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Sunday Night Roast

Opps, it’s almost another Sunday and we haven’t posted what we had LAST Sunday! I think we got totally distracted by the daily screenings of Masterchef…YES! I am using Masterchef as an excuse! If you watched it…how good was yesterday’s episode? It was their time to showcase what they could cook and most of the dishes were so different – all of them looked amazing and a far cry from that one episode of Masterchef USA that I watched (terrible plating). I thought Billy’s (Asian, from Sydney, food blogger, designer) twice cooked pork belly looked great – and was so happy that they posted his recipe up online! I think we will definitely try it one day…

Coincidentally, we Esthey cooked pork last Sunday too…once again, Esthey was the Iron Chef who cooked most of the dishes that made up our Sunday night feast. We had less people this week – many were away, some were sick etc, but the amount of food remained the same – funny that huh.

Sunday Night feast BBQ Pork Roast Pork Tofu CAbbage soup

Esthey made Roast Pork – and this is what I gleamed from Sammy was the process; it was marinated with five spice powder and the skin part was covered in salt (for the crackle); people sometimes boil the pork first before putting it in the oven. When it came out, the skin wasn’t that crispy so what Esthey did was pan fry the skin a little to crisp it up a bit. The result? Crunchy pork crackle with tender meat…yummm…definitely a contender to Chinese Restaurants that’s for sure!

Roast Pork Siu Yok

She also made BBQ Pork, or also known as Char siu (can anyone guess the theme by now?) – which she marinated with Char Siu sauce and put into the oven – we realized that it’s better to use the Pork Belly for Char Siu because it makes it more tender. And would be better to have 2 ovens, because of the different temperatures that the meat has to be cooked. No matter – still tasted good anyway! Just dry in some bits, but someone (DEB!) happily picked on the dry bits :)

Esthey also made (along with the two pork dishes), a HUGE pot of soup, a tofu dish and a token vegetable dish in the form of cabbage. Phew, I feel tired just talking about it, let alone cooking it – so well done Esthey, you are indeed a Kitchen Superwoman! :)

Tofu with Coriander

Meanwhile, Sammy used leftover green apples to make a quick apple crumble…was delish! :) You can find a recipe of apple crumble here.

 Apples with cinnamon before the crumble

It is a great dessert to make, especially when you are short of time and have leftover apples, pears or rhubarb lying around :) We added some leftover oats that were meant for a souffle, which was great because it added that crunch to the crumble layer. And of course, we topped it off with vanilla ice-cream – match made in heaven!

Apple Crumble with Ice-Cream

And then we sat down to our meal whilst we watched the premiere of Masterchef Australia (Season 3)..which is shaping up to be quite an interesting season – what with a middle-aged flirty mum, a gorgeously cute 62 year old man, not one but 2 food bloggers, and the rise of another Jono…! An interesting mix of people, and very entertaining to watch at this stage…and all in Week 1! Can’t wait for Masterclass tonight..this is where we pick up a lot of handy tips in the kitchen…who’s watching with me?

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Malaysian, Sunday Night Theme

 

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A childhood favourite – Loh Mai Gai (糯米鸡)

Growing up in KL, Malaysia, I have fond memories of the Pau man coming by our house in a bike, loaded with steamed buns (pau) with all sorts of fillings. Mum would often buy us some for our breakfast the following day, and she’d ask us what we want. I usually have moods for what I feel like having the next day, and some times, I choose to have the loh mai gai, which is glutinous rice with chicken.

We can’t find much of it here in Perth, I’ve only seen it at one of the stalls down at Spencer Village. The “loh mai gai” we get here is at the dim sum places, and its the Hong Kong (i guess) style, which comes wrapped in lotus leaf. So, when I felt like having some good old, brown coloured, non lotus leaf wrapped loh mai gai, I said to myself “I should try and make it myself”. So off I went to Dr. G, and I found some recipes. (I usually look up a few to compare ingredients, processes etc. and choose 1 that I can use/adapt).

So I found a recipe from Pig Pigs Corner. I used it as a reference for rice:water ratio, and also the steps involved. The others (ie amount of ingredients, sauces, flavorings etc.) was done pretty much by estimation and “feel” :P

So 1st step was to prepare the ingredients. Soak the glutinous rice and the chinese mushrooms overnight. Also, you can marinade the chicken overnight, but I just let mine sit for about an hour. Marinate the chicken with garlic, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, soy sauce and some soy sauce (basically the same as the rice seasoning)

The next day, put the seasoning for the rice – chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, sasame oil and dark soy sauce into a bowl with the rice and let it steam for about 15 minutes.

glutinous rice loh mai gai

When the liquid is all soaked up by the rice, place the chinese sausages (lap cheong) on top of the rice, and let it steam for another 20 minutes or so (or until the rice is cooked).

Loh Mai Gai Lap Cheong Chinese Sausage

While the rice is steaming, prepare the other ingredients. Slice the mushrooms and fry them off. Then fry the chicken until its cooked through.

Loh Mai Gai Stir fry chicken and mushrooms

After the rice is done, remove it from the steamer. Then its time to assemble it. start with greasing some rice bowls (we didn’t have many, so I used ramekins instead). Then divide up the chicken, mushrooms and sliced lap cheong among the bowls. Then pack in the cooked glutinous rice and put it back into the steamer for another 30 minutes.

Assembling loh mai gai sticky rice

Steam Loh mai gai

When its done, overturn it onto a plate, and voila! utterly satisfying! :D A bit more laborious than the usual loh mai fan (糯米饭) I make, but oh so satisfying! :)

Glutinous chicken rice loh mai gai

(NB: Excuse the slightly grainy iPod pics, as our resident photographer was a bit busy last weekend!)

