Festive Feasts

Ho ho ho, tis the season to be baking! This year, take the opportunity to do some bountiful baking in your kitchens with our deliciously merry christmas recipes. From baked bread pudding to fresh and spicy ginger cake, these easy recipes will take your december baking to a whole new level, and they are easy to do with the whole family too. 

This december, fill your month with a delicious foodie advent calendar with 25 days of festive feasts!

Christmas Masterclass 2020

Make the best of the holiday festivities with some time in the kitchen! Master quick & easy breakfast sandwiches, turkey roasts, delicious sweets your family will love, and more.

Dessert

Black and White Donuts

Easy, sweet and delectable black and white donuts with delicious vanilla and chocolate glaze that's so perfect for Christmas dessert. Pro tip: decorate them with flakes or colorful sprinkles for a magically whimsical treat!

Claire's Fast-Break Classic Sandwich

You can make this in an easy one skillet breakfast classic sandwich, with gooey melty cheese & a sweet savoury honey sauce.

Gingerbread Cookies

Make deliciously chewy gingerbread cookies, sweet from molasses and brown sugar and positively too cute to eat.

Herb Roasted Heritage Turkey

The classic Christmas roast, now deliciously basted and stuffed to perfect. A juicy bird that makes all roasts better.

1st Week of December: Bake Your Heart Out

Spend some quality time by baking with your family - try our delicious jam cookies with sticky sweet jam, or bandung gula melaka cupcakes that are shaped like cute bears and fill the air with the sweet delicious aroma of perfectly baked treats. Make Bunggeoppang: sweet korean fish-shaped snack filled with red bean or sweet potato paste. If you're going for a traditional christmas dessert, try our deliciously tried and true gula melaka bread pudding, we promise one serving is not enough to satisfy you and your family's sweet tooth. 

Under 60 mins

Jam Cookies

Dimple your plain butter cookies with a squeeze of sticky jam. Eat them anytime you want a snack, or in our case, for a lovely treat at Iftar. The steps? Well if you’ve ever baked a cookie, it’s easy enough to do, with all basic cookie steps first, then a squeeze of sweet jam last. Of course, you can use peanut butter, chocolate, caramel or any type of sweet creamy spread that makes you happy. Make more and toast it in the oven for a warm jammy snack after a long day.

Gula Melaka & Bandung Cupcakes

Move over rainbow sprinkles, there’s a lot more to like in these cupcakes. Here, you’ve got blushing sugared bandung bunnies, and great caramelised gula melaka lions! Well, it’s quite a lot to do, so pick a Saturday morning for a project with the kids. You could focus on making the moist cupcake batter, which is the easiest part of this recipe, while they play with the animal shapes and streaking colours. Whatever you do, be sure to have a bit more of the decorative ingredients on hand for any lets-try-again moments you might have together.

Bungeoppang 2 Ways (Korean Carp Bread)

If you’ve seen hit Korean drama Legend of the Blue Sea, you’ll know Bungeoppang - a deep-fried fish-shaped snack commonly stuffed with sweet red bean filling. Despite its appearance, there - as BTS leader RM once said - “ain’t no fish inside”. This pastry is a well-loved winter street food in South Korea and can be found in many different flavors at street stalls across the country. While it is similar to Japan’s Taiyaki, the main difference is that the batter used in Bungeoppang usually doesn’t require eggs. Enjoy two versions of this delightful snack with this quick and easy recipe - the Traditional Bungeoppang made with plain batter and red bean filling and the Purple Sweet Potato Bunggeopang made with sweet potato batter and sweet potato filling.

One Dish Gula Melaka Banana Pudding

This gooey dessert comes together and bakes in the same pan for a saucy, sweet pudding that will delight the whole family.
Fruits

Sinfully Hearty Stuffed Baked Apples

Stuffed Baked Apples are like the adult version of Kinder Surprise. Instead of a toy, you get rewarded with a piping hot creamy and chewy centre that oozes out as you cut into it. Not only does it save on your precious flour for baking, it also leaves fewer dishes behind for washing compared to other cakes! You can vary the filling for each one, adding nuts, pears, nutmeg or honey to make this edible surprise different for each family member. Top it off with extra nuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it ultra-irresistible.

