AFC GRILLED : Chef Sean Connolly

An evening of good food.

Lap Cheong Watermelon Bites

An asian take on watermelon bites!

Baked Fish with Kiwi in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add a twist to sweet and sour fish!

Semperit Pandan Cookies

Cute cookies for the festive season!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cream Corn And Minced Pork Soup


Do you remember comfort foods from your childhood? This soup is that for me. It was a popular dish for working mothers in my kampung because it was quick to make and oh-so-easy to get kids to finish their meals off.

Fast forward today, it's something I hardly make as my preferences lean toward clear soups. However, I don't want to lose my roots completely. So, here it is on my blog today.    

Cream Corn And Minced Pork Soup

I add quite a bit of white pepper to make it peppery. This is because I love a little spice in my soup. It's a personal preference.

Cream Corn and Minced Pork Soup
- ½ can of 425g whole sweet kernel corn
- ½ can of 425g sweet corn cream style
- 100g pork meat (chopped/minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 eggs
- 2 stalks spring onions (chopped)
- ¼ tsp white pepper (or flavoured pepper)
- A dash of black pepper (optional)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups water


1) Heat oil in wok. Saute garlic until lightly browned.
2) Add minced pork, along with ½ cup water. Stir furiously (to keep the meat from lumping up).
3) Then, add both the corn and remaining water. Wait for it to come to a boil.
4) Once it's boiling, season with salt and pepper.
5) Stir the eggs in, then switch the fire off.
6) Serve garnished with spring onion.

Best eaten with white rice or on its own, as a starter.

1) Garlic, Corn, Minced Pork, Egg. 2) Cook the pork.
3) Add water and corn. 4) Flavour and add the egg.

Corn Soup Garnished with Spring Onions

Yum-yum Corn Soup

The easy way of doing this soup : Add water into a soup pot, along with the corn. Stir to combine. Then, wait for it to boil. Stir the minced pork in. Once it's cooked, season with salt and white pepper. Finally, stir the egg in. That's it!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Gingery Pumpkin Chicken

In our family, ginger (zingiber officinale) is often used as a herb to aid postpartum mothers in their recovery period during the first month. I remember grandmother cooking Tapai Chicken (Rice Wine Chicken) with a generous amount of ginger. Some of us have taken a great liking to it, and the dish is now a regular appearance on the dinner table all year round. I was taught to cook this in my teens.

It is mentioned in the book 'HERBSthat ginger has medicinal purposes. Soothing menstrual cramps is another one of its benefits.

I habitually use ginger in my cooking when I want a little spicy oomph in my meal that doesn't involve using the chilli. This is such a recipe.

Gingery Pumpkin Chicken

Gingery Pumpkin Chicken
- 335g chicken drumettes
- 350g pumpkin (cubed)
- 1/2 cup grated/blended old ginger (that's about 5-6 thumbs of ginger)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp corn flour (mixed with 1 tbsp water) (optional)
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 stalks spring onion (chopped)
- 2 cups water

1) Heat oil in pan.
2) Saute ginger for awhile. It will be quite dry.
3) Add chicken. Stir for a bit. Then, add the pumpkin.
4) Add water and oyster sauce. Mix well and leave to gently boil.
5) Simmer until the pumpkin is tender and the chicken is cooked. This took between 5-7 minutes for me.
6) Using the spatula, mash the pumpkin a little. Switch the heat off. Stir in the corn flour mixture to thicken the gravy slightly (optional).
7) Finally, stir the spring onion in.

1) Grated ginger. 2) Cubed pumpkin.
3) Rinsed chicken. 4) Sauteing ginger and chicken.
5) Adding pumpkin into the mix. 6) Season and leave to simmer.
7) It's done when the pumpkin is tender and chicken is cooked.

Yum with rice!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Steamed Lap Cheong Cakes


Have you ever had a craving for something so strong that it creeps into your mind at every 'hungry' opportunity? I've been walking around with visions of me tucking into scrumptious steamed cakes laden with bits of Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage). After weeks of torment, I finally decided to put the matter to rest!

I took to the kitchen, slamming cabinet doors along the way as I gathered the necessary ingredients. Soon, Steamed Lap Cheong Cakes were born. I held one warm luscious cake in hand. The first bite I took was so satisfying that I felt an overwhelming desire to give myself a big hug!

This is what it looks like fresh out of the steamer.

Steamed Lap Cheong Cakes

For the cake recipe, head on to Piggy's Cooking Journal at .

These are the changes I made. I replaced olive oil with corn oil. Instead of sesame seeds or pine nuts, I added lap cheong that I had sliced into small bits. Quantity used: 1 regular tube of lap cheong (about 6in long) was sufficient. An inch out of it was kept aside and used as topping.

This recipe produces 6 regular cupcake-sized cakes, which is great because these are best eaten when it's fresh and warm. Although taste-wise it remains great the next day, the texture of the cake is less than satisfying even after re-heating.

