Monday 27 June 2011

Herbal Congee

Hmmm it has already been more than a week since my last post. Almost losing mojo to blog now since my mood is not back to its normal self. Not when I had one week's worth of worrying and sleepless nights over my BoiBoi's fluctuating high temperature. It's really nerve wrecking when you do not know what was wrong with the kid.

BoiBoi was admitted to the hospital for 2 nights last weekend. After the usual dengue, urine and typhoid tests which all turned out negative... the pediatrician diagnosed him with acute pharyngitis. The first day the kid was rather tired, no appetite and restless since he's bed bound as he need to be on drips. The next day was energetic, with some appetite back but he cried a little cos he wanted to go home. I guess it's no fun dragging the drip stand (did you know drips are electronically controlled these days???) along to the toilet and wee wee into a measuring jug :p

Anyway, he was off school for the entire week with his fever still on-off for another 2 days after discharging from the hospital but luckily not super high when he was back home. He has since recovered and started school today. I guess I can have a bit of break now even though I'm still worried that his fever may recur. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed now!

Back to some food blogging...

I had some leftover chicken herbal soup in the fridge and with the weather so hot, we just didn't feel like eating anything but light stuff. So instead of cooking rice to go with the soup, I suddenly thought of using the soup as the liquid to cook congee (rice porridge/jook in Cantonese).

All I did was removed the herbs and chicken carcass from the soup but add back the goji berries (kei chee in Cantonese) and stripped-off chicken meat from the carcass. I've used it in replace of water to cook this brown rice congee. I adjusted the salt and added some grounded white pepper to taste. As it turned out, the herbal soup gave great flavour to the congee and I really wonder why I have never thought of this earlier! I guess it's never too late for anything huh?

Herbal Congee

Friday 17 June 2011

Stir Fry Tofu and French Beans

A lot of times I tend to stock up on longer lasting items in the fridge to prevent trips to the wet market. Items like cabbages, french beans, baby corn, fresh mushrooms, carrots, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes and squashes generally could last better. Green leafy vegetables does not last long as they turn yellow fairly quickly even after cling wrapped followed by another layer of newspaper. Lettuces could last a little longer though and I found out that storing vegetables in the plastic clear boxes that you buy salad leaves like butterhead lettuces, frisse, romaine lettuce etc could actually last longer in the fridge. Do give it a try!

So here's another stir fry with similar ingredients hahaha... well this time it has pan fried firm tofu squares, french beans, snow peas and baby corn. Pre-fry firm tofu squares and set aside. Heat up some oil and stir in chopped garlic. Wait till fragrant before adding in the french beans and baby corn. Next, stir in the tofu and a little water with a couple dashes of oyster sauce and some white pepper. Let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding the snow peas as these cook very quickly. Dish up and serve with rice.

Stir Fry Tofu and French Beans

Thursday 16 June 2011

Review: Hokkien Fried Noodles @ Restoran Aik Yuen (Behind KPJ Tawakal Hospital)


This Restoran Aik Yuen don't really need much introduction as most people in the Klang Valley would have known this stall has been in operation behind KPJ Tawakal Hospital for aeons. I have never blogged about them cos I felt they're not consistent with their noodles especially Hokkien fried noodles. At some days, they would turn out perfectly dry filled with wok hei (breath of the wok) but other times the noodles came flooded with gravy that I suspect frying them at a rush not allowing enough time for the gravy to thickened and absorbed by the noodles.

We came here recently after failing to get to a Hokkien fried noodles place in Jinjang North (will blog about this soon, I promise :p). The road were blocked for Wesak Day procession and we went hunted for food from Jinjang to Jalan Ipoh and finally ended up here in Aik Yuen.

Noted that they still fry the noodles across the shoplot in a stall, you can still sit along the five foot way but now one can sit in the comfort of the coffee shop lot in the corner. We quickly placed our order and they came trickling in one by one.

First up was the fish cake (yue pheng in Cantonese). Hmmm the fish cake looked absolutely white inside and is extremely bouncy. Looks like addictive might have been added.

fish cake

The Indonesian staff who took our order recommended Sweet and Hot Clams/Lala as it was their best seller compared with garlic and ginger style. The lala came bathing in the sweet and hot gravy which we have eaten better version elsewhere. Capt'n Hook asked me why I ordered this style in which I replied the staff said it's their best seller *chuckle* and I thot I could not go wrong with that but...

clams in sour and hot sauce

Then we have single portion of the Hokkien fried noodles and fried glass noodles (tung fun in Cantonese). The Hokkien fried noodles was decent that evening as there weren't that many patrons which enable them to have enough time to cook the noodles.

hokkien mee

The fried glass noodles fell flat though, the only reprieve would be there were quite a lot of ingredients such as pork slices, shrimps, squid and loads of choy sum. The flavours some how were not tasty enough :(

fried glass noodle

Our total bill of all the food above plus a pot of Chinese tea costed us RM34. To get here effectively to park your car due to the one way streets, is from KL heading towards Jalan Pahang, the hospital would be on your right. Go right till the end of the hospital then followed by a row of shops, turn left into the lane and another left turn would lead you to Jalan Sarikei. You can start looking for parking now as the restaurant is right at the corner.

Restoran Aik Yuen
Jalan Sarikei, Off Jalan Pahang
(Behind KPJ Tawakal Hospital)
Kuala Lumpur

Monday 13 June 2011

Review: Grand Imperial Kitchen @ Empire Shopping Gallery


We were in Empire Shopping Gallery for an early dinner after running some errands near by. As usual, it's never easy to decide where and what to eat so we both browsed around and stumbled upon Grand Imperial Kitchen. Took a peek at the menu and saw some set meals available so decided to give it a try.

