Thursday, November 27, 2008

OMG - Awards!

Today let's take a break from food blogging.

I am so honoured to have been tagged and given all these awards by VG of "My Household Capers". I never knew blogging also can get so many awards, wahhh!

So, I am proudly displaying all of them here...

I hope my blog brings some "yumminess" to you all :-))

Not sure what "360 degrees" meant here - guess it includes eating, cooking, blogging - all things to do with Food eh!

"Hard Working"... hmmm... I guess I work harder at food blogging than my other real work?? (shhh... don't tell my boss this!)

Creative ahh? I dunno... I try my best lah... still learning lots from all of you out there!

Ahhh... buddies and friendship - I think that's one of the most rewarding sense of satisfaction in blogging - I got to know some great bloggers and totally enjoy reading their nice nice posts. Thanks again to VG for being my buddy and a toast to all blogger friends/buddies out there! Cheers man!

OK... that's not the end to the Awards thingy. Besides getting all these nice recognitions, it seems I have to write something about myself. You know... what they call "meme" kwa... like 7 things about myself. I hope you all won't get bored... anyway, here goes...

7 Things I Say More Often than others:

Lei yau moe kau chor?? (are you kidding??)

Monkey la you! (that’s usually directed at LL)

Monkey dog! (that’s obviously meant for Koji - he’s a dog, not a monkey, in case anyone gets confused. The word “monkey” denotes some irritation lah!)

Haiz…what to do!




(got a few more "flowery" words but can't say here la - after all, this blog is supposed to be rated "Umum" mahh, right?)

7 Things I Did Before:

Worked & lived in crazy-traffic KL.

Shifted to Subang - even crazier traffic.

Got my scuba-diving licence.

Dived in the Similans.

Kinda supervised the renovations of my present house.

Revived my knitting projects & going full steam with them.

Roasted my first-ever siew yook.

7 Things I Do Now:

Happily living in a not-so-crazy-traffic neighbourhood where you can actually get plenty of parking in front of banks, coffee-shops, pasar malam and just about anywhere lah. Quite unbelievable.

Enjoying working life in a spanking new penthouse office with wonderful views.

Blogging - obviously.

Getting back to regular gym workouts after a 3-month hiatus. Enjoying the pain and sore muscles - getting back my masochistic streak.

Knitting ferociously - doing about 5 projects simultaneously.

Making more use of my oven now - baking, roasting, grilling.

Spoiling Koji rotten - he gets more rotten each day.

7 Things I Want to do:

Lose weight, tone up, build up stamina - hopefully all these will happen now that I’m hitting the gym again…aarghhh!

Can’t wait for my holidays in Perth next week.

Go diving - have not dived for more than a year!

Visit my friend Xara in San Francisco.

Take a Refresher course on cake decorating.

Finish my knitting projects - but then after that, will have new ones coming.

Go on more holidays - for that, winning a lottery would come in handy.

7 Things That Attract Me About the Opposite Sex:


Not egoistic.

Must have wicked sense of humour.

Not sloppy - must have excellent personal hygiene practices.

Good cooking skills.

Nice crinkly smile.

Intelligent & decisive.

7 Favourite Foods:

Assam laksa, Japanese cuisine, yong tau fu, crabs (any style), vegetables, Chinese cuisine, mocha ice-cream

Now, for the final part... I have to pass these awards and meme to other bloggers. *Drum roll*... It gives me great pleasure to award the following nice people:

Precious Pea




A Daily Obssession - Terri

Joe - constantly craving


Babe in the city - KL

Cumi & Ciki

NomadGourmand there you go, people... all you award recipients above, this is what you are supposed to do:

*Copy & paste all the awards into your blog post.

*Tell us all about those "7 Things" and more if you like...

*Pass the awards to other bloggers whom you think are deserving, hehe! Leave a message in their blogs to tell them about being tagged / meme'ed honoured!

I'm so looking forward to reading all about you all! :-))

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rojak for lunch

I must have been hypnotised by Cumi & Ciki's recent blog post which featured a fruit rojak - so much so that I was hankering for it badly and just had to get some for myself!

So today when I was in TTDI for an errand, I spotted this white van in front of 7-11 across from the KFC and holy smoke! "Fruit Rojak" was splashed right across the top of the van... hehehe! Wahlauu... that was like godsend, karma, fate ... whatever you may call it lah.

