Sarawak Special: Tomato Kueh Tiaw

Happy Malaysia Day! I hope September has been treating you well so far. I’m definitely having a lot of fun! To the point I haven’t even had the chance to do any exciting dishes. So those of you who have come to this blog from “The Star” article, I’m going to do this space justice by posting an unique recipe today from Sarawak.

I have long felt that Malaysia day is more relevant to us because the Independence day (31st Aug) really only applies to the Peninsula Malaysia. 16th Sept marked the day Sarawak and Sabah joined the country, so today I shall introduce to you a very special dish that I loved (and still do) growing up: Tomato Kueh Tiaw, a dish most Sarawakians (and Kuching people especially) enjoy on a regular basis. It’s good that a lot of the West Malaysians are starting to get to know Sarawak cuisine, as back in the days if you mention Tomato Kueh Tiaw the hawker would probably give you a plate of Kueh Tiaw and a Tomato. Now, we can enjoy a good plate of this at 7th Mile Kitchen, Taman Bahagia, and few more others (feel free to recommend more places, by the way)

Tomato Kueh Tiaw looks a lot like Watan hor (Hor Fun with Eggy gravy), except the gravy is of red-orange hue from well…. tomato! A good gravy should have a nice balance of tangyness and sweetness, and  thick enough to coat the noodles. You can either order this with crispy noodles, or like how I prefer it, with fried kueh tiaw. Both are good in their own ways. Here’s a picture of what I cooked:

Tomato Kueh Tiaw
Tomato Kueh Tiaw

The toppings varies from stall to stall but the basic would be some seafood (Prawns and squid usually, sometimes fish cake), vegetables (Choy Sum and sometimes Carrot too), and meat (Pork or Chicken). Having said that though, you probably won’t get prawns as big as these ones. Ahh…… that’s the beauty of home-cooking!

The process is rather simple, and I have referred to the recipe by Kimba’s Kitchen and adapted to my own taste.

Mise en place, missing some cornstarch and chicken stock.
Mise en place, but missing some cornstarch and chicken stock.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)
One portion of Fresh kueh tiaw (in some supermarket, you get to choose the variety for either soup or frying… go for the latter of course)
1 tablespoon Sweet soy sauce)
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Half Chicken Breast, sliced
4 Prawns (of any variety, I used large tiger prawns), de-shelled and de-veined.
Handful of Choy Sum, cleaned and snap in halves (sounds violent huh?)
1 pinch of Chicken Stock Cube (I use only ones without MSG) mixed with 1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon cornflour mixed with few tablespoons of water (might need more to adjust the consistency)
1 1/2 tablespoon Tomato sauce to taste (I usually just eyeball it, Heinz Ketchup is pretty rich in taste, so if you are using other brand you might need more)
1 teaspoon Tomato Puree
1 teaspoon Oyster sauce (mine’s vegetarian because I have a vegetarian at home)
White pepper to taste
Extra water as required

Loosen the Kueh Tiaw and fry them in high heat with a little oil, adding Sweet Soy Sauce as you go until evenly coated. Don’t overcook as they will become sticky and clumpy.

Smelling pretty good at this point, and it's just noodles!
Smelling pretty good at this point, and it’s just noodles!

Using the same pan, add a little more oil and saute garlic with chicken, follow by prawns. When the prawns and chicken are seared on both sides, pour in the chicken stock, followed by tomato sauce and puree, and oyster sauce. Bring sauce to boil and add Choy sum. Thicken with cornstarch and simmer for another minute or two until everything is cooked.

Bubbling away and loving the colours!
Bubbling away and loving the colours!

Once you are happy with the sauce (might need to adjust with more water), turn off heat and pour the sauce over the Kueh Tiaw. Finish with some white pepper (and chili if you wish) and serve immediately.

Mmmm..... Perfection on a plate.
Mmmm….. Perfection on a plate.

It’s amazing how such simple dish can be so delicious. Savoury sweet soft noodles, piping hot sauce to bring that piquancy, with plenty of juicy prawns, tender chicken (secret is not to overcook chicken breast, always), crunchy vegetables. That made me a very happy girl! In fact I think I might cook another plate later.

Oh... will you look at that?!
Oh… will you look at that?!

So have you ever tried Tomato Kueh Tiaw before? What do you think of the taste?

Zespri Kiwifruit 14-Day Daily Scoop Challenge

Can I see a show of hands (figuratively) how many of you like Kiwifruit? How often do you eat them? I will be honest to say that Kiwi is not on top of my list when I go groceries shopping. Even though it is tasty and packed with nutrients, I am often distracted by other choices in the supermarket. Naturally when I was approached by the fairy godmother of Kiwifruit (Zespri), it didn’t take long for me to be convinced.

