27 July 2019

Hainanese Chicken Rice Pau

[ Collaboration with Dancing Chef and Singapore Home Cooks ]

* "Hainanese Chicken Rice" Pau using Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste *

Presenting my new creation using Dancing Chef Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste!

My family loves chicken rice, so I thought of a "on-the-go" finger food with chicken rice flavour that's different from the conventional.

The concept is like a kong bak bao or gua bao but chicken rice flavour :) In fact, this is versatile and can be made into the traditional enclosed bao too.

Chicken rice paste is added to the Pau dough; in addition I added pandan juice for the green colour Pau as I like the aroma of pandan chicken rice.

The Pau has a subtle taste of chicken rice (smells really aromatic during steaming!) and is good to eat on its own but even better with poached chicken, ginger sauce, chilli sauce as well as cucumber, chilli shreds and coriander. *Both the ginger sauce and chilli sauce have Dancing Chef chicken rice paste added too!

It's literally like eating chicken rice, without the rice!

Isn't this cute, I love small size finger food like this, which can be eaten in one or two bites :p

Preparing this Pau is not difficult, just a tad tedious, but trust me it will be popular, especially for those who love chicken rice and/or pau or both LOL :p

For the original chicken rice flavour Pau, the dough is made using Pau flour, baking powder, sugar, yeast/sugar/water mixture, chicken rice paste and water.

Mix all the ingredients together using spatula till a rough dough forms and then knead for 10 mins. Initially the dough might be a little wet and sticky, sprinkle just a little bit of flour will help but not too much, just keep kneading and the dough will turn smooth and non-sticky. Cover and proof for 30 mins.

For the pandan chicken rice flavour Pau, the dough is made using Pau flour, baking powder, sugar, yeast/sugar/water mixture, chicken rice paste and pandan juice.

Likewise, mix all the ingredients together using spatula till a rough dough forms and then knead for 10 mins. Initially the dough might be a little wet and sticky, sprinkle just a little bit of flour will help but not too much, just keep kneading and the dough will turn smooth and non-sticky. Cover and proof for 30 mins.

Once dough is proofed, roll it out to about 5-6mm, use a 7cm mould to stamp the dough skins. Gather the scraps and repeat. If the dough shrinks, let it rest for 5-10 mins before stamping again. I manage to get 7 pcs.

Next use a rolling pin to roll each dough skin into oval shape thickness about 3-4mm. Brush the dough skin with some olive oil, fold it into half, place onto a piece of pau or baking paper (cut into 6cm square), and finally proof for 30 mins. Once proofing is done, steam on high heat for 20 mins and the pau skin is ready!

Repeat the same steps for the pandan chicken rice dough.

My freshly steamed chicken rice flavour paus, they look quite good, don't they? The pau is quite soft and fluffy with nice aroma and subtle chicken rice taste, I couldn't resist eating it plain ;)

Hainanese Chicken Rice Pau
(Makes 14 small size portions, 7pcs of original flavour and 7pcs of pandan flavour)

(A) Pau dough

Original chicken rice flavour (7 pcs)
  • 100g Pau flour or Hong Kong flour
  • 1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 30g Dancing Chef Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste (include some oil in the packet)
  • 35-38g water
  • 1/4 heap tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 heap tsp caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp water
Pandan chicken rice flavour (7 pcs)
  • 100g Pau flour or Hong Kong flour
  • 1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 30g Dancing Chef Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste (include some oil in the packet)
  • 35-38g Pandan juice (blend 10 pandan leaves with 80-100g water, strain to get juice)
  • 1/4 heap tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 heap tsp caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp water
  1. Steps are the same for both flavours.
  2. Mix yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl, set aside till the mixture turns frothy.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl, stir till well blended.
  4. Add chicken rice paste, water (or pandan juice) and yeast mixture into the mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients together till a rough dough forms.
  5. Transfer the rough dough onto a kneading mat. Knead the dough for 10 mins. The dough may be a little wet and sticky initially, dust just a little bit of flour but not too much. Keep kneading and the dough will turn smooth and non-sticky.
  6. Cover and proof the dough (first proof) for 30 mins.
  7. Once dough is proofed, roll it out using rolling pin to about 5-6mm thickness.
  8. Use a 7cm scalloped round mould to stamp out the dough skins. Gather scraps and repeat. If the dough shrinks, rest for 5-10 mins before continuing. Total yield is 7 pieces for each flavour.
  9. Using the rolling pin to roll the dough skin into oval shape about 3-4mm thickness. Brush the surface with some olive oil, fold into half, place onto a piece of pau paper (6cm square). Repeat for all, cover and proof for another 30 mins (second proof).
  10. Once the dough skins are proofed, steam on high heat for 20 mins and the Pau are ready to serve. Best eaten warm.
(B) Poached chicken
  • 2-3 pieces boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 stalks spring onion, 3 slices ginger, 2 cloves garlic
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add chicken thigh, spring onion, ginger and garlic.
  2. Let the ingredients simmer for 10 mins.
  3. Remove the chicken thighs and place in iced water for 10 mins.
  4. Drain and brush the thighs with sesame oil, set aside till ready to use.
(C) Chilli sauce
  • 2 pcs big red chilli
  • 2 pcs chilli padi
  • 20g Dancing Chef Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice from 1 lime
  1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor till fine and well-blended. Adjust seasonings to taste.
(D) Ginger & Spring Onion Sauce
  • 20g Dancing Chef Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste
  • 2 stalks spring onion, finely chopped
  • 80-100ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • corn starch water
  1. Add chicken rice paste and spring onion to a small pot, stir fry on low heat for 30s.
  2. Add water and sugar, stir till well-mixed.
  3. Thicken with corn starch water if the sauce is too watery.

