Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was awaken by my handphone on a Sunday morning... it was barely 8! An unfamiliar voice was at the other end. "This is Mrs. Loh!" Groggily, I couldn't figure out... "I've got durian flowers for you! I'll be there in a while." Before I could make myself decent, there was a hoot at the gate; and before I got down to the front door, she was there already. "This is the last of the durian flowers!", she declared before leaving.

By the time you read, the durian flower season is probably over. These flowers are not plucked, but fall from the tree on their own.

How would one cook durian flowers differently? Not the native ways; Think outside the wok...


70 gm. Durian Flowers

3 Stalks Long Beans (3" length)

70 gm. Pork Fillet (Julienned)



1 Diced Shallot

1 Stalk Diced Lemongrass

1 Diced Red Chili

2 gm. Belacan Paste

10 gm. Diced Seeded Cucumber

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce

2 Tbsp. Water

1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar

* For preparation of the durian flowers see previous post.


Cut pork into strips. then marinate with the following:

2 tbsp. light soy sauce
• ½ tsp. white pepper
• 1 tsp. sugar
Use the hand to massage through the marinade with the pork. Set aside in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before use.

Lightly toast the piece of belacan over open flame on the gas stove's burner.

Then mix to dissolve with the dip's other ingredients. Then fine tune the saltiness (fish sauce), sourness (vinegar). and sweetness (sugar) to your preference.

Put enough water in the wok over high flame. Quickly blanch the Longbeans, remove, and run through cold water. Set aside.

Dust the meat with 1 tbsp. of cornflour. Shake off excess flour before dipping them into the wok.

We start frying the meat first as it takes the longest among the three. Bring the temperature of 1 cup of cooking oil in the wok. Use chopsticks to jiggle the meat so they don't crumble together. As they are about to turn golden brown, scoop them up onto paper towel. Set aside.

Likewise, dust the durian flowers with cornflour, shake off excess flour...

... then deep fry the same way. It takes only about a minute to reach a crisp state.

Beat 1 egg with 2 tbsp. of self-raising flour, some ice cubes, and a sprinkle of water. Dunk the longbeans

Drop the coated beans into the hot oil. Use the spatula turn the beans and bath with the oil for about a minute. Remove and start assembling the fried items starting with the durian flowers at the bottom, the longbeans in the middle, and topping with the meat.

To maintain the crispiness of the fried food, scoop spoonfuls of the dip and spread over the food just before they touch your mouth.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Chicken Wings Drumlets

As usual we have had almost the same stuff we always have when we dine here. I try my best to coax something new out of the chef. As sporting as he is, he always obliges with a few aces. Tonight's never-performed-before dish is the above chicken wings-turned-drumsticks; this is considered old-school, but a proven favorite for tots, big or small.

Belacan Kangkong

When they rattle the list of vegetables available and its style to be cooked, somehow we always end up with this old faithful at the end of the roulette: Belacan Kangkong. This is one notch below the Midin fern.

Fried Pork Belly With Salted Fish

When it comes to meat, I'd rather have the pork belly (all the fat being fried off) than the normal chicken or pork slices fried with ginger. The saltiness from the fish and the crunchiness of pork and fish are the winning factors. Those who have a fear of the chewy pork belly fat will be bowed over by this one.

Sarawak Style Oo-Chien (Oyster Omelette)

I think it'll be a sin not to order the Oo-Chien at the Zi-Char; it's as sacraligious as ordering chicken at a burger joint. What more can I say? The bamboo clams looks pretty fresh and inviting. How can we say no? Thus the hottie below.

When all is said and done, the damage comes to about RM60.

Fried Bamboo Clam With Dried Chilies

Friday, April 24, 2009


Flat Noodle Soup With Spareparts

This is one of those "as I was passing" kind of eateries because it's off the beaten path for me. I got to know of this place via Lau-Ta's pork leg's rice, which has long been put out to pasture. This coffee shop runs a Zi-Char, whose food are popular with the lunch crowd. Its peripheral stalls are of unknown qualities.

