Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pan-Fried Salmon with Tamarillo Salsa

Although tamarillo resembles a tomato especially when you slice it in half, it tastes nothing like a tomato. It is very tart and its scent and texture somewhat reminds me of a cross of a passion and kiwi fruit.

I came across this unusual fruit a lot in supermarkets. If you are on the look out for them, they usually are being situated near the exotic fruits section. Obviously, I hang around the exotic fruit section a lot. I miss seeing rambutans, custard apples, star fruits, mangosteens…basically the fruits I grow up with in Malaysia. Every now and then, I notice some other fruits too. This time I’ve discovered tamarillo.

(Click here if you want to know more about this gorgeous fruit – I find wikipedia can be very scientific with its explanation sometimes ha!)

Pan-Fried Salmon with Tamarillo Salsa

(For 3-4 people with you choice of sides i.e. salad, sweet corns, steamed vegetables)

For the salsa

(makes about two cups; should be enough for 4 portions of salmon i.e. 600g/21 ounces)

  • 2 Tamarillos (aka tree tomato)
  • Boiling water to blanch the tamarillos
  • 25g/ 0.88 ounces of red onion (about half of a medium sized red onion), finely diced
  • A small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
  • Maple syrup to taste (about 1 to 2 tsps)
  • Olive oil (about 3 to 4 tbsps)

Pan-fried salmon

  • 4 portions of salmon – about 600g/21 ounces in total
  • salt to taste
  • freshly grind black pepper
  • Olive oil

(1) Gently slice a cross at the end of each tamarillo. Then blanch them in hot boiling water for no more than a minute, or until you can see the criss cross mark has turned into a big slit, whichever come sooner. Drain the hot water and rinse them under cold running water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel and discard the skin. Slice the tamarillos in half, then quarters and even smaller segments and dice into smaller pieces. Transfer them to a bowl. (2) Finely dice onion and chop coriander. Add them into the bowl with the tamarillos. (3) Stir in maple syrup and olive oil. Set aside. (4) Season salmon portions with salt and pepper and coat them lightly with some olive oil. Place them on a hot pan (in batches depending on the size of the pan you are using) and cook them to your likings. (5) To serve, place the pan-fried salmon onto a plate and top with the tamarillo salsa. Serve immediately.

Sponsored Series 3: Mulberry Polenta Muffins & last chance of giveaway [CLOSED]

What is the best way to compliment your lazy Sunday’s and make them even more perfect? A hot cup of frothed coffee of course! Devondale Barista’s Own is made to deliver a consistent smooth creamy froth to your favourite style of coffee at home.


When it comes to finding my cooking/baking inspiration, without a doubt, I will reach for Ms Nigella Lawson. My first cookbook by her is the Nigella Express which I have cumulated many food memories as well as blog posts (case in point here, here and here) over the years. When a cookbook is falling apart, it is a good sign. My Nigella Express is one. I have since bought Nigella Kitchen, considering of getting her How to Be A Domestic Goddess cookbook and anticipating the launch of Nigellissima.  I may not have the face that launched a thousand ships. But worry not! I am more than happy to become a Domestic Gooddess…and bake a thousand muffins if possible ha!

Maybe a thousand is not a realistic figure for muffins. Perhaps a dozen instead? ;)

Mulberry Polenta Muffins

(Adapted from Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins recipe from the Nigella Kitchen)

What’ll need:-

  • 150g/5 ounces all purpose flour
  • 100g/3.5 ounces polenta (original recipe specifies cornmeal which tends to be less coarse than polenta)
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda)
  • 150/ 5 ounces caster sugar (fine white sugar)
  • 125ml / 4 fl ounces vegetable oil or other flavourless oil (I used canola oil)
  • 125ml /4 fl ounces buttermilk, or plain runny yogurt – see Note 1
  • 1 egg
  • 175g / 6 ounces mulberry (or 100g blueberries)

A 12-holes muffins tin

Note 1: I used vanilla flavoured Greek style yogurt with 1 tbsp of milk.

(1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees C/ 392 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper – skip this step if you are using Robert Gordon’s Le Petit Gateau cases like moi. In a large bowl, mix the flour, polenta, baking powder, bicard and sugar (basically all the dry ingredients). (2) In a measuring jug or bowl, pour in the oil, yogurt, 1 tbsp milk and whisk or fork in the egg (basically the wet ingredients). (3) Stir in the wet ingredients mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients mixture until just mix. Then fold in 2/3 of the mulberries (or leave about 12 mulberries behind) into the thick batter. (4) Spoon the batter into each muffin case (or the Le PetitGateau cases).  For muffin cases users, fill the case up to 2/3 full. For Le PetitGateau cases users, fill the them up to 1/2 full. – See Note 2. (4) Top the remaining mulberries on top. If the mulberry is too long, break into half.  Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, till a cake tester comes out cleanish (as Ms Lawson stated that it will be stained if it hits a berry). Leave the muffins in the tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins in their cases to the wire rack to cool a little before serving.

