Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hainanese Chicken Rice... without chicken, or the Hainan.

Had a sudden craving for good Chicken Rice, so I IM'ed my good pal Charlestopher (not, not his real name. Not even a proper name. Insider joke. sorry). Being a great guy that he is, he eventually divulged his family's secret recipe for the Perfect Hainanese Chicken rice.

I was drooling by the time he was done, and then I realised a problem - the only ingredient I had from his list was Rice and Soy Sauce. Potong Stim oni. No, cannot give up.

No chicken oil? use sesame seed oil and butter loh.
No chicken stock? use chicken essense cube loh.
No chicken? errr... Make roasted char siew loh. I have chops and Lee Kum Kee char siew sauce.
No shallots? Big onions loh.
No ginger? Close one eye loh.
... (the list goes on)
No garlic? Hmm.. maybe can buy. Downstairs shop got.

Cheap-Buy! Pool-Key! Mile-High! Lunch-Hour! Poon-Deck! Pan-Tart! Stew-Near-Marr!!

One pathetic garlic 50p (>RM3) ??!!!!?!! 50p can buy 5 eggs liao leh! A big cup or yogurt! Half a pack of mince meat! Half kilo rice! Call home for half and hour!

No wonder Mat Salleh county got Vampires, Malaysia don't have. Here, no one can afford to buy the damn garlic (and the Vamps know it).

Ok.. enough. Back to my "chicken" rice.

Fry the mince garlic in butter till brown, then throw in washed rice. Add in some soy sauce (dark and light). Let it fry for a while, stir now and then to avoid burning it.

Put everything in the rice cooker, and instead of plain water, use chicken cube diluted in water.

Let it cook as usual. Most of the work is done.

For the char siew, it's similar to the Grilled Chops I made last time. Important thing is to let it grill on low heat so the inside is properly cooked. Then, when it's done, turn up to heat and burn it a little to get that crispy crust. Oh, and make sure the meat you use has some fat on it. That gives it the sweet crunchy texture.

Chop up the char siew. Serve on the rice.

For more oomph, make some garnishing oil. Sesame seed oil + soy sauce + onions, fried till brown.

Mix it up, and top it over the char siew.

Serve with some fresh tomatoes (and cucumber if you have any).

It's a pretty easy dish. Hardest part is timing - doing everything simultaneously so that the grilled chops, rice and condiments are ready at almost the same time. Tastes best when served with steaming hot rice, and chops just off the grill.

Char Siew with Hainanese Chicken Rice (minus the Hainan and the Chicken). Yummy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gift Ideas: MyTV2GOFM USB TV & FM Tuner

Know a geek who's travelling a lot? Be his best friend and get him the Eskape Labs MyTV2GOFM USB TV & FM Tuner.

Plug this baby into your USB port and turn you PC/Laptop into a TV and FM radio. Even works on a Mac!

Manufacturer's Description
With MyTV2GO, you'll never miss your favorite TV shows again! Great for entertainment and productivity, MyTV2GO turns your Mac into a virtual TV replacement when set to full screen TV mode. Or put MyTV2GO's resizable TV window on your Mac desktop while working in any application.
It's also a full functioning QuickTime video digitizer, providing video input and capture. Whether it is capturing PICT files from your VCR, capturing short QuickTime movies from your camcorder, being the input device for videoconferencing, or serving as a FM stereo receiver, MyTV2GO provides the solution. Best of all, it is USB Plug and Play, so installation is a snap!

Well, what are you waiting for, get one now!.

Manufacturer's Website: Eskape Labs

Hmm.. that version might have been designed just for Macs. Here's the Win counterpart : Hauppauge WinTV USB TV Tuner.
I believe Eskape Labs is a subsidiary of Hauppauge.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gift Ideas: Powermate USB Controller

Know a geek that you want to please? Get this!!

The PowerMate USB Controller by Griffin Technology.

It's cool, it's useful, it's versatile. Everything you'd expect out of a gizmo.

