Wednesday, January 31, 2007

BAKED SAMBAL FISH



This is baked as opposed to fried..... less splatter. You can use Thai Red Chiili Paste if you have any, otherwise the recipe is below. The use of banana leaves to wrap is the same as using aluminum foil except the leaves infuses some of its flavor onto the fish.



INGREDIENTS


12 Shallots

6 Red Chillies

3 Sticks Lemongrass

3 Cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
10 gm. Galangal (julienned)

10 gm.Belacan (Shrimp Paste)



METHOD

  1. Cut and blend all the ingredients into a paste.
  2. Fry the paste over low flame until fragrant. Add 1 tsp. of sugar and then salt to taste. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Pre-heat the oven at 170ºC.
  4. Slit the fish across from the top horizontally until the opening reaches the spine. Repeat the other side.
  5. Make 3 score marks vertically on both sides of the fish.
  6. Lightly rub salt on the fish and its cavity.
  7. Stuff the slits, score marks and the cavity with the cooled sambal.
  8. Wrap the fish with banana leaf (or in my case pandan leaves 'cos there ain't no banana today).
  9. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil/leaves and top-grilled to the max. until the skin is crisp. Turn the fish, and repeat on the reverse side.



Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PENANG FRIED MEE/KOAY TEOW @ PENANG SPECIAL, BORMILL FOOD CENTRE, JALAN PERMATA, KUCHING


This is the mee and koay teow combo, with shrimps sans the cockles (my choice), with egg, bean sprout and chinese chives (ku-chai). With the price of chillies these days, gone are the processed chilli paste; in its place are the commercial chilli sauce. Kuching fried koay teow doesn't have ku-chai, and quite a few people specifically ordered to have it taken out of the dish.

Mrs. Tan and her whole family have moved here for quite some time. She started off at with her brother and sister-in-law farther up the road near the 3rd. mile McD. These days most of the frying is assigned to a local assistant since her
mastectomy. She did try out at Jalan Song in the evening for a while, but not anymore. Why? Location, location, location! Or bad Fung Shui.

MOVED TO KWONG HUP CAFÉ


Monday, January 29, 2007

LOH MEE (BRAISED NOODLE) @ MERRYPARK CAFÉ, TABUAN JAYA, KUCHING


This is another specialty of Penang Chew: Loh Mee. It's supposed to be starchy soup made from braised pork sauce. But nowadays, the short-cut method of using 5-spice on soy sauce pork broth is used for this commercial endeavor; there's no braised meat in sight, but only slices of boiled white lean pork. The soup has just a hint of the 5-spice flavor in the starchy soup with a spoonful of lard thrown in. This Loh Mee usually comes with sliced meat, shrimps, kangkong and ½ hard boiled egg (missing from my order).

This is not the best Loh Mee I've tasted, but sad to say, this noodle doesn't have a great following in Kuching. I can't think of another stall selling this in town, unless someone can point me to some others.

Friday, January 26, 2007

CHAR SUI CHUN FUN @ SIANG SIANG CAFÉ, TABUAN JAYA, KUCHING


They are a number of these Chun Fun (Rice Noodle Wrap) in town since it made its first appearance at Tien Court. (There's another one predating all the modern steaming apparatus ones.... a bit of that in later blog). This mother and son operation serves only Chai Sui (roast pork) and shrimp varieties. It's the sweet dark soy sauce and its accompanying chilli paste that make the dish what it is. If one were to skimp on the sauce (diluting it, or some lawyer would prefer to use the term "reduce"), it would taste just as bad as the one at Expert Corner along Penrissen Road. I have yet to find any Penang style Chun Fun in Kuching.

This stall operates only i the morning at this place; in the evening, the pair can be found at Hoi Say Liaw (contrary to its name, the place doesn't look Ho Say to me) at RH Plaza, BDC.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

ROAST OYSTER SAUCE CHICKEN @ 7TH. MILE BAZAAR, KUCHING



There's a misspelling on its sign; it says : 'Rose' chicken, or I can be wrong if rose is indeed used in the cooking process. The chicken is no different from the other roast chicken offered elsewhere. I can detect any hint of oyster sauce, nor is any of its sauce offered for dipping. The good thing is that the skin of the chicken is still crispy despite being hung on the display case since morning.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

QUICK STIR-FRY CELERY WITH BEEF


Running on empty? Maybe....

This is simple enough for anyone to whip up. The emphasis is on the celery; so it's a vegetable dish, and the beef merely compliments its taste.Any other meat will do just fine as well.


INGREDIENTS


100 gm. Lean Beef (thin slices)

1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce

1 tsp Cornflour

1 tsp Sugar

1 tsp White Pepper

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
3 Sticks Celery (Cut 1" length)

2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

Corn Starch

Salt




METHOD
  1. Marinate the beef (first 6 ingredients) and set aside for at least 15 minutes before use.
  2. In a hot wok, add 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil, and fry the celery; tossing quickly to have them completely coated with oil (less than a minute). Then scoop out.
  3. Put in another 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into wok. Fry garlic until fragrant, then add the beef and toss thoroughly.
  4. As the beef is about to loose all its pink color, return the celery to the mix. Give it a few more toss, then season with salt and cornstarch mixture to form a sauce. (Add a bit of water if necessary).
  5. Scoop out and serve.
  6. Don't over-cook the celery. It should retain its greenness and crunchiness. after all, celery can be eaten raw.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SPARERIBS CLAYPOT RICE @ JIT YANG CAFÉ, JALAN GREEN, KUCHING


The spareribs are pre-cooked and laid over the freshly cooked rice in the claypot. Thus the rice does not have the natural flavor of ribs drip, but rather the add-on sauce from the cooked ribs. The spareribs by themselves are tender and favorably marinated . It's more expensive than the normal chicken and salted fish & Chinese sausage variety.

