Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Scallop Splendor with Frank

Scallop Splendor

Hey fellow food lover, it’s been a while but all is well and good in Kiki land. Today I’m bringing you a dish that I created to welcome 2012 in style with my friend Frank.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Hello San Francisco!

I baked this in my new kitchen. Yes, I have relocated. I contained my life in 2 suitcases more or less and I arrived in land of the free and home of the brave to receive further training in my scientific career!

Will post more soon. By the way, San Franciscans, you lots are really friendly and I'm loving the cheese selections in Bristol Farm!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon

The Eiffel Tower right at 11 PM at night. The whole tower sparkled for 5 minutes

We were in Paris a few months ago and stayed at Arts et Metiers at the 3rd arrondisement. For 5 days we roamed the street of Paris, stuffed ourselves silly with Parisian bread and fell in love with jambon...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sambal cabe hijau

Ground up steamed green chillies

I feel that this recipe may not be suitable for blogging, but I've decided to share it with you all anyway because I think chili is too too underrated. So, for the love of chili this is my recipe for sambel cabe hijau (green chilli sambal) which you could use simply as a chutney or accompaniment to raw vegetables (lalapan) or you could make it as a base to another dish like grilled fish, fried chicken or stewed beef. You will notice that I use the word "roughly" a lot in this recipe and I really think that the roughness of it imparts a free-spirited complexity that complete the identity of this sambal or any sambal for that matter. That said, it doesn't only make an awesome sidekick to another dish, but served on its own with steamed rice, it makes a kick-ass dish of its own. :D It certainly rocks my world.

Vietnamese prawn rolls

Vietnamese prawn rolls

Hello hello!! I hope you've all missed me very much, as much as I have missed blogging about my kitchen actions. This time I've been feeding myself with the very carb-conscious version of Vietnamese prawn rolls, omitting the vermicelli (which is already very healthy and low in fat) and substituting it with salads, tonnes of it! You don't only get the crunch from the bits and pieces of the dressing, the leaves, cucumber and carrots, but also prawns. You can use either freshly peeled prawns or like me, you could use frozen prawns which is of course very versatile and easy to source. This dish is super healthy and gives you a wholesome punch of goodness and it's so easy to make!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Tom Yum stuffed Calamari

Tom Yum-stuffed calamari

Alright folks, this is going to be a quick post to assure you that I am still alive and causing havoc in my lab. Hahaha. Recently, Harris Farm Market opened up a store near me and upon checking it out one night I was overjoyed to find a fresh seafood market that featured awesome goodness like sashimi-grade fishes, sea urchin, lots of fresh whole fishes and all those yummy goodness that I could only dream of finding in the usual supermarkets.

This week I made Tom Yum Stuffed Calamari and it's dead easy to make!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prawn ravioli with green curry dressing

Midnight Bakery original

In South-East Asia it is not uncommon to find a peaceful marriage between noodles with various versions of curry and raviolli is certainly not too distant a cousin from noodles. Dear friends, I present to you the dish that broke my mortar: Prawn ravioli with green curry dressing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Assam Laksa

Kiki's Assam Laksa

Hello all! It's been a while since my last post and believe me I have been brewing ideas for the next post, this post. I was inspired by an episode of Poh's show that featured Thai cuisine. In that show, a visiting chef made curry paste from scratch. That, combined with the increasingly limited space in my bar fridge (as a result of ever growing number of jars) pushes me to embark on my new experiment: Assam Laksa!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Potato & seafood curries

Rice and two curries

One thing that I miss about Brisbane is the food. Sure it's not as deeply populated by little exotic food corners as Sydney or Melbourne but it is my second home. There's this great restaurant that serves Malaysian and Singaporean fares called Little Singapore. Little Singapore started off in a little shop in Sunnybank's Market Square (before the square burnt down a few years ago) but since the opening, business has been thriving and they now have a branch in the city. My absolute favourite from this place is the butter chicken, which is deep fried chicken chunks accompanied by... wait for it... crispy curry leaves. Yeah, those green goodness rocked my world. Anyway, so when I saw curry leaves in the market the other day, I knew I had to have them despite not having any real plan on what to make. I'm sure they taste great with anything.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Lobster chawan mushi

Chawanmushi A little side dish: chawan mushi (savoury steamed egg custard)
From my last lobster recipe, I had a little bit of leftover raw lobster meat which I decided to turn into savoury steamed egg otherwise known as chawan mushi. I think chawan mushi is quite healthy and low in fat. There is no added fat and you can toy with the salt/sodium content as you season the dish. It's virtually healthy whole protein and it's really quite easy to make and it tastes great. You can use any fish or prawns for this recipe. For my other version of chawan mushi, have a look at my previous post on steamed fritatta.

