Welcome to the fifth Merdeka Open House on Malaysia's 53rd Independence Day or most popularly known as Hari Kebangsaan in Malay. As with the tradition, come let's sing our national anthem, NegaraKu.
Tanah tumpahnya darahku
Bersatu dan maju
Selecting a theme for the open house is not an easy task anymore since we've done Recipe Long Forgotten where we revived forgotten recipes from our grandparents days on the first open house. The second installment we have a mixed pot with the theme Muhibbah. For the third, loads of noodles were served in Mee and My Malaysia. Last year, I have picked a very sweet theme of My Sweet Malaysia.
As for this year, it got on a bit special as there was a giveaway which was won by ROKH since her submission of the theme Food From Our Hearts were chosen by the mass to be the theme for this year's virtual open house.
For this theme, the challenge was not only to cook up a dish by someone special which could be virtually anyone but one has to write how that special one touches the heart to inspire one to replicate the dish. For those who are new to this event, Merdeka Open House is not just simply cooking a dish, take a picture and submit an entry or even several entries but there's alway a challenge attached to create a story except for last year when it was relaxed.
Anyway, let's get on to the open house spread...
|Little Inbox (Eating Pleasure) hailed from Penang cooks up her father’s favourite porky goodness dish of Bak Kut Teh. Gee I wish I could have a bowl now looking at the amount of ingredients in the pot!|
|Ching (Little Corner of Mine) who resides in Colorado Springs, USA cook up a comforting dish of Tamarind Stew Pork with Daikon. This is one of the dish she had to called her mother for the recipe when she first moved to Colorado Springs. I guess recipes from our mothers are the best!|
|Lianne (Imbi & Itchy) from Germany, reminiscing how she had helped her mother in the kitchen to cook up a pot of tummy warming Mee Hoon Kueh.|
|First time entrant, Taca (Supergurl Stories) from Kuala Lumpur showed us how to make Serunding Ikan Bilis using her grandmother’s recipe. This brave supergurl soldiered on to make this Ramadhan special by cooking this up for the family as her mother is hospitalised for dengue. Well we wish Taca’s mother a speedy recovery.|
|Wendy (Table for 2 or More) who is residing in Perak submitted a record of 4 entries! I really salute her for her dedication as each of her entry come with heart warming story behind them. Her first entry is the ever familiar Nasi Goreng Kampung (Malay Countryside Fried Rice) was her friend Ainur’s recipe. Now this is truly a Muhibbah story go on and read it.|
|SueSue (Cooking Momster) from Kuala Lumpur told us how her dad used to order this Prawns Fried Rice from the restaurants and replicated it at home. I could imagine how a simple dish could leave such a lasting impression.|
|Kong Kay (Kong Kay Too) from Kuching, Sarawak tends to spring surprises each year. This year he had gotten his mother to show us the step-by-step pictorial guide on how to make a mean Sambal Petai with Shrimps and Tanghoon. There... tanghoon was the surprise here!|
|Coming over from Montreal, Quebec, Canada is Elaine (A Series of Kitchen Experiments). She is submitting this Homestyle Malaysian Curry Chicken recipe that spanned two generations! I would love to mop this curry up with toasted Hainanese bread.|
|This is Wendy’s (Table for 2 or More) second entry, Salted Fish Steamed Pork is in tribute to her grandaunt. My version is the simpler one just pork and salted fish but I’m sure this taste better with the addition of salted black beans.|
|Ahhhh finally Jason (Ipoh Malik Talak Sombong) who is now a resident of Petaling Jaya, Selangor, is cooking us something instead of getting his mother to do it! Judging from the photos, Jason does really takes after his mother in cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Just cross over and check out his Rice Cake with Preserved Vegetable & Dried Shrimp! Looks mean and yummilicious.|
|This is the second time Reese from Boston USA participated in this event. She remembers her grandmother who used to make Ang Koo Kueh for special occasions and her she is trying her hands on some Ang Koo Kueh in a lovely shade of pink.|
|Wendy’s (Table for 2 or More) third entry is a real eye opener as she showed us the school she was posted to in Felda Selancar! I salute her for her dedication in allowing to be posted in a faraway land to teach. In tribute to Pak Yob’s Canteen, she replicated the Spiced Fried Chicken in success.|
|Gertrude (My Kitchen Snippets) lives in Pennsylvania, USA, with her hubby Carlos submitted a Savory Glutinous Rice also known as Chu Bee P’ng. Just like any mother, hers usually got up at 5.00am just to prepare a big pot of this rice during festive seasons. Since she’s so far from home now, she have to cook this up just so the smell and taste reminded her of home. Ohh so comforting!|
|Wendy’s (Table for 2 or More) last entry is an iced cold Sweet Corn Sherbet. Gee, I wished I could remember the events in my life when I was five! Here’s she replicating the sherbet her grandaunt used to buy for her from this ice cream lady in her pushcart!|
