Sunday, April 23, 2006

SIAMESE SPAGHETTI

This concoction of mine came about when I was staying with my brother. My nephew, an apprentice chef then, had a couple of herbs planted in the patio. I used to cook dinner before my evening classes, and my nephew would have whatever I had set aside when he came back from work late at night. I didn’t want to cook some ordinary spaghetti that my nephew could out-cook me. So I used kaffir lime from the pot, and viola! A citrus flavored dish without the lime (sourish) taste and yet the tomato provides a different type of sourness, and the hot chilies tingle the palate.


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Ingredients
500gm. minced beef
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 large onion (diced)
1 large carrot (minced)
1 can (15 oz. / 425 gm.) button mushroom (minced)
6 kaffir lime leaves (minced)
1 tsp kaffir lime zest
6 dried chilies or chili padi (minced)
1 tbsp parsley
½ tbsp tarragon
½ tbsp oregano
1 large can (28oz. /794 gm.) whole tomato
1 small can (103/4 oz. / 305 gm.) tomato puree
1 tbsp chicken granular
1 tbsp sugar
Olive oil
About 250 ml. water
Salt


  • Have the carrot and mushroom blended in the food processor separately. Finely chop the kaffir lime leaves and chilies. All the other herbs used are dried ones.
  • Pour enough olive oil to fry the onion, garlic and chilies. When the onion is soft, put in the kiffir lime leaves and zest. Stir for a few seconds before putting in the minced beef. Toss the meat to cook evenly.
  • When the meat is no longer pink, add in the carrot and mushroom. Stir for a while before putting in the tomato. Use a wooden spoon to crush the whole tomato.

  • Put in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot. Water should be added at your own discretion. Add salt to taste before serving.

  • Boil spaghetti as per instruction of product. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, April 17, 2006

KOLO MEE & KOAY TEOW SOUP @ SWEE SEN CAFÉ, KOTA PADAWAN

This is the corner café next to Kota Padawan’s council building at 10th Mile Kuching/Serian Road. Some people have gone gaga over its Kolo Mee (Dry Tossed Noodle), which is basically dry alkaline noodle tossed with vegetable oil, light soy sauce, msg, and a sprinkle of white vinegar, topped with prawn (shrimp), wonton, pork meatball and cha-sui (Chinese roast pork) garnished with spring onion.

This café is a family affair – with the eldest brother manning the till (he’s due for a heart by-pass tomorrow), one brother in charge of the drinks station, and another with the wife cooking up a storm. The rest of the clan are maitre d's, servers and bus-persons. The business started by the father, when this place was a one-strip township, with butchers and vegetable sellers occupying adjoining shops, and the end of the town was a gravel road leading to some governmental departments. My uncle who worked in one of those places, used to give the old lady a ride to town’s hospital during lunch break when the old man was sick. It was an in-thing for those with cars in the old days to drop by during weekends for grub. To these days, the place is packed on weekends, and on weekdays it’s filled with government servants on assignment “catchin’ snakes”.


This place claim to fame is its serving of big prawns with the noodle. Those ‘special’ will set you back RM6 or more depending on the portion of the prawns. To me it’s not the prawns that make a good Kolo Mee, but rather the preparation itself. What’s there to be excited about over some prawns that are boiled in broth, when one can buy big fresh prawn at RM30 per kg., and eat to your heart’s content? Unless one is a “sam-pa-lau”, there are RM15 big prawn noodle or RM50 per 100 gm. fish noodle to be had in town; that’s something to brag ‘bout. One thing 'bout this place is that all fishballs, meatballs, wonton and cha-sui are home-made. They have upgraded from kerosene oven to an electric whatumacallit for the roast pork.

Below are the 2 dishes I tried - ordinary portion only.

width="600"Kolo Mee


width="600"Koay Teow Soup

The kueh-tiaw soup was a bit bland. An hour later I was parched…..too much msg. If I wasn’t in the vicinity, I wouldn’t have dropped by for a bowl of noodle. I was visiting a distant relative farther up the road…..meet Ritchie!

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

ROTI JALA

width="100" Went to our “adopted sister’s” place the other day, where she gave a demo on making Roti Jala; it’s sort of like crepe (Indian).

You need to have the cow-tits receptacle shown left. It costs only RM1.50. If you don’t have one, I suggest you take out your Bosch or Makita drill, and make a few holes on a tin can.

The basic ingredients are listed below.

