malaysian national drink recipe - teh tarik

[Recipe] Teh Tarik: Malaysia’s National Drink

Teh Tarik is a hot frothy milk tea made of condensed milk (or evaporated for less sweet) and strong black or Ceylon tea. Delicious! (in moderation)

Teh Tarik (in Malay) literally means pulled tea because the mamak guys actually pull the milk tea to make it frothy & creamy! Nowadays, the mamak guys usually use a milkshake machine to froth the milk tea up because it’s faster. As a kid, it was always entertaining when the mamak guys put on a show of pulling guys pull the Teh Tarik from mug to mug and then seeing milk tea “moustaches” on happy customers’ faces. The mamak guys would be really cheeky too by pulling it extra long; making my heart skip a beat but not a single drop would go to waste…

Tip 1: Typically, the Malaysian BOH tea is used to steep the tea for Teh Tarik but you can use any black or Ceylon tea. Just make sure it is of high quality. The quality and amount of the tea used really determines the aroma of the Teh Tarik. I’ve tried making Teh Tarik with less aromatic teas, it looked and tasted like dirt water. Seriously, it was quite bad.. 🙈

The Malaysian BOH tea is a local tea grown and processed in Cameron Highlands (in the state of Pahang). This tea plantation all began when the English conquered Malaysia 🌿 If you go to Cameron Highlands, you can visit tea plantations and enjoy tea with scones or sandwiches just like you would in England, with slight modification for the local taste.

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Typical Malaysian breakfast: A stack of kaya butter toast, 2 soft boiled eggs and a cup of teh tarik

Teh Tarik can be found in any kopitiam shops or mamak stalls. It’s consumed anytime of the day. For me, it’s best in the morning with my breakfast (see above) or midnight at mamak stalls when you watch the football on the big screens ⚽️ It truly completes the mood of cheering for your football team with your family and friends. Best nya!! ✌🏽️ For non-Malaysians, this article (The Mamak Stall Culture) sums it up very nicely about why mamak stalls are so special.


Health advice:

  • Consume this tea in moderation because of the condensed milk, which is high in sugar content.
  • Those with poor digestion or have a sensitive stomach, like me, should minimise the consumption of this beverage because the high caffeine content would “erode” or increase inflammation to the stomach lining.
  • If you are going to have Teh Tarik, make sure you 1) drink a cup of warm water before & after the milk tea (advice from the Traditional Chinese Med doctor I’ve been seeing) and 2) are not drinking it on an empty stomach.


Makes for 4 people


  • 10 tbsps black or Ceylon tea leaves
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk, to taste (or evaporated for less sweet)
  • 4 cups hot water


  1. Steep the tea for 1 hour
  2. Add the condensed milk and mix it well
  3. Froth the milk tea using the pulling method, a milk frothing equipment or a milkshake machine. For the pulling method: Pour the tea from one mug to another mug from a distance. Repeat the action between the two mugs for 4-5 times until the milk tea is frothy enough. Do not over-pull because the milk tea will lose its heat.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy


Generation Kitchen


6 Lessons from Sekinchan Fruit Orchard

31st January 2016

One of the highlights of my trip to Sekinchan was the free tour of his fruit orchard (Wan Chai Mango King) – My grandma, aunt and I were in 7th heaven! ❤

I’ve never met anyone so passionate about agriculture and fruits like this fruit vendor. You can really feel his energy when he’s sharing his knowledge about the Malaysian local fruits, how to grow them and how to choose the good quality ones.

After about an hour in the fruit stall, we ended up with many kilos of golden dragon mangoes (as long as my forearm!), kedongdong, kafir lime, jambu air and guava. It was so interesting, it would be a waste not to share what I know now 😀

Here are the 6 lessons:

1.Golden dragon mango tree: Cut the centre of the mango tree to allow sunlight to reach the hidden centre of the mango tree. Basically, keeps the mango tree nourished with sunlight.


