Wednesday 24 February 2010

Braised Dao Gan

As with the previous years, we usually have a vegetarian meal on the first day of the lunar new year. I've made another version of Tzai Choy, Sweat and Sour Veaty Bites, and a Braised Dao Gan (a type of layered beancurd skin) dish.

Vegetarian Dau Gan

I just made this according to what I have on hand eliminating the usage of a vegetarian oyster sauce since I didn't want to buy one bottle just to make one dish. What I have here is a packet of defrosted dao gan, a handful of soaked dry Chinese mushroom stalks (mushrooms were used for the Tzai Choy), some soaked kei chi (boxthorn/lycium/Chinese wolfberry) and reserve the water, and a bunch of blanched broccoli to line the plate.

Shred the mushroom stalks with fingers (fingernails come in very handy here) into floss like strips and fry them in oil till crispy. Remove and set aside. This look kinda like dried scallops.

Lightly pan fry the dao gan. I've used a non-stick pan to easy frying and did not need to use a lot of oil. Remove and soak up the oil with paper towel.

Using the same pan which should not contain a lot of oil, pour some water including the kei chi water (enough to cover the dao gan), light soy sauce, white pepper powder and wee bit of sugar. Let it come to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Put in the dao gan, mushroom stalks (you can leave some to sprinkle on top of the completed dish but I was just too lazy) and kei chi, braise for about 15 mins. Pour in some cornstarch solution to thicken the sauce up slightly.

Dish up and pour dao gan over the broccoli. Serve with rice.

Our First Day of New Year Dish
Tzai Choy Version 2.0
Tzai Choy (Vegetarian Dish) Version 3.0
Vegetarian Dishes for First Day of Lunar New Year
Tzai Choy Version 5.0

Monday 22 February 2010

Review: Chef Tony's Popcorn

Our blog reader, S, sent me an email asking me to review a tub of popcorn originating from Philippines and in return, he just needed our honest opinion of the popcorn as he was researching and considering to bring them to Malaysia.

Well, since I loved the food that Capt'n Hook used to bring back from Manila, Philippines, I did not hesitate to give it a go. S promptly delivered a tub of Chef Tony's Vanilla flavoured popcorn to my office whom I did not have a chance to say hi, thanks and bye to him as he had to hurry off to a meeting.

He had explained to me that Chef Tony's popcorn is not the ordinary ones we get at our local cinemas. He said these are gourmet popcorn!!! Wow amazing isn't it? Popcorn can go up to such level!

First up, since it was nearing Christmas, the 500g tub he gave me came in a Christmas gift box which looked so good. Hahaha who would have thought to give popcorn as gifts! Fabulous! I really salute the Filipinos as they're always very creative when it comes to packaging.

chef's tony collage

Inside the box lies the tub of airtight popcorn. Seems like serious business as it came with a tamper proof seal.

Chef Tony's Popcorn

The tub even came with instructions on how to open the tub!

Chef Tony's opening instructions

After opening the tub, a sweet vanilla fragrance wafted out! My boiboi was hanging around me whilst I went through the photography asking me all sorts of questions like where did I get these popcorn yada yada but of course it ultimately arrived at "Can I try some, please?" hahaha...

Chef Tony's Vanilla Flavour Popcorn

Check out the size...


Poor fler... the things the mummy asked him to do just for some popcorn :p

popcorn yummm

The moment I pop one of Chef Tony's popcorn into my mouth, I'm totally amazed! The TEXTURE is completely unexpected! It's not crispy like those caramel ones. This is more cake-like and puffy or should I say fluffy... seriously I'm lost for words to describe them but they're of the good kind. They kinda like melt in the mouth! You guys really have to try them to experience it.

Taste wise, the vanilla flavouring is nice but a tad too sweet. It gotten very cloying as I continue but then again I do not have super sweet tooth. If not of this, I think it can be really addictive and an easy feat to finish one tub in one sitting.

Since I can't finish, I put the lid on and the sturdy tub was air tight as the popcorn remained as it is even after a week. Yeah, I tested the tub cos S told me it's air tight and he recycled the tubs to store stuff in his kitchen.

