Healthy Kitchen Smells Fresh

December 31, 2008

Homemade Egg Noodle

Filed under: Asians, Cooking, Malaysians, Noodles, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 11:37 am

Have yet to post anything for quite sometimes, have I? Being quite not-so-much-idea lately to be frank. As usual, the kitchen is around the clock steaming. Has to be.

I make homemade noodles for sometimes now, let say every other week – since I am strictly on all homemade diet, preservative free as possible. I will update more on this.. give me sometime will ya? for now.. let see the how to’s





uncooked noodles


ready to eat noodles

Homemade Egg Noodle ( Makes approximately 6 Cups of Noodles)


  • 4 cups high-gluten (protein)/ bread flour (See Notes)
  • Really small pinch of tumeric powder (See Notes)
  • 1 whole egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup (250mL) and 1 Tablespoon luke warm water (1-2 teaspoons if necessary)
  • ½ teaspoon edible lime (mix well with 1 Tablespoon water) (See Notes)
  • Tapioca flour/starch for dusting
  • Enough water for boiling
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for rubbing


1– Mixing :In a large mixing bowl, Combine flour and tumeric powder together well. Make a well in the center to fill the wet ingredients. Set aside

2- Add egg , water and the mixture of edible lime into the well. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated and a not too soft dough is formed.

3- Knead for 10-12 minutes with hands. If the dough is crumbly or too hard to handle, add extra water 1 teaspoon at a time.

· Remember, do not add extra water more than 3 teaspoons. You should get a hard but not too hard dough, makesure it’s easy to handle and still pliable. Not a soft bread dough though. Otherwise you may want to start all over again.

4– Rolling Divide the dough into 4 balls and cover the balls. Let it rest for at least 1 hour.

5- Roll flat each ball about ½ inch thick. Lightly coat the flat dough with tapioca starch.

6- Using pasta machine, start roll a piece of flat dough from the maximum thickness , according to my pasta machine , the thickest part is on no.7 and as the number goes down for the thinnest rolling part. Repeat this process on the same thickness part until you get smooth and flat dough. About 2-3 times.

7- Then move to no.6 or the 2nd thickest rolling part.Continue rollig the flat and smooth dough, about 2 times.

· It is not recommended to go further down the number , you don’t want thinny noodles, do you? The noodle you should get is meaty bouncy pliable noodle. That’s prefect.

8- Repeat all the rolling process with the remaining dough.

9- Once again, lightly coat the flat rolled dough with tapioca starch. Put the dough through dough cutter (spaghetti size) .

10– Boiling : In a large pot, pour enough water and bring it to a boil. Add salt to taste and 1 teaspoon canola oil.

11- Pour the noodles into the boiling water for 2- 3 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid noodles sticking to each other and on the bottom of the pot.

· Boil the noodles one portion (from one small ball) at a time.

12- Pour the cooked the noodles into a strainer and wash with cold water.

· It is important to wash with cold water to get bouncy texture from your noodles.

13- Rub the cold noodles with oil. And ready to use.

Shida’s Notes:

  1. I would recommend to use high protein/bread flour in this recipe. I have used regular all purpose flour and wasn’t really satisfied with the texture to my very humble opinion. But the taste is still good. If all purpose flour is all you have, just use it. Again, it’s only the not-so-perfect texture .
  1. To get light yellow noodles, I use tumeric powder instead of yellow food coloring. Do not put too much tumeric powder . Less than 1/16 teaspoon should be find or you can go with yellow food coloring if you want or may be totally omitted.
  1. Edible lime is calcium hydroxide. Do not get confused with calcium oxide which is harmful for your body. Edible lime can be found in Asian grocery store, usually Indian store has it. If you are not familiar with edible lime or feel doubt , vital wheat gluten powder ( 1 tablespoon amount) would be find. I’ll do more research about edible lime and post it here, insyaAllah. Lye water may be called for some noodle recipe but I would not recommend that since it would cause irritation to your digestive system and may cause harm to your body but this issue is still controversial, further research is needed. Any idea anyone??…


December 19, 2008

Double the Chocolate , Double the nuts Cookies

Filed under: Bakings, Cookies, Desserts, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 1:26 am

Double choc cookies

Chocolate and cookie just a favorite combination for sweet craving of mine. If you are like me, this cookie recipe satisfies even the most serious ‘chocoholic’.

A good news is chocolate boosts your immune system if consumed sparingly and great source of antioxidant that helps to protect from the kind of speed up aging and cell damage.