Below is a photo of the batter, already mixed with lap cheong bits and spooned into the cake mould.

Filling The Cake Mould With Batter

I used a toothpick to test if the cakes were done. It was and took only 15 minutes in a pre-heated steamer.

After 15 Minutes Of Steaming

The cakes were soft, yet bouncy to the touch, much like babies' cheeks.

Allowing The Hot Cakes To Rest

A close-up shot I took whilst waiting for the cakes to cool a little.

A Close-Up Of A Rogue Lap Cheong Bit

As soon as I could, I eased one cake out and started eating. Before I knew it, I had finished two.

My thoughts ran along, "Gosh, this is yummy..."

Munching On A Warm Lap Cheong Cake

The verdict: Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage) is one of the best ingredients I've ever added to a cake!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Soy Sauce Chicken With Old Cucumber (Slow-Cooker)


This is a soupy soy sauce take.

I love the slow cooker for many reasons and believe that I have mentioned this more than once on this blog. It's a convenient way to cook. The basics - put all the ingredients into the pot, walk away for couple of hours while it works it's magic. The other reason I like it is that it draws out a rich, smooth flavour that is indescribably pleasant and makes meat oh-so-tender.

This is a dish I cook fairly often, with many variations. Carrots, potatoes, lotus root, dried red dates are some of the ways I change this recipe about.

The soup has a mild flavourful taste. I enjoy eating the cucumber flesh. This chicken dish is best eaten with white rice.

Old Cucumber And Chicken On The Slow-Cooker, Flavoured With Soy Sauce

Old Cucumber Chicken (Slow-Cooker)

- ½ chicken
- 1 large old cucumber (remove seeds in the center, slice with skin on)
- 1 large onion (cut into chunks)
- 2 tbsp wolfberries (rinsed)
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp light soy sauce
- 3 cups hot water
- Fresh coriander for the garnish

To season chicken:
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- ½ tsp light soy

1) Season chicken with light and dark soy sauce. Leave aside. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2) Switch the slow cooker on. Set on high. Add three cups of hot water into it.

3) Place onions, wolfberries and old cucumbers inside. Drizzle a little light soy and oyster sauce over. Stir.

4) Place the chicken on top. Slow cook for about 2 and a half hours (cooking time may vary), until chicken is lightly browned and tender, but not overly.

5) Serve garnished with fresh coriander.

1) Place vegetable ingredients into the slow-cooker.
2) Placing the chicken on top.
3) Almost done!

Tip: Baste the chicken (with either oyster sauce or the soup itself) after 1½ hours and continue cooking for a lovelier brown.

Soy Sauce Chicken With Old Cucumber (Slow-Cooker)

A Close-up - Chicken, Old Cucumber, Wolfberries, Coriander!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Spicy Green Chilli Pan-Fried Fish


This is the kind of food that we readily eat using our hands. It's an urge that is typically present when faced with a dish of spicy food that is meant to be had with rice. At least, that's how it is amongst my Malaysian friends and family. Sometimes, with a second serving of rice. There is nothing strange about it. It is a deeply satisfying way of appreciating food we love. You could say it's the finger-licking way!

For everything else, we'll gladly pick up the eating utensils.

I used quite a bit of chilli for this recipe and it is every bit as spicy as it looks.

Spicy Green Chilli Pan-Fried Fish

Spicy Green Chilli Pan-Fried Fish
- 660g patin fish (freshwater silver catfish) or to preference (sliced)
- 12 green chillies (deseed, sliced)
- 1 large onion (roughly chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 3 lemongrass (1 smashed, 2 sliced thinly)
- 2 handfuls of fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
- 4 calamansi (juiced)
- ⅔ cup cooking oil
- ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste

1) Blend green chillies, onion, garlic, sliced lemongrass and fresh coriander together with water, into a rough paste (not too fine). Keep aside for later use.

2) Rub the fish with salt and calamansi juice. Heat oil in pan. Pan-fry the pieces until cooked and lightly browned on both sides. Remove fish from pan. Keep aside for later use. Leave the oil in the pan. Do not switch the heat off.

3) Pour the blended ingredients into the same pan with the smashed lemongrass. Stir-fry until most of the liquid is gone and the paste is a thick glossy shade of faded green. Season with ½ tsp salt (to preference). Stir to combine.

4) Finally, lower the heat and gently fold the fried fish into the gravy. Dish out and serve hot.

Best eaten with hand .... I mean, rice.

1) Pan-fry the fish. 2) Keep fried fish aside for later use.
3) Ingredients to blend. 4) Blended chilli ingredients.

Note: I doubled the amount of coriander (not shown in picture above). 
You may use red chilli. I decided to go with all green in the end.

1) Stir-fry blended ingredients in a lot of oil.
2) Cook into a thick glossy paste of pale green (where most of the liquid has evaporated).
3) Season with salt. Stir well, then gently fold fish in.

Spicy Green Chilli Pan-Fried Fish


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