Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Potatoes with minced meat

Other than potatoes chips, I really like fried potato slice with minced meat. I’m quite picky about the potatoes though. Many places, including economy rice aka mixed rice that sells this dish slice their potatoes too thick. The potatoes actually taste nicer and more fragrant when sliced thinner. The thinner the potatoes make it easier for the potatoes to turn golden brown too.

- potatoes, in thin slices
- 3/4 tsp peppera
- 200g minced meat
- 2.5cm ginger, diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- Few tbsp thick sweet sauce
- Few tbsp soya sauce

1. Mix ginger and pepper with minced meat. Put aside.
2. Fry sliced potatoes until golden brown and leave a side on a separate plate.
3. In the same pan fry garlic until fragrant.
4. Add thick sweet sauce and soya sauce. And stir until simmer.
5. Add minced meat and fry until semi cook.
6. Add the fried potatoes and continue to stir fry until minced meat is cooked.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lai Wok Pan for Merdeka Open House 2006

Two weeks back, Babe_KL announced she will be having a virtual Merdeka open house. No, we will be emailing each other food, but those who are interested will be cooking up a dish themed Malaysian Recipes Long Forgotten. Within a second of reading the post, I already knew what dish I want to cook. Since young until today, I have not met anyone who knows or who have eaten the long forgotten Hakka dish, Lai Wok Pan.

Lai Wok Pan (in Hakka) means "pulled wok sides" in English. The cooking will not need you to pull the round wok to an oval shaped wok ;P but sides of the wok plays an important role while cooking in this dish. The main ingredient of this dish is flour... but the end product is something like a fusion of dry Pan Mee and Yin Yong.

I have only seen my mom cook this dish but have not tried cooking this dish before. I guess it's a good time to learn too. I was a little worried that my first attempt to "pull the sides of the wok" fails because my mom only taught me verbally. She won't be in to supervise me while I cook this dish. When I asked about the flour and water ratio, mom just said "Har? I don't know la, I always just go with the flow". I got a little worried when I had to figure the ratio myself.... I was glad that the dish turned up to be a success. My dad loved it.

Ingredients needed;
- 1/3 cup of ikan bilis (dried eastern anchovies)
- 2/3 cup of heh bee (dried mini shrimps)
- 2 tbsp of sliced dried sotong (squid)
- 4 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- a handful of Chinese mushrooms
- manni chai, the same type of leaf eaten in Pan Mee
- dried something flower, not sure the name but see the picture below
- lime juice
- normal flour (tepung gandum)
- water

Manni chai is actually a name in Hokkien. I'm not sure what it is called in English. The leafs are sold with the soft branches. You will need to pluck the leafs out from the branches before cleaning them. Soak in salt water and rinse before use.

I have no idea what this is called but this dry flower is commonly used to make vegetarian dishes. You can easily get them at any supermarket. [Edit: EFTL reader says this is called the kim chiam bud. Thanks for the info Austin Powers!]

Method: Step 1

Rinse the ikan bilis and boil with water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Set to low fire and continue boiling for another 1 to 2 hours . Turn off the heat and remove the ikan bilis from the soup. It is easier to separate them when the soup is cool and all the ikan bilis are sunk to the bottom. Or just use a strainer.

If you don't have time to boil, you can always substitute with ikan bilis or chicken stock and boil for a few minutes.

Step 2

Rinse the heh bee. Keep half a side, and pound the remaining half. You don't have to pound too finely. You can also use the food processor to blend fine, or just use the kitchen scissors to cut it into fine pieces.

Clock wise starting from top left.
Bowl 1# Rinse the sliced dried sotong and put half aside with the remaining heh bee that were not pounded. The other half of the sliced dried sotong goes to bowl 4.
Bowl 2# Slice the shallots in to thin slices. These will be fried later so thin slices are easier to be cooked compared to thick ones.
Bowl 3# Rinse the dried flowers and remove the stem. Knot the flowers to give a better texture when eaten. Soak mushrooms and slice to thin layers. You can also use the mushroom stem as they will give extra aroma to the dish when cooked. They can be eaten later with the dish, or just picked out to be throw as they can be a little tough to chew.
Bowl 4# Chop up the garlic and the remaining half of the sliced dried sotong. They will be fried together with the pounded heh bee.