Notice the branches growing outwards? Yup, that’s because they cut the centre of the tree deliberately to create space for sunlight to get in. That’s a sign of sweet mango coming right up! 😀

2. Jambu air tree: Wrap the budding flowers with a plastic bag to keep birds and insects from eating it up. It is a crucial stage of growing a jambu air plant. If you wrap it a little too late, the jambu air plant will not grow. Even if it does, it’s definitely not market quality. Jambu air is a low calorie & healthy fruit to eat but so hard to grow 😦

3. Soursop fruit: According to the fruit farmer, he says this is the most perfect soursop he has ever grown. So perfect, he wasn’t willing to sell it to us because he wanted to eat it hahaha

  • The prickly bits of the soursop should not be too spaced out but more importantly, not too close to each other
  • It should be luscious green
  • It should not too soft (otherwise it means it’s overly ripen).

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    See how beautifully spaced out it is all around? Except the middle part where the prickly bits are close together but that’s okay.

4. Nangka plant (jackfruit): Sweet sweet jackfruit. This fruit doesn’t need to be treated like a princess, thank goodness! The main thing would be to cover the fruits with a plastic bag (with holes so it doesn’t get sweaty in the bag. Eeek!) and with newspaper.

I’m guessing the newspaper is to absorb the moisture the fruit will create some           vapour due to the warm temperature in the bag. Time to wrap this fruit up before the animals and birds get to it!

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Huge but still green so it’s not quite ready for eating!

5. Guava fruit: The best type of guava are the sweet and “crispy” ones. Literally crispy, not hard and crunchy. This are some tips from my grandma for choosing perfect guavas

  • Choose the ones with light coloured skin
  • The tip of the guava should be relatively flat (more rounded than oval), firm but not rock hard.

It’s okay if it has brown bits on the fruit. Imperfection is beautiful and in this case, tastier!

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That’s as green (skin) as I would go. Strange isn’t it that lighter ones are generally better quality! 🙂

6. Keeping flies away from the plants and humans: This was so cool. He hung these yellow sticky bags around his farm which were filled with sweet liquid to attract the flies. The flies will get stuck onto the yellow bags and hence won’t attack the plants or humans. Kinda sad for the flies but it made the experience in the farm a lot more pleasant.


All the flies stuck to the bag!!!

Hope you enjoyed it!



tang yuan recipe and stories - generation kitchen

[Recipe] Winter Solstice Festival (“Ball Ball” day)

In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, winter solstice falls on December 22 or 23 (solar calendar) every year.

For the past 22 years, I never knew Chinese Winter Solstice Festival was more important than Chinese New Year. I just knew that no matter what you must do whatever you can to have at least one tang yuan for good luck. I remember a few years ago my grandma called my family in Australia to remind us it was the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival and that we needed to eat tang yuan. We clearly forgot and my grandma must have been pretty insistent because my mum drove out just to buy a bowl of tang yuan dessert from Dessert Story (a Taiwanese dessert shop). My grandma would tell us that “one grows a year older once we eat tang yuan” ❤


21/12/2015 – Auntie Alice and I making tang yuan together 🙂 My mum photo bombing hahah

To me, my sis and my cousins, all we really knew about this Chinese Winter Solstice Festival is a day we called “ball ball day” where we get to eat tang yuan. “Tang yuan” was probably a massive tongue twister for us kiddos so we ended up calling it “ball ball”.

Tang yuan in direct translation is “soup ball” – probably because the glutinous rice balls (aka tang yuan) are served in some sort of sweet soup (clear ginger syrup, red bean soup or black sesame soup). Sometimes the glutinous rice balls are stuffed with crushed peanuts, sweet red bean paste or black sesame paste. In Hong Kong, they serve glutinous rice balls with a side of crushed sweet peanuts to dip it into. So good! My cousin has made a pumpkin glutinous rice ball once too for my grandma who loves pumpkin, like reaally love.


Mixing the hot water into a part of the flour mixture.     See Tip 3.

