Friday, November 30, 2007

PORK LEG RICE @ WEE BEE HIONG CAFÉ, JALAN SONG THIAN CHEOK, KUCHING


It's all about Wee Bee Hiong with this shop... from the name of its shop to its Too-Kar P'ng stall, Bak Kut Teh, and even the BBQ meat slices (Bak Qňua), plus the office upstairs. Quite a conglomerate, if you ask me. This is the last corner shop, one block down from the MAS ticketing office.

I haven't tasted its
Bak Kut Teh, but from the taste of the Too Kar P'ng's broth, it tastes and smells like one; a bit of herbal flavor, which is good if you like that sort of thing. I prefer mine like the Tau-Eu Bak, no hanky-panky stuff, au naturel. The serving of the meat cuts and offal is generous for its price, and so is the vegetable curry and sambal sauce.



That's the way I have my rice (above) at every Too-Kar P'ng's place; dunking rice - drenched in soy broth and curry gravy! Ah Lee did comment that the way I have my dunking rice reminded him of the good ol' days of having curry rice the same way; he added that we could never go back to the good ol' days, not because the recipe has changed, but we have changed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

BLACK VINEGAR NOODLE @ MENG CAFÉ, JALAN KHOO HEANG YUN, KUCHING


Like the name says, this noodle is sour to the core with black vinegar. Unlike the KL's Heng Hua Loh Mee, which has a hint of vinegar like those you put in your sharkfin's soup, this sour noodle totally obliterates whatever taste buds you have left in you. When I said I've a panache for any sour stuff, I retract that statement for this particular one... it's really bay-tahan!!! Your lips will purl with grimaces, and your eyes will squirm to the tune of:

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

If there's any health benefit from consuming this noodle like drinking Japanese vinegar, I'd gladly gulp one everyday. Thank goodness for the accompanying little bowl of wonton soup; it made the whole ordeal less excruciating. However, if this isn't your cup of soup, there's always other soups to be had... like the Bee Tai Bak (Lau Su Fang) Wonton Soup below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

REHASHED RECIPE: PORK SIAMESE SPAGHETTI


How do you cook for 55 St. John Ambulance cadets? With great difficulty! It's a lunch on a RM70 budget for a bunch of kids going through 4 days and nights of holiday training camp. Why pork, you might ask? Well, have you heard of Muslims joining the Crusade? Nah, not likely!!! That's why there are moon and star... and yet people still ask: What's in a name? Plenty, I tell you!

This is a rework of a previous recipe to the multiple of 6 or something like that, except the chilli bit is toned down a few notches. All the garlic/chilli/kaffir lime leaves, onion, carrot and mushroom are all blended in a food processor separately. The cup of water is used to rinsed off the residue of the blended ingredients and later added to the sauce.

I over-estimated the spaghetti - 6 packs would suffice - and there was 500 gm. of meat sauce left after the feeding frenzy. Even the girls commented they went back for seconds. Assuming half the numbers had seconds, the meal worked out to be RM1 per plate! Not bad, eh?


INGREDIENTS
3 Kg. Minced Pork
2 Bulb Garlic (minced)
8 large Onions (minced)
6 large Carrots (minced)
4 Cans Button Mushroom (minced)
10 Kaffir Lime Leaves (minced)
6 Fresh Chilies (minced)
2 Tbsp. Parsley,
Thyme & Oregano
8 Medium Cans Whole Tomato
1 Medium Can Tomato Puree
3 Tbsp Chicken Granular
3 Tbsp. sugar
Olive oil

Salt

1 Cup Water

8 Packs Spaghetti



METHOD

Add enough oil to the pan, and fry the onion for a minute or so before adding the garlic/chilli/kaffir lime leaves. Add more oil as needed.

Once the garlic/onion mixture is fragrant, let loose the minced pork. Toss and mix well until its color is no longer pink.

Next pile in the carrots and mushrooms.