Anyway, not only the texture and flavours were amazing BUT just to warn you, these popcorn came in multitude of sweet and savoury (yes, you did not read me wrong... SAVOURY not just salted) flavours ranging from Parmesan (psstt S, can I try this next? kekeke), Almond Mochaccino, Cinnamon, White Chocolate Walnut, Dark Chocolate Almond, Country White Cheddar and the list goes on. There are limited edition flavours from time to time like Belgian chocolate too! Pssttt there's even porky goodness in popcorn in Canadian Bacon & Cheddar flavour!

Well we'll have to be very patient as market research is still on at the moment and I will be hearing from S when Chef Tony's popcorn will be made available in Kuala Lumpur. I really hope it's going to be soon!

Their URL is still under construction but in the meantime check their blog in multiply -

Friday 19 February 2010

Review: Nyonya Yue Sang at Peranakan Place


It was already 4 in the afternoon and Capt'n Hook nagged me for not making reservations at Canton-i but hey as far as I know, I don't think they accept reservation. Anyway I googled the number and called numerous times but no one pick up the call. So we left Kepong ahead of my family and head on to 1 Utama hoping to "chup" a place BUT BUT BUT the shutters were down!!! Ohhhh you just dunno how much the old man nagged!!! *roll eyes* and this was the Friday before eve of CNY urrghhh... on closer look at the piece of paper stuck on the shutter... ahhhh they've shut for their annual dinner.

After making a couple of calls later, I picked up a flyer at the reception and saw Nyonya style yue sang (raw fish salad) is served at Peranakan Place which is just a floor up. We decided on this place since we've been there for a couple of times and I think it'll be good to check out their dishes. Moreover, it will be a change from the usual Chinese dishes. Just a word of warning... lousy pics ahead as I need to hurry before the food got attacked.

When we sat down, my family arrived just in time to place our order. We started off with a platter of Nyonya style yue sang which is kinda totally different from the usual Chinese ones. It has portions of pomelo, pickled ginger strips, deep fried yam strips, fresh red onions, raw mango strips and the usual crisps, crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. The sauce is not the usual plum sauce and the oil is already mixed into it. It is served with generous slices of salmon, the thickest and freshest that I've ever eaten! There were white pepper powder and 5 spice powder which seems quite a lot but the staff assured us that we need to add in all into our yue sang. After the customary lou hei, time for a taste. There were mixed review round the table. Capt'n Hook didn't like it as he's a traditionalist. My brother who detest strong sesame seeds oil and raw onion said it's not nice but the general consensus was it was a refreshing change.

Nyonya Yue Sang

Next the dishes started to arrive. A must order in a Peranakan restaurant is Sambal Prawn with Petai! Hmm my favourite but not the best I've eaten.

Sambal Petai Prawns

Since we have tasted their Deep Fried Honey Squid and loved it, we ordered this again. The squid are coated with a sweetish honey sauce and the best part is - it's still crispy! *crunch crunch*

Deep fried honey squid

Stir-fried Paku (a type of ferns) in Sambal Belachan was just mediocre as it's lacking of wok hei (breath of a wok).

Stir-fried paku pakis (ferns) in sambal belachan

Chicken Pong Teh for boiboi... not as great as my version kekeke

Chicken Pong Teh

This tofu dish is also for boiboi. The egg tofu is homemade and came with a thickish eggy mushroom gravy. After this dish I think we'll have to stick with their spicy dishes. Even though I liked sesame seeds oil but this one is overwhelming! All we could taste was sesame seeds oil.

Homeade tofu

I had always like Cencaru Stuffed with Sambal (RM10 for one fish) and will always have them whenever I spot them but this round my mom jumped on the chance and asked for this when I told her it's available. Since they are deep fried instead of shallow fried, the fish turned out very crispy. Excellent! By the way, do removed the skin before eating :D

Cencaru stuffed with sambal

My parents loved their Durian Cendol (forgot to take a pic) that came with large blop of durian puree on top of the shaved ice which looked so enticing that Capn't Hook asked for one too!

Can't provide the price as I did not pay for the meal. Overall, I felt this place is quite ok but definitely not the best but one of the better places in the building.

Peranakan Place
F221C First Floor
One Utama
Bandar Utama
Tel: (603) 77288 728

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Banana Pancake (Jamie Oliver's USA style pancake)

I hope everyone have a fantastic Chinese new year celebration. For us there were a lot of feasting LOL and there are more to come!

