Cooking Help and Tips

Cooking Help

1 Cup:
Flour = 140g
Sugar = 250g
Brown Sugar (firmly packed) = 185g
Icing Sugar (sifted) = 185g
Honey, Golden Syrup, Treacle = 375g
Fresh Breadcrumbs = 60g
Crushed Biscuit Crumbs = 125g
Uncooked Rice = 220g
Chopped Nuts = 125g
Grated / Desiccated Coconut = 90g
Toasted Grated Coconut = 70g

Pound (lb); Kilogrammes (kg):
1 lb = 0.454 kg (454g)

1 fluid = 30 millimetres
1 litre = 1 3/4 pints
1 pint = 600 millimetres
1 gallon = 4.5 litres
1 decilitre = 3.5 fluid is

Cake Tins:
6 in = 15 cm
7 in = 18 cm
8 in = 20 cm
9 in = 23 cm
10 in = 25 cm
11 in = 28 cm

Oven Temperatures:
140C = 275F = Gas 1
150C = 300F = Gas 2
160C = 325F = Gas 3
180C = 350F = Gas 4
190C = 375F = Gas 5
200C = 400F = Gas 6
220C = 425F = Gas 7
230C = 450F = Gas 8

How to make full use of the cleaver (saves time & work from extra cleaning up) :
  • To mince only a few pips of garlic, use the flat side of cleaver to smash garlic.  Skin is easily removed.  Slice off hard tops and start mincing.
  • Avoid a mess or splatter during mincing by pressing the top end of cleaver onto the chopping board and hold the handle to control and mince with a slicing motion all over. Another alternative is to slightly wet the ingredients and chop to mince.
  • Crack small amounts of peppercorns on a dry working board using the flat side of cleaver.
  • After cutting, dicing or mincing small amount of fresh ingredients, use the flat side of cleaver to scoop and transfer to a plate.
  • To tenderise meat, use the blunt end of cleaver to lightly chop all over flat piece of meat without cutting through.
How to bone fish (Mackerel, others):
  • Remove the head (optional - depending on recipe) and entrails. Trim the fins, tail and clean well.
  • Lay the fish on its side on a clean board and using a sharp knife, slit from the belly through until just below the top part. Place the fish, butterfly style, with the flesh and skeletal bones facing upwards.
  • Ease the backbone and rib cage away from the flesh.
  • Use tweezers to remove stray bones and the fish is ready for use.

Cooking Tips

How to fry blended / ground mixed chilli paste:
  • Allow wok or curry pot to dry and heated before adding oil to heat and when oil is heated, add ground mixed chilli paste. This step is important to help prevent sticking during stir fry.
  • After adding the paste, saute quickly a few times before turning heat to medium low. Stir fry until aromatic and oil breaks through at the sides.
  • If water has been added during blending, fry paste over high heat until quite dry before lowering heat to continue frying.
  • Use a motion of pressing spatula onto mixture against the wok and stir, alternating with scooping and turning to stir fry.
  • Make more to freeze for next usage so as to save on time and work.
** Use stainless steel utensils for cooking foods with acidic agents.  Only well used and highly seasoned cast iron is safe to use but avoid storing in them.

How to prepare roasted and ground dry spices:
  • Slowly roast spices in a dry and heated wok over low heat for about 20 minutes or until fragrant.  Stir during roasting for even browning and to avoid burning.
  • When cooled, grind in an electric Spice Grinder / Miller or Coffee Grinder.
  • Store in airtight containers or bags.  Keeps well in the freezer.

How to hard boil eggs without cracks and ensure easy removal of shells:
  • Wash eggs gently, place in pot and pour in enough cold water to cover.
  • Turn on heat to medium and slowly bring to boil.  Initial boiling over high heat causes eggs to crack.
  • When water is boiling, turn heat to high and boil for a few more minutes.
  • Turn off heat and allow the eggs to rest, covered with  a the lid for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the hot water and run cold water over eggs a few times and then leave the eggs submerged in cold water.
  • When the eggs are cold, gently crack them against the pot or use a spoon and peel the shell from where the air pocket is found. The shell will come off easily.


Introduction to Herbs, Spices and Ingredients to spice up your foods and cause your taste buds to encounter a tantalising and unforgettable experience.

Herbs, Spices and Ingredients Whenever I go to the market, the galore of foodstuffs never fail to make me amazed by God's provi...