Shiratama Dango (Japanese Rice Dumpling)

In my previous post about Rice Dumplings with Adzuki Beans & Brown Syrup, it is actually Shiratama Dango wannabe. Because I didn’t go and hunt for Mochiko. But this time is the real Shiratama Dango that I’m making. I found Mochiko & Kinako in Meidi-Ya Liang Court! Mad happy!

I love Japanese food. But I have reserve when it comes to their desserts. And I must confess that I don’t like those traditional Japanese sweets that are based on sweetened beans. For the most part they are way too sweet for me, and I always imagine that if I were to make them for myself I will definitely adjust the sweetness level.

Diabetes leh! Hahahas…

I had been reading about Shiratama Dango recently. This is the 1st time I make Japanese dessert, and I somehow I find myself courageous. Hahas. Okays, before I start writing, allow me to give a simple explanation about this Japanese dessert :-

Dango is literally a Japanese dumpling made from Mochiko (Rice Flour), related to Mochi.

Shiratama-ko (白玉粉)is sweet or glutinous rice flour, or mochiko, mixed with a little corn starch or potato starch.

Kinako is a soy bean flour that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine as it is a healthy topping that contains Vit B and protein. Kinako is produced by finely grinding roasted soybeans into powder.

This is easy to make. Trust me. If you know how to make Tang-Yuan (汤圆), you can make this. And once you know how to make this, you will not want to pay S$5 – S$7 for a miserable portion of this dessert at Japanese Restaurants.

Ingredient 1 (Shiramata Dango)
4 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour
2 tablespoons of Mochiko
about 8 tablespoons of water
pink & green coloring
some Kinako – for finishing

Ingredient Source…
Glutinous Rice Flour – Any convenient store. NTUC / Cold Storage & etc.
Mochiko – So far I only saw it at Meidi-Ya Liang Court. It cost S$6.90/pack.
Kinako – Daiso sell S$2.00/200g pack. Meidi-Ya sell S$3.00/300g pack.
Pink / Green Coloring – Genera convenient stores that carry basic bakery stuffs should have. NTUC / Cold Storage / Sheng Siong / Phoon Huat & etc.

1. Combine two flours in a bowl. Drizzle in half of the water and use fingers to stir and moisten the ingredients. U can use spoon instead. No issue here. Then, gradually work in the remaining liquid, kneading the dough into a PlayDoh type of consistency, that is firm yet soft and smooth.

2. Divide dough into two, use a toothpick to dap a few drops of coloring, and continue to knead till the color turned evenly on the dough. Just like this…

3. Oh yea.. this is my favorite part here. It’s PlayDoh Time! Divide them into small little cute balls. About 5 grams each. Just estimate will do. You should be getting about 16 to 17 balls in total.

4. Drop them into the boiling water one by one. Give it a gentle stir to avoid the balls sticking to each other.

5. Until the balls float on top, it means they are cooked. Let it simmer for another minute. At this point of time, you can prepare a bowl of ice cube water.

6. Dish up the balls, and drop them into the ice cube water and let it cool down completely.

7. Once it has cooled down, scoop it up, and it’s ready.

Lovely color! I should have make some white balls instead. I’m so engrossed with the color dough until I forgotten to keep some dough for white leh! Sigh!


Topped with some Kinako…

Love!!! ❤

I really love the taste of the Kinako. It has a taste that is very much similar to the peanut butter that is indescribably good.

You know what I did? I actually scoop a spoon of Kinako straight my mouth. Eating plain Kinako just like that. It taste soooooo good!!! 😀

Okay.. I’m crazy.

Oh Yea… You will have to eat this cute little balls with something really sweet. Because this Shiratama Dango itself is basically tasteless. It’s normally eaten together with Sweet Adzuki Beans. Or alternatively, you can eat with Brown Sugar Syrup or something else sweet. It’s up to you. So, here’s the basic sweet adzuki bean method.
Ingredient 2 (Sweet Adzuki Beans) 
half cups of adzuki beans
50 grams of brown sugar. This is sweet enough for me.

