Saturday, June 30, 2007

ECONOMY RICE @ #11, MY HOME FAST FOOD, HUI SING HAWKER CENTRE, KUCHING


Another RM3.00 adventure of cheap eats. This one consists of steamed tofu stuffed with minced pork, 2 pieces of fried fish and steamed bitter gourd with minced meat in the middle.

The Satay House (Jalan Rubber) family runs this stall and the adjoining satay joint. All the food displayed looks neat and appetizing. There are more expensive items like claypot Assam fish to be had.

You must be wondering why I keep showing these cheap eats. Well, they are a source of inspiration when one runs out of ideas on what to cook at home. These are not fancy stuff, but food that you'll find in any Chinese home.

Friday, June 29, 2007

DINNER @ SISTERS CAFÉ, LORONG NANAS 2, KUCHING

Mongolian Venison (RM10)

Like those Su-Ku blog-commentors, I'd like to declare: "I was here on its 3rd. day of opening. Yahoo!!" Having gotten that off my chest, I must say it was by chance that I discovered this new place while popping into a nearby stationery shop that afternoon. This place is off the beaten path, so it's very unlikely one will notice it.

Apart from a la carte menu, it has have an extensive one plate dish menu (mainly a cross-over from the a la carte menu by adding rice to it). Taste-wise the items we ordered reasonably good, and the service was efficient for a new outfit.

Oat-Coated Fish (RM8)


Beansprout with Salted Fish (RM4)

I noticed that the logo type embossed on the waitress' t-shirts was "Sister". So I Kay-Po with the young guy behind the counter. He was clueless as to what I was trying to convey, although the waitresses understood and were giggling. When the guy said: "Caf" as in cafe with a silent "e", I knew my cause was lost!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

SECRET RECIPE #3: FRIED PORK KOAY TEOW IN AVOCADO SAUCE


I Guess I'm not the only chicken around! No one took up the challenge to guess the dish. Guess I'll be having the cake and eat it too!

Locally cultivated avocado is in season. I thought if you can make koay teow with tomato, why not with another fruit? Hence, a dish is born.

The reaction I got from the few unwilling guinea pigs on seeing its color: Ugghhh!!! But somehow, the whole plate was cleaned out! Which goes to show, never to judge something by appearance only.

Would I cook the dish again? You betcha!



Wednesday, June 27, 2007

PIG'S BLOOD TOFU



This is something you can get cheaply overseas - coagulated pig's blood. Its redeeming property, according to some, is to clean up your stomach. You'll find out the morning after!

I use the usual marinade for the minced pork - 2 tsp. light soy sauce, ½ tsp. sugar, ½ tsp. cornflour & 2 tsp. oil. The ratio of blood to the tofu is about ½ : 1, so that you'll see more whites than maroon color.





INGREDIENTS

1 Clove Minced Garlic

50 gm. Minced Pork

80 gm. Pig's Blood

½ Block Tofu (Chunks)

1½ Tbsp. Chinese Black Vinegar

Salt

Cornflour Slurry





METHOD


Fry the garlic over hot oil until fragrant.

Put in the minced pork. Toss to get it cooked evenly.

When the pork is no longer pink in color, toss in the blood blocks. Give them a couple of turn to blend with the pork.

Add the tofu and quickly mix before pouring in ½ a cup of water. When the liquid comes to a boil, add salt to taste; then the corn starch to thicken slightly.

Add the vinegar and mix well. Scoop out immediately when it comes to a slight boil. Don't over-cook the blood. Garnish with spring onion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

MATTERHORN @ #17, THIAN THIAN CAFÉ, HUI SING HAWKER CENTRE, KUCHING


Remember, the taglines for the fag ad. of years gone by? Cool, Clear, Matterhorn or something like that? Well, this dessert certainly got its inspiration from the packaging of the fag box - lime green slope with icing on the top.

What's so great about it? It has Siang-Chow, Chendol and Longan topped with shaved ice sitting on a pool of pandan (Pandanus leaves) infused sugar syrup, with a twist of lime ( or lemon) added. You decide!