Ingredients
1kg. plain flour
3 eggs
250 ml. cooking oil (veg.)
1750 ml. water
250 ml. evaporated milk
1½ tsp. salt
Few drops of lemon yellow crème coloring

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  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Then pulse it in a liquidizer until smooth. The mix is ready to be used.
  • Oil the iron griddle and set the heat to medium.
  • Fill the receptacle with the mix. (Use a bowl beneath to prevent spillage)
  • Drizzle the mix in a circular motion to form a 6” crepe.
  • About a minute the crepe will be set. Use a spatula to scrap it up from the griddle.
Thanks Suridah!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

FRIED UDON NOODLES

The imported udon were on sale the other day……marked down to 50 sen for 200gm pack. They’ve almost reached their expiration date.

As the noodles are quite stiff due to refrigeration, I steep them in hot water, jiggle with chopsticks to separate them, while careful not to break them into smaller strings immediately drain the water when the noodles are separated. (This step is not necessary if your Udon is fresh).

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Ingredients
200 gm Udon noodles
1 egg (lightly beaten w/ q pinch of salt added)
1 clove garlic (minced)
6 six button mushroom (quartered)
Julienned carrots
100 gm fillet pork (thin slices)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Salt
Water
Cooking oil

Meat Marinade
Corn flour
Sugar
Light soy sauce
White pepper
Cooking oil


  • In a wok, put in enough oil to deep fried the egg. When the oil is hot enough, drop in the egg like you would when poaching egg. Use the spatula to quick scramble, and at the same time cut the egg into small chunks. Dish out the egg when it’s set, and yet moist. Use paper towel to mop off excess oil.
  • Pour away the oil, leaving 1 tablespoon in the wok. Put in mushroom to b fried first; toss constantly.
  • Drizzle some more around the wok, if the mushroom absorbs the oil. Add in garlic, fry until fragrant.
  • Then put in the meat; stirring and tossing quick. Once the meat is no longer pink, add in the carrots. Stir for ½ a minute. Add a little water to moisten.
  • When the liquid is completely dry, throw in the Udon. Pour in the dark soy sauce. Mix well to have the noodle a nice tan color. Drizzle some more oil if necessary to prevent the noodles from sticking.
  • Lastly mix in the fried egg. Serve with green onion and fried shallot garnishes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

IPOH HO-FUN SOUP

My parents came back from Ipoh yesterday. I've asked them to bring back some ho-fun or kueh-tiaw (rice noodle), which the place is reputed to have the best ho-fun in Malaysia due to the water used that is found in the area. I think it’s the alkaline content of the water that makes the texture of the ho-fun smooth and silky, yet firm when bitten onto.

I use chicken breast bones and pork bones for the stock with Chinese red dates and Goa-Ji-Tze (small red herbal seed). Cha-sui (roast pork) and fish balls/cakes and stuff tau-pong (fried tau-foo) are bought from Petanak market this morning. Forgot to add in the choy-sim (veg.) All the ingredients except cha-sui are blanched in the soup before serving.

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Verdict: As good as they say it is.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

KINGWOOD HOTEL’S BAKERY

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If you're ever in Sexy-Bull, do check out the Kingwood Hotel’s bakery. It’s located opposite the backside of the hotel at the esplanade. I think it mainly caters for the hotel’s need. The production run is not that big. Their buns are mainly for local taste…if you’re looking for western hard crust buns and baguettes, you’ll be disappointed.

width="100"While in town I picked up these little gems…… little ‘cos they are tiny buns compared to the normal size varieties – ‘bout 3” square. For RM1 they come in threes or fours depending on the selection. I bought 1.Kaya bun 2.Cheese bun 3.Peanut Coconut bun.

Kaya” is egg custard jam for the uninitiated. The kaya filling for the bun is egg- custardy, more like the one found on Chinese egg tart, but still retaining the coconut cream flavour. The Cheese bun has cheese and coarse sugar sprinkled on top of the bun – a cheesy taste and crunch in every bite. Crushed peanuts sprinkle on top of the buns, and toasted coconut shavings lends a twist to this old coconut bun favourite. The thing ‘bout the buns here is that they are more refined than the normal run-of-the-mill stuff you find from your local baker. Besides, they can be downed in a gulp or two.

I usually go at ‘round elevenish in the morning – when they are fresh out of the oven. Don’t be too late ‘cos they are known to be snapped up in a jiffy.

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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

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