Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Gluttony is my favourite sin

Just arrive in KL yesterday evening. Still struggling with jet lag. Nevertheless, managed to clear a few items off the Hit List... and I'm just getting warmed up.

* Hot Pepper Soup + Claypot wine chicken + Curry Sotong in SK.
* Hokkien Mee + Fried La La in Seapark
* Penang Loh Bak
+ Dim Sum (forgot to add this to the list)

Was too excited over the food that I neglected to take photos. Will try to do so next time.

Other than some quick updates now and then, I might not be posting much for the next few weeks (till mid Jan).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I'm going home!

Yes! Finally, I'm off for holidays. Flying back to Malaysia tomorrow. Foood foood fooooddd!! Cheap, easy, yummy foood!

I'll eat anything that comes my way, but there are some things which I would go out of the way for.

Food Hitlist
* Bak Kut Teh
* Char Kueh Tiaw + Penang Loh Bak
* Laksa (penang, sarawak, kelantan)
* Maggie Goreng + teh o-ais limau
* Teh Tarik + Roti Bawang (eaten with Telur Separuh Masak)
* Claypot Chicken Rice + Chinese Herbal soup
* Hot Pepper Soup + Claypot wine chicken + Curry Sotong in SK.
* Kam Hiong Crabs in Klang
* JD Glazed Ribs in TGIF
* Tapas in Mont Kiara
* Authentic Japanese food + Sake in Sri Hartamas
  (ma-ma-ma-ma.. O-toh-toh-toh-toh)
* Kon Lo Pan Mee in Taman U
* Hokkien Mee + Fried La La in Seapark
* Seafood in Tambun
* Steamboat in Cameron
* Kari Ayam Sempalit in Raub
* Belut Paprik at PCB
* Thai Food hidden in the corners of Wakaf Bharu
* Mom's rojak
* Ulam + budu
* ... etc.

Had to clear out the fridge today, and not in the mood for experimental stuff, so cooked some easy dishes.

Grilled Lamb and braised brussels sprouts for lunch...

Long beans with chilly and minced meat for dinner.

Thai Boxing

sorry, can't write a proper post. Too many shots of absinth.

Here's an interesting clip..

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Couscous Amerika

Quick dish, based on the Nasi Goreng Amerika/USA you typically get at Tom Yam shops (yes, the ones with colourful fluorescent lamps outside that you can spot a mile away).

Instead of fried rice, I used Instant Tomato & Black Olive Couscous from Tesco. Very easy to cook, not unlike maggie mee.

Instead of the Daging/Ayam masak merah, I cooked Stir-fried lamb. Also quite fast - about 15 mins including the preparation.

And the Mata Kerbau (bulls-eye), well, that one cannot substitue. Must have! Without the egg, the dish would be called Nasi Goreng Daging Masak Merah. (Add an egg and it's American???)

How to eat sushi


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

CurryDog Pancake

Finally cleared all the reports and assignments for this sem. Weeee!!! This dish was a celebration dish for a job well done.

It's based on the CurryDog I made a while back. Involves roughly the same ingredients, takes about the same amount of time, does not look as presentable but so much more fun to eat! Nothing beats digging into a messy pile of good food armed with a fork/knife and a huge appetite.

* Fresh baked Petit Pains (roti bakar oso can lah)
* mince meat
* corn
* Chopped onions
* half a cup of milk
* heaped teaspoon of curry powder
* 1 egg
* Sausages
* Other condiments - ketchup, hot sauce, mayonaise, (peanut)butter, jam, cheese, ... whatever you like

While the buns are baking, and the sausages cooking, prepare the ingredients for the curry.

Cooking the curry is easy. Fry the onions, then the minced meat. When the meat is almost done, add in the corn. Finally, add the milk and curry mixture and let it simmer till it thickens to desired consistency.

