Monday, February 26, 2007

T'NEE BAK (SWEET MEAT)



If kids don't like your cooking, this dish might do the trick. If all else fails, have the kid's head examined; might have the number "666" imprinted on the scalp.

The sweet marinade is like the Indonesian Kicap Manis except that it's not as thick a consistency. Make sure you grease the side of the wok all around, and it's relatively hot before you throw in the meat; this prevents the meat from sticking to the side.



INGREDIENTS


200 gm. Pork Scotch Fillet (Thin Slices)

4 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce

2 tbsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Cornflour

1 tbsp. Cooking Oil

1 Clove Garlic (Minced)





Marinate the pork with all the above ingredients except the garlic for about an hour.



Fry the garlic with 4 tbsp. of cooking oil over medium heat until fragrant; then throw in the marinated pork only, reserving any marinade sauce aside.



Keep tossing to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.Fry until the raw pork changes color; Pour in the reserved marinade and mix. Put in a ¼ cup of water around the rim and let it roll on the middle of the wok.



Turn up the heat and let the water evaporate, stirring and tossing continuously until you are left with a moist glistening meat.



Scoop out and serve.

WILL BE TAKING TIME OFF FOR A WHILE TO ATTEND TO FAMILY MATTER...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

CHAR KUEH @ WOON LAM CAFÉ (1999), JALAN SONG THIEN CHEOK, KUCHING


I haven't been to this coffee shop for quite sometime. The (1999) on its sign signifies the new owner's reign; it's been there longer than that under a different owner. Although it has its selection of kolo mee, yong tofu, laksa, kueh chap and popiah, nothing in particular stands out. I just tried out the Char Kueh, and there's a hint of familiarity about the lady frying the kueh, but I couldn't place the face until I saw her husband on the second visit. He used to fry Char Kueh in the afternoons on the 5-foot way of one of the coffee shops at Jalan Nanas some years ago. In fact he was doing double duty - mornings at Woon Lam and afternoons at Jalan Nanas. I never had the Char Kueh at Woon Lam then. I liked it then, and I'm still loving it. Nowadays, it's just morning Char Kueh only.

KOPI-O-PENG @ YONG KWANG KEDAI KOPI, KENYALANG PARK CONCOURSE, KUCHING


This place is known for its local coffee more than anything else. It used to have packaged coffee for sale at its counter. Equally famous are its steamed dumplings (pau) and soi bee (sui mai) and its array of Nonya cakes. The fried koay teow stall at the back is doing brisk business as well; the same can be said of the noodle, chicken rice, ready-to-eat home cook meals stalls (even though they're only "so-so"). I think it all boils down to the "Lau-Cheo-Pai" (Old Brand Name) factor. It has been an institution with this housing estate for as long as I can remember.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

ZI-CHAR @ CAPITAL SEAFOOD, ABC FOOD CENTRE, JALAN CHAN BEE KIEW, KUCHING

Sarawak Oh-Chien (Fried Oyster Pancake)


Had it not been for a Californian, who looks like the Lan-Si in the middle, I wouldn't have ventured to this territory. I'm not sure if this is the seafood place he referred to, but the the Oh-Chien sure is thin and crispy. The last time I had a meal at Capital Seafood was when it was at the old Capital cinema (present Tun Jugah's site), hence its inherited name. I don't know what to make of the place when the waiter insisted on having the dish done his way and no other way.

Pai-Kut Ong (Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs)


Fried Bamboo Clam with Ginger

Fried Leek's Flower With Clams


This place is behind Kingwood Inn at Jalan Padungan.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

KOMPIA STUFFED WITH BRAISED PORK BELLY



Kompia is the Foochow's version of a mini-bagel, and it's not kosher. Pork belly is the way to go with it, and not minced pork as those you find at Foochows' stalls in Kuching or even Sibu for that matter. Lightly toast the silted kompia in the oven before sandwiching the meat with the sauce in between.

The only thing 'true' about this recipe is the use of pork belly and soy sauce. Everything else is purely conjecture (sort of an amalgamation of the short bald round old man's and the bald tall slim old man's recipes - some of you may catch my drift ). It's a mix of the salty (Tong Chai) and the sweet (Onion).





INGREDIENTS

Kompia (Chinese Bagel)

950 gm. Pork Belly

Dark Soy Sauce

6 Cloves Garlic

1 Medium size Onion

10 gm. Tong Chai

Sugar

10 gm. Galangal





METHOD

Submerge the washed pork belly into a pot of boiling water with 4 tablespoons of dark soy sauce added. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid closed, then turn off heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Remove from liquid and let it cool before slicing it into 1/8" thickness.

Marinate the sliced pork with about 6 or more tablespoons of dark soy sauce to completely "browned" the meat. Keep in the fridge for an hour or so before use. In the meantime, slice the galangal, mince the onion and garlic, and also mince tang chai (Tianjin preserved vegetables)

In a wok, add 4 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat. When hot, throw in the sliced galangal. Toss to prevent from burning. When the oil is infused with its fragrance, remove the galangal while retaining the oil (If you know what you're eating, you can remove them later). Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to caramelize.