Method (Sweet Adzuki Beans)
1. Pre-soak adzuki beans for 5 hours. This is to shorten the cooking time.
2. Cook adzuki beans with water till soft.
3. Add in sugar. Stir till sugar is completely melted. Remember to adjust your own sugar level to your preferred sweetness. Heat off. Serve.

I like it when my sweet adzuki beans is more watery. And I mess it up like this!

This is the way! 😀


Easy Sambal Tumis Petai

This dish is just like durians. You will either hate it or love it madly. Max loves durian and petai equally mad. Seriously…

Petai (Parkia speciosa), we called it chou-dou “臭豆”, or literally stinky beans. It is a unique green bean used in Malaysian home cooking. It grows in long pods on a large tree. Petai is semi-wild; it is usually grown on the outskirts of villages. Normally people get it directly from the forest. The beans have its unique pungency. It is usually cooked in sambal tumis ikan bilis, a fried chilli paste with dried anchovies. Traditionally, petai is believed to flush or “cleanse” the kidneys and urinary tract. How true? I don’t really know or care, but the elderly told me that. But you get a sense of its effect, from the pungent urine, after your petai meal. For that, I think the elderly makes sense. 

Preparing ingredients for Sambal Tumis is never easy. During my secondary school time, I ever saw a Malay auntee cooking Sambal Tumis in a traditional way. It’s really a pain when it comes to preparation this all the way from scratch. She prepared the spice and ingredients to be pounded with mortar and pestle. It consists of shallots, garlic, red chili, lemon grass, belacan and lots of dried shrimps. To cook the dish, she sautes the spice and pounded dried shrimps till fragrant and the chili oil separated. Then the petai is added to mix well. Gah! This is not for the lazy person like me!

Last week, while I was doing my shopping at Tebrau City Jusco, a lady approach me and asked me to purchase a pack of this to give it a try. Another cheat recipe. Sigh!

Pre-packed Sambal Tumis sauce. She kept assuring me that this pack of pre-packed sauce is really tasty and I will regret if I don’t give it a try. I was like… “Urgh? Really so nice meh? Describe until so good wo“. Well, since I don’t have the habit nor any intention of making my own sambal tumis from scratch at home because I felt that it is too much of effort for doing that. And since this lady say until so good, I decided to give this pack of pre-packed Sambal Tumis sauce a try.

Here’s the ingredients I’ve got :-
Some people may think that since I’ve got myself a pre-packed sauce, those chopped garlic, onions, chillis may not be necessary. But well…. I don’t think so. No matter what, nothing beats the taste of the real stuff you know?

A pack of Petai from the market. I weighed, and it’s about 135grams. Cost me S$2.00
A pack of Sambal Tumis sauce.
About 10 prawns or more. It’s up to you.
chopped shallot
chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1 chilli (half chopped, half julienned)
a small onion
1 cup water
a handful of anchovy fish (Ikan Bilis) – Optional.

You noticed that my Petai is splitted into two? Leave it if you don’t have the time to do this step. It’s fine. And it’s really individual preference…..

You’ll spot some tiny white worms if you are lucky. This is why I always like to split them into two. Unless you dont bother about it, as you don’t mind to add some exotic “protein” to our sambal petai dish. Ahh… well…

1. Cooking oil on the pan. Fry chopped garlic, shallots, chillis till fragrant.
2. Add in Sambal Tumis sauce. Give it a quick stir.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients (except water), give it a quick toss.
4. Add in water, stir evenly. Cover up, simmer for a minute or two. Until the sauce has thickened and no longer watery. Heat off & dish up. Garnish with julienned chillies, and fried anchovies. Serve.

I fried some anchovies to put on top as a garnishing. Max loves crunchy anchovies. Hence, I did it on purpose for him. However, this is optional. You don’t really need to follow.

I think this is a very good pre-packed sauce that will not fail you. It’s worth a try. One thing I need to warn you is that… This is another dish that need you to cook more rice for the meal.

