Monday, 31 December 2012

Recipe - Stir Fry Pork With Ginger

Pork stir fry is a simple and nutritious dish that anyone can whip up in minutes. It can be turned into a complete meal by adding vegetables for added nutrition and eaten with rice or noodles. If pork is not suitable, substitute it with other meat like chicken or even seafood.

For variety, fruits like pineapple can be added to give the dish a tangy taste.

Nowadays, I can get the frozen lean pork which comes in convenient packet of 250 grams and are already nicely sliced thinly. Just defrost the pork and marinate.

In this recipe, I marinate the sliced pork with oyster sauce, light soy, dark soy and sesame oil. A little bit of sugar is added for taste. A spoonful of corn flour is added in the marinade to soften the meat. Ginger and garlic add flavour to the dish.

250 grams, lean pork, sliced

1 tsp of oyster soy
1 tsp of light soy
1 tsp of dark sauce
1 tsp of sugar
A few drops of sesame oil
1 tbs of corn flour

1 tbs of oil for frying
Spring onion for garnishing
Lettuce for garnishing

1 thumb of ginger, julienne
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

In a bowl, mix the pork with the marinade and let it sit for about 15 minutes in the fridge.

Heat the oil in a wok or pan on medium till hot
Toss in the garlic and ginger, stir fry till fragrant, about 1 minute
Toss in the pork and stir fry for about 4 minutes till cooked.
The pork changes into opaque colour when it is done.

Lay the lettuce over a serving plate and serve the pork over the lettuce.
Garnish with spring onion and enjoy.

In this short 2 minute video, the stir fry pork is served with noodles.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Joke - Difference Between Complete And Finished

No dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. However, in a recent linguistic conference held in London, England, and attended by some of the best linguists in the world: Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese, was the clear winner.

His final challenge was this: 

"Some say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. Please explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand."

Here is his astute answer:

"When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. But, when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED

When the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED

He received standing ovation lasting over 5 minutes. 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Recipe - Christmas Spritz Cookies (Western Kueh Bangkit)

Just as the Europeans and Americans welcome Christmas with cookies, the people in Southeast Asia welcome their New Year also with cookies. The Chinese have Lunar New Year, the Malays have Hari Raya and the Indians have Deepavali. The ingredients may be different but the spirit is similar. These cookies are made for giving away to friends or relatives or simply kept at home to serve guests during the festive season.

These spritz (German for 'to squirt') cookies remind me of kueh bangkit or kueh bangkek, a Peranakan recipe meaning fragrant cookies or coconut cookies.  To enjoy these tiny little cookies, just pop a cookie into the mouth and it will melt or crumble in the mouth.

Nowadays, making them is a lot easier with the cookie press. You can have a variety of shapes and also have a lot more consistency in the thickness.

cookie press

225g of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
85g of Cream Cheese, softened
190g of Granulated Sugar
2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1 Egg Yolk
330g of All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp of Salt

1) Preheat the oven to 190 deg C, position the oven rack to the middle of the oven. 

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese for about 1 minute on medium speed. 

3) Add the egg yolk, sugar and vanilla and mix that for a minute as well. Add the flour and salt and mix it until your dough comes together. 

4) Place portion of the dough into your cookie press, make sure you read the instructions on your particular press to see how to fill it, use, and how long your cookies should bake for. 

5) Spritz the cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet a couple inches apart. Sprinkle over your desired sprinkles.

6) Bake the cookies one tray at a time into the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool completely before serving. 


A 4 minute video from Laura Vitale on how to make spritz cookies

A 4 minute video on how to make kueh bangkit, using traditional cookie mould.

Another 3 minute video on how to make kueh bangkit (link)

Joke -Whiskey And Worms

A chemistry teacher wanted to teach his 5th grade class a lesson about the evils of liquor, so he produced an experiment that involved a glass of water, a glass of whiskey and two worms. 

"Now, class. Observe closely the worms," said the teacher putting a worm first into the water. 

The worm in the water writhed about, happy as a worm in water could be. 

The second worm, he put into the whiskey. 

It writhed painfully, and quickly sank to the bottom, dead as a door nail. 

"Now, what lesson can we derive from this experiment?" the teacher asked. 

Johnny, who naturally sits in back, raised his hand and wisely, responded, 

"Drink whiskey and you won't get worms." 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Recipe - Dried Shrimp And Chives (Ku Chai) Pancake

This is a quick and easy snack. Just remember that to make the batter, add one part cold water to one part flour. It can be a combination of different types of flour or just plain flour. The rest of the ingredients is really up to individuals. I used to enjoy making this with clam meat. Just boil some clams, chop the meat into smaller bits and mix with the batter and pan fry.

In this recipe, I am using chives, bean sprouts and dried shrimps.

The proportion is like one part flour, one part cold water and one part vegetables.