By now you would have already seen quite a few bloggers posting about the 14-Day challenge. I know I am a bit late with my blog posts but you would have seen my updates on my social media sites for the past few days incorporating Kiwifruits in my diet. The idea of the challenge is to improve our sense of well-being and perhaps lose some weight during the process (well that’s what I’m hoping for).

Furry furry!
Fat juicy Green Kiwis calling my name.

By the way, here are 10 Amazing Healthy Facts about Kiwifruit:

1. Bursting with twice as much Vitamin C* compared to oranges and just one Zespri® Kiwifruit meets your daily Vitamin C requirements.

2. A natural source of dietary fibre (both soluble and insoluble fibre) for a healthy digestive system.

3. Great low fat natural source of Vitamin E, which is well known for its heart health and antioxidant properties.

4. High content of bioavailable antioxidants (Vitamins C & E, polyphenols, carotenoids, etc) to help fight damage caused by free radicals in the body.

5. Excellent for digestion with the presence of actinidin, a unique enzyme that helps break down protein. (This is also why Kiwifruit can be used a meat tenderiser)

6. A source of potassium that is essential for every cell in the body. A 2-piece Zespri® Kiwifruit serving provides about 10% of your daily potassium needs, as much as a banana, but with less calories.

7. A source of folate – a vital need for pregnant ladies for the development of genetic material in a fetus.

8. Low in calories but full of essential nutrients – a great tool for weight management.

9. Low in Glycemic Index (GI) that does not increase blood sugar rapidly – ideal for diabetics.

10. Helps improve the function of your immune system.

In other words, they get double approval from Dr Kelly. 😀

How do you like to enjoy your kiwifruit?
How do you like to enjoy your kiwifruit?

The simplest way of eating Kiwifruit is just cutting it in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. But there are many ways you can use this powerful fruit. Bear in mind though because the actinidin, you can’t use it in recipes with dairy products unless you will be consuming it within minutes. Here I layered homemade strawberry jam (strawberry Jam recipe below), greek yoghurt and diced Kiwifruit for a healthy breakfast (or even dessert after dinner).

"Italy"
“Italy”

Strawberry Jam
1 punnet Strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Hulled and cut the strawberries into halves or quarters depending on size, add to a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until the liquid turned into gel form (it will form a coat on the back of your spoon). Let cool completely and chill in the fridge until ready to use. Or pour into a sterile jar so you can keep it for ages.

Prefer to drink your fruit? Make a Kiwi smoothie then.

Yes that is indeed a Paulaner Pint Glass. Haha
Yes that is indeed a Paulaner Pint Glass. Haha.

Basic KiwiFruit Smoothie

2 Zespri Green Kiwifruit, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons Greek Yoghurt
50ml Milk (or more if you prefer it to be more diluted)
1 tablespoon Honey

Add all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. You can choose to add some water to adjust the consistency. Serve immediately.

You can add pretty much any other fruit you desire such as banana, apple. Add a bunch of Spinach leaves for that extra nutrients (and weight loss benefit). Don’t worry, you won’t even taste the vegetable.

In the next few days I will be posting more recipes ideas including savoury dishes. Stay tuned!

Useless fact of the day: Did you know that Kiwifruit has once been declared a National Fruit of China?

Hosting with PlateCulture: My Very Own Supper Club!

Picture this: One fine day, I’m consulting patients in my private clinic. After the last patient has left, I drove to my own restaurant where I’ll watch over my team of fabulous Chefs putting together beautiful dishes and if I feel like it, I put on the apron and make a few dishes too. When the dinner guests are deep into their conversations and hopefully enjoying the food, my band appears and we performed a few tunes together.

Ok, that might be a little too idealistic and knowing me, I’d probably be running around like a headless chook juggling all of these. But that won’t be far off from my dream. As of now, I’ve taken yet another step forward and the time has come for me to start hosting dinners (and brunches) at my place.

Being a host can be so much fun!
Do you think I pass as a good host?

PlateCulture is an exciting new platform to connect all foodies alike. Without the need to actually own a restaurant, home cooks can now open their dining rooms for guests. I feel that it’s quite safe to do this via an agency (if you will) like this because it provides an extra safety net for us. As a guest, you’ll be able to communicate with the hosts prior to booking to specify any dietary requirements or even request dishes (at least with me you can).

There are 2 types of menu available for my dining room: Food I grew up eating (Chinese, Malaysian) and Western food in general (Brunch, Dinner). Now let’s talk about the Chinese food first.

