Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Contrary to what I said in the last post, my mum doesn't have a K'nio-Si Kay recipe, or anything that resembles Kim Joo's. The closest she has is one that has chopped chicken chunks fried with julienned ginger. Anyway, my mum never taught me cooking, although I do eavesdrop on her cooking now and again in later years.

The following you're about to witness is not, in any way, the true original recipe handed down for generations; it has too many macam-macam to qualify as an authentic home recipe, which often requires straight-forward no fuss technique, with no marination but with stuff added as you go along. So don't come complaining: " My mother doesn't cook like that, mah!"

I'm not a ginger person, as I use ginger very sparingly. The amount indicated is only a rough indication, so use your discretion according to your preference. The whole zest of the dish is to have a ginger scent chicken in smell and taste. So the use of sesame oil and garlic is to compliment
the key ingredient, not overpower it.


1 Chicken Thigh (Boned, Skinned & Sliced)

1 Tbsp. Ginger Juice

1 Tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce

¾ Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce

1 Tsp. Sugar

1 Tsp. White Pepper

1 Tsp. Cornflour
1 Tbsp. Cooking Oil


Mince about 10 gm. of ginger in the blender.

Then place the minced ginger onto a tea strainer. Use the fingers to squeeze the juice from the ginger.

The juice from the ginger is to be used for the chicken marinade.

Mix 3 tbsp. of cooking oil with 1 tbsp. of sesame oil. Set aside for frying the ginger.

Marinate the sliced boned and skinned chicken with above ingredients. Let it stand of at least 15 minutes before use.

Julienned 30 gm. or more of ginger as finely (even size) as possible.

Minced ½ a clove of garlic.

Heat up the mixed oil over medium heat. Fry the julienned ginger until golden brown. Toss and turn to get even color and avoid burning. Scoop out and set aside for later use.

Fry the minced garlic in the ginger-infused oil until fragrant before putting in the marinated chicken, drained off excess marinade liquid, and reserve to be used later.

Toss and turn briskly until the color changes from pink to gray...

... add in ½ a cup of water, plus the marinade liquid. Stir to mix throughly.

When the liquid comes to a boil, toss in about ¾ of the fried ginger. Let the chicken and its sauce absorb the ginger flavor.

Reduce the sauce by a ¼. Add salt to taste if necessary. The cornflour in the marinade would be sufficient to thicken the sauce slightly; if not, thicken slightly with cornflour slurry.

Scoop out, and garnish with the remaining fried ginger.

* If you're looking for a Kim Joo's experience, loose the ginger juice, light soy sauce, cornflour and water and even the garlic; mind you, I'm not exactly saying that's the way to go, but then again there's a high probability that it's the only way to go!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


This dish should be categorized as "every mother do have them in their repertoire" because every Zi-Char you go to, they'll inevitably pitched the K'nio-Si Kay whenever you ask for a chicken dish. Trust me, it's that infectious! I think the recipe is included in home-cooking 101 of every household.

As the name implies, ginger is the top biller while the chicken plays second fiddle. So the thing to sniff out for is the ginger, which makes the essence of this dish. I'm not particularly a fan of ginger, but the way the dish is prepared here had me hooked.

The dish offered here has finely cut chicken strips combined with
julienned ginger; fragrantly fried without any sauce, which is topped over rice. It comes with an over easy egg (n'ung pao) accompaniment. A very simplistic presentation to a classic... you couldn't ask for anything more!

Monday, April 28, 2008


This is a corner coffee shop as one approaches the 3rd. Mile flyover, right after the police station. It used to have decent Laska and those one claypot dish, but not anymore (just found out on this visit). Instead there is a Kolo Mee and this chicken rice stall called Flashcity Chicken RIce. Since we were there already, might as well settle for the chicken rice.

The La K'nia (politically incorrect sounding) reference is not meant to be derogatory but a general inference to a group of natives collectively, be they Bidayuh, Dayak etc. Well, this stall has a sole La K'nia lady manning it. Although it has the ordinary poached chicken, it has fried ones as well, with yellow color overtone on them - result of turmeric (kunyit) powder rubbed on the chicken. That was what we had. The chicken rice is just passable for a RM3.50 meal, nothing outstanding.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Steamed Chow Chai Pork Belly

When I attach a number to the head tag, you can expect future visits to this place... in fact I have about 70 posts with photos in various stages of composition. So if you guys thought you saw me yesterday at this place, you'd be wrong. Most of my posts are a few days, weeks or even months old... the only post that was done on the same morning was the opening of Mrs. Tan's place - right after I had breakfast there. So much with my work flow... on with dining at Wang Seng.

Steamed Fish Cutlet

This time 'round we finally had some seafood. Like I said before, the selection of seafood is limited, and sometimes they run out of the listed items. The steamed fish was fresh and good; however, the shrimps was below expectation - it's in the cooking, not the quality of the shrimps.

Fried Salted Shrimps

As expected, we had the signature mushroom dish, as we had a newcomer in the group. And the most common comment we get is: "It tastes like chicken."

The Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with preserved vegetable is quite outstanding. It seems you can't really fault this dish prepared by out-of-towners... it's almost like second nature to them - every one tastes as good as the last one or the next-door neighbor's.

Buttered Mushroom

And if you're into out-of-town experience, this is it... without burning too much gas!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This is the second half of the stingray tail from Ah Ming, the Sibu's fish monger. It's good for 2 portions, which I made 2 attempts on Assam Curry Fish, with slight variation to the way the tail is prepared.

This is hot and sour curry. The sour taste is achieved through the use of assam (
tamarind), tomato or Borneo eggplant (Terong). The use of just one of the ingredients without the other two is acceptable. Tomato is the weakest link in terms of its sourness; it's more for the color to sex up the dish.

