Friday, October 31, 2008

Weird One

I am sure everybody has had their share of 'twin' food. Be it a fruit or vegetables. And those old wives tales?

Yeap! The ones where they said if you eat them you will get a twin. If only that was true, I would already have a few couple of them.

So tell me my dear readers. What other 'twin' food have you seen?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eid Open House Menu 3 - Briyani Rice with Beef Rendang and Beef Liver in Black Pepper Soy Sauce

It has been awhile since I last made briyani rice. So for my openhouse, I decided to make some. Just a plain briyani rice with a few side dishes to go with it. The first side dish is of course the Spicy Honey Chicken. For the briyani rice itself, I use Shan's Malay Chicken Briyani mix that you can find at the Indian stores. I have posted the Malay Chicken Briyani recipe before with chicken in it. The only difference is I dont use any Adabi briyani mix nor chicken for the rice itself since I was making rice and dishes instead of just rice. So for just the rice, this is how you make it.

Briyani Rice
serves 2

1 cup basmati rice (rinsed)
1 3/4 cup water
Salt and sugar to taste
2 tbsp ghee oil (or vegetable oil)
Half onion (finely sliced)
2" ginger (finely sliced)
4 spices - 3 cardamom seed, 1" cinnamon stick, 2 star anise seed, 3-4 cloves (rinsed)
2 tbsp Shan's Malay Chicken Briyani mix

1. Heat up the ghee oil in a pot and add the 4-spices until aromatic.

2. Add in the chopped onion & garlic. Keep stirring for about 3-4min.

3. Add the rice and water and salt and sugar. Stir, taste and let it boil. Cover and simmer for 25min.

For Beef Rendang, I just use the ready made paste that my mom gave me. You can just use any rendang paste that you could find at asian stores. I added a little bit of curry powder and chili powder to the mix to get a spicier Beef Rendang. I also added a few kaffir lime leaves half way through cooking to get that aromatic smell.

Another dish that I cooked to pair with my Briyani Rice is Beef Liver in Black Pepper Soy Sauce. Yes, besides Chicken Gizzards, I also eat liver. Beef liver. I think I get kind of hooked to it when my mom made them for my sis-in-laws after they gave birth. They are just so good and of course not available at your regular supermarket. I got mine at the halal store in Garden Grove. Here is the recipe;

Beef Liver in Black Pepper Soy Sauce

1/2lb beef liver
3-4 tbsp ground black pepper
1 medium onion
2in ginger
3-4 garlic
5-6 tbsp sweet soy sauce

1. In a mortar and pestle, pound onion and ginger.

2. Mix everything in a bowl and let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

3. In a pan, heat up some oil and sauteed the marinated stuff until half cook.

4. Add sweet soy sauce and salt. Taste and continue stirring.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Deepavali

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Hindu readers Happy Deepavali/Diwali or also known as festivals of lights which falls on Monday October 27th.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eid Open House Menu 2 - Peanut Sauce with Rice Cake

peanut sauce

What is Hari Raya / Eid-ul Fitri for us Malaysian without ketupat? Ketupat is rice cooked in an individual baskets of woven coconut leaves. I still remember when I was a kid and went back to my father's hometown in Johor for Hari Raya, my late grandmother and aunties would get all the kids to sit down and learn the art of weaving coconut leaves into ketupat wrapper. Unfortunately, none of us did quite get it. Not then and definitely not now. It is rather sad but thank god for instant rice cake which may not be ketupat but it serves the same purpose.

I was pretty nervous when I could not find any at the asian supermarket near our place. I asked around and check the internet and finally someone told me to check out 99 Ranch Market. I have only been to the one in Anaheim a long time before and did not like the place so I decided to check out their outlet in Irvine. It was a Saturday and the parking was full that we had to park at the 30min parking area. Yup, 30 min for me to find my instant ketupat. But luck was on my side and I found it in the 3rd aisle that I went to. Phew!

For my openhouse, I made the instant ketupat for my soto and also to go with the peanut sauce. Peanut sauce is my mom's specialty. Every Raya, she will make peanut sauce. My aunts tried to make it but somehow their's did not turn out quite like my mom's peanut sauce so they just appointed my mom as THE person responsible for peanut sauce. I never did bother to find out how she make her peanut sauce that has became somewhat a legendary until I came here. After a few times of not-quite-like-mom's peanut sauce, this year, luck was on my side and my peanut sauce turned out really well. Just as good as my mom's famous peanut sauce. There are a lot of ways and ingredients to make peanut sauce out there but my mom's peanut sauce only have 5 ingredients and peanut butter is NOT 1 of them. Do try these simple and easy peanut sauce recipe and share with me the result.

peanut sauce
Peanut Sauce

24oz (680gm) dry-roasted peanuts, (I use store bought)
3 cups water
1/4 cup sambal oelek (less if you dont like it too spicy)
4oz palm sugar

1. Grind the peanuts in a food processor. Longer if you want a finer peanuts.

2. In a large pot boil the water, sambal oelek, palm sugar and ground peanut. Stir continuosly.

3. Once its boiled, turn down heat and let it simmer. Add in salt and taste. Give a good stir every 15-20min.. This will take a very long time. It took me between 2-2.5hrs to get the right consistency. The peanut and water should combined nicely.

The recipe will give you a lot of peanut sauce. Just freeze the amount that you are not using for later use. Besides ketupat, you can also enjoy peanut sauce with satay or bread or even crackers.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Eid Open House Menu 1 - Spicy Honey Chicken / Ayam Masak Madu

I know I have been pretty quiet the last 2 weeks. The truth is I had been busy for my Raya Open House last weekend which turned out very well. I got a little bit over board by cooking so many dishes that I ended up forgetting to serve 1 of them which is Fried Beef Satay. I just could not stopped myself from cooking but I am happy that my guests of 11 people enjoyed the food and the company. Rasa Malaysia also came but she left before the photo session started.