Note 2 – please note the batter does rise a fair bit so be conservative when filling the batter into the cases.

Okay guys, this marks the last post of the Lazy Sunday Series in conjunction to my partnership with Devondale Barista’s Own. Here’s your last chance to enter the giveaway for the espresso set of 6 cups and saucers as well as the major giveaway of a PHILIPS Saeco Syntia Class Automatic Espresso Machine retailed at $1,499 (Correction: the end date of the Espresso Machine is 21 Sept 2012 and not 7 Sept as per my previous posts).

Again, what you have to do is to

“Tell me how Baristas Own frothing milk would help get your lazy Sunday off to a perfect start?”

Both giveaways are open to Australian residents only. For Terms and Conditions, please click the link here. To keep it simple, both giveaways will end at 5:00 pm AEDST on 21 September, 2012

The following are my previous sponsored series Devondale Barista’s Own  if you are interested:-

  1. Sponsored Series 2: Factory Espresso, Orange NSW +Giveaways at the end of post!
  2. Sponsored Series 1: Baked Egg in a Portobello Mushroom & Giveaway
  3. Barista Style Coffee at Home {With Devondale Baristas Own Frothing Milk} & Giveaway
Sponsored Series by Nuffnang


What is the best way to compliment your lazy Sunday’s and make them even more perfect? A hot cup of frothed coffee of course! Devondale Barista’s Own is made to deliver a consistent smooth creamy froth to your favourite style of coffee at home. Check out some of the fantastic breakfast recipes in the Lazy Sunday Series thanks to Devondale Barista’s Own

Bitter Melon (Gourd) – 2 ways

Last weekend I re-acquainted with my least favourite childhood vegetable – bitter melon.  I was shopping at Harris Farm Market looking for green chilli and there it was….calling my name. I thought why not give bitter melon another chance. Plus I reckon it would make an interesting blog post especially for those who are curious about this.

I find bitter melons a little hit and miss. Sometimes I got the really bitter ones that reminded me what I dislike it in the first place and sometimes the bitterness is so subtle that it is negligible.  Applying the similar method to reduce bitterness in eggplant, you can add salt to the bitter melon slices, wait for 10 minutes or so and squeeze the juice out. Just so you know that even with squeezing out the juices, the bitterness won’t be eliminated completely. (My mum has recommended that to get less bitter ones, pick the ones that have bigger bumps i.e. the width of bumps is bigger.)

Below are the two ways on how I cooked my bitter melon. I bought a small one, weighing about 200g / 7 ounces. I halved it and cooked 2 dishes with each half.  If you are not too sure whether you will like this, a small bitter melon will go a long way. Trust me. :)

Bitter Melon Omelette – based on my childhood memory

(Feed about 2 people as a side dish with rice)

What you’ll need:-

  • Cooking oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 100g/ 3.5 ounces bitter melon, thinly sliced – see Note 1
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • salt to taste ( I added about 1/2 tsp)
  • White pepper

Note 1: For this dish, I did not salt the bitter melon prior cooking. If you are concern with the bitterness, mix the bitter melon slices with 1 tsp of salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze the juices out before making the omelette. You may want to reduce the salt in the omelette if you salt the bitter melon.

(1) Thinly sliced onion and bitter melon. Salt the bitter melon should you wish to. (2) In a medium sized non-sticked pan over medium heat, heat a tbsp of cooking oil and wait until the oil is hot. Add sliced onions and bitter melon (if you salt the bitter melon slices, you should squeeze the juices out before adding with the onion) and saute until the onion is translucent and bitter melon slices are soften.  While waiting for the onion and bitter melon to cook, beat egg with salt to taste and white pepper. (3) Add beaten egg and cook over low heat.  (4)When the omelette looks like 70% cooked, flip the omelette to cook the other side. You don’t have to flip the whole omelette at a time. What I’ve done was to flip it in 3 sections. Serve immediately with rice and other side dishes.

Spiced Bitter Melon

(A really small side dish – makes about 1/2 cup)

What you’ll need:-

  • Cooking oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 100g/ 3.5 ounces bitter melon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves as garnish

(1) Add sliced bitter melon, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric into a bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then squeeze the juices out. Set aside. (2) Thinly slice onion. (3) Add oil and onion into a small non-stick pan and saute over medium flame until golden brown. (4) Add 1 tsp of ground cumin and a pinch chilli to the onion. If the mixture is a little dry, add a little bit more oil. Saute until aromatic over low heat. (5) Add bitter melon and mix well with the onion mixture. Cook with a lid on over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes. (6) Check for taste if more salt is necessary. Then add sugar and saute until the mixture does not feel grainy. Serve immediately with some chopped fresh coriander leaves as garnish.