This place is opposite the Chong Lin Plaza, occupying the same coffee shop where the once famous Big Mouth chicken rice was. This stall was at Ying Wah Yuen Food Court for a while before moving to this present location.

** MOVED TO THE COFFEE SHOP NEXT DOOR

Sunday, January 21, 2007

HOME FOODCOURT @ HOCK LEE MALL, KUCHING

Una-Don

This family's business can be felt throughout this shopping mall... from the ground floor up to the very top floor, where this eatery is located. It's a mini Walmart in the making and this is its first venture into food. The shopping crowd here, except for the weekends, cannot sustain this place if not for the few corporate offices in the block of building.


Nasi Lemak

I was first tempted to try out its Sushi, but judging from the number of patrons at this place then, I gave it a pass; I still remember the time I had Japanese food in Sibu next to a medical center when I ordered tuna Shashimi, and was told I had to wait for the fish to thaw if I wanted it. Wouldn't you run helter-skelter?

Fried Beef with Rice

If you're trapped in this place and have no place to go, then this could be your dining experience.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

AT THE MARKET

Buah Api

Bananas, Ginger & Fern

Rambutan

Champedak

Patai (Pungent Pea Pod)

Chillies

Sago Worms

Old Cucumber

Preserved Vegetables

Mushrooms

Ferns (Midin)

Langsat & Rambutan

Balabay (Black Olives)

Mortar and Pestle & Chopping Boards

Eggs and Salted Duck Eggs

Ketupak Sorta Casings

Smoking Paraphernalia

Pumpkins

Chingcalok (Preserved Shrimp Fries) & Belacan (Shrimp Paste)

Miniature Bitter Gourd

Terong ( Borneo Eggplant)

Tofu & Bean sprouts Seller

Jelly Fish

Chickens

Shaved Coconut

Wild Durians

Friday, January 19, 2007

À LA CARTE @ AUNTIE'S CORNER, JALAN PERMATA, KUCHING

Rou Pork Rice


For those wondering where this place is, it's at Bormill estate, along the stretch where the KTS flats are, running parallel to Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce (Jln. Keratapi). There is really an aunty at this place. However, she doesn't do the cooking. The whole place is run by a bunch Bidayuhs (local natives); from cooking to serving. And they are doing a pretty good job churning out nice Chinese food. They are snobs who has an aversion to Chinese food not cooked by Chinese, or Italian food not by Italians for that matter. It's the end result that matters, not the in-betweens. There's an Italian restaurant in
Leichhardt that's packing them in, but who's in the kitchen? As long as the price is right and the food is good, who gives a damn? (Remember what Deng Xiao·ping said about the color of the cat?)


Fried Mani-Chai Mee Suah


This place has quite an extensive menu for one-plate-meal, which is popular with the lunch crowd; also is has a selection of brewed Chinese herbal drinks and desserts, like the ones left and below. Those drinks/desserts are prepared in advance and kept in the fridge. They can be heated up if you want them hot.

On that day we ordered Rou Pork rice, which is deep-fried belly pork marinated in fermented red beancurd (Foo Yi) garnished with fried onions, and the other one is Mee Suah (extra-thin vermicelli) fried with egg and Mani Chai (Cangkok Manis), and it's extra pedas. They are competently done; Aunty must have trained them well.


Thóng Sui (Sweet Dessert Soup)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

SARAWAK LAKSA @ UNCLE'S CAFE, JALAN SEKAMA, KUCHING



This is where I have my weekly fix of Laksa. It's the 'Swallow' brand variety, nothing earth shattering, I must say. But then again, this the brand most of us are acquainted with.

If I'm not mistaken, this guy who does the Laksa apprenticed for the Laksa stall at Zen Min Café. Anyway, he's the cousin of the renowned Laksa lady at Chong Choon Café, Jalan Abell. Laksa runs in his blood.

The Laksa broth is not too 'lemak' ie. not heavy on the coconut milk, of which he substitutes with condensed milk. He's way too generous with his vermicelli and Hokkien mee, of which we can hardly finish; but nowadays he knows our "pattern".

The owner of the shoplot has taken over the running of this coffee shop and renames it SING CAFÉ.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MEATBALL SOUP @ SHOP WITH NO NAME, BATU KAWA

Meatball and Ngo Hiang Meatcake Slices Soup


This nameless Mee shop occupies a wooden shed after the roundabout island once you enter Batu Kawa township (across the Batu Kawa bridge). I've asked a friend who stays in the area on which shop sells the best Bak-Enee in town; he suggests this one, and added the preference is subjective.

It has its fair share of regulars, as the place is well patronized most of the time. The meatball is similar to Chin Chan Lee . The meat cake is more akin to Ngo Hiang (Lok Bak) apart from the steamed ones; and it uses blended chilli sauce with vinegar, as opposed to the normal vinegar soaked cut-chilli.

If you don't mind the rundown state of the place and its libel use MSG, the noodle here ain't half as bad, if not better (too some) than the the rest in this part of town.

Kolo Mee with Trimmings




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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