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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Apple IPads Shunned by Japan’s Salarymen

2011/07/27

When Yuta Moriya was offered Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s 613-gram (22-ounce) iPad by his employer last summer, he envisioned a future free of lugging his laptop around for client visits. He was wrong.  

“I used to have to carry my laptop, a charger and some brochures,” said Moriya, 29, a used-car salesman at Tokyo-based Gulliver International Co. “After the iPad, I carried the iPad, a charger for the iPad, the laptop, the charger for the laptop and the brochures.”
  
Salarymen like Moriya are reluctant to embrace iPad tablets, the fastest-growing segment in the computer industry, because they aren’t light enough or functional enough to replace laptops in Japan. For each tablet shipped to corporate customers in Japan, dozens will be sold in the U.S. and western Europethrough 2015, according to estimates by Framingham, Massachusetts-based research firm IDC.  

“Japanese businessmen already tend to carry around light laptops because they’re on the train so often,” said Masahiro Katayama, a PC group manager at IDC. “IPads are not suited for inputting and processing data, so people end up having both their laptops and iPads.”
  
An Apple spokesman in Tokyo referred queries about Japanese iPad sales to Softbank Corp. (9984), the iPhone maker’s partner in Japan. Fumihiro Ito, a spokesman at Tokyo-based Softbank, Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone carrier, declined to comment on its iPad sales in the country.

Coffin-Sized Capsules
  Tokyo salarymen prefer lighter, sleeker products because space is so scarce in a region with 36 million inhabitants. Some hotels offer lodging in coffin-sized capsules instead of rooms, and typical whiskey bars in the Yurakucho and Shinjuku districts are only big enough for about a dozen customers at once.  

According to Tokyo-based Kakaku.com Inc. (2371), Japan’s largest price-comparison website operator, Acer Inc. (2353)’s 1.23-kilogram Aspire one D250 AOD250-Bb18 ranked highest in customer satisfaction among laptops purchased in the past year.“Portability” was one of the characteristics considered.  

Four of the five top-rated laptops weighed less than 2 kilograms, according to the website.  

By comparison, four of the five “most wished for” laptops on Amazon.com Inc.’s U.S. website weighed at least 2 kilograms. All of the top five in Amazon’s U.K. site weighed more than 2 kilograms.

‘Failed’ Business Tool
  “In the U.S., it’s clear what the iPad offers with its size and weight, but in Japan, iPads fail to distinguish themselves as a business tool from lightweight laptops,” said Ichiro Michikoshi, an analyst at research firm BCN Inc. in Tokyo.  Gulliver, which has distributed about 300 iPads to employees, isn’t giving up on tablet computers. It plans to give out 1,500 more in the summer as part of a company-wide transition to tablets, said Noriko Mitsui, a spokeswoman at the used-car dealer chain.  

Tablet computers are more suitable for watching movies and listening to music than writing reports and crunching data on spreadsheets, Michikoshi said.  

Most business users in Japan who purchased tablet computers found them less useful than they initially expected, according to an April survey of 450 workers by research firm IID Inc. Of those polled, 88 percent said they bought the product expecting to use it for work.

Kokuyo’s Dilemma
  That’s the dilemma facing Kokuyo Co.’s information-technology department. The Osaka-based furniture maker planned to give away 1,500 iPads this year to boost productivity yet has only handed them out to 251 employees, all of whom are still using their laptops, said Jun Enda, one of the workers receiving one.  

“The iPad on its own isn’t enough to get work done,” Enda said, citing difficulty in typing e-mails and using spreadsheets.  

As companies such as Kokuyo and Gulliver face difficulties adopting tablets, corporate shipments of the product in Japan are projected to grow at a slower pace than the worldwide average.  

Shipments in Japan will climb at a compounded annual growth rate of 54 percent to 430,340 units by 2015, while growth will average 89 percent to 7.9 million in the U.S. and 96 percent to 6.8 million in western Europe, according to IDC.

Fastest-Growing Market
  Worldwide, tablet computers, led by the iPad, are the fastest-selling products in the $263 billion PC industry, according to IDC. That helped Cupertino, California-based Apple deliver record earnings and boost its market value to the world’s second-largest behind Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)  

The tablet market is poised to jump almost fivefold over five years to $53 billion by 2015, according to IDC.  

