Vegetarian Tempura

Winnie’s second dish is fried vegetarian tempura. She used various root vegetables like sweet potatoes, taro and zucchini.

It is very simple to make as she uses the tempura batter mix from a box. Just add water to the right consistency and it’s ready for dipping the sliced vegetables for frying.


Deep fry the vegetable tempura in small batches and drain them on paper towel to remove excess oil. It does not take long to fry the thinly sliced vegetables.

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Banana Shrimp Cake

Banana and shrimp does not normally mix, does it? However, these Banana Shrimp Cakes are great finger food. They are crunchy on the outside and soft, sweet and savory on inside.


The Banana Shrimp Cake will go great with almost any type of sauce dip.


  • 2 bananas
  • 150g shrimp meat
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons egg white
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Indian Fries (Chana Na Bhajia)

Zee made her sons some Indian Fries called Chana Na Bhajia. Chana is a kind of lentils flour. Na Bhajia means the shape of the food which is kind of oval or in a blob.



  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons chana flour
  • salt and chilli pepper to taste
  • about 1 cup of cold water


Click on the link below for instructions.


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Spinach Dip

I have always made spinach dip to share in gatherings among friends. It’s a very simple dip to make and is always a favourite, even among children. I like to use baguette and use the spinach dip like a spread.

I find that if I prepare it that way and pass the plate around, almost everyone will take a piece.


The recipe for the rich spinach dip is simple. You need the following:

  • 1 box of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 packet of Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 can of water chestnut
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise

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Pearl Yam Ball

Last week’s cooking class was led by Juile Han. She is another experienced cook and she always shares her Taiwanese recipes in the South Arm Community cooking class.

Juile showed us two dishes, A noodle dish and a snack dish. Here is the snack dish which is called Pearl Yam Balls. I remembered a similar roadside snack which we had in Malaysia that is made from yam and deep fried. I love it and I missed it since I came to Vancouver. Those we found in Malaysia is larger and had more yam in it. Nevertheless, Juile’s version is as good and I’m glad she showed us how to make it.


Since Ben is having the camera with him while he was in Atlanta last week, I had to borrow another digital camera from my good friend, Rachel. Some of the shots did not turn out right because I’m not familiar with the new camera. Anyway, I’ll try my best to illustrate the process with the photos I had.


  • 1 1b yam
  • 1 packet of glutinous rice flour (about 1 lb)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (depending how sweet you want it)
  • sesame seeds, peanuts and honey for topping.

Click on the following link for the instructions.


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Pumpkin Tempura

Tempura refers to Japanese classic deep fried batter dipped seafood or vegetables. Common vegetables used are bell peppers, sweet potato, okra, carrot, eggplant, potato, lotus root, cucumber, mushroom, bamboo shoot, zucchini, etc.

Cora made pumpkin tempura in this week’s cooking class. She got some mini pumpkins which is very sweet, almost like sweet potato.


The pumpkin tempura was awesome and they just disappeared as fast as they came out from the wok.



  • 1 mini pumpkin, cut into thin slices
  • Tempura mix
  • ice cold water


Click link below for cooking instructions.


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Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy)

Cora’s second dish is Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy). Sesame balls can be found in many Chinese bakeries. Chinese believe if you eat sesame balls, your fortunes will expand like the dough expands when it fries.

I like Zeen Duy a lot and remember the days in Malaysia where I always stop and buy some when I see it. In Malaysia, they are usually sold at roadside stores. The ones in Malaysia were huge — like 3 inches in diameter. I miss those stuff a lot. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I have tasted sesame seed balls in Canada, although they are served in some dim sum restaurants.


The Sesame Ball is very light and is practically filled with air on the insides. This is a plain sesame ball but it is also common to have a little bit of fillings of stuff like red bean paste. Anyhow, the plain ones is just as nice because the main flavor of sesame seed is in the crunchiness of the fried sesame seed.


  • 1 package of glutinous rice flour (227g)
  • 2 slabs of brown sugar (peen tong)
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of hot water
  • White sesame seeds for coating
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sake (Japanese wine); optional



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Pearl Balls

A pearl is worthless as long as it is in its shell.
~ Native American Proverb

Here is the other dish that Winnie showed us how to make in our cooking class this week. She called it the Pearl Ball, which is basically meat ball wrapped in glutinous rice. The dish derives it’s name from the translucent appearance of the glutinous rice in a ball shape.


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb fish paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry shrimp, soaked and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced carrot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shiitake mushroom
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup glutinous rice, soaked in cold water for at least an hour


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Rice Krispies Squares

A good breakfast cannot take the place of the evening meal.
~ Chinese Proverb

This week, Nanzaro wanted to make something for his brother’s birthday party and decided to make Rice Krispies Squares for him. We bought some “Christmas Special” package of Rice Krispies which comes with red and green rice krispies last Christmas and did not use it until now. Anyway, it makes very pretty Rice Krispies Squares, much better than the single brownish rice krispies.


  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 250g package regular marshmallows
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

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Man is like pepper — you only know him when you’ve ground him.
~ Nigerian Proverb

I’ve never paid much attention to Mexican food. Maybe it’s because the names are so hard to remember and pronounce — or maybe there are too many syllables to those Mexican names! Maybe too, it’s because that I don’t really care much about dishes with beans. Beans makes the guys at home fart a lot!

I learn a little bit about Mexican food the past week when the Richmond Cooking Club featured simple Mexican food — salsa, guacomole, tortilla, enchiladas and nachos. This piqued my interests now on Mexican food and will try to learn more about it.

Today, I am going to blog on a very simple snack which I believe is a favourite with almost everyone. Nanchos in its simplest form is tortilla chips covered in melted cheese. You can add additional toppings such as salsa, sour cream, olives, jalapeno and what nots.

Here is an interesting story I found out about Nachos in Wikipedia:

Nachos were created in Coahuila, Mexico by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya in 1943. The story goes that the wives of American airmen came to his restaurant after the kitchen had closed. Anaya quickly prepared the dish and later added it to his menu. The term “nachos” came from Anaya’s original name for the dish, which was “Nacho’s Especiales,” or “Nacho’s Special Dish.” Nacho Anaya’s original nachos consisted of fried tortilla chips covered with melted cheese and jalape?o peppers.


  • A bag of Tostitos tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • A bottle of salsa, we prefer the hot and chunky type
  • Pickle pepper, optional

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