Sunday, 31 January 2010

Steamed beef with roasted rice 粉蒸牛肉

Fen zheng niu rou 粉蒸牛肉 or steamed beef with roasted rice is a popular Sichuanese dish. It's spicy beef coated with roasted glutinous rice. This dish can be presented in several ways, one is to steam the beef with a bamboo steamer. I don't really like using bamboo steamer because the meat juice will stain the bamboo making cleaning a pain. I prefer to use a large noodle soup bowl like this below, which can be presented as it is with a bit of garnish or inverted like the second picture. As you can see potato, taro or pumpkin can be used to line the bowl which I think is rather pretty and also it serves to absorb most of the meat juice making the dish rather dry. This beef dish is not good adding too much liquid as sauce, it will be absorbed by the glutinous rice making the beef coating really soft and gummy.




There are few essential ingredients for this dish other than beef. The most important is the roasted rice. This is not ordinary rice but glutinous/ sticky rice. The rice is roasted on a dry pan till golden brown then coarsely ground. This rice gives the body and texture to the beef.

For flavouring the most important is chilli bean sauce or douban jiang. I am addicted to this sauce I cook quite a lot of Sichuan dishes quite regularly. Some of you who know me will know I don't like Lee Kum Kee chilli bean sauce. This brand of chilli bean sauce has been my favourite for a while. About a year ago I saw and bought authentic Sichuanese chilli bean sauce called Pixian douban jiang 郫县豆瓣酱 from London now available in most Chinese supermarkets everywhere in England. Pixian is a town in Sichuan where most of the famous Sichuan chilli bean sauces are produced. I really like this Pixian stuff, it's more pungent probably due to its long fermentation. I will continue to use Pixian from now on. If you like chilli bean paste I would recommend you look for the Pixian douban label, they can be in jars or bamboo weaved container. Here is one I bought last week in plastic packaging.


The next flavouring is a bit unusual, it's fermented rice juice 醪糟汁, i.e. it's partially fermented rice wine not completely filtered or distilled, it can have some rice grains still in it. It's quite easy to make your own, I will post a recipe later. If you like to buy some this is the closest match I can find in many Chinese supermarkets over here, see picture below. If you can't find this or prefer not to buy any you can always use Chinese cooking wine for this beef recipe.


Now lets look at this beef recipe. This will serve 3 - 4 people as part of a various dishes meal.

Ingredients:

450- 500g beef like sirloin or rump
chilli bean sauce (Pixian douban if you can find it), 3 tbsp for hot/ 2 tbsp medium/ 1 tbsp mild
2 - 3 tbsp light soy sauce, if you use less chilli bean sauce use more soy sauce
1.5 - 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, dry roasted and ground
2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small chunk of ginger, chopped or grated
3 - 4 tbsp fermented rice juice (can also use the rice grains), if not use 2 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine
2 - 3 tsp sesame oil
about 1/4 cup water

70 - 80g glutinous rice (just under 1/3 cup)

1 medium size potato, or you can use a small piece of taro (oriental yam) or pumpkin

garnish:
some spring onion and coriander

Method:
  1. Trim away any gristle on the meat then cut into 0.5cm thick strips.
  2. Dry roast the glutinous rice using a small frying pan at medium heat, keep the rice moving either with a stirrer or shake the pan. Roast till the rice is light golden brown. Leave to cool for few minutes then coarsely ground using a coffee grinder or mini blender.
  3. Mix the beef with the flavouring ingredients and ground rice. Leave this sit for about 10 - 15 minutes till rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
  4. Cut potato into thin slices.
  5. Take a soup noodle bowl, arrange potato on the bottom of bowl then layer beef pieces on top, piece by piece. Do not pack the beef down or the rice may not cook evenly. If there is any rice grains left on the bottom of the mixing bowl, just spread this on top of the beef.
  6. Steam around 35 - 60 minutes. Time depends on your steamer power and quality of beef. Tougher beef will take longer. Try tasting around 35 minute, take a piece of meat from the centre if it is tender it's ready, if not steam for a bit longer.
  7. Serve as it is or invert the meat onto a dish. Garnish with a little spring onion and coriander.
Mixing the meat

Arrange potato on the bowl


layering beef on potato

dish ready for steaming

beef straight out of the steamer

Saturday, 30 January 2010

The basic - How to peel and core a pineapple S E Asian way

I love fresh pineapple and get them quite often when it is on offer. Fresh pineapple I get from the supermarket is not usually ripe enough to eat right away. I normally keep it for few days till the skin has turned yellowish or orangey brown. Do keep an eye on the stem, if you see any mould make sure you wipe it off with a damp cloth or wipe with some breach just on the cut end. If the mould gets into the inner stem it will ruin the whole pineapple.