(E) Assemble
  • 14 pcs original and pandan flavour chicken rice pau (from A)
  • 14 pcs chicken thigh (from B, cut the chicken thigh into sizes that fit the pau)
  • Cucumber, coriander, chilli shreds
  • Chilli sauce, Ginger & spring onion sauce (from C & D)
  1. To serve, take a piece of pau, open up, place cucumber, chicken thigh, coriander and chilli into the pau, and finally drizzle some chilli sauce and ginger spring onion sauce.
  2. Best eaten warm.


  • This pau is best eaten warm, it will turn a little hard when cold (just like mantou). To reheat, steam for 5 mins. 
  • As no preservatives, bread improvers or softener is added, the pau is best eaten on the same day, or keep in fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat before eating.
  • I made the pau to be small size, eaten in 1-2 bites. For regular or bigger size pau, increase quantity of ingredients and use bigger mould to stamp the dough.
  • This dough can be made into conventional enclosed pau too, or simply eaten as mantou.

This Pau is visually appealing and taste yummy, suitable for parties and gatherings, especially for the upcoming National Day!

So this is also my tribute to Singapore's 54th Birthday :)

Hope that all of you like my creation :)

Dancing Chef™️: One Paste, Many DishesBe (surprisingly) different


AUGUST PROMOTION:  Dancing ChefTM Pastes 100g 2 for S$5.00 (UP: S$2.85) Available at Cold Storage, Giant, NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong

Give it a try today with Dancing Chef convenient pastes!

25 April 2019

Pandan Chiffon Cake (Cooked Dough Method)

This recipe has been in draft form for over a year now! I've made it a few times already, yet been procrastinating about blogging, as usual. Getting more and more lazy to write these days. *sigh*

Anyways, I seriously want to record it down formally because I really love this recipe. Over the past decade I've baked many Pandan Chiffon Cake and other flavours of Chiffon Cake, so far the cooked dough method is my favourite as the cake always turn out to be more moist and tender, and I don't have to use any baking powder or cream of tartar using cooked dough method.

However, it's not easy to get it right all the time, so there are some flavours of chiffon cake that I still stick to the usual method. Actually cooked dough method is not that far off from the usual method, just one more step involved in "cooking the batter" before folding in the meringue. Somehow this yields a more moist cake. Personally I prefer moist and tender chiffon, don't like the drier texture ones.

Chiffon cake is still one of my favourite cakes to bake, but of course the challenge is, how to get it consistent and it is something I'm still learning. Hope that in time to come, I can bake more flavours and achieve good results all the time!