Serve with dipping sauce of chilli sauce and sweet sauce, used commonly for soon kueh or ku chai kueh.

chilli sauce with sweet sauce
100 grams flour
100 ml cold water
Chives cut into small sections, about 2 handfuls, or 50 grams
Bean sprouts about one handful
One piece shitake mushroom sliced
2 small green chiilies chopped into small pieces

Guide : Vegetables/fillings can add up to about 100gms

1 tbs dried shrimps, fried till crispy and set aside (optional, for flavour)

A pinch of salt, if dried shrimps are not used.


Combine flour and water to get a smooth thick but not too watery consisitency
Add all vegetables and mix well.
Heat non-stick frying pan and add 1 tbs oil
Spoon batter onto heated pan and spread batter out with the back of a spoon
Sprinkle some crispy dried prawns on the batter.
When batter is formed, flip over and continue to fry till golden brown.

Serve with chilli sauce and sweet black sauce.
The South Koreans apparently like this dish. A short 5 minute video of the S Korean version.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Joke - The Hotel Bill

A lady decided to give herself a big treat for her 85th birthday by staying overnight in an expensive hotel.

When she checked out next morning, the desk clerk handed her a bill for $450.00.

She exploded and demanded to know why the charge was so high.  "It's a nice hotel but the rooms certainly aren't worth $450.00 for just an overnight stay!  I didn't even have breakfast."

The clerk told her that $450.00 is the 'standard rate,' so she
insisted on speaking to the manager.

The manager appeared and, forewarned by the desk clerk, informed the woman, "This hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center which are available for use."

"But I didn't use them," she said.

''Well, they are here, and you could have," explained the manager.

He went on to explain that she could also have seen one of the in-hotel shows for which the hotel is famous . "We have the best entertainers from the world over performing here," the manager said.

"But I didn't go to any of those shows," she said.

"Well, we have them, and you could have," the manager replied.

No matter what amenity the manager mentioned, she replied, "But I didn't use it!" and the manager countered with his standard response.

After several minutes discussion with the manager unmoved, she decided to pay, wrote a check, and gave it to him.

The manager was surprised when he looked at the check.  "But madam, this check is for only $50.00."

"That's correct.  I charged you $400.00 for sleeping with me," she replied.

"But I didn't!" exclaimed the very surprised manager.

"Well, too bad.  I was here, and you could have."

Don't mess with Senior Citizens.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Recipe - How To Devein A Prawn Like A Warrior

You do need a toothpick.

Joke - The Three Envelopes

A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. 

The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said.

Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit's end, he remembered the 3 envelopes. 

He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. 

The message read, "Blame your predecessor."

The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press and and Wall Street responded positively.

Sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him. 

About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. 

The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quickly rebounded.

After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. 

The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.

The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE: URA)

The uranium sector appears to be stirring. The spot price of uranium has been inching up a bit over last 2 weeks.

The uranium ETF (exchange traded fund) offers exposure to a basket of uranium companies.

The component stocks of Global X Uranium ETF are:

Top 10 Holdings (79.6% of Total Assets)
CompanySymbol% Assets
Cameco CorpCCJ.TO19.57
Uranium Energy Corp. Common StoUEC6.14
Ur-Energy Inc.URG.TO5.93
Uranerz Energy Corporation CommURZ4.88
Azimuth Resources LimitedAZMUF.AX4.59
Denison Mines CorporationDNN.TO4.52

Spot price of uranium

Yahoo finance link for Global X Uranium ETF (Link)

URA had a reverse stock split of 1 for 3 shares on 15 May 2013.

One year chart

Chart forGlobal X Uranium ETF (URA)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tuan Sing Holdings (SGX T24.SI)

Tuan Sing Holdings Limited, an investment holding company, engages in property development and investment, hotels investment, and industrial services businesses. 

The company’s Property segment focuses on investment in and the development of residential, commercial, and industrial properties in Singapore and the People’s Republic of China. This segment also offers property and project management services. 

Its Hotels Investment segment owns two luxury five-star Hyatt hotels in Melbourne and Perth, Australia. 

The company’s Industrial Services segment is involved in trading and marketing of various industrial commodities, including coal, rubber, metals, chemicals, and other commodities used by manufacturers in the energy, rubber, automotive, and petrochemical industries, as well as the distribution of consumer products, such as feminine napkins, baby diapers, and food products in Asia. This segment also distributes tires for passenger cars, and light commercial and heavy truck models in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, as well as provides tire retreading services; offers geotechnical and environmental investigation, analytical, monitoring, and consultancy works; and manufactures and markets polypropylene packaging bags in Malaysia. 

Its Other Investments segment manufactures double-sided, multi-layered, and high-density printed circuit boards. This segment also distributes and markets golf and golf-related lifestyle products in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia; provides golf-related services, such as custom fitting, professional coaching, and after sales service. 

The company was formerly known as Hytex Limited and changed its name to Tuan Sing Holdings Limited in 1983. Tuan Sing Holdings Limited was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Singapore.