Have them throughly blend in with the meat. Lot of arm and wrist work.

Finally add in the tomatoes and rinsed water. Try to squash the tomatoes as much as you can. They should be enough liquid to cover the solids.

Scoop in the chicken granules, sugar and herbs (vary to your liking). Mix well. Bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for an hour and a half.

Stir constantly, scoop bottom up, to prevent burning at the bottom.

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water; add in about 4 tsp. of salt, a tbsp. of sugar and some oil. Cook the spaghetti al dente.

Two load full of pasta! Rinsed and left to cool. Later warmed up in the large wok of boiling water before being carted off the H.Q.

The rich tomato sauce permeated the meat after the long simmer. Taste and add salt if required before serving.


This is essentially a dry run for the young cadets to be prepared for the great outdoor exercise at the end of the year beneath the Bukit Matang. This is the inaugural program initiated by secondary 3'ers to train those in the lower grades; prior to this, this task belonged to secondary 4'ers and 5'ers.

This is a great training ground for the organizers; they need to plan the training programs, gather materials, get sponsors, t-shirt design and printing, and food for 3 meals plus tea - all on a budget of RM28 per person!

Apart from the break-a-leg/patch-me-up training, they have to cook the evening meals, which are graded.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SHRIMP OMELETTE WITH RICE @ KIM JOO, JALAN EWE HAI, KUCHING


This is another of this place's one plate offering. Like the name says it's a plate of rice covered over by an omelette with generous spread of little size shrimps and green onions. Nothing spectacular if you ask me.

What would you pay for 2 scrambled eggs, a stalk of green onions and probably about a dozen of small shrimps, and a plate of steamed rice? RM3, 4 or 5? Wait for it, wait for it... I'll throw in a glass of Dom Jus
Ciel, and that's not all.... and a saucer of chilli padi with soy sauce. The price? Honestly, I have no idea now, since the price of flour has gone up in the past week, and so has other unrelated items, because the person who sells rice eats bread and noodle, and it affects his/her pocket. At last count, the price was RM5.

Monday, November 26, 2007

GOLDEN HAPPINESS REVISITED

Hors D'oeuvre Platter

Deja Vu? Looks like it... the dishes were almost identical except of the ingredients used. The above dish had shrimps as substitute instead of lobster salad, the fish below (½ steamed, ½ fried) is cheaper than the one served before, and the shark's fin is of different grade (you notice it's not served on individual heated bowl).

Double Flavor Promfet

We had 12 persons in this sitting, whereas there were only 10 the last time. 7 dishes as opposed to 5, excluding the fruits dish. After being twice here and seeing the dishes presented, it makes you wonder whether the chef has pulled out all his tricks.

Shark's Fin Soup

Suckling Piglet

Sea Cucumber

The shrimps below are ½ portion sautéed with almond, and ½ portion grilled with cheese.

Double Flavor Shrimps

The Sweet Yam dessert (below) is a variation on the Teochew's; the glutinous rice counter-acts on the sweetness of the yam paste... not too sweet though.

O-Ni (Yam) With Glutinous Rice with Peanut Sprinkle

Saturday, November 24, 2007

QUICKIE #1: BLT&E


What's for lunch today? This is what I had for lunch the other day. Reminiscent of the cheap (affordable) lunch I used to have in school - BLT. I've added egg to the mix... it's more of a tummy-filling stuff for me, with the double slices of bread.

It's a simple fix-it-up which can be easily slapped together under 10 minutes without much effort. The ingredients are bread, bacon, Butterhead, tomato, egg and mayo. The only thing that needs frying is the egg. The bacon can go under the broiler, if you're afraid of the splatter of the fat.

