Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

Cheers,
Babe_KL
16 Oct 2012

Thursday, 31 August 2006

Merdeka Open House 2006: Recipe Long Forgotten

MERDEKA!!! MERDEKA!!! MERDEKA!!!

Sebelum kita bermula, sila semua berdiri... lahhhh... nyanyi lagu Negaraku dulu ok.



NEGARAKU

Negaraku
Tanah tumpahnya darahku
Raykat hidup
Bersatu dan maju
Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta

Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta


Selamat Datang ke Rumah Terbuka Hari Kemerdekaan 2006!!!! Terima Kasih kerana sudi datang, jangan segan-segan ok. Sila jemput makan......


Finally... the planned virtual party is here. As many of you are aware that I've started inviting Malaysians to partcipate in this even about two weeks back. I'm pretty surprised that I've gotten quite a number of interested parties. Before the invitation I was rather apprehensive cause I was worried that there may be a lack of errr participation or rather food to be served on our Merdeka Open House but boy oh boy, how wrong I was. As usual Malaysians are a sporting lot, no wonder "Malaysia Boleh" is coined.

We are serving the following dishes from all over the world so please help yourself to the spread. To make things easy for myself, I'm placing the order of the dishes according to the submission ie. on a first come first serve basis hahaha, no choice cos I'm pretty busy after a week's off and my home PC decided to take a strike!


msau - ChiliPrawn10 teckiee - Lai Wok Pan

First one up was msaufong of My Home Recipe. She's a mummy of two cutie pies and had cooked up one of my fave dish - Stir-fry Spicy Prawn. I loved the amount of chopped garlic and chillies used. I can smell the aroma as I'm typing this.

teckiee from Petaling Jaya of Eat First Think Later is serving a Lai Wok Pan. Now this is really a long forgotten recipe since I've never heard of my Hakka mom mentioned about this. But then again... the Hakka have many clans so this dish may not from her clan heh. teckiee even has a video on how to perform the difficult part of the recipe.


eddie - 083106_buffalo_15 suyin - chicken biscuit

Eddie of Cooking Engineer fame apologised for not able to cook up something authentic Malaysian. Gotta excuse him since he has since became a citizen of the US recently but nevermind lah he would still be a Malaysian at heart. Our Tukang Masak Jurutera came out with an humourous post of albeit he cooked up errr buffalo stew. So Malaysians, we excused him, can or not huh? Well at least he posted in BM but pasar style kakaka... I am still ROTFL ok over his post.

From the The Journal of a Girl who Loves To Cook, Su Yin who is currently in Sydney, Australia, made up a batch of Kampar Chicken Biscuits, more popularily known as Kai Chai Peang. This gutsy girl braved herself thru a smelly bottle of nam yue (red fermented beancurd) to come out with this all time favourite Chinese snack. Tourists especially locals who passes by Bidor, Kampar and Ipoh will never leave these towns without a few packets of these delicious biscuits. At least now with the recipe, I don't need to travel so far for my fix.


rachel - green tea chiffoncake peimun - kek batik ayu

Tham Jiak's Rachel from Kuala Lumpur is serving us slices of light and fluffly Green Tea Chiffon Cake. Apparently her Ah Ma used to bake mean chiffon cakes which Rachel devoured during her childhood. So much so that Rachel had inherited the chiffon cake mold from Ah Ma but sad that she can't use it at the moment as the mold is too huge for her oven. Nevermind girl, next time get a bigger oven when you have the opportunity.

Students Pei Mun, Min Yin and Audrey in Melbourne, Australia, teamed up to make a long forgotten cake made of Milo, condensed milk and marie biscuits! The cake is named Kek Batik Ayu... excellent dessert for our Open House. We, Malaysians, certainly can relate to the the 3 main ingredients of this cake with Milo being our favourite chocolate drink, condensed milk in our beverages especially the institutional teh tarik and childhood fave round shaped biscuit called Marie biscuit.


bee yinn - kerabu_bee_hoon audrey - muhibbah curry

We have a fiery red Kerabu Bee Hoon whipped up by Bee Yinn in US. The bee hoon looked so spicy and it is sinfully topped with delicious and huge prawns. Save some prawns for me Bee Yinn!!! Bee Yinn had started a new food blog, Rasa Malaysia. Do drop by for a visit.

Audrey Cooks came out with a curry that had a lot of ingredients married together. She had aptly named it Dry Muhibbah Curry. Muhibbah since prawns, aubergines, lady fingers, tomatoes, salted fish head and dried cuttlefish made up this dish! Must be great with loads of steamed white rice!


hijackqueen - jelly3 lilian - kapitan ayam

Hijackqueen of Kuala Lumpur submitted a very pretty dessert of Cendol Jelly. It has layers of coconut milk, cendol and gula melaka. Imagine a cool cool piece of jelly slittering down your throat... ahhhh a bliss in our hot weather.

Our famous 5xmom from Penang, Lilian, cooked up a storm in her kitchen until lesung batu also came out but for photography purposes only wor. She had made a Kari Ayam Kapitan which is also best served with steamed white rice. I can just eat the kuah with rice!


ipoh ipoh3 chicken with 8 treasure rice

As for myself, I've made up a snack name Ipoh Ipoh. It's a curry puff but with a non-spicy fillings of yambeans (sengkuang) and bamboo shoots cooked in tau cho sauce. Served with a delicious vinegared chilly sauce. For the mains, I'm serving Chicken with 8 Treasures Rice. Seems right for the Merdeka Open House with the hope that our country will reap in some treasures in the years to come. With the treasures in hand, hopefully there won't be more hikes on fuel, toll, food etc...


lemongrass honey tea hoong dau sar

I've also prepared a Lemongrass Honey Tea to quench your thirst.

