Friday, May 29, 2009

CHARCOAL BAMBOO BREAD @ BREADTOP, MELBOURNE



While browsing through the shops along the stretch of Victoria Street, I came across this piece of oddity. Must confess that I'm not exactly a cakes and pastries person, so I'm not aware of its availability in Kuching.

According to the shop's write-up on what it is: "Bamboo charcoal is produced with 4 years old fully grown bamboo tree. Rich in vitamin C, iron and phosphorous. Ease digestive system, helps discharging impurities and unhealthy substances from stomach." So this bread is some kind of "O"-Kay (Black Chicken) of the bread family in terms of its beneficial properties.

Once one gets pass its yucky stage of its apperance, it tastes every bit like ordinary garlic bread, as it is prepared here. I don't feel any of its effect as claimed; probably I haven't consumed enough.

*Check out the CHARCOAL BAMBOO ROULEAU by Big Boys Oven.

P.S. according to Bake with L.O.V.E. this bread is available at Kuching's Taka.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

LUNCH @ MINH XUONG CHINESE RESTAURANT, VICTORIA ST., RICHMOND, MELBOURNE

All The Roast On Display

This is my first morning in the city, having arrived late last night, or early hour of the day. My uncle Tony, somehow knew I am in town, brought us out for lunch at the Vietnamese district, which is a short drive from the place I'm staying.

By the look of its name, it's a Canto-Viet, with Cantonese speaking chefs, and waitresses of all Chinese flavors. Even by the setup of its condiment receptacles, you know it's not HK's Cantonese by it missing chilli oil. When we tried: "Cao-Mi-Ti" on the Hainanese waitress, she drew a blank. Probably it was not her kind of colloquial. Lucky for us, it didn't sound anything offensive. to her.

Beef Fried Koay-Teow

As opposed to Sarawak's eatery, beef has more prominence here; thus the fried rice noodle with beef. It's tender and nice, not artificially tenderized with bicarbonate soda or baking powder. The nice thing about the duck here is that it's plum and yet lean; the only missing bit is the chilli oil.

Roast Duck

We have a fried rice to go with the rest of food. Notice the presence of bean sprouts in the rice. It's my observance since my days at Sydney U's International House, the assistant chef, a Vietnamese, once cooked us meat porridge for breakfast; and at the bottom of the bowl, there were raw bean sprouts, which was cooked by the heat of the hot porridge. Strange, but added a whole new texture to the familiar dish.

Fried Rice

The last dish is the deep-fried calamari; plain flour with 5-spice mix coated - as way as Kylie Kwong did it. It tastes like chicken, if given a blind-test. The bill comes to $35, to which Tony remarks as "cheap".

Deep-Fried Calamari

A Brief Tour Of The Asian Street

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SLOW-POT CHICKEN SOUP WITH CHINESE WINE


This is another of those no frills recipe, where you can just dump everything in the slow crock pot and let it do its time. It's one of those Ready-When-You-Come-Home dish: Prepare before going to the office, and it will be cooked by the time you get home for dinner. The 8 hours or so simmering time will make the chicken to flimsy - even the bones will fall into pieces. However, its soup is something to behold. I guess, that's the trade-off. The low heat simmer brings out a clear rich coloured soup.

However, if you want a firmer meat, 2 hours simmering will do (first on 'high', and then 'auto' when it comes to a boil). But then you won't achieve that flavourful "sweetness" in the soup.


INGREDIENTS

2 Chicken Tights

1 Knob Ginger (10 gm.)
6 Red Dates

12 Wolfberries

8 Fresh Shitake Mushrooms
3 Tbsp. Sesame Oil

¼ Cup White Chinese Wine
¼ Cup Red Chinese Wine
Salt & Hot Boiled Water







METHOD


Slice a fairly large knob of ginger into thin slices.

Set the pot to 'high'. Pour in the sesame seed oil. Spread out sliced ginger. Let the ginger and the oil emit their fragrance.

This step (bringing out the fragrance) can be omitted if you want.

In the meantime, blanch the chicken thighs over high heat for a minute or so. Remove and rinse them with running water.

Once the oil is fragrant, pour in the white wine...

... followed by the blanched chicken.

Lay down the wolfberries and dates.

Slice the mushrooms into halves or quarters and pile them on top of the chicken.

Leave about ¼ space of the pot free to prevent any liquid overflow.

Pour in enough boiled hot water, just to cover the top.

Add in 2 tsp. of salt and mix well. Cover and set the pot to "low" for about 8 hours.

After the cooking period, skim off excess oil residue on top of the soup. Then add in the Chinese red wine. Put in additional salt if required.

Carefully remove the chicken, let it cool a bit before chopping it into bite sizes with a sharp cleaver.

Have it as a soup, or boil some thread noodle (Mee Sua) to go with it.





Monday, May 25, 2009

BRUNCH @ GOON WAH RESTAURANT, G13, JLN. 3/115C, BLOCK KP2, TAMAN KUCHAI JAYA, OFF KUCHAI LAMA

Fish Head Beehoon

Hardly an hour after breakfast, we were here for brunch. Someone was here to fetch me to the country... Sierramas, Sungei Buloh; away from civilization!

This isn't far from where we had breakfast earlier. So there were four of us now to tuck in whatever this establishment had to offer. It's famous for is fish head soup beehoon (vermicelli). Like the signboard above the shop suggests, I think it comes with a dash of XO liquor on request. We had a claypot of its signature dish. Beside fish head, there were preserved mustard green and tomato; and the best part of all was its soup - unadultarated 100% pure white fish stock, without the milk.

