Japanese Hamburger

I've been wanting to make Japanese Hamburger for a long long time and I finally went to Meidi-ya to pick up the hamburger sauce which is well, the sauce that goes with this dish.

Japanese hamburgers are served (usually) with rice alongside other dishes rather than between buns (the way we usually consume burgers). :)

We had ours with brown rice porridge :)

Japanese Hamburger
Source of recipe (I modified it slightly)

  • 200g minced beef
  • 100g minced pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup white breadcrumbs
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced finely
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • a few dashes ground black pepper

  • Hamburger sauce - estimate amt enough for 4 patties

  1. Saute onion in some oil till translucent. Let cool.
  2. Moisten the breadcrumbs with milk.
  3. Combine the beef, pork, egg, moistened breadcrumbs, salt, black pepper and sauted onions. Mix well - your hand is the best tool for this task.
  4. Divide into four portions and shape them into patties, slapping each with your palms till the surface is smooth.
  5. Indent the middle of each pattie with your thumb - this ensures that the middle gets cooked evenly.
  6. Heat a large frying pan with some oil on high heat. Brown the patties then turn them over to the other side.
  7. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pan and steam-cook the hamburgers on low heat for 10min, until the middle of the pattie bounces back when u press it. Remove from pan to serving plate.
  8. Pour out excess oil from the pan and heat the hamburger sauce.
  9. Dish hamburger sauce on each pattie.
  10. Garnish with steamed vegetables and serve.

 Alicia's portion (not too much sauce for hers):
ok, she didn't eat that much of the hamburger, and before I knew it, hubby ate it all up. Fortunately, I made her favourite fried minced pork with egg, which she ate happily too. :)

Here's my little gal eating and watching Sesame Street on okto. Haha....


Write Start Colour pencils (Crayola)

Costs $S7

We bought this set of colour pencils from Creative Living at Harbourfront on 24 Nov because we thought since it encourages a better grip and Alicia is holding her markers etc. well already it may be useful. Anyway we don't have colour pencils for her... :)

Other than the limited colours (only 8), it's non-toxic, easy to use and it doesn't break easily so you can set that sharpener aside for awhile! A note about the shape of the pencil: it's hexagonal rather than the usual triangular ones. Not a real issue but well, just in case you think they're triangular! :)

If you're intending to buy colour pencils, you could onsider this set to start off your collection. :)

French beans with olive (橄榄菜)

I like french beans not just because of its taste but they keep rather well for awhile, unlike leafy veggies. I've cooked a couple of versions of french beans (see here and here).

 If you aren't sure what 橄榄菜 is, you can check this out (I'm too lazy to take a pic). It's commonly served as a side dish to porridge, alongside pickles and fermented beancurd.

I usually buy the AAA brand as it's nice and it doesn't contain preservatives.

French beans with olive (橄榄菜)

  • 1 handful of french beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive (橄榄菜)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • water
  • fish sauce to taste (optional)

  1. Pluck both ends of the french bean and slice thinly, diagonally.
  2. Fry 1 tablespoon of olive (橄榄菜) in a bit of oil in the wok. It is soaked in oil so you don't really need that much oil.
  3. Add garlic and fry till fragrant.
  4. Add the french beans. Fry a little while before adding water and letting it simmer.
  5. Add the other tablespoon of olive (橄榄菜) and if the dish is still not salty enough you can add some fish sauce to taste.
  6. Dish and serve.

The reason for separating the amount of olive (橄榄菜) to be used in the cooking process: 
By the time the french beans are cooked, the olive added at the beginning of the cooking would have lost (or almost lost) its taste. Thus, the adding of the olives at the end of the cooking retains the taste of olives, which goes well with the french beans.

Asparagus with prawns

Ok, more vegetable dishes coming up! haha. I've got like a million other posts to blog about so everything's gonna be short and sweet.

I've got another version of this veggie but it's baby asparagus rather than asparagus. 