Add the minced onion and garlic into the oil. Stir to get even sear, and prevent being burnt.

When the onion and garlic are fragrant and slightly golden in color, add the marinated meat (shake of excess soy sauce and reserve the sauce). Fry to have the soy sauce absorbed into the meat. Toss and turn until all the sides of the meat are no longer raw. Then add the rest of the reserved sauce. Toss a few more times.

Add the Tang Chai and mix well. Pour enough water (about 8 cups) to cover the meat. Add more water if you want more sauce, When it comes to a boil, let it simmer for a while. Then turn off the heat.

Transfer the meat and all to a slow pot, or an stewing pot and simmer over low heat for one and half hour (3-4 hrs. in a slow (crock) pot on low heat). Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the meat; if not add boiled water, dark soy sauce and salt if necessary to taste.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

SIN DINNER @ SHANGHAI JOYOUS RESTAURANT, JALAN PADUNGAN, KUCHING

This restaurant was chosen not for its Shanghainese Food, but rather for the fact that it serves none-kosher fare. This is one of Lok Thien's various outlets within the block; the other being Japanese & Thai (kosher), and another ordinary Chinese restaurant. Besides, this one offers quiet and privacy with its 3" thick door of the private rooms.

Sin dinner? For one, PeTA will be after our hides or fannies for what we had consumed. Our first course is banned in some countries 'cos of its age. Sorry, Babe!

Suckling Piglet

Left instructions, when I made reservation and pre-ordered the food, that the food be served immediately once cooked. True to its assurance, the piglet's skin was crispy and crunchy. It was roasted and then deep-fried before served, like the Pi-Pah Duck. Better than crispy pata. It's taken with the Hoi-Sin dip and pickle to "cleanse" the palate.

Pickled Cucumber and Carrot



After the skin slices were eaten, the piglet was taken to the kitchen to be chopped into pieces, and then served again for its meat. It's the best 'porky' there is, without any hint of fat.

Sushi Platter

Next we had an array of sushi from the Japanese Restaurant. That's the beauty of this restaurant... you can have any food from its other restaurants brought to your table. However, it only works one way, ie. kosher food to non-kosher restaurants, but not vice-versa.

Steamed Soon Hock

This was followed by steamed fresh Soon Hock fish. They have given this fish some fancy moniker, and thus the higher price. For all I know, this fish used to be callled "Cha-Kong-Hu" ie. "retard" in Hokkien. Who's the Cha-Kong now?

Assorted Mushrooms with Broccoli


For penance, we went for a Buddhist dish for total absolution of our sins. It consisted of thick Foochook/Tau-Poi (soy bean skin), assorted mushrooms, broccoli and ginko nuts. No sooner was it eaten and forgotten, the killing began.....


Pour In The wine
Live Shrimps & Red Wine


Shake It!
Getting the Shrimps Drunk


Drained Of Wine And Into the Claypot
A Little Broth


flambé
Flame On!


Done!
A Few Toss


Viola! Drunken Shrimp

All I can say,PeTa, you don't know what you're missing!

Assorted Thai Sweets

Finally it's the offering of sweets to the deities, as in the "Tnee Kueh" offering to the gods during Chinese New Year, so that they can whisper sweet nothing into the ears of the "higher-ups". These are Thai desserts consisting of water chestnuts, tapioca, rice flour and coconut concoction.

KIONG-HEE-WHAT-CAI TO ALL! Those in the U.S., Happy President's Day!



BONUS DISH (another occasion, another floor): Baked Shanghai Shrimps with Cheese & Mayonnaise

Friday, February 16, 2007

SARAWAK LAKSA @ CHONG CHOON CAFÉ, JALAN ABELL, KUCHING


I might not have a nice shot of the Laksa ('cos it was a late breakfast, and the big shrimps were all gone), but this place has one of the best Laska in town. It may be ordinary "Swallow Brand" concoction, and the shrimps are nothing to brat about, plus the fact that it's stingy on the gravy (1 ladleful per bowl - not a bit more). Beats me why people can't get enough of it; the mistress of the stall maybe is quite a looker, and the husband - an artful dodger ruffian type; could be some Kong-Tow Hoon in there!

See the wall on the left photo.... it used to have a lot of autographs by satisfied customers before commercialization took over (fags ad.). Jen from Disney Channel was here, plus our past transport guy and the anchorman in turban (see below). Such is the popularity of this place.

The place is packed most of the time. Waiting for seats is a norm... it's best to placed your cronies at strategic locations to grab any vacant seat asap. If familiarity breeds contempt, this place is just the opposite; no sooner than I get seated (after some waiting time), our drinks will be placed on our table without ordering. Even if we do change our drinks, it will be remembered the next time we are here. That should be an indication of how often I'm at this place!

This place should not be mistaken for New Chong Choon (operated by the Old man's other son) at Green Heights near the airport. That one also has some potent Laska as well... some "Tan Silly" parted one condo plus some diamond rings for the brew (That's some Kong-Kay for you).

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!

BAG OF TRICKS

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