Monday, June 25, 2007

NOI'S CLAYPOT STYLE @ KA LOK CAFÉ, LORONG , JALAN SONG THIAN CHEOK, KUCHING

Foochow Ang-Chow Chicken


This is a new outlet that has recently sprouted along the back alley stretch of Jalan Song Thien Cheok, which features a number of eateries. In Kuching, like elsewhere, it's a lemming effect; like the restaurant across the street, it has gone through several changes of ownership. It's the lunch crowd from the surrounding business district that keeps these eateries afloat. By dusk, it's a stark opposite of its day activities.

This is the second claypot eatery serving this food alley - the first being 3 shoplots away. Both shops have almost identical menu and prices for their dishes. As a new-comer one hopes for someone's overflow will be her windfall. But then Noi doesn't have to benefit from others' shortcoming; her cooking stands on its own, on par or above the old competitor. Her only worries for the time being working out the kinks of keeping the place ship-shaped. At the moment she is a virtual one-person juggler, manning the stove to macro-managing the order work flow. Boy, is she one burnout lady at the end of the day!

Claypot Too-Kar (Pork Leg)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

CURRY RICE @ OPEN-AIR, JALAN KHOO HEANG YUN, KUCHING


Ever have the feeling when you were young, certain things looked huge and great; but as you get older and bigger, your perspective changes, and what was huge and great seems puny and insignificant. Well, this is of of those feelings.

I've fond memories of the curry rice, stalls like these serve. It's not too hot and the curry gravy is runny, mixed with the Loh Bak's (Braised Pork) gravy. There are the mixture of chicken, Char-Sui, Loh-Bak and Loh-Nunĕ (egg) on top of the rice. It's like curry on tricycle.

Once you move on to bicycle, roller skates etc., trying to relive those fond memories is another thing... this is one of those queasy feelings, and makes you want to burst out the
The Righteous Brothers' number. But with a price tag of RM3.20 price, it makes it easier to swallow.

This stall is right next to the Ngo Mi Th'ng stall mentioned in the last post.

Friday, June 22, 2007

LAICI KANG (NGO MI TH'NG) @ OPEN-AIR, JALAN KHOO HEANG YUN, KUCHING


You'll recognize this person by his infectious laugh (He'll tell you his life story if you have the time). This is Ah Kok, the sole (bachelor) proprietor of this Tong-Sui (literally, Sweet Water) at the Open-Air (alfresco) at Jalan Khoo Heang Yun. He's been in this line for 27 years. I've patronized his stall since the days when a bowl of Ngo Mi Th'ng was 60 sen each; now it's RM1.20. I used to do take-away at RM2.00, which is good for 4 to 5 persons. To this day, out of habit, I still say to him: "Pau-t'ng, no-kho!". I still get the same quantity for its RM2 worth.


Top Photos: Ingredients are gathered into bowls, rinsed with hot water, shaves ice, shaved ice added on top, finally syrup poured over.


Over the years, only one ingredient has been substituted. The ingredients used are
Pek Kueh, Ee Bee, Chai E'ian, Pek Mo Ni, Ang Kim and sugar syrup.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

GUESS WHAT?


If you guess right, it'll appear on a Wednesday; otherwise it goes under the "Secret Recipe" category, which will save me a lot of time.

It goes something like: Baked/Grilled/Fried/Poached (etc.) XXXX with XXX and XXX in XXXX Sauce. The last part is what I'm looking for - the rest are dead giveaways.

If the name is right, the prize is yours; provided you leave your name/nickname, secret handsign, birthmark or anything to identify yourself (which no one can steal from you). Prize will be determined by the sponsor, ie. moi, and will be notified by email. If postage exceeds the price of prize (very likely), you'll have to come and collect your prize personally at your convenience. If you're the Pai-Say type, use the email rather than the comment box. The name of winner (I doubt, will be any) will not be announced unless you want me to. You can try as many times as you like, until the closing date - one week from the published date, at which time I won't touch the comment box.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

HOT AND SOUR FISH SOUP/PORRIDGE



This is my take on the Teochew's hot and sour fish soup, made popular by Carpenter Street's and Sunco Food Centre's. The preparation and cooking is simplicity in itself. Thus, I've taken the long winded (low-so) route of showing you the mundane, such as slicing this and that. Another thing, this is different from their "drop everything into the soup" method.