Chinese feast
Teochew Steamed Fish, Braised Pork Belly (Tau You Bak), Stir fried Eggplant in Garlic sauce.

Most of the Chinese recipes come from my grandmother and my mother, with strong Teochew and Foochow (and Sarawakian) influence. Depending on the number of guests the number of dishes will vary. You will be able to request dishes like Sarawak Laksa too. Vegetarian option is possible but I don’t do ‘mock meat’ dishes.

Would you eat the fish eyes?
Would you eat the fish eyes?

Guests are allowed to bring wine or beer to the dinner, but responsible drinking is very much encouraged.

Not the healthiest but the collagen is good for you. Hehe
Not the healthiest but the collagen is good for you. Hehe

To improve your dining experience, it’s advisable that you let me know if there’s anything you won’t be comfortable eating, as well as your tolerance for spice. All dishes are for sharing and only brown rice will be served.

Introducing the Weekend Brunch menu:

Weekend Brunch dishes
Weekend Brunch dishes

I like sleeping in during weekends (although with this project I might have to do less of that) and hate it when the brunch places stop serving breakfast items after certain time (2pm-3pm for most places as far as I’m aware). At my place, you can have breakfast anytime of the day! Woke up after 4pm? No problem. But be sure to book ahead so I have the ingredients to prepare your dishes.

Baked egg with bacon, capsicum and zucchini. The combination might change based on availability.
Baked egg with bacon, capsicum and zucchini. The combination might change based on availability.

Expect dishes that you can find in most Melbourne cafés: Baked eggs, Smashed Avocado on toast (homemade), Quiches, other egg dishes. If you want a more substantial meal though, you can also choose to book for dinner where I’ll be cooking a 3 course dinner for you. The main course can be anything from Salmon to Beef Stew. Once again, it will help if I know what you normal like to eat.

Lemon and Herbs baked Salmon with my famous mash.
Lemon and Herbs baked Salmon with my famous mash.

Remember the cheesecake in jars? Here’s another version:

Rosewater Cheesecake with Strawberry Jam
Rosewater Cheesecake with Strawberry Jam

Desserts are only available on dinner menu (applicable to Chinese and Western), and they will usually be healthier compared to store bought because I prefer to use less salt. After all, I’m not exactly a fat chef so you won’t need to feel too guilty after dining at my place.

Verified by PlateCulture!
Verified by PlateCulture!

Many have actually asked for the recipe for the cheesecake so here it is!

Rosewater Cheesecake with Strawberry Jam
60g of Marie Biscuits (about 9 pieces)
50g Butter, melted 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
100ml Thickened Cream
2 drops of Rosewater
Half a pod of Vanilla Beans, scrapped
1/4 Cup Sugar (more if you prefer sweeter, taste before you chill it)
30-40ml Hot Water
Half a packet of Gelatine, about one teaspoon
1 punnet Strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Crush the biscuits in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, and then pour in the melted butter and mix well. Lay a couple of spoonfuls into individual jars and lightly press down.

Add cream cheese, cream, rosewater, vanilla beans, sugar in the blend and blend until smooth. Sprinkle gelatine in a bowl of hot water and mix well with a fork. Add to the cheese mixture and blend for a few more seconds. Pour the mixture into the jar evenly and chill for at least 3-4 hours.

To make the strawberry jam, hulled and cut the strawberries into halves or quarters depending on size, add to a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until the liquid turned into gel form (it will form a coat on the back of your spoon). Let cool completely and chill in the fridge until ready to use. Assemble just before serving.

My Chinese dinner menu is priced very reasonably at RM30 per head, and so is the Weekend Brunch menu. The Western dinner is RM50 per head (you can book this through the Weekend Brunch link). Click on the direct links to book your spots. Minimum 2 pax.

Looking forward to having you over for dinner! 

PlateCulture
http://www.plateculture.com
http://www.facebook.com/PlateCulture

Photocredit to: www.afnanomar.com

Meanwhile, do check out all the interesting listings on the site. I heard that the Lithuanian feast is good!

Imperial Pot, Solaris Dutamas

Solaris Dutamas is fast becoming a hot spot for all foodies alike. Be it Tapas, Eggy Breakfasts, Pizzas, Burgers, Sushi, Vegetarian delights, Hokkien Mee, Cakes, Roti Canai; If you crave for something, chances are you are going to find it there. If you manage to figure your way around the buildings, that is. Solaris Dutamas/Publika can be quite a maze at times. There are now two all day Dim Sum restaurants there too, one being the pork free New Shanghai Legend and the latest addition with plenty of oinking: Imperial Pot.