When the buns are done, cut into halves. Spread with anything you like. I'm using (from top to bottom):
* Rasberry Jam
* Danish Cheese with chilli pepper and paprika (got this from Tesco. Damn good stuff. Cheap too)
* Butter
* Peanut butter

Next, break an egg into a bowl. Season with a little soy sauce and pepper. This is important -> give it a good beating!!

Pour eggs onto an HOT oiled pan, lay on the buns, and turn down the heat. Cover if possible.

Just before the egg gets burnt, serve on a plate bread-side down.

Then, just go crazy and pile on everything. First the curry mix, then the sausages, ketchup, maynaise, .. whatever. If I had vanilla ice cream, I would probably add on a scoop as well. Hehhe..

Notice that the egg is nice and fluffy. Signs of a good beating.


Close-up of my first bite.

I walloped the whole thing. Here's the last piece. Anyone wan?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Apple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice is always great, why not apple?? (just substitute the pine with something else :p )

This was a quick dish.

* Half a green apple (same one used in Imitation Kerabu)
* Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
* Turkey/chicken marinated with some soy sauce and curry powder
* Assorted Vege (I used corn and carrots)
* Nam Pla sauce & dark soy sauce
* Overnight rice

Standard fried rice steps. I also added a fried egg - cooked till cripsy at the bottom, but soft and half cooked on top - just the way I love it.

How was it??

~ *Blekkk* ~ :(

Shiitake mushrooms does NOT go well with apple. Not at all. I should have just added Peanut Butter. Can't go wrong with that.

Had to douse it with lots of Shark to burn away the taste..

Monday, December 12, 2005

Masak Lemak Chicken

Another lazy, hazy, crazy day of summer late-autumn-almost-winter.

Work piling up, so time for some lazy food. Thanks to Uncle Brahim, lazy food does not necessarily mean plain ol' egg omelette or maggie mee. Lazy people need good food too.

Just pop in the pack, a cup of water, some chicken, let it cook for 20 minutes... KAO TIM!

Oh, and one pack should be enough for 2-4 servings (depending on how much chicken you put in, and how much you eat lah).

Dinner for two days settled.

Teman with freshly cooked rice, Apple Turkey Kerabu, and a good appetite. Now all that's missing is some sambal belacan, ulam with budu, and a glass of sirap limau or Teh O' Peng.

The only hard work involved was deboning the chicken and cutting it into bite sized pieces (primary school canteen style) so it'll be easier to store, split portions, and eat.

Great of wee hours munchies, just heat up chicken and rice in microwave, then can eat while doing work, or even with eyes half closed. Also, no bones = no need to use extra cutlery or hands. Bowl and spoon enough. When done, just lick the bowl clean, then no need to bother about washing up till next day ;)

Panda Live Cam

Bored? Check out the Panda Live Cam.

Quoted from Here:
You are watching live images of Mei Xiang, a giant panda, and her cub, Tai Shan, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The cub was born at 3:41 a.m. on Saturday, July 9. Zoo keepers were happy to see Mei Xiang cradling and cuddling her cub only two minutes after its birth.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Imitation Thai Kerabu

Yes, it's one of those days again. The crave demon has once again awoken. This time it's for some Thai style Mango Kerabu.

Time to get to work. So what do I need?

These are the usual suspects, I think:
* Unripe mango (Don't have. Don't think can find here)
* Chicken breast - steamed & shredded (chicken breast expensive lah)
* Grilled Squid @ Sotong (even more expensive)
* Mashed up fried fish (also mahal...)
* Shallots @ Bawang Merah (errrr... also a bit pricey)
* roasted/fried grated coconut @ kerisik (hard to find)
* Grounded (ground)nuts @ Kacang Tumbuk (also hard to find)
* Belacan bakar (ahh.. this one I have)
* Chilli Padi (dun have)
* Carrots + Cucumber (this one can find easily)
* Lime (have to find in Tesco)
* All the leafy leafy stuff you see in kerabu (dunno what they are)
* Sugar & Salt

Everything oso don't have?? Bugger! This feels like an itch that cannot be scratched. So what to do?