I know there are many people who hate dealing with the peeling and coring. The common way to peel pineapple by many people over here in the west is to trim off about 1/2" thick of the skin to remove not just the skin but also the eyes. I find this very wasteful. I was taught to peel pineapple the more efficient way since I was a kid. The way I do it is to peel the skin quite thin and trim off the eye in a spiral cut. This is how most S E Asians including Indians would do it. If you like to know how here it is.

First decide which part of the pineapple you will be using as a handle, with pineapple supplied with a long stem I would use the stem and cut off the crown before peeling. With UK and US pineapple without the stem, use the crown as handle, as shown on the slideshow.

Then start peeling the pineapple skin off just thick enough to remove the skin but not the eyes. Then cut the eyes off in a spiral way, as shown in the slideshow below. By doing this you can save a lot of the flesh. Also I lay newspaper to collect all the skins and trimmings, so when I am done just wrap up the rubbish and into the bin (trash can), no mess and less cleaning to do.

I think peeling it this way not only save you more fruit for the money but also it looks nicer.


Friday, 29 January 2010

Moo Shu Pork 木須肉

I got some dried woodears (black fungus) this morning from Aldi. I tried some for a quick stir fry of moo shu pork this evening. These woodears are pre-cut and thinner than those I usually buy from the Chinese supermarket. Once soaked I find them a bit bitty, ok for this kind of stir fry. I would not use it if I have to shred it very fine for some recipes. Tastewise it's fine.

Now talk about this moo shu pork I had cooked.

Moo shu pork 木須肉 is not commonly heard of in UK, but if you are in US nearly every Chinese restaurants and takeaways (or takeout in US) has this on their menu. Moo shu pork was introduced to US I guessed via the Taiwanese or Northern Chinese many years ago. Because some of the traditional ingredients were not easily available they had adapted it and it has become one of the most popular US Chinese dish. I have seen all sorts of non traditional vegetables go into this dish like bean sprouts, shitake mushroom, cabbage, brocolli etc.... It's kind of like a chop suey stir fry with anything they like. Also another thing is, US moo shu pork always serves in a wrap like a large duck pancake with a bit of hoisin sauce, I have also seen it wrapped with tortilla????

So what is traditional moo shu pork? This is a Northern Chinese stir fry dish, common in Beijing and Dongbei. It uses simple Chinese ingredients and is an everyday family dish with few specific ingredients.

The Chinese words for moo shu 木須 can mean several things. Not too many people to this day really know what they meant. These are three assumptions:

1. Moo shu 木須 can mean the bright tiny sweet yellow Chinese flower called sweet osmanthus 桂花 (gui hua), so one of the essential ingredient is egg to look like this yellowish flowers. Another common ingredient for moo shu pork is dried lily flowers also to symbolise the yellow flowers.

2. Some said
Moo shu 木須 means woodears, so this makes up the next essential ingredient.

3. The last assumption is it means pork.

So there you have it, 4 main ingredients to go with this dish.

Other common ingredients are bamboo shoot, carrot and cucumber. I normally just add bamboo shoots.

The next big query is the pancake. Wikipedia states moo shu must be served with pancakes, where is this come from? As far as I know, this only applies in US and Canada. Traditionally, I don't think this is true and I have never seen any of this recipe written in Chinese serving with hoisin sauce and pancakes. The mind boggles how a classic dish can be bastardised.


So this is my version of moo shu pork as close to traditional as I understood it. No pancakes and I serve this with rice.


Looking at the picture it's not very colourful, bits of pale yellow and brownish black bits put together. All I can tell you is the flavour is simple but quite tasty, the meat is tender so is the scrambled egg. To pair with these are some crunchy vegetables of woodears, bamboo shoot and lily buds.

Here is the recipe if you like to try. This recipe makes a dinner size plateful.

Ingredients:

about 180g of lean pork like loin
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp of egg white (use remaining of the egg for the scrambled egg)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
about 1 tbsp of water

3 eggs, medium or large + remaining egg from above
about 15 - 18g woodears or black fungus 木耳
about 25g dried lily flowers/buds* 黄花 or 金針
about 150 - 200g drained bamboo shoot, this is the one I used
2 fat cloves of garlic
about 1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 - 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
a little ground pepper
a little sesame oil
some cooking oil

* If you cannot find lily buds, can leave it out and add a handful of julienne carrot.