To end the Open House with a sweet note, we have a popular Chinese dessert - Cream of Red Bean (hoong dau sar in Cantonese) which is slightly different from the usual Sweet Red Bean Soup. This is to wish Malaysia, hoong wan thong thau which is roughly translated as blessed with good luck!

14 items for the virtual open house, not too bad for the first time. If I have left out anyone, kindly drop me a mail. I will try to make it up later. I'm so sorry for posting this at such unearthly hour for an open house as I don't have a choice. I won't have any PC to do this tomorrow since hubby need his notebook for discussion. Will try to reply the comments as soon as I can lay my hands on the notebook when he comes back.

Well, I'm rather glad with the amount of participation in our inaugural Merdeka Open House. Even though not many of us managed to stick to the main theme but tak pe lah... as long as it has certain elements of a Malaysian dish, also jadi. By the way, I've hijacked your photos without permission to be posted here to make the post more colourful. Hope you guys don't mind. Sorry. Thank you all so much for putting up a great show. As for the rest of the Malaysians who can't made it this time round... sila menjamu selera!

Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka Ke-49!!!

I'm proud to be a Malaysian.

UPDATED 11 September 2006

Passionfordecor did not managed to email me on time for her submission. However she did post up her post for this... Check out her Urap, a side dish of very simple grated coconut fried with shallots, dried prawns and chillies, to be served with nasi impit and sambal tumis udang dish. Thanks for the entry.


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Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Merdeka Open House 2006: Cream of Red Bean

To end Merdeka Open House 2006 with a sweet note, I've done up a batch of Cream of Red Bean (hoong dau sar), a sweet soup (tong shui in Cantonese) that is usually served as dessert of a Chinese banquet.

hoong dau sar

This is slightly different from red bean soup (hoong dau shui) as the red beans are supposed to be cooked until dissolved errr which can be quite a task. I made this up without the intention to serve up for the open house since it is not a long forgotten recipe but after cooking and tasted it, not bad also since it's my first time making hoong dau sar. My colleague had casually given me some tips a few weeks back so I put them to good use.

First, wash the red beans till water runs clear. Soak them for a few hours in hot water. I cooked the beans overnight in a slow cooker for about 6-7 hours in some water. Err need to guesstimate but try not to use too much water. Once done, I still see some skins floating about hence I stick in my handheld blender and blend till fine. I have to cheat a bit since I've no idea how to cook it until everything is dissolved.

Pour them out into a clean pot and add in some dried lotus seeds (soaked and this can be found at Chinese medicine hall. The variety I've gotten have been skinned and can be easily soften in a short cooking time.). Simmer the soup under low fire and add in sugar to taste. Next put in some washed sago pearls (not too much else your soup will turn gooey). Simmer till the sago pearls turned clear. Dish up and serve hot.

Delicious!

Selamat Menjamu...

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Notice: Merdeka Open House 2006

Dear fellow Malaysians,

Please note that the deadline for submission to the Merdeka Open House 2006 is closed. However, if you could still make it before 12 midnight today, I will try my best to accommodate your entry.

For those of you who have submitted your entries, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your effort in order to make this event successful. Look out for the round up tomorrow.

For the Malaysians out there, don't forget to come by tomorrow for the virtual open house.

See you all tomorrow...

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Merdeka Open House 2006: Lemongrass Honey Tea

When I went thru the list of dishes submitted for the Merdeka Open House last night, I noticed there isn't any drinks in the menu kakaka... Poor guests! Luckily I have something Malaysian in my fridge, guess what? It's lemongrass!!! Usually we used it in curries and dishes but hey did you know that it can be turned into a refreshing drink too? Here's how...

Lemongrass Honey Tea

Ingredients:
6 stalks lemongrass, cut lengthwise
4 cups water
2 teabags
8 tbsp honey

Add lemongrass to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on slow fire for about 10 minutes. Turn off the fire. Add teabags and allow to brew for about 2 minutes.

If it tastes too weak, continue to steeping, if it tastes too strong, add more hot water. You may also add another teabag if you prefer a stronger brew.

Add honey to the tea. Garnish with lemongrass stalk and serve cold with ice cubes. In the picture, I've a cup of hot one as well.

lemongrass honey tea

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Merdeka Open House 2006: Chicken with 8 Treasures Rice

chicken with 8 treasure rice

I'm serving Chicken with 8 Treasures Rice as the main in conjunction with the Merdeka Open House 2006. It is not exactly a long forgotten recipe, just that it's kind of a hassle these days to cook up such elaborate dish. Just check up the recipe...

CHICKEN WITH 8 TREASURES RICE

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken (1.5kg)

Chicken marinade (combined):
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp thick soy sauce

For the glutinous rice filling:
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup glutinous rice, steamed till cooked
1/2 cup button mushrooms, diced
10 pieces gingko nuts (pak kor), shelled, skinned and parboiled
20 lotus seeds, soaked and parboiled
5 Chinese black mushrooms, soaked and diced
5 red dates, seeded
8 shelled dried chestnuts, soaked
125g carrots, diced
1 tbsp dried shrimps, chopped (I left them whole)

Seasoning for the rice:
2 tbsps water
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp thick soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (I omitted this)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper

Clean chicken thoroughly inside and out. Cut off the feet and bishop's nose. Rub the inside and outside of chicken with combined marinade ingredients. Let chicken stand for at least 1 hour.