Step 3
Mix 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water... I think. I added flour and water until I forgot how much flour and water I added. The mixture should be thick enough to stick on the side of the wok. A thick batter will produce a thicker and harder flour piece, while a thin batter will produce a softer flour piece. It's up to you to mix. For mine, I did a thin batter... I should have added a little more flour.

Step 4
Heat up you wok and heat about 2 table spoon of oil. Fry sliced shallots in low fire until they turn crispy and golden brown. Remove from heat to a separate bowl and let to cool. Heat another few table spoon of oil and fry Bowl 4 in low fire. The oil and ingredients will bubble, but that's normal. When crispy and golden brown, remove half of them to a separate bowl and let to cool.

Step 5

Pour the ikan bilis soup in the wok to mix with the fried garlic, sotong and heh bee. Let to boil and add bowl 3.

Here comes the interesting part....

Step 6
When the soup is boiling, scoop the flour mixture and pour it along the side of the wok. Pour a little of the boiling soup to the flour mixture to help cook it. Scrape off the cooked flour from the side of the wok into the soup and let to boil.

Add more ikan bilis soup if the soup is too thick. Make sure the soup is always boiling before repeating the step.

Step 7
Add a few pinches of salt and pepper and let to boil for a few seconds. Add in mammi chai and stir for a minute. Turn off the heat and serve.

Step 8

Top the Lai Wok Pan with a teaspoon of fried shallots, a teaspoon of fried heh bee mixture and a table spoon of lime juice. For people who like the dish spice, add a table spoon of sambal giling or chili padi.

Ta daaa! Step 9, dig in while it's still hot! The dish will only taste good when it's hot.

...oh, and one more thing. Kepada semua rakyat-rakyat Malaysia di mana jua, marilah kita merayakan hari Merdeka yang ke 59 in dengan penuh semangat. Kibarkanlah bendera negara kita dengan tinggi. Selamat Hari Merdeka!

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fish Fish Fish

I have met some people who cannot stand eating fish due to the pungent fishy smell. I have also met people who love the fishy smell and prefer seafood with more of that fishy smell.

As for me, fishy or not, I just love fish.

I think the simples style of serving local sliced fish in Malaysian homes is just simply frying it. When golden brown on both sides, fresh (ikan Tengirri in this case) fish just taste simply sweet. Add a dash of soya sauce for more taste.

When the body and flesh are fried, the fish heads are usually thrown. The larger fish heads are usually made into fish head dishes like the curry fish head.

Sometimes, my mom splits the smaller fish heads into halves and deep fry them to come out with a really crispy fish head. The whole head can then be eaten because it’s all crunchy. The fried fish is also nice when cooked with noodles. (Yu tau mai fun)

Of course for all the fish head dishes, fish meat can also be added in the dish but the star of the dish is usually the fish head.

Fish filets can also be marinated first before cooking. My aunty usually marinates small local fish filets with thick sweet sauce and salt before frying them. They also taste good when cooked in a steamboat.

The simplest way of enjoying fresh fish is actually just steaming the fish. But remember, steam fish will only taste good if fish is really fresh.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ming Tien @ Taman Megah

Sometimes it’s nice to eat at food courts and coffee shops because there are many types and variety of food to choose from at one location. Really saves the time and headache of thinking of a place to eat. Ming Tien in Taman Megah is one of those place.

Ahhhh shaved ice with all sorts of jelly, syrup, vegetables and fruits. My dad never fails to order the sour sop shaved ice in Ming Tien every time we are there. According to him, the shaved ice taste better and better every time, and recently, Ming Tien is really generous with all the fruits and jelly in the dish.

Sarawak mee. The first time I have tasted Sarawak mee is from Ming Tien. The noodles is cooked dry mixed with a little soya sauce and topped with minced meat. The noodles also come with soup. This is one of the few dry noodles I enjoy.

Duck rice. I think the duck rice do not look that good, but trust me, it tastes superb! I have also tried their duck noodles, taste even better!!! But I have got to warn you, the duck noodles can be a little oily. Joan Chew from Life of a food lover blogged about the famous duck rice in PJ new town aka PJ states. I have eaten duck rice there since I could remember but if you think duck rice there is good, you can think again after trying out the duck rice in Ming Tien.