As far as noodle goes, this one is passable... I think with the mixture of all the parts in the soup, anything will come out okay! Those different parts are generous so one can't fault that. The Wonton/Kiaw/Pian-Nik/Pan-Sit (whether you're Cantonese, Teochew, Foochow or Hokkien) doesn't skim on the meaty part either.

Wonton Soup

The side order of the Yam cake doesn't exactly inspire any word of praise. Its content is too diluted for its on good... light on substance and flavor. Well, at least the vat of chili sauce condiment drowns out any deficiency it might have.

Steamed Yam "O" Kueh

I remember Peter recommending the Sabah's Noodle in the comment post. However, this visit was done ages ago, and I'm in the process of clearing "long overdue" posts. I'll return for the said noodle in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I was at a pot-luck dinner a couple of weeks ago, and Mr. Loh mentioned the sale of durian flowers at the 3rd. Mile bazaar. He also divulged into the way he prepared the flowers prior to cooking. Interestingly, a few days later, a batch of durian flowers arrived from Siburan courtesy of Mrs. Si.

By the time you read, the durian flower season is probably over. These flowers are not plucked, but fall from the tree on their own.

I fall back on the trusted recipe of red curry paste, but added kaffir lime leaves for the extra citrus flavor. And I bought a tub of freshly squeezed thick coconut milk from Satok market, albeit cooled in the fridge.


10 Shallots

4 Red Chilies

2 Clove Garlic

1 Pc. (15 gm.) Belacan Paste

1 Knob (10 gm.) Galangal

1 Tbsp. White Peppercorn

2 Stalks Lemongrass

4 Kaffir Lime Leaves


125 gm. Durian Flowers

150 gm. Pork Fillet

1 First Pressed Coconut Milk

Sugar & Salt


Blend all the top ingredients into a paste.

Press the thumb and index finger at the middle of flower petal, and slide towards its top end to remove the 'pollen bits', which produce slime. Dose the 'cleaned' flowers with hot water, then quickly remove and bath them in iced water.

Heat up the wok with 4 tbsp. of cooking oil in it. Drop in the curry paste, and keep tossing it unti

Heave in the sliced meat, and thoroughly mix them with the paste.

Once the meat is no longer pink, it's durian flowers' time to be sauteed. Give it about 30 seconds toss.

Pour in about ¾ cup of water. Stir well into the meat and paste. Let it simmer on medium heat to reduce the liquid slightly.

Add in a tbsp. of sugar. Toss to dissolve.

Finally the thick coconut milk goes in. Add salt or fish sauce to your preference. When the curry comes to a boil turn off the heat, and serve.

Monday, April 20, 2009


The Noodle...

... The Setup...

... The Blessing...

... The Man... Mr. Beautiful, Sui!!!

Unfortunately, this was the other thing we had (Chee Chun Fun);
the Popiah/Kueh Pie-Ti and the Char Kueh weren't there for business...
just not his day (19/04/09, Merrypark Café, Tabuan Jaya).

Friday, April 17, 2009


At long last, Ghim Eng's Loh Mee is back!!! The last time I had it was way back when she had her sister working with her; with her doing the frying, and her sister preparing the Loh Mee.

Being a lone ranger has taken its toll at the old place at the center of CBD. And now at the new venue, business hasn't quite found its bearing; so she has more time at hand to dish out the Loh Mee. After all, the Loh part, which consists of braised pork and eggs, is cooked way ahead. And the only cooking part that is required before serving is boiling the noodle, kangkong, taupok (fried tofu) and the Loh T'ng (soup).

For those of you wanting to keep vampires or the office Ham-Sak at bay, you're well advised to request for extra dollop of minced garlic on your noodle, or even the chili sauce too! It not only brings the 'Oomph!' to your Loh Mee but to social life as well. You'll be the talk of the town!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


These are some of the eat-outs with WillChua; the one on top is from Home Cook near this place of work at Jalan Tunku Osman. I thought the place was Ruby even though the sign said otherwise. I didn't realise it was just next door. That was Will's lunch at 2 p.m. I had a bite of the so-called buttered spareribs (actually it's the slab of meat above the ribs, and there's not a single rib to be seen). It's more like Hainanese Pork Chop coated in butter sauce. Apart from the sliced onions, the plate looked rather sparse. Tastewise, it was pretty good.