The world’s third-largest economy matters enough to Apple that Japan is the only country where sales are regularly disclosed by the company. The world’s largest maker of tablets and smartphones generated $1.51 billion in sales from Japan during the third quarter, or 5.3 percent of overall revenue.  

“Tablets won’t drive away mobile PCs,” said Yukihiko Shimada, a senior analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.“Tablets are good for browsing, but they are not suited for business as it is hard to use them to produce something.”  

Japanese electronics makers are seeking to meet the preferences of salarymen and other domestic consumers. NEC Corp. (6701)began selling its 699-gram LifeTouch NOTE tablet, featuring a keyboard, in March.  

Sharp Corp. launched its Galapagos line of tablets in December, aiming to attract domestic consumers by offering models as light as 220 grams and sporting a trackball so users can hold the product on one hand during train rides.  

Those functions still aren’t good enough for Moriya, the salesman at Gulliver, who gave his iPad back to the company earlier this year after a three-month trial.  “The iPad really looked light and convenient in Apple’s commercials,” Moriya said. “But carrying an iPad on top of a notebook and brochures was really annoying.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some tenants in arrears hold landlords to ransom

SINGAPORE: With Singaporeans increasingly turning to renting out their apartments for extra income, more disputes are flaring up between landlords and tenants, according to lawyers and property agents. And it is not only the landlords who are giving their tenants headaches.

Anecdotally, complaints of landlords being held ransom by tenants in arrears and refusing to move out are increasing.

Property agent G Rajan told Today that three out of 10 rental disputes in the last two years he handled, were from landlords. He said: "It's a lot of legwork and time spent going after the tenant."

A recent case involve a couple who were unable to drive out their tenant.

Mr Poh Boon Kay, 62, and his wife got SP Services to terminate the utilities account on March 7, hoping that this would prompt their tenant to move out.

However, the tenant lodged an objection to the termination. He got his lawyer to send a letter to SP Services citing that he was still residing at the premises and that termination of the tenancy was being disputed. The utilities services were restored.

In a letter to Mr Poh - which was seen by Today - SP Services said that, under the Electricity Act, it had an "obligation" to "supply utilities to occupants who require the supplies".

It added: "We have an obligation to reinstate the account opened by the tenant given that there is no sufficiently strong reason why we should not reinstate the account."

Mr Poh said his tenant "identified himself as a property agent and said he had clients and he would sign the tenancy agreement on their behalf". Mr Poh added: "Later, we found out that he had sublet the unit to some foreign women."

When contacted, the tenant declined comment.

In another case, nautical engineer M Gopalan said his tenant thrashed his Azalea Park unit and left him with S$4,400 worth of repairs.

The tenant also defaulted on payment three months into the tenancy and refused to vacate. Fortunately for Mr Gopalan, his property agent managed to contact the tenant's brother and eventually persuaded him to leave.

For most landlords, their only recourse is the legal route - taking out a court order to repossess the property and recover the arrears. But this entails cost and time, said lawyers.

Lawyer Abdul Rahman noted that a tenancy agreement is usually geared "towards the protection" of the landlord, and that the landlord has the "full option of the law" to go after the errant tenant.

Mr Rahman added: "(Landlords) need to cut their losses but the longer it takes to evict the tenant, the more the landlord is at the losing end ... There have been cases which went on for as long as four months in the courts."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Punting for quick profits from blue chips

Saturday, 16 July 2011
Business Times

Top candidates include Golden Agri, NOL, Noble, Olam, Genting Singapore, City Developments and Sembcorp Marine

By TEH HOOI LING
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

SINCE November last year, the stock market has been trapped in a trading range of 3,000-3,300 points. Investors would see their stocks rise, then fall again a few weeks later. Except for those stocks which are yielding generous dividends, there is no profit for investors to pocket, except for those who go in and out for quick gains in the market.

In my years of watching the market, I've come to the conclusion that, at least in Singapore, on average it doesn't quite pay to punt in the small cap stocks. Yes, the volatility may be there, and you may be making some good money if you are nimble enough. But the question is for how long. There is a rather high chance that while you are holding that stock, screaming at you one morning is a newspaper headline relating to that stock. It could be that the cash that was supposed to be in the bank isn't there, or that the revenues and profits have been overstated, or that a fire has gutted the company's factory.