Pandan Chiffon Cake
(makes one cake using 21cm chiffon pan)

  • 50g unsalted butter (or neutral tasting cooking oil)
  • 90g cake flour
  • 60g coconut milk
  • 60g homemade pandan extract (blend 15-20 pandan leaves with a bit of water, strain and let mixture rest overnight, use the dark green extract that settles at the bottom)
  • 5 egg yolks (M/L size egg, between 60-65g)
  • 5 egg whites (M/L size egg, between 60-65g)
  • 80g caster sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degree celsius, top and bottom heat.
  2. Melt butter in a small pot over very low heat. Once butter is melted, add in cake flour and stir quickly to form a dough.
  3. Add coconut milk and stir the mixture till dough is well-mixed into a thick batter.
  4. Add pandan extract and mix well into batter.
  5. Add egg yolks one at a time, mix well into batter. Batter will be thick with texture like soft custard.
  6. Add egg whites into mixing bowl with pinch of salt, beat using electric mixer at medium high speed, add sugar gradually and beat till stiff peak meringue.
  7. Add one scoop of meringue into batter, stir quickly to mix well. 
  8. Add 1/3 of remaining meringue into batter, fold quickly but gently to mix the meringue with batter.
  9. Add the next 1/3 of meringue into batter, fold quickly but gently to mix the meringue with batter.
  10. Finally pour the batter into the bowl with remaining meringue, fold quickly but gently.
  11. Pour the batter into chiffon pan, give the pan 2-3 gentle knocks on the counter top, then send into oven to bake at 160 degree celsius for 45-50 mins. *if the top of the cake browns too fast, cover with a piece of aluminium foil after 30 mins.
  12. After the cake is baked (if necessary, test using a skewer or cake tester, the stick should be clean), invert the pan over and let it cool down completely before unmoulding.
  13. After the cake has cooled completely, unmould from pan. Cut into slices to serve. The cake is actually best served the next day for flavours to fully develop. If eating the next day, store in airtight container and cut the next day.

This cake is one of my family's favourite cake, and also well-liked by many of my friends who tried it. Although I would like to bake it more often, I'm always lazy to make pandan extract :p And pandan extract doesn't keep for long, so each time I only make small quantity, making it a tedious task whenever I feel like baking.

Oh well, good things never come easy and takes effort and time, right? Anyways, I'm so glad that I finally completed this blog post! Yes!

01 March 2019

Asam Laksa

How many of you are like me, love to eat Asam Laksa but scared of overwhelming fishy smell, and also dislike handling raw mackerel fish or Ikan Kembong, the small fish that's used to make the laksa?

The thing is, I've been craving for Asam Laksa, missing the flavourful, tangy and spicy fish broth with smooth & chewy rice noodles as well as the different textures/colours toppings for the laksa. And no, Asam Laksa is definitely not available where I stay currently (in Thailand).

I'm so glad to find Ayam Brand Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the supermarkets here! It has nearly no fishy smell (probably because the sardines are brined in EVOO) and so much easier to handle (fish bones are teeny tiny and can be mashed up easily, or just remove the centre bone with ease).

This is my quick and easy Asam Laksa, without having to go through the trouble of cleaning raw Ikan Kembong fish, preparing complicated fish broth or removing bones from the fish etc etc. Do note that I replaced or omitted a few ingredients as they are not available where I stay.

What I did was, blend the rempah spice paste ingredients with some EVOO brine from the can, then stir-fry the rempah using the remaining brine as well as the sardines together until fragrant. Next add water, instant fish or ikan bilis cube (yes, it's cheating but hey, I'm looking for quick & easy & fuss-free) and Thai basil, boil for 10-15 mins, season with tamarind paste, salt and sugar and viola, the asam laksa soup broth is ready!

Finally, cook some rice noodles, add toppings of choice (I add more sardine fish, chopped salad leaves, pineapple, cucumber, red onion, chilli padi, lime juice as well as Hei Ko or sweet shrimp paste (which I brought from SG last year to make rojak! Yay!) and a bowl of yummy Asam Laksa is ready!

Asam Laksa
(serves 3 big or 4 small servings)