Pan-fried lobster tail in butter and black truffle infused oil

Pan fried lobster tailon a bed of rice

Welcome to 2010! This holiday has given me a fresh chance to relax and just be. Yesterday, I took my little self to the Sydney Fish Market and I snooped all the shops. It was stinky, super crowded, wet and I loved it. What I also love is my little discovery: lobster tails. The holidays and Australians' love affair with seafood gave seafood vendors an excuse to skyrocket their prices, but even outside the holiday season lobsters are pricey. In one corner of a very crowded shop, near the entrace, I saw frozen lobster tails for $69.99 per kilo. The friendly shop attendant at Claudio's told me that one tail, depending on the weight varies between $15-17, which is a huge price gap away from whole lobster with the head attached. So I got her to grab me a small tail and oh what a beautiful tail.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spring onion pancake

What to do when all you need is a handfull of spring onions, but the smallest quantity on offer at the shops are fat bunches of leavey stalks of spring onions? Such is a question that often plaques society today but the Taiwanese have the perfect solution for that: spring onion pancakes! A few years ago, a mother of a friend of mine took me under her wings and showed me how to make these savoury pancakes from scratch and ever since then I've toyed and experimented with the recipes and today I believe that I have perfected the recipe to suit my taste buds and hopefully those of many others. I incorporated yeast in the dough to avoid tough texture and I use chicken broth to maximize the savoury flavour.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Be careful when handling bamboo leaves
as they are quite sharp and may leave you with paper cuts, or bamboo cuts

It’s been a while dear readers. I have again been occupied by my beloved research project and after a long time, rather than finding the time, I made the time to make another attempt at making bakcang and thereby taking the chance to capture my mother’s recipe in photographs for anyone who happens to stumble into my cooking blog and intrigued enough to recreate this in their own kitchen. Come on, if i can do this in my miniscule kitchen you can too!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Prevention & Treatment

Packed lunch for a day of work and research

Tuna with chili and mayonaise, white bait,
cucumber, rice and a flower of Japanese preserved radish and eggplant

Brunetti's chocolate mousse

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pahlawan tanpa tanda jasa... nasi

Nasi adalah pemeran latar belakang utama di berjuta-juta makanan yang dihidangkan di meja keluarga terutama di Asia. Namun, tanpanya untaian rasa asin, manis, asem, pahit kehilangan jati diri mereka. Hampir mustahil bila kita mencari satu saja rumah moderen yang tidak dihiasi dengan rice cooker. Kehadirannya meringankan perkerjaan ibu-ibu dan, let's face it, pembatu rumah tangga di seantero nusantara. Tapi hari ini aku menolak untuk memakai rice cooker. Hari ini aku berhasil masak, eh salah, menanak nasi tanpa rice cooker. Ajaib? Tidak juga, hanya saja mukzizat seperti ini sampai saat ini bukan kejadian sehari-hari di dapur sekarang di mana waktu menjelma menjadi komoditas yang langka dan sangat mahal.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nguing nguing nguing

Chocolate rollie (pre-baking)

This is my new experiment. I placed a flat layer of chocolate dough on top of the soy milk dough I made last night and rolled them together into a log which I then cut into little wheels. I could almost shape them into little rose buds but I'll leave that to next time.

Imagine me and you

Croissant-shaped soy milk brioche

I couldn't wait until tomorrow to bake my little croissant wannabes (see previous post). I really should have just done one to see what time does to the dough. Anyhow, baking a soy bread really morphs the aroma that lurks around as a very welcome by product. The scent is dominated by a nutty tone which trully surprised me because I didn't think this one ingredient would make such a big difference.