So... apa tunggu lagi? I dashed across the street and bought a packet.... and this was my lunch:

There were lots of fried crispy crackers when I opened the styrofoam box with a generous sprinkling of ground peanuts. I had to push aside the crackers to reveal the other stuff underneath...

There were brown sotong, fried crispy yau-char-kuey, toasted rolled sotong, taukwa amidst the assortment of cucumber, pineapples, sengkuang, jambu air, papaya, guava... what else... oh yeah, mango too... and blanched kangkong! Wow! What a lot of fruits & vegetables! The rojak sauce was a little bit on the sweet side but that's nicely balanced when you bite into the chunks of sour pineapples and mangoes! I usually do not like the fried crispy crackers in my rojak but in this case I dipped all of them into the yummy sauce and finished every last piece - so teruk, hoh?!

Nice... I like I like!

A regular pack costs RM3.50. I asked to "tambah" sotong... and it was a very generous portion of sotong too... the lady seller also tambah'ed more chunks of fruits for me... so that's why you see the whole styrofoam box was packed to the max! All that for RM6.00! It was indeed a very satisfying lunch for me :-))

The only thing is that you have to be very patient because the lady seller is really very "see-mun"... she takes her own sweet time mixing the concoction and packing it for you. So be prepared to stand there for at least 5-10 minutes in the hot sun (like today lahh) even though there was no queue! If there's a queue, and if it's a blistering day (like today), I suggest you take shelter at the 5-footway after giving your order... otherwise you may just pengsan from heatstroke.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Home-made Crispy Roast Pork

We have always been a “porky-loving” family. And Roast Pork (siew yook) is one of our top favourites - every restaurant/makan place we go, if there is roast pork, we never fail to order it.

So, having been inspired by some great roast pork recipes and try-outs by some floggers - namely Camemberu and Precious Pea, I decided to give this a try last weekend. I followed Camemberu’s recipe as it was less complicated.

I used the simple marinade recommended, mainly:



5-spice powder

I rubbed all the above onto the 1kg slab of pork belly and then let the pork sit in the fridge for a few hours. Precious Pea’s version had hers kept in the fridge for 3 days!

Before roasting I stabbed the pork skin as much as possible - so much so that the fork I used had bent! If you have a skewer, that would be a better tool. Warning: Poking raw pork skin is really hard work!!

I also heeded Camemberu’s advice to put some vegetables under the roasting pan, so I cut up some potatoes and carrots…

The juice and fats from the roasting pork dripped onto them and they were absolutely yummy!

I roasted the pork in 250 deg. Celcius for about an hour. After about 30 minutes, I could see the skin has already “risen” to give that crispy effect.

The sides were more "burned" than the centre. This being my first attempt, I now know that perhaps I should lower the temperature a bit and let the meat roast a bit longer so that the centre part will also "rise" well.

When I sliced the meat off, I could feel the crispiness as the knife went through it...

(sorry for the kinda yellowish pics - this was done at night and obviously my kitchen lights are not meant for good photography, hehe!)

For the next attempt, I think I should try some of the other tips given... like keeping the meat longer in the fridge and also putting a layer of salt on top of the skin before roasting.

Anyway, even though the skin was not 100% "risen", we polished off the siew yook with no hesitation, haha!

Warning: When you roast this at home, make sure all your windows and doors are open as the wonderful fragrance of roasting pork will permeate every nook and corner of your house for hours! I could still smell it later that night up in my bedroom!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Banana Leaf Meal @ Sri Nirwana Maju

Restoran Sri Nirwana Maju
No.1 Jalan USJ 9/5M
47610 Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-80259445
(They have another outlet in Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar too)

One day sometime last week I casually asked LL what he would like to eat in Subang since I would be picking him up on one of the afternoons from there. He said he would think about it. That night we were silent while eating our dinner, each very preoccupied with own thoughts. Suddenly… both of us blurted out SIMULTANEOUSLY - “let’s go eat banana leaf rice!” Wahlauu… I tell you, that was so creepy!!