Asparagus with prawns

  • 2 small bunches of asparagus
  • 4 prawns, shelled (retain the tail), deveined 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • oil 
  • salt 
  • water

Marinate prawns with:
  • a bit of hua diao jiu
  • dash of ground black/ white pepper 

  • fish sauce to taste

  1. Trim the stem end of the asparagus. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the tough fibers on the stem - how much to remove depends on how old your asparagus is.
  2. Rinse the asparagus and slice it diagonally. 
  3. Place a bit of oil and salt in some water and bring to a boil. Parboil the asparagus for 2 min till almost cooked.
  4. Drain and set aside.
  5. Heat oil in wok and fry garlic till fragrant.
  6. Add marinated prawns and fry till 70% cooked. 
  7. Add the parboiled asparagus and some water and simmer for a short while till prawns and asparagus are fully cooked.
  8. Add fish sauce to taste.
  9. Dish and serve.
For tot's consumption:
You can cook the asparagus for a longer time to soften it further if your tot is not so good at chewing crunchy veggies. :) Cut into bite-size before serving.


Fried Bee Hoon

My hubby absolutely loves this fried bee hoon I make and I must say I love it too. It's so simple to prepare and cook and since it's a one-dish meal, it's great for those days that you're strapped for time.

Fried Bee Hoon

  • 1 can of stewed pork - don't consume this too often though! (leave this out if you want vegetarian bee hoon) 

  • 1/3 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 packet xiao bai cai, washed and plucked
  • 4 handfuls beansprouts, washed and plucked
  • garlic and shallot oil (made by frying minced garlic and thinly sliced shallots in oil on stovetop or microwaving for about 3 min) - this has to be omitted if you're on a strict vegetarian diet
  • 1/2 big packet bee hoon

  • oyster sauce
  • dark soy sauce
  • water

  1. Soak bee hoon in water till softened.
  2. Remove stewed pork from can. Remove all bones and shred the meat (not too finely). Set aside.
  3. Strain the gravy from the canned stewed pork with an oil filter paper. You will get a clear brown broth.
  4. Heat some garlic and shallot oil in wok. Add the carrots first as they take longest to cook. Fry for a couple of minutes then add in the rest of the vegetables, beansprouts last.
  5. Then add the shredded stewed pork and mix evenly (beansprouts should still be crunchy so keep a close watch on them in case you overcook them)
  6. Dish out the ingredients.
  7. Add garlic and shallot oil into wok and fry the bee hoon. When it gets too dry, add the strained gravy.
  8. Fry till bee hoon is cooked and add the seasoning to taste. If you want the bee hoon to be whitish, leave the dark soy sauce out.
  9. Add the ingredients fried earlier and mix thoroughly.
  10. Dish and top with more garlic and shallot crispy bits and oil if desired.

Tip: If your wok is too small or the amount is too much for you to mix thoroughly, you can mix the bee hoon and the ingredients in two batches.

Hongkong style steamed fish

I must really thank homeladychef for sharing her recipe for this Hongkong style steamed fish. It really tastes like what we get at restaurants and I was sooo over the moon for being able to replicate that!

I'd wanted to get seabass to cook this dish but I wasn't able to get it at the market the other day so I got this other fish called boon tong. I have no idea what's that called in English or Mandarin since the fishmonger wasn't able to provide me with the chinese name of the fish. :)

It's quite cheap - I got these three fishes for a mere $6! ok, it was supposed to be $6.50 but the uncle was nice and gave me a discount since I'm always buying seafood from him.

I modified the way I prepared the oil for drizzling over the fish and the ginger that's served together with the fish. I didn't measure the amount of seasoning and ingredients used either... hee.