Method:
  1. Cut the pork into fine thin slivers. Mix with the marinade and leave for 15 - 30 minutes.
  2. Soak the woodears with warm water for about 15 - 30 minutes till they are softened and expanded. When soaking woodears make sure you do not let any grease or oil in contact before they are fully soaked or they will be limpy and not expanded to their maximum size. If the woodears are in large pieces cut into long thin strips. Rinse and leave aside.
  3. Also soak the dried lily buds in warm water till soften. Check there are no woody bit of stalk on some of the buds. If yes pick them out. Rinse, drain and leave aside.
  4. Beat the eggs and leave aside.
  5. Finely chop the garlic
  6. Heat the wok till almost smoking add in about 1.5 tbsp of oil. Heat oil till very hot. Pour in the egg and spread it out, leave it to set for about few seconds, then stir and scramble the into bite size pieces. When the egg is slightly brown on the bottom take it out. Note: If you use very orangy yolk eggs, the scrambled egg will look more colourful.
  7. Heat about 3 - 4 tbsp of oil till very hot, add in the pork. Stir fry till pork is lightly browned. If the meat sticks together tease apart with the stirrer during stirring. Push the meat to one side of the wok.
  8. Without adding any more oil, add in garlic give it a quick stir till fragrant. Add in vegetables stir for a while then stir the pork into the vegetables. Add cooking wine and enough soy to taste with a pinch of pepper. Stir till hot, add a splash of water if you find this dry.
  9. Finally add in the scrambled egg. Stir and drizzle on some sesame oil.
  10. Ready to serve.

If you like the American way, you can serve this with steamed pancakes and hoisin sauce.


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dongbei Guo Bao Rou 東北鍋包肉


Dongbei 東北 means the 'East North' plain of China, old name is Manchuria. This area is made up of 3 provinces Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.

Guo bao rou 鍋包肉 is a sweet and sour pork Dongbei style. The difference between this S 'n' S pork to other bog standard S 'n' S pork is the use of very thin pork slivers. Pork loin is usually the choice of meat used.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients: (serve 2 - 3 people)

200g pork loin*, cut into thin slivers about 2mm think
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese cooking wine

1/2 cup potato starch or cornflour (cornstarch)
a little over 1/4 cup water

oil for frying about 1 - 1.5 cups

1 red chilli cut into long thin strips (about 1 tbsp)
2 - 3 spring onion (scallion) cut into long thin strips or long slices
1 (thumb size) piece of ginger shredded into very fine thin strips
5 tbsp Chinese red or black rice vinegar
2 - 3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp light soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a little fresh cooking oil or meat frying oil

extra spring onion and chilli for garnish

*Do use a chunk of loin pork much larger than 200g, pre-sliced loin steaks are very difficult to slice into thin slivers. Slice what you need and leave the rest for other use.


Method

  1. Marinate the pork slivers with soy and wine and leave for 15 - 20 min.
  2. Mix chilli, spring onion, ginger, vinegar and sugar together. Leave aside.
  3. Mix the starch with water, it can be very stiff do give it a good stir, best use your fingers.
  4. Add in the pork, gently mix with your fingers. If the starch mixture is far too thick and too hard to mix with the meat then add a touch more water. The starch should stick to the meat in an even thin film.
  5. Heat the oil till hot, test with few droplets batter if you want to, if they sizzle rapidly without burning too quickly the oil is hot enough.
  6. Take one piece of meat at a time, make sure you spread it out like a little blanket (I find picking up the meat with both hands is much easily). Gently lay the meat into the hot oil. Fry few pieces of meat at a time till golden brown and the coating is hard and crunchy.
  7. Take the meat out and drain on kitchen towel. If you have the oven on low, put this in to keep warm. If the meat pieces are quite large, cut into smaller pieces.
  8. Remove all the frying oil and leave about 1 tbsp (or you can use fresh cooking oil). Fry the garlic with it then add in the vinegar mixture let this come to the boil. Heat off add in the meat pieces and toss quickly. There should not be much sauce left. The coated meat should look quite glossy yet remains crunchy. Put this on a serving plate and top with a little garnishes.
  9. Serve hot.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Gao Lic Dou Sa 高力豆沙


Whenever we go to a Beijingnese restaurant, we always had Peking duck and Gao Lic Dou Sa 高力豆沙.