|I’m glad Angie (Sea Salt With Food) from Vancouver, BC, Canada, is participating this time round. She took the effort even though she is on vacation now. Her Assam Prawns reminded of my mother’s. She lamented that she had to do away with fresh torch ginger flower (bunga kantan) but luckily she could still get the dried version since it’s the essential ingredient for this dish.|
|I stumbled upon Suresh’s (3 Hungry Tummies) blog just last week. Suresh blogs from Melbourne, Australia. I dropped in a comment and here we have an entry of Mee Hoon Kueh! Thanks for making this on time ;-)|
|Pei-Lin (Dodol & Mochi) from Kuala Lumpur mastered how to make Hakka Taro Abacus Beads since her mother was impaired from a stroke. Her TeoChew mother took the pain to learn how to make this as her children all loved this dish a lot. Another great example of a “yar sei hau” (hmmm how to translate this to English??) mother!|
|Daphne (More Than Words) resides in Perth, Western Australia with her loving hubby, AR. Since AR is a Malaysian, she gave him the honours to name a dish from his childhood and was surprised when he said Dhal. Seriously I won’t be so surprised since the simplest food usually holds the strongest in our heart and of course tummy too!|
|SueSue (The Momster’s Kitchen) submitted her second recipe via her other blog. She replicated her Ah Mah’s Steamed Kembung Fish. Ah Mah is a gutsy lady indeed to be able to take care of 5 children including SueSue and cooks as well when Ah Mah was already well into her 70s.|
|I’ve met Nathan and Annie (House of Annie) recently when they were in Kuala Lumpur. They have moved to Kuching, Sarawak now. Annie is a Malaysian and Nathan is a Hawaiian. From our conversation I gathered Annie’s mother is a fantastic cook as well. This time they’re submitting her Popiah recipe but the link won’t be up at the moment since they were busy gallivanting in Sibu with Kong Kay. Hehe I’m still waiting for her to post up her mother’s mean bubur cha cha recipe!|
|Little Inbox (Eating Pleasure) submitted a second entry. Another simple but yet delish Mint Leaves Omelette which her late grandmother-in-law used to cook for her hubby. So heart and tummy warming with mint leaves harvested from her own garden!|
|We have another new entrant here, Weng (I heart My Bakes) who is staying in Perth, Western Australia now. Even though her mother is a Hakka but she has never heard of Hakka Abacus Beads. So Weng searched for the recipe and they both learnt how to make them. However Weng’s mother tends to forget the recipe and each time she wants to cook this she have to go on Skype to ask Weng! Ahhh the wonders of technology! Anyway, Weng is submitting this recipe in Chinese so that Weng’s mother could refer to the blog instead of asking Weng again for the recipe.|
|My entry is actually an accidental one which I decided to submit for this year’s Merdeka Open House whilst I was cleaning up bird’s nest. In tribute to my mother who sacrificed savouring Bird’s Nest Soup with excuse that she don’t like it but in actual fact just like everyone’s mother, they would just like to give their children the best!|
|maameemoomoo (a ½ food blog) hailed from Singapore had just found out about this event only yesterday . She rushed off to the wet market today to buy the necessary ingredients and I stressed here pig’s ears and intestines to be braised together with pork belly but alas pork stalls are not opened on a Monday. Wow seems like it’s a universal day off for pork butchers as Malaysia is the same, well except for those located inside the supermarkets. Anyway, each time her mother made Braised Pork Belly, her dad would zoom into the belly where else her siblings will dig into the eggs first!|
|PureGlutton (PureGlutton) from Kuala Lumpur made her mother’s simplest but most delicious Eggs and Mint Leaves Soup. Her mother used to pluck the mint leaves in the backyard and cook up this hearty soup whenever she was too busy or there is nothing much in the fridge. I always advocate “the simpler the better” principle, so this soup will be bookmarked as I usually make this using Thai basil leaves instead.|
|Hungryc (the hungry caterpillar) from Kuala Lumpur mentioned her mother used to make Kunyit Fried Chicken to feed her cousins who came to her house for tuition. I can imagine the din 11 children can make but I’m pretty sure it will be quite all right once their mouths are full from chomping on these fried chicken!|
|Quinn (Quinn’s Cooking With Love and Passion) who is located in Adelaide, Australia submitted her recipe of Tau Yew Bak (Soy Sauce Pork). She claimed that her recipe tasted close to her grandma’s, if not better! Way to go Quinn!|
There you go, all the entries for this year's Merdeka Open House. Thank you to all participants. Selamat Hari Kebangsaan!
p/s: Do let me know if I've made any mistakes or left out any of your entry as I spent a couple of hours after 2 midnights working on the round up, kinda in a blur :p