Anyhoo, I'll leave the tasting to Sunday morning breakfast. Good night world. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Croissant shaped soy brioche

Hoooiiii, I am still alive and well (^^). I've been rather busy in the lab, thus the absence of new posts in my Midnight Bakery blog. Nevertheless, the Midnight bakery is still chugging some steam at (some) nights.

I'm currently experimenting with soy milk as an ingredient in my bread if not to substitute milk to counter my lactose intolerance , then for novelty's sake.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Savoury oat porridge with century egg and pickled eggplant

I love the versatility of oats. You could incorporate it in cookies and muffins to which it adds a new dimension to the texture. Oats also offer many health benefits. It has been said that oats help lower cholesterol re-absorption and therefore promote cardiovascular well-being. Oats are rich source of both soluable and insoluable fibres, the stuff that keeps you regular and help make you feel full longer so that you don't overeat. In fact, oats fall into the category of low GI foods. In lay term this means that oats are more slowly digested, resulting in a gradual rise of blood glucose. This is good news for diabetics and all ye who are battling the waist line.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Dinner party

I decided to throw a little dinner party with a few of my friends last night and what better opportunity to experiment. :P One little trouble, one of the boys is not a fan of seafood and fish to which I'm accustomed to cooking. I didn't feel ready to embark on cooking red meat, so I brought home two whole chicken to toy with. Admittedly, I'm a bit squirmish when it comes to touching raw meat especially when it still looks like a whole carcass, but I was deeply intrigued by the anatomy of a whole chicken since last week when I cooked a whole baked chicken encased in salt crust.

Prosciutto lemon parcels of chicken thighs

Prosciutto lemon parcels of chicken thighs

I borrowed Julie's idea (Masterchef Australia) of deboning chicken thighs, rolled and poaching them in its own broth (made using the bones) then baked wrapped with a slice of prosciutto and lemon. I tied mine up with a piece of string to keep them all together and of course adhering with the fancy idea of dinner party, it's always fun to cut off the string upon serving.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Creme caramel for two

Making creme caramel I believe is fueled by an unforgetable experience and may take a little dash of curiousity and a whole of courage. How could it not? I mean, who has the time (let alone patience) to sit there and ponder when the sugar solution looks like it's about the right color, and wait... did we know that caramel is essentially burnt sugar (to a degree)? I for one certainly didn't know this until my obsession with food pushed me to the culinary section of book stores and internet corners. So... if you had read my previous entry, you'd know that I had the intention of making smoked salmon roll, sharing one ingredient with creme caramel. No ready made creme caramel could emit that genuine caramel flavour of a home made and certainly no store bought could beat the satisfaction of making it yourself.

Smoked salmon & dill roll

I had inheritted a whole block of smoked salmon from Tassal at the Sydney good food and wine show. A block of salmon, can I say that? Smoked salmon is hardly a staple pantry ingredient but with this quantity around, I feel that I have the privillige to exhaust every known recipe without fear, but when it comes to naming names... what exactly could I do with smoked salmon apart from old bagel, cream cheese and smoked salmon? Or Salmon tossed around in salad, or pasta dish? For once, I put on my eye cover, resist the temptation of Google search and hey, what about an sushi like egg roll with salmon and its classic best friend dill and cream cheese? Alright so that took a little bit more than just voila, I meditated over lunch. It helps that I have a tonne of eggs that I want to get rid of and I'm attempting another go at making creme caramel.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Fresh dumplings

My next holiday destination is China. Yes, it is indeed true and sad, I am a Chinese who has never stepped foot in China. I was invited to lunch by two of my colleagues who had passed their medical exam after only 8 weeks of preparation which if I may say is trully an exceptional achievement. The table was filled with happy dialogues and exchanges in Chinese in which I found my self lost after 15 minutes or so, unable to catch up with the conversations and jokes that were thrown around. Nevertheless, I was happy to have a place on the table amongst the esteemed senior scientists. A thought often tickles my mind, how about China after PhD or even after PostDoc? I do miss Asia, especially the food.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Pizza A la Midnight Bakery

