Wednesday, December 27, 2006

MAKING TANG YUEN (GLUTINOUS RICE BALL SOUP)

Last Friday was Dong Zhi. To us, it's Chiat-Ee (Eat Balls) time. It's glutinous rice flour made into a dough and rolled into balls and cooked in syrupy soup. Here's how I prepared mine...


Pop into your garden and snip off a few leaves of pandan (if you do them). Wash them and...



...tie them into a knot...



...scrap off the skin of a knob of ginger...



...and rinse six dried dates...



...and put everything into a pot of water. Add sugar to your taste. Simmer over low fire until the pandan flavor infuses into the syrup. In the meantime...



...drive into town to get a bag of ready-mix glutinous rice dough...



...and a bag of ground peanuts.



Add a couple of tablespoons of sugar onto the peanuts in a dry pan.



Toss the sugar and peanut over low flame until the sugar melts into the peanut.



It's play dough time! Get a small lump of dough, flatten and stuff it with a teaspoon of tossed peanut. Seal and roll into a ball. Toss the balls into a pot of boiling water. When they float to the top, they are done. Scoop out and serve with the flavored syrup.



***Apologies for pulling a fast one on you...regular program will resume once I get over the holiday mood.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

DINNER @ CUIXIANG GARDEN, JALAN PETANAK, KUCHING

Merry X'mas, U-All!!!







For a change, try a Chinese X'mas meal instead. You won't get fleeced by the seasonal
snowball of a con job. Take this little gem of a restaurant at Jalan Petanak; nothing pretentious and serves one heck of a feast. On that particular night, the service was excellent; all dishes were individually served to each guest, and plates changes after every dish. And the cost? For a table of 12 persons, it was RM100 cheaper than what I paid for last X'mas for a meal for 4.

This place serves "Monk Jumps Over The Wall", which I call Emperor's New Clothes dish; tastes horrible for a terribly expensive claypot of layered items, but dare not admit it for fear of being ridiculed.

Have a good one!

Chicken Soup With ...


...Mee Suah


Potioned Chicken Mee Suah Soup


Cold Dish Platter


Baked Duck Stuffed with Herbs and Belly Pork


Fried Asparagus With Scallops


Braised Belly Pork With...


...Mun Tou (Steamed and Deep Fried)


Steamed Stuffed Shrimps


Fried Soon Hock Fish Fillet with X.O. Sauce


Mango Pudding

Friday, December 22, 2006

SET MENU 2C @ KAFE ZHI WEI, BAN HOCK ROAD, KUCHING

This is the second of its set meal I have tried, being impressed by it the first time round. It's 2 meats and 1 vegetable dishes plus a plain soup like the last time. Cost is the same RM16.80.




Sweet & Sour Chicken

Like the classic dish, it spots capsicum, onion and tomato. Crispy chicken bath in light sauce.

Belly Pork with Fragant Vegetable


This is similar to the dish we had the last time except for the switch-karoo of the belly pork. If you ain't afraid of fat, this is the better tasting one.


Fried Slim Long Beans with Garlic & Anchovies


The generous thin slices of garlic is enough to keep your enemies at bay. That's the whole essence of the dish, plus a bit of the fishy taste of the little anchovies.


Winter Melon Tea



Except for the sour-puss waitress, the meal is competently cooked and presented for its worth.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

BEEF KOAY TEOW SOUP @ LAM'S PLACE, CHONGLIN PARK, TABUAN ROAD, KUCHING



There is this guy who paid a bundle for some beef noodle recipe from Sabah; only to give up the operation within a few months. His legacy only remains on its signboard.

The soup is akin to the Vietnamese Phó. The only thing missing is the Thai basil; replaced with local curly vegetable. I find the soup too sweet, not the MSG kind but the sugary type. The meatball is crunchy bite to it, assuring that there's no flour filler to make up its bulk. The chilli accompaniment comes in 2 varieties: red and green. The deceptively green one carries a punch.

