The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Archive of ‘Seeds’ category

Zespri 14-Day Challenge : Using Kiwi as meat tenderizer

Yup, do you know kiwifruit can be used as a natural meat tenderizer. It’s not a joke 😛

Kiwi marinated Chicken

It’s especially good when you decide to cook something at the last minute and you don’t have hours to marinade or tenderize the meat.

Raw kiwifruit is rich in the protein-dissolving enzyme actinidain, which is commercially useful as a meat tenderizer. Actinidain also makes raw kiwifruit unsuitable for use in desserts containing milk or any other dairy products which are not going to be served within hours, because the enzyme soon begins to digest milk proteins. This applies to gelatin-based desserts as well, as the actinidain will dissolve the collagen proteins in gelatin very quickly, either liquifying the dessert, or preventing it from solidifying.

kiwifruit marinate chicken breast

It works better on tough cuts of meat (beef, mostly) But since I don’t cook beef at home, I chose the …. toughest part of the chicken, the breast meat.

If on chicken, the best time is just to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking. I used half a kiwi for 2 pieces and let it rest for, maybe too long (about 20 mins) and some parts of the meat because a tad too mushy. Not sure if it’s because there’s too much kiwi, or I marinated for too long. I read online that if there’s too much, or marinated for too long, the meat becomes mushy.

Anyway, I didn’t just marinate it with kiwi. I used harissa paste as well and some coriander, garlic and mustard seed. Haha Don’t ask me what combination it is. I don’t know what was going thru my mind that time.

purple cabbage slaw and sweet potato

Other sides, a purple cabbage slaw and oven baked sweet potato. Not sure if I’m trying to go asian or western on this dish haha

Yes, all THREE recipes are included here !

Did the kiwi made much difference to the breast meat ?


I would say, a little, not major. Because even if breast meat was a drier cut, if baked properly, it should still be tender and juicy. But if grilled for long, the top will be slightly charred and dry, this one seemed ok. So I’m not sure if it’s the little kiwi doing its magic or my cooking skills has leveled up. I would like to believe, it’s both HAHAHA

Spicy harissa chicken with kiwi

Harissa Chicken with Purple Cabbage Slaw and Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Serves: 2
Harissa Chicken
  • ½ green kiwifruit
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 chicken breast meat, fats removed
  • 1 cloved minced garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • about 5-6 coriander stems (the white bottom part - abt 6 cm)
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • ¼ purple cabbage
  • bunch of Coriander leaves
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper
Sweet potato fries
  • 1 Sweet potato (about 150g)
  • salt and lots of pepper
  • olive oil
Harissa Chicken
  1. Mash all the ingredients except for chicken into a paste. Rub over chicken and let it marinate for 10 minutes
  2. Meanwhile prepare the sweet potato and slaw.
  3. When ready to cook, drizzle some oil on the meat, and bake at 190 for 15-18 minutes. I do this together with the sweet potato fries
  1. Slice cabbage, julienne carrot and get the leaves of coriander, add into a bowl.
  2. Drizzle lime juice, and a gulg of olive oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper and spinkle toasted sesame seeds. Let it rest in the fridge before serving.
Sweet Potato Fries
  1. Scrub the potato clean. Dry the potato.
  2. Cut lengthwise into fries. Pat dry any access water. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Toss it and arrange on a tray, with space in between (so they crisp up)
  3. Bake at 190 C for 15 minutes. (I put it in together with the chicken)
  4. Turn the fries with a tong, then using a grill function in the oven, turn the temperature to 210 C and let it crisp up for another 5-8 minutes. (or till brown)

For more recipes and information, you can head on to :)


Zespri 14-Day Daily Scoop of Amazing Challenge


Warning! These 14 days, may change your perception about Kiwifruit forever!

Ok I’m saying so because years ago, I don’t really fancy eating kiwifruit. Because I always get picked on the super sour ones, or … no, it’s only that reason. But after a workshop in Bayan Indah last September, I found my love for this fruit. I love adding it to my smoothies in the morning and adding it into my salads because it’s just more vibrant and fun!

Zespri Green Kiwifruit 1

Kiwifruit is naturally high in antioxidants (e.g Vitamin C, E, polyphenols, carotenoids) to help fight against damage caused by free radicals in the body. It;s also a natural source of fibre for a healthy digestive system!!

So. What’s up?

Profile photo

Yeap. I was contacted and asked if I was interested in participating this challenge.. Yes of course!! Initially I thought I had to post 14 days consecutively of kiwi recipes (die loh), but no, it’s not like that. BUT BUT BUT I will attempt to do so (read: attempt). You’ll see me posting about the benefits and nutrition of this little amazing fruit, recipes, and DIY stuffs and lots of photos of me eating Kiwifruit. HAHAHAHA But most importantly, I will be incorporating Kiwifruit into my daily meals and see what happens 14 days later.

