Saturday, August 29, 2009

SWEET LONGEVITY NOODLE


This is my third year participating in Babe's Merdeka Open House. Although this is not your everyday sweet; but I think it's sweet enough for someone celebrating its 52nd. big one!

It has been a tradition to offer the elders of the household (Hokkien) on their birthdays Sweet Longevity Tread Noodle or T'nee Mee Sua. I remember, this was done during my grandparents' time. It's a tea ceremony of sorts where the daughter-in-law has to make and offer the sweet noodle to the birthday in-laws, first thing in the morning.

The preparation is simplicity in itself that consists of making T'ng Cui (Tong Sui or literally sweet water) with tread noodle and hard-boiled egg. The implication of the whole mumble jumble is never explained... I guess, by offering sweet noodle to the in-laws one gets whispers of sweet nothings in return. Well, my mum says our generation is lucky to be spared the agony of the ritual... I think I'll exercise the option when my time comes - just to keep the tradition going. So, beware... beware, whoever you may be! Muahahahahaha!!!!

METHOD

EGGS PREPARATION: Put eggs in container of water, and let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes after the water comes to a boil.

Lightly tap the eggs to crack the shells, if you want a marble-effect on the eggs.

Otherwise, sprinkle some red coloring powder on the water to color the egg. Let the color permeates the shells. Red is the celebratory color associated with joyous occasions.


SUGAR WATER PREPARATION: The ratio of sugar to water I use is 1 to 3. Adjust to the sweetness of your liking. It's not syrup, so it's not thick. The red dates is optional. The Pandan leaves infuses the water with a fragrant aroma. Boil the liquid to dissolve the sugar. Let the Pandang leaves sit in the liquid until cool. Served warm or chilled in the fridge until ready to be used.


NOODLE PREPARATION:
Bring water to a boil. Throw in a bundle of thread-noodle. Use the chopsticks to loosen the noodle. In a minute of so, when the noodle floats to the top, it's done. Scoop out.

Rinse the noodle under tap water to cool and then bath it in iced water.

The noodle is usually taken warm. I've chosen to do a cold noodle instead, and have the T'ng Cui chilled. Ignore this step if you want to have it warm.


ASSEMBLY: Put the noodle into a bowl; pour syrup over it to cover; drop the shelled egg, and...

... and Voilà!

Friday, August 28, 2009

BREAKFAST @ C121, STUTONG, KUCHING

Penang Shrimp Noodle

For those who are quick to sharpen their knives and take a stab at me for not reviewing their favorite haunt (or not), here it is - all in technicolor too! This is the coffee shop next to the one I reviewed previously. It occupies 2 shops, and is one of the best laid out eateries I have yet seen; No congestion of table arrangement, and the inside is well ventilated with ample seating, with a fung-shui water feature smacked in the middle.


The first stall one encounters upon entering from the corner features Penang food, ranging from Penang Laksa to Yam Rice. Certain individuals would like to stress that this is an authentic Penang stall, and whether the Penangnites can cook or not is another matter. Nitty-gritty aside, the Shrimp noodle we ordered certainly looks nice and colorful. But a glance at the shrimps one gets a hint of what's to come: they are not your usual sea variety, they are like those dark shelled ones, which have coarser texture, and also the stock made from its shells emits a strong crustacean tang of not the favourable kind. Furthermore, the stock is a bit thin to prop up its failing.

Penang Char Kueh-Teow

Its Char Kueh-Teow comes with shrimps only, and not the cockles, which is fine by me 'cos I do avoid them if I can help it. Great tasting, and this is one dish I can vouch for its authenticity as truly Penangnite in nature: minuscule in its portion. Incidentally, its stall at Sing Garden is no longer there.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle

The Taiwanese stall offers a mishmash of goodies, but on this day I tend to stick to tried and tested: Beef noodle soup and the tiny pan-fried pork mix wrap of Gozoya. What's there not to like of those chunky beef and its glorious soup?

Wok-Tie (Pot Stickers)

The tiny pop-in-mouth Wok-Tie has the same effect as the Dim-Sum below... they are finger food for the bottomless stomach - they never seem to fill you up until you've had enough.

Fish Paste Sio-Bee & Har-Gow (If You Can Find The Shrimp)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DINNER @ GOLF TERRACE, KGS, PETRA JAYA, KUCHING

Fried Venison

There a little alfresco restaurant by the side of the main building of the club. It serves almost identical food as its other outlets, as the food can be ordered interchangeably. So we had a bit of Chinese with Japanese thrown in. It wasn't a busy night and the food and service was pretty prompt.

Vegetarian Vegetable

Fried Tofu With Garlic

Oat-Coated Shrimps

Poached Kailan

Sushi Platter

It's been a while since this meal was taken; so I don't know the present status for non-members to dine in the club's facilities on their own without members bringing them in. At worst, you'll be denied any service, but still you'll enjoy a drive out in the country, if 2 miles out of town is considered out in the country.