USB powered, this thingamagic can be programmed to function differently in different apps:
* Quick volume control for iTunes/winamp
* Reviewing/Editing a video clip? what could be more intuitive than turning a knob?
* Editors/programmmers/websurfer: scroll through documents and files effortlessly
* whatever... turn all your friends green with envy!!

Manufacturer's Description:
Made of high-quality machined aluminum, PowerMate feels like a solid volume knob pulled right off the front of a world-class stereo. Its heavy weight and tactile feel are a welcome departure from typical plastic USB peripherals. PowerMate functions beautifully as a convenient volume knob and mute button for music listening on your PC or Mac. But that’s just the beginning of PowerMate’s possibilities.

What are you waiting for, order a PowerMate USB Controller today!

What is the Internet for?

Watch and find out.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Somebody gonna get a-hurt real bad, again!

For those who enjoyed the Russell Peters video, here's another one.

It's an hour long clip hosted by Google Video:

The clip seems to have been removed from google video

Found the same video clip hosted on YouTube. Enjoy,

Somebody gonna get a-hurt real bad!

Russell Peters... Absolutely hilarious.

Quoted from here:
In his native Canada, this thirty-something, Gemini Award-winning stand-up comedian is a bonafide star. With South Asian roots, Russell explores attitudes towards race (his and others) in a way that is fresh, engaging and downright hilarious. Russell combines his bright observations with a deeply likeable, youthful, hip-hop stage persona and an attitude that is uptempo and cheeky. Comedically speaking, he's an international spokesperson on clashing cultures.

If you're into standup comedy, and have the time and the bandwidth, check out this 45-minute video.

DBKL Belacan Fried Rice

Much more work, much less time.

Second round of clearing up leftovers.

Fry some onions, mince meat and vege. Then throw in the left overs. Add some kicap and belacan bakar. Rice.

Add some colour with Sriracha Chilli Sauce, and some Oomph with Great White Shark Hot Sauce.

Kao tim!

DBKL Belacan Fried Rice.

Friday, November 25, 2005

GIft Ideas: Lightning Lever Corkscrew set

"Love your wine, but hate having to fish out pieces of cork from your wineglass?"

"Eager to break out that bottle of Pinot, but afraid you'll look like a wimp when fighting the cork?"

Do not fret, for technology is here to save your day (and your ego). Get yourself a Lightning Lever Corkscrew set!

For less than £10.00, you'll be the hero of the party, then envy of all your mates.

Check out the video clip on the Official Lightning Lever site, and get blown away by how amazing this toy tool is.

Impressed? Well, Get Yours Today!

Jakun on ice

I find the weather here rather facinating.

Was walking to class this morning, when out of the blue, it started snow.

Jakun though it may sound, I've never experienced snow, so I was really excited. Whipped out my camera phone and started taking photos like pelancong jepun.

It was amazing how fast it happened. First it was sunny, few minutes later, I was making a snowball (and threw one at myself to see if it hurt. Always wanted to know that.)

Photos below were taken within a span of 10 minutes.

By noon, the sky was clear.

Some katun got impatient while waiting for the bus and got busy.

The green tracks where the grass is showing was probably left by him/her/them rolling the snow.

... sad looking bugger.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Blog plug: Dilbert's Blog

(bz bz as a bee. Hit-and-run post today)

For those of you who enjoy Dilbert, here's a blog you'll love: Dilbert's Blog

Yeah, it's by the Man himself, Scott Adams.

A quick excerpt of a recent entry:
Recently I killed thousands more people. I don’t have exact numbers yet. The problem stems from my comic that ran on 11-20-05, implying that retail stores might harvest organs from bad customers and sell them on eBay. I’ve received dozens of letters (long ones!) from very angry people who assure me that the Dilbert comic will reduce the number of organ donors. The concern is that people will think their parts will end up on eBay and so they won’t be inspired to donate.

Very entertaining read. Hop over there. Quickly!