Replacing half of white flour with whole wheat flour adds fiber in your diet – in your sweet that is not overly sweet. That is a big plus for me. I added chopped nuts for more fiber and extra crunch to my dessert time. Yumm-o!!

I dunk it in hot green tea latte,  Yeap.. another dose for antioxidant .. do not overdose , though!

Double Choc-cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies ( Makes 18 small cookies)


Dry Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup All purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

-Sift all dry ingredients in a medium bowl

Wet Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , soften
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil ( or other mild tasting oil : canola oil, light olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mix in 3 tablespoons water / fresh milk (as an egg replacer)
  • ½ teaspoon strong brewed coffee (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk or as needed ( if the dough is crumbly)

Other Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup chopped toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped bittersweet baking cocoa bar or just chocolate chips


1- Preheat the oven to 350F/180 Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

2- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat dark brown sugar, white sugar and butter  until just combined. Add the oil, continue beating until well incorporated. Add the cornstarch mixture , vanilla extract and brewed coffee. Beat until smooth and well combined.

3- Spoon in the sifted dry ingredients bit by bit. Keep stirring the batter with spatula until well combined and a cookie dough is formed. Do not overmix. Add the chopped nuts and chocolate and mix until combined.

4- Scoop out 1 rounded tablespoon of dough and form them into 18 balls;
and arrange on a prepared baking sheet. Slightly press down the balls.

5- Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are firm. Turn the baking sheet around halfway through.

  • Do not bake the cookies too long or the cookies will dry out. Check after 12-15 minutes.. if they are undone or soft to touch.. let it baked for another 2 minutes.. do not go more than that.

6- Remove the cookies with a thin spatula and place them on a cooling rack. They will crisp as they cool.

into green tea latte

December 18, 2008

Pulut Kuning ( Steamed Sweet/Glutinous Rice)

Filed under: Allergy Free, Asians, Cooking, Gluten-Free, Malaysians, Vegan, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 1:49 am
Pulut Kuning

Pulut Kuning

This rice goes just right with chicken rendang I made ( See previous entry).

When I was just so immatured in the kitchen, pulut kuning seemed to be depressingly impossible to make. As I grew up ( in cooking) and experienced more, I dared myself to try. The first time and second was ok. The third time is recently made ; was better than before.

Making pulut kuning is time consuming only because the sweet/glutinous rice need to be soaked for a few hours – as for the first step. Other than that, you will be enjoying yourself making your own pulut kuning especially for those who are thousands miles from home. Easy to make, even a beginner can make a good pulut kuning.

Serve with rendang like I did, curry or just as is.  Only with a small portion, enough to get your stomach filled all day long,  content to the heart.

Here , my version of pulut kuning that is actually and again, my grandma’s.

Pulut Kuning ( Serves 4 people)


  • 2 ½ cup sweet/glutinous rice
  • 2 Asam gelugor [See Notes]
  • 2 teaspoons tumeric powder
  • Water , enough to cover the rice

– Soak all ingredients in a medium bowl with water, for 5 hours. Stir occasionally to even out the yellow color from the tumeric powder to every single rice.

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups thick coconut milk (See Notes)
  • 2 Tablespoons match stick sliced fresh ginger
  • Salt , to taste
  • ½ teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 8×8 inches sized banana leaves


1.After 5 hours, drain the soaked rice into a strainer. Lets liquid all drained out. Remove the dried slice tamarind.

2.Prepare a steamer :

  • Fill the bottom part of the steamer with water. Only fill 1/5 part of the pot. Place it on  the stove and heat the water on medium-high. Let the water boiled and the pot completely heated.
  • For the colander/top part ( the one that has holes) , line the banana leaves on it before pouring the rice on the colander. Banana leaves prevents the rice falling off from the colander and enhances the flavor and aroma of the rice.
  • Pour the rice into the colander and set it onto the heated pot. Makesure the bottom of the colander/top part doesn’t touch the boiled water. If that happen, pour out a little bit of water until the rice don’t touch water. Remember, you are steaming the rice not directly cooking it.
  • Now, wrap the lid with clean kitchen towel. If you don’t do that, the steam will be collected under the lid and forms liquid . The liquid will drip on the rice and turn the rice too moist because of the excessive liquid and we will end up with mushy pulut kuning. That’s not pretty. The pulut kuning should look solid and yellowy shiny .

3. Cover steamer with wrapped lid. Let the rice halfway cooked or when steam starts to appear at the edge of the wrapped lid.

4. Preparing the coconut milk:

  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix in the coconut milk, sugar , salt and sliced ginger. Stir until well incorporated. Adjust the salt to your taste. Set aside.