Eyecatching interior with oriental theme.
Eyecatching interior with oriental theme.

No, the name does not imply some marijuana for the Royalty (although wouldn’t that be interesting?), it simply refers to their signature “Teapot Soup”.

Nutritious Herbal Pork Soup
Nutritious Black Chicken Soup 药材乌鸡茶汤 RM8.80 (same price for all soup)

The soup is served with a tiny teacup so it’s recommended that you down in one. All the soup were cooked with care (made fresh everyday) and the pots are packed with ingredients. My favourite is the Herbal Pork Soup that is incredibly aromatic with warming properties.

Here you can see the pot is filled with meat + Chinese herbs
Here you can see the pot is filled with meat + Chinese herbs 十全大补茶汤

With all that soup to pique our appetite, we were then served with the first dim sum item, which was rather unique with a Japanese twist.

Unagi Puff in BBQ sauce
Unagi Puff in BBQ sauce 烧汁鳗鱼酥 RM12.80 for 2pcs

Nestled in a fluffy puff pastry case, the unagi delivered a burst of flavours. I would prefer the puff pastry to be slightly crispier but that’s not a big issue.

Enoki Mushroom wrapped in Bacon
Enoki Mushroom wrapped in Bacon 金包银 RM6.80

This is another Japanese inspired dish, and I ain’t going to complain about it. I’ve done this at home a few times and they are always a huge hit. Steaming it makes the bacon all tender and lovely. Besides mushrooms, they also added pork ‘paste’ within the roll for that extra meatiness. Delicious.

Charcoal Grilled Skin Prawn Dumpling Har Kau
Steamed Bah Kut Teh Xiao Long Baos 肉骨茶小笼包 RM8.80

This is the first time I’ve seen Bah Kut Teh broth used in soup dumplings and I think it’s a great combination. I just wish there was more broth in it and the skin to be a bit thinner, then they will be just perfect.

Leopard Skin Prawn Dumpling (Har Kau) 斑点虾饺皇
Leopard Skin Prawn Dumpling (Har Kau) 斑点虾饺皇 RM6.80

These might be better named as Dalmation Dumplings but people might get the wrong idea (only a very very minority of Chinese eat dogs, ok?). I’m not a huge fan of Har Kau in general so it didn’t wow me much. However the texture of the filling was good.

Charcoal Grilled Skin Prawn Dumplings
Charcoal Grilled Skin Prawn Dumplings 灰姑娘虾饺皇 RM6.80

The current trend is to put bamboo charcoal powder in absolutely everything. I prefer this than the one before (so following the black trend does work), but I think it would be nice if the skin was coloured with squid ink instead. At least it will bring the extra ocean flavour to the prawn filling.

Egg custard in Charcoal skin.
Egg custard in Charcoal skin 竹炭流沙包 RM6.80

Lookie another one with charcoal powder. But these Egg custard buns were beyond fantastic. Imagine the piping hot salted egg runny custard bursting out when you tear the bun open.

Orgasmic!
Orgasmic!

Oh my. This is almost obscene, in a very, very good way. These babies are right on the money.

Oinky Custard Bun
Oinky Custard Bun 奶王猪仔包 RM6.80

These super cute oinky buns literally paled in comparison as the filling was a bit drier and one-dimensional in taste. I suggest for them to just fill these with the same custard as above.

Hong Kong style steamed rice roll with crispy meat floss
Hong Kong style steamed rice roll with crispy meat floss 香港肉丝炸两 RM6.8

I always love to order Cheong Fun whenever I’m having Dim Sum and who can resist this sexy looking Char Leong (ie Cheong Fun filled with Chinese Crullers), especially when they were topped with the umami pork floss? I enjoyed this tremendously.

Fresh prawns in organic red rice roll
Fresh prawns in organic red rice roll 鲜虾红米肠 RM8.80

I didn’t get to try this one as they were gone too quickly.

Stir fried Hong Kong Kai Lan RM10.80
Stir fried Hong Kong Kai Lan 香港芥兰 RM10.80

The all important greens for the vege intake, and they do these quite well. I think I had at least half the plate of this.

Deep Fried avocado roll with crispy silk wrap RM7.80
Deep Fried avocado roll with crispy silk wrap 龙须牛油果 RM7.80 for 3pcs

Here comes another highlight of the day. It’s no secret that I love avocado and this is such a refreshing way to enjoy the nutritious fruit. Here the avocado is mashed, seasoned (sweet), wrapped in Kataifi pastry and deep fried. Be careful as they come piping hot. Consume too quickly and you’ll risk losing the skin on the roof of your mouth. Personally I think this is their best dish and must try if you are a first timer… heck, everytime, even.

