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Tuesday January 13, 2009

How to soften abalone

CAN you please advise me on how to soften dried abalone? – Evelyn Lau

Bring some mineral water to a boil in a saucepan then add the dried abalone. Let it come to a boil again. Take saucepan off the heat and cover the saucepan. Let the abalone soak for a minimum of 8-10 hours or preferably overnight. The next day, clean and rinse the expanded abalone.

The succulent taste and velvety texture of abalone makes a dish stand out.

I LOVE prawn dishes and my husband often takes me out to eat in seafood restaurants. I want to surprise him with a prawn dish on Valentine’s Day. Can you please share with me a simple recipe? – Mrs Cynthia Chong

Try this interesting prawn recipe and I hope you will enjoy it on Valentine Day.

Prawns in Creamy Sauce

500g large prawns
1 tbsp butter
2 stalks curry leaves
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 bird’s eye chillies, lightly smashed
2 tbsp evaporated milk
120ml thick coconut milk


½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Dash of pepper

Thickening (combined)

1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp water

WASH prawns and trim the feelers and whiskers.

Heat a little oil in a wok until hot and fry prawns for 1-2 minutes until they turn a bright red colour. Dish out and leave aside.

Heat a clean wok and add butter. Fry curry leaves, garlic and chillies in the melted butter until fragrant.

Add evaporated milk, coconut milk and seasoning. Cook over a low heat to a simmering boil.

Return prawns to the wok and stir-fry well. Once the gravy or sauce is reduced, dish out and serve.

CAN you share with me the recipe for Teochew peach-shaped vegetarian kuih? I would like to make it for my children, whose father is Teochew, so they know what this kuih looks like. – Tang Siew Peng

Try this kuih recipe.

Teochew Peach Shaped Kuih

Pastry wrapper
250g rice flour
85g glutinous rice flour
40g castor sugar
35g cooking oil
160-170ml water
A little pink colouring


2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped dried radish (choy poe)
4 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and diced
150g cooked glutinous rice
85g chopped toasted peanuts


½ tsp salt
¾ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame oil

COMBINE both flours, sugar and oil in a mixing bowl. Pour in water gradually to mix and add colouring. Knead well to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough into equal portions. Wrap each portion with some filling (recipe follows) and shape into a ball. Place into a wooden or plastic peach shaped mould. Press in slightly and knock out the kuih.

Place them on greased banana leaves and steam over high heat for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and immediately brush with a little cooking oil.

For the filling: Heat oil in a saucepan and fry dried radish until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cooked glutinous rice to mix. Add seasoning and stir-fry until well combined. Stir in peanuts to mix. Dish out and leave to cool.

Please send your cooking queries, with full name and address, to:

Amy Beh Culinary Queries
Star Publications (M) Bhd,
Menara Star, 15 Jalan 16/11
46350 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03-7967 1388

E-mail: startwo@thestar.com.my

Past recipes featured in this column are available online at The Star Online (thestar.com.my/kuali)


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