Friday, November 23, 2007

CHINESE DINNER @ MINGZIANG COURT, KINGWOOD HOTEL, SIBU

Umai With Chilli Dip and Sago Corn

Except for the local raw fish with its chilli dip, all the other dishes were from this riverside hotel. The good thing with the locals here, anything goes, or can be cham-siang (negotiable). There was no corkage charge for wine and liquor brought into the restaurant. There's always a stigma attached to dining in a hotel's restaurant - expensive and downright expensive... but it ain't necessary so; it's not more expensive as the last one at Golden Happiness, or the next one...

Braised Scallops With Fish Maw And Asparagus

Tried of the boat cold dish platter... thus it was banished from the list, and hence we had the warm dish appetizer instead. It's a halal kitchen therefore the dishes are more seafood orientated. Well, someone well overboard with the order...

Warm Hors D'oeuvre Platter

Black Chicken Soup With Fish Bladder

Steamed Indonesian Empurau

Fried Lobster With Mixed Vegetables

Braised Large Shrimps

Fried Chicken Noodle

...stuffed to the brim even without the fried noodle as a filler.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

LUNCH @ ORIENTAL BRISTO, RH HOTEL, JLN. KAMPUNG NYABOR, SIBU

Spaghetti Carbonara

This is a fairly new hotel, which is about a year old - owned by one of the richest man in S.E. Asia. This is one of the diversified investments in his home-ground. This bristo can be best described as minimalist chic - another coyly disguised term for budget-cutting solution to a design dilemma. You can spy shoddy workmanship in its finishing, as in some dislocated louver blades.

The crowning glory of this place is its open-concept eastern kitchen. Everything is open bare for all to see, hear and smell. Thus you get the Kheng-Kwang of the wok, the stench of oil and whatever smell that emanates from the kitchen. One thing I noticed on this visit is that all the diners were seated way away from this part of the kitchen or closer to the buffet table, except us. It doesn't help unless you find a place in the patio under the glaring hot noon sun, because no matter where you sit inside the bistro, you'll be smelling like a well-oiled dish despite the huge exhaust suction fan bellowing above the kitchen.

Lasagna

Fish & Chips

Overall, at first glance the dishes were all delightfully decked out. Can't complain of its price to value factor... unless you're one of those foodgaltarians. The only gripe was the spaghetti; it was void of any flavor and bland, and the toast was, well, toasted!

This could very well be Sibu's Four Seasons on Sunset Boulevard, and at least one can add a new name to one's vocabulary to namedrop with aplomb, beside the oft quoted con-artist, whose company is about to be delisted from the stock exchange.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

STEWED TAU CHEO (FERMENTED BEANS) FISH


This is an attempt to make amends to a bad situation... I have, what I suspect, a piece of Lo-Ko (tough) Ngo Hu. So the way to go is to treat it with tender loving care... and then eat it!!!

There are no fancy ingredients used here; just the basic fermented yellow beans to infuse a salty flavor into the fish. Due care has to be instituted in the cooking process so as not to turn the fish to flakes.
INGREDIENTS

1 Fish Fillet

Ginger Slices

3 Tbsp. Tau Cheo
(Fermented Yellow Beans)

2 Red Chillies

2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)

1Tbsp. Sugar


1½ Cup Water

1 Stalk Green Onion



METHOD


Pat dry the fish and lightly salt the fish on both sides. Add enough oil to the pot and deep fried the fish until golden yellow in color. Remove and set aside.

Sliced some ginger and line them at the bottom of the pot. This acts as a buffer between the heat below and the fish above.

Lay the fried fish on top of the ginger slices.

Blend the fermented beans and chillies to a paste.

The blended chilli/ tau cheo paste.

Fry garlic for a while before dropping in the bean paste.

Stir well to avoid any burning. Have the paste throughly fried to get the fragrance.

Add sugar to the mix.

Finally add water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Pour the tau cheo liquid over the fish. It should be enough to just cover the fish at its top. Bring the liquid to a quick boil, then on very low flame, simmer the fish for an hour. The liquid will reduce and be absorbed into the fish.

Handle with care when dishing out on a serving plate. Garnish with chopped green onions.

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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