Salted Egg Prawns.
Salted Egg Prawns 咸蛋黄炸虾 RM20.80 for full portion

I believe you can coat most things in salted egg yolk and they will taste amazing. Prawn lovers will enjoy this and I like getting the yolk bits off the shell. This is part of their dinner menu.

Tau Foo Fah (Soy Bean Pudding)
Tau Foo Fah (Soy Bean Pudding) 山水豆腐花 RM4.80

A simple is nice to finish off a rather heavy meal. They don’t have my favourite Mango pudding so this was served to us. I find the texture to be on the gritty side (just need to pass through the cheese cloth another time I guess) and there’s a peculiar sourish after taste to it. But ginger syrup is fantastic. Hopefully they can improve this as I do love a good Tau Foo Fah.

Will I go back again? Definitely for the Deep fried avocado and Lau Sar Buns. They also offer a variety of main dishes with reasonable prices.

Imperial Pot
A1-UG1-03 Solaris Dutamas (facing the main road, same side as Papparich/Nasi Kandar Bestari/Edo Ichi but a floor up),
No. 1, Jalan Dutamas 1,
Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
(603) 6412 6188
(603) 6412 6288
Opens daily: 9:30am – 9:30pm (rest time 3-5.30)

Simplot Food Blogger Cooking Competition – Baked Eggs with Mini Hash Browns

Simplot, the major potato grower, manufacturer and supplier in the world is holding a cooking competition for food bloggers in Malaysia. The rules are simple: we have to use any of the Simplot hashbrown products in a recipe and then blog about it. It’s also a bonus to use any of the Leggo’s sauces to make the recipe more interesting. The main criterias for the judging process is 1. Ease of Preparation and 2. Creativity.

I had a few days to ponder on the recipe and I decided to stick with what I love to eat that is also easy enough to make. We often see Hash browns being thrown on a plate as a big fry up breakfast and it can get rather boring. Well, my favourite breakfast (you might already know this) is something that’s packed with vegetables but also tastes amazing: Baked Eggs. Not only it’s visually appealing, it’s also fun to eat.

Of course, instead of serving it with toast, I used the mini hash browns to scoop up the delicious sauce. This also means I get to utilize a Leggo’s sauce in my recipe for the base. Strangely enough, someone must have stocked up all the pasta sauces because my local grocer only seems to have one variety left: The Napoletana. Luckily it’s versatile enough for me to play with.

This will be a picture-heavy blog because we are required to use step-by-step pictures and it certainly wasn’t easy for me to cook and take pictures at the same time without getting the camera dirty. So I guess I’ll skip my rambling and present to you my creation for this challenge:

Baked egg with zucchini and Capsicum served with Simplot Mini Hash Browns.
Baked egg with zucchini and Capsicum served with Simplot Mini Hash Browns.

Ingredients (serves 2):

12 Simplot Mini Hash Browns
Half an onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
Half a zucchini, cut into small dice
Half a capsicum, cut into small dice
Leggo’s Napoletana Sauce
Handful fresh Parsley, chopped finely
1/2 teaspon Dried Oregano
1 Egg per person (or more if you prefer)
Handful Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella is perfect)

2013-05-12 14.05.06

Preheat oven to 180C, arrange the Simplot Mini Hash Browns on a baking tray lined with baking sheet. Baked for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

2013-05-12 14.06.33

Get all the vegetables prepped. You want the zucchini and capsicum to be about the same size.

2013-05-12 14.06.07

Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of Olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, then throw in the minced garlic.

2013-05-12 14.05.42Continue to stir for a minute or two until onion is starting to brown. Then add zucchini and capsicum.

2013-05-12 14.04.44

Cook for about 15 minutes until vegetables are soft, then add about half a jar of the Leggo’s sauce (about 300g). Basically just enough to cover the vegetables.

2013-05-12 14.04.05

Add fresh parsley and dried oregano and cook for a few minutes more. Check for seasoning (I found mine already salty enough so I didn’t add anything else but a pinch of sugar). Turn off the heat.

2013-05-12 14.03.16

Fill a mini cast iron skillet with the vegetable mixture, making an indentation in the middle. Crack an egg into a ramekin and carefully lower it into the indentation. Do the same for the other portion.

2013-05-12 14.03.34

Sprinkle on some cheese. And bake in 180C oven for about 15-20 minutes until the egg is just set. Sprinkle more fresh parsley on top and serve with the mini hash browns. Consume immediately for the best runny egg yolk.

Delicious!
Tada!