The variation to the dish is the one above and the blanch method shown below, which was the first attempt; the outer layer of the tail has slippery feel to it. The second time, I lightly coated the tail in cornflour before deep-frying to brown it, but not cooked through. It firms up the meat and gives it a bit of texture. This somehow, tastes better even though the ingredients used are identical.


3 Stalk Lemongrass
3 Cloves Garlic
15 gm. Galangal
6 Fresh. Chillies (Julienned)
10 Shallots
1½ Tbsp. Sugar
15 gm. Balacan (Shrimp Paste)
6 Lady's Finger (Okra)
1 Borneo Eggplant
300 gm. Stingray's Tail


Blend all the ingredients, except the last 3 items, into a paste.

Mix and mash 2 tablespoonful of wet tamarind pulp with 1 cup of warm water. Filter and reserve the liquid only.

Add 6 tablespoons of cooking oil to the claypot on medium heat. Fry the curry paste until fragrant and slight amber in color.

Pour in about a liter of boiled water into the fried paste. Raise the heat...

... add the tamarind water, and bring it to a boil.

Put in the Borneo eggplant (terong), cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to bring out the sourness into the soup.

If without the terong, simmer for 10 minutes.

Blanch the stingray tail in hot boiling water. Set aside.

Option 2: Deep-fry the coated cornflour tail if the second method is used.
Brown slightly. Set aside.

After the 20 minutes, put in the cut lady's fingers (okra) and sliced tomatoes (3-4 [halved]), if used...

... follow by the blanched ( or fried) stingray. Submerge into the soup, and bring the soup to the boil. Cover, and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add salt or fish sauce to taste. Garnish with sliced ginger flower (bunga kantan) and serve.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here I was for the second time for brunch at 11:15 a.m.... what do you know? The first dish I wanted wasn't even ready. So had to settle for the more familiar ones. And this place is quite sparse of customers for a holiday. I noticed a few stalls has gone to the dogs since its opening about 2 months ago. Such is the reality doing business in Kuching... there isn't more than meets the eyes, especially with a over RM2000 rent, plus over RM100 for the use of the cash machine, on top of the 12% cut from sales.

We had a set meal (left/below) consisting of Beef Rendang, Telur Balado, Sayur Lodeh and Keropok. The Rendang is a bit too dry, lacking a gravy - it's like a tenderized version of the beef jerky. The Telur Balado is like Acar egg or Thai's Son-In-Law's Egg sans sans the sauce, but with lots of chopped pickled chillies. Sayur Lodeh is the bowl of sour vegetable soup, which doesn't have the spiciness of Tom-Yam, and more akin to the Filipino Sinagang. Well, Keropok, for those who need translation, is shrimp crackers. It's an unfulfilling RM7.50 meal.

The Nasi Goreng Kampung (below), which I had a bite of the fried rice, but not the fried chicken, seemed like a better and cheaper deal. It's rice fried with kicap manis with a strong hint of pound dried shrimp. The other accompaniment, apart from the fried chicken and egg and keropok, is the pickled cucumber and carrot.

Maybe the expectation is a bit high when coming to a joint like this... when style doesn't gel with substance, you'll bound to get unequal vocal quiver.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Pandan Chicken

When this place first opened a few months ago, it offered free dessert for meals purchased; I for one, an ever-eager beaver, failed to get an entry due to the crowd. And this visit was a month later after the fact. It was empty saved for 2 occupied tables. Such is the reality of the situation - it's not that the food or service is bad or anything like that. It's just too many eateries chasing to few customers, and the ever increasing price of food and drinks isn't helping much to ease the situation.

Japanese Style Sizzling Hot Plate Noodle

As the name indicates, the place offers food from the different regions of Asia. Somehow, we invariably picked a mostly Thai themed dinner, except for the noodle. Price wise they are not too expensive - ranges from RM3+ to RM6+. Then comes the clinker - the price of the drinks; it gobbles more than half our dining budget.

Papaya Salad

As for taste, it has the authenticity, and its presentation can be described as neat. It doesn't pull any punches when it come to the heat factor. Coupled with its clean line decor, with its no fuss kinda food, this makes a very pleasant dining experience.

Belacan Fried Rice

Tom Yam Fried Rice

Fried Fish Patties

It's a pity this almost new shopping block has been relegated to an almost 'has-been' within a span of few months of its existence. And this eatery is like a lil' engine that could...

Friday, April 18, 2008


Fried Hokkien Noodle

It is my last night in town, having dinner at the Esplanade Seafood at its new location. Business is not as brisk as it used to be due to its locality. Those super-fung-shui type will attribute it being next to the Tua-Pek Kong Temple. Whatever it is, there is nothing to fault the food; it tastes as great as it used to.

Claypot Tofu

Da-Xia (guest relations) runs off the variety of mushrooms they have for the night: something-ko (mushroom) this, something-ko that. To make things easy, we had a combo of all the mushrooms; thus the Ko-Ko-Ko below!

Ko-Ko-Ko (Fried Multiple Mushroom)

Holy Bats!

This is one of those exotic game they have in store... bats fried with soy sauce, chilli and lemongrass. It won't make a night vigilante out of you to roam Gotham, and I'm not sure of the vitality of its other properties. It's a whole different taste and texture.

Deep-Fried Tau-Cheo Toman Fish

This fish is nice to the crunch, while richly bathed in the sea of fermented yellow beans. Yums!

Fried Bitter Gourd With Salted Egg

The amount of food we had seems excessive... in fact there are extras for the latecomers arriving at 8:30 p.m. One brings along fresh Midin she has picked out while jogging in the park that afternoon. A beehoon dish comes out of it. And lastly the tiger fish caps off the evening.

Fried Midin With Beehoon (Vermicelli)

Braised Lau-Ho-Han Fish


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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