Boil chestnuts in water for 15 minutes. Heat wok with oil and deep fry chestnuts for 3-4 minutes. Remove, drain and rinse under clean tap water.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok, fry garlic till fragrant. Add dried shrimps and fry for a minute. Add button mushrooms, black mushrooms, lotus seeds, chestnuts and dates and stir fry well. Mix in combined seasoning ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes. Dish up and combine with rest of the ingredients, including the sticky rice.

Deep fry chicken in oil for 6-7 minutes until lightly browned. Drain. Stuff rice mixture into chicken cavity and place on a steaming tray.

Steam for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve chicken whole or cut up into big pieces, with 8 Treasures Rice on the side and gravy.

Gravy:
2 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps thick soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsps light soy sauce
3 galangal slices
200 ml water

Put 2 tbsps oil in a wok, add sugar and galangal slices. When the oil turns dark golden, turn off the heat. Add thick soy sauce, light soy sauce and water. Bring to simmer and set aside as gravy.


Kinda challenging actually for someone like me to cook up such as dish. However, as usual I cheated my way thru hahaha, no choice as one whole chicken is too much for two and a half of us. I opted 3 chicken thighs instead, hence my rice was cooked separatedly. I soaked my rice over night so that I do not need to steam the rice so long. I fried garlic and dried shrimps till fragrant before adding all the ingredients plus the seasonings and mix well. Dish them up into a heatproof dish and place in a steamer. Steam till cook.

I had to call my sifu mom for help since I've no idea how to steam glutinous rice. She told me I just need to add a bit of water to the rice and steam. Check for doneness along the way and stir the rice a bit to ensure even cooking. I've timed my cooking for one cup of rice. I checked the rice after 10 minutes, stirred then steamed another 5 minutes for a slightly soft texture (since I'm feeding boiboi) otherwise 10-12 minutes should be fine for a chewy texture.

I have to say I loved the 8 Treasures Rice. The taste is somewhat different from loh mai farn (steamed glutinous rice). Hubby mentioned that I was very close to making a bak chang or also known as glutinous rice dumpling (roll eyes cos that's a hint ok!!!). I gave a bit of the rice to my boiboi and he loved the rice too cos he whacked them all up including one drumstick which was very tender!

Hope you all will like this too. Sila jemput makan...

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Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Thank You M&M

Dearest M&M,

Sorry for being this late to let both of you know that I've gotten the card and pressies all the way from New Zealand. I was on leave at home, stuck with my boiboi and without any access to the net as my PC decided to go on holiday too albeit a permanent one.

Thanks for being so thoughtful and remembering the birthday of this colleague who is still stuck in the city Kuala Lumpur. Appreciated your kind gesture hence I'm publicly thanking both of you in my blog here heh. :p

Once again thank you very much.

tq note

Merdeka Open House 2006: Ipoh Ipoh

ipoh ipoh1

I've prepared a snack as an entree for Merdeka Open House 2006. I was going thru the many Flavours magazines that I have and came across this curry puff looking snack. According to the article this is a non-spicy curry puff filled with yambeans (turnips/sengkuang) and bamboo shoots that is hardly served these days. This is my first time to come across such a puff with this kinda fillings and with the name of Ipoh Ipoh. The usage of preserved soybeans made this puff tasted some what Nyonya like. This is very apt for the the Open House since it's like a marriage of the Malay curry puff and Nyonya ju hu char.

Here's the original recipe:

IPOH IPOH

200g bamboo shoots, boiled and shredded
200g yambeans (turnip/sengkuang), shredded
200g prawns
120g chicken fillet
2 pieces of hard beancurd

Pound together:
4 onions
3 garlic
1/2 tbsp preserved soybeans (tau cho)

Seasoning:
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/4 cup prawn and chicken stock

Boil 1 1/4 cup water in pot. Boil chicken fillet, dish out and shred. Now scald the prawns, dish out and remove the shells. Chop up prawn meat and return shell to pot to make stock by simmering for 20 minutes.

Cut beancurd into 6 and fry till half cooked. Cut into thin strips.

Sauteed pounded ingredients in a little oil, add shredded yambeans, bamboo shoots, beancurd, seasonings and stock. Cook until almost dry before stirring in shredded chicken and prawns. Set aside as filling.

Pastry:

220g flour
1 egg
1tsp salt
1 tbsp softened butter
1/4 cup water

Put all in a bowl and mix into a dough. Roll out into floured surface once only. Cut into rounds, into each put some filings into it. Fold over and flute edge with fork. Deep fry till golden brown. Serve with vinegared chilly sauce. Note: Pastry must used immediately.

Chilly Sauce:

50g fresh chilly
40ml vinegar
40ml water
2 1/2 sugar
1 tsp salt

Blend all in food processor and serve with Ipoh Ipoh.


Here's my version with some tweakings, I can't find bamboo shoots so I replaced with button mushrooms and shredded carrots for some colour. For the chilly sauce, I boiled it until thick which actually tasted so much better than the raw form but need to plus minus on the vinegar and sugar according to your taste.

ipoh ipoh2

The fillings itself tasted fabulous, something like ju hu char but this one uses preserved soybeans. Can be eaten with lettuce and rice.

My main coming up soon...

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Monday, 28 August 2006

Review: Cuppacakes by +wondermilk

cuppacakes01

My colleague recently ordered a box of cupcakes whipped up by the team at +wondermilk. Shown above is how the cuppacakes looked like in the box. It's the mini sized one which is 1.5 inches in diameter. Costed my colleague RM50 (offer then) for a box of 49. I think now it's RM60. Pretty expensive I would say but for novelty sake it's very sweet and pretty to look at.