(A) Rempah/Spice Paste
  • 5 pcs shallots
  • 3 dried chilli, soak in hot water till softened and remove seeds
  • 2 big red chilli, remove seeds
  • 1 pc lemongrass, bottom 3" only, cut into small slices
  • 1 cm turmeric root, cut into small slices
  • 1 tsp belachan, toasted
  • 1-2 tbsp brine from Ayam Brand Sardines in EVOO
  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender/food chopper and blend till smooth paste.
(B) Fish broth
  • 1 can Ayam Brand Sardines in EVOO
  • Rempah spice paste from (A)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pcs instant fish stock cube (or ikan bilis cube)
  • 6 pcs thai basil
  • 3 tbsp instant tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Add the remaining brine from the can, all the sardines (not necessary to remove bones) and the rempah spice paste into a pot, stir-fry the mixture till aromatic for a few minutes. Crush and mash up the sardines when frying.
  2. Add water, stock cube and Thai basil, and bring to boil on medium heat. After the broth boils, lower heat to low and simmer for 10-15 mins.
  3. Season with instant tamarind paste, sugar and salt (to taste) and the broth is ready to use.
(C) Asam Laksa and Garnish
  • 1 can Ayam Brand Sardines in EVOO
  • 200g thick rice noodles (dried ones)
  • Fish broth from (B)
  • 1/2 pc cucumber, julienned
  • 1/4 pc pineapple, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin slices
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Handful of salad leaves, chopped
  • 1-2 pcs chilli padi, cut into small slices
  • 3-4 wedges lime
  • 3-4 tbsp hei ko / sweet shrimp paste
  • *torch ginger, omitted as not available
  1. Open another can of sardines, remove centre bones from the sardines if desired and tear the sardines into flakes.
  2. Cook the thick rice noodles for 10-12 mins till the noodles are fully cooked, al dente. Drain and rinse in ice water. Add the rice noodles into 3-4 individual bowls.
  3. Scoop the fish broth into the bowls of noodles.
  4. Add desired toppings - sardine flakes, salad leaves, red onion, pineapple, cucumber, mint leaves, chilli padi, lime and hei ko. 
  5. Mix well to eat and best enjoyed hot!

I'm really pleased with how my quick and easy Asam Laksa turned out! The broth is quite flavourful, tangy and spicy, but not fishy and lighter on the palate as well, love the combination of different colours and textures of the toppings. Even the hubby enjoyed it and said it was not bad at all.

Glad that I can cook this dish anytime I have cravings now. And also thinking of making more dishes with Ayam Brand Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil =D

13 January 2019

Yuzu Cupcakes with Yuzu Buttercream Frosting

Happy New Year! Oooh, it's 2019 already and I've neglected my blog for such a long time :p

I still wish to blog but just that these days it seemed too much effort to do so :p Posting on IG and FB is much faster than having to edit photos on my laptop or PC, and having to think of the topic to write. Haha, I'm simply lazy.

Anyways, today's topic is on YUZU! Yes, my ultimate obsession. I asked around, people who know Yuzu all love Yuzu to bits lol. And like me, besides Yuzu foodstuff such as yuzu tea, yuzu crackers, yuzu cookies, yuzu cakes, they are also into other Yuzu-related merchandise like yuzu lip balm, yuzu shower gel, Yuzu cleanser etc etc =D

I digress :p

Ok, so my family went to Toyko in December and when I saw these gorgeous babies, I simply have to lug them back. Needless to say these couldn't be found in Thailand and even back in SG, they are rare and super expensive. When I saw them at Tsukiji market, I just went crazy and bought a box of L size ones (9 pcs), half a dozen small ones and half a dozen organic ones.

Have been thinking about what to do with these babies, I mean I have to use them up asap while they still look so fresh and plump. In the past years, I've already created a number of recipes using Yuzu, namely Yuzu Marmalade, Yuzu Chiffon Cake, Yuzu Marmalade Yogurt Cake, Yuzu Curd, Yuzu Curd Meringue Cupcake, Yuzu Curd Tart.  

So far have already made a few bottles of Yuzu Marmalade and since I've not made cupcakes for a long time and yet to try making Yuzu buttercream, I adapted one of my old recipes to create these delectable mini Yuzu cupcakes with Yuzu buttercream frosting. 

I'm so pleased with the results :)

The cupcake itself is moist and tender and good to eat on its own, but even better paired with Yuzu buttercream. The Yuzu buttercream frosting is surprisingly light with the wonderful aroma of yuzu; normally I'm not a fan of buttercream but this buttercream I found myself stealing mouthfuls of it! Sinful I know, but it tastes so yummy!

My recipe yields 20 pieces of mini cupcakes, I ate quite a few myself and gifted the remaining away. And my friends enjoyed the cupcake too, they liked it that they are not too sweet and oh yes the yuzu smelled so heavenly.

So here's sharing the recipes for making the cupcakes as well as the buttercream.

Ingredients for the cupcake include cake flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, caster sugar (rub with yuzu zest), eggs, fresh milk, fresh yuzu juice and yuzu marmalade.

If you don't have fresh yuzu, you can simply use the Korean Citron tea and omit the yuzu zest and yuzu juice. This recipe can also be used for orange or lemon.