Claypot Lau-Su Fang (Mouse Rice Noodle)

Another of its noodle we had was teardrop-shaped rice noodle. It came in a hot plate, topped with minced pork paste and garnished with fried dried shrimps and green onions. One has to toss the noodle to mix and blend in the ingredients. The whole dish came off as semi-poached and fried, as the noodle was seared by the hot plate - a different feel in the mouth!

Grilled Chicken Wings With Sweet Sauce

The other 2 side dishes we tried were the grilled chicken wings, and fried pig's stomach. All the dishes were wonderful in their own right, each teased the palate in a different kind of way. Inclusive of drinks, the whole meal came to RM57.

By the time we were through, it was noon time; the waitresses started putting the "reserved" signs on our table, and others too. It showed how popular the place was, with people placing reservation for their lunch at this place. Friendly and knowledgable staff, who certainly know their food to make everyone placid customers.

Fried Pig's Stomach with Fried Dried Shrimps Bits

Friday, May 22, 2009

BREAKFAST @ RESTORAN LEONG WEI, KUCHAI ENTREPRENEURS PARK, KUACHAI LAMA, KUALA LUMPUR

Bak-Muay With Salted Egg

It's the morning after in KL, and my friend drove across the highway from his apartment to row of shop houses off the highway. This is his usual morning hop for breakfast; it's a busy roadside eatery, with food stalls lining up the walkway opposite the coffee shop, or so-called restaurant.

He ordered his usual morning grub of meat porridge with salted egg (above) to be shared between 2 of us. When the order came, he requested for an extra bowl and bowl, the lady replied : "Take them yourself!"; that was a friendly banter. As I was taking photos of the porridge, the lady was saying in Cantonese about something her stall was renowned for; then "Plonk!" a pile of fried pig's intestine landed on top of the porridge. I wanted to pay for them, but she uttered: "Um-Sai!" Such is the power the camera welds, sometimes it has its adverse effect, of which I won't give free publicity to.

Luckily I take the fried intestine, of which my friend doesn't. Well, well, you learn something new everyday... salted egg in porridge and fried intestine! The intestine was fried to a crisp, and it tasted in texture a bit like U-Cha-Kueh/U-Tiao (fried fritters). The porridge was Cantonese Chook. Nice!

With Addition Of Fried Pig's Intestine

From another stall, 2 variations of Chun-Fun were ordered: curry and the classic, which is different from the Hong Kong style. They are plain rice noodle with different toppings of sauce and a sprinkle of fried tiny dried shrimps. Basically, it's like having rice noodle with light curry, and shrimp paste sauce.

Curry Chun-Fun

Chun-Fun With Sweet Sauce

Also from the same stall, we had this Yong Tofu; it's a variety of steamed/deep-fried stuffed fish paste combo. What's there not to like?

Yong Tofu

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BBQ MEAT @ KEDAI KOPI & MAKANAN MOOI MOOI, JALAN RUKUN 6, SUNGAI BESI, KUALA LUMPUR

Roast Pork Belly

I don't know if I've got the locality of the state correct or not, but I hear my friend mentioning going to KiLumpor from here, which is about a 15 minutes drive from here; so I assume this is not within the vicinity of the city's boundary.

Anyway, I'm putting up with my Friend, Foo, who lives and works at this place. So lunch is just around the corner (actually we have to take the car), within a housing estate. He describes this place as having good roast pork belly, and popular with the crowd.

Char-Sui (BBQ Pork) With Chicken

The place is filled with the lunch crowd , alright. We have an order of roast pork belly, with BBQ pork and chicken (I think, it's poached). I reckon they have a price coding for the plates, because they come in separate (half-filled) plates, which make it look pathetic. The roast pork belly is indeed crisply good; the BBQ pork above average, and the chicken is forgettable (hey, I can't remember whether it's poached or roasted). I don't know the price paid for the meal.

I remember remarking to this friend once that operating a food stall in the city is a guaranteed success due the huge influx of customers. But it ain't necessarily so, he says.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

THAI MANI CHAI SOUP



Of late, Sibu's farmers have been quite adventurous with the new varieties of vegetables that been cultivated. This is a new breed of Mani Chai/Cangkuk Manis (Sauropus androgynous) from Thailand, via Sabah, I was told. Unlike the local type, its leaves are more refined and soft. Its stem within the leaf's area can be eaten; so one needs only pluck the leaves instead of 'grab-and-pull' method used on the local variety. Taste-wise, it's a cross between spinach and watercress minus the bitter taste. That's why it's called a sweet vegetable.

I bought a bunch (top right) on the recent trip to Sibu. And it's only RM1, which is good for 2 cooking potions. And what do you know? The lady selling it calls it: Muck-Chiew (Foochow: "Eye") Chai. You can use spinach as substitute for this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 Clove Garlic (Minced)

1 Tbsp. Dried Anchovies

1.5 Liter Water

1 Tbsp. Chicken Granulate

1 Century Egg (Chopped)


150 gm. Thai Mani Chai


1 Egg White


Salt



* Spinach can be used as substitute instead.


METHOD
Note: Skip the first 3 steps if you use chicken or pork stock instead.
Heat up 3 tbsp. of oil, sizzle the anchovies first, then followed by garlic. As they start to turn golden in color...

... pour in 1.5 liter of boiled water into the mix. When it comes to a boil...

... dump the 'plucked' leaves into the boiling liquid. Do not cover!

Immediately sprinkle chicken granulate on the soup...

... followed by the chopped century egg. The soup needs to be boiled for about 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust taste with salt.

Test the vegetable for doneness according to your preference.

Finally swirl the egg white around, and turn off the heat. All Done!

Alternatively, you can turn off the heat first before pouring in the egg white in circular motion...

... you'll have a beautiful egg flower soup.





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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