Small caps vulnerable

Such bad news will deal a big blow to the stock price of small cap stocks. It is not unusual for them to plunge 50-60 per cent in a day, which would mean all the accumulated profits that you had made previously might be wiped out. Worse still, you might even lose your capital.

So I've convinced myself that if one were to itch to trade in markets such as now, one should be trading the blue chips. At least, if there is some unexpected negative macro developments, or even certain unflattering news relating to the company, chances are that over time these blue chips would bounce back. One just has to ride through the rough patch.

The question then is which of the blue chips are good candidates for trading?

I downloaded the daily share price of the 30 component stocks of the Straits Times Index from 2000. I then calculated their price difference over three-trading-day periods. From there, I find out the standard deviation, or volatility, of this price movement. In addition, I also calculated the one month return of these 30 stocks.

The purpose of this exercise is to find out which of the 30 stocks are most volatile, which would make them good trading candidates.

Based on the 12-year record, Wilmar emerged as the most volatile of all STI stocks. Its median standard deviation, or the variation of its return around its average three-day return, is 6.7 per cent. It has seen its stock price double in three days before. On the downside, it has fallen by as much as 30 per cent in three trading sessions.

Over a month, its share price had risen by as much as 214 per cent and had fallen by 48 per cent. Admittedly, looking at its numbers, it should be noted that much of Wilmar's volatility was due to its upside movement. Relative to the other stocks, its maximum downside over three days and a month had not been the biggest.

The second most volatile STI stock in the last 12 years is Golden Agri. Its standard deviation is 5.3 per cent. Its maximum three-day gain was 135 per cent, and its maximum plunge, 32 per cent. Over a month, the maximum upside and downside were 149 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, the most steady stocks in the benchmark index are Singapore Press Holdings, Global Logistics, CapitaMall Asia ????, StarHub and SIA Engineering. Other steady counters included ComfortDelGro, ST Engineering, OCBC, UOB and SingTel.

Steady versus volatile stocks

Sharp-eyed readers would realise that these are dividend yielding stocks in the STI stable. The more volatile stocks meanwhile tend to be the 'concept' stocks - those with very exciting narratives, but which might or might not deliver. And they might be expensive to begin with, which makes them susceptible to any negative news. Hence, the volatility.

Wilmar, Golden Agri Resources, Noble Group, Olam and Genting Singapore fit that description. I plotted two charts, just to have a graphical representation of how the share price and volatility change over time. From the first chart, you can actually see that for Wilmar, its volatility has decreased over time.

It started out as a concept stock. Over time, solid assets were injected into it and the group started to deliver results. Its share price rose and its income stream became more steady. There were less surprises. Consequently, its volatility declined.

The second chart showed the share price performance and volatility of Golden Agri. In the last one and a half years, its volatility has also fallen. That set me thinking: Perhaps the 12-year record may not be an accurate representation of the stocks' volatility today.

So I looked at the volatility starting from 2009 until now. True enough, based on the price movements in the last two and a half years, Wilmar was no longer among the most volatile stocks among the STI component stocks. It had fallen to the 16th spot. But retaining top spots were Golden Agri-Resources, NOL, Noble Group, Olam, Genting Singapore, City Developments and Sembcorp Marine.

At the other end of the spectrum, the most steady of the STI stocks since 2009 is CapitaMall Trust. The others are the usual suspects such as SPH, StarHub, ComfortDelGro, ST Engineering, Global Logistics and SingTel. So now, when you itch for some short term trades, you know which blue chips to go for.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Low liquidity not confined to just the local market

Business Times
Published July 11, 2011

By R SIVANITHY
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT


FOR about three months now, dealers and remisiers have been complaining about thinning liquidity and no interest from clients. There are some who describe current conditions as the worst they've ever experienced, while there are reports of dealing representatives coming in to work only after lunch because of the absence of any business. 'Even the institutional side isn't covering its costs,' said one dealer.


Combined with falling commissions and narrower bid-ask spreads which make it more difficult to trade intraday - and of course, full-day trading from Aug 1 - brokers are understandably worried about their future.