So, a banana leaf meal we would have. Now I don’t know of that many banana leaf joints in Subang ever since the (in)famous Barath’s closed shop years ago. So LL did some smart checking-around from his cronies and this was how we ended up at this Sri Nirwana Maju.

We were lucky to get a parking space right beside the restaurant - you know how horrendous the parking situation is in USJ. It was drizzling when we got out the car - ahhh… nice cool weather to tuck in some fiery grub!

There was a good crowd but service was very fast. As soon as we were seated, the waiters came and took our order. Even before I could finish admiring the colorful paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, the banana leaves appeared on our tables...

...and immediately the rice, condiments and curries were ladled on the leaves!

Unlimited curries ... take your pick: fish? chicken? dhall? Vegetables were acar and yoghurted cucumber...

I was looking for my favourite fried bittergourd but was told that unfortunately they were not serving that that day! What??? No fried bittergourd? How can? Isn’t that like the staple dish in ever self-respecting Indian restaurant? Instead they served this…

Fried Ladies’ Fingers… there was more flour than ladies’ fingers. I totally did not like this.

The mandatory salted dried chilli & fiery sambal

We made our way to the back of the shop to select the items to be fried. There were not many choices... 3 types of fish, chicken and squids...

We chose 1 Chicken Drumstick (RM3.00) which turned out to be quite disappointing. It has been over-fried to death (cremation, in this case!), rendering it very dry and not tasty at all. While it was very crispy, there was hardly any flavour in it. Good fried chicken should have the skin crispy and when you bite into it, the flavoursome juices inside should still be spurting out...

We had 1 Ikan Bulus (RM4.00) deep fried too. Nothing special - it was crispy enough...can't remember much about the taste (maybe there was none?)

The piece of Ikan Tenggiri (RM7.00) fared better. For that price, it was a fairly large piece and it was very fresh.

Now the best fried item was the Squids (RM10). Not exactly cheap, I must say... the piece we chose was just slightly bigger than my palm (spanning from wrist to fingers lah)... and then when they cut it up, there were not that many pieces on the plate leh! Coated and fried in a light batter, the squids were fresh and firm... and the best thing was they were tossed in onions, dried chillies and lots of curry leaves! Yummm! This is one item you must order!

There were about 3 choices of lamb/mutton from their selection. We chose the Lamb Ribs Paratal (RM5.00) ... bad choice! Because... when the plate was served, they were all bones! Could hardly find any meat under the gravy... and it was a tad too salty too!

There was a array of other curries set out... fish, chicken, lamb...

...Nasi Beriyani pun ada...

At the front of the shop there was a variety of indian sweets in a glass case...

I don't know their names...
but they were all so colourful and pretty...
... and verrryyy sweet too, I'm sure! (they look sweet wor)

Banana Leaf Rice is charged at RM5.00 per person... with unlimited rice, curries, vegetables, papadam... I'd go back there for the Fried Squids, hehe! Just avoid the Lamb Bones Ribs and the cremated chicken and we're good to go... that is, whenever we get banana-leaf pangs again!

My rating: 6/10

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home-made Loh Mai Kai

While browsing through some food blogs recently, I was inspired to try making Loh Mai Kai. Precious Pea and Food Made Simple shared their experiences making this popular dim sum item and since I had a packet of glutinuous rice in my kitchen, I decided to give this a try last weekend.

I tweaked the recipe a bit, based on my limited culinary experience in making Loh Mai Kai, hehe! Translated loosely, Loh Mai Kai means “Glutinuous Rice Chicken”… and this was my version of it:

1 kg glutinuous rice (soaked overnight)
500g chicken - chopped into pieces (I used boneless chicken thigh)
200g Chinese sausages - sliced
300g dried shitake mushroom (soaked overnight)

Sliced chinese sausages

To marinade Chicken:

3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp chinese wine

2 tbsp ginger juice

1 tbsp dark soya sauce

2 tbsp light soya sauce

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sesame oil

Dash of white pepper

Marinate chicken pieces for at least 3 hours before use

Sauce for the Glutinuous Rice:

3 bowls of boiled water (I used the regular Chinese rice bowls)
3 tbsp oyster sauce

3 tsp salt

2 tbsp dark soya sauce

2 tbsp light soya sauce

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp sesame oil

Dash of white pepper

4 shallots - sliced
1 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tbsp oil


Steam the soaked glutinuous rice for 30 minutes. Loosen the steamed rice and leave aside.