Ok I know I'm a day late but what the heck... yesterday was Pancake Day and here I am posting a delayed pancake recipe using Jamie Oliver's USA-style Pancake recipe from Happy Days with the Naked Chef. Hmm funny I've mentioned before that I need to post this up back in early 2008 but I have yet to do it! Best part, I've made this numerous times LOL.

I remember making this batch for breakie after a failed attempt of whipping egg whites for a pavlova LOL sighhh I whipped the whites mid way, stop it and ran out to grab caster sugar which I've ran out, I just can't believe it but that day was filled with disasters!!! When I came back with the sugar, the whites refuses to turn shiny... hence I chucked it aside. Instead of throwing them away, I remember Jamie's pancake recipe called for whipped egg whites and tadaaaa...

I've used bananas instead of blueberries but from his recipe you can practically use anything you have in your pantry such as fresh corns, bacon bits, choc bits etc.

Banana Pancakes

Check out my other healthier version of banana pancakes.

Thursday 11 February 2010

Orange Yoghurt Cupcakes

Orange Yoghurt Cupcakes

I've used the same recipe for Citrus Yoghurt Muffins for this with a couple of changes. Since I've oranges in my fridge only, so I've just used orange zest. For the oil, I've used Carotino oil which is a palm oil that came in a deep red hue. I decided to try this Carotino that I've gotten in sample bottle after reading that one can create a very nicely coloured cake in a newspaper feature.

Check out the colour of the muffin! It is indeed a very very rich orangey colour. Compared with the Citrus Yoghurt Muffins, this batch looked so good! The muffins are moist and I can safely scoot off to get a bottle of Carotino oil just for baking! This seems like a great item to be served during the Chinese New Year.

Orange Yoghurt Cupcake

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Double Lou Hei @ Greenview


Funny one has gotten to lou sang or lou hei (tossing of raw fish) earlier and earlier by the year :p Yes my first was a couple of weeks ago at Restoran Green View together with 2 tables of floggers and friends which explained why 2 plates of yue sang (raw fish) were on one table!



The merrymaking went ermmm very loud with lots of yum sengs in between the delish dishes ordered by Frat... We yum seng to practically everything and anything... yes even to the cakes that FBB brought. This went on till the shutters were all down kekeke. Thanks to all whom have made this dinner a great one ;-)


So have you started lou hei for the year?

Restoran Green View
No. 6 & 8 Jalan 19/3
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: (603) 7958 1076 or 7954 9263
Opening Hours: 11.00am - 11.00pm

Monday 8 February 2010

SHF #61: Sweet Comforts - Round Up

The recently concluded Sugar High Friday hosted by Kate of A Merrier World have been compiled and rounded up. Check Kate's round up here on the desserts that you turn to for comfort.

I've submitted an Apple and Persimmon Crumble for this event.

Thursday 4 February 2010

Review: Ina Sambal Udang Pan Mee Goreng

I got this pack of Ina Sambal Udang Pan Mee Goreng by Yugatrade at Jusco. I like Ina's pan meen and yee meen so decided to try this sambal udang version. I can't remember how much but it's a mixed pack of 5 different flavours.

Ina Sambal Udang Pan Mee Goreng - packaging

Inside the packet, it contained the dried noodles, a packet of dehydrated vegetables, a pack of dark soy sauce, a pack of seasoning and a pack of sambal udang.

Ina Sambal Udang Pan Mee Goreng - ingredients

Cooked the noodles according to instructions and poured in all the ingredients.

Ina Sambal Udang Pan Mee Goreng - before mixing

Mixed them up and voila... dinner!

Ina Sambal Udang Pan Mee Goreng - after mixing

Easy peasy. This tasted ok only, perhaps not enough sambal udang. I shall stick with the soupy pan meen which tasted like the real thing especially the ikan bilis soup. The yee meen soup tasted exactly like claypot yee meen, just remember to crack in an egg!

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Review: Alexis Bistro and Wine Bar @ The Gardens

I've been to all Alexis outlets but I'm liking it here at The Gardens. The place is spacious with high ceiling, food is good and best of all service is at its best on the day I was there. I also noticed they have tapas here in the menu.

So we have one serving of button mushroom (RM15) from the tapas menu. The mushrooms were halved swimming in a creamy garlicky gravy. Toasted french loaves rounds that came with it were great in mopping up the tasty gravy.