DBKL Spicy Pasta

Had some left-overs from the day before. How to dispose of left-overs?

Easy. Throw them in either fried rice or pasta. Since the dish was tomato-based, pasta was the natural choice.

Chuck everything into a pan. Fry till it's all nice and hot. Add in some tomato base. Serve over your favourite pasta.

For more Oomph, add a little grated parmesan cheese, oregano, ground pepper, and Hot Sauce!

DBKL Spicy Pasta. Fast, cheap, and tasty.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Indian Hip Hop #2

For those of you who enjoyed Curry-N-Rice Girl by MC Vikram and Ludakrishna, here's another one by them.

"Welcome to India" (it's a parody of "Welcome to Atlanta" by Ludacris)

Gift Ideas: Philips HD7810/60 Senseo Coffee Machine

COFFEE! Dark as hell, strong as death, sweet as love.. The elixir of life, brain food for geeks.

Adopt a geek today! Get him a coffee machine and watch him work through the night.

For a sensible price of £25-£40, you can get the amazing Philips HD7810/60 Senseo Coffee Machine. More photos of it here.

A more complete review can be seen Here
The Philips HD7810/60 Senseo Coffee Machine proved to be a real problem solver. I hate buying presents for awkward people. My husband is one of the worst... I came across a review about the Philips Senseo Coffee Pod Machine purely by chance and I instantly knew what I wanted to get him.

Alternatively, check out the Morphy Richards 47002 Cafe Rico Filter Coffee Maker with Frother .

It's easy to use, easy to clean, and it even allows you to easily froth your milk for your lattes and cappuccinos. Easy peasy good for the lazy.

Read reviews here.

At only £22.49, it's a wonderful gift for that special geek.

Get a Caffein High! Buy buy buy!!

Where can I get one?
* Buy a Philips HD7810/60 Senseo Coffee Machine on Amazon
* Buy a Morphy Richards 47002 Cafe Rico Filter Coffee Maker with Frother on Amazon.

[note]Can't decide which one I sound like in this post - Spam? or one of those Shopping Channels on TV?[/note]

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Stuffed Pita with Double Fried Mutton

Now that I have a new ingredient - Great White Shark Hot Sauce - my enthusiasm for experimental cooking is back.

I didn't have much time, so I planned for something moderately complicated but fast.

Looking into the fridge, I plucked some ideas from the sky, and came up with the "Spicy Double-fried mutton and a sweet-n-sour Vege stuffings".

* sliced onions, beans, carrots, potatoes
* (some tomatoes would be nice, buy I didn't have any in stock)
* egg - seperated yolk and whites
* mutton
* curry powder
* Great White Shark hot sauce
* Tomato Ketchup
* other sauces - oyster sauce, soy sauce
* Chicken Stock (just dilute 1/2 Yeos chicken cubes with hot water)

For the mutton, mix the egg yolk with oyster sauce, curry powder, and 3 drops of The Shark.

Fry the plain mutton with a little oil till it's cooked, then take it out of the pan and marinate it with the yolk sauce.

Throw it back into the pan, and continue frying for a while.

Spicy double-fried mutton is done!

For the vege, fry the onions till fragrant, then throw in the rest of the vege along with the chicken stock. Cover and let it cook for a while.

It helps if you sliced the potatoes real thin. Then we don't have to cook it too long.

Liberally squeeze in some tomato ketchup, a little soy sauce, and 4 drops of The Shark. Mix well.

Finally, thicken sauce with the egg whites.

The sweet-sour vege is ready.

Can be eaten with rice, roti canai, Naan, or stuffed in a Pita.

Lost control after a while, and started lacing each bite with a drop of The Shark!


Gift ideas: NEC 343i phone for i-mode

This is one of those phones that are just, well, phones. Full stop.

It's a non-pretentious decent looking phone with limited fancy-mancy 'look ma my phone is also a radio / mp3player / gamestation / vibrator' features. It's for someone who wants a phone, that acts like a phone, work like a phone, and looks like an iPod. Heh.