Addictive Flourless Peanut Butter Gula Melaka Cookies

Who doesn’t love peanut butter? This easy-peasy recipe gives you an excuse to stop eating peanut butter out of the jar and turn it into a legitimate melt-in-your-mouth cookie creation. You can use chunky or smooth peanut butter for it (we recommend smooth for a nicer texture), and even other nut butters if you don’t have peanut butter on hand. As these Peanut Butter Cookies are flourless, be sure not to over bake them, as they would become all crumbly.

Moss Jelly (Puding Lumut Mentega)

With its beautiful emerald green exterior, Moss Jelly or Puding Lumut Mentega is sure to be a star attraction on your dessert table. Most often served during Ramadan in Indonesia, this dual-layered custard jelly is delightfully creamy and is actually made out of refreshing veggies. It’s a really stealthy way to sneak some fresh cucumber and bean sprouts into snacks for the kids and adults alike. Grab a piece before it disappears from the table!

Sticky Date Pudding

Sticky date pudding always brings to mind the heavenly butterscotch drizzle and vanilla ice cream over a sticky warm pudding. You don’t have to head to a fancy restaurant to recreate this –we’ve got you covered with our homemade recipe below. Dates are naturally sweet (they are a source of fructose), so you can definitely add less sugar or even go without. You can also replace the sugar with molasses or honey to give it an even stickier texture. It’s one of our absolute favourite desserts –so give it a try!

2nd Week of December: It's Time to Perfect Your Christmas Roast 

Normally we'd think, what's Christmas without a signature stuffed turkey? But let us convince you that duck is just as good an alternative as turkey and it is just as juicy & flavourful. Trust us, roasting duck might jolly well be your new go-to turkey replacement.  We highly recommend our delicious one-pan roast duck  Or juicy peppery yam braised duck breast recipe this Christmas!

Recipe

One-Pan Roast Duck with Plums

Roast duck is a beautiful show stopper of a dish, perfect for Christmas. This recipe incorporates Asian flavours by matching the rich duck meat with Chinese five spice and plums.

Peppery Yam Braised Duck Breast

Adding a twist to your usual braised duck breast, the sweetness of the gula melaka blends perfectly with the duck breast. To add onto the flavor, the pepper gives a kick to the taste, making this dish such a wholesome, yet special treat on the dinner table.

Red Plum Lamb Leg

Juicy red plums, blistered till soft and slightly oozy are the special sweet fruity note in this comforting low carb tomato lamb dish. The leg of lamb is cubed then simmered in spice-packed layers of smoky cinnamon, mellow garlic, earthy honey and lightened with splashes of tangy sherry vinegar and white wine. Oven-baked broccoli and celeriac, a snappy celery-like veggie, lends a nutty richness that completes this hearty one-bowl.

Plan The Perfect Christmas 3 Course Meal with Ili, Sarah & Yuda

It's not easy planning a Christmas meal sometimes. Let our AFN Foodies plan the perfect 3 meal courses that will wow your guests and are easy, fuss free to recreate in your kitchen, all in their own style - with two mains to choose from each foodie too! 

Ili's Christmas Course Meal

Under 30 mins

Wonton Chips and Sashimi Salsa

Wonton chips is an accidental snack that is now a staple for my family movie nights and gatherings. Forgetting to buy nachos for a dinner party, I quickly fried some wonton skins and it turned out to be an excellent replacement that’s simple yet absolutely delicious. While you can dip these addictive chips in any sauce, I usually pair it with a simple sashimi salsa that’s partly inspired by ceviche. Salmon sashimi is added to the refreshing salsa mix along with a drizzle of mayonnaise and a generous serving of tobiko, promising a burst of flavors with every mouthful. Serve this up on your holiday party table and watch it disappear in seconds.