5. When the rice is halfway cooked, do not turn off the heat just yet. Pour out the rice in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the coconut mixture until the rice is all moistened.

  • While Stirring the coconut milk mixture in the half cooked rice, only do it gently. We don’t want to mush and break the rice.
  • It is important to make sure that every single rice is moistened with coconut milk mixture , just so the rice is thoroughly cooked.

6. Pour the mixed rice back into the steamer. Cover with wrapped lid. Let it continue to complete the cooking process. Again, the final result should look solid and yellowy shiny. You can actually tell when the sweet rice is cooked by tasting it. The rice should be sticky but still solid , a little bit chewy, moist and edible.. of course.

7. Remove from the heat and ready to serve.


Rendang Tok (Chicken)

Filed under: Allergy Free, Asians, Cooking, Gluten-Free, Malaysians — nshahida @ 1:41 am

Rendang Tok

When the aroma of rendang is all over the place, you can definitely smell a big occasion is around the corner. Rendang is usually served in Malaysia, probably Singapore and Indonesia for a special event such as eid day, for a wedding feast or  when we have a special guest at home.

The spicy and very rich with coconut flavor , the slow cooking method make this spicy meat dish is so special and taste like home if you are abroad.

The wonderful smell , tumeric leaves and lime (kefir) leaves create.. absolutely appetizing and refreshing. It could make anyone drooling for rendang even more. Regardless of it’s origin, which I really am unsure, rendang can be enjoyed by anyone who loves spicy foods.

As for us, far away from home…. Rendang doesn’t have to be served only on a special event. When we feel like eating our home country cooking, rendang is one of the best dishes we don’t want to miss out.

Everybody can make rendang special on their own way. The one I made is the style I grew up with and that’s my grandma’s. The style my grandma makes is rendang tok and that’s what we call up in North Malaysia. I honestly could not tell the different between the North’s style and the South’s one. All I really know , I love my grandma’s rendang and I made mine close to her’s ,not exactly for sure.

Rendang Tok and Pulut Kuning

Rendang Tok and Pulut Kuning

Rendang Tok(Chicken) -(Serves 5-6 people)


  • 2 whole chickens , cut into 6 pieces each, obtain 12 pieces
  • 2 cup thick coconut milk (See Notes)
  • 1/3 cup coconut paste (kerisik) ( See Notes)
  • 3 Tablespoons palm sugar
  • 2 Asam gelugor
  • 5 kefir leaves or lime leaves (daun limau purut)
  • 2 tumeric leaves ( if available)
  • 2 Tablespoons match stick sliced fresh ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Into a blender:

  • 15 dried red chili , soaked in hot water and drained
  • 2 large yellow onions , cut into a quarter
  • 3 Tablespoons diced fresh ginger root
  • 4 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced galangal
  • 3 candlenuts ( buah keras) [optional]
  • 1 Tablespoons coriander seeds }
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds }                            ground in a mortar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds}                             until fine
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper seeds}
  • 2 star anise}

-Blend thoroughly to form a spice paste.


1. In a large bowl, Marinate the chicken with the blended paste and half of coconut milk. For about 45 minutes , at least. The longer the better.

2. After marinating, prepare a big wok. Heat the wok on low heat.

  • Using wok is better than a pot. Why? A wok has wider opening helps evaporate the liquid faster . A wok has ideal searing surface and evenly hot all over heats more food’s molecules , increases rate of transmission.
  • If a pot is all you have, just go ahead use it. It is just more time needed.

3. Drizzle the oil and let it heated.

4. Pour in the marinated chicken and the paste into the heated wok. Let the chicken half cooked.

5. Heat the oven to 400F. Transfer the chicken on a baking sheet. And bake in the oven until brown. While waiting the chicken in the oven, for the spice gravy (the one that remains in the wok), turn the heat low and let it continue to cook..

  • Baking the chicken is only optional, you may want to skip the step if you don’t mind of getting slightly mushy meat instead solid chunk at the end.
  • If cubed beef, lamb or mutton is used, skip the step.

6. Return the browned chicken into the wok. Turn back the heat medium-low,Let it continue to cook with the spices.

7. When the gravy starts to thicken and the oil separated and appears on top, toss in the remaining of the ingredients; brown sugar/palm sugar, salt , coconut paste (kerisik), kefir leaves (daun limau purut) , sliced ginger root and asam gelugur. Adjust sugar and salt to taste.

8. Keep stirring , every minute to avoid burn on the bottom. Pour the rest of coconut milk.

9. Continue stirring until almost all liquid is vaporized and incorporated well with the meat and spices. At this point, the rendang will look dark  and pasty with chunk of meat ( chicken) .

