Archive for Cooking

Sarawak Laksa

A couple of weeks ago I asked Jasmine why does she have a cooking tag in this blog. She explained that when she has time she cooks too and will blog about it. Since I had some Sarawak Laksa paste, we recently decided to cook it to celebrate Malaysia on September 16. So yeay, my first cooking post here!

The paste that I had was Barrett’s Sarawak Sambal Laksa which you can purchase from their website. Following the cooking directions behind the packet, I made the laksa soup the night before. I boiled 2.5 litres of chicken and prawn stock first, then I cooked the chicken breasts in it for shredding later.

The next day, Jas popped on over and we made the laksa soup proper by adding the paste and belacan. Since she was the Sarawak native, I relied heavily on her taste buds to adjusti the flavors 🙂 She also made the sambal belacan like a pro. We cooked the noodles, prawns, bean sprouts and omelette then plated it all up for photos!

Here is the spread. Complete with my Sarawakian table runner and mats. lol.

I plated my Sarawak Laksa like a noob. lol. I used a plate and poured the soup after placing all the laksa ingredients. #epicfail I know. lol.

Whereas Jas plated her laksa like a boss complete with sambal belacan and lime.

The 300g packet of Barrett’s Sarawak laksa paste states it cooks for 2 but we managed to get 7 servings out of it! So if you’re thinking of a party idea, consider making Sarawak laksa. It is easy to make and super tasty. Be sure to take some photos and let us know how it goes!

Comments (1)

Homecooked Turkish Meals, Istanbul

Having a friend living in Istanbul does make the travelling a lot easier. No language barriers, transportation issues etc and best of all, I get homecooked meals occasionally too! We actually didn’t have much opportunities to eat at home as there was so much to discover outside. But when we did, it was delightful…

This was my first breakfast in Istanbul. As soon as I stepped off the plane, we got back and after I freshened up, this was already waiting for me on the table. This is considered the typical Turkish breakfast, with an array of cheeses, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers & olives, hard boiled eggs and freshly baked bread.

For dinner one day we had sucuk or Turkish sausage. Usually eaten during breakfast with eggs, we decided to just pan fry it and have it with our bread. It’s a bit spicy, like a chorizo sausage and a little chewy. I do like it as it reminds me a bit of Taiwanese sausages, but the halal type.

During the same dinner I had my first taste of hamsi or Black Sea Anchovy. These anchovies are seasonal and I was lucky that there were still available. Easily cleaned, the hamsi is dipped in cornflour and then pan fried to make hamsi tava. These yummy fishes are then dressed with a squirt of lemon and pop them between bread and voila, you have your own hamsi sandwich!

For another dinner, we had patlıcan karnıyarık, stuffed eggplants with minced meat that were baked. Topped with tomatoes and some fresh yoghurt it was delicious. Tender and soft, and very tasty.

My friend’s neighbours gave us some homecooked Dolma, stuffed dried peppers (Biber Dolması) & eggplants (Patlican Dolması). It was interesting to eat re-hydrated peppers and eggplants though I thought the rice stuffing was a bit on the dry side. But still, I am glad I managed to taste them as I have wondered what they would taste like after seeing strings and strings of them hanging at shops and marketplaces.

Photo by Jennifer Hattam.

The practice of drying eggplants, peppers and even tomatoes during the summer was in preparation for the long winter and this has been done since ancient times. Even though these are readily available throughout the year now, the tradition of salting vegetables and drying them in long strings continue as they believe that dried vegetables retain a distinct flavour. I still like mine fresh though!

Comments (4)

Lap Mei Fan (腊味饭)

Over the long weekend, I decided to make a one dish meal and made Lap Mei Fan based on this recipe. It’s essentially steamed rice topped with preserved meats like Wax Sausages (腊肠), Liver Sausages (膶肠), and Waxed Duck (腊鸭). Yes, I know that CNY has passed but I kept a waxed duck drumstick from then in the fridge and since I brought back the waxed sausages from Yung Kee (for my parents actually, but am sure they don’t mind me sneaking one or two 😛 ), it’s the best time to cook the whole lot. Hehe. As I don’t own a claypot, I could only make this using the rice cooker.

Artery clogging or carcinogenic inducing aside, this festive delicacy is delightful when you try your best to forget how sinful it is. The waxed meats slowly releases the juices if you leave it on the rice long enough. Sometimes it gets a tad oily, but the tender sausages and little bursts of flavours is more than enough to make up for it. The waxed produce are seasonal simply because most of it is wind dried and only the north wind during winter is cold enough to do the job properly. So I guess a sinful bowl once or twice a year ain’t all that bad?