Roasted Kicap Chicken with Asian Stuffing

Everybody loves my family recipe of Ayam Masak Kicap (chicken cooked in sweet soy sauce) so I drew inspiration for my festive Roasted Kicap Chicken with Asian Stuffing from these simple yet tasty local flavors. Additionally, when cooking chicken, I always like to incorporate vegetables and carbohydrates to make it a one pot meal that is both easy and wholesome. While this Asian stuffing consists of ingredients you may find in your nasi goreng (fried rice), it is super versatile and could include a combination of any ingredients you like. If you prefer to keep it simple, just season your rice with some salt, pepper and chopped garlic, but you can also add mushrooms and other vegetables to take the flavors to another level. Juicy chicken with a sticky sweet glaze and a savory stuffing, this mouthwatering dish is the perfect centerpiece for your holiday spread.

Hainanese Chicken Chop

A Malaysian favorite that is served in many ‘Western’ food stalls and restaurants, Hainanese Chicken Chop is a dish that I often ate growing up at home with my family and also when we went out to restaurants. It was originally made by the Hainan settlers in Malaysia that served the British during their colonization of Malaya. A mesh of Chinese style fried chicken marinated with soy sauce and a gravy that resembles a traditional brown gravy you would have on Sunday dinners, this dish is the perfect blend of East meets West and would add a lovely Asian twist to your festive holiday party menu.

Sweet Potato Cake with Coconut Drizzle

Since going gluten free and dairy free, I keep finding new ways to curb my sugar cravings without missing out on delicious desserts, especially during festivities. This is one of my favorite cakes to bake because it checks all the right boxes and at the same time, super easy to make. A moist and fluffy sweet potato loaf cake drizzled with a sticky sweet coconut syrup, it’s topped with a sprinkle of crushed walnuts for an added crunch and some raisins for a pop of color. The perfect dessert to go with any holiday feast!

Sarah's Christmas Course Meal

Under 30 mins

Wasabi Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs are a classic festive appetiser, and in this recipe, they get a hit of Japanese flavour, thanks to wasabi providing that ‘deviled’ taste.

Miso Butter Roast Chicken Legs and Daikon

This easy dish might look humble, but it’s packed full of flavour and is the perfect comfort food for the festive season.

Mushroom Soy Butter Pasta

Italian pasta is given an Asian twist with soy sauce and Asian mushrooms. The umami of the sauce blends with butter to make this an indulgent yet light dish.

Yuda's Christmas Course Meal

Cheese

Brulee Bomb (Dutch Potato Balls)

Brulee Bomb is the Indonesian equivalent of a Dutch meatball known as Bitterballen. Traditionally served as a bar snack, these croquettes make for the perfect bite-sized finger food at your holiday party. My version of these deep fried delights only needs a few ingredients to make - perfect if you’re hosting a party on a budget. Coated in panko breadcrumbs, its crispy exterior makes way for a gooey cheesy potato centre which simply oozes out once you take a bite. Enjoy a burst of rich savoury flavours each time you pop it in your mouth.

Salmon Kama Mentai Rice (Seared Salmon Bowl)

A popular item in any Japanese restaurant, Salmon Kama Mentai Rice is actually really fast and easy to make at home. It’s one of my favourites because with just a few ingredients and just 20 minutes of your time, it’s a simple budget-friendly option for your holiday party menu. Thinly sliced salmon served on top of a bed of rice, it is covered with spicy tobiko mayo sauce which is then torched, creating a deliciously creamy yet smoky flavour that the dish is known for. If you don’t have a blowtorch, I suggest cooking it in an air fryer or oven on a broiler setting to get a similar texture and taste.