Stir fry the mushroom and chicken in some oil in a pan/wok for 1 minute. Chicken should be just half-cooked. Dish out.

Heat up the 2 tbsp oil in pan/wok, fry the chopped garlic and sliced shallots. Then pour in all the ingredients for the Sauce, mix well. Pour this sauce into the loosened steamed rice and mix well.

Brush the sides of bowls (I used Chinese rice bowls) before arranging the sliced Chinese sausage, mushroom and chicken and then topping up with the glutinuous rice.

Steam the bowls of Loh Mai Kai for 40 minutes and then ENJOY!

*If you use the regular Chinese rice bowls like I did, 1 kg of rice will make about 18 Loh Mai Kai.

So what did I do with 18 Loh Mai Kai’s?? Well, I gave some to my neighbour and brought some to the office for colleagues and the rest … still in the fridge, haha!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spicing up Instant Noodles

The past couple of weeks, the weather here has been unbearably hot and humid. Imagine, even with the air-cond on, you can still perspire - haizz!

So ... being too lazy to go out for lunch on a hot Sunday afternoon and it's really too tiresome to cook an elaborate meal, I turned to my trusted instant noodles. Having bought some of my favourite fishcake at the pasar pagi the previous day, I had those fried and sliced and they made a perfect accompaniment to my noodles!

Since I had also bought some vegetables and fuchook (beancurd skin) the day before, I decided to whip up a fast Vegetables Curry. Cabbage, ladies fingers, brinjals, long beans, tomatoes - these were all cut up and went into the curry pot...

Ahhh... the curried vegetables went very well with my noodles, too! I love the softened fuchook which has absorbed the rich flavours of the curry spices and coconut milk... yumm!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wong Kok Char Chan Teng

Wong Kok Char Chan Teng
Lot F225, 1st Floor

1 Utama Shopping Centre

Bandar Utama

Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03-77108611

This popular char chan teng underwent some renovations a couple of months ago. When they reopened, business picked up as it is extremely popular with the lunch crowd here. Serving HK-style "fast food" dishes, it's popular with the teeny boppers and office crowd in this area - saw lots of teenagers jamming this place.

There are the regular baked rice and noodle variations a'la HK-style. Drinks are served in jars like this... my Iced Lemon Tea (RM6.90)...(oh, it was tooooooo sweet - I had to get them to add water to it, otherwise I'd get instant diabetes, man!)

I found this dish interesting... all because of the deep-fried vegetables served at the side! This Pineapple Fish Cutlet Rice (RM8.20) had chunks of fish fillet cooked in the regular sweet-and-sour way...

... and a generous portion of the deep-fried vegetables. I think they used kai lan for this.

The Beef Kway Teow (RM8.50) was cooked in the usual Cantonese-style... with a lake of thick starchy gravy! From the no-complaint demeanour of my colleagues, I gathered the above 2 dishes didn't disappoint them kwa. (or maybe they're not very fussy discerning eaters?)

When this big bowl containing Honey Pork Ribs Rice (RM8.90) was served, my first reaction was "how pathetic!" Notice I said big BOWL, not big portion of food! In fact, the portion of rice and pork ribs was so miserable, it barely filled half the bowl, as you can see! Furthermore, the colleague who ordered this is a rice-lover... so your guess is as good as mine as to whether this satisfied his tummy or not!

Ahh... finally my order of Hand-made Noodles with Roast Pork (RM8.90) came and it was rather disappointing. The noodles were too soft and the 2 stalks of sawi were also soft and limp, as you can see (I hate soft & limp things!). Worse still, the roast pork was fatty and the skin was not crispy at all!!! That is the ultimate insult for roast pork - soft soggy skin!!

I think it's because they left the roast pork soaking in the copious gravy too long. The person who prepared this should know better than to do that! Instead, the roast pork should just be served atop the noodles! Like that also don't know, haiyaaah!

Well, if you come to this place, just be mindful of all these minor mishaps... may be "minor" but they actually can make or break the food!

As for me, the next time if I go there again, I think better stick to their instant Nissin noodles or bread toasts, no?

My rating: 5/10