As for service, with the devil may care attitude of the waitresses, you'd be lucky if you get what you order.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

BAKED SHRIMPS WITH SEA SALT



If you can hold a pair of scissors, following this recipe will be a no brainer. I safely rate this as a "No cooking skill is required here!" kindathin'.



INGREDIENTS


12 Medium Shrimps

1 Kg. Sea Salt (coarse)

1 Lemongrass
(julienned)

1 Cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
1 Knob Ginger (julienned)

1 Fresh Chilli (julienned)



METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven at 170°C/338°F.
  2. Cut the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chilli, and set aside.
  3. Wash and cut off the whiskers and legs of the shrimps. Pat dry and set aside.
  4. Cut a 1½ ft. length of aluminium foil. Place shiny side down.
  5. Fry the salt in a pan until hot and dry. Immediately place a layer of the hot salt onto the middle of the foil, forming 9" in diameter
  6. Put the dried shrimps on top of the salt.
  7. Pile the cut ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli on top of the shrimps, spreading evenly across.
  8. Finally cover the whole lot with another layer of the hot salt. (Keep unused salt in a jar)
  9. Fold the foil into a parcel, then place on tray and stick it into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
  10. ** Remember to set your timer, it's no fun biting into an overcooked shrimp unless you want to give your jaws a workout!


1. Pile On The chopped Ingredients 2. Closure Before Baking 3. After (Baked)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

SAMBAL KOAY TEOW @ SOON LU LAI, JLN. TUANKU OSMAN, SIBU


A pair of sisters (Ghim Eng & Ah Bee) run this Koay Teow/Noodle stall. The sambal fried flat noodle being its signature dish is quite similar to what I did. You would appreciate it if you like it hot. The aroma of the dried shrimps might scare some people away, but its taste is simply divine.

Beside the fried flat noodle, they have Sin Chew Noodle, which I haven't had a chance to sample. According to one of the sisters it's a potpourri of cabbage with assorted meat and seafood. They have discontinued their garlic fest of a Loh Mee (Braised Meat Noodle), which the next stall serves, and it wasn't good, which I found out on the next visit.

These sisters are a pair of shop-hoppers; they have moved from at least 4 shops (that I know of) in this town, and have gone to as far as Puchong in West Malaysia to set up stall. Chances are they might be at another place the next time I drop into town.

** MOVED TO LADY CAFÉ

Saturday, December 16, 2006

LUI CHA @ EXPERT FOOD COURT, 4TH. ML. PENRISSEN ROAD, KUCHING



Confession: This is my first stab at this Hakka dish. Although it consists mostly of vegetables and nuts, I doubt it's purely vegetarian 'cos the broth sure isn't. It comes in 3 parts: one bowl of mixed veg. (rice, long beans, Chai-Po, Tau-Kńua, Q-Chai), one bowl of herbal broth, and a small dish of peanuts. How you consume it is up to you; you can mix the whole thing together, or 'dry' and 'wet' as it's presented. It's a love/hate affair: either you love it or totally put off by it. I know health freaks swear by it! It falls under the category of Kachama, Paktin and cuttlefish pig's trotters. Pungent to some and heavenly to others.

Friday, December 15, 2006

ECONOMY RICE @ HOCK PING CAFÉ, JALAN PADUNGAN, KUCHING

Steamed pork, Fried Soy Sauce Fish and Stir-Fried Eggplant


Winter Melon with Chicken Soup


At night this place is usually packed with drinkers, mostly migrant workers, because of its cheap booze. By day it serves Foochow home-cooked fare. There's even a noodle stall that "well past al dente" kampua mee; it's not an insult rather a compliment.... they are people who seek out this type of mushy noodle.

The food I had for lunch was reasonably priced, and more importantly, the food looked presentable. The RM3.50 winter melon soup is large enough for 2 persons, with generous potions of chicken. The steamed minced meat is like the home-made, kudo to the other 2 orders of fish and eggplant. I think I might have arrived at the right time when all the food were just freshly made and brought out.