The first thing to note about all this is that the low volume of the past 2-3 months is very likely not confined to just the Singapore market. Granted, foreign money started withdrawing from local stocks sometime in the third or fourth week of January, ostensibly because of worries that not enough was being done to combat inflation, but this withdrawal hit all regional markets.

For example, a June 28 news report in Australia's Brisbane Times highlighted the plight of stockbrokers Down Under when it wrote of belt tightening as the phones stop ringing: 'Last week, listed stockbroker Wilson HTM Investment Group issued a warning to shareholders that it would lose up to A$5 million (S$6.6 million) in 2011, blaming weaker trading conditions as a key factor ... In the past few years, more than 20 brokers have either collapsed, nearly collapsed or merged. Most have culled staff or instigated hiring freezes.

'With thin volumes on the ASX, it is becoming a war of attrition in stockbroker land, with questions over who can survive the longest under the strain.'

Feedback from various market sources including fund managers is that roughly the same problems are being faced by brokers in other countries as well, with the logical conclusion that the bulk of daily volume is being generated by high-speed traders (who generally do not hold overnight positions), hedge funds, program traders and dealers trading on their own. On this latter point, one dealer said: 'If you don't play on your own, no way you can survive if you rely on client business.'

As noted earlier, the original reason for the outflow of money from stocks was inflation worry. But since then, this has been overtaken by European debt concerns, the US's supposed 'soft patch' and China's 'hard landing'.

In Europe, the recent Greek bailout may have brought some relief but as noted in last week's column, the 12 billion euros (S$20.9 billion) the country will receive will last only until the end of summer, after which another bailout will be needed. There's also Portugal and Ireland, whose debt spreads are almost at all-time highs, suggesting they are candidates for a bailout soon. Also a worry are Spain and Italy, which have much larger economies which are also heavily debt-laden.

As for the US stock market, it probably owes its recent bounce to its status as the relative 'safe haven' rather than the recent economic reports. The latter have been patchy and not very encouraging, culminating in Friday's dismal jobs report, which endorses the notion that pumping money into Wall Street doesn't really benefit the majority and that the 'soft patch' may well turn into a quagmire.

So it is that the week ahead will see the Straits Times Index react to European and US economic news, with sentiment supported by hopes of more bailout money from central banks. Meanwhile, the worldwide phenomenon of low liquidity looks set to continue.

Monday, July 4, 2011

投资秘笈十式

曹仁超,1967年5000元入市炒股,现今身家近2亿元,被誉为“香港股神”。曹Sir还是香港最资深的财经专栏作家之一,40余年笔耕不辍,每周一在《信报》撰写《投资者日记》专栏,以轻松有趣的笔触,分析中美港及环球股市以至政经形势。

4/7/2011

投资秘笈十式

今时今日投资成功之道包括:

一、先做好功课,未研究清楚前最好不投资。

二、先组织好你的投资策略,例如恒指P/E在12倍时,你不妨投入较多资金,高出16倍又不妨减持。

三、不要冲动。

四、不如意事十常八九,小小损失可以接受,大损失必须逃避。

五、DIY(自己的投资由自己作主,不要盲从附和别人),力不到不为财。

六、资产分配,例如多少资金用作投资房地产、多少投资外币及黄金、多少投资股票、多少保持现金,并不时作检讨。

七、在跌市时要有耐性。每次危机之后往往是大繁荣,例如Templeton这位伟大投资家在1939年以1万美元开始,那年第二次世界大战即将爆发日子。1990年Tim Benness, Lee写成HTML(hyperteat market language)成为后期万维网的基础技术,引发科网股革命,今天人人都用‘WWW’。1990年是两伊战争爆发日子,美国经济出现软着陆。1996年Steve Jobs重返苹果公司,后来利用HTML 5技术设计出iPhone 4,那年是科网股泡沫爆破。

八、在牛市二期,移动平均数升穿或跌穿阻力位不代表什么,例如2010年6月死亡交叉出现后港股却大升,这次又如何?

