Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pickled Vegetables Appetiser

My wife likes to prepare pickled vegetables and I would like to share a question from the Sunday Times, lifestyle section here, on how to prepare pickled greens served in Chinese restaurants. The question asked:
I have been trying to prepare the type of pickled vegetables served in Chinese restaurants as an appetiser, but have not managed to successfully create the restaurant taste. Any advice?
James Chia Wee Tiong

recipes pickled vegetables

It is quite straightforward. First, cut your vegetables into neat, uniform sticks or pieces, then sort vegetables of different textures into separate bowls. Carrots and white radish can share a bowl but cabbage should be on its own, as should cucumbers.
Next, sprinkle each bowl with salt, about � teaspoon for a cup of sliced vegetables. Then, with clean hands, massage the salt gently into each lot of vegetables, stirring and applying gentle pressure for three to four minutes for a bowl. This encourages the salt to dissolve and the vegetables to start releasing liquid.Then, cover the bowls and let the vegetables stand for 20 minutes. After this, drain each lot and rinse them lightly to remove excess salt. Lightly squeeze the vegetables to get rid of excess moisture.
Combine all of them in a large jar, packing the pieces fairly closely together. You can add a few shreds of fresh red chilli or some thinly sliced ginger if desired. In a pot, combine four parts vinegar to three parts water to two parts sugar by weight. You will have to gauge the quantities to make enough pickling solution to cover the vegetables completely.
Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the lukewarm mixture over the vegetables, cover the jar and let it stand until cool. Store in the fridge. The pickles will be ready to eat in two hours' time, and will last for two to three weeks refrigerated.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Dairy-free tofu gratin is a tasty and healthy way to wean yourself off festive snacks, says SYLVIA TAN

baking tofu, tofu recipe

Tofu gratin
(Serves six to eight)


2 silken tofu cakes, drained and chilled
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs flour
2 cups soya milk
1 tbs white miso paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs rice wine
Bonito flakes and shredded nori seaweed for garnishing, both available at the Japanese section of supermarkets


Heat olive oil over a gentle flame and add flour, whisking briskly to form a roux (paste).
Add soya milk slowly to the paste, whisking all the while until a sauce forms and thickens.
Add miso paste and continue whisking, then season with sugar and rice wine.

Heat oven to 180 deg C.