Today I am posting 1 of the dishes that I served for my Open House. This means that there are going to be a few more posts coming. Spicy Honey Chicken is 1 of the few dishes that I know how to make when I moved here. It is some sort of a mix and match of sweet & sour chicken and honey chicken that I used to have together with my Briyani Rice. If you are a regular to my blog, you will realise that I use a lot of anise seed, clove, cinnamon stick and cardamon seed in my cooking. This is because I just like the smell that comes out of them when they are being sauteed and also when you reheat them. I promise that you will get complimented for it. *wink*

Spicy Honey Chicken / Ayam Masak Madu

8-10pcs of chicken (bone in)
3 tsp tumeric powder
1.5 tsp salt

1/2 small bottle of sambal oelek
5 shallots
3 garlic
2inc ginger

4-spices (3 star anise seed,6 cloves,6 cardamon & 2in cinnamon stick), rinsed
6 tbsp honey
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, sliced

1. Marinate the chicken with tumeric powder and salt. Deep fry (slowly) them and keep aside.

2. Grind ingredients in B with a little bit of water.

3. Heat up the oil in the wok and add the 4-spices until fragrant and then saute items B.

4. Add the rest of the items in C and continue stirring.

5. Keep tasting until you get the desired taste and lastly put the chicken in. Stir and serve with white warm rice or briyani rice.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Prawn Fritters / Cekodok Udang

I love fritters. Be it Flour Fritters, Banana Fritters or Prawn/Shrimp fritters or Cekodok/Cucur Udang as they are fondly called by Malaysian. They are easy to make and very filling. I have to say that cekodok is our favourite breakfast on weekend.

Prawn Fritters / Cekodok Udang
Makes 18-20

18-20 medium size shrimp - cleaned, deveined and/or de-shelled
1 egg
1/2 medium size onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
Oil for deep frying
Steel ladle

1. In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Add in chopped onion, flour, turmeric powder and salt. Stir a little bit and then add in the water. Stir well.

2. In a wok, heat the oil on medium.

3. Run the ladle in the hot oil just to lightly coat it to avoid sticking. Pour about 1-1.5 tbsp batter into the ladle and place 1 shrimp on top. Lighly press into the batter.

4. Put it into the hot oil and give it a little shake/wiggle so the batter comes off the ladle.

5. Flip the fritters once or twice until golden brown.

6. Continue until all batter are used. Fry between 4-5 fritters at one time, depending on the size of your wok.

7. Enjoy on its own or dip into sweet chili sauce.

Because of the water in the ingredient, the fritter could/would splatter when frying. Please be very careful when deep frying them.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ayam Percik Recipe / Barbequed Chicken in Spicy Coconut Milk Gravy

Another recipe from the east coast states of Malaysia courtesy of my dear friend Sue. I do have a thing for east coast's delicacies don't I? As usual, when you ask a recipe from your mom or aunt or friend, it comes it terms of ingredients only without the measurements. The same goes to ayam percik recipe when I asked her for it. If my handwriting was not ugly, I would have scanned the paper where I wrote down the recipe and put it here. But unfortunately they are so I will spare you from seeing the worst handwriting in the world. *lol*

Ayam percik is also available mostly during the month of Ramadhan but you can still get them at the pasar malam (night market). What makes Ayam Percik .... Ayam Percik, is the gravy. Its drenched with coconut milk based gravy that have everything from shallots to ginger to chili to tamarind juice. It may sounds heavy but its oh-so-heavenly! Please do not let the slightly long list of ingredients scare you since most of them goes in the blender together. Once you blend them, everything else is easy like 1-2-3.

Ayam Percik Recipe
Serves 4

8 pieces chicken drumsticks (or any other parts) - rubbed with salt and turmeric
3-4 shallots
1 red onion
4-5 garlic
3in ginger
2 stalks lemongrass
2-3 tbsp sambal oelek (more if you like it hotter)
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 can coconut milk (400ml)
1 can water (use the same coconut milk can)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp tamarind juice powder
Sugar and salt to taste

1. Start the grill.

2. In a blender, blend shallots, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sambal oelek and turmeric powder.

3. In a pot (use a big one), boil coconut milk, water and and the rest of the ingredients except the chicken on medium heat. Keep stirring until it boils. Let it simmer.

4. Steamed the chicken for 6-10min.

5. When the grill is ready, start grilling the chicken. Basting it with the gravy 3-4 times.

Ayam Percik is best enjoyed with Nasi Kerabu, rice with fish and vegetables like long beans, beansprouts and polygonum leaves or just plain white rice. I had mine with the half version of nasi kerabu. I just chopped or finely cut the vegetables, mix it with the rice and pour some gravy on top. Please do be very generous with the gravy on both your rice and chicken. It is not Ayam Percik if it is not drenched/drowned with the gravy.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Malaysian Raya Open House

Open house in America is for people selling their houses but for us, it means opening up our house for family and friends to come over and celebrate the occassion. Be it Raya/Eid for muslims, Chinese New Year for the chinese, Deepavali for hindus or Christmas for christians. Back home even the King/Agong, Sultans and the Ministers would be holding their own respective open houses. They are also open to everybody. Yes, that includes you and me. ;)

Satay Sauce with Cubed Rice

Sweet & Sour Chicken and Chicken Korma

Salad /Acar

So yesterday we went to the Malaysian Hari Raya Open House which was jointly organised by the Malaysian Consulate General in LA and MIFNA. The event was held at a community centre in Lakewood and open to all from 11am to 3pm. It was a rather huge event. We arrived around 12 noon and stayed on until almost 2.30pm so that