I’ll always remember my grandma giving us a packet of glutinous rice flour, a bowl for mixing and a cup of water and telling us to make tang yuan for dessert. I’m pretty sure it was her way of keeping us entertained  ;). We (my sis, cousins and I) would crowd around the dinner table; make the glutinous rice dough and roll the dough into all sorts of shapes and sizes just for the fun of it.

The traditional shape is a round ball as round shapes symbolise family reunion and togetherness. But this was also our opportunity to showcase our creativity. Our top favourites are snakes, squares, swirls of different colours (kinda like a Yin and Yang type thing) and cylinders.

Sometimes we would deliberately make massive ones and super tiny ones just so we can say we won by size! The whole process from making the dough, rolling the dough into balls (or other shapes), cooking the tang yuan and eating them is fun and very therapeutic 🙂


My curled up ‘snake’ tang yuan & my pink yin and yang ball in the bowl 🙂

To be honest, I don’t really have a recipe because we were never taught to use one but we were given a few very handy tips 😉

It is literally flour and water mixed into a dough that has a texture that is ‘tacky’ and does not stick to your fingers/hands when kneading.

Tang yuan in ginger syrup


  • Glutinous rice flour
  • Hot water
  • Room temperature water
  • Food colouring (green, red, purple etc)
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Ginger


  1. For the tang yuan balls: In a small mixing bowl, mix 1/3 of the glutinous rice flour with hot water.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix 2/3 of the glutinous rice flour with room temperature water. Very gradually add water.
  3. Mix Step 1 into Step 2. Knead and dust extra flour into the dough if necessary.
  4. Divide the dough ball into 3 parts. Each part for 1 colour. Add a drop of colouring to the dough. Knead the colour through the dough until mixed thoroughly.
  5. Roll the dough into small balls. Lay the balls on a tray that is layered with kitchen towel/tissue paper (See Tip 2).
  6. In a boiling pot of water, put the balls in. Lower the fire to medium heat and allow the balls to cook. The balls will float up when they are cooked.
  7. For the ginger syrup: In a small pot of water, add sugar and ginger. Allow the sugar to melt and the ginger to infuse in the syrup.
  8. Add the cooked balls into the ginger syrup.
  9. Serve warm or cool.

Tip 1: Roll small balls. They have greater surface area so the moisture in the balls can evaporate and be drier when it comes to the boiling stage.

Tip 2: Place the balls on a kitchen towel or tissue so that it will soak up some moisture from the balls. Less moisture = More chewy.

Tip 3: Use hot water for 1/3 of the flour. It seems to maintain the chewy-ness of the glutinous rice balls if serving the next day.

Tip 4: Gradually add the water to the flour mixture when making the dough. We’ve sometimes added too much at a time and have you add tonnes more flour to ‘dry’ out the dough. Too much tang yuan by the end of the night!!



homemade pineapple jam recipe

[Recipe] Pineapple Jam

This jam is super versatile – you can have it on toast, cake, make it into a slice or even better, pineapple tarts! The preparation time is about 7 -10 minutes (depending on how fast you are at cutting pineapples) and the cooking time is about 1.5-2 hours. Don’t try increasing the heat of the jam because it’s not gonna speed things up! 😀

The macerating process is a crucial step to extract the juice out of the fruit and to sweeten the fruit. After Step 1, the bowl will contain juice from the pineapple – it’s completely normal. I usually macerate my fruits overnight but if you only have a few hours (3-4 hours) at hand, that will be fine too. The more juice extracted from the macerating process, the faster the cooking process 😉


the plastic sheet in the picture, we do that to maintain the freshness of the jam. It prevents any air to enter the bottle, which could potentially spoil the jam. You can do this with your homemade sauces, spreads, pastes etc. My grandma taught us all to do this, so you probably should do it too ❤



  • 2 ripe pineapples, chopped finely
  • 200g sugar


  1. Macerate the pineapple and sugar in a large bowl
  2. Cook the macerated pineapple (without the excess juice) in a pot, on medium heat, until soft. Stir continously
  3. Add the juice from the macerated stage into the pot if the pineapple jam is drying up, on low heat
  4. Remove from stove and set aside to cool
  5. Bottle the pineapple jam in clean, air tight jars


Generation Kitchen

easy vegetarian fried rice or nasi goreng recipe

[Recipe] Nasi Goreng aka Fried Rice

What can go wrong with an innocent dish like nasi goreng right? Oh boy it can! My mum tried making her first proper nasi goreng 8 years ago and it was a plate of rice mush! After several more attempts and using Tip #2 below, my mum perfected her fried rice and it’s probably one of my favourite Asian dishes.

