Posts Tagged ‘Potluck’

 I named these egg muffins, “Margherita” following the legend of the famous Pizza Margherita. If you don’t already know, the pizza was so named after Princess Margherita of Savoy, the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy during the reign of her first cousin and husband, King Umberto I (1878 – 1900). Legend has it that out of the three pizzas created by “modern” pizza-maker Raffaele Esposito and his wife of the then Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi in the Nineteenth Century in Naples, the Queen’s favourite pizza resembled the colours of the Italian flag – green (fresh basil), white (mozzarella) and red (tomato). According to Wikepedia, Esposito’s restaurant still exists, although the name has been changed to Pizzeria Brandi.

Oh, you Poor Posh…!

Now that we know the legend of Pizza “Queen” Margherita, which may sound rather posh, however, the ingredients used are nothing near to royalty. First of all, pizzas are oven-baked flatbreads without any toppings, were a staple of the peasants. That’s right… they were known as the dish for the poor people once-upon-a-time! And by the way, the three main ingredients topped on a pizza Margherita are commonly found in Italy and almost everywhere in Europe.

Holy Trinity               Without a doubt, a posthumous credit is due to Raffaele Esposito for creating the most amazing ‘holy trinity’ in both colours and flavours of Italy on the plate and on the palate. So simple ingredients and yet so exquisite in taste.      

Here’s my version of the not-so-posh “Margherita” egg muffin. The real Queen did not taste it but the kitchen “Queen” in Belgium made 9 muffins in 30 minutes flat (including prepping and baking). I’m quite certain the real Queen would have given her royal thumb UP if only she had tasted these delectable savoury little spongy discs 🙂

The Sky’s the Limit

What I LURVE about this recipe is that you can go crazy with your ingredients – a little or more of this or that. It’s insanely endless! The sky’s the limit! 

For this post, I used fresh basil, fresh cherry tomatoes, grated old Italian cheese (or Parmesan cheese), light cream (20% less fat for daily use from Campina), a pinch of fleur de sel, freshly milled black pepper and of course EGGS!!!

Note I did not measure my ingredients. I guesstimated and eyeballed, which portrayed the real me where savoury cooking is concerned;-)

For 8 large eggs, I ended up filling 9 cavities in a 12-hole muffin pan.  

While most people would mix the dry ingredients and herbs in the beaten eggs together and then pour the batter in the muffin pan, I prefer to assemble the dry ingredients separately into each hole of the muffin pan first and then pouring the lightly seasoned wet ingredients (beaten eggs and cream) last which ensures equal proportion and distribution of the ingredients per muffin. But of course you can do however you like. Your kitchen! Your call!

Bake the little Margherita’s in the pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 18 minutes.  Please check your oven. 18 minutes may be too over or under for your type of oven but it’s Goldilocks test of “just right” consistency for 9 muffins in my ancient oven 🙂  
  What more can I say? 


Notes: These muffins were great eaten warm as well as cold. I refrigerated 2 pieces and packed them in my lunchbox for work the following day and continued placing my lunchbox in the fridge at my office’s kitchenette until lunch time. Absolutely perfect! 

If you prefer to munch on warm egg muffins, just microwave them for about 30 seconds covered with absorbent paper. The muffins will remain soft as if they were freshly baked.


Although I did not use chives in this recipe, I’ve used one of my favourite herbs, basil, therefore, I’m linking this post over at Lavender & Lovage’s “Wild Garlic and Chives ” May and June’s Linky Party for Cooking with Herbs.


This post is also  linked to Little Thumbs Up with the June 2015 theme “CREAM” organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui of my little favourite DIY and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.


I’m also linking this post to #CookBlogShare16 hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes

An egg muffin may not be the typical muffin we are used to, but muffins can be either sweet or savoury. These muffins will make a nice treat over at Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender & Lovage and co-hosted by Jane from The Hedgecombers with the June theme “Muffins, Fairy Cakes and Cupcakes


I’m also linking this somewhat eggy post over at Belleau Kitchen’s Simply Eggcellent #4. The June’s theme is “Anything Goes”… and how appropriate, me think…*wink*


And last but not least, I’m sharing this post over at Tasty Tuedays Live hosted by HonestMum 

Have a great Weekend and enjoy what’s left of the weekend…









I grew up eating homemade Ngo Hiang at almost every festive meal – the Chinese New Year’s eve dinner, Easter lunch, Christmas Eve dinner, New Year’s Eve dinner and birthdays.  My siblings and I never grew tired of eating Mum’s scrumptiously prepared sausage-esque roll.

Ngo Hiang is a unique dish omnipresent in Malaysia, Singapore and many parts of Indonesia and in Cebù in the Philippines.  In my hometown, Kuching, we called this tasty sausage roll, Ngo Hiang. Some bloggers claimed this dish to be either Hokkien or Teochew. In my ear, Ngo Hiang sounds very Teochew, as “ngo(h)” is five in Teochew, whilst “go(h)” is five in Hokkien. “Ngo hiang” means five-spice (powder) and that is also how the sausage roll – Ngo Hiang – has been christened 😀

In West Malaysia and Singapore, the dish is dubbed as loh bak. In this post, I will refer to this dish as Ngo Hiang, which I’m most familiar with.

1. Ngo hiang  

By the way, this is one of the best pot-luck dishes, where minced pork and prawn (or fish) are mixed together with some vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, seasoned with the hallowed five-spice powder (ngo hiang hoon) before rolling inside a bean curd skin and deep (or shallow) fried.

