Pearl of the Orient

This blog is inspired by the rich cluture and food found in Penang, an island in Malaysia known as the Pearl of the Orient. The author of this blog is Japanese influenced and she enjoys travelling, cooking and ofcourse, eating.

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Name:
Location: Penang, Malaysia

I'm a little plump rabbit who lives in Penang. I hop around with a camera round my neck snapping photos of Penang and foodstuffs. If you meet a rabbit like that in Penang, that should be me ; )

Sunday, October 23, 2005

IMBB #20: Has My Blog Fallen? Asian Style Soufflés

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When Kitchen Chick, the lovely hostess for IMBB #20 announced the theme to be soufflés – I felt a worried because not only have I never tasted a soufflé in my life (beacuse this dish is not common in the area where I live in), now I am asked to make one – if you don’t call that challenge!

I did a quick reference on the Internet and a cooking textbook and found out what a soufflé really is. According to On Cooking by Sarah R. Labensky and Alan M. Hauss:

"A soufflé is made with a custard base that is lightened with whipped egg whites and then baked. The air in the egg whites expands to create a light, fluffy texture and tall rise. A soufflé is not as stable as a cake or other pastry item, however, and will collapse very quickly when removed from the oven…"

Also to my surprise, I found out that one can also make savoury soufflés – when all the while I thought soufflé was only served as a dessert. What a misconception you had Rabbit! Lucky you found out or the French people are gonna be really ticked at you! This IMBB is certainly an eye opener for me. Thanks again to Kitchen Chick such a challenging yet wonderful theme!

The first soufflé that I made was called Chicken soup soufflé which was an easy recipe I found on the Internet. I was a bit disappointed by the result as it tasted almost like plain omelette. The result was perhaps due to the reason that I’ve baked it in a wider pan. Due to my anxiety to try making a soufflé I substituted ramekins with a small cake pan…

There were so many challenges for this time’s IMBB. I also had a challenge finding porcelain ramekins from local department stores. I finally gave up searching and settled for steel ones instead. I was warned from one of my science student siblings that the results may not be as good as using porcelain ramekins because steel ramekins may not be able to retain heat very long after being removed from the oven, thus the soufflé may fall faster than usual… but do I have a choice?

With my steel ramekins, I yielded better results than my first attempt. I tried a few other recipes including the Chocolate Souffle recipe from On Cooking. After being more comfortable with the theme, I’ve decided to do a little experiment and came up with the below recipes. I fused it with some Asian flavours and the result was quite good although perhaps it may further be improved by native soufflé makers…

I had a few mishaps during my soufflé adventure. At one point, I was nearly at tears sitting beside my readily garnished Japanese style soufflé when my camera ran out of batteries. My sis came to rescue with new batteries but it was a little late as my soufflé has sunken significantly (as you can see from below picture).

Another mishap was that my mixer busted while making the soufflés… but I was lucky enough to finish beating the last egg whites for my final soufflé, the Tropical Fruit Soufflé. Mixer, I’ll try to get you a good doctor, but if you’ve beaten your last egg white… Good-bye, I thank you for serving me faithfully throughout these years…. Anyway, I hope you’ll like my recipes…

Japanese Style Soufflé
This soufflé is inspired by the Japanese steamed
egg custard, chawan mushi
(Serves 2 – 3, depending on ramekin size)

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Custard base:
1/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon of shoyu (soya sauce)
2 tablespoon of instant dashi (bonito stock) powder
3 medium size shrimps, shelled, de-veined and diced
1/5 cup of diced chicken fillet
1 medium sized shiitake mushroom, soaked and sliced
Few slices of Kamaboko (Japanese fish cake)
1 1/2 tablespoon of flour
3 small egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Ground pepper

Egg whites:
3 white whites
Pinch of cream of tartar

Garnish with seaweed strips and dried bonito flakes

Method:
In a pan, heat the water, bonito stock, shoyu and mushroom (do not boil). Add in shrimp, chicken and kamaboko. Add seasoning (salt and pepper), flour and stir until even. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks until creamy. Pour the cooked ingredients into the bowl with egg yolks, mix well and return to the pan. Stir a little while but do not over cook. Set a side to cool. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Fold egg whites into custard mixture, transfer into greased ramekins and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 180 Celsius. Garnish and serve immediately.

Thai Style Soufflé
This soufflé is inspired by the popular Thai sweet and sour Tom Yum soup
(Serves 2 – 3, depending on ramekin size)

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Custard base:
1/3 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce
1 generous teaspoon of Thai tom yum paste
3 medium size shrimps, shelled, de-veined and diced
1/5 cup of diced chicken fillet or other seafood
1 tablespoon of diced onions
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoon of flour
3 small eggs yolks
1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Pinch of salt

Egg whites:
3 small egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar

Fold in ingredients:
1 tablespoon of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut)

Garnish with mint leaves, parsley or other greens

Method:
In a pan, heat the coconut milk, tom yum paste, fish sauce and onion (do not boil). Add in shrimp and chicken. Add lime juice, salt, sugar, flour and stir until even. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks until creamy. Pour the cooked ingredients into the bowl with egg yolks, mix well and return to the pan. Stir a little while but do not over cook. Set a side to cool. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Fold egg whites into custard mixture together with tomatoes and kaffir lime leaves, transfer into greased ramekins and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 180 Celsius. Garnish and serve immediately.