Singapore fried noodles aka Sing Chou Mai. Hm… I really miss the Sing Chou Mai in Wisma UOA’s cafeteria in Damansara Heights. I have never tasted any better Sing Chou Mai anywhere else, when the one in Ming Tien. This Sing Chou Mai I have eaten is too wet and too sweet! The chef added way too much sugar while frying the noodles.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Puttu Mayam

When my dad introduced me the famous Indian Puttu Mayam when I was a kid, I loved it a lot. ....actually I still love having the fresh, warm, soft and fragrant Puttu Mayam. My dad made a mistake tho.. he called it the Kutu Mayam. LOL!

The Puttu Mayam is actually a mixture of a soft watery rice flour dough that is pressed out of a container (something like a pepper grinder) shaping it into spirals, on to a steamer. The Puttu Mayam is then steamed for a few minutes and ready to be eaten. The Puttu Mayam is delicious eaten by itself when it is still warm, tastes sweet like bread. But usually, the Puttu Mayam is eaten with a mixture of grated coconut flesh and red sugar.

I have a personal way of eating the Puttu Mayam actually. I usually sprinkle a layer of coconut and red sugar in the Puttu Mayam. I'll then roll up Puttu Mayam and wait till the sugar melts into the coconut and Puttu Mayam. I'll make a few of them and chomp them put later at one go.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pork ball noodles at Weng Hing Jalan Imbi

When I was told that the original pork ball noodles aka "chu yoke yuin fun" was at this coffee shop, I was excited. I woke up early on a Sunday morning and head all the way down to Jalan Imbi just to try the bowl of noodles.

Weng Hing coffee shop at the corner of Jalan Imbi.

I saw a few people queuing up at the stall to take away the pork ball noodles. The uncle at the stall was working really fast to get the orders out.

Looking at all the customers that were coming and going for the noodles, I had high hopes for it... but sadly, I'm disappointed again. The bowl of pork ball noodle soup wasn't impressive to the taste buds at all. Any pork ball noodle soup in PJ can easily taste better.

The BBQ Chinese sausages that came with the noodles tasted about the same as the ones I can get in PJ. The pork ball itself also taste the same, but the testure was softer and a little less springy.

I also tried their fried queh teow. I waited quite some time for the fried queh teow because the uncle fries each plate individually. The fried queh teow smelt really good! and of course, individually fried queh teow usually taste better.

Again... disappointment. Smells good, but tasted below average.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Coffee shop at Tengkat Tong Shin


I decided to look for the other Char Siew stall in Tengkat Tong Shin that earl-ku recommended in my previous Char Siew post. But… I ended up in the wrong coffee shop. This coffee shop I went to is a corner coffee shop right after the Ming Kee Char Siew stall. I saw a chicken rice stall that sells siew yoke too so I assumed that that was the correct stall.

I ordered the Char Siew and Siew Yoke rice. The Char Siew was a disappointment. Well, I did head to the wrong stall after all, so can’t complain. But you know, their Siew Yoke was surprisingly really good. The skin of the Siew Yoke was really crispy. A must to try!

There’s also a stall selling noodles and Yong Tofu. I noticed most of the coffee shop customers were ordering from that stall. This Kuan Loh Pan Mee (dry flat noodles) from the stall tastes ok.

The Yong ToFu was also ok.

After lunch, I walked down the road to look for the correct Chai Siew stall, I didn’t manage to find it but did saw an old lady selling cartoon shaped Chinese egg cakes in front of another coffee shop.

I walked till the end of Tengkat Tong Shin but still did not manage to find the Char Siew stall! I walked all the way back to the head of the road and I think… the correct Char Siew stall is there. I’m have to head back to that coffee shop to try!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pasar Besar Puchong

I go to the market okayyy. People think I'm those "Sui Cheh" aka spoilt princess that cannot take the stench of the wet market but teckiee is not afraid of the market... that's where I get the source of all my ingredients.

Tomatoes, carrots, chilies, cabages, old cucumbers... a lot of them all in wholesale price... only if you buy in bulk.

Green vegetables. Kang kung, Kai Lan, Yuin Choy ... "Kai Lan from where? Hong Kong one ah?" ..."No la, Putrajaya one" LOL! Taste the same one lah :P


All potatos, ubi-ubi. Purple ones, yellow ones, orange ones and white ones. So many of them.

Most… actually all of the fishes sold here are all local fishes that are caught in our own Malaysian waters.