The cupcake tasted like normal butter cake and topped with very pretty icing. Look how tiny it is but they offer larger sized ones too. Just check out their blog.

cuppacakes02

UPDATED 30 August 2006:

Thousands of apologies for not stating the link here. I missed it some how but thanks to tihtahpah for pointing it out. Here's how you order the cuppacakes.

+wondermilk
61, Jalan SS21/22,
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya

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Reminder: Merdeka Open House 2006

Just a reminder to food bloggers and Malaysians participating in this event, you have one more day to post up your entries. It's still not too late so please come and join us for some fun.

The theme this year is Malaysian Recipe Long Forgotten but the rule is kinda relaxed so as long as you can submit a Malaysian dish it's fine lah.

Jom!

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How un-Malaysian Are You? and Misc Stuff

Boy am I glad to be back at work. Was off the whole of last week since it was school holiday. It's no mean feat to take care of the little fart!!!! He's driving me up the wall, terrorising his way around home. Everything went topsy turvy... see how much of wreck he can create... 4 boxes plus whole drawers of his toys and books!!! He poured out everything and only played with selective stuff arrrghhhhh just for 5 minutes or less!!!! I need a massage badly sighhhh...

wreck1 wreck2

On the How un-Malaysian Are You? Saw it at Kenny Sia's so I went thru the quiz just for the heck of it... and I'm 40% unMalaysian hahaha lucky else how to host Merdeka Open House 2006???

Congratulations Babe_KL, you are 40% not Malaysian.

That means you're as Malaysian as...


Michelle Yeoh!

How Un-Malaysian Are You?

Friday, 25 August 2006

Today's My Turn

longevity peach baos

Yeah... after boiboi's Birthday yesterday, today's mine.

Hubby bought boiboi and myself a bunch of these longevity peach baos (buns). These buns do not contain any peach actually. They are steamed bun shaped to look like a peach (a symbol of longevity) and filled with lotus seed paste. These buns are then sprayed/coloured with pink colourings. Check out what ST of Cheat Eat had mentioned a folklore about this. Traditionally these buns are eaten on elder folks birthday celebrations where I remembered they were piled high on a tray on my Grandma's birthday.

This is the cross section of the bun... not much lotus paste filling and the buns don't really tasted that great but well just a gesture for both of us to have a long life. My hubby darn old fashion one ok. Errr no romantic din din tonite since hubby has got some discussion on, neither there is any pressie. I know cos I've no idea why hubby has been super busy this week. Not that it matters anyway since I get to have surprises every now and then.

longevity peach baos splited

So, Happy Birthday to me!

Thanks in advance for all your well wishes.

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Thursday, 24 August 2006

My BoiBoi is 4!!!

My little fart is turning 4 today. Gosh time flies... he was just a teeny weeny baby of 3.12kg with a mere length of 53cm but now he weighs 20kg with the height of 110cm or could be more!!!! In no time, he will be flying off our nest heh...

He has started going to play school since April this year, oh my, I can see a lot of difference in terms of his abilities to write, sing and colour within the line. Ahhhh the wonders of schooling!

For his Birthday this year, I was inspired to bake a cake after seeing Min's cutesy cakes she had made for her kids; friends and their kids. You can see how she had improved over the years in these posts. Thanks Min, it certainly pleased me that we can now have homemade Birthday cakes just like yours.

My boiboi had wanted a Cars cake with 3D Lightning McQueen and Mater which he saw in a photo displayed at a pushcart selling homemade cakes at Ikano. Upon enquiry, that cake with the 2 characters made of gum paste is going to cost us RM150 and above for a 1kg cake. Ai yai yai... so expensive! It's mad to spend so much just for a kiddie cake no doubt it will bring a lot of happiness and smiles for our bao bei (precious).

After much tinkering, I told hubby my plan of baking boiboi a cake and all we need to do is just place those die cast characters on top of the cake. One bird kill two stone since those cars could doubled up to be his present. That made hubby and I searching most of the Toys R Us and toys department in the city to look for the tiny die cast Lightning McQueen but they're all sold OUT! Only left Mater and Luigi. Duhhh... how leh???

After much prodding, it seems like boiboi is also crazy with Scoop (from Bob the Builder). To save the hassle, we decided to make him a construction cake instead. So off we went to Jusco thinking we can easily get some of those Bob the Builder's die cast vehicles but boy oh boy! How wrong was I! That particular outlet does not stock up on Bob the Builder's stuff grrrrr... Not a good idea huh to bake own Birthday cake but nevermind, both mummy and daddy went round and round until we found a bunch of Tomica's contructor vehicles. RM7.90 per vehicle, wahseh lots of savings compared to Cars at RM19.90 each or Bob the Builder at RM20 plus. We've gotten a roller, loader, bulldozer, dump truck and shovel.

Next, I sat down and go thru my cookbooks and finally decided to bake Donna Hay's Moist Chocolate Cake since boiboi loves chocolate cake. Baked the cake the day before and chill in the fridge overnight. The next day, I made the chocolate fudge icing but of course not without some crisis in the kitchen. I've used up most of my couverture chocolates in the cake! Arrgghhh!!!! Sighhhh... but I found a block of white chocolate, so I sub 3/4 of the dark chocolate with the white ones but thank goodness the icing still looked chocolate albeit lighter... phew... You never knew how relieved I was!!! The icing tasted a bit like hazelnut cream and it's very sweet. Luckily the cake isn't sweet so that sort of like balanced out.

So there I was happily splattering on the chocolate fudge icing all over the cake and just plonked those vehicles on top and a couple on the board to avoid overcrowding. Sprinkled in some colourful beads and sand made of crushed Oreo biscuit. Since I do not know how to write using icing, I just used mini M&Ms and dragees to make out the necessary wordings. DONE!!!! My first homemade Birthday cake for boiboi...

construction cake

Happy Birthday Darling!!! Daddy and Mummy love you lots. We just wished you the best of health and be a good boy all the time. We're sure you're gonna be crazy over the cake errr more like those constructor vehicles even though we did not get you Scoop as promised. Enjoy!