On 2 consecutive nights, we went searching for the best Kolo Mee (actually Mee Pok [flat noodle]) in Sarawak, but the old couple decided it wasn't our fate to taste their delicious noodle. So we ended up at Mitsui Restaurant, which is behind Rejang Medical Center. I was here a few days earlier with STP for its Dim-Sum. Since I had dinner before, I just settled for one of the Char-Sui Bao; yes, they still served Dim-Sum at 8:30 p.m. Is it the economy or what? The place is almost deserted except for a few desolated souls like us; but desolated souls we're not...

Char-Sui Bao

Will wanted something different from the usual roast meat rice. Actually he had no idea what he ordered until the plate was delivered to the table. It's different alright! Sweet! Too sugary sweet to my taste!

BBQ Pig's Intestine With Fried Sweet Potatoes

Of late Will has been the front person to any bloggers' meet in town - sending out "invitation" to fellow bloggers on impending meet-up. See the Quote and Unquote up there. Some literally take these requests for camaraderie as freebies...
... we always can have the good times, like the above, anytime we want while respecting each other's pockets.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Whenever I buy mint leaves, they are excuses to cook Penang Laksa or Phở. It's not every day one finds the leaves in the market, although some are grown locally. I got a bunch of the imported stuff from the wholesaler.

The faithful Thai Red Curry Paste is a good candidate for this dish. Although some may dispute the fact, the last time I checked all the ingredients are in there, give and take a couple of ingredients. Its sour taste is no different from the Assam Fish. Only some of the condiments used are different.

The fish used is called locally Luk-Hu, instead of the oft-used wolf-herring, mackerel or sardine. It has white fine texture, but still firm and holds together when cooked.


20 Shallots

4 Fresh Chilies

4 Dried Chillies

2 Stalks Lemongrass

6 Sliced Shallots

1 Small Knob Tumeric

50 gm. Belacan

8 - 10 Pcs. Tamarind Peel

1 Kg. Luk Fish


Prepare the paste: Cut all the above ingredients, except tamarind peel, into small pieces before being blitzed.

Left is the lump of ground chili paste. My mom has her standby frozen ground dried chillies and turmeric. The turmeric gives the soup a nice color; moderation should be exercised when using it, or else the soup will turn into a ghastly color.

With about 4 tbsp. of oil, fry the paste over medium heat. Keep stirring and turning to prevent burning. Drizzle a bit of oil if needed. Fry until the color turns slightly maroon and aromatic smell emits.

Transfer the paste in soup pot. Deglazed the wok with ½ a cup of water, and pour the liquid into the pot.

Pour 1.5 liter of water into the pot and bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile, clean up the fish, and cut it into manageable size to fit into the pot.

Drop the fish pieces into the soup...

... and let it poach for 20 minutes.

Remove the fish pieces and let them cool.

Introduce the tamarind peel to the soup. The amount can be varied to the degree of sourness one desires. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes to achieve the sour taste. Then adjust taste with sugar & salt. (Tamarind pulp is not used to maintain the 'clearness' and 'fresh' color of the soup. Use it if you have it)

When the fish is cooled, remove the bones, then break them into chunks.

Meantime, boil the Laksa noodle until done. Prepare the condiments of pineapple chunks, mint leaves, juliened cucumber and chilies, slices of Bombay onions, and prawn paste (hair-ko).

Then you ready to go...

... fill your bowl with noodle, then pour over the warm sour soup...

... top with fish chunks...

... and the rest of the condiments of pineapple, cucumber, onions and chili. Finally drizzle with the shrimp paste (2:4 tbsp. paste to hot water), and garnish with mint leaves.

The only item we forget to get was the Bunga Kentang (ginger flower), which adds a citrus aroma.


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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