February 24, 2009

a Dinner? for four?

How to whip up a a storm in the kitchen in less than 2 hours?

You just cook … smart.

And I pop by my favourite mart at 600pm and rush home at about 630pm and finish cooking by 800pm.

That’s including defrosting the pork, chopping up, cook rice, and BOOM…. I present you:

Spicy LalaIMG_9615You get two handfuls of ‘lala’, throw in fresh basil, chopped ginger, garlic, cili padi, and a paste of cili giling + lime juice + onions. Hold your breath and let everything spice up and sizzle. Salt, pepper to taste.

Choy Sum  to balanced the meal… like every mama says so…IMG_9616You really don’t need to know how to cook this. Just cut everything to the right size and chao ar chao ar chao ar chao ar …

Last but not least;

The ‘Tau Yiu Bak’ IMG_9618Soy sauce pork, … Heavenly … so self praise… I so know.
So a good balance of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, all heighten to it’s full taste with a dash of Shao Xing.

I lied, I use a few dashes.

And throw in those beautiful chunks of pork belly cut, mushrooms, and serve it with half boiled eggs. Oh my. IMG_9621


February 21, 2009


Been said many times, many ways… The key for delicious food is still based on the ‘freshness’ of the ingredients you get.
Personally I’m okay with shopping from hypermarkets, strolling aisle to aisle with recipes popping up every time I pass by some fresh / gorgeous looking meat / vegetables / seafood.

So Friday, a day I look forward every week and so I was driving back from the city when I got caught in a traffic caused by onlookers of this overturned lorry in the OPPOSITE side of the road.

So, being mad, I went on to this lil-fresh mart in TTDI. My favourite place to stock up. Not that it measures over 10000 square feet of selling space, but there is something about this humble shoplot. Because it’s a small shop, turnovers are faster and somehow things are much fresher.

So, after being stuck in that time-wasting traffic, cooking Friday dinner would be therapeutic. It always work. A quick glance, and I got myself:

-a white pomfret , some choysum, spring onionsIMG_9600

So dinner’s going to be steam white pomfret and stir fry choysum.
A simple Friday dinner.IMG_9602

So, the array of other ingredients; spring onions, garlic, chillies and 'salted plum’.IMG_9604

Throw in some mushroom and ginger, and a gentle mixture of sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, ‘nampla’ and bind them all with some sesame oil and two tablespoon of water.IMG_9610

Steam the fish for about 10 minutes and, stir fry the choysum with some garlic, salt and soy sauce.

Overly said tips of getting fishes:

1. clear, bright eye

2. shiny, taut, bright skins,

3. Flesh that feels firm and elastic


To avoid:

1. Strong of fishy odour

2. Dull, bloody eyes

3. Fading skin and gill colour


Have a nice weekend :)

February 14, 2009

instant Dessert

ice cream

Well, dessert is one of the things that is hard to go wrong. As long as it’s sweet, refreshing and looks good, there is always room in your stomach. Even if you just ate a whole lamb. or Cow.

So, in less than 2 minutes, vanilla ice cream, passion fruits, and mints from the garden.

There you go.

I love the ‘poppin’ seeds of the lovely passion fruit.

February 13, 2009

Leftover Rice

So I always love to cook extra rice whenever I make dinner. So the next day I get to make fried rice.

Like one of the simplest thing to cook, it’s really hard to go wrong with fried rice. Unless, you never been to a kitchen before, or you're like.... dumb.

Fried rice had come a long way, and from it’s humble beginning of not wasting food; it is now part of the staple menu in regardless who you are and which part of the world you’re in.

From the Chinese style, to Malay style, Mamak style, Thai style, Indonesia style, and etc…. you can have it dirt cheap or pay a cut throat price for it.

So a quick search in my fridge i found ‘lap cheong’, eggs, carrots and ‘choi sum’. Throw in some chopped garlic and sliced onions it would be served with my must-have 'cili padi' and soy sauce.

IMG_9466 Here’s a 3 steps guide:

1: Hot wok, oil, garlic, onions, then ‘lap cheong’ then eggs, then vegetables.

2. One tablespoon of oyster sauce, dashes of ‘nampla’, soy sauce, pepper, dark sauce sauce, salt and scope in the leftover rice.