For my boiboi's birth story, click here.

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Monday, 21 August 2006

Carrot Cupcakes

carrot cupcake

Made up a batch of Carrot Cupcakes using Nigella Lawson's Carrot Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting on page 42 of How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I was quite skeptical with her recipe after my failure with her Banana Muffins from the same book but I went ahead anyway since I'm pretty familiar in baking a mean Carrot Cake. The ingredients and methods are about in the same line. I guess it should be able to turn out ok.

Well it did turn out fine. The cupcakes were moist with a subtle hint of cinnamon that I love. Excellent with a cup of tea. Recipes can be found at A Sprinkle of Sequins and A Self-proclaimed Foodaholic but with some tweakings. I've used self-raising flour minus the baking soda and omitted the nuts. I also did away with the cream cheese frosting since I did not stock up on cream cheese.

This round I've used muffin cups instead of normal paper cups, which yielded 8 cupcakes instead of 12. Half of these, I've added some chocolate chips which actually tasted better errr but I could be biased since I love chocolates.

carrot cupcake wid choc chips


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Thursday, 17 August 2006

Review: Blue Boy Vegetarian Food Centre

Blue Boy Vegetarian Food Centre is like your typical kopitiam (coffee shop) except that the stalls in there are operated by one owner and they serve vegetarian fare only! You can find stalls selling burger; yong tau foo (stuffed vegetables) and chee cheung fun; toasted bread; nasi lemak; char kuey teow; assam laksa; curry mee; soup noodles; kon low (dry) noodles; tomyam noodles; popiah; fried rice; curry puffs; fried radish cake; mixed rice; dishes ala dai chow (stir-fried) and so forth. The list sounds like a never ending spread huh?

Some of the stalls in this food centre.

blueboy vegetarian03

blueboy vegetarian02

blueboy vegetarian01

I vouched this place sells the best vegetarian char kuey teow that I've ever tasted. It's done by an Indian man who can speak Cantonese. Previously, before this shop was converted to selling vegetarian fare only, he does a mean char kuey teow kerang (cockles). No kidding and sorry I do not have any picture at the moment. Will try to get that next time. This char kuey teow is of the dry style and pretty spicy if you order the spicy version. The usual order contains egg, so if you don't take egg, you'll have to tell them.

Most of the hawker fare are available during the day (most likely until they finish up the food) where else in the evening only the dai chow and char kuey teow are available. Of my visits there, I have yet to taste everything on offer but majority of the food there are pretty good. Price in general is fair too, small portion is RM3.50 whilst the large portion is RM4.00. The mixed rice have lots of varieties to pick from albeit slightly pricier than another stall behind Istana Hotel. Surprisingly, the yong tau foo (RM0.60 a piece) is tasty even though they've used some kinda of soy substitute over fish paste except that you won't find the filling springy when you bite onto them.

This is their nasi lemak, the rice is very fragrant where I can detect lemongrass and pandan leaves with a hint of coconut milk. Served with the rice are the usual condiment of deep fried peanuts, cucumber, some deep fried fritters that resembles ikan bilis, fried kangkung, sambal "sotong", curry "chicken" with potatoes and fiery red sambal. The mock sotong is crunchy and tasted on the tangy side which I don't really like. The curry "chicken" tasted pretty normal but its the sambal that I like which is not too spicy and tinged with a bit of sweetness, just like good old sambal for nasi lemak.

blueboy vegetarian nasi lemak

Some of the snacks available that I've tried so far are curry puff, radish cake and cucur "udang". I liked their curry puff with potatoes filling. The pastry is thin and thick with fillings. Fried radish cake is not overly oily but I feel at times it tasted a tad too much flour in it. I've managed to try the cucur "udang" too but it's nothing fancy. Both of these are served with their respective chilli sauces. The picture below showed radish cake in the foreground with the cucur at the back.

blueboy vegetarian lobak goe n cucur udang

In the morning, they serve economical fried noodles or bee hoon (rice noodles) and usually they have some deep fried goodies and certain dishes plus vegetables curry to go along with them. A corner of this place has been partitioned up to sell vegetarian ingredients, sauces, dried goods and frozen goods as well.

Now getting there is a bit tricky if you are not familiar with the area as this place is located on backlane on the ground floor of Blue Boy Mansion. Blue Boy Mansion is located besides Corona Inn (Jalan Tong Shin). You'll have to take the lane in between Corona Inn and Blue Boy Mansion. The food centre is on your right. Parking is very difficult in this area during lunch time. There are some metered parking lots in front of the shop but it's forever occupied during the day. Free parking can be found in front of Blue Boy Mansion but you might need to wait a while for people to vacate their parking lots. Otherwise pay between RM3.00-RM4.00 at the parking lots before Corona Inn.

Another walking direction if you're on Jalan Pudu, turn left into a small lane after the Chinese Maternity Hospital on your left. The entrance to this lane is directly opposite the Swiss Garden Hotel across the road.

I've roughly drawn a map, click to enlarge.

blueboy map

By the way, on the upper level of this place is Jade Garden Restaurant serving Chinese herbal/tonic soups and some simple dishes to go along with your meal. Do try it too. You can ask the sinseh to "tar mak" (feel your pulse) BEFORE your meal. He can then prescribe the appropriate soup for you. If you're a banana like me, don't worry, the menu have descriptions of the soups in English. They're usually busy during lunch and the popular soups are usually sold out by 8pm or so.