For buttercream, I use the Italian meringue method, ingredients are caster sugar, water, egg whites, unsalted butter and yuzu marmalade. Likewise yuzu marmalade can be replaced with Korean Citron tea or orange marmalade. And it's not necessary to use the Italian meringue method, Swiss meringe method works fine too. I have shared several buttercream frosting using Swiss meringue method before, please search for them.

Yuzu Cupcakes
(Makes 20 pcs with 4cm base cases)
* this recipe can be adapted to lemon or orange flavour
Yuzu cupcake
  • 150g cake flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 large & 1 small fresh yuzu or 2 medium ones (omit if don't have) 
  • 2 eggs (medium size about 60g)
  • 60g fresh milk
  • 65g Yuzu marmalade (or Korean Citron Tea)
  • 25g fresh Yuzu juice (from 1 large & 1 small fresh yuzu or 2 medium ones, replace with yuzu marmalade if don't have)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius, conventional mode.
  2. Line the cupcake cases on a baking tray. Set aside.
  3. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Zest the fresh yuzu and rub the yuzu zest into the caster sugar until well-mixed. Set aside.
  5. Squeeze fresh yuzu juice (reserve the seeds, pulp and peel for making more marmalade). 
  6. Mix fresh milk, yuzu marmalade and fresh yuzu juice. Set aside.
  7. Add butter and yuzu caster sugar (from 4) into mixing bowl, beat on medium high speed using k-beater until smooth and creamy, about 4 mins. Stop to scrap sides of bowl, beat for another minute.
  8. Reduce to medium low speed, add eggs gradually and beat till just mixed.
  9. Add the flour mixture (from 3) in 3 additions, alternating with the yuzu milk mixture (from 6) in 2 additions. Beat till just blended, finish off by removing mixing bowl from mixer, scrap sides of bowl and fold gently.
  10. Using an ice-cream scoop or spoon, fill batter into the cupcake cases, about 2/3 full.
  11. Bake at 180 degree celsius, conventional mode, for 15-18 mins (toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean).
  12. Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Yuzu Buttercream
(makes enough buttercream to frost 2 batches of cupcakes)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 20g water
  • 75g egg whites (about 2 eggs)
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 5-6 tbsp Yuzu marmalade (or Korean Citron tea)
  1. Add sugar and water into a heavy bottom pot, bring to boil to 118 degree celsius (measure using a candy thermometer).
  2. When the sugar mixture reaches 100 degree celsius, start whipping the egg whites on medium high speed. *if the egg whites already reaches soft peak and sugar mixture has not reached 118 degree celsius, shift the speed to low and let it continue whipping)
  3. Once the sugar mixture reaches 118 degree celsius, bring the pot to the mixer, add the sugar syrup very slowly into the egg white. Switch mixer to high speed and whip the mixture till it cools down completely.
  4. Place the entire mixing bowl into the fridge for a few hours (till temperature reaches less than 10 degree celsius).
  5. Place the mixing bowl back to the electric mixer, add the cold cubed butter piece by piece and beat at medium high speed, till mixture turns into buttercream and no more liquid.
  6. Add Yuzu marmalade into the buttercream and whisk till well-incorporated.
  7. Buttercream frosting is ready to be used. Fit piping bag with star nozzle (I use Wilton 1M), fill buttercream into bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.

As I have more than enough Yuzu buttercream to frost the cupcakes (only made 1 batch of cupcakes), I decided to make a petite 4.5" size cake to use up the buttercream.

Used half quantity of the cupcake recipe above, and the batter is just nice for a 4.5" round cake pan. Bake at 180 degree celsius for about 40-45 mins. Once the cake cools down, slice the cake sideways to make 2 layers. I fill the layers with Yuzu marmalade, frost the whole cake with the leftover Yuzu buttercream and did some simple rose piping using Wilton 1M tip.

The cake wasn't very nicely frosted as I was rushing for time, but still it turned out really yummy! A 4.5" size cake can serve around 4-5 slices of cake. If using full quantity of the cupcake recipe, I reckon it'll be good for a 6" cake.

I still have some yuzu left, what shall I make next? Chiffon cake is definitely a must as it's my favourite. Not sure if I have time to create new recipes as going to be busy with CNY cookies baking soon!

Follow me on my Instagram : dreamersloft17 as I post regularly there now :) Ciao!