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Malaysian, Savoury

 

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BFTP: Our Typical Christmas Family Feast

I call this the Blast from the Past Series – these series will welcome you into our world before we started venturing into the world of blogging. These can be our past attempts, our journeys of food delights back home in Malaysia or travels overseas done pre-2011.

For this series, let me bring you back to Christmas 2010 (I know, it’s not that much of a blast – but the time machine lacks some steam at this point :P PUN totally intended!).

Let me tell you a little of our Christmas tradition, we always meet on Christmas Eve together as an extended family (I know, not on Christmas day? – Shock horror!) and each family we will bring a dish to share, most of the time we have Chinese food as a get together rather than the traditional Christmas ham etc. We did try buying a turkey once, but it got too expensive…plus it was a bit dry, which was probably why I don’t even eat much turkey now.

We usually try and make our way home on Christmas and New Year, and last year we did along with all our goodies.

Biscuits Snacks Chinese-New-Year-Goodies

I always look forward to going home firstly to see dad, mum, becks, my cousins, aunts and uncles, but secondly, to eat all the food! I usually have a list of things that I want to eat once we touch down (MAMAK! HOKKIEN MEE!) and of course my parent’s delicious homecook food. It’s always the meals that are cooked from the heart that tastes the best.

So this year, all the family came together again. We had a huge debate about what food we will have for Christmas. Some of us wanted to deviate from the usual and not have Chinese but instead have a western meal. But SOME members of the family threaten to boycott our dinner if they didn’t have roast pork!! The nerve!! So we caved, and last year, we had roast pork (as demanded).

Mum wanted to cook prawns but we couldn’t find good, large prawns anywhere, so she came up with Plan B and made Asparagus wrapped in bacon. All she did was wrap the bacon around the asparagus and then it was drizzled with olive oil. It turned out rather good! Considering that was not her original plan!

Asparagus with Bacon

Then there was steamed chicken and fish…

Chinese-dinner fried-fish steam-chicken

…vegetables

Baby-Buk-Choy Stir-Fry

…and the pride of the table…the ROAST PORK…! Yummm….! I guess it was worth missing out on the Western Christmas meal!

Roast-Pork crispy-skin-pork

This was what we ate that night, I have to tip my hats to all the chefs – I reckon I am so privileged to have such wonderful cooks in our family. Every dish was yummy and like all our Christmas meals we were FULLY satisfied…aahh…to taste that roast pork again…

Chinese Christmas

Wow, that brought me on a bit of a salivating journey back home…just looking at the pictures tickled my senses! I can’t wait for the next Christmas! What will it be? Western or Eastern? I reckon we will always lose out to that roast pork.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas-Cookies

Ok, back to reality now….It is April Fool’s day for a reason!

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Blast from the Past, Malaysian

 

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Sunday Night Theme: Phrata & Curry Night

Every Sunday night, a group of us get together to have dinner, and when we do, we try and cook a themed dinner just so we get to eat a variety of food. This week was Phrata and Curry Night, or better known to Malaysians as Roti Canai night (yea, i know, I don’t know when did I start to talk like a Singaporean!). We’ve done this theme before but it was a rerun special because it was Lisa’s ‘surprise’ birthday party. I say it in inverted commas because someone in our group keeps letting the cat out of the bag…

We brought Vegetable Curry (not made from scratch unfortunately!), we didn’t really have the time. So we cheated a little by using Tean’s Gourmet Vegetable Curry paste – they are an AWESOME brand of asian sauces and we keep buying them because they are the closest to the real thing back home. We’ve tried the Prawn Mee and Curry Laksa – and its yummmm.

20110329-122444.jpg

So with this dish, all Sammy did was throw in the vegetables (mixture of cabbage, lady fingers, brinjal, carrot etc), a few curry leaves and the paste – and leave it to boil – and voila!

There were other curries that night as well – Green curry, chicken curry and Esthey’s AWESOME rendang. From memory, she used a packet sauce as well, but she cooked it in a pressure cooker – and it was soooo tender and flavoursome! Ben & Lindz bought Garlic Naan and Butter Chicken from Gopi Curry Leaf  (we found out about Gopi through TFP, and didn’t realize such a great eatery was so close to us! )Plus we did fry up a packet of Phratas (those that you get in the frozen aisle of your local oriental shop). Needless to say there was a lot of food that night!

This was my plate of food – and yes, I was greedy, but the food was good! I had a bit of everything…and went back to the Garlic Naan for seconds…and thirds…

Just something random but we were drinking Cruisers that night, and guess what we found?

(You probably can’t see it that clearly, but it reads “What was Lindsay Lohan’s first movie?” If you were born in my generation you would probably know its The Parent Trap.) Since when did they have Odd Spots on Cruiser bottle caps?? Brings back images of Libra pads and the little “aha” moments in the toilet…but I digress.. :P

We bought a demanded requested cake from Lisa from Francois (cake shop in Leederville), the Chocolate Truffle Cake. Such a beautifully decorated cake! If only I had the patience!! It is, I think,  one of the best chocolate mousse cakes I’ve tasted – It has 3 layers – chocolate mousse, covered by a layer of chocolate fudge on top of a layer of chocolate filled pralines. I like the different textures of the cake, from the crunch of the pralines and the richness and smoothness of the mousse – if only it wasn’t too rich I could have eaten more!

It was a great night, was stuffed to the brim, as like all our Sunday Night Themes :) But it was special because it was Lisa’s birthday (Happy Birthday SHISTA!!)…hope you had a great day Lisa, and even though our surprises didn’t really turn out like we planned, it was fun and we hope you liked it! And big shout out to Esthey for organizing and running around and doing everything!! :)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Malaysian, Savoury, Sunday Night Theme

 

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