Monday, August 24, 2009

DINNER @ TEN-ICHI, JALAN CHAN BEE KIEW, KUCHING

Alaska Maki

For sheer visual culinary delights, a visit to a Japanese restaurant always rises to the occasion. Never mind that most of the food that comes out of the kitchen sounds like sushi, shashimi or wasabi; the presentation bows you over before the food attacks the other senses.

Izakaya Set A

It's been ages since I've stepped into this restaurant, although smacks of its food have been consumed through its auxiliary outlets like its flagship Lok Tien or its Thai restaurant. So after a long absence, this visit proves to be quite a respite - just like taking a sip of tea to wash the palate, and then a bite of pickled ginger to awake those dormant senses.

Niku Tataki

While treading on familiar ground with the bento, raw fish and rice wrap, the above item and the one below is a refreshing change; its rare meat and the duo of a seafood combo is a bit of deviation from the norm.

Nutae Moriawase

Matsuri Sushi On A Boat

For those who'd rather stick to Sushi King in case of making a boo-boo when ordering, rest assured that there are pictorials to guide you through; it's as simple as A-B-C. And its prices are not that prohibitive.

Friday, August 21, 2009

ZI-CHAR @ MEKONG CAFÉ, LORONG 1, JALAN SONG THIAN CHEOK , KUCHING

Kow Bak (Steamed Pork Belly) with Yam

If you fancy taking a slow boat up the Mekong, this vessel may provide you the culinary adventure. These couple of Low-Tau, who used to run a zi-char at Kenyalang Park with the son, venture out on their own to their present spot, which is near their original home turf. This coffee shop is opposite the Heritage restaurant.

Mani Chai with Egg

The husband does the order taking while the wife takes reign of the wok in the tiny back kitchen. Unlike at the old place, fast and efficient service was the order of the day. Alas, no more... age probably has taken its toll. A seemingly simple order takes ages to arrive, and the place is all that crowded.

Home-Made Fish Ball Soup

Like most Zi-Char, you get the standard meat and vegetable choice of food, and then some more; for one, the Kow-Bak (Braised Pork Belly) is one of its speciality, and its own-made fish balls deserves a mention. And its price is a winning factor. One can't fault the food that comes with a RM33 price tag. The only price to pay is having to put up with the wait.

Fried Beansprout With Salted Fish




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CURRY (BIG-HEAD) SHRIMPS



This is another twist with the curry recipe. Like most ethnic cooking, it's a rework on the basic ingredients with minor tweaks here and there. The basic curry paste is there. The rempah is the spice of life to this dish; it's a mixture of spices for seafood. One can have the Indian spice guy concoct the mix, or have one bought from the supermarket in powder form.

Most of the ingredients used have been mentioned before. So follow the links to get the most from this recipe.




INGREDIENTS
6 Medium Shrimps
Red Curry Paste
Seafood Rumpah
2 Medium Onions Wedges
Coconut Milk





METHOD


Prepare the curry paste: Cut all the paste ingredients into small pieces before blending them.

The finished paste with extra ground dried chilli (left) for heat and color.
Fry the paste with 3 tbsp. bof cooking oil until fragrant and brillant amber color.

All in about 1 - 2 tbsp. of rempah powder into the mix. If you unsure on the quality of the rempah, add a bit first as some of them are strong flavoured.

If the paste seems a bit dry, pour a few spoonful of 1st. pressed coconut milk into it to moisten.

Next the cut onions goes in. Coat well with the paste. Sweat them for a while.

Then pour in the 2nd. pressed coconut milk. Let it simmer a while.

Add in the shrimps, submerge and coat with the curry sauce.

Add water if the sauce is on the thick side. Season with salt and sugar. Finally pour in the rest of the 1st pressed coconut milk.

When the sauce come to a final boil, make farther adjustment to its taste. Ready to serve.





Monday, August 17, 2009

BREAKFAST @ LEE COFFEE SHOP, STUTONG, KUCHING


I intended to go to C121, but after giving it a quick browse over, it seemed like a rehash of the food at Food Avenue; thus I "pass" and moved on to this one next door, which is an 'ordinary' coffee shop compared to the spiffed up coffee shop next door. But judging from the size of the crowd, it has its fair share of customers too. Mind you these 2 cafes are located way off the main road, and at the back lanes which no one would give a second glance.

Apart from the usual Laska and Kolo Mee, the stall with a gimmicky named noodle caught my eyes, and also the Char Kueh
at the back of the shop was another incentive.

The slight hue of green noodle below is the Pandan Noodle. It's made with extract from Pandan leaves. It has a slight hint of the Pandan aroma. Everything else tastes like a normal Kolo Mee.



Pandan Noodle

Below is the Gong Bao Noodle from the same stall. It comes in dark colored noodle like the dark soy Kampua. But a bite into it reveals its true color... it's a black vinegar concoction, but not overtly sour like the one I had at Meng Café. The only missing is an accompanying bowl of soup, so we ordered a bowl of mixed balls (fish, shrimp & pork) soup [above] from the next stall that specializes in assorted balls soup.

Pandan Noodle

Char Kueh

The Char Kueh (Fried Radish Cake) wasn't that bad... at least it came in chunky form.

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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