3. Stir everything well and 10 minutes later, lunch is ready.


I like my fried rice ‘greasier’.

February 11, 2009

‘Homey’ lunch

Being Chinese, we’re all mostly stuffed with arrays of mouth-watering food at all festive season. Feasting is the highlight during festive seasons, and speaking of which I just realised we always have food being associated with any Chinese festivals. From moon cakes to  ‘bak chang’ to ‘tong yuen’ to birthday noodles, to baby showers, and even during ‘ching ming’.

But sometimes having all savoury can make me feel ‘jelak’. So this pre-CNY we had this simple lunch. Oh I am craving for the feel now, maybe because I’ve been staying own my own for the longest time and having meals as such is just fantastic.


Again, having 'popo' eyeing on everything in the kitchen just make everything taste right. So for that afternoon, we have this lunch after the prayers. It’s an interesting ceremony where we’d be praying for the ancestors and the lunch is the offerings.

And after the ‘ancestors’ are done with it, it’s our time to feast.

So there are, stir fry mix vegetable. A crunchy mix of celery, baby corn, broccoli  and all being bind with the soft mushrooms, chicken, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Then there’s ‘ju hu char’. A Peranakan & Penangite staple. Finely shredded carrots and radish and cook till soft with the stripes of ‘ju hu’; the dried cuttle fish.

What’s a prayer offerings without a chicken? So there is always chickens involved in any Chinese prayers. Like the Cantonese sayings; ‘Tong Kai Wan San’.

So the broth from the boiled chicken is being used to make the simple vegetable soup. It had the chicken gizzard, liver feet and neck that boils with the Chinese cabbage and carrots, then garnished with parsley and spring onions.


And there, you have the boiled chicken, and boiled pork belly too. After the prayers ended they are being chopped into bite sizes. And with a simple ‘cili padi’ + soy sauce dip, it is all perfect.

And, definitely must have fish, ‘Nien Nien You Yu’ an auspicious dish. So it’s a simple ‘Yao Cham’ literally mean dipping in the oil, the fresh grouper is being deep fried in hot oil after a simple marinate of salt and pepper. And one it’s crisp crunch, squirt in dashes of soy sauce and if you hear the sizzles, you’re on the right track. Serve it with some fried ginger and chopped spring onions.

So, as simple as the meal is, it bring a strong feel of being back home and dining with everyone happily. At most times, less is more.

Happy ‘Chap Go Meh’ (belated!)


February 9, 2009

LYJ ‘Pun Choi’


One of the hidden gem in Sg. Buloh, spent almost an hour driving and braving thru the journey of potholes. So it’s a CNY cum birthday surprise dinner.  Parking at the side of the road can get a lil tricky, and we parked about 200 meters away and walked towards the restaurant.

And there, there’s two restaurant with the same name, not sure if they are related but we booked a table at the intermediate unit.

And what to order when you go to a hakka ‘pun choi’ restaurant?


The ‘Pun Choi’

Literally means a tub of braised meat and vegetable it is among the famous Hakka cuisine. Roast Duck, Fried Prawns, Steamed Chicken and Fried Fish topped the special braised pork, mushrooms, abalone chicken feet, ah… the list is just long.

This is my first time eating ‘pun choi’ and i don’t know where to start. Everything is just so delicious. And i spent the next 5 minutes standing filling up my plate and bowl with chunks of meat.


The ‘Lor Mai Kai’

It’s more challenging to prepare than it’s ‘ordinary’ looks. The meat and most bones were carefully being removed and being stuffed with glutinous rice. Being steamed to perfection and then deep fried to golden crisp.


Ginseng Chicken & Pork Soup

And I thought why the waitress serve us two cups of tea. And apparently it’s chicken soup. And I love the idea of having small servings of these soup in those Chinese tea cups.  Having a strong distinctive taste of the ginseng, and being kept warm in it’s special pot, this soup is non-greasy type and its stimulate your taste buds from the strong flavour of the ‘pun choi’. A great pairing.


And here’s the whole thing, for 11 of us.

Restoran LYJ Sdn Bhd

PT 11-12 & 16-17, Jln. Perkhidmatan

Kg. Baru Sg. Buloh 47000 Sg. Buloh

Tel:03-6140 2678