Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chinese Churros and Kopi-O




Chinese Churros aka 'Yau Char Kwai' and Kopi-O!  This breakfast or snack has been in existence ever since I was little.  Freshly fried churros dip into 2 in 1 Kopi-O is a perfect combination for a refreshing and hearty breakfast.  It has to pair with kopi-O, which incidentally is coffee with sugar and Ipoh is famous for its coffee and white coffee.   In case you are wondering, 'kopi' is the Malay word for coffee, and just 'kopi' without the 'O' is coffee with condense milk.  So, there's a difference.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Braised Pork Belly with Arrowroot/Arrowhead


Taking advantage of the price war  between the various supermarkets for arrowroot/arrowhead, I bought some and whipped up this dish  ........  Braised Pork Belly with Arrowroot/Arrowhead.  One thing I noticed about this dish is that it does taste better overnight as the meat and arrowhead have been infused with the preserved bean curd aka 'nam yue'.... centre picture, and other sauces.  

Above left picture of crushed arrowhead, plus 'nam yue' and right picture, pork belly marinated with the 'nam yue' paste and salt. 



Crushed arrowhead being sauted with some smashed garlic in a wok on the left, and on the right, all the ingredients being cooked with enough water to cover up the whole dish....... simmer




and the final result is  ................ this yummy dish !







Serve this hot with rice ............. Enjoy!

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Lotus Root Cake - CNY 2010


I was intrigued when I saw this recipe, Lotus Root Cake recipe by Amy Beh in the Star not too long ago.  Cake with lotus root ...... I'm not going to give this a miss!  This recipe comes in very handy, especially now that Chinese New Year is barely 3 weeks away.  Also, 'Lotus Root' which sounds like 'Lin Yau' in Cantonese is very propitious ..... literally meaning 'you have abundance'.  So, I take this opportunity to wish all my friends and readers 'Lin, Lin Yau Yue' ..... 'Yue' here  sounds like 'excess', hence 'May you all have bountiful abundance each and every year'!



This cake is moist, light, not too sweet as I've reduced the sugar and it's absolutely yummy. 

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Steamed Chinese Sausages with Arrowroot




This round, edible tuber, 'arrowroot', 'ngah gu or ci gu' which literally means 'benevolent mushroom' and also known as 'arrowhead', is eaten particularly during Chinese New Year.  It's got a very slight bitter taste, a starchy texture, almost like a potato but it's somewhat crunchier even when it's cooked.  You can make stews with it or even make into chips and in my opinion, they taste better than potato chips.
We only get to see this once a year just before the CNY season and they are imported from China.  Some people will 'grow' them weeks earlier.  Place them in a glass bowl or a container with some water and pebbles and they'll flourish  ......... makes a beautiful ornamental plant, very auspicious for Chinese New Year!







Arrowroot, sweet meat known as 'Kwai Far Yuk' and a pair of Tung Koon sausages.  They taste the same as the cylindrical type of Chinese sausages, 'Lap Cheong', except that these are fatter and shorter.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dinner at Tanjong Malim

We stopped by Tanjong Malim recently on the way to Kuala Lumpur and had dinner in this Son Wun Nam Restaurant.  Tanjong Malim is a small town, situated on the boundary between Perak state and Selangor state in West Malaysia.
We ordered  3 dishes as there were only 3 of us and what struck me was the dishes were served on rather 'authentic', unchipped porcelain plates instead of melamine plates which are widely used in some restaurants.


The restaurant's signature dish  ......'cooked' Garoupa fish fillet instead of steamed.  Actually, couldn't make out the difference whether it's 'cooked' or 'steamed'.  Quite a generous serving of fish fillet, tasted fresh and good.  Cost RM16.00


'Kau Yoke' ....... Braised pork belly with yam, not too bad, except that the pork belly was a bit fatty.  
 Cost RM15.00


Stir fry 'Kai Lan' or Mustard greens with garlic and oyster sauce  ....  not too oily but crunchy. 
Cost RM7.00

The total cost of the meal with rice and tea came to RM44.00 which was quite reasonable.

I caught the attention of the people in the restaurant while I was clicking away.  Curious, the chef and kitchen hands came out to have a look.  They must be thinking that I may want to 'clone' their dishes or I'm a reporter for some newsapaper!

Son Wun Nam Restaurant
2 Taman Bunga Raya
35900 Tanjong Malim
Perak, West Malaysia
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pumpkin Carrot Cake


I have never tried baking cakes with raw pumpkin and was glad when Amy Beh shared a recipe for Pumpkin Carrot Cake.  The moist cake tasted good, the sweet pumpkin blended well with the slightly sourish cranberries.  I have reduced the sugar somewhat and tweaked the method too.  I'll be baking this again for the Chinese New Year. 













This cake was an instant hit with my family ....... Try it!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mince meat with Tofu and Sweet Beans


Cooked this dish with deep fried firm Tofu  .....  firm Tofu is dense, can be cubed and stir-fried, grilled or baked. It is supposed to be higher in protein, fat and calcium than the other forms of Tofu.