九、1967年我老曹刚离开学校那年,香港前景大部分人皆睇淡,今天回望香港经济繁荣号快车原来在那年开出。

十、危机只会令没有做好准备的人亏损,为做好准备的人带来机会,例如1974年、1982年、1987年、1998年、2003年、2008年、及今年下半年。只要做好准备,危机并没有什么可怕。


总结过去40多年个人投资经验,发现两大真理:甲、持有纯利不断上升的企业股份,是最保本及增值的方法。乙、股票市场上升的日子占四分三、下跌日子占四分一。只要避过大跌市,投资股票仍然较易获利。

避过大跌市的方法好简单,每次股价跌幅大于15%便要小心,一旦跌幅超过20%便止损;只有股价出现一浪高于一浪时才买入,即追高杀跌。相信下半年起,炒卖资源股时代结束,转向投资那些能为自己‘品牌’增值的公司。

Dividend stocks: quality counts too

Business Times
By MICHELLE TAN
4 July 2011


THERE has been a big buzz around dividend stocks since the last global financial meltdown as investors and funds start to see the importance of establishing a regular income source, especially when the going gets tough.

Moreover, with Singapore's population demographics reflecting a fast ageing population, dividend stocks also serve as an avenue to generate income to fund retirement especially for investors with weaker saving habits. However, are dividend stocks really such a god-send, or have they been over-hyped by financial media?

In general, analysts and investors ascribe a lower risk and volatility profile to dividend stocks due to their ability to generate regular streams of income that help bolster the ill-effects of a potential downturn.

But does this mean that dividend stocks are less likely than their lesser yielding peers to see price upswings due to their less volatile nature?

As a simple illustration, should one compare the basket of 30 Straits Times Index (STI) constituents with a basket of 30 dividend stocks, findings show that though both portfolios generated positive year-on-year price returns, the former reflected a higher annual return of 13.8 per cent as opposed to the 9.6 per cent registered by the dividend stock portfolio.







As such, based on the findings, it seems that dividend stocks tend to experience lower capital appreciation when compared to index stocks.

Having said that, the STI basket is made up of blue-chip quality counters that tend to be highly favoured by both institutions and layman investors alike.

Perhaps, if the comparison was drawn to a basket of lower cap counters, findings might have shown otherwise.

Now coming from a dividend perspective, dividend stocks triumphed over the STI basket with the former having a forecast consensus dividend yield average of 6.2 per cent in FY11 and 6.5 per cent in FY12 as compared to the latter's 3 per cent and 3.3 per cent for the respective financial years.

The findings are not surprising though investors should bear in mind that the STI portfolio has some dividend stocks, which would have given a slight lift to the basket's average yield.

Should the basket exclude dividend stocks entirely, the average dividend yield would have been even lower.

More pertinently, the dividend stock portfolio, unlike the STI one, is able to outstrip domestic inflation rates, which is cited as a key worry for investors today.

As such, investors who are unable to buy commodities like physical gold or property to hedge against inflation could perhaps turn to dividend stocks as their answer to a cost-efficient inflationary hedge.

But there are no fool-proof investments in this world. Just like any equity, dividend stocks are still susceptible to industry recessions and other sector-specific woes.

In fact, during the last recession, many dividend stocks such as real estate investment trusts (Reits) were not spared from the falling knife.

Admittedly, there was sunlight after the rain for investors that had the financial muscle to tide through the rough patch.

But for investors who were retrenched and needed the funds, liquidating dividend stocks such as Reits - and other non-dividend stocks - back then would have severely decimated their wealth.

All that said, it is an undeniable fact that all boats sink when the tide falls. But one of the better known ways to break the fall is to diversify.

After all, putting all your eggs in one basket is never a wise move, especially from a capital protection standpoint. And this holds true even for stocks with a more conservative risk profile, such as dividend stocks.

The key point to drive home is that whether one is planning for his retirement or is merely seeking extra side income, quality is still of paramount importance.

A high yielding stock does not always mean it is a good stock. Though a stock with sound fundamentals and with attractive yields to boot would be a wise investment option.


To print enlarge image:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-44i75Nvw1Kg/ThMKnqBQz6I/AAAAAAAAE2w/Uj3Xcxa4Ra0/s320/dividend+stocks.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jyFSzqAdxo4/ThMMG-BFJvI/AAAAAAAAE20/6PrYO3aqZ1M/s320/sticonst5.jpg

Friday, July 1, 2011

Preventing dry eyes

By Lea Weeby
ST Mind Your Body
Friday, July 1, 2011 at 1:29am

TAKE EYE BREAKS

Reading, computer work, watching television and other activities which need visual concentration tend to make a person blink less. The tear film breaks up and the eyes become drier.