This place is a few doors down from Hong Kong Noodle House.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

INDIAN DINNER @ AMACHI, HUI SIN HAWKER CENTER, KUCHING



It's a simple home-cooked Indian meal consisting of mutton curry and stir-fired eggplant. The lone Indian lady running this stall has half a dozen or so selection of pre-cooked food to choose from. If you're not finicky, you'll find this down-to-earth offering adequate. My choice costs me RM4.50. What better way to wash down the food than a glass of "White Lady"; a fancy name for a glass of shaved ice with evaporated milk, pandan-flavored syrup and jelly and canned longans.

This food center is strictly a nocturnal operation.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

KIAM CHAI ARK (MUSTARD GREEN DUCK SOUP)


It's a simple enough; anyone can do it with one eye close. Just dump everything into a pot and boil.... That's it!

I use an electric pressure-pot to boil the soup, of which I have no control of the way it cooks. And the soup comes out 'murky'. Cooking the conventional way, the heat should be kept gentle, and the soup will come out clearer. Using slow-pot is would have been a better alternative if you have the time. The neck bones etc. at the bottom of the pot acts as a buffer for the Kiam Chai above.

The Kiam Chai gives it a sourly salty flavor. The S'ng Poi lends a sour taste as well; the amount used is up to your liking. Tomato is optional; it adds color to the dish. The soup tastes better over time after a few reheats; add a bit of water to compensate for moisture loss due to evaporation.




INGREDIENTS

1/2 A Duck

1/2 Head Kiam Chai (Mustard Green)

6 Preserved Sour Plums (S'ng Poi)

2 Whole Tomatoes

2 Knobs Ginger

2.5 L. Hot Boiled Water

Salt




METHOD


  1. Snap off the leaves of the Kiam Chai and wash. Blanch in boiling water. Set aside.
  2. Cut the duck in halves. Chop the neck, webs, tip of wings and spine into chunks. Blanch and wash, then put in the bottom of the pot.
  3. Put the blanched Kiam Chai leaves on top..
  4. Cut 1/2 the duck into bite size. Blanch and wash. Lay on top of the Kiam Chai.
  5. Put the rest of the ingredients on the top layer before pouring in the boiled hot water.
  6. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer in moderate flame for 1 hour covered. Add salt to taste.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

MEE JAWA @ SYN WEI HUI, MAIN BAZAAR, KUCHING



During the day, at the back of this coffee shop, you'll see thick smoke bellowing from the satay grill. Wonder why the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) hasn't dropped in on them for its contribution to the air quality index? A good thing they haven't, because it will be robbing us of a wonderfully grilled plum beef and chicken satay, and a peanut-rich endowed Mee Jawa, whose soup is made of chicken broth. sweet potatoes and tamarind juice among other spices.

The Malay stall in the front only serves the morning crowd, and the place is well patronized, judging from the crowd spewing into the back lane pavement. So this otherwise mundane coffee shop is well served by its rotation of Mee Jawa in the morning and Kolo Mee at night.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

KOLO MEE WITH WONTON @ JANE'S NOODLE, @ SYN WEI HUI, MAIN BAZAAR, KUCHING



Jane's Noodle is a little stall sitting on the pavement of the back alley of Star Cineplex at Jalan Wayang/Temple. It has a few table set up on the pavement, but one can sit in the Syn Wei Hui coffee shop in front. Mind you, this is solely a night affair.

Kolo Mee is not my kinda thing... but a friend highly recommends this place, so I had a go at it. Well, to tell you the truth, I've been here a couple of times since then, and I managed to find parking along the back lane. Doesn't that spell the rating for the noodle here; need I say more?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

ZI-CHAR @ STALL 48, KENYALANG PARK OLD MARKET, KUCHING

Fried Tofu Mixed Vegetables


Fried Ginger Pork


Fried Midin (Ferns) Belacan (Shrimp Paste)



There are a few similar Zi-Char dotting this tiny market place among the Kolo Mee and Roast Meat stalls. It is a random choice to eat at this place. Damage for for the 3 dishes: RM24. Prices are generally reasonable if one doesn't wander into the exotic territories of seafood and controlled meats.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

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...

May the Farce be With You!

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