Home Page

Financial Year is from 1 Jan to 30 Dec.
Shares outstanding is 1.16 billion

3Q 2012 results announced on 31 Oct 2012
3Q 2012 revenue is S$83.4 million
3Q 2012 net profit is S$30.4 million

9M 2012 revenue is S$259.9 million
9M 2012 net profit is S$30.4 million

NAV at 31 Sep 2012 is 53.7 cents
EPS for 9M 2012 is 2.6 cents

Tuan Sing plans to launch its Cluny Park Residence and  Sennett Residence in 2013.

Last done price on 19 Dec is 33 cents.

Update on 10 Jan 2013:
Tuan Sing just revalued their properties: (link)

Update on 31 Jan 2013
Full year results announced on 30 Jan 2013
Revenue is $371.8 millions
Full year profit is $109 millions
EPS is 9.5 cents
NAV is 60.9 cents

1 year chart:

Chart forTuan Sing Holdings Ltd. (T24.SI)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Broccoli And Health Benefits

Recipe - Pan Fry Toman (Snakehead) Fillet With Sweet And Sour Sauce

The toman fish is prized for its wound healing properties, sought after as a diet for women during confinement period or for post-surgical patients. It's high albumin contents helps quick recovery and is also very suitable for growing children. Albumin provides the body with the protein to maintain growth and to repair tissues. 

The toman fillet is used often as an ingredient for fish bee hoon as fried pieces or fresh pieces. In this recipe, I pan fry the fillet lightly and top the dish with a sweet and sour sauce.

400 gram toman fillet, cut into slices, skinless and boneless
sweet and sour sauce
A dash of pepper
A sprinkle of salt
2 tbs of corn flour
2 tbs of oil

For the sauce
2 tbs of warm water
1 tbs of light soy
1 tbs of dark sauce
1 tbs of Maggi chilli sauce
1 tbs of Maggi tomato sauce
A few drops of sesame oil
(Mix these sauces in a bowl)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig spring onion, cut into 2 cm length
Toman fish
1 tbs of oil

Marinate the toman fillet with salt and pepper and sit for 10 minutes
Dust with corn flour

In a wok or pan, heat the oil on medium high
When the oil is hot, gently put each fish slice for pan frying
After about 1 to2 minutes or the side is brown, turn over and fry the other side.
Set aside when both sides are done

For the sauce, continue with any remaining oil in the pan.
Add more oil if required
Toss in the chopped onion and garlic
Stir fry till fragrant.
Mix in the sauce and let it boil.
When it is boiling, it is done.
Spoon the sauce over the fried fish fillet.
Garnish with spring onion.
This short 2 minute shows how to cook a simple version sliced fish beehoon soup with toman fillet

Another way to make pan fried sweet and sour fish (4 Minutes)

An 8 minute Taiwanese video (in a mix of hokkien and mandarin) on sweet and sour fish. The fish fillet is  marinated with egg white, rice wine, fish sauce, corn flour and then lightly deep fried. The fried fish is then added to a sauce of garlic, jiu niang, stock, fish sauce, corn starch and egg white. Jiu niang is fermented glutinous rice, something like sweet rice wine in solid form.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Joke - Parking Ticket

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.
Well, for example, the other day I went downtown and went into a store.
I was only in there for about 5 minutes and when I came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.
I went up to him and said, “Come on, man. How about giving a retired person a break”?
He ignored me and continued writing the ticket.
I called him a “Nazi.” He glared at me and started writing another ticket for “having worn tires”.
So I called him a “member of the doughnut eating Gestapo.”
He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. 
Then he started writing a third ticket.
This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.
Personally, I didn’t care.
I came downtown on the bus and the car that he was putting the tickets on had a bumper sticker that said “Hillary in ‘2016.”
I try to have a little fun each day now that I’m retired.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Recipe - Stir Fry Luffa (Ridge Gourd) With Salted Egg

The luffa or ridge gourd is a dark green ridged (10 ridges) vegetable having white pulp with white seeds embedded in a spongy flesh. It is a storehouse of nutrients like fibre, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium. It is commonly cooked stir fried or in a soup.

Luffa is known to prevent cancer, detoxify the body and provide nutrients for a healthy body.

The first thing to do is to remove the hard skin of the luffa with a peeler. The skin can be quite hard. I cut them into strips of half cm thick. I find that blanching them in boiling water for 1 minute make it easier to cook and the taste comes out better. Taste is mildly sweet

In this recipe the luffa is stir fried with salted egg and fresh chicken egg. 

luffa strips
1 luffa, peeled and cut into strips
1 salted egg, peeled and coarsely chopped.
1 egg, beaten
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
A dash of pepper
1 tbs of oil

blanch the cut luffa in hot water for 1 minute

Heat the oil in a wok or pan on medium high
Toss in the garlic and fry till fragrant
Toss in the salted egg and luffa
Stir fry for 1 minute
Toss in the beaten egg and pepper

It is done when the egg is cooked
A short video showing how luffa is steamed with oysters