After going through the long list of items on the menu, we decided to go for set meal as it's the easiest plus they came with a choice of drink which we both picked grass jelly in syrup. Other than noodles, they have rice dishes as well as roast meats.

Capt'n Hook picked an Egg Noodles with Minced Meat Sauce that came with a bowl of meat ball soup. I gave it a try and find the egg noodles were extra bouncy. When I checked, no wonder the noodles were so good as they're air-flown in from Hong Kong!

Egg Noodles with Minced Meat Sauce Set (RM13.80)

Sze Chuan Style La Mian with a fried egg served on a separate plate was my choice of order. The soup is kinda spicy, sour and lightly thickened with crushed peanuts. Managed to scooped up loads of minced meat and some shiitake mushroom slices. I find this was just so-so after tasting Capt'n Hook's yummy noodles.

SzeChuan Style LaMian with Fried Egg Set (RM13.80)

Our super value set costed us RM13.80 each, certainly value for money with the drinks  thrown in. Just wondering if their roast meats are anything better, perhaps we'll know the next time we drop by again.

Grand Imperial Kitchen
LG30 Lower Ground Floor
Empire Shopping Gallery
Jalan SS16/1
47500 Subang Jaya

Monday 6 June 2011

Happy Duan Wu Jie

Today is Duan Wu Jie aka Rice Dumpling aka Dragon Boat Festival. Chinese all over the world is celebrating this festival by making or eating glutinous rice dumplings (aka bak chang in Hokkien or zhung in Cantonese) and there will be dragon boat race as well!

This time, I'm featuring the sweet version of glutinous rice dumplings with red bean fillings as oppose to the savoury versions. I've tried my hand in wrapping some but it was totally a disaster hahaha. PureGlutton had showed some of us how to make it last year and most of us gave up after trying 1 or 2. Luckily she was very patient in trying to save up our dumplings, phewww. Her dumplings are filled to the brim with all my favourite ingredients and one of the best we ever have ;-)

Anyway, shown here are the glutinous rice dumplings with red bean fillings also known as karn zhui (alkaline) zhung. Most times these rice dumplings are plain without any fillings and to be eaten with kaya or palm sugar syrup. This is my favourite kinda dumplings as compared to the savoury ones.

Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Red Beans Filling

If you're celebrating, we would like to wish you a happy Duan Wu Jie!


I'm submitting this for Muhibbah Malaysian Monday blog event. This event is the brainchild of  Shaz (Test With A Skewer) and Suresh (3 Hungry Tummies). Read more here.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

I Went Banana!!!

The weather in Kuala Lumpur has certainly gone bonkers. It's so freaking HOT and then some days its super windy coupled with thunderous storms especially in the evenings. Not only trees were uprooted but some innocent children were killed in one of these fierce storms.

Capt'n Hook had bought a couple of bunch of Dole bananas where the skin are still green. They were left there to be ripen but after 2 days, the skin is still greenish but my goodness when I touch them, they're all limp aiks!!! I peeled one omigosh it has over ripen *sobs*

I was so upset that I ranted on with my friends and some started to give suggestions on how to make use of them. And that really got me on a roll! Within the hour, I've got myself some banana jam, ice cream and a banana cake! So glad I managed to salvage the expensive bananas into something thanks to my friends otherwise I would have dumped them all away.

banana jam (2)

For the banana jam, just slice the banana into large chunks and add in some lemon juice. Cook on medium low heat and keep stirring. Since the Dole bananas were quite sweet, I tasted them and just needed a little sugar. Just cooked the bananas into a thickish paste and if you prefer chunks in your jam, try not to stir too hard. Cool down and store in containers. Serve immediately or store in fridge covered. Try to eat them up within the next couple of days but seriously the jam is so good that you'll finish them rather quickly!

banana jam spread

Next, I sliced up some bananas and squeeze some lemon juice all over to prevent them from turning dark. Then I use my handheld blender and blitz the bananas up until they're creamy. Placed the covered container in the freezer and after about 2 hours I've got myself some really yummy and creamy "ice cream"! It's all natural without any cream nor sugar yay!

frozen banana ice cream

Since there were so much bananas, I've baked 2 loaves of Banana Cakes using Low-Fat Carrot and Nut Cupcakes recipe with some tweakings. What a lovely banana cake this recipes make. My cake looked very dark all cos I've used a very dark brown organic sugar which lend the cake a rather fragrant caramelly taste.

banana cake with banana ice cream & banana jam

Low-Fat Banana Cake
Adapted from 500 Cupcakes & Muffins, By Fergal Connolly book (published by PageOne Publishing), page 310

225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground mixed spice
150 g dark brown organic sugar
100 g roughly chopped walnuts
300 g mashed bananas
2 lightly beaten eggs
175 ml vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 175C. In a large bowl, combine all cupcake ingredients. Beat on a low speed with electric whisk until ingredients are combined. I've just use normal whisk, worked as well.

I've poured my batter into 2 lined loaf tins but they turned out quite low, I guess if you prefer one tall loaf, just pour all into one instead. Bake for about 45 - 55 minutes depending on your oven and the size of loaves. Remove tin and cool for 5 minutes. Remove cakes and cool on a rack.

I'm so happy with the results that I don't wait for such incidents to happen again but instead but extra bananas to let them ripe and turn them into such beautiful creations ;-)

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