Airfryer Chicken with Kerupuk Crust

Cooking chicken (or anything for that matter) in an air fryer might be easy, but it’s just as easy to end up with overcooked meat and a soggy crust. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a simple recipe that will guarantee a moist and juicy chicken with a satisfying crunch! The trick is to fry the chicken twice - once after it has been fully marinated, and another time after it has been coated with buttermilk. For that extra crunch and some Indonesian flavour, I’ve added a tasty coating of crushed kerupuk. A unique take on a popular finger food, this air fried chicken is sure to be a hit at any holiday party.

Croissant Waffles

A Korean café staple that has gone viral globally, Croissant Waffle or Croffle will make a trendy addition to your holiday menu. Best part is that you only need 20 minutes and 3 ingredients to make it. Essentially a croissant in the form of a waffle, this fuss free dessert is also really versatile. While my recipe uses hazelnut or chocolate spread, and fresh strawberries as toppings, you can choose to pair it with other sauces and fruits of your choice. If you don’t have a waffle maker, you can also use a toaster press or panini press with a griddle attachment - you might not get the signature waffle shape, but it’s hard to complain once you get a taste of the rich buttery crust.

Christmas Pot Luck Edit

Sherperd's pie. Lasagna. Curried Sausage Rolls. Hearty, saucy and delicious meals that we used to bring to Christmas parties. Recreate our delicious garam masala sherperd's pie for a spicy hearty twist, or add two new ways to cook lasagana into your arsenal: a Zucchini version, or a hearty beefy Rendang version! And this is our new favourite midday bites for the whole family: Curried Sausage Rolls with Mango Chutney. All the spice with a delicious sweet mango chutney that cuts the intense heat. 

Easy

Garam Masala “Shepherd’s Pie”

Level up your Shepherd’s Pie by adding in some Indian flavors! On top of that, why not have some fun with it and go full-on vegetarian? In this Garam Masala Shepherd’s Pie, the base is packed with delicious curried vegetables and tofu for all your nutritional needs. Of course, this dish isn’t complete without a creamy layer of buttery mashed potatoes on top. A must-try for any veggie lover!

Curried Sausage Rolls with Spicy Mango Chutney

Bite slowly into a flaky moist curried-spiced puff pastry stuffed with a plump sausage. Smell the intense flavours of garlic, garam masala and sharp ginger as they seep out with each bite. Add another layer of rich flavour when you dip it into a thick coat of sour-sweet mango chutney, or mango sauce.

Low Carb Vegetarian Lasagna

Make this easy low carb vegetarian lasagna, super simple and super healthy. No need for hassle with pasta sheets when you sub them out for zucchini layers instead!

Beef Rendang Lasagna

This lasagna fusion dish is great for those who loves local flavor. It’s creamy, bold in flavor with the use of rendang paste.

Festive Dips & Delicious Appetizers Every Pot Luck Needs

The glorious sauces. We love them all. Sweet, savoury, gravylicious. This year, try our healthy festive dips that will keep you guilt-free & full!

Easy

Chickpea Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce

Crispy, moist chickpea fritters paired with cool cucumber and yoghurt dip makes a moreish and healthy finger food. High in protein, minerals and fiber, chickpeas also have the perfect consistency to be made into a meat free alternative to meatballs. This guilt-free vegetarian snack is great for holiday parties and weekend snacking, packing a delightful soft crunch on the outside and a moist, flavorful center.

Roasted Carrots with Hummus

Going vegan for a holiday party? This healthy combination of vegetables makes for a guilt-free snack platter for parties or even a lazy meal in, allowing you to enjoy kebab style snacking without the need for meat! Vegetarian kebabs can be baked, toasted or grilled to a golden charred perfection, and it pairs so well with the creamy garlicky hummus. Mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplants and tempeh also make for equally delicious kebab options.

Mushroom Skewers with Burnt Cucumber Saksuka

This delicious vegan plate of seared mushrooms with a cucumber and tomato ragout is like a hug on a plate – healthy, hearty and warm with Mediterranean herbs and spices. The wonderful umami flavors of mushroom intensifies when seared, leaving a slightly charred exterior and an absolutely juicy interior. You’ll definitely have no problem polishing off this addictive snack, especially when paired with a refreshing and creamy Burnt Cucumber Saksuka!