Have the fish monger fillet the fish with the skin intact - rough-skinned type are preferred; however I have used Promfret and the local Ba-Ong. Use the fish head, tails and bones for the broth. It needs to be boiled for 20 minutes with some carrots, leek and celery.

This dish can be taken as a soup, or treated as porridge as I have done. I haven't used a rice cooker for over a year now. I use a cast-away pot (bottom right photo), whose handle has dropped off,
without its lid. I use this pot within a bigger pot - sort of double boiler. This is a borrowed idea from Taiwanese Tatung's heavy rice cooker. You'll get perfect rice every time without any sticky burnt rice bottom, unless you're one of those people who can burn water!




INGREDIENTS

20 gm. Ginger

1½ Chilli

300 gm. Fillet Fish

1.5 Liter Fish Stock

3 Preserved Plums (S'ng Poi)

Salt

Cooked Rice

Fried Shallots & Green Onion





METHOD


Julienne the ginger.

Slice the chillies into thin strips.

Cut the fish into bite size at about ½" thinckness.

Add 4 tablespoons of cooking oil into the wok. When hot put in the ginger and chillies. Fry until fragrant; this will give an amber color to the final soup.

Pour into the fish stock, and add in the S'ng Poi (preserved plum); give them a press before dropping into the soup. Bring the liquid to a boil.

Add in the sliced fish. Make sure they are submerged.

Add salt or fish sauce to taste. When the fish slices turn pale in color, simmer on low heat for another minute before serving.

Scoop a rice-spoonful of rice onto a bowl. Top with cooked fish slices, chilli and ginger. Then ladle the fish soup over it. Garnish with fried shallots and chopped green (spring) onion.




*Note the color of the soup is amber, which is different from Sunco's, as a result of frying the ginger and chillies.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

HAPPY CHIAK-CHANG DAY


Some call it Tuen Yang Festival in honor of some poet called Chu Yuan. I simply call it Chiak-Cháng Day. There's every reason to be happy as long as there's Chiak (eating) involved.

In the past post on Bak-Cháng, I mistook Jepun-Lor as the road leading to Pending from Simpang Tiga. Actually the guy who sells the home-made Bak-Cháng, Edmund Ang, stays behind the Petronas station at Taman Hui Sing (Had to do own pick-up yesterday; that was how I found out his name and place - 6, Lorong Taman Hui Sing 4/3B).

Don't stuff yourself silly today!

Monday, June 18, 2007

DINNER @ LE YUE RESTAURANT AND CAFÉ, CROWN SQUARE, KUCHING

Mixed Vegetable with Pñee Hoo (Dried Flat Fish)

I was invited to this new restaurant, under the umbrella of the Lok Thien Group, at Crown Towers. It was a slow Monday evening, middle of the month, and the place was quite empty, with only 4 tables occupied. We were the second one in, and the first table was almost done with their food.

Since it was a new place, we let the
maître d' recommend the food.
• The mixed veg. was not as good as its Shanghainese counterpart at Joyous Restaurant.
• The spareribs were uneventful - didn't set off any alarm.
• The noodle awful looking.
• The fish took a long time to appear; excuse: "it's a thick piece, thus longer to steam." Judge for yourself.
• The soup still had some cold frozen chicken bits.
• The dessert was something out of the ordinary.

Pan Fried Pai Kut Ong (Pork Cutlet)


Fried Chicken Noodle (Kai See Mee)


Steamed Gindara


Black Chicken Soup


Papaya Tóng Sui


I reckon both the fish and the soup were frozen stuff. That explained the long delay and the frozen bits of chicken, which were not completely thawed. You'd get a better deal from the steamed potted soup from some coffee shops that specialized in this sort of thing; and you won't get any raw deal!

The whole dinner came to 2 big smackeroos... Ouch! Expensive for such a simple meal (for 5 persons), with nothing exquisite in terms of ingredients used. I think the cost of the renovation is taking its toll. If I were Foochow, I'd have said:

" NǾ#@¥ Yue!!!"


RATING

** Getting a two-finger rating is no better than one; it's not a Churchill's "V" sign, nor your psychedelic 2 fingers.

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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