Adjust the book or the screen of the computer or television to slightly below eye level.

This allows the upper eyelid to close slightly and exposes less of the tear film for evaporation between blinks.

Close your eyes for about a minute every half hour and then open them again. This allows the tears to replenish.

Alternatively, blink repeatedly for a few seconds every half hour to help spread your tears evenly over your eye.

AVOID AIR CURRENTS

Air currents created by fans or air-conditioners dry up the tear film quickly.

Try not to let air blow directly into your eyes.

SUPPLEMENTS

Taking omega-3 supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed oil may help relieve dry eye symptoms for some people, by improving the quality of the oil produced in the tear film and, hence, preventing the film from evaporating too fast.

EYE DROPS

Choose eye drops which are preservative-free, especially if you are using them more than four times a day.

On the other hand, you could choose eye drops with better moisture-retaining ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

EYEWEAR

When swimming, wear goggles to protect your eyes from chemicals in pools as these can dry your eyes.

If you are wearing contact lenses, give them 'holidays' on week days or when you are at home - do not use the lenses.

ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Leading a healthy lifestyle - exercising regularly, avoiding stress, not smoking and moderating your alcohol or caffeine intake - may help you to maintain a healthy tear film.

Sleep also allows the tear film to be replenished.

And keep yourself hydrated as dehydration may also lead to dry eyes.

Read more about dry eyes at: http://www.straitstimes.com/MindYourBody/InTheKnow/Story/STIStory_685305.html

Kueh Ambon


Ingredients for starter dough:
50 ml warm water
25 g plain flour
1 tsp instant yeast

Method to prepare the starter dough:
1. combine and leave for half an hour

Ingredients:
4 eggs
120 g castor sugar
100 g tapioca flour
200 ml thick coconut milk
pandan leaves
a pinch of salt

Serving: 8in square cake/20 mini flatcakes

Method:
1. Boil coconut milk, salt and pandan leaves till it bubbles, cool and set aside.
2. Stir in eggs and sugar till sugar dissolves,
3. Add in tapioca flour, mix well.
4. Add in the starter dough and stir well.
5. Strain mixture, cover and leave for 2 hours till surface is full of bubbles. If there is very little bubbles, the kueh won't rise.
6. Grease an 8-inch square tray and pour in the above stirred mixture.
7. Bake in preheated oven at the bottom shelf at 160C for 35 mins. Then switch off and leave it inside the oven for another 15 mins
8. Cool and remove the kueh from tin.


Note: make slight changes to the original recipe.
~ recipe credit to Gina at Jo's Deli & Bakery

See kitchentigress recipe

Custard Cream

This is one of my favourite custard cream. It is used as filling for tart and puff shells.

Ingredient A
50g Custard powder
50g Corn Flour
160g castor sugar
200g evaporated milk

Ingredient B
2 egg
100g condensed milk
100g butter
vanilla essence
salt

1120g boiled water

4 tbsp brandy (optional)

Serving
est 50 tart shells


1. Dissolve ingredient A and blend into a paste.

2. Add ingredient B to the paste and mix well.

3. Add half the water, stir and cook over slow fire till thicken.

4. Then pour in the rest of the water slowly and mix well.

5. Stir in brandy and the custard filling is ready.

Note:
Divide the above portion by 4 to get a serving for 12 tart shells

Ingredient A
12.5g Custard powder
12.5g Corn Flour
40g castor sugar
50g evaporated milk

Ingredient B
1/2 egg
25g condensed milk
25g butter
vanilla essence
salt

280g boiled water

1 tbsp brandy (optional)

Ang Ku Kueh





Ingredients for skin:
300g glutinuous rice flour
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp sugar
200ml coconut milk
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp red colouring or green pandan juice
Banana leaves

Ingredients for Filling
200g ground, roasted peanut
100g castor sugar
some hot water

Serving: 20 pieces (2x3" oval)


Method for Filling:
1. Melt sugar in hot water and mix into the ground peanuts to form a paste. Shape into balls as filling for the dough.


Method for skin:
1. Remove 50g of glutinous rice flour and boil with 100ml water till of a thick paste.