Tropical Fruit Soufflé
This soufflé is made using local fruits commonly found in my area
(Serves 2 – 3, depending on ramekin size)

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Custard base:
1/3 cup of milk
3 tablespoon of chopped banana
3 tablespoon of chopped mango
1 tablespoon of chopped pineapple
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
2 tablespoon of flour
3 tablespoon of sugar
3 small eggs yolks

Egg whites:
3 small egg whites
1 teaspoon sugar

Melted butter and granulated sugar for greasing ramekins

Garnish with chocolate or other kind of sauce

Method:
In a pan, heat the milk and add in fruits (do not to boil). Add lemon juice and flour. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with sugar until creamy. Pour the cooked ingredients into the bowl with egg yolks, mix well and return to the pan. Stir a little while but do not over cook. Set a side to cool. Beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff. Fold egg whites into custard mixture together with lemon rind, transfer into greased ramekins (greased with butter, sprinkled with sugar) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 180 Celsius. Garnish and serve immediately.

And now for the taste test... As usual I had my picky eating siblings try the soufflés and Thai style soufflé scored the highest, which was 7 out of 10. One of them even bellowed out “I love soufflés” after eating this one. However, the rest of the soufflés were just ok or so-so. There was a comment that the Tropical fruit soufflé needed more flavour, also that it doesn’t go well with chocolate sauce. I was thinking, maybe in future I can replace milk with coconut milk to give it a distinguished fragrance and use palm sugar to make the sauce…

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25 Comments:

Blogger soycap said...

Wow, awesome flavors! They all look really good :) Thanks for providing such fun ideas and recipes...I am especially drawn to the Japanese Style one - looks yummy.

Sunday, 23 October, 2005  
Blogger boo_licious said...

Rabbit - *clap clap*! That is such a great assortment of souffles. Such incredible flavours and all so puffy and nice.

Monday, 24 October, 2005  
Blogger Niki said...

I really love the sound of the Thai one; how innovative of you to create such souffles, when you had never tasted one before! Congrats!

Monday, 24 October, 2005  
Blogger babe_kl said...

rabbit, you're very creative indeed. lovely souffles you got there. btw i love yr metal containers. reminds me of how one thai restaurant serves their rice.

you can get glass ones (pyrex have them) instead of porcelain ones.

Monday, 24 October, 2005  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

*standing ovation* What a challenge and u r magnificent.

Monday, 24 October, 2005  
Blogger Chen said...

Lovely Souffles..
applause :)
Btw, how much time u spent baking all those stuffs?

Monday, 24 October, 2005  
Anonymous Brett said...

I love your creative flavors, especially the chawan mushi one. Brilliant. Looking at the shape of your soufflé dishes and how great they came out makes me wonder if a Japanese tea cup would work well as a dish? I'll have to give it a try.

Tuesday, 25 October, 2005  
Blogger chronicler said...

Amazing trio! Each one is distinct and very tempting! Great first effort!

Tuesday, 25 October, 2005  
Blogger glutton rabbit said...

Thanks everyone for you kind compliments and encouragement!!

Soycap,
Thanks. I love the Japanese styke souffle too because, when I top with with the bonito flakes of hana katsuo, it actually 'dances' on top of the souffle due to the steam from the souffle...

Boo,
Thank you... I am happy it that they were puffy! During practice, I made a few batches which were not puffy and some cracked and looked like apom. Haha, I was really horrified that time you know...

Niki,
Thanks. It was tough but I really enjoyed cooking it very much!! Haha..

Babe,
Fyi, the metal ramekins were handed down by a relative to my mom and now to me. Thanks for the tip!

Food,
Haha. Thank you. It was fun to learn how to make souffles.

Doc,
Thanks! It took me whole afternoon to make these ; ). Busy gila... but it was a great experience.

Brett,
Thanks for your compliment. Yeah, great idea about the Japanese tea cup! I think it should turn out okay, because the tea cup has straight sides...

Tuesday, 25 October, 2005  
Blogger glutton rabbit said...

Chronicler, thanks for your compliment! Making souffle is really fun no?

Tuesday, 25 October, 2005  
Anonymous Joe said...

I'm Kitchen Chick's husband, and I just had to come over and say that your entries are amazing. Wow. I'm craving that chawan mushi-inspired one right now...

Sunday, 30 October, 2005  
Blogger Kurakat said...

You must have been a great lover of food.. yum yum =)

Monday, 31 October, 2005  
Blogger glutton rabbit said...

Joe, thanks for your compliments and support!
It was a great theme and Kitchen chick did such a marvelous wrap-up job too!

Kurakat,
Ah yes, I love food very much. I'm sure you do too? ; )

Monday, 31 October, 2005  
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