The Purple Spatula

A web journal of recipes, restaurant reviews and everything edible; I live to eat.

Stir-Fried Gai Lan

Day one of my dad passing down his recipes and it went off without a hitch! This is one of the dishes we prepared and it’s a simple alternative if you’re looking to save on time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be gai lan, it could be Chinese spinach or anything similar.


  • 1 bundle (one pound) gai lan
  • 200 pounds beef
  • 1/2 tbsp oil + 2 tbsp oil
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce + 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Prepare the leafy greens by washing them and cutting the bottom of the stalk (about 2mm in). Soak them again in cold water for a few minutes. Drain and shake off excess water.

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Cut the leaves about an inch long and separate the stalks from the leaves; you’ll be placing them in the wok at different times.

Slice the beef and place them in a small bowl. Marinate it with 1/2 tbsp oil, black pepper, corn starch and 1/2 tbsp of oyster sauce.

Heat a wok or large pan on high heat. When it’s warm enough, turn it down to medium-high and add the garlic and remaining oil. Add the marinated meat and remove when it’s just brown or else it will be overcooked.

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Cook the stalks first until they are half cooked. Add the leaves and stir until they become wilted. Add the oyster sauce and meat and mix throughly for a minute and remove from the pan.

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Place it over a bed of rice and there you have it! A quick and simple dish that’s ready in minutes! But this alone probable isn’t enough so it’s better if you have a soup or another main dish to accompany it. You can also adapt the recipe by adding whatever you like. If you want more sauce, you can do that as well!

Cooking with Dad

I’ve started cooking with my dad on the weekends and invested more of my own time into baking. So look forward to some delicious recipes coming your way :D! Here’s a sneak peak!

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On Hiatus Until April 16, 2014

Hello all my lovely readers,

I’m sorry I haven’t posted for the last two weeks but there are a few things that have happened that haven’t enabled me to spend as much time on Purple Spatula as I’d like. Some are work related while others are more personal. I will try to post some teaser photos here and there for what’s to come but I will start posting every Wednesdays again on April 16th.

I hope you all understand and continue eating to your heart’s desire.

New York Style Cheesecake

Cheesecake is super delicious, even if you aren’t a big fan of cheese. It’s creamy, melts in your mouth and so savoury. However, this cake is meant to be shared because if you have more than one slice, it gets heavy and no matter how great it is, the taste gets old fast. But the great thing about this recipe is, you can have two and still want more!

For the crust:

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 1 pound (14oz) cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

You’re going to want to start by making the crust. But before you start, preheat the oven to 300 fahrenheit!

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Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and butter in a medium bowl and beat until you get a sandy consistency.

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Add the egg yolk and mix throughly. It will still be sandy but a little more moist. Press the mixture onto a cake pan using the ball of your hand to flatten it. Try to make it as flat as possible so that the base is dense.

Bake it in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until it’s golden brown. Set it aside to cool while you start on the filling!

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Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a medium-large bowl and beat on a slow speed until you get a smooth thick texture. Add one egg at a time while still mixing. Close to the last egg, scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is included. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. At this point, you can turn it onto a higher speed to make it a little lighter and fluffier. But be careful not to over mix or else the cheese will split.

Spoon the mixture onto the cooled crust and make sure its even. Put the pan into a bigger pan and fill it with water until it reaches two thirds of the cake pan. This prevents the cheesecake from cracking when it’s baking.

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Bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes but make sure the centre is still slightly wobbly. Let the cheesecake cool slightly in the pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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I made the mistake of trying to cover it with cling wrap. It was too big so it sank in the middle and removed a chunk of the cheesecake! It made me so sad but it still tasted great, just didn’t look as pretty…

Food Allergies

I realize that aside from my writing, this blog of mine isn’t very personal. Although I do have a main one if you want to check it out here. There, you’ll find some stories, Photoshop goodies, rants and general thoughts.

I wanted to add a little personality to Purple Spatula because I realize it’s generally just me throwing information to you. I hope you all don’t think I’m a snobby food connoisseur… (Because I’m not! I just love to eat :D!) So once in awhile, I’ll have posts like this where I tell you a little about myself and share my general thoughts. And of course, it will revolve around food because this is a FOOD blog at the end of the day.


Dried Spicy Scallops

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A co-worker of mine had a layover in Tokyo on a trip to Vietnam. She loves seafood so she picked these up for us to share at the office. She said they weren’t cheap; one bag was about $50!

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They come in individual packages so that you won’t overindulge. It’s also very smart because these things can make your hands pretty fishy smelling, and not in a pleasant way.

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I actually love the texture and taste of the middle part; it’s not too strong and it sticks together nicely. I peel the outer soft layer out because the taste is a little overwhelming and isn’t pleasant at all, even if you love the taste of the sea.

I would snack on this again and if I’m ever in Tokyo, maybe I’d buy it as a gift for a seafood lover. And for $50 a bag, they better appreciate it!