Blue Boy Vegetarian Food Centre
No.6001 Blue Boy Mansion,

Jalan Tong Shin (Jalan Pudu Lama),
Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Daily 7.30am to 9.30pm


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Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Steamed Herbal Chicken with Chicken Essence

I've made a nutritious soup to go with a rice meal. The original recipe came from Betty Saw's Ultimate Herbal Cookbook. It's a super easy dish and it's tasty too. You'll find yourself scooping out the soup till the last drop!


Steamed Herbal Chicken with Chicken Essence

1 - 1.5kg whole kampung chicken, rinsed
1 bottle Brand's Essence of Chicken
1 piece heavy duty foil, large enough to wrap chicken

Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp kei chi (Chinese wolfberry)
2 tbsps old ginger juice
1/2 tbsp Hua Tiau wine

Marinate inside and outside of chicken with seasoning ingredients. Place chicken in the centre of tin foil.

Pour chicken essence on the seasoned chicken. Wrap up the chicken and fold edges to seal tightly.

Place chicken on a heatproof dish and steam for 1 1/2 hours. If you prefer the chicken with a good bite, steam for 1 hour only.



I tweaked the recipe here and there. First of all, I've used 2 skinless chicken thighs that has been chopped into fairly large pieces. With this the cooking time also has been adjusted to about 45 minutes or so. In place of Hua Tiau wine, I've poured in DOM. Nevertheless the taste was not compromised.

steamed chic with chic essence

You'll find it a wee bit tricky to wrap your chicken without the essence of chicken flow out of the foil. This tip I learnt from my mom. All you need to do is to place the tin foil in a deep heatproof dish before placing the chicken and pouring in the liquid. Then wrap up the tin foil. From there, just place the heatproof dish in the steamer for steaming.

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Merdeka Open House 2006: Calling All Food Bloggers

Darn I was typing out my post twice and before I manage to save it, I was hit by power outage. Not once but twice, grrrr… lost all what was on my thoughts. Not only that the Internet line has been erratic since this morning and it went down just right after I hit Publish. Anyway, I would like to thank those of you whom have given me some valuable suggestions. Let’s not waste time and get on with the do.

I’ll be hosting a virtual open house on our 49th National Day with of course the help from Malaysian food bloggers all over the world. Generally the theme will based on Malaysian dishes but we need to do some stream lining here since Malaysian dishes are so vast and diversified. With some ideas provided by Mike and Audrey, let’s make our theme - Malaysian Recipes Long Forgotten.

Traditional recipes of any Malaysian ethnics that could have been long forgotten will be the focus of this year’s open house. I’m very sure there are many recipes out there that were sort of lost in transition in between the generations. So it’s time we gather around and savour some of these wonderful dishes of our forefathers.

Well we shall not limit the recipes based on your own ethnic but feel free to explore others since Malaysians are a muhibah lot. Now, all you need to do is to cook up a dish based on the theme. To be in the spirit, try not to buy store bought goodies, if you can’t cook, go charm your mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles or whoever the cook in your family to cook the dish. Next, take a picture of it and write about the dish plus of course the recipe. Ahem if you can write your entry in BM, it’s all the better ahahaha but please don’t ask me do my rounding up in BM cos my BM sudah karat!

Post it up in your blog by 29th August 2006 but of course if you can do it earlier, it’s all the better to ease me in rounding up on 31st August 2006. Those who doesn’t own a blog but wish to participate, kindly do your write up and send it together with the picture to me. I’ll post it up for you. (flower, don’t you want to participate??? Lilian all ready waiting to dash into her kitchen!)

So as long as you’re a Malaysian, you can participate no matter where you’re located in the world. Do note that you must be sensitive to our multi-racial and multi-religion society, hence pandai-pandailah when you come to using certain ingredients that are sensitive to certain religion (ie. dish must be halal and try not to serve beef to our Hindu friends as well).

All entries must reach me by 29th August 2006, midnight Malaysian time at babe_kl(@)yahoo(dot)com. Round-up will be posted on 31st August 2006. In your email, please state the following details:

Name or nick
Location
Permalink/URL of your post
Name of the dish

Looking forward to your entries and happy cooking. Oh yeah… may as well tag this up in case I’m late in putting up the entry. Please paste this link at the end of your post.

href="http://technorati.com/tag/Merdeka+Open+House+2006" rel="tag">Merdeka Open House 2006

If you’re not sure how to tag, you can attend a lesson at Food Blog S’cool (yeah we food blogger have a school one ok hahaha).

Terima kasih atas sokongan kamu. Sila datang ramai-ramai nanti ke Rumah Terbuka kami tapi sebelum tu, tolonglah berkerjasama dan hantarkan hidangan tradisi anda kepada saya sebelum 29 Ogos 2006.

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Gathering Thots

Sorry for not posting up yesterday as promised... I'm still gathering my thots over the Merdeka Open House 2006 thingy. Been like a zombie as usual especially on Mondays after a crazy weekend with the fart around. Home is just like after a tornado traipsed thru... What more staying up till 1.30am yesterday to catch Andrea Bocelli's Amore Under The Desert Sky concert on Star World!!! Aduiii why lah screen the repeat sooo early??? Andrea Bocelli is soooo awesome!!! Wished I was there under the stars watching him live!

And today or rather late last night (an hour ago) hubby managed to find his long lost DVD of Rod Stewart's The American Song Book 2 concert. Gosh my living room was turned into a concert hall for 2 nights in a row. Awww man... Rod is SEXY! No wonder our Government did not let him to perform in Malayais, else I tell you, it's going to be havoc!!! Imagine the ladies scrambling up the stage hahaha grabbing Rod woohooo... who knows I might join the crowd heh!