O2 seems to be pushing this phone along with their i-mode services.

From : phones4u
i-mode is the new mobile internet service available with the NEC 343i. Giving access to a huge range of websites specially designed for viewing on your mobile, i-mode allows you to exchange email at a touch of a button. Simply press the ‘i’ key on the NEC 343i and you will be able to access a host of news, music, sport and shopping sites. Why not book your next holiday with the NEC 343i!

More info here:
UK i-mode site
I-mode Bussiness Strategy

Great! Where can I get one?
On sale for £59.95, but Amazon has it for £39.99.
Buy NEC 343i from Amazon

This is a forerunning post of my new entry category - Gift Ideas. While I take short breaks from work, I'll imagine I have some money to spare, and scout around Amazon to see what I would but as a gift (or would live to receive as a gift *hint hint*).

Yes, this is another one of those sudden-inspriration didn't-think-it-through half-baked projects.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Predator, Great White Shark Hot Sauce

Introducing Great White Shark, Predator Hot Sauce!

Scoville Units: 160,000 (that's 80 times hotter than my previous sauce)
Accomplishments: National Barbeque Association's 2005 Best Hot Sauce Champion.

As with a few hot sauces I've seen, it comes it a relative small bottle (147ml). Kecil-kecil cili padi eh ;) . On the label we have an illustration of a shark rushing out to "take a big bite out of my ass".

Hah! Let's see who has the last bite.

There is also a difficult-to-miss warning. ONE DROP AT A TIME they say. Is it really that hot, or might it just be their ego talking? We'll soon find out...

It spots an impressive list of ingredients. Had I not know what Habanero was, I'd probably mistake this as a recipe for a diet fruit shake.

The bottle opening is fixed with one of those stoppers you get on kicap bottles, to make sure consumers don't get too excited and waste their sauce food by pouring too much.

As with all food, I take a good whiff to anticipate what to expect.

Wow! This is strong shit. I tried really hard to pick up the scent of any of the fruits. Nada. Zilch. The smells says 100% Fire & Pain. The good kind. ;)

To break-in the shark, I heated up the rest of my Hari-hari chicken curry. What else would go well with obscene spiciness if not Curry?

So here's the complete setup. Warm pita bread to soak up all the goodness, and a handy supply of milk for fire-fighting.

One drop at the time, they say... Fine!

The rules of the taste test was simple:

  1. place one full drop of sauce on small piece of pita

  2. mouth it, and chew

  3. DON'T swallow

  4. Wait....

Fun fun fun!!

Results? Well, it started out quite pleasant. Couldn't really taste the fruits, but it was quite flavourful. Not too vinegary, and spicy enough for my liking. I continued chewing, enjoying the tingling sensation that you usually get with spicy food.

Then it started.... *swallow* *swallow* *MILK!!* *MILK!!*

The sauce seems to release it's full flavour when it's slightly diluted. So as I chewed, more saliva got mixed in, and more of the goodness started spreading!!

My tongue felt like it was pulsating for the next minute or so, but when it subsided, I wanted more!

Tried a few drops on the curry to see how well the flavours matched...

.. and it was fabulous. Soon, I was using one drop with every bite. Of course I was sweating and sniffling all the while, but I was loving every minute of it.

My apartment mate walked in while halfway through, and I offered him a taste. He was hopping around within seconds, and I was entertained by his frantic attempts to get his bottle of juice open.

He was not amused when told him of my plans to get something even hotter. I am now known to be officially crazy.

Conclusion: This is a GREAT sauce. Looking forward to try out different recipes with this new ingredient. It will definitely spice up my experimental cooking.

Oh... one more thing. I've learnt a valuable lesson - my mouth is NOT the only part that is in contact with what I eat. My mouth can take the the 15 or so drops I used, by my stomach and my anus can't! Follow the bloody instructions. One drop at a time!

Mr. Shark seems to have had the last bite after all.

Excuse me while I rush to the toilet... again...!