Red bean

Wholemeal bread with red bean paste filling

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nasi Tumpeng Mini

I thought I'd make a weekend of cooking Indonesian dishes, all to go around a mountain of nasi kuning (yellow rice), known as nasi tumpeng. Nasi tumpeng is the national celebratory dish of Indonesia that marks most birthdays, christenings, graduations, anniversaries, independence day celebrations, etc (you get the gist). It is essentially a conical shaped rice and can be made with plain rice, coconut flavoured rice or yellow rice (flavoured with tumeric and its other spices friends). The dish is often elaborately decorated and accompanied by a host of side dishes.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ayam bakar bumbu Ayam Goreng Kokita

Grilled chicken

You can get these packets of Indonesian chicken marinade in the supermarket or in the Asian grocer. You see, with 6 religions in the country, everyone is averse to consuming some sort of meat products. The Muslims don't eat pork products, the Hindus avoid beef products, and then you have minorities Buddhists who are vegans like my great aunts. Chicken, like the national anthem, unifies the country from Sabang to Merauke and I believe that it is for this reason that Indonesians develop such diverse ways of cooking chickens. I almost feel obligated to spell chicken with a capital C.

Monday, June 08, 2009

My idea of a minestrone

My idea of a minestrone with anchovy fillet and basil pesto

The university campus where I did my undergraduate had a great little pizza cafe at the edge of its campus, near the student union area. It's called the Pizza Cafe and as the name suggests, they make and sell pizza, fantastic wood fire oven pizzas with generous toppings from A-Z inspired by movie titles. What was perhaps not so well advertised was their amazing minestrone, which in my own personal experience was totally and completely out of this world.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Egg with kecap manis

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

This all is really just an excuse to play with my camera :P

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Shio Saba

Hi everyone, I am back from my PhD-induced blogger coma. All is well again for the time being, the sun is shining, although this scenery is far from the current reality of Sydney's winter rain. Yup, t'is the season of thick coat, funky winter boots, gorgeous scarfs and wintery food. I'm itching to make my own minestrone soup with some serious tomatoes and legumes, and depending on how chirpy I feel, maybe even celery (uggghhh).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Soto Ayam

Soto ayam

Yup, still the same old story. I'm under a lot of pressure to produce a nice presentation to show of what I have done in my one and a half year of PhD. My supervisor told me not to stress, my colleagues said that I will be fine, yet I cannot help but feel anxious. When I started my PhD, I felt a little bit out of place but the feeling is accompanied by a strong hope that in time, I will develop all the skills to know, to do and more importantly, to be. Here I am, having done almost one and a half year of it. Having reached this stage, I have come to realise that it isn't enough to hope that I will acquire knowledge, but to actively and constantly seek out for more. I do wonder if anyone in this business ever feel satisfied with themselves, if the most confident of my colleagues and supervisors ever do, and if such exists, I wonder if I will ever reach that peace myself.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Espresso souffle of potato and bacon

Espresso sized souffle with soy fish and salad
dressed with the reduction of the fish marinate

I bought a bag of baby potatoes from the neighbourhood fruit and vegetable store with the intention to make baked baby potatoes like the ones that I loved back in my days in the boarding school. But considering that that particular love (and many other things) turned me into a fat teenager I thought of a better idea: a shift towards exercising some inventive energy to churn these babies into something else that is more than ordinary.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bubur Ikan Sudirman (Fish porridge a la Sudirman)

Bubur ikan Sudirman

Winter has precipitated over the Southern hemisphere. It's cold, it's dry and the the sound that of the wind blowing through the thin opening of the window into my kitchen moans for something to soothe and bring home the warmth. In my family, there's no comfort food like porridge.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Nasi Goreng Laksa

Nasi goreng Laksa

"Today's steamed rice is tomorrow's fried rice," so recites many forwarded joke emails on what defines an Asian. Another one of my favourite is "You know you're Indonesian when you carry a bottle of your own chilli wherever you go." Well, with the airline rules to strict these days, I can't do that but I was so delighted when I found a Nando stand selling any 3 sauces and marinates for $10 in the Kingscross festival.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Grilled honey and miso salmon & steamed frittata

Steamed spinach and baby tomato frittata

Back to Earth, back to Sydney and back to the reality that Australia is in the middle of a recession. Apart from that, I just got two lotus shaped sauce dishes from Japan city (on special!! :D) that look so pretty when teamed up with sake cups so I need an excuse to parade it.