Thank goodness concert ended early by the press of the Stop button hehehe... need to get some sleep now. Will gather myself and come out with the rules and requirements of the open house hopefully by noon or so.

Be patient. Nite nite.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Plug: Merdeka Blogger 2006 & Attention to All Food Bloggers

So this year, Malaysian bloggers would be able to participate in a Merdeka Blogger Project mooted by Danny Foo. Check out the details over HERE.

This year's theme is Back to Basics. So here I quote what Danny had written:




This coming independence day, we’re taking everyone back to when blogging first picked up in Malaysia. We’ll looking for your entries about:

What has blogging taught you?
What has blogging brought you?
What has been your experience blogging in Malaysia?

Answer these questions and you’re on the verge to rediscover why you’ve been blogging all this while. And that’s exactly what we want.

We want your entries filled with your experience of blogging whether it was only a few hours, a day, a month, or a year. We want to know about your story of freedom to express and what you’ve learned with that freedom.


That's Danny's project. Prior to reading his post, I just read a few Singaporean posts on their National Day yesterday which got me tinkering with the idea of hosting something on our National Day on 31st August 2006. Naturally as a food blogger, I was thinking in the line of an open house!

Yeah a virtual Merdeka Open House since open house is synonym to our Malaysian culture of welcoming guests of various race and religion to our home to join us in celebration. I should be hosting the event unless some kind soul who is a whizz in html volunteer himself/herself *hint hint* but that is not the real issue though. Since I have just thought about it, I need feedback from you food bloggers whether this is viable or not and any of you is wiling to take part. Any particular theme we should set ie. the food has to be in the colours of our Jalur Gemilang or any Malaysian food will do fine etc etc etc... How about any rules and regulations??? Banner, buttons, logos??? Ideas please. Terima Kasih.

The gist of the rules and regulations that I could think of now are:

All Malaysians can partipate no matter where they're located in the world.

Entries must be sensitive to our multi-racial and multi-religion society.

All you have to do is cook (no store bought please, so go charm your mom, granny, brother, sister etc if you can't cook hahaha) at least one dish (theme to be decided later), take some photos, and write about it. Post it in your blog by 29th August 2006 but of course the earlier the better.

All entries must reach me by 29th August 2006, midnight Malaysian time. Round-up will be posted on 31st August 2006 naturally.

Etc...

All ideas are welcomed and please send them to me by 13th August 2006 at babe_kl(@)yahoo(dot)com. I should finalised by 14th and put up the invitation post. Thanks a mil! Looking forward to your suggestions.

UPDATED 16 August 2006:

I've finalised the details with the theme - Malaysian Recipe Long Forgotten.


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Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Roast Pork aka Siew Yuk

**EXTREMELY NON-HALAL**


Can you believe it that I actually made my own ROAST PORK??? Yeah also known as "siew yuk" in Cantonese. I was inspired by Piggy's post on her roast pork belly using the recipe gotten from Famous Cuisine Publication's range of bi-lingual (Mandarin and English) food magazines and cookbooks. It would be great though if Famous Cuisine Publication can translate the articles, tips and such into English as well. Currently, only the recipes are available in both languages.

Anyway, back to how I went about with my pork belly. I marinaded the meat side with salt, sugar, red fermented bean curd ("nam yue" in Cantonese), five spice powder and chopped garlic for a few hours in the fridge. Sprinkled some sea salts on the skin side before roasting in the oven. After 20 minutes, removed from oven and pricked the skin with sharp fork (the more holes you prick the better cos that's where those popped-up "bubbles" appear on the skin) before brushing with rice vinegar. Back into the oven for another 20 minutes... voila, a lovely roasted pork lightly fragranted with 5 spice powder and a hint of garlic; plus uber crispy skin which I guess the part where most of us loved.

siew yuk01

The recipe that I had tweaked (it called for MSG but I omitted it) is as follows:

Roast Pork Belly

Ingredients:
2 kg pork belly (with skin)
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp rice vinegar

Marinade:
3 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 pieces red fermented bean curd, use 2 if the cubes are bigger
1/2 tbsp five spice powder
11/2 tbsp chopped garlic

Clean the pork belly (ensure no more hairs on the skin side) and pat dry all over with kitchen towel. Score (both diagonally and horizontally) the inner portion of the meat. Rub all over the skin with the sea salt.

Rub marinade mixture evenly into the meat right down into the scored areas. Marinate for about 30 mins or longer. I did mine for about 6 hours.

Bake the marinated pork belly with skin side up in pre-heated oven at 220C for 20 mins. Remove from oven and prick all over the surface of the skin with a sharp instrument or like me, I just used a fork but please don't use those aluminium ones hahaha cos they bend easily.

Next, brush the skin with the rice vinegar. Bake again with the skin side up at 250C for another 20-30 minutes, or until pop-up "bubbles" have formed on the skin. Remove and let the pork belly rest for 15-20 mins before chopping it up.


siew yuk02

Well, I didn't know it was sooo easy but one peeve though the oil from the pork belly splattered all over my oven.... arrrrghhhh so much cleaning up to do!!! There are still some residue though but I did try to scrub hard but there are still loads of nooks and corners that I can't reach. So, anyone here have any tips??? Mine is the built-in type and does not have self-cleansing function. HELPPP!!! I would love to make this again and again but then the thought of cleaning up make me shudders with apprehension. Thanks in advance for any tips or advices given.

