Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Merdeka Open House 2010: Food From Our Hearts Round Up

Updated 1 September 2010: Added Popiah's link for Nathan & Annie's submission

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
Raykat hidup
Bersatu dan maju
Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta

Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta

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...

Littel Inbox -
bakkutteh 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! LCOM - Tamarind Stew
Pork with Daikon

Lianne - Mee Hoon
Kueh 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.  Taca - serunding ikan

Wendy - nasi goreng
kampung 4 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.  SueSue -

WITH SHRIMPS & TANGHOON 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.  A Series of Kitchen
Experiments - easiest-malaysian-chicken-curry

Wendy - Salted fish
steamed pork 3 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. Jason - Rice Cake with
Preserved Vegetable & Dried Shrimps

Reese Ang Koo 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. Wendy - spiced fried
chicken 1

Gertrude - Savory
Glutinous Rice 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! Wendy - sweetcorn
sherbet 5

SSWF-AssamPrawns 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 ;-) Suresh - Mee Hoon

Pei-Lin - Taro Abacus
Beads 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!  Daphne - Dhal

SueSue -
Steamed-Kembung-Fish 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!  Annie & Nate -

Little Inbox -
mint-leaves-omelette-1 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. Weng - Hakka abacus

babe_kl - bird's nest
soup 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! maameemoomoo - braised
pork belly

PureGlutton - Eggs and
Mint Leaves Soup 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! hungryc - kunyit

Quinn - Tau Yew
Bak 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


  1. thx ~!! i can't believe my entry's featured in ur blog~!

    btw.. my mother's okay now..and how glad i am when she's taking her meal with my serunding~!

  2. Babe-kl,
    Thank you for the midnight oil. The round up looks so good.
    Truly appreciate your effort.

    My fried chicken is not "Special fried Chicken", it's Spiced Fried chicken. Looks similiar but not the same, with begins with "Sp".

  3. What a great round up, looks of ideas floating in my head now ;)
    I did a roundup for our Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event too, so come and have a look at more delicious Malaysian dishes :)

  4. Well done Babe and everyone who took part! Food looks delectable and such lovely stories for each dish. Happy Merdeka!

  5. Glad to hear your mother is well now. Taca, do join us gain next year. Thank you.

    Opps Wendy! OK I corrected it already. Sorry. Thank you for serving us 4 dishes!

    Thank you 3 Hungry Tummies for participating at such last minute notice.

    Thanks Boo

  6. Wow, imagine if we could have all these dishes in one huge muhibbah Merdeka potluck party! :D

  7. Kenny, there was a request on this actually but still sitting on it ahaha. participants hv to bring the submitted dish! so those who did not participate, how arh? just help to eat and do the dishes? :p

  8. thanks Babe for the invite. everything looks soo delish here, i can almost taste it off my computer screen. yay, I have more cooking options in the future .. love this post!

  9. YUM! What a great selection- the most beautiful thing is that they are all from the heart! Off to check out the ideas- I like the salted fish one especially!!!

  10. Thanks for doing this again babe and what a fantastic roundup and participants. Beautiful and yummy dishes with stories to tell, now I need to go read some. :)

  11. Wow, all mouth-watering dishes. After seeing all these open house Food From Our Hearts yesterday, I've tried to make pan mee at home, haha...hands itchy. It was a tiring day for me.

  12. these pictures are sure making me hungryy!!! looks yummiliciouss!!

    Have a fabulous week!!
    jen @ www.passion4food.ca

  13. Thanks Lianne ;-)

    Daphne, I think so too. You see the gist of this open house is not only about food but also the stories behind it for each of the themes. I think we shall keep that as the rule eh?

    Thanks LCOM for participating

    Little Inbox, wow very inspired eh? Hope to see that post soon.

    Thanks Jen

  14. If only I can have a bite of each dish - I would be sooooo happy :)

    (Will have lots of fun going around to everyones blogs to read all the full posts/stories... Great "open house". Thx Babe!)

  15. Babe, thanks for hosting! This year's roundup is superb. I will be spending lots of time perusing the recipes.

  16. great shots of great dishes. damn ur making me hungry!

  17. J, I wish that too :p so wai sik kekeke thanks ;-)

    Thanks Nate for participating.

    C&C, it's almost lunch time soon!

  18. Wow - if we can hv a taste of all the dishes featured, it'd be a one helluva feast, hehe!
    Great job, Babe!

  19. They all have lovely write-ups as well. I enjoyed this post.

  20. omg, everything looks delicious! :D

  21. PG, perhaps we should do a real one :p thanks for taking part

    LL, I agree with you on that

    Rita, am sure they all are ;-)

  22. I really enjoyed seeing the photos of the food and also reading the stories behind each of them. Thanks for organising this event and pulling it all together. Must try to remember next year.

  23. Thank you Babe for organizing this event again. Looking forward to the next year event :)

  24. You are making me so so so so hungry here. What a feast!

  25. Oh wow! so many delicious dishes in one blog...I am going to have a great time visiting each and everyone one the bloggers! THanks:D Happy Merdeka!

  26. Charmaine, can you drop me a mail so I can include you in next year's email. Thanks

    Thanks ICook4Fun for taking part!

    Tummythoz, if only we all get to eat them at real!

    tigerfish, yeah but would have been great if it's not virtual hehe

    Thanks Jeannie. Happy blog hopping!


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