If you’ve missed anything, just click on my zespri kiwifruit photo on the right bar >>>>>> and look for posts under this challenge.  You can also look for #zespriMY in Instagram and Facebook AND twitter to check out other challenger’s posts and yummy recipes!! While you’re at it, I am now hashtagging my cooking and baking photos as #sweecooks and #sweebakes on IG.. Send me some <3 :)

So. let’s get to it.

There are 3 types of Zespri Kiwifruit available in Malaysia. Green, Gold, and the newest, SunGold. Here’s a simple chart to show the difference between the 3 Kiwifruit.

Zespri Kiwifruit comparison

The Gold and SunGold Kiwifruit has a similar taste profile, both being sweeter than the Green Kiwifruit. My favourite would be the gold ones actually because I prefer the fruits to be sweeter. But when using for cooking, the green ones tend to work better, especially in salads.

kiwi smoothie

Since today is sunny bright Sunday, I’ll share an easy smoothie recipe with the SunGold Kiwifruit. For me, I don’t have any particular rules in making a smoothie, except that I sort of need some kind of dairy, either milk or yogurt in it. And if the fruits sort of taste well together, go ahead and buzz them up together!

kiwi smoothie recipe

Yes! I’ve read that you can actually eat Kiwifruit’s skin… I am still abit skeptical in eating the fuzzy Green Kiwifruit’s skin, so I chose the SunGold Kiwifruit (as it’s smooth and no fur fur) and I guess if it’s blended .. well, who knows anyway


sungold kiwi smoothie

Delicious smoothie for a morning fuel! Adding chia seeds fills u up better because it makes the smoothie into a more gooey texture. As for the question, adding a kiwifruit AND a pineapple together, isn’t it too sour or tart ?

If you use the yellow fleshed ones, then it reduces the tartness. Add manuka honey or agave nectar as a sweetener.

OK that’s it for today. See you tomorrow!

For more info about Zespri Kiwifruit, check out their website

Green Tea Panna Cotta with Black Sesame Tuile


Can we have a little something more refreshing to start the new year ?

Pardon the absence, I usually like to take time off after cooking consecutively LOL. Big meal on Christmas and New Years as well. With Chinese New Year around the corner, I tend to side track a little and forget about this little space, but I hope 2013 has been good to you so far.


green tea panna cotta 2

I’m on a desserts rampage. New camera, just wanna test out some shots. So will make some easy desserts, with some colours..

So this dessert came when I was looking at Philippa Sibley’s PS Desserts book, and the panna cotta in the book looked so good! It was pistachio, but I really wasn’t into a pistachio panna cotta. So I recreated it by adding green tea powder which I recently got from Taipei.

Green tea panna cotta


In her book, she assembled panna cotta on a plate by placing it on top of a shortbread. But I had a different thought on my mind. I wanted a tuile on top of the panna cotta. A sesame tuile. Classical Japanese combination of green tea and sesame.

I adapted the tuile recipe from Kyotofu, a dessert bar in NYC , published in FoodandWine’s website. It’s a very crispy tuile recipe, although the crispiness doesn’t last long under humidity. But the batter can be made ahead and takes a mere 10 minutes to bake, so it can be baked upon serving. Crispy tuile with smooth and creamy panna cotta.


Green tea panna cotta tahini

For the tuile, I used a mixture of white and black sesame, although really, there were much more black than white. The recipe also calls for tahini. It’s a very little amount, so if you want to skip it, it’s alright. But I reckon, that gives me another reason to try a new ingredient. Tahini has so much more usage than just a salad dressing or flavour enhancer for the tuile.

green t panna cotta


Green Tea Panna Cotta with Black Sesame Tuile
Green Tea Panna Cotta
  • 1 sheet gelatine sheet
  • 170ml cream
  • 75ml milk
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp green tea powder
Black Sesame Tuile
  • 20g sesame seeds (I mix both black and white)
  • 60g sugar
  • 32g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Japanese sesame paste or tahini, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • Black sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Green Tea Panna Cotta
  1. Soak gelatine in ice water until softened.
  2. In a saucepan, combine cream, milk, sugar and green tea. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  3. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and stir into the hot cream mixture. Turn off heat, stir till gelatine sheet has dissolved.
  4. Strain mixture into 4 ramekins (or 2 bigger moulds). Refrigerate overnight.
Black Sesame Tuile
  1. Finely ground sesame seeds. Whisk ground sesame seeds with caster sugar and flour.
  2. Stir melted butter and tahini till combined.
  3. Stir juice into dry mixture, then add in melted butter and tahini. Stir till batter is smooth.
  4. Cover at let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Line baking tray with silpat, preheat oven to 175 C
  6. Using a teaspoon, scoop a dollop and spread to desired shape.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and if you want to make into shapes, do it now. It can rest over a rolling pin or in a bowl to create shapes.
  9. Once dry, it should be crispy
  1. Dip each mould into hot water and give a little shake.
  2. Turn the mould upside down onto a plate.
  3. Serve with a crispy tuile.




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