag is more aesthetically pleasing. So I came up with this dish using Dancing Chef’s Hainanese paste. It came out really good. The spices in the paste is flavourful yet not overpowering, just perfect for my dish. This recipe is definitely a keeper. My family simply loves it! My eldest son even complimented that my money bag tastes so much better than the one he had at his prom night held at a hotel. My youngest son who doesn’t like any food with prawn just can’t get enough of it. Well my husband? Yes, he quietly ate his food piece after piece hahaha :). My heart feels so full!

Ingredients

  • 600g minced chicken thigh (with skin) – See note
  • 250g minced Prawn (washed, de-shelled, deveined)
  • 6 pieces minced dried shiitake (washed and pre-soaked with hot water, stem removed, set aside 2 tbs of the hot water liquid from soaking the mushroom)
  • 55g finely grated carrots
  • two packs of wonton skin
  • 1 pack of koo chai ( blanched in hot water to soften and pat dry with kitchen towel)

Seasoning

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs Hainanese chicken paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chicken powder
  • 2 tbs potato starch

Dip

  • Dancing Chef Suki Sauce

Note 1 : The reason I added the skin on is to add extra fat and collagen. As chicken thigh is not fatty unlike pork, you need to add this to keep the dumpling juicy. However with skin on, it makes the mincing a bit harder. Do note I had intentionally left some larger bits while mincing the chicken, for better mouth feel. This is just my preference however.

Note 2: Cover the wonton skin and the money bag with damp cloth/kitchen towel as you work along, this is to prevent the skin from drying as you work on each bag.

Method for wrapping

  • Mix all the ingredients together including the mushroom liquid, followed by the seasoning. Mix until well combined and mixture becomes sticky.
  • Place one tsp of the mixture at the centre of the skin, gather the edges of the skin together and seal it with your finger( see photo below) . Then tie it with a strip of the koo chai. Note that you should not put too much filling as it will be difficult to seal and tie it.
  • Do the same for the rest of the meat mixture.

Method for cooking

  • Heat up oil in a wok over medium high heat
  • Test the oil if it is hot enough by placing the tip of the wooden chopstick into the oil. Bubbles around the chopstick indicates that the oil is ready for frying
  • Place the money bag gently into the oil in an upright position. This is to ensure that the meat are cooked first before the tip of the bag. When the bag starts to turn to golden brown, turn down the heat to medium low and continue frying until it becomes golden brown (about a minute). Turn the tip down so that it would now be submerged in oil and continue to fry until the whole bag is evenly fried. Note that you should not over-crowd your wok so that temperature of the oil would not drop tremendously, this is to prevent your food from being greasy.
  • Remove the fried money bag from the oil and place it on paper towels
  • Repeat the process until all the money bags are cooked
  • Transfer it to a serving dish together with Dancing chef’s Suki sauce , alternatively if you don’t have access to the Suki dip at your location, you may use any other dip such as mayonnaise, or sweet and chili sauce.
Yummy!
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