Vegan Spaghetti Meatballs

We all love the classic Italian-style spaghetti meatballs and here, it's made vegan with the addition of vegan meat and cheese. This Vegan Spaghetti Meatballs is a hundred percent healthy and better for the environment, without compromising on taste and satisfaction level. With the moist juiciness of the omnipork meatballs and the slurp-worthy spaghetti topped with tasty tomato sauce and gooey cheese, it’s hard to guess that this delicious dish is totally meat free!

Have A Merry Christmas! 

Let's be honest, the delicious drinks & desserts are the main reason we all love christmas so much. Start Christmas with a warm deliciously spiced ginger latte in the cold rainy december days surrounded by loved ones. Or make Halo Halo,  a delicious filipino dessert made with jackfruit and delicious purple yam. Make Ili Sulaiman's gluten-free vegan Sugee Cake, perfect for Christmas & diet-friendly or Chef's Wan's Fresh Ginger Cake which is just as easy to recreate in your kitchen for a lovely spruce of Christmas!

 

Flour

Fresh Ginger Cake

A loving and warming dish, this is the Fresh Ginger Cake by Chef Wan. During this Christmas season, this cake would be an amazing dessert or just a snack to enjoy with your family at the dining table when you celebrate.

Incredibly Invigorating Golden Milk With Ginger & Almond

A hypnotic brew of brilliant yellow turmeric, invigorating ginger and intensely spiced cinnamon makes this warm drink one you must have on a clear morning. But at night too, make some in just 10 mins for a comforting bedtime brew. Simply swirl in grated ginger, turmeric, ground cinnamon and sharp black pepper in a river of smooth almond milk and a goop of honey. Sip when warm and bubbly. Delicious.

Halo Halo

Here’s a dessert can cheer the crabbiest of characters –the sprightly and colorful Halo Halo (or Haluhalo to some), a popular and traditional Filipino dessert with historians tracing its origin to the 1920s. Perfect for the tropics, this dessert is essentially a concoction of crushed ice, topped with ingredients such as sweetened beans, jackfruit, sweet potatoes, and smothered with evaporated milk. Here, we give you a modern take to the classic Halo Halo!

Sugee Cake

Soaking through the sugee cake is a buttery rich and nutty taste, beautifully mixed with a creamy swirl of eggs and vanilla. The sugee cake, a type of wheat flour cake is baked to a deliciously almond-y aroma, and is perfect for those who wish to tuck into an unusual bake this Christmas season.
Recipe

Tangerine Cake with Vegan Chocolate Ganache

A bright, light and sweet citrus cake that infuses the air with the inviting scent of tangerines -the fruit that symbolises Chinese New Year. Spread smooth on top is a thick rich layer of melted vegan chocolate ganache for extra pleasure. For a gluten-free alternative, use almond or coconut flour instead.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

In my house, a strawberry pie is always made with my dad in mind. While carrot cake is definitely his favorite cake of all time, strawberry rhubarb is his top pick for a fruit pie. Make this pie when strawberries are at their peak. While thawed frozen rhubarb is fine for this pie, frozen berries are just too soft once thawed and they lose their color and flavor too. This pie has a lattice top, which suits a colorful fruit filling such as this one.

Durian Burnt Cheesecake

Move over durian puff, the durian basque cheesecake is here -straight out of the air-fryer. The creaminess of the cake, a result of cream cheese and smooth pulpy durian is a slow, satisfying melt in your mouth. Its flavours too, are rich and complex, with the bitterness of the burnt top giving way to sweet cheese and durian. Well, certainly a treat to die for if you're a fan of Southeast Asia's “King of Fruits”!

