Archives for category: Imperfect Eats

Read in The Star Online today about Martha Stewart’s Tuesday show on M’sian cuisine this week (yea, I don’t watch Martha Stewart, so I didn’t know) and about Fatty Crab (not THE Fatty Crab in PJ – another rare instance where a gwailo rips off of a Malaysian institution) in the meat-packing district of New York city.

Pretty cool, huh? Should read the review where the writer talks about kangkung and belacan. Excerpting:

“Malaysian food, apparently, makes excellent bar snacks. A few items seem designed to accompany an ice-cold beer or two (there are several offbeat choices on the mostly Asian list, including Hitachino’s new Ginger). Innocuous green mango slices, arranged like Lincoln Logs, turn lethal as soon as they’re dipped into the accompanying bowl of chili, sugar, and salt. Pickles Raja Chulan (julienned carrots, cucumber slices, chopped long beans) combine various flavors and textures on a sliding heat scale. Continuing the pickle theme—the sour crunch seems to be a popular Malaysian motif—watermelon pickle and crispy pork combines cubes of the sweet fruit and its rind with aromatic basil leaves, scallions, and crispy, salty, lardon-like pork nuggets.”

Pickles Raja Chulan *lol*

It takes a gwailo to introduce proper Malaysian food to Americans, in the trendiest city in the world!

Tomatoes from the US

These must be the best grape tomatoes in the world. We went to Costco today (Makro-type wholesale hypermart) and I picked a box of these up, and man, did I score.

Hey, I love my tomatoes. And you know what? They’re sweeter than the grapes I bought, from the same place! Am definitely going back for more.

Yum yum.

This is a simple form of chicken + veggie mash you can make for your infants over eight months old. I am feeding this to Sky, who’s ten months now (corrected age).

Ingredients (makes about four meals):
Two carrots
One potato
One tomato
One drumstick with thigh
Cheese stick (for kids) – I usually use Arla Kids Sticks

Method:
1. Dice up all the veggies and put them together with washed drumstick/thigh on a plate.
2. Heat up water in a wok and steam everything for about 20 mins. Make sure chicken is well cooked.
3. Throw everything, including the juices resulting from the steam, into a blender. Toss in cheese stick and blend to a mash.

To store:
1. Freeze mash in ice tray. I recommend those flexi rubber trays from Ikea because when the mash IS frozen, you will need to ‘fold’ the tray and water the bottom part of the tray to make it easier for the cubes to dislodge.
2. When frozen hard (usually overnight), remove mash cubes and place in zipper freezer bags. Can keep for one month (mark date of production on your bags if you want, although they usually finish in a few days!).
3. Simply heat up using a microwave for 1.5-2 minutes before serving. Make sure to let it cool down!

Note: If you have a toddler, like I do (three years old), you can steam more and then put aside one drumstick and some of the veggies, cut into smaller pieces, to go with rice. The soup from the veggies and chicken is delicious with rice and a bit of soy sauce. This is great since you can make one meal for both kids!

I made this for my husband, who loves all these sweet, salty and sour stuff all the time. You will need a blender that can churn ice for this.

Ingredients (serves 2-4):
16 X limes
Half a cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
Lots and LOTS of ice cubes

Method:
1. Cut and squeeze limes into a container. Remember to take out the seeds later. Easier to squeeze quarters instead of halves.
2. Toss four quarters of a lime (for the skin) into the lime squeeze.
3. Toss in sugar, salt and ice
4. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, add just a bit of water, not too much, or it will become runny.

Optional: Blend with vodka and you get ice-blended margarita!

Inspired by my experiment making bread and butter pudding last Sunday, I’m gonna try to emulate a favourite dish The Hubby likes to order at a restaurant downstairs of our condo. Called Thai Chicken rice, it tastes and looks nothing like it sounds. It’s not sweet or sour. It’s spicy, made probably with oyster sauce, garlic and chinese cabbage (wong ah bak).

I’ll post the recipe tonight if it turns out good.

As for the B&BP, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (4-6 people):

Four slices of white bread, cut half diagonally

Half a slab of butter

Sugar – half a cup

Cinnamon powder – 2 teaspoons

Three eggs

Milk – 1.5 cups

How to prepare:

1. Mix cinnamon with sugar in a bowl and put aside

2. Butter generously on ONE side of the bread. Place bread slices with cut side facing the middle in a round baking tray, creating a circle (pointy side facing the wall of the tray). buttered side facing upwards.

2. As you place the bread, sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix on buttered side as you go along.

3. Mix eggs and milk in a bowl. Pour over the bread and let it soak for 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes or until upper crust is golden brown. Best when eaten slightly warm.

Optional: Vanilla cream sauce

In a saucepan, heat up a cup of milk, one beaten egg, half a cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of wheat flour. Bring the mixture to a boil and toss in a small teaspoon of vanilla essence. Serve warm with pudding.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Turns out my Thai Chicken Rice was a moderate success. I was only missing one ingredient (the one ingredient that made it Thai!): Fish sauce!

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

Chicken fillet – cut to stir-fry portions

Wong Ah Bak – 1-2lbs, depending on how much cabbage you like

Oyster sauce

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Salt

Pepper

Fish sauce

Cilipadi (lots, chopped)

Cooking oil

How to prepare:

Heat wok and

Each time I take the train to KLCC, the moment I am near the entrance, I am assailed by the delicious smells of Rotiboy’s famous, well, Rotiboy. About a month or two old at KLCC, this devilishly simple yet seductive food of the masses manages to ruin my low carbo diet each and every time. And if the smells don’t draw you, the perpetual queues will.

Today, I bought ten just to give out to my hubby’s colleagues, RM1.50 buns of pure ecstacy.

But the alluring thing about Rotiboy goes beyond its culinary delights. As mentioned, it’s the sheer simplicity of this generous yet humble serving of flour, butter, caramel and what I suspect is a bit of coffee powder. The perfect blend of crispy on the outside, soft and warm in the inside, the aromatic sweet smell, coupled with the savoury baked taste – you must have eaten a LOT of bread and butter to come up with this potent concoction that’s seduced so many Malaysian commuters. Whoever’s behind this, kudos! You deserve every bite of your success!

For those who have yet to experience the simple yet wonderful Rotiboy, drop by at KLCC’s LRT entrance, Wisma Central or Low Yat Plaza. As for the directions – your nose will guide you!

My mother-in-law whipped up this heavenly stew yesterday because I’m on a high-protein diet. I tell you – it was just…awesome! FOr diet food, it’s just super. Here’s the recipe for those of you who want to keep the carbs off and still have a good meal:

Ingredients:

Chicken drumsticks, skinned
Carrots, sliced thickly
Celery, broken into short sticks
Bombay onions, diced
Tomatos, halved
Soy sauce
Pepper

Marinate the drumsticks with a dash of soysauce and pepper. Leave for 15 minutes. Using a good stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom, throw in the chicken and onions WITHOUT any oil. When the onions are nicely browned, throw in the tomatoes. You’ll see the juices from the chicken and tomatoes surfacing and thus giving your cooking dish a nice, wet base. When the chicken is cooked (test with a fork), throw in the rest of the veggies and stew for 15 minutes.

It’s important to remember the stainless steel pot with the inch-thick bottom because if you use, say, a claypot or an aluminium pot, the juices will all be absorbed into the pot – not the point of a good stew. The bottom has to be thick to retain heat even after you’ve stopped heating. And DON’T add any water.

That’s it. Enjoy!