I took a little too longer taking pictures so had let the egg to continue cooking in the skillet. So unfortunately no eggporn shot this time, but you can always take a look at my previous posts.

Dig in and enjoy!
Dig in and enjoy!

This is the first time I’ve ever use a ready made sauce for baked eggs and I’m not surprised that it was a much quicker process and just as tasty as the made-from-scratch version. I polished the whole thing within 15 minutes.

Would this recipe get your vote?

Carrot, Green Beans and Polenta Fritters

Need an idea for a festive brunch but don’t want to work too hard on it because you have spent the whole night fussing about the Turkey, Glazed Ham with all the trimmings? What about some carrot fritters? Everyone would have a carrot or 3 lying around the fridge somewhere (that is, unless you are weird and don’t eat carrots… I won’t hold that against you), pull out a couple of other things and there you have it. A meal that is simple, healthy but nonetheless impressive.

This is not the first time I’ve proclaimed my love for vegetable fritters. I have previously made Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters which proved to be widely popular. I’ve also made these Quinoa fritters/cakes which are the even healthier alternative. Vegetable fritters are so versatile that it’s perfect for clean-out-the-fridge day (especially during Christmas season with all those leftovers!). Or just when you feel like dressing up the otherwise boring vegetables. Plus, they are a cinch to make! This dish will win the hearts of the toughest carnivores.

You could either cook the carrots beforehand, or use them as raw. Personally, I prefer it to retain a bit of crunch. Plus, the less you cook the vegetables the more nutrients it keeps. I used Polenta because I still have a lot left from the last time I made the Apple Cormeal Cake. It adds a nice texture and a subtle sweet taste to the fritters. Lovely.

Love the colours!
Love the vibrant colours!

Carrot, Green Beans and Polenta Fritters

Makes 8

1 Carrot, grated
6-7 Green Beans, thinly sliced
3 Spring Onion, thinly chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 small Onion, diced
1/2 cup Self-rising flour
1/2 cup Cornmeal/Polenta
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Cheddar or Mozarella
1/4 cup of milk
Olive Oil
Coriander and Greek Yoghurt for Garnish

Stir the vegetables together first followed by the spices and seasonings. Add flour as well as Polenta and continue stirring. Make a well and add egg and milk. Mix everything well. Let the mixture set for 15-20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet/pan, and spoon 1/4 cup of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spatula. Fry in medium heat until both sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes each side (make sure that the inside is cook through as well). Remove from pan and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

Serve the fritter with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt, garnish with some coriander.

See? It’s so simple!

Come to mummy!
Come to mummy!

I like the crispy exterior, and the different textures of the vegetables. The addition of spices work well with the carrot too. The token pseudo-vegetarian at home approved too.

You could easily freeze the cooked fritters. Just separate them in parchment paper, in a ziplock bag/container and freeze. To warm, simply thaw and microwave or bake in the oven. Although every time I made fritters there’s never enough leftovers. Hah!

Sarawak MFF: Kolo Mee 干捞面

I’m absolutely loving the Malaysia Food Fest’s Sarawak Month. Seeing everyone’s enthusiasm about Sarawak and its offering is rather heartening. If you have not joined in the fun, check out the facebook event page for all the lovely entries so far. Even as a Sarawakian myself, I’m still discovering new dishes I’ve never tried before.

Well today I’m going to blog about probably the most well-known signature dish in Sarawak: Kolo Mee. The allure of this dish lies in its simplicity. Usually in a bowl of Kolo Mee we would expect a few things: Springy and oily noodles (with pork lard), Minced Pork (well seasoned), Char Siew (usually of less fatty cut), and Vegetables (Choy Sum). Sometimes you could also find special version with extra toppings such as pork liver and prawns. There are also halal versions too, although I doubt it would be as addictive as the original.

The funny thing is, I’ve never really ordered Kolo Mee in Bintulu. I’d either go for Kampua (Foochow) mee, or Kolo Kueh Tiaw (purists would probably scoff at this, hehe).

Kolo Kueh Tiaw, Popular Corner Bintulu

Old habits die hard I guess, my family has been ordering this for many many years at the same place. That’s why it never even occur to me to change it to the original noodles. But luckily, my mum recently travelled back to Bintulu and I’ve asked her to bring me some dry kolo mee noodles.

That’s a lot of Kolo Mee!

To make Kolo Mee at home, it actually does take a considerate amount of effort. First, you have to prep the Char Siew, render the pork lard for the oil (though I have some leftover from a while ago), then you’ll have to cook/blanch a few things at once to put together a perfect bowl of noodles. I’ve also pickled some green chilies a day ahead.