Hongkong style steamed fish

  • 500-600g fish
  • ginger, skinned, slice some and julien some
  • a couple bunches of scallions
  • sesame oil
  • olive oil

  • light soy sauce
  • rock sugar
  • water/ stock

  1. Clean the fish.
  2. Place some sliced ginger and scallions on the plate used for steaming. Place the fish on top and top it with more ginger and scallions. 
  3. When the water is boiling hot, place the fish into the steamer and steam for about 10min. (Max 10min for 600g fish, add 1min for every 100g more)
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce and heat it up using the microwave or on stovetop.
  5. When fish is steamed, transfer the fish carefully to a serving plate (only the fish!) and discard all the ginger, scallion and water from the steaming plate.
  6. Pour the prepared sauce over the fish.
  7. Heat some oil (olive and sesame oil mixed) in the wok and fry the julienned ginger till golden brown. Remove the ginger and scatter it on top of the fish together with scallions.
  8. Continue to heat the oil left in the wok till it's smoking hot. Pour this oil over the fish and you're done! :)

Steamed Tofu with Prawns and Glass Noodles

I was inspired to cook this dish after looking at the beautiful pictures at Foodie's Kitchen. My dish turned out yummy but my photos are far from hers though. :P 

It was perfect timing the day I decided to cook this dish because the night before I came to the decision, I happened to have bought silken tofu from Meidi-ya - this special silken tofu was kept in shelves of ice cold water to retain optimum freshness... and it is almost double the price of normal tofu brands. 

This block of tofu costs about S$1.90!

Steaming this tofu was ideal as we could really savour the texture and flavour. :)

I had a lot more prawns than tofu and my prawns were larger than each tofu cube... but everything still worked out well. Hahaha...

I especially loved the look of the curly scallions and it's all thanks to homeladychef for sharing the tip! :)

Steamed Tofu with Prawns and Glass Noodles


  • almost half kg of prawns
  • a few cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions (for garnishing - optional)
  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1 small bunch of tang hoon 


  • light soy sauce mixed with rock sugar to taste


  1. Soak tang hoon in water till softened.
  2. Remove tofu from packaging and cut into blocks (best to have 1 prawn per cube of tofu)
  3. Remove head and shell of prawns (retail the tail) and devein. 
  4. Prepare garlic oil by either frying the garlic with oil on stovetop or popping it into the microwave for 2-3min.
  5. Arrange glass noodles on plate for steaming.
  6. Carefully place the tofu on the glass noodles and top each tofu block with a prawn.
  7. Once water in the steamer is boiling hot, place the dish in and steam for about 6 min.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Add some water if necessary, depending on your preferences. Heat this sauce on stovetop or pop it into the microwave to warm it.
  9. Drizzle this sauce over the cooked dish and top with garlic oil and the crispy garlic bits.
  10. Garnish with curly scallions.

Such a simple dish to cook and soooo presentable! :)

Here's our dinner the other day - 

Ok, I know that's way too much food for 2 but we still finished it all... hahaha...


Stir-fried snowpeas (with baby corn and carrot)

I hardly cook snowpeas but since I decided to cook lunch and dinner for hubby and Alicia for the whole week, I had to serve up a variety of vegetables to break the monotony. :P

Stir-fried snowpeas with baby corn and carrot


  • 1 packet snowpeas, pluck both ends to 'devein' 
  • 1/3 large carrot, slice thinly
  • 3 baby corn, cut diagonally, about 1.5cm long
  • garlic, minced
  • water


  1. Heat oil in wok. Fry the garlic till fragrant.
  2. Add in the carrot and corn and fry for about 2 minutes. Add some water if it's too dry.
  3. Add in snowpeas and a bit more water/stock and let simmer for a few minutes till it's cooked. Carrot should not have a raw taste and snowpeas should look very bright green.
  4. Add fish sauce to taste.
  5. Dish and serve.
You will realise that the gravy has a sweet taste even though no sugar was added - that's due to the sweetness of the vegetables! Carrots especially once cooked through (i.e. no raw taste), will add much sweetness to the gravy... and since baby corn and snowpeas are also 'sweet', that the gravy is sweet comes as no surprise! :)

Stir-fried Nai Bai with dried shrimps

I've got toooooo many overdue posts! I shall shelve them for the moment and try to cover the more recent ones - which are mainly food entries. :P

I'm not sure what this vegetable is called in English but it's a fairly easily available vegetable at the market. :)

Stir-fried Nai Bai with dried shrimps

Look at the crispy garlic bits!