2. Boil coconut milk with a pinch of salt and pandan leaves and set aside to cool.

3. Sift the remaining 250g glutinous rice flour onto mixing bowl. Add the sugar and red colouring, mix well and add the coconut milk gradually. Mix well and knead for a while, then add in the cooked dough. Knead again adding the oil gradually and knead until dough is pliable and smooth. Rest dough for 30 minutes.

4. Divide dough into even portions depending on the mould you are using (about 25g here). For each kueh, the quantity of the dough and the filling should be the same.

5. Clean banana leaves and cut into pieces slightly bigger than the mould because the leaves will shrink when steamed.

6. Flatten each piece of dough to form a thin skin and wrap with a ball of peanut filling. Press the dough ball into the mould, knock the mould gently to dislodge the kueh and place it on a piece of banana leaf.

7. Steam kueh over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove the steamer lid to let out excess steam in between steaming time so that you will have a nicely shaped kueh. When cooked, remove and brush with a little oil to prevent sticking.

Steamed Tapioca Kueh



Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (makes 6)
° 300g grated tapioca (cut into cubes and use a blender)
° 90g sugar
° 150ml water
° ½ tsp pandan/vanilla essence
° 75g-100g fresh grated coconut
° a pinch of salt

Method
1. Combine and mix the grated tapioca, sugar, water, vanilla essence in a mixing bowl.
2. Grease a tin with oil and pour in the mixture.
3. Steam for 20 minutes and leaves to cool prior to cutting.
4. Mix the grated coconut with a pinch of salt in a plate.
5. Coat the steamed tapioca kueh evenly with grated coconut.
6. Serve.

Note:
You can store this kueh in the fridge and pan fry it when you want to eat.

Gula Melaka and Coconut Milk Agar Agar



Ingredients

1000ml water
250g gula melaka, chopped roughly (Adjust according to taste)
12g agar powder (1 packet)
1 pandan leaf, tied into a knot
200ml thick coconut milk (1 packet)
pinch of salt

Method

Place water, gula melaka, agar agar powder and pandan leaf into a pan and bring it to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer until agar powder is completely dissolves.

Remove pandan leaf.

Add a pinch of salt to coconut milk and pour it into the same pan.

Bring it to a boil and immediately remove from heat.

Pour jelly into a glass bowl or cake tin.

Leave jelly to cool and then chill in the refrigerator.

The jelly should separate nicely into 2 layers – a clear gula melaka layer on the bottom and a coconut layer on top.

Adapted the recipe from blessedhomemaker.blogspot.com

Kueh Dadar



Ingredients

100g Plain flour, shifted
150ml water
1 egg
2 tsp of tapioca flour
1 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp Pandan juice
0.5 tsp salt


200g Grated coconut without skin
100g Gula melaka (palm sugar)
1.5 tsp of tapioca flour
0.5 tsp salt

Serving: 10 small rolls

Method

Boil gula melaka with water till it melt.

Add in the grated coconut with a pinch of salt.

Cook till the mixture is fairly dry.

Set aside to cool.

Mix flour, water, egg, pandan juice and a pinch of salt till you get a smooth batter.

Pour some batter into a non-stick pan.

Spread batter into a thin pancake.

Turn it over and remove when both sides are cooked.

Remove and set aside to cool.

Put some coconut filling on the pancake.

Roll up like a spring roll.

Serve.

Pineapple upside-down cake



Ingredients
FOR THE TOPPING
50g softened butter
50g light soft brown sugar
7 pineapples rings in syrup, drained and syrup
glacé cherry

FOR THE CAKE
100g softened butter
100g golden caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Serves 6

Preparation and cooking times
Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins

1.Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the topping, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Spread over the base and a quarter of the way up the sides of a 20-21cm round cake tin. Arrange pineapple rings on top, then place cherries in the centres of the rings.

2.Place the cake ingredients in a bowl along with 2 tbsp of the pineapple syrup and, using an electric whisk, beat to a soft consistency. Spoon into the tin on top of the pineapple and smooth it out so it's level. Bake for 35 mins. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

Per serving
407 kcalories, protein 5g, carbohydrate 49g, fat 23 g, saturated fat 14g, fibre 1g, sugar 36g, salt 0.87 g