These golden puff balls are rarely found in Cantonese restaurants. They are probably my favourite of all Chinese desserts. It's deep fried meringue with sweetened red bean paste or dou sa 豆沙. You can use homemade bean paste using this recipe or bought bean paste. There is no sugar added to the meringue, so not so sweet or fattening. Once the meringue is fried it has a lovely eggy nutty taste and slightly crunchy on the skin. Biting into it is a puff of airy meringue with soft, warm and sweet bean paste. Yum yum!

Not too difficult to make unless you hate deep frying at home.



Recipe as below. This will make about 8 - 10 balls. Allow for 2 - 3 per person. I am a piggy, I can eat up to 4 - 5 easily.

If you can get a helper it's easier. One person in charge of making and shaping the meringue balls and other look after the deep frying. If not you can fry one ball at a time. I normally use about 2 cups of oil and follow step 10 below.

Ingredients:

about 3/4 cup sweetened red bean paste (aduki beans paste)
a little cornflour for dusting

4 large egg white
1 rounded tbsp plain flour
1 rounded tbsp cornflour

oil for deep frying about 2 - 5 cups

some fine or caster sugar for dusting


Method:
  1. Take a tbsp of bean paste and shape it to a ball. Make about 10.
  2. Dust lightly with a little cornflour and shake off excess.
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl till stiff.
  4. Sift in plain flour and cornflour directly onto the meringue, best if you can fold at the same time so the flour will not settle on the top too much. Fold gently to mix. If the meringue looks a little bit lumpy don't worry.
  5. Heat the oil to medium hot, you can test it with a bread cube if it sizzles rapidly and browns very quickly it's too hot.
  6. Take a small ladle or large serving spoon, pile on some meringue.
  7. Pop a bean paste ball on top.
  8. Cover the bean paste ball with more meringue. Smooth the edges slightly to form a ball. The meringue ball is roughly bigger than a large egg.
  9. Gently ease this meringue ball into the hot oil. Do not deep fry too many balls at a time, 2 - 3 maximum unless you use a lots of oil and plenty of room for the balls to move around. If you use a deep fat fryer or with plenty of oil in a wok to cover the balls, then the next step (10) is not required.
  10. If the frying oil does not cover the whole ball it is better you follow this step. If not when you turn the balls the uncooked/browned meringue will flatten and you won't get the lightest and airy puff balls. This is what you need to do. As soon as a ball is in the hot oil, use a large metal ladle, scoop hot oil and continuously pouring over the ball to cook and brown it. Be gentle at first not to disintegrate the meringue.
  11. When the top part of the ball is slightly brown, then turn lightly few times till all sides are light golden brown.
  12. Take out and drain on kitchen paper.
  13. Put puff balls on a serving dish and sprinkle with sugar.
  14. Serve hot.

If you don't have red bean paste you can use banana, fresh strawberries or a cube of ripe mango. I think chunk of chocolate will also work. Experiment and be brave. Does not have to be authentic Chinese if you don't want to.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Shuang Pei Nai 雙皮奶


Shuang Pei Nai 雙皮奶, translated as 'double skin milk'. This is a popular Cantonese dessert. It's a velvety smooth milk custard with double skins on top, first skin is formed during cooling the boiled milk and the other when cooling the cooked custard.

It's quite an easy pudding to make. Just need a bit of patience and practice. My instructions may look complicated because I added in all the little details you may not find in other recipes.

Simple ingredients just full cream milk, egg white and sugar.

1 bowl per serving. Each serving use 200 - 215 ml full cream milk, 1 large egg white and 1 - 3 tsp sugar depending on how sweet you like it.

First get some Chinese rice bowls or ramekins (around 250ml). Heat the milk in a saucepan or microwave till boiling (I normally boil in the microwave using a jug). Remove any bubbles floating on top and pour the very hot milk straight into the bowls/ramekin. Leave the milk to cool undisturbed and uncovered. You will soon see a skin forming. If you do not use full cream milk the skin can be too thin and may disintegrate once you pour it out later. If you use full cream milk and you don't see a good skin forming (by the wrinkle on the top) after 10 - 12 minutes cooling, put the bowl in the microwave on high for about 1 min. Take it out to cool.

See slide show below for the whole process.




When the milk is cooled. Ready for the next step. Use a bowl or jug (big enough to hold all the ingredients together), beat the egg white and sugar. Avoid whisking in too much air.