Time to improvise!

Most important ingredient there is the unripe mango. That provides the base to the dish. Get that right, and everything else comes together. Sounds easy.

OK. Unripe mangoes. It's sour. A little crunchy. Oh, if possible, we'll want to get the colours right too. Light beige colour with bits of green (the skin).


Green Apples!! Make sure it's the firm sour ones.

Shed 'em into strands. Looks just like mangoes. :)

Oh, and remember how apples get a little brownish when exposed to air? Sprinke some salt over it. Mix it up. They will stay nice and unbrowned.

Match with equal amounts of carrots. If you have cucumbers, can add some too.

I don't have shallots, so I used big onions. Lightly sauteed with a little olive oil to bring out the taste. Not too long though, don't want to brown it.

Lime. Found this at Tesco. Not the lime I'm used to, but it tastes the same. Jadi lah.

Put everything in a mixing bowl. Add some sugar, a little salt, squeeze in the lime. Also the Belacan. Add in chopped chilli padi if you have some. I had to use crushed Bird's Eye Chilli. Mix it up. Taste it to check if you need to add more salt/sugar.

Ground nuts?? Hmmm....

Crunchy Peanut Butter!

Oi! Don't laugh! It ACTUALLY goes REALLY REALLY well! You get that nutty creamy taste that adds body to the dish. It's so good that I'll still use Peanut Butter even if I had access to the ground nuts and kerisik.

1 teaspoon should be enough.

Now... fish and squid?

Squid Brand Thai Fish Sauce (nam pla) also can lah. A dash of this, and some sesame seed oil.

(BTW, if you haven't got a bottle of this, get it! It's great for making fried rice, and can substitute soya sauce in any dish)

Quoted from here:
Fish sauce is the single, most important flavoring ingredient in Thai cooking (also well-loved in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma and the Philippines). Used like salt in western cooking and soy sauce in Chinese cooking, good-quality fish sauce imparts a distinct aroma and flavor all its own

Instead of chicken, I opted for some turkey (any white meat will do). Marinated with a little soy sauce, and a pinch of curry powder.

Fried over medium heat. Since this was meant to be a healthy dish, I used olive oil instead. Just enough to line the pan.

Oh, I also threw in some mushrooms (why? Because I like mushrooms).

Add them to the mix. Toss it well. Then serve on a bed of lettuce.

The taste? Better then expected. With the amalgamation of all the flavours, the apple tastes and looks exactly like mangoes (just a little less sour). Honest!

Not the best kerabu I've had, but good enough to appease the crave demon.

To blow my own trumpet, if this were served to someone who has never tried an honest-to-goodness authentic thai-made kerabu, this imitation version could possibly pass off as "good" kerabu.

Apple Turkey Kerabu... a taste of Home, Away From Home.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Maggie Murtabak

Friend: "Why u alwez cook so canggih food wan?"
Me: "No lah, i oni brog about nice looking wan lah. Cacat wan all I hide. Paiseh"
Friend: "Haiyaa.. nevermind wan. Wan to see normal food oso leh"
Me: "Hmm.. but my normal food oso not very normal leh..."

Here's a sample of normal food that I cook. Experimental cooking with limited resources. Student food. Edible, but not something you can sell as food in a restaurant.

Introducing my Maggie Murtabak!

First, fry whatever you want as the filling. Standard stir fry - first brown the onions, then the meaty stuff, followed by the vege vege stuff. Season with some oyster sauce and The Shark!

I put in mushrooms, leftover bacon, chopped up sausages, and mixed vege. Suggestions of other stuff that might go well - chopped up burger, fish ball, crab stick, lap cheong, left overs, ...

Boil and seive some maggie mee (instant noodles). Crushed them beforehand so you get short-short strands. Add in half a pack of the seasoning.

