Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tau Suan (豆爽) -Split Pea Dessert Soup

Tau Suan is probably one of those desserts that I would cook regularly for my family to enjoy over the weekend. It's funny how I would still Google or dig through my cookbooks for this recipe especially I cook it rather often. Guess there's way too many good recipes to register in this brain of mine. :P So blog post it is then! Just a simple short one that I can refer to every time. ;) An essential recipe that every Chinese family should know how to make. ;)

Really no rocket science here. It is probably as easy as boiling red bean and green bean soup. But if you take that extra step of soaking and steaming the split beans, you will definitely be rewarded with a tastier bowl of tau suan. Let's now take a closer look at the recipe and steps involved:

Ingredients for Tau Suan (豆爽) -Split Pea Dessert Soup (Serves 4-5pax)
250g dried split pea
1.8Liters water
180-200g caster sugar
2 - 3 spears of pandan leaves
50g chestnut flour/powder (You can sub with corn flour or sweet potato flour)

  • Place the dried split peas in a large bowl, rinse it once and drain the yellowish water away. Then soak it with more fresh water for a good 2-3 hours.
  • After soaking, drain the water away. Prepare a steaming pot. Place the soaked split beans into a bowl and a knotted pandan leaf. Place the bowl in the steamer and steam for 25-30 minutes till soft.

  • In the meantime, prepare a pot, add in the water, sugar and the other knotted pandan leaf. Bring it to a boil and stir till the sugar dissolves. Off the fire.
  • Mix the chestnut flour with 1/2 cup of water till combined. Add this mixture to the sugar water in the pot.

  •  Stir well till the two mixtures are well combines. On the fire to medium and bring to a gently boil. At this point, add in the steamed split beans.
  •  Again stir well to combine and the soup will slowly thickens up. Taste it to see if you need more sugar or more water to dilute it. And you're done!
 A bowl of tau suan is NEVER complete with out some crunchy fried dough (油条) :9 I actually blogged and posted Ham Chee Peng before! The dough for you tiao and ham chee peng are pretty much the same, so feel free to hop over to my Ham Chee Peng recipe to try it out. ;)

 For this time, I bought some freshly fried you tiao to go with my tau suan  (豆爽). :9 Don't tell me you don't crave for this dessert some times...I've never met a person that dislikes it!

A comforting bowl of tau suan dessert, so much love and yumminess haha! Do try it is really so easy to make too. ;)

Happy cooking!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Beef Chuck and Oxtail Stew

It almost seems like cooking and eating stew at home has been getting more popular recently in Singapore. Well I don't mean Asian style pork belly stew, but more like those westernized versions like one pot chicken casserole or stew, beef stew. I guess as people get more exposures to different cuisines through TV programs or dinning out, they tend to be more adventurous. :) Well, no harm trying something new right? Plus you've got to try to know if you like it. And ever since I started making beef stew at home, it was no turning back. :) My kids LOVE it. And hence a bi-weekly affair of whipping up this dish for them to enjoy. :9
I have to say this dish takes just as much work as cooking chicken stew. But the cooking duration is definitely longer because beef needs more time to cook down to be more tender. No doubt the more patient you are, the better the result will be at the end.

This time round I chose beef chuck and oxtail stew since I want variety, and not all chuck or all tail. If you are not a oxtail person, by all means, use only beef tenderloin or beef chuck or chuck roast. :) And if you have a trusty cast-iron pot, things will be more awesome haha! Stewing the meat in the cast iron pot allows the heat to spread more evenly and also retaining the heat better.

Ingredients for Beef Chuck and Oxtail Stew (serves 4)

200g beef chuck meat
400-500g oxtail (you can replace this with ~300g of chuck roast meat)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
200g cremini / button mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
1 can tomato in sauce (Optional, I didn't add in the end)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 cube Japanese Beef stew flavoring
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
300ml beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sugar
  • In a large pot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium low fire and add the rinsed oxtail. Season the oxtail in the pot with salt and pepper. Cook on all sides to make sure it is browned evenly.
  • Half way cooking the oxtail, you can add in the beef chucks, which also needs to be seasoned. 
  • Cook both the roast chuck and the oxtail to golden brown. Remove and place the meat on a plate for use later.
  • Add in the chopped onions and garlic mince plus the butter.

  • Cook the onion and garlic in the melted butter, and scrapping the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Those are the good stuff that will flavor your dish!

  •  Continue to cook till the onions is soft and translucent. Next you add in the potatoes, carrot and mushroom. Give it a quick stir for a minute, then add in ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Again mix well. Lastly add in the Japanese Beef Stew cube. I find adding this will really enhance the flavor alot. You can opt not to use this and just add that can tomato instead but use 100ml less beef stock.

  •  Next add in the beef stock and bring it to a boil. Add the beef chucks and oxtail back into the pot. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.

  •  Let the pot stew at low fire for a good 1 to 1.5hour till the meat is soft. Once the stew is ready, the meat should be tender soft. Stew longer if you prefer even softer meat...some people can stew for 2 hours. :P
The deep rich colour of the gravy is so alluring haha! You can serve this with toasty baguette or just plain old steam rice is also great.

Under sunlight the stew colour looks kind of different... but still yummeh! :9 It is such a treat to eat this every time...but I don't think it is exactly healthy to eat this too often either haha!

Anyway, hope you guys will like my recipe. Do drop me a message / comment if you have any questions! 

Have a good weekend all!