Button Mushroom (RM15)

BoiBoi loved his Club Sandwich (RM20) but who doesn't when there are thick layer of chicken slices, ham (I can't remember of which kind but definitely not pork since this place is pork free), fried egg, and green salad leaves in between 2 slices of fresh toasts. The portion is rather huge as it came with a side salad and tonnes of fries. Thank goodness I did not order any mains since I have to perform my *ahem* Alam Flora duty that evening by picking up the salad and bits and pieces of his sandwich but he wallopped quite a fair bit though.

Club Sandwich (RM20)

Capt'n Hook who is not a fan of pasta asked for a Penne Carbonara (RM32). He gave a rare full praise for his carbonara that have pieces of ham and mushrooms. I took a bite and I guess I know why... the sauce is not sickly rich which is great as it doesn't make one feel "jelak" quickly.

Penne Carbonara (RM32)

We were rather full but as usual BoiBoi would loved to have dessert to end his meal. What more when he had already spied the cake display as he went "browsing" around. I had to manipulate and control his ordering so that we won't end up with something rich. Since he loved pavlova, I managed to convinced him into having a Chocolate Nutty Meringue (RM15). It's our first time trying this as we'll usually stuck at Tiramisu :p This is a brilliant dessert with light marshmallowy chocolate meringue in between light chocolate cream and chopped pecans and macadamia, lots of them oh yum! There are a lot of nuts on top as well! I'm sooooo gonna make this one day!!!

Nutty Meringue (RM15)

Ahhh another good food option at The Gardens ;-) other than The Yogitree, Yuzu, Gelatissimo, I Love Yoo, Nyonya Colors, Belanga, Fong Lye, sbread, Shihlin...

Alexis Bistro and Wine Bar
Lot f209 1st Floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 2287 2281

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Braised Spare Ribs With Baked Beans


Braised Spare Ribs With Baked Beans

This recipe appeared in Yum Yum magazine issue 63 and seems very appealing. Kinda special since we usually have baked beans on its own or cooked with eggs or with some mince meat. Very easy to prepare and would become a firm favourite if one love baked beans.

Braised Spare Ribs With Baked Beans

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut into pieces
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 red chillies, cut into pieces (I omitted)
600g spare ribs, cut into pieces
1 tin baked beans

1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato sauce
600ml water
1 tsp sugar

1. Heat oil and saute onion until aromatic. Add tomatoes, red chillies, spare ribs and stir-fry until well mixed.

2. Add (A) and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 mins or until rins are tender.

3. Lastly add in baked beans and bring to boil. Dish and serve with rice.

Ref: Yum Yum issue 63

Oh yeah I've read this article earlier and it's rather interesting...

10 things you did not know about baked beans
By Karen Inge

They're a staple quick meal in many houses, but just how nutritious are they for you and your family?

  1. Baked beans contain energy giving, low glycaemic index carbohydrates.

  2. A cup of baked beans is a great source of protein with more than 10 grams of protein equal to 50 gram steak or 11/2 eggs.

  3. The fibre in a cup of baked beans is 12 grams equal to more than 8 large sandwich slices multigrain bread, or 11/4 cups toasted muesli or 4 medium unpeeled green apples.

  4. Baked Beans are international. Versions of baked beans are found in many countries from France home of the cassoulet through to the USA with Boston (Navy) Baked Beans.

  5. A cup of baked beans is about 900 kilojoules or just less than 10% daily intake energy requirement for the average person.

  6. Baked beans are low in fat (less than 1%) with less than 2 grams of fat per cup. They are super low in saturated fats and as a vegetable contain no cholesterol.

  7. Most baked beans are also an excellent source of tomato containing the antioxidant lycopene.

  8. Baked beans contain folate a vitamin essential to release the energy in our food. One cup of Baked Beans provides more than 25% of the daily requirement (RDI 400 micrograms/day adults and teenagers).

  9. We do not have digestive enzymes for all carbohydrates including raffinose found in dried beans and legumes. Gut micro-flora break down this carbohydrate and a byproduct is gas. Raffinose can be reduced in beans that are soaked first and the water discarded.

Source: The Australian Women's Weekly

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.

16 Oct 2012