I did it my way….

While Mum makes the finest Ngo Hiang – succulent, luscious, tasty and mouth-watering, I had to make do with what I could find here in Belgium to simulate Mum’s feat.  The most challenging stunt is to accommodate the palates of my three guys – my most priced critics 😀

While Mum would slog away self-mincing the pork shoulder, with a mix of pork belly (for flavour and extra sappiness), fresh prawns, fish, onion, garlic, water chestnut, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, spring onions and flat-leaf parsley using a BIG Chinese chef’s knife or Cleaver on a thick round Chinese wooden chopping board, I used ready minced meat – a mixture of veal and pork or poultry and chopped the other ingredients separately on my little bamboo chopping board.  

I know the ingredients I used may differ from Mum’s, but the bean curd skin is sine qua non (a prerequisite) in making an authentic Ngo Hiang.

2. Ngo hiang

The bean curd skin (or bean curd sheet or tofu skin) is really lightweight, and depending on where it is sold, the one I had was a 45gm salty sheet folded in 18 parts. 

3. Ngo hiang

By the way, this was bought for me by a girlfriend on my request when she made a home trip back to Kuching not so long ago 😉

X, if you are reading this post, the Ngo Hiang I made recently which I brought over to A’s “laksa à volonté” get-together came from the packets I got from you. Cheers, friend! 😀

Boy, were the bean curd skin delicate – I meant really delicate, as they tore quite easily if handled gracelessly. I guess the saltiness in the bean curd sheets resulted in them being quite brittle.  A simple trick I learnt from my Mum is to wet a clean kitchen towel and gently pat on the bean curd sheet to remove the excess saltiness, plus also making the sheet more workable or pliable.

4. Ngo hiang

How I made my Ngo Hiang, and trying to replicate my Mum’s recipe…

Ingredients –

(Makes 25 suasage rolls)

  • Minced meat (I used 1 kg mixture of ready minced veal and pork)
  • Fresh prawns ( I used 500g frozen prawns, defrost, shelled, deveined and chopped roughly)
  • Fish (I did not use)
  • Water Chestnuts (I could not find these, hence I did not use them)
  • Shiitake Mushrooms (I used 8, soaked in hot boiling water until plumped)
  • Carrots (I used 3 carrots, skinned, washed and diced finely)
  • Flat-leaf parsley (I used fresh coriander in lieu)
  • Spring onions (I used 5 stalks)
  • Onion (I used 1, chopped finely)
  • Five-Spice Powder (Like sesame oil, please use sparingly – a little goes a long way…I used 1 tsp.)
  • Chicken stock cube (I used 1 whole cube)
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste (I did not use as I have used one whole chicken stock cube and please bear in mind that the bean curd skin is quite salty)
  • Sugar (I used about ¼ tsp)
  • Sesame Oil (Again, use sparingly. I used ½ Tbsp)
  • 2 x 45g bean curd skin (Cut along the folds)
  • Chinese Rice Wine (optional – I did not use)
  • Egg (optional – I did not use)
  • Corn flour (Depending on the texture of the meat mixture, if the mixture does not hold together, you may need to add some corn flour. I used 1 tsp)

Mix and combine all the above ingredients in a big glass bowl and cover with a cling film. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

5. Ngo hiang

That’s about it!

Next, the fun part – assemble all the ingredients and accessories: the meat mixture, the cut bean curd skins, the binding agent (I used a mixture of corn flour and water), a scooping spoon, and a work surface and – simply, start the ball ROLLING!!!

6. Ngo hiang

A picture is worth a thousand words! (X, no excuse for not making this yourself. These steps are specially made for you 😀 )

7. Ngo hiang8. Ngo hiang9. Ngo hiang10. Ngo hiang11. Ngo hiang12. Ngo hiang13. Ngo hiangIMG_0173

Then I shallow fried the sausages, until the meat was cooked and the bean curd skin turned golden brown and crisp.

14. Ngo hiang15. Ngo hiang16. Ngo hiang17. Ngo hiang

We had these gems as starter for our Sunday lunch.  An absolute winner 😛

I cut the sausage on the bias and served with some sliced cucumbers and tomato

I cut the sausage on the bias and served with some sliced cucumbers and tomato

Serve with a squirt of spring roll sauce or sweet-sour sauce or hot and spicy sauce or any sauce of your preference.  YUMS!

Serve with a squirt of spring roll sauce or sweet-sour sauce or hot and spicy sauce or any sauce of your preference. YUMS!

One of the best pot-luck dishes, ever!   The sausages freeze very well. Before serving, just bake in a pre-heated oven of 160 deg C for a few minutes, or until the meat warms through.. :-P

One of the best pot-luck dishes, ever! The sausages freeze very well. Before serving, just bake in a pre-heated oven of 160 deg C for a few minutes, or until the meat warms through.. 😛

Oh by the way, my eldest sister and BIL came to visit us last week and guess what?  She brought 20 freshly made bean curd skins from a factory somewhere in Kuala Lumpur.  Thanks, big sis! Now, I can’t wait to start making MORE Ngo Hiang 😉

I am linking this post to the following events –

1)      Little Thumbs up using the ingredient, “SOY or SOYBEAN” organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake at this post.


2)      Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish ReadsThinking, Reading, Photographing

Weekend Cooking

3)       Cooking with herbs challenge October 2013 hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage. I used the following herbs: Fresh Coriander, Spring Onion and Onion


Happy Sunday and have a great week ahead 😀