Mix it up real good, then flatten the whole thing on a pan. By now, the stove should be on very low heat.

Remember, low low heat.

Crack 2 eggs into a bowl. Season with some soy sauce and pepper. Beat the eggs reallllllll good! Need to get more air in so that the eggs would fluff up and hold everything together.

Pour the eggs over the flattened noodles. Tilt the pan around to make sure the egg is evenly distributed.

Once again... low low heat! We need the eggs in the center to cook before the bottom gets burnt.

Cover it up to trap some heat so the eggs get evenly cooked.

When you think that it's firm enough to handle, flip the whole thing to cook the top part.

Serve hot.

Top with some mayonaise/ketchup/curry/sambal/dhal.

Close-up shot of a bite-sized piece of Maggie Murtabak.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bacon Potato Salad

Potato Salad. A simple yet amazingly versatile dish. Can be part of a main course, a side dish, or eaten as a snack (for those late night munchies). Yet, it's tasty enough even for those who don't really fancy that potato taste (like yours truly).

* potatos potatoes Potato x N, where N is a positive non-zero Integer.
* Bacon strips (or mince meat for Halal version)
* Eggs
* Butter
* mayonaise
* salt and pepper
* Some garlic (optional. I din put cos here too expensive :p)

Dice the potatoseses ubi kentang. Small pieces if you're like me and don't particularly like the taste, moderately large otherwise.

Boil and boil and boil till it's soft but still structurally intact. (circa 15 mins)

Then, drain and let it cool overnight in the fridge. Yes, overnight. It helps. Unless you want to end up with mashed potato.
Chilled potato = easier to mix + won't melt the other ingredients and leave watery goo at bottom of bowl.

(sorry, forgot to take photo of following steps. They took place the following day)

The rest of the steps:
1. (this is the part that gives it the oomph, but also the unhealthiness and haramness) Fry some chopped up bacon strips. Don't put too much oil, just enough to line the pan. Mr. Bacon will have more oil oozing out soon (we want that too). When the bacon is crispy (but not burnt), dump the whole thing over out chilled-boiled potato (yes, along with the bacon oil. It adds on to the taste).

2. Hard boil an egg (or two, depending on how much potato you used), finely cube it, or just smash it up with a fork if you're lazy. Add to potato.

3. Melt some butter in the pan, and pour over potato. (If you want to include the garlic, mince them and lightly fry em' while melting the butter).

4. Mayonaise. Amount depends on the creaminess you desire. Use light mayonaise if you're worried about the amount of fat that's already in the mix.

5. Mix it all up.

6. Salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you take a bite before adding the salt. The bacon already adds on to the saltiness.

7. Serve, or keep in the fridge and eat portion by portion. It stores for quite a while. (Summore no need to heat up. Great when eaten cold).

Goes great with just about anything.

As part of your breakfast set...

.. or for lunch, accompanied by Belacan Fried Chicken..

... or for dinner, as a side dish, to complement the Glazed Lamb Chops.

(No, I did not eat all that in one day. Pics were taken over a period of 2 weeks)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cream Corn Chowder

(Another quick, photo-filled post)

My own version of Cream Corn Chowder. Perfect for a cold day.

Here's what I like about it. Simple ingredients.
* A cup of milk
* Corn (I'm using the frozen ones cheaply available from Tesco)
* Chopped onions and potatoes
* Vegetable stock cube
* butter
* Crushed biscuits (I'm using Ritz. Biskut tawar also can I guess.)

Fry the onions in butter for a while till it becomes translucent.

Add in the potoes...

... the diluted vegetable stock cube, and corn.

Add a cup of water, and let it boil. The corn and potatoes should be soft and mushy by the time we're done.

Boil till the water has reduced by half. Takes a while. Be patient.

Add the milk, and let it boil for 10-15 minutes.

Add in the crushed biscuits, and boil for another 5-10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

If you're like me and enjoy a little variety in texture, crush in more biscuit just before eating.