Comments (4)

Serendah BBQ

My bestie was visiting from Australia over the week and we decided to make our way down to Sekeping Serendah retreat for a mini-break. It was supposed to be a group of 4 girls but due to some unexpected circumstances, the other two pulled out later. We still decided to just go since reservations had been made.

The retreat is an 5 acre rainforest jungle with clearings made to house 5 sheds of 3 different materials in their attempt to be one with nature. We chose the glass shed, which looked too good to be true in the photos. The shed is really more than a shed, with open up windows top to bottom, which really gave you the best view of the greenery. Even the bathroom was more open than i bargained for! Lol.

Looking Out

There’s not that much to do around here, though they have a plunge pool in the grounds. There’s also the Serendah waterfalls and some Orang Asli settlements nearby. But we chose to remain in the grounds of Sekeping Serendah solely and kept ourselves relaxed with a good book, a hot cuppa and some engaging conversation.

The BBQ goodies

One of the to-dos here is of course having a barbecue. We wanted to keep it simple as it was only the two of us. Marinated some chicken strips with lemon thyme, and wrapped some prawns with prosciutto. For greens, we buttered some portobello mushrooms and asparagus.

Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad

We wanted to have a salad with the cooked chicken strips first. Threw together Green Oak lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes and sliced onion with a lemon juice & olive oil dressing. But the prawns were almost done and we did think it would go well so we decided to throw that in too, along with the asparagus.

Special Salad

So here’s what we dined to 🙂

Great mini-break away indeed.

Comments (9)

Weekend Barbecue

Over the weekend our company decided to throw a bash for some of our associates at my boss’s weekend house. We girls were involved in most of the food preparations. Only had to marinate the meat with a mixture of lemongrass & ginger infused sauces and cut some fresh vegetables before skewering everything into shish kebabs. Hehe.

On the day itself, apart from the usual chicken wings, corn on the cobs, shish kebabs, we also rolled pineapple cubes in streaky bacon and bbq-ed them. Sliced the leftover brinjals and Eryngii mushrooms and threw them on the hot plate too.

Being Sarawakians, Boss & I agreed to make Sarawak Laksa for our guests (who have long asked for it). I was more of a sous-chef for the stock, while my Boss did the final tasting etc. The secret in a yummy bowl of Sarawak Laksa lies in the soup and we have long been loyal customers of the “Swallow” brand of Laksa paste (which can be obtained at this stall *hint hint ). All the preparatory work for the ingredients (i.e. cooking & slicing the prawns, shredding the chicken, omelette strips) were done by Boss’s domestic helper and I.

The only thing that I actually made was the accompanying sambal. Just blended all the ingredients for a fiery, slow burning accompanying chilli paste. Used in abundance was garlic, shallots and chilli. Added some pan-fried belacan and some whole lime and voila. The sambal and squeeze of lime is the much needed “kick” for the dish, so it’s a customary accompaniment.

Most guests brought boxes of mooncake, but some brought other desserts like jelly etc so needless to say, we were all stuffed. But the best bit of the evening was this last minute riverboat cruise down Sungai Langat to catch the sunset.

Ah, good times indeed. 😀

Comments (4)

Corn Cake Stack

Corn Cake Stack

Spotted this corn cake recipe in one of Donna Hay’s cookbooks and have been meaning to use it as a guide to make some. After some tweaking, managed to make some to produce this stack with mashed avocado and prosciutto di Parma.

Corn Cakes
cream corn
chopped spring onions/parsley
chopped onions
salt & cracked black pepper

mix all ingredients well. heat buttered pan and spoon 1-2 scoops of the batter into it. flatten and wait till brown before flipping to other side.

Comments (6)

Stuffed Portobello Burger

I was struck with a burger craving whilst I was writing the last post. Feeling inspired I decide to make my own “gourmet burger”. Instead of just any meat patty, I made a stuffed portobello and grilled it.

Stuffed Portobello

The portobello is basically stuffed with minced meat of your choice. I seasoned the minced meat with salt, freshly cracked pepper and added some flour, egg, diced onions, scallions etc along with the portobello mushroom stalks. then after stuffing the mushroom cup, i grilled the entire thing and added a slice of cheddar on top of it last.

Stuffed Portobello Burger

Then it was just a matter of putting all the ingredients together. Some lettuce, followed by grilled aubergines, sliced onions, and finally the stuffed portobello, and voila, my very own gourmet burger. 😀

Comments (10)

Older Posts »