It almost taste like a mix of Japanese garlic fried rice and Indonesian fried rice 😀 There is a lot of garlic but it is the garlic component that makes this nasi goreng so flavourful. It is certainly a dish we have at least once a fortnight in our home and we keep some aside for packed lunches. It is really simple and always a crowd pleaser – give it a shot!

You could even try adding other ingredients such as bean sprouts, broccoli, prawns, chinese sausage (aka “lap cheong”), pork slices, chicken pieces, dried prawns, belacan, sambal and thai basil. Topped with fried anchovies (aka ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, chopped coriander and slices of lettuce. I personally like the vegetarian version better!


Top left: Sauteed carrots and garlic, Bottom left: Roughly chopped up omelette, Right: End product – Nasi Goreng


  • 1.5-2 bulbs of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium red spanish onions, thinly slices
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (approximately 4 cups of cabbage)
  • 3 cups of basmati rice, cooked and chilled
  • Slices of red chilli
  • Soy sauce
  • 4 free range/organic eggs (omit for vegans)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Ground black pepper


  1. On a low heat, sauteed garlic, onions, red chilli and carrots. Cook until garlic start to turn golden brown and onions start to caramelise.
  2. On a medium heat, add cabbage into the same wok.
  3. When the cabbage is half cooked, add the zucchini.
  4. When the cabbage is almost cooked, add the cooked and chilled rice into the wok. Stir the rice through to coat it evenly with the vegetables.
  5. Season with soy sauce and ground black pepper, to taste. Continue mixing the rice through.
  6. In a bowl, beat the eggs and slightly season with salt and pepper.
  7. On a separate pan, on medium heat, cook an omelette with the egg mixture.
  8. Chop the omelette into rough pieces.
  9. Mix the omelette into the fried rice.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!


Tip 1: Gradually add the soy sauce to avoid over-salting and adding too much moisture to the fried rice.

Tip 2: Use cold rice to ensure that the rice is “jumpy” (Literally!! This is the term my grandma would use). Either cook the rice 4-5 hours or overnight before using for fried rice. Make sure it is chilled. That is key for perfect fried rice. This is the biggest tip you’ll ever need!

Tip 3: Do not waste the stems of the broccoli! It is forbidden in my kitchen 😛 It’s not as tasty as the broccoli florets but you can chop the broccoli stems into small cubes. You don’t even have to cook it. Toss them in raw at the end for a bit of crunch through the fried rice.

Tip 4: For Paleo eaters out there, you can omit the rice and use grated cauliflower instead. I can’t guarantee that the cauliflower rice will be as jumpy but I can assure you it will be just as satisfying. The secret is in the garlic!


Generation Kitchen

malaysian dessert or snack onde-onde

Malaysian Kuih: Onde-onde

Onde-onde, my favourite of all the Malaysian kuih-muih because of the chewy texture of the glutinous rice balls, freshly grated coconut on the outside and the burst of oozing gula melaka on the inside. Seriously hands down better than any chocolate (and this is coming from a chocoholic!)

I would use freshly grated coconut if you can find it. If you’re living abroad like me, I use frozen grated coconut found in most asian grocers. Tip: The addition of 1/2 tsp salt is really important to enhance the flavour of the coconut. Really important!!

How to test if an onde-onde is perfect: Pop the onde-onde in your mouth and the onde-onde should explode with gula melaka in just one bite. And, the dough should not be too thick otherwise, it would just be bland, chewy rice balls.