You have to be careful when picking out the fishes though. Not all are really fresh. Fishermen have to freeze their fishes on their boats. Those fishes are still ok. But if the fishermen\fish monger defrost and refreeze the fish… you’ll get really sucky fish.

Crabs! Not really the crab season so I didn’t really see much variety of crabs.

Smaller fishes.

Shrimps, prawns… and sometimes I see lobsters too. But most of them are so small…. want to eat also like no umph.

There’s also a dedicated butchery section that sells chicken, beef and mutton. I didn’t know there are various types of chicken that can be bought. The normal barn chicken, the black kampong chicken, the running farm chicken (choy yuin kai), and “overgrown” chicken, that when the farmers just let the chicken grow more before selling them. And then there’s the organic chicken and also the kunyit chicken.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tofu Fah...Tau Cheong Sui

Soya milk and tofu fah was never my kind of dessert in the pass. I used to hate soya products for god knows what reason. Some how, loving tasting all sorts of food made me neutral to soya made food stuff. Now, I even enjoy soya bean milk and vegetarian food stuff made from soya.

Jollibean, a soya bean retail outlet in Singapore started the whole "teckiee takes soya bean again". I realised that soya bean milk in Singapore taste better. I'm not sure if it's the beans they use or the way they make it.

I think Singaporeans uses better grade soya beans and mix less water to it. Jollibean is only one out of the many soya bean retail outlets that sells good soya bean milk.

In Malaysia, road side trucks selling "Tofu Fah...Tau Cheong Sui" is commonly found. This one is located opposite Damansara Uptown Tower 5.

Tau Cheong Sui mean soya bean milk.

I bought Tofu Fah from this stall and.... I really don't know how to tell if a bowl of Tofu Fah is good or not. All taste the same and all texture is smoother that a baby's bumb. I bought mine with dark sugar syrup.

Some people like to just eat it in big clumps, but I like to break mine into tiny pieces. If you are wondering how Tofu Fah is made, well, I'm not really sure but it is a mixture of soya bean milk, sugar and some other powdered ingredient to stagnant the soya bean milk. The powder will curd up the milk making it to a smooth Tofu Fah.

There is a Tofu Fah, Tau Cheong Sui truck out Damansara Jaya's Atria that my parents like to visit. The guy selling Tofu Fah have started his business from a motorcycle and when business started to grow big about 10 years ago, he bought a truck.

He taught me how to enjoy Tofu Fah and Tau Cheong Sui together actually. I was given a bowl of really hot Tofu Fah with white sugar syrup (like the one in the picture above) once and I burnt my tongue eating it. He took back my bowl and mixed my Tofu Fah with cool Tau Cheong Sui. Very nice!

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Restaurant Lorong Seratus Tahun

Penang food all in one house? Only a good idea if you can cook all that delicious Penang food and have it taste the same.

Lorong Seratus Tahun is one of those places where you can find most of the famous Penang food. Too bad the Penang food doesn't taste as good as Penang food cooked in Penang. I don't recommend this place to authentic Penang food lovers.

Left to right: Chin Chow, Long Ngan and Barli

This is the famous Penang style chili. A chili that didn't taste spicy to me. To me, it's like a red paste to thicken the soup.

Penang Curry noodles with Chu Hong (Cognated pig's blood). Ahhh one of the very few raw places in PJ that serves curry noodles with Chu Hong. You can get these every where in Penang but so darn difficult to find Chu Hong in PJ and KL. The curry was just so so. Pangkor's curry nice la. Rating: 6/10

This Char Queh Teow was one of those noodles that weren’t fried enough. The whole plate of noodles was too watery and not even fragrant. Rating: 4/10

Prawn mee. Disappointing dish. Lim Mee Yoke's prawn mee is wayyyy better. This prawn noodles I ate is like a mixture of the curry mee, prawn mee, and the Penang chilie. Very little prawn smell too. Rating: 5/10 If they rename it to Penang fusion laksa, then a rating of 7/10

Homemade tofu. I don't like it. It's just plain white tofu smashed with some vegetables then wrapped in Foo Choke and deep fired. Rating: 5/10

I think the prawn crackers were the best among all that I have tried in Lorong Seratus Tahun. And that wasn't even sold in their shop. A small boy was going from coffee shop to coffee shop selling this. Rating: 8.5/10

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