These sweet beans from the Cameron Highlands are crunchy, goes well with the soft tofu. The sweet beans are like green peas, except that they are a bit thicker in texture.




Healthy and nutritious, goes well with  rice  ........... Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mung Bean Biscuits aka 'Luk Tau Paeng' - CNY 2010




This is another Chinese New Year biscuit  ...... Mung Bean biscuit aka 'Luk Tau Paeng'.  Mung Bean is 'Luk Tau' in Cantonese.  I remember eating this during Chinese Lunar New Year when I was a child.  Traditionally, this biscuit is made with lard and chopped peanuts but now I've substituted with vegetable shortening and nibbed almonds.



This is the mould for the biscuits, also handed down by my mother.  Compared to the 'kuih bangkit' mould, this one is a bit shallow.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Fried fish with ginger and garlic sauce



After having so much food for the past week, I fried this piece of Threadfin block and had it with plain white porridge  ........ light and refreshing.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

'Lam Hung and Pak Hung' drink



I had a persistent bad cough recently and was advised to make this 'Lam Hung, Pak Hung' i.e. Sweet and Bitter almonds drink.  This sweet drink is a remedy to cure a bad cough and also helps to clear phlegm.  Sweet almonds are narrow, elongated in shape and have a thin skin while the bitter almonds are usually shorter, broader and less regular than sweet almonds.  To learn more about these almonds, do hop over to Wikipedia.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Kuih Bangkit ~ CNY 2010



I recently made this Chinese New Year cookie, 'Kuih Bangkit' for my daughter to  bring back to Melbourne.
As Chinese New Year is barely a month away, thought it best to post it now, perhaps you may like to try it out.  These cookies are not too sweet,  with a tinge of pandan fragrance coupled with a sweet taste of coconut ...... yummy.  They do keep well if they're thoroughly baked and they melt in the mouth!

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Shanghai Savoury Pastries



When I was making the Shanghai mooncakes I told myself that I must try this pastry with savoury filling.  Have been putting it off for quite a while but have finally got down to it.  It's delicious with the savoury chicken, resembles a bit like the 'Kai Sou' or Chicken pastries which can be found at the Dim Sum joints.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Steamed mince pork with oysters and water chestnuts


When I bought some dried oysters from the grocers, I asked the shopkeeper what other dishes can be prepared with oysters, other than making soup or braised with pig trotters.  He suggested that I steam them with some mince pork and water chestnuts, and said that  this is a highly recommended Cantonese dish.  Although I'm Cantonese, but this is the first time that I'm trying this out and must admit that it does taste good!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fruit Cake



I made this mixed fruit cake before X'mas and just couldn't wait to taste it before I went to Hanoi.  It tasted good ..... moist, not too sweet and most important of all, everyone liked it.  I wasn't able to post it earlier as I was too busy preparing for the trip.  Good idea to make this for the forthcoming Chinese New Year.  A great thank you to My Kitchen Snippets for sharing her recipe.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hanoi - Dinner at Sen International Buffet





On our last night at Hanoi, we were taken to this place for a buffet dinner.  It was a huge place with a lot of X'mas decorations, very crowded, everyone was in festive mood and there was a lavish spread of food.  It was indeed a sumptuous dinner and everyone of us was full to the brim.  The price was RM50 plus 10% on week days and RM70 plus 10% on weekends.  For the amount of food served, the price was very reasonable.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Hanoi - More random pictures


Ba Dinh Square -  consists of 168 (a very lucky number) pieces of grassland ...... where president Ho Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence  of the Democratic republic of Vietnam on 2nd September 1945.  When Ho Chi Minh passed away, the granite Ho Chi Minh mausoleum was built here to display his embalmed body, which is now a major site of tourism.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hanoi - Water Puppet show


The water puppet show (Mua Roi Nuoc) at The Vietnam National Puppetry Theatre, 361 Truong Chinh, Hanoi is a unique art, performed in a pool of water with the water surface as the stage.  The puppeteers male and female, stand waist deep in the water behind the backdrop and manipulate the puppets using long bamboo rods and string mechanism hidden beneath the water surface. It's performed live, very artistically done and the puppetry was done to the beat of the music.

Dialogue and narration were all in Vietnamese except for the English salutation, but you can more or less make out the act as they're rather basic.  The show lasted an hour, part of our tour itinerary, cost 40,000 Dong, very reasonable.  It's a cultural experience and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Hanoi - Vietnamese Loh Por Paeng and Vietnamese coffee


This is the Vietnamese Loh Por Paeng (Wife biscuits).  Not sold commercially because of their short shelf-life, can keep for 1 week unfrigerated and another 3 days if refrigerated but then after refrigeration they become hard. These biscuits are only available during weddings.   I bought them from the tour guide.  Came in a woven bag .... 4 boxes at RM50

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Hanoi - Tam Coc


Tam Coc, often referred to as 'Inland Halong Bay' is about 3 hours drive, south of Hanoi.  The boat cruise up the Ngo Dong river is rather scenic, dominated by rice fields and karst towers.  Tam Coc means 3 caves and we passed through these 3 natural caves (Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba), the largest of which is 125m long with its ceiling about 2m high above water. 

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