10. Ready to serve with rice, pulut kuning (steamed glutinous rice) and etc.

December 4, 2008

Baked tofu with spicy hot Asian sauce

Filed under: Asians, Chinese, Cooking, Gluten-Free, Malaysians, Vegan, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 2:05 pm


Tofu is also called bean curd in English is Chinese origin. Made by coagulated soy milk and required pressing to get to the final result, firm and velvety silky texture.

If you are looking for a non cholesterol unsaturatedly low fat food that is rich in protein, iron and may be calcium.. tofu is one of the best choice to be in your menu. It can be definitely found in Asian Supermarket and almost everywhere nowadays I figure. It can actually sold in variety way – firm , medium, soft , silken tofu and even dried tofu. Isn’t that amazing?

Recently, Tofu is widely used by vegan in place for meat and as an egg replacer in baking. You can now make almost anything with it; cooking, marinate, stir fry, grill and not to mention, baking. It may be sound yucky and it did when I was a kid , not anymore.. surprisingly. In my household, tofu is must-to-be in our everyday menu, ok I am exaggerating! At least 2 -3 times per week. Let’s say, it’s all time favorite for Asian household.. probably.



Baked tofu with spicy hot Asian sauce is one of the keepers to my family. Normally in Malaysia, this type of dish usually prepared with deep-fried boiled eggs. Since I am not a huge fan of egg or whenever I have the feeling of an overdosed with cholesterol, tofu is absolutely the best option.. no.. I am no vegan! As mentioned above, I myself am shocked that I am finally heart tofu.. how’s that happened? I totally am uncertain.

In south east Asia, this tofu dish isn’t a strange thing  to be savored with hot rice and stir fried veggies . As for myself, I like it really hot and spicy with a hint of sweet and sour flavor comes along.Very satisfying! Even my personal food tester (husband) who thought this was the weirdest food ever began to love this dish.

So here I am , sharing my version of Sambal Tofu or Baked Tofu with hot sauce.

If you do like tofu dish.. you are more than welcomed to try it , if egg version is what you prefer.. here is the wonderful recipe from a favorite blog that is worth try.

Baked tofu with spicy hot Asian sauce


4 blocks of firm tofu ( diagonally cut each block to get 2 triangle tofu, achieve 8 total)

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons tumeric powder

1 Tablespoon canola oil

In a blender:

2 Shallots

2-3 cloves garlic

15-20 dried red chili , soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and drained. ( add more if you prefer it extra hot)

Or 4- 6 Tablespoons of chili paste.

2-3 Tablespoons water

– blend thoroughly until well blended and smooth

Other ingredients:

1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 teaspoon white vinegar or lime juice

1 Tablespoon or more honey or sugar

Salt to taste

3-4 Tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

Water if needed

11/2 Tablespoons canola oil


1 Stalk green onion , thinly chopped

1 Tablespoon fried shallots ( more to your preferences)


Preparing the tofu: Rub salt and tumeric powder on the cut tofu. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, brush the oil on a prepared sheet. Arrange the tofu on the sheet. Bake in 450 F until slightly crisp at the edges and golden brown. Set aside. ( See Notes)

Preparing the sauce:Place a medium sauce pan on medium high heat. Drizzle in cooking oil. Let the oil heated for 3 minutes.

Pour in the blended mixture and stir until well incorporated. Let it cooked until fragrant and slightly brownish red chili paste is formed. Add in ketchup , vinegar, sugar/honey, salt. ( See Notes)

Reduce the heat to medium low. Keep stirring until well combined. If the paste is too thick, add water bit by bit. Let it simmer until oil separates and appears on top. (See Notes).

Adjust salt and sugar to your taste. Add in the chopped roasted peanuts. Stir just a little bit. Let it simmer for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat.

Serving :In a large plate or bowl,  pour the hot sauce over the baked tofu. Generously sprinkle the chopped green onion and fried shallots. Serve it with hot white rice and stir fry veggies or anything to your liking. Enjoy your dinner with the loved ones!

Notes for myself and probably for you:

  1. Normally, the tofu is deep fried but I choose to bake it for I don’t do much deep frying plus of course this one is the healthier version. I’d say. Trust me my friends, It doesn’t alter the flavor at all.. alhamdulillah.
  2. This is important to let the paste mixture completely cooked otherwise the sauce will end up too tangy and onion-y
  3. Since I don’t use too much oil, the oil will not appear that much and the sauce doesn’t look too greasy. It still tastes great to my taste buds.
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