Onde-onde is meant to be green…why are the onde-onde white/translucent in colour? Instead of using pandan extract for the green colour, I used tap water. If you can get hold of pandan extract, use that as it adds more fragrance and deliciousness to the onde-onde. If you can’t, I would just use water because colouring is just a big no-no for health reasons. You can be creative and use other natural colourings like beetroot (for red colour), turmeric (for yellow colour), blueberries (for purple colour) etc 🙂


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Sweet gula melaka filled onde-onde with slightly salted fresh desiccated coconut.



  • 60 g glutinous rice flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour/starch
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 60 ml pandan leaf extract
  • 50-100 g coconut (grated, otherwise use desiccated)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • coconut palm sugar (gula melaka), shaved


  1. Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the grated coconut and mix it well.
  2. In a bowl, mix glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and sugar evenly
  3. Gradually add the pandan leaf extract to create a dough. If the dough is too soft, add more glutinous rice flour. The dough should be malleable and not stick to your hands.
  4. Divide the dough into 14 little balls. Yes, you got that right, 14 from the small piece of dough.
  5. Roll the dough flat using the tip of your thumb and index fingers. The dough should be about 0.20-0.25cm thin. It will expand during cooking time.
  6. Place the shaved gula melaka in the centre of the dough. Carefully use the edges of the dough to roll it up into a ball. (I find it is best to make small gula melaka balls using the shaved gula melaka to prevent the sharp edges of the gula melaka from cutting through the dough)
  7. Put the little balls into a pot of simmering water. When the little balls float upwards, leave it to simmer for a further 5 minutes to allow the palm sugar to melt thoroughly.
  8. Coat the little balls in the lightly salted desiccated coconut. (I would try one ball to test if the gula melaka has been melted fully. If not, allow the balls to simmer for another 3-5 minutes)
  9. Allow it to cool and enjoy!


Generation Kitchen

thai inspired fish cake easy recipe

[Recipe] Asian Salmon Patties (Fish cakes)


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes

You know how most children despise vegetables and would throw a fit when they don’t want to eat it or some cheeky ones might try sneak abit onto their sibling’s plate? That’s how I feel when I salmon is served. Before you think I should feel lucky to be able to have salmon at dinner, I am. I just can’t help but squirm. I shamefully used to overcook my salmon and drown it in any sauce because that’s the only way I would eat it. But, I’ve improved 😉 (after months of basically butchering quality fish)

Aaaannnyway, I ordered a tempura salmon with Asian slaw at Tassle (why I did that? I have no idea) and to my surprise, I really really enjoyed it. Besides it being a tempura, the flavours and textures were just spot on! It inspired me to make these Asian salmon patties or salmon fish cakes. When I got home, I ran straight to our garden and picked out the herbs I wanted to use to make these salmon patties. Thanks to my mum’s green fingers, I have plenty of fresh, home grown herbs to pick from. I don’t know what it is about picking your own herbs from your own garden but it makes the food just that little bit special and more delicious 😀

OK, back to these patties..

It turned out to be crispy on the outside, moist and slightly bouncy in the inside. The mixture of the coriander, Vietnamese mint and Thai basil complemented the flavour of salmon so so wonderfully. With a side of sweet chilli dipping sauce, it was like the fish balls I would eat when I was younger, except healthier and more delicious. I had nothing to complain about and everything to rave about. I love it and hope you love it too 🙂



  • 250g salmon
  • 3 sprigs of coriander, chopped (roots too!!)
  • 5 sprigs of Vietnamese mint, chopped
  • 2 sprigs Thai basil, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • cracked black pepper


  1. Mince 3/4 of the salmon and chop the balance 1/4
  2. Mix the chopped coriander, Vietnamese mint and Thai basil into the salmon mixture
  3. Season with fish sauce and cracked black pepper, to taste
  4. Divide the salmon mixture into equal sized patties
  5. Flatten the patties and on medium heat, pan fry in olive oil
  6. Cook for 2 minutes on each side
  7. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce
  8. Enjoy!