Grilled honey and miso salmon & steamed frittata

Blancharu review

Trout with roasted pepper on the top and prawn ravioli with basil sauce on the bottom

For my birthday this year, I went to Blancharu for dinner as a treat. Blancharu is a Franco-Japanese restaurant run by chef Harunobu and it serves Japanese cuisine with French influence. The ambiance is warm and welcoming while staff are friendly and seems to know their stuff well.

Beef steak on potato

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Vanuatu 2009

The sandy beach of Hideaway island

My skin colour set me apart from the locals and the usual tourists, but I couldn't feel more at home in Port Villa. It felt like I had taken a step into a time rich society nestled in paradise where all they need is supplied by Mother Nature. The water is clean; the earth is rich and the people honest and friendly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shitake bread rolls

Shitake bread rolls
This is the latest experimental product to be born from my kitchen, shitake bread rolls, to mark my 26th birthday. They were initially inspired by senbei or Japanese rice cracker. Apart from capturing the shoyu/soy sauce flavour, I wanted to create a bread type that is still soft, with an additional ingredient that would set it apart from other bread although admittedly marrying bread and soy sauce is almost unspeakable. In the end, after rumaging through my kitchen cupboards, I emerged with sesame oil and shitake mushroom and proceeded to make the bread.

I ran a test on my colleagues, refusing to tell them what ingredients I have used until they finish the rolls and tell me what they thought. Most people couldn't figure out the flavour although they seemed to like it. Out of about 20 people, 2 people guessed shitake mushroom, 2 mentioned sesame oil. I think next time I try something weird, I should probably give everyone a ballot paper for votes so I could compile real statistics. Hahahaha.

I will post the recipe after I return from Vanuatu so watch this space. (^^)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New camera!

My new camera, taken by my Sony Ericsson P1i
Tonight I have bought my self a piece of happiness. Allow me to explain. Since the unfortunate death of my Dick Smith branded camera (my first ever digicam, mind you), I have had to live with posting photos of food taken by my mobile phone. It's a good camera for a phone-cam and as for the phone itself, it's a multi talented little dude. However, a phone cam is a phone cam. I'm not entirely satisfied with the quality of the pictures, the zoom sucks and 3 mega pixels is a bit tight to live with in today's high tech society. I get a little bit depressed when I see nice photos with killer macro in other blogs and in Flickr. At the same time, I don't feel qualified enough to hold an SLR in my little hands. There is the need to graduate from some light photography course to own one and let's face it, their cost (or worth) calls for a deeper pocket and a more serious enthusiasm. There seems to be a mountain of camera brands, each promising fine captures. Which one do I buy? What should I look out for? How do you decide if the camera and features offered are worthy of the price tag?

Armed and accompanied by my bossiest and most cam-savvy friend, I marched to Ted's in the city. We reviewed a Canon IXUS, an Olympus, and Nikkon Coolpix. After annoying the sales assistant long enough, I enquired about the possibility of getting a discount and was faced with firm rejection. Nevertheless, I cuddled a Nikkon Coolpix S220 home. It's light, it's silver, it has minimal number of buttons, it takes SD card. It's like buying a puppy.

Dear readers, I hope you are as excited as I am in anticipating my next food blog entry with photos taken by this new baby. For now, I am in search for a name for my new baby. Any suggestion?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Midnight Ramen

Don't do this at home, at least not at this time of the night. I was already in bed, tucked in and some animation playing in my computer right next to me when slowly but surely a craving for ramen that I have tried to suppressed for days crept up to me. So I googled for pictures of ramen, which made it worse! I gave up and got up, went searching in my kitchen cupboard for any ingredients that could be somehow incorporated into making a delicious bowl of emergency ramen.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I heart dill

I have a new favourite herb. It's dill!! I found this while walking around in a local grocery store. Just yesterday my sister bought dill aiolli at the Woolworth food dome at the Easter Show and it's fantastic!