Sunday, December 25, 2011


I wish I could hitch a ride on Santa's sledge and arrive at your doorstep, there to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and shake you by the hand.

Alas, still covered with paints from the house painting job I have been avoiding for the whole year until last week, I must content myself with writting to you. First of all, I want to say it has been a great pleasure writting this blog over the past year. I fully realise full well how your visits and comments have kept this blog going and want you to know how greatly I appreciate it.

I hope the Christmas holiday will find you happy and safe with your family and that the New Year brings you new success and greater prosperity.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hot Buboh Cha Cha for a Cold Sydney Summer!

If you are visiting Sydney this summer, you are likely to need your brolly or poncho when the weathermen expect the unseasonably cold and wet weather to continue throughout this season. You think its bothersome, wait until you have to unpack your woollies that you have put away and thinking summer is done. Amid the coldest start to a Sydney summer in almost 50 years, my wife reluctantly unpacked the winter clothes she had just put away for storage. We need the winter clothes again as it was reported that Sydney had its lowest December minimum for 16 years with the morning temperature hovering around 10 degree and Katoomba in the Blue Mountain almost froze at 2.5 degree, experienced its lowest December on record. It is the coldest first week of summer since 1960.
We had hot buboh cha cha for dessert last night. No, that was not a typo mistake. I know, many Singaporeans are used to eat buboh cha cha with ice shavings, but with the temperature dropping outside, there is nothing more appropriate than to enjoy a steaming hot bowl of buboh cha cha. I just have to post this recipe as an appreciation for my missus, who had spent the whole afternoon to prepare this dessert. Firstly, she cut the sweet potatoes and taro before steaming them individually. Instead of adding sago, she also made my favourite tiny tapioca dumpling to go with it. Besides, she added black-eye beans to give another unfamiliar twist to the buhoh cha cha that we know.

Buboh Cha Cha Recipe:


500g sweet potatoes
500g taro
150g black-eye beans
200g tapioca flour
1 cup sugar
5 Tsp water
¼ cup hot water.
2 can (380ml) coconut milk
2 pandan leaves, if unavailable use ½ tsp pandan essence
2 cup water.
½ green food colouring
Soak black eye beans in water overnight. Place beans in a pot and bring to boil for about 30 minutes or until soft. Peel sweet potatoes and taro, cut into 2 cm cubes. Steam sweet potatoes and yam separately for 15 mins or until cooked.
To make tapioca dumplings:
Mix tapioca flour with cold water and stir well. Pour in ¼ hot water or enough to make a soft dough. Add food colour and knead, add more tapioca if necessary. Roll the soft dough into ½ cm strips and cut into cubes or triangles. Sprinkle with more tapioca flour to keep it separate. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a pot, put in the tapioca cubes. It floats to the surface once it is cooked. Drain and run under a cold water tap.
Bring 2 cup water with sugar to boil in a saucepan and add coconut milk. Put in the sweet potatoes and taro cubes black eye beans and add the tapioca dumplings. Add the pandan essence and serve hot or cold.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Summer time is Party Time in OZ! Lets agar-agar...

Summer time in Australia is party time. It starts with the endless lunches and cocktail parties in the office for end of the year parties until the start of another and together with the traditional Yuletide festivities highlighted in its midst, there is no excuse not to join in the fun. There is no better way to celebrate its joys than to sit down at a table with family and friends and share all the complements of the season. Of course, for many Overseas Singaporeans, every festive season is also synonymous with fine food. And over the holidays, why not try to cook some of our traditional dishes? Besides bringing a dish of home cooked food makes a wonderful gift to bring along for any get-together or party with friends. What better motivation to spend these hazy lazy days of summer and to share some of our time honoured finger-food recipes– perfect with any party or makan session.

Agar -Agar with Coconut Milk Topping:


30g agar-agar powder
1 ½ cup sugar
1 can (350ml) coconut milk
4 pandan leaves or 1 Tsp pandan essence
½ tsp green colouring
5 cup water

Stir and dissolve 20g agar-agar powder with 4 ½ cup of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and add sugar and pandan leaves or pandan essence. Keep stirring while boiling for 20 minutes. Add green colouring and pour into a mould to set for about twenty minutes or until it is about to set but still wobbly.
Coconut Topping:
Stir and dissolve 10g agar –agar powder with water in a sauce pan. Bring to boil. Add coconut milk and bring to boil. Remove from heat once it started to boil.
Gently ladle coconut topping over green agar-agar and leave to set. When it is cooled keep in refrigerator to serve agar –agar cold.