Use a pointed knife or cocktail stick gently touch to break the milk skin (by gently pushing it away from the side of the bowl very slightly) from the side where you are going to pour the milk out and another area directly opposite. Be careful not to pull the skin away with the knife/cocktail stick. The reason for breaking the skin before pouring the milk is to make sure the skin will stay in the bowl and not being pulled out together with the milk into the mixing bowl. Pour the milk into the bowl containing the egg white and sugar. You will now see the milk skin lining the bowl. You need to make the custard mix very quickly to avoid the milk skin getting dry and stuck to the bowl permanently.

Beat all the ingredients till combined. Sieve the liquid into a measuring jug or a mixing bowl with a pouring lip. Carefully pour this liquid into the bowl from the side of the bowl. The milk skin should now float onto the top (see slide show). This is now ready for steaming.

Put the bowl into a steamer, starting with cold water. When the steamer water is boiling (when you hear the water boiling and steam coming out), lower the heat to medium (if using stove top steamer) and continue steaming for another 5 - 6 minutes, check if the custard has set. If not continue steaming for few more minutes or till the custard is set and a little wobbly in the centre. (Time depends on your steamer and amount of steam). If the custard swelled on the top and looked like honeycomb inside, you have overcooked it and it will not be velvety smooth. If the custard swelled on the top and the inside is still watery, this means the steamer was too hot, you need to lower the heat. If you are making this first time and more than one/two bowls, steam one bowl first to gauge how much time you will need in total and steamed the others using fresh cold water again.

Take the custard out of the steamer. Uncovered and let it cool. You should see a second skin forming around the old skin. When cooled cover with cling film or a cup saucer and leave in the fridge till cold or when you are ready to eat.

This dessert is normally serve on its own. But if you fancy you can top it with fruits like soft mango, tin cocktail fruits, lychee etc., or with warmed boiled sweetened red beans (aduki beans) like this below, hot beans and cold custard mmm....luvly.


If you find the flavour of the custard too bland you can add few drops of vanilla, rose water or a little ginger juice to the custard mixture.

Normally this dessert is serve cold, but if you like it hot or warmed that is ok too.

The fuss with this dessert is to successfully build up 2 layers of skins on the custard. If you are not bothered just mix everything together from cold, strained and steamed.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Dong'an Zi Ji 東安子雞


Dong'an 東安 = a county in Hunan province
Zi Ji 子雞 = young chicken

Dong'an Zi Ji is a very famous Hunanese dish, a spicy and vinegary chicken stir fry. Another name is vinegar chicken.

This dish dated back to Tang Dynasty over 1000 yrs ago. Here is the story how it was created.

"On night a hungry customer walked into a restaurant in Dong'an, being very late almost everything was sold out. The owner tried not to disappoint the customer, he quickly slaughtered a chicken and rustled up a stir fry with whatever food left in the kitchen. A simple unknown chicken dish was born with ginger, spring onion, chillies and plenty of vinegar. The customer really enjoyed the chicken, so this dish soon spread out throughout the surrounding areas. The Mayor of the province soon heard of this and come for a tasting. He really like it too. He then named this dish Dong'an Zi Ji."

Now this dish is famous not only in Hunan but throughout China and abroad.

No sure if the recipe still remains authentic today as it was years ago. I wonder if bell peppers were available all those years ago, they are commonly included in this dish nowadays. Anyway, enough of history, here is a typical recipe. It's quite simple.

This chicken dish is very spicy and tangy, if you don't like too spicy reduce the chillies, ginger and chilli oil, use sparingly. Also if you don't like the sauce too sour reduce the vinegar.

Ingredients: Serve 2 on its own with rice or 3 - 4 as part of various dishes meal

2 large chicken legs about 550 - 650g (if you prefer to use boned breast meat it's fine too use about 450 - 500g)
water for poaching

1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, rinse* and drain
few 1" long dried chillies (or other dry chillies), remove stalks if chunky remove seeds and cut into 1/2 or 1/4, no need to soak (no. of chillies to your taste)
2 - 3 stalks of spring onion (scallion), use the white part only, sliced
1 small chunk of ginger, shredded
about 2 -3 tbsp cooking oil

1 each of small red and green bell pepper, cut into long strips (or any mixed colour you like), if using large peppers just use half of each
1 rounded tbsp each sliced red and green chilli (can leave out if you don't like too spicy, I used mild chillies)
1 medium onion (red onion is nice too), sliced