“Kelly’s Kolo Mee” does have a bit of a ring to it eh?

So, without further ado, let’s walk through the steps of making this dish.

Pickled Green Chilies:
All you need are some chopped up green chilies (of course), about 5 or 6. Put them all in a sterile jar, add a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt, then pour rice vinegar until everything’s covered. Keep this in a fridge at least overnight. This will last for weeks too. Use it for anything. Frank kept stealing pieces out of the jar!

Yummy!

To render the pork lard, refer here.

For Char Siew, I’ve referred to this recipe from My Asian Kitchen (and tweaked the amount of ingredients). I’ve actually use quite a lean cut of Pork too.

Char Siew :

200g pork
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking Chinese wine
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1-2 drop red food color
honey for brushing

Combine all seasoning with pork in a large container. Marinate pork for a few hours or overnight in fridge.

Heat oven to 180 degree Celcius. Line a baking tray with baking papper. Place marinated pork on the baking tray,bake pork for 20 minutes,then turn the other side,bake for another 20 minutes.

Brush pork with honey and then change setting to grill at 200 degree Celsius,roast the pork for another 5-10 minutes or so each side (brushing the other side too) until it is charred around the edges. Let cool, and cut to serve.

You’ll also need to prepare some Shallot oil. Just fry chopped shallot in peanut oil until golden brown. Set aside, leaving some oil on the pan.

Mince Pork Marinate (for about 30g):
1 teaspoon Shao Xing Wine
2 teaspoon of light soya sauce
a couple of dashes of white pepper powder

Marinate for at least 1 hour. Fry pork in the shallot oil until well-cooked.

Now that most of the preps are done, let’s get to the main part of the cooking.

Kolo Mee:
1 serving of dry noodles
Handful of Choy Sum
1 tablespoon Pork Lard
1 tablespoon Shallot Oil (Shallots included)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder (or MSG)*
1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar (from the Pickled chillies)
White Pepper, to taste
Pickled Chilies for Garnish
Chopped Spring Onions for Garnish

*As I’ve previously mentioned, I don’t cook with MSG at home. But Chicken Stock Powder is a good substitute and much better for you. 

Add all the seasonings in a large bowl.

Cook the noodles in boiling water until al dente, for the dry noodles it takes about 3-4minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Then return to the boiling water again for around 30 seconds. In the same pot of water if you like, blanch the choy sum for about 1 minute. Set Aside.

Once the noodles are ready, mix in the bowl with the seasonings. Then garnish with Char Siew, Minced Pork, Choy Sum, Chilies, and Spring Onions. Enjoy while hot!

Delicious and sinful!

The noodles, while perfectly al dente and springy, are fragrant with the pork lard and shallot oil. You get the sweetness of the Char Siew complementing the Savoury Minced Pork, while the Vegetables provides the crunch and freshness. The vinegar is just enough to cut through the richness of the noodles. A bowl of this would keep me full for hours. Now I’m just glad there are more nooodles lying around.

Have you got a favourite Kolo Mee stall?

I am submitting this dish to Malaysian Food Fest, Sarawak Month hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts

Breakfast is so much better with homemade bread

It’s yet another Saturday! There are so many events on today in the Klang Valley. MTV World Stage (not going because I’m not a fan of Justin Bieber, enough said), Bon Odori, Clinique Beach Party and TEDxKL. Yet I’m staying at home with a mild food poisoning from unknown source. I suspect it’s from the Lok Lok stall the other night. Hrmph. It’s ok though because I have these feline friends for company.

Meow!

These two loves to join me in bed. And the other one just hides in my wardrobe (strange one, that cat). I guess I’ll have to wash my sheets again….

Usually during Weekends, I like to bake a loaf of bread as we put a lot of emphasis on our brunches. I’ve experimented with different add-on ingredients including cheddar, olives, onion, mustard, zucchini, and even chili (the one you see in the photo is the chili bread). And all you need to do is to have a basic recipe which I’ll post in a minute.

Many people seems to be intimidated by the idea of making bread at home but it really is very easy! If you have a stand mixer, then there’s really no excuse for you to NOT make it. I unfortunately do not own one, so I just knead by bare bands. I find it quite therapeutic, actually. In fact the whole cooking process is quite relaxing for me. I guess it’s the fact that you just focus on the task at hand. Not sure how many people feel the same way though.

This was the nutritious brunch I’ve prepared last Sunday. It’s meat free, grease free and almost guilt free except for the cheese. My daily dose of calcium, of course. And remember, vitamins! Not only it’s pretty to look at, it’s delicious too!