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Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Homemade Big Breakfast

It seems to be in fashion now to serve an all day big breakfast on weekends at cafes. As far as I know, La Bodega Deli in Bangsar has been serving this some years back and it is very popular. A big breakfast is an English breakfast of eggs, sausages, bacon, sauteed mushroom, tomato, toasts served with coffee/tea and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. All these for round about of rm25++ (I can't recall the exact amount). It has since caught on with many cafes like Dome Cafe, Delicious Cafe, right down to Pizza Uno serves similar big breakfast.

Actually to think about it, one could actually recreate the breakfast right at home at a fraction of the price. I sort of did just that, well not intentional, else I would have gotten the appropriate ingredients to complete the big breakfast. One Sunday morning, I found a pack of fresh button mushroom in my fridge drawer which I had forgotten to add into my Stewed Lamb Shank the day before so I need to do something with them ASAP hahaha must be getting old... duh!

Since I'm not cooking lunch or dinner that Sunday, looks like I need to use it for breakfast... I checked my fridge again... I have enough eggs, some skiny sausages that my brother gotten from China (Don't ask me why he bought them!!! A bit mad to carry them back.) during one of his business trip, and a pack of Meidi-ya's English muffins.

Got on to work by first frying the sausages in some olive oil. Dish them up. Once done, melted some butter in the same pan and poured in a bit of milk. Cracked in the eggs and stirred to make scrambled eggs. Split them into two plates. Sliced the muffins into halves and toast a bit in the same pan. Placed the muffins onto the serving plates. Next, I chopped some garlic and fry them with some olive oil. Placed in sliced button mushrooms and stir fry a bit. Crack in some black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt to taste. Pour them into the serving plates.

Squeezed some oranges for the juice, since I don't take coffee... I omitted that. There, my version of big breakfast, minus the tomato and bacon, oh yeah and coffee. The portion managed to serve myself, hubby and boiboi too... all in less than RM50 definitely!

big breakfast

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Friday, 4 August 2006

Review: Zuup Soup Bar

Enough of my cooking, time for some outing...

Hubby and I was scouring 1 Utama one evening and can't decide where to eat since there were so many choices available. We were traisping up and down the lower ground floor (tunnel between both wings) striking off the lousy ones that we've been. Finally we stumbled into Zuup Soup Bar. Actually they have been around for a few years but never got the chance to try and I only read about them in the papers during their opening. Zuup Soup Bar is located diagonally across Bee's Bakery or beside Barang-barang.

Service was extremely friendly and we were entertained by the owner and his brother (sorry I did not catch their name but I think one of them is Gavin), plus of course their staff. Our first time there, we were introduced to their concept and type of food and drinks served which I think was an excellent customer service attempt. At that time we were informed that they were expanding by taking up the lot next to them which has since renovated and re-opened for business by now. With a retro interior, it should please the younger crowd plus the price is pretty reasonable.

zuup

Don't be surprised if they ask you whether you wanna read newspaper/magazine while you wait for the food to arrive or even better, have fun with the PS2!!! Yeah FOC (free of charge) one hahaha cool eh?? Even though they have labelled themselves as soup bar, they do not only sell soups but other fare as well such as fried rice, noodles, pasta and so forth on top of some nice cooling drinks and desserts. Soups came in either starters size which is served with some garlic bread or as main course where it is served either with a salad or bread. Otherwise, you could also order the soup in a bread bowl. The availability of the soup choices differs everyday, so it is best to enquire what is available for the day.

We were recommended the set meal which seems to be very reasonable, hubby opted for prawn noodles which is done ala Penang Hokkien style and the set came with a glass of drink. This set costed RM10.90 seems to be a good deal since the bowl contained 2 large prawns. Taste wise it was mediocre only, hubby said not enough kick. The broth simply do not have enough prawn flavour and it wasn't spicy at all.

zuup prawn mee02

I picked a soup even though logically it should not be placed under soup category since it's a stew - lamb stew and opted for salad over bread (RM10.90). Some lettuces, cucumber, capsicum, onion rings and one cherry tomato make up the salad which is served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (my fave combination).

zuup salad02

My lamb stew came later with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. The colour doesn't look appetising, right? And it looked like soup since got so much liquid inside...

zuup lamb stew01

... but don't be fooled!!! Look at the amount of meat in there!!! I can't even finish them up. In the bowl it has plenty of celery, carrots and potatoes on top of lamb chunks. I love this stew... tender meat, vegetables were not mushy and it tasted surprising good with a balance of herbs and spices. It was also laced with a slight tang which I reckon must be the usage of tomatoes.

zuup lamb stew02

We have since gone there for another visit (this time with boiboi in tow) and tried other items on the menu... do check out their pumpkin soup which myself and boiboi loved so much that we literally licked the bowl clean! It's not heavy but yet creamy enough to warm up our tummies. We also shared a spaghetti carbonara which my boiboi requested (eh kids these days very smart, they know what they want to eat... he asked for spaghetti - creamy one! Duh...!). It was fine but it was pretty creamy (read - very "jelak" as in very filling) ... made me feel bloated but luckily my boiboi walloped quite a large portion.Hubby had the fried rice that came with a piece of well fried tumeric chicken. I forgot to ask him how it was and sorry no photos cos I was busy looking after the young fart! Also no dessert too cos we all too stuffed.

Overall verdict, a place worth to chill out especially when you have loads of time to kill to browse thru the reading materials or play some PS2 games with friends. Food wise, I would definitely return to try out the rest of the soups!!!

Zuup Soup Bar (pork free)
LG 223, Lower Ground Floor,
1 Utama Shopping Centre, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
SELANGOR
Email: zuup@ycan-ventures.com
Operation Hours: Monday to Sunday From 11:30am to 10:00pm

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