Like it?

p/s : Friends, if you really can’t get this pre-packed Sambal Tumis in Singapore, email me ( I will try to get it for you when I happened to go JB for shopping. But… must self collection at my place ok? 🙂

Rice Dumplings with Adzuki Beans & Brown Sugar Syrup

I’m gonna make Rice Dumplings with Adzuki beans & Brown Sugar Syrup. It’s kinda Japanese Style. I remember I read one of the recipe online, but I’d forgotten where I saw it. I supposed to make the dumplings larger and dimpled so that they’d have tiny wells for holding thick brown sugar syrup. Hmm.. what about piling up some adzuki beans in those indented dumplings? We shall see…

To avoid confusion, I shall separate the recipe into 3 portion. The Adzuki Beans, The Rice Dumplings, and The Brown Sugar.

The Adzuki Beans
I saw a beautiful pack of Organic Adzuki Beans at Tebrau Jusco JB a week ago, and I don’t know what should I do with it. But I just can’t help buying it. Hahas!

It’s beautiful isn’t it? This cost me RM 7.60! Mad expensive!

Since I’ve got myself a new rice cooker, and I’d need to test the limit. I shall give it a try.
After I bought my rice cooker, the 1st thing I cook is not rice. It’s Adzuki Beans! Hahahas…

I supposed to pre-soak the beans before I cook, so that the beans will get soften easily. But I skipped this step. I’m lazy. You all knew it. So, I just throw half cups of beans into the rice cooker, water, set as “Porridge” and start cooking.

What you need here is just half cups of Adzuki beans, water, and some rock sugar.

The Porridge menu takes about 1 hour to cook. The 1st 1 hour, the beans is abit soft, but still within the bean shape. So, I decided to cook another hour. And here, the beans started to “flower” and soften. I leave it there as a “Keep Warm” mode till the next day morning, and the beans is softer than last night…

I added a piece of rock sugar in there, to give the beans a hint of sweetness. Just a hint of sweetness will do. The Adzuki Beans is now done. Set aside for later use.

The Rice Dumplings
I supposed to get some Mochiko sweet rice flour. But… I skipped this. So, I just use glutinous rice flour instead. So, what I made now is literally Tang Yuan (Chinese rice dumplings with sweet soup)

1 & half cups of glutinous rice flour
half cups of water.

This is easy. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough. Stress free! Just knead for about 5mins, and it’s done! It should be kinda PlayDoh type of consistency that’s firm yet soft and smooth.

Once the dough is done, roll it in this way… into a 12-inch-long log. Just eyeball it yourself.

Cut it crosswise into about 12 pieces. If you are unsure about the size, it should be about 10grams each dumpling. Roll each one into a 3/4-inch ball and then flatten it into a thick disc, about a scant 1/2 inch thick.

Use your index finger or thumb to make an indentation in the center. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough.

You’ll form about 23 to 24 1 inch wide dumplings in total.

Bring water to boil, cook the dumplings.

After all the dumplings float to the top, let them cook for another minute, then use a skimmer to scoop them from the water.

Drop them into a bowl of cold or room temperature water to let them cool. The hot dumplings will cause the water turned cloudy. So, you could change the cold or room temperature water for 2 to 3 times to get rid of the cloudy water. I changed the water twice.

I can assure you that you will like this soft and chewy dumplings.

The Brown Sugar Syrup

3/4 cup Muscovado. Or any dark brown sugar. You may use Molasses if you like it darker.
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt

Incase if you are unsure what is the difference between Molasses and Muscovado. Here is the packing difference for your reference :

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to vigorously simmer for about 3 minutes, until the syrup has kinda caramelized and thickened.

When the syrup is done, take it off the heat and wait for the bubbling action to subside before stirring in the salt. Set the brown sugar aside and let it cool.
How to eat? Here….

For each portion, put 2 to 3 tablespoons of adzuki beans in a bowl. Top with some dumplings, and a drizzle of the sugar syrup.