Gluten Free Spiced Guava Cake

For all the guava lovers out there, this cake is a divine treat! Enriched with spicy guava flavors and the benefits of sorghum flour, this Gluten Free Spiced Guava Cake boasts of beautiful, thick spongy layers held together by sweet guava cream. It’s a dazzling way to get your daily dose of vitamin C while enjoying an Instagram-worthy dessert that’s delicious, healthy and gluten-free.

Post-Christmas Healthy Eats

After a full month of feasting, it's time to pack up the baking tools, pots and pans. New year, new you, and it's time to get back on that healthy diet. Start the new year early with these healthy & hearty recipes, guaranteed to get you on track to starting the new year right!

Flour

Meat Free Katsu Curry

Be sure to make a bed of warm Japanese rice for this fragrant, thick Japanese curry with crisp meat free “katsu”. You’ll need to first pat Quorn’s fillet pieces with breadcrumbs, bind them with eggs and into hot oil they go for the classic golden katsu crunch. Add sweetness to the curry with an apple and onion, and don’t forget the typical potato and carrots that make this Japan’s favourite stewy curry dish.

Comforting Chicken and Yu Zhu (Solomon’s Seal Rhizome) Soup

Tonic soups made from a combination of herbs (familiar ones include ginseng, red dates and goji berries) is a big part of Chinese cuisine and it’s easy to see why: they are incredibly nutritious, healthy and, of course, absolutely delicious. The Chicken and Yu Zhu soup, a balanced mix of both sweet and savoury, is no different! The sweetness comes from Yu Zhu, or Solomonseal Rhizome, which is also believed to treat dry lungs and strengthen the stomach. Enjoy it hot and with a heap of steamed rice!

Cantonese Braised Beef

Tuck into a braised beef bowl made with classic Cantonese flavours of hoisin sauce, chu hou paste (soybean garlic paste) and a pop of veggies. It gets its crunch from clean, sweet daikon, carrots and peppery spring onions that brighten up this warm beef bowl. Now all you need is bowl of rice for a satisfying and healthy meal that’s made in under half an hour. If you're looking to cut carbs though, no accompaniments are needed.

Stir Fried Black Pepper Chicken

If you love the taste of pepper, the Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry has to be a part of your cooking repertoire! It is a spicy cauldron of ground white and black peppercorns, red pepper and green chili fried with bite-sized chicken and onions. If you would like to make this dish cheerier, feel free to throw in some yellow and green peppers! Enjoy this painless 30-minute recipe hot with a bowl of steamed rice.
Recipe

One-Pot Apple, Osmanthus, and Cranberry Dessert Soup

A refreshing dessert soup is a classic for Chinese New Year, and is sure to get your year off to a sweet start. This one uses dried cranberries for an easy interesting twist, adding lots of tartness and texture to this dish. The osmanthus adds a wonderful floral note for an elegant touch.

Make This Super Green Capsicum and Apple Juice Booster

The smell of fresh green apples in a garden. That’s quite the taste of this super quick capsicum and apple juice-that really is all you need for a wake-me-up in the morning. Add a dash of sharp ginger slices and a dusting of super-potent anti-bacterial oregano and you’re all set for the challenges of today.

DIY Citrus Masala Chai

Leftover citrusy peels? Use excess ginger and orange peels to flavour a delicious Masala tea, and as an air freshener for your kitchen. All you’ve got to do is brew a mug of deliciously spiced chai that’s made from a smatter of cardamon pods, sweet cinnamon, sharp peppercorn and a few more things. My version gives the traditional drink a refreshing edge with your unused citrus peels.

Soothingly Warm Luo Han Guo Tea

A warming sweet fruit drink famously used to calm irritated throats and other respiratory annoyances. It’s easy to make too, in 10 mins, you crack and break the monk fruit drink into smaller pieces, then boil it with a comforting blend of honey dates, apricot kernels (north and south almond) and sweet dried figs. Too sweet for your liking? Use less monk fruit, for its 200 times sweeter than sugar.
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