1/4 - 1/3 cup any Chinese vinegars like white rice vinegar, red vinegar 大紅浙醋, Chinkiang black vinegar or yellow vinegar (more or less to your taste)
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
about 2 tsp sugar (more if you like a sweeter taste, normally little sugar is added)
1/2 tsp salt (more if you like)
2 - 3 tsp light soy sauce or 1 tsp chicken bullion powder
1 tbsp cornflour mix few tbsp water
1 - 2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 -2 tsp chilli oil (to your taste)

* I find wetting the Sichuan peppercorns will release the fragrance more and faster before they get burnt.

Method:
  1. Put chicken in a saucepan, add enough water to cover. Heat the water till boiling, remove any scum then continue simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken legs, rinse of any scum and put them in cold water to cool down. Then take them out, remove the bones and chicken skin if you like, I like to leave the skin on. Cut the boned chicken into long strips along its grains. If the chicken is not cooked through it does not matter, the following stir frying will finish the cooking. Do not overcooked the chicken during poaching or the meat can be tough after stir frying.
  2. Add cooking oil to wok heat to medium hot, add Sichuan peppercorns and fry till oil is fragrant and peppercorns look dark brown. Remove peppercorns. Add dried chillies, they will sizzle then follow by spring onion and ginger. Stir fry till fragrant.
  3. Turn the heat on highest add chicken pieces, stir then add some/most of slackened cornflour to coat the chicken, this is to avoid meat juices running out too quickly especially if the wok is not superhot. Then add vinegar and wine stir fry till hot and bubbly then add peppers, fresh chillies and onion. Stir fry till vegetables are slightly softened.
  4. Add remaining slackened cornflour if required, stir till sauce is bubbly and thickened. Can add more water if not enough sauce.
  5. Season with enough salt, dash of soy sauce/chicken powder, sugar, sesame oil and chilli oil.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Ma Lai Goh 馬來糕


Been away for a while hope you did not miss me too much. I have a request from a reader asking for Ma Lai Goh 馬來糕, a steamed sponge cake available in most HK style dim sum restaurants. My recipe is really simple no whisking the eggs till moussy. Just mix everything together and steam.

There are few unusual ingredients used one is custard powder to give the cake a rich yellow colour and flavour and few drops of dark soy sauce for the additional colour. I can assure you the soy sauce will not make the cake taste awful. Normally this cake only use vegetable oil, I like the flavour of butter so I use 50:50 butter and vegetable oil.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients:

120ml (or 120g) full cream milk (or 50:50 evaporated milk and water)
60g butter
60g any flavourless vegetable cooking oil
1/2 - 1 tsp dark soy sauce (more if you like the cake darker)

180g plain flour (all purpose flour)
40g custard powder
2 tsp baking powder (make sure it is fresh or the cake will not rise very high)
1/4 tsp bicarb

4 large eggs (each weighing around 65 -68g with the shell)
150g soft light brown sugar
50g plain white sugar

Method:
  1. Line a 7 - 8" round bamboo steamer/cake tin, or 7 - 8" square plastic container/colander with parchment paper. Some metal cake tin can go rusty if steamed so beware. I normally use a bamboo steamer or a plastic container/colander.
  2. Heat the milk, soy sauce, butter and oil together till butter melted. I put it in the microwave for 1 minute on high.
  3. Sieve the flour, custard powder, baking powder and bicarb together.
  4. Beat the egg and sugar together with a hand whisk for about 1 minute. Pour in the liquid (if still warm it's ok) and stir. Add in the dry ingredient. Mix till no lumps.
  5. Pour into the lined container. Steam for 30 minutes.
  6. The cake may drop a little but that is ok. Leave to cool till warm before cutting and serving.

Here is a picture of the mixture before steaming.


You will need a large steamer at least 30cm to steam this cake. If you have a wok with a domed lid you can use this for steaming as long as you have a steaming rack and the cake container will fit.

During steaming condensation (water droplets) will build up on the inside of the lid and can drip on the cake making it wet and unappetising. To avoid this, before you put the cake in for steaming, heat the lid till hot take it out wipe the inside of the lid dry. Then add 1 tsp of vinegar and 2 drops of washing up liquid, wipe the whole area of the inside lid with kitchen towel till completely dried then ready for steaming the cake.

Here is the test I can show you the lid is almost 100% clear with no condensation during steaming.