The dumplings are dimpled, and as I mentioned, they’d have tiny wells for holding thick brown sugar syrup just like this….

Oh yes! Must eat this dessert with a spoon to ensure that you get some of each of the ingredients in every bite.

Messed it up! Haha!
Yumm!!! 😀

I should have get some kinako and put on top! Regretted for not buying it that day. Darn!

Spicy Stir Fried Winged Bean (四角豆)

Winged Bean is one of the vegetable that is not commonly seen in Singapore, but very common in Malaysia. In Singapore, general supermarket usually don’t sell this. But if you are lucky, you will found it in wet market sometimes. According to the Wikipedia, it is also known as Goa bean and Asparagus Pea or Winged Pea. But in Malaysia & Singapore, we  usually called it Four-angled bean, or 四角豆 “si-jiao-dou” in Mandarin.

Whatever. As long as it taste good. Hahas…

I saw it at Tebrau City Jusco JB over the weekend. And from the packaging, I get to know that the Malay name of winged bean is Kacang Botol. Shame on me! I had been staying in Malaysia thru my entire childhood time and eating it so often. Now then I know this is called Kacang Botol.

I won’t google it, write grandfather story here about winged bean and pretend that I know alot about it. Infact, I really know very little about this vegetable. I only know that this vegetable is good, crunchy in texture and it has slight slimy substance when it’s cut. Other than Okra / Lady Finger, this is another good source of collagen from the vegetable.

How to cook this?

Seriously, I don’t have any special idea. What I know here is the general way of home style cooking the winged bean that I learnt in Malaysia. Yea… It’s spicy stir fried. It is the most appetizing way of preparing this vegetable I assume.


  • 400g of Winged Bean
  • 200g of minced pork
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small piece of belachan (about a thumb size)
  • a tablespoon of cooking oil
  • a pinch of sugar, salt & dashes of pepper to taste

1. Washed winged bean, cut diagonally. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, oil, chopped garlic, chopped red chilli, chopped onions, belachan. Fry till fragrant.

3. Add in minced pork, give it a toss. Add in winged bean, and toss.

4. A splash of water onto the wok, toss, and cover it up for awhile, open the cover, toss, and cover it up again.

5. Belachan itself is very flavorful and salty. So, you got to taste before you add any salt. If it is salty enough for you, no need to add salt. Add a pinch of sugar instead. It will slightly enhance the taste. And finally, dash abit of pepper, give it another quick toss. Off the heat & serve.

It’s easy. Right?

I hope you like it 🙂

Mung Bean & Stinkweed Sweet Soup (绿豆臭草糖水)

My Mother-In-Law always love adding Stinkweed into her Mung Bean Soup. For the 1st time she serve me this, I don’t really like it.

Stinkweed (臭草) is an informal name of a plant called Herba Rutae. Sounds cheem isn’t it? Yea. It sounds cheem to me too. According to the internet, this plant is a chinese medicine for relieving inflammation and pain. To my understanding from the old-folks, this is good to detox our body. I know very little about it. I only know that this is a good stuff. This can be bought from Chinatown wet market. There’s a stall selling varieties of fresh Chinese medicinal plant.

While Mung bean (or people call it green bean) has it’s cooling effect and has the detox effect too. It act as a diuretic, help fortify the stomach and decrease fats. You can get this at any convenient store!

After I knew the goodness of Stinkweed and Mug bean, I started to love this soup. The starchiness & sweetness of the bean itself is simply great.

There’s no recipe given by my Mother-In-Law. All she told me is just “Mung bean, stinkweed, water and rock sugar loh. Just agak-agak (estimate) can already”. Ah.. learning cooking from fellow seniors always must be prepared. Because the word “agak-agak” is their measurement on whatever recipe they use! Hahas…

This is a bowl of goodness that I would recommend you to try, especially when you are living in a country like Singapore & Malaysia… enjoying super hot summer time all year round.

Nothing beats good & nutritious food that you’ve prepared for your loved ones. Right? 🙂