Smashed Avocado and feta on toast, Grilled tomato with Mozzarella/Parmesan, Poached Egg with Truffle oil

Wholemeal Loaf
2 teaspoons (7g) dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
100ml warm water (about 40 degree celsius)
1 cup of bread flour plus 1 cup of wholemeal flour

Combine yeast, sugar, and the warm water (should be around our body temperature) in small bowl, cover; stand in warm place about 20 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

Combine flour and salt in large bowl; stir in yeast mixture, mix using a spatula to form a soft dough. Knead dough on floured surface about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in large bowl and cover with towel; stand in warm place about 1 hour or until dough doubles in size. Knead it for the second time just for a minute, and let it rise again for another half an hour.

The timing here is based on Malaysian climate, in colder weather it will take longer to rise so factor that in.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 210 degree Celsius.

When the dough is ready, lay it gently on a baking tray lined with baking paper (oil it if you want, doesn’t make much of a difference to me) and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool completely.

Now you can put together an impressive brunch!

You need:

2 slices of Toasted Bread

Smashed Avocados with feta
1 Avocado
2 tablespoon lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Pinch salt & pepper
1/4 cup good Feta Cheese, crumbed

Mix everything together and smashed with a fork! Then spread the lovely mixture on the toasted bread. Resist the urge to take a bite before everything lands on the plate. I did, so I made another toast.

Cheesy Grilled Tomato
1 tomato, sliced in half
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of Grated Mozarella and Parmesan

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the tomato and carefully sprinkle the grated cheese on top, pile on as much as you can. And then grill in in 200 degree Celsius oven until cheese melted and golden brown. Easy peasy!

Poached Egg
I’ve achieved this unique look by poaching egg using the clingwrap method. It doesn’t always present like a flower but I think the yolk this time might have sat slightly higher for the white to close around it. I like accidental surprises!

Lay a piece of cling film over a ramekin or tea cup and push it down into the recess with your fingers. Grease it a little with olive oil

Crack an egg into it then twist up the surplus clingfilm to make a knot so you have a little pouch.

Bring a pan half full with water to simmering point and lower the pouch containing the egg into it.

Simmer until the white is firm but the yolk still runny. Lift out and plunge into a bowl of cold water to prevent further cooking. Unwrap carefully – the film may stick slightly to the egg – and serve.

Parsley Leaves, to garnish

Truffle oil, for that extra decadence. Just drizzle a little on the egg. Yum.

And now, the obligatory egg yolk shot.

Oh my!

Playing with your food encourages great eating experience. Seriously. I urge you to start making your own bread from now on. Only negative is, they don’t last as long as the commercial bread so do consume within 2-3 days.

Vanilla Quinoa “Rice” Pudding

So it’s a rainy and somewhat cold morning and I woke up way too early. I suspect it’s to do with the pain in my hip. That’s right, I had yet another fall. Somebody please childproof this apartment! Sleep deprived, and wanting something soft and creamy, I’ve come up with a “Rice Pudding” except with this we are using Quinoa instead of Rice. This is the first sweet dish I’ve ever made with Quinoa and I wonder why haven’t I done this sooner. You could find my other Quinoa recipes here. I don’t have to go through all the health benefits of Quinoa except to say that if you haven’t tried it before, get on it!

I’ve never actually had ‘fresh’ rice pudding before, come to think of it. My point of reference would be those prepacked ones from local supermarket and they are eaten cold. Not terribly exciting although for a student it could be a nice snack. Needless to say, this version beats the regular rice pudding by miles. The nutty taste of the Quinoa is enhanced by the combination of yummy flavours. The creaminess of the pudding and bananas are met with the interesting texture of Quinoa. Mmmm. This is a keeper!

Vanilla Quinoa Pudding with Banana

Recipe: Serves 2

1/2 cup Quinoa
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar or to taste
1 cup milk plus a bit more if needed
1 Vanilla bean, scrapped for seeds
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Honey
1 Banana, sliced

Rinse the Quinoa well, then cook in a small pot with water until fluffy, roughly 15 minutes.

Add milk, sugar, Vanilla seeds, cinnamon. Cook in low heat and stir occasionally. For roughly 30 minutes or until mixture thickens significantly and all the liquid has almost been absorbed. Add a bit more milk if needed.

To serve, spoon the pudding into a small bowl, splash a couple of tablespoons of milk over. Add sliced banana and drizzle honey on top. You can now enjoy your healthy breakfast/brunch!

Here’s my attempt to pretty it up.

It’s a little time consuming and probably not something you’d make before you go to work. Make it for the weekend, or make it the night before to be heated up the next day. I’m going to experiment with different fruits and spices next time!