  • 1 packet of nai bai or about 70cents worth of it
  • a couple of cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • about 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 1/4 bowl water

  • salt/ fish sauce/ soy sauce to taste

  1. Rinse the dried shrimp and soak in 1/4 bowl of water for about 15 min. Drain and reserve the water for later use.
  2. Remove any wilted leaves and slice off the base of the veggie. Wash thoroughly in case dirt is trapped in the leaves.
  3. Place the garlic and oil in a microwave safe bowl (loosely cover with microwave safe wrap and leave one corner uncovered) and heat for about 2-3min, stopping every about 1min and opening the microwave to prevent the oil for overheating. Once the garlic is a nice golden brown, you can stop cooking it. Alternatively, just fry garlic in oil in a wok (I was doing a batch of garlic oil for the whole day's worth of cooking so I used the microwave). :P
  4. Heat the garlic oil in wok and add in dried shrimp. Fry till fragrant.
  5. Add the nai bai and fry for a short while before adding in the shrimp water.
  6. Cover wok and simmer till vegetables are cooked.
  7. Add seasoning to taste.
  8. Dish and top with crispy garlic bits.

You may wish to prepare the nai bai in the same way as the oyster sauce romaine lettuce (it tastes yummy too).


Papaya fish soup (木瓜鱼片汤)

I found a really small papaya today at the vegetable stall - it was supposed to be a green papaya (unripe) but since most of it looked almost ripe, when I expressed interest in it, the stall holder gave it to me. :P Hee. 

And so, I changed the menu for dinner immediately... papaya fish soup was definitely gonna be on the menu for the night! I couldn't get sheng yu however since it was all sold out so I decided to just use the red snapper fillet I just bought from my usual fish stall. 

Green papaya fish soup is believed to increase breast milk supply so it's usually drunk by women who have just given birth (during confinement month - I drank this soup twice during confinement but didn't really like the cooking.. haha) or those who need that extra boost in breast milk supply. Normal papaya can also be used for this soup, just that you would need to cut down the time for simmering the soup so that the papaya will not disintegrate in the process of cooking. I don't think I need that boost in milk supply but I just enjoy drinking the soup... lol. Come to think about it, I've been breastfeeding for almost 30months! :P

Papaya fish soup (木瓜鱼片汤)


  • fish bones from 3 red snapper tails (I think it should be at least 500g) - you can use other fish bones such as threadfin
  • 1 slab of red snapper fillet (costs about $5 at the market) - usually present in this soup is shengyu 
  • 1 small (green) papaya
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic (skin on), rinse
  • 2 bunches of scallions (cut into 2" segments)
  • 6 seedless red dates
  • 2L water
  • 1-2 teaspoons hua diao jiu
  • sesame oil

Seasoning for soup:

  • salt/ fish sauce (I used fish sauce)
  • ground white pepper to taste

Marinate fish with:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a couple of dashes of pepper
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon cornflour or potato starch


  1. Skin the papaya, remove the seeds and cut into chunks. 
  2. Scald the papaya briefly with boiling water to remove the sap. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add some sesame oil into the claypot and stir-fry the ginger till fragrant. Add the fish bones and fry for a short while. Remove from pot and place in a cloth soup bag - this is to ensure that there will be no bones in the soup and hence safe for consumption, especially for young children. Double check that there are no bones in the claypot after removing the fish bones.
  4. Add water into the claypot which you have just used and bring it to a boil.
  5. Add the garlic, scallions, red dates, hua diao jiu, papaya and the bag of fish bones and bring the soup to a boil again.
  6. Simmer for about 1.5hours.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the fish fillet and slice the meat very thinly.
  8. Marinate the fish slices with salt, pepper and cornflour (prevents the fish from disintegrating). Set aside in the fridge.
  9. When soup is ready, remove the bag of bones, red dates, garlic, scallions and ginger, leaving only the papaya in the soup.
  10. Add seasoning to taste.
  11. Bring the soup to a boil again. Add the fish slices into the soup and turn off the fire. Cover the claypot and let the heat in the soup do the cooking.
  12. Dish and serve after a couple of minutes.

Although I didn't use sheng yu today, the red snapper slices were wonderfully tender! Actually I thought they tasted even better than sheng yu slices! :) Hubby was full of praises for the soup - usually he complains about the fishy soups his mum cooks or those from coffeeshops but he actually liked this fish soup and asked me to cook it more often! hee.

Tip: To make this a one-dish meal, you can blanch some bee hoon or other noodle of your choice and add it into the soup.

Stir-fried minced pork with egg

I thought this would be an appropriate photo to start my blog entry! My little darling couldn't wait for me to get the spoon and the rest of the food and started nibbling off the plate like a little kitten. haha... 

I actually cook this once a week at least for our lunch on weekdays because both Alicia and I love this very simple but yummy dish which goes wonderfully well with a bowl of porridge.

My mum used to cook this when I was a teenager and before going to work she'd cook this dish and porridge for me to heat up when I get back from school in the afternoon. It's a really simple homecooked dish which was only brought back to the dinner table in the period when I was recovering from the recent bout of gastric flu. I was on a porridge diet and I wanted to cook something simple, light and nutritious to go with the porridge - something that Alicia could eat as well. Recently I've been cooking lunch for hubby on days he doesn't need to work and when he tried this dish, he loved it as well! :P

Stir-fried minced pork with egg (serves 2 adults and 1 tot)


  • 6 tablespoons minced pork
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch scallion, cut into 2" segments
  • a few cloves of garlic, sliced (you can mince it but I usually slice it in case Alicia doesn't like to eat it)

Marinate pork with:

  • 1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce (go with less if your dark soy sauce is on the salty side)
  • 1-2 teaspoons dark soy sauce 
  • a couple of dashes of ground black pepper
  • a dash of sesame oil (add this only after you have mixed the pork well with the rest of the seasoning otherwise the pork will not be able to absorb the sauces as well)


  1. After marinating the pork (as above), add the eggs and mix well.
  2. Heat some oil in the wok. Fry the garlic and scallions till fragrant then add in the pork-egg mixture.
  3. Fry till the mixture is cooked - if you like the dish to be on the darker side (like me), you can add more dark soy sauce at this stage if you didn't add enough earlier. Of course, if it's already salty, then hold off the dark soy sauce. You'd have to do the taste test yourself. :)


Learning to cut with Crayola's scissors

I finally got her a pair of proper scissors. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the pair I saw at Borders which claims that the blades of the scissors will not cut skin so I had to settle for another pair... and well, I decided on getting Crayola's. It costs no more than $4, comes in a few different colours and it's good for both righties and lefties. It's got a blunt tip but no promises that it won't cut skin... :P 

Alicia's not very good at the cutting as she lacks strength to move the blades of the scissors continuously - the prerequisite of smooth cutting. What she does is pull 'open' the scissors with both hands and then get her the scissors in the right position for making a cut with her right hand. 

Remember to supervise your little one closely when she's using the scissors! :P

Black sesame tang yuan in almond soy bean

I haven't blogged in a long long while! Been so busy catching up on spending quality family time since hubby's not working recently... i actually cooked this dessert a long long time ago - those who have seen this photo on my personal facebook account would find this familiar! :P

Anyway, it's a really convenient dessert and in my opinion rather nutritious. If you are a calorie watcher then you may want to give this a miss... hee.

Black sesame tang yuan in almond soy bean


  • 4 frozen tang yuan (do not defrost prior to cooking)
  • 1 packet of Super's Organic Soy Bean drink 
  • 2 tsp of any brand of almond powder
  • 1 cup of water
  • some water to boil the tang yuan


  1. Set some water to boil in a pot. When it boils, add the tang yuan. Tang yuan is cooked when it floats in the water. 
  2. While waiting for the tang yuan to cook, pour the satchet of soy bean powder into 1/4 cup of room temperature water.
  3. Make sure that the soy bean powder is dissolved well and there are no lumps (I usually make my drink by shaking it in one of my containers meant for making drinks).
  4. Add the almond powder and mix well again.
  5. Add hot water to make the drink hot. (I usually don't heat my soy bean on the stove as nutrients are lost by overheating it). Transfer to a bowl and add the cooked tang yuan.

It can't get any simpler, can it? :P


Exploring felt

I recently bought some felt to do up a felt board for Alicia and before I started work on it, I thought why not just let her play with the felt as a sensorial activity? :)

She enjoyed touching the felt and making patterns with the flowers and leaves by just laying the pre-cut flowers and leaves on other pieces of felt and it kept her occupied for a very long time! hee.

*Photos taken on 19Nov 2010*

Enjoying every moment!

Laying out the flowers and leaves

Feeling the felt by placing it on her thighs

More arrangements to do...

Here's the set of pre-cut flowers and leaves I got from Daiso - it really is such a wonderful shop! :P


Fishing learning aid

Since we were on a 'fishing' theme with Alicia - scooping fish and the visit to the Underwater World at Sentosa - I made this fishing learning aid for her. It's a versatile learning aid and I've been wanting to do it up for a long time and finally got down to doing it - and finishing it (those are two very different things!).

It's a versatile learning aid because what's on the fish can be easily changed to suit whatever you want to teach (while the fish remain, well, unchanged).

*photos taken on 18 Nov 2010*

Here she's fishing for uppercase letters in the 'pond' (which really is a big piece of felt I bought to make a felt board for her - it's standing in temporarily as a make-shift pond):

I've prepared alphabets (both upper and lower case), numbers 1-20 and some dolch list sight words (which will come in useful in future). Currently we're only playing with the alphabets and numbers.

I can get her to fish for specific alphabets to spell a certain word or just get her to fish for fun - I guess magnets have a certain hold on children :) Her fav activity though is to 'clap' the fish I caught and make it drop... lol.

Taking out another set of alphabets:

Checking out the googly eye on the fish:

We really have so much fun with this! :P

Stir-fried fish slices

I haven't blogged about food in ages! teehee.. well, here's a simple stir-fried fish dish that's healthy and yummy  and one that pleases tots as well! I cooked this some time back... hopefully I got the ingredients right in this recipe... lol. My memory fails me sometimes...

Alright, the real reason why I fried my fish this time was because the slab of red snapper had been sitting in my freezer for ages so I decided I'd better not serve it steamed... :P

Stir-fried fish slices 


  • 1 slab of red snapper meat, sliced (not more than 1cm thick)
  • a couple of bunches of scallions, washed, cut into 1-2" segments
  • thumb-size ginger, shred finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Marinate fish slices with:
  • ground white pepper
  • light soy sauce
  • hua diao jiu
  • sesame oil
  • 1-2tsp cornflour (so that the fish will not disintegrate when frying)

  • oyster sauce
  • soy sauce
  • sugar (optional)
  • ground white pepper
  • sesame oil
  • water

*Add sauces and condiments according to your own tastes*

  1. Mix all the ingredients needed for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in wok. Add the garlic, ginger and scallion and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add the marinated fish slices and stir-fry quickly for a couple of minutes (be gentle with the fish).
  4. Add the sauce prepared earlier into the wok and bring to a boil.
  5. Add cornflour solution if preferred.
  6. Dish and serve hot with rice.

Dress Up Bear

This Dress Up Bear is the quick, simple and attractive solution to practising fine motor skills for tots and preschoolers. It definitely beats practising those fine motor skills on boring Montessori frames!

The Bear's features:
  • a zip
  • a snap button
  • a (normal) big button
  • a velcro (pocket)
  • a buckle
  • (shoe)laces (for practising tying ribbons)

Here are some photos of my little one practising hard:

Trying hard to undo the button:

Zip up! Zip down! Zip, zip, zip! :P

It's buckle time!


Here's the pic of the Dress Up Bear:

Spelling Bee

Bought a set of Spelling Bee recently for Alicia during Infantino's warehouse sale and here are some pics of her enjoying her new learning aid! :)

Not that useful for now as she doesn't really spell yet but should come in handy when she's slightly older! 

She still has fun naming the pictures and fiddling with the alphabets though. :) and of course, spelling nonsensical words... LOL.

Little learner in action:

Placing the alphabet back into the pocket:

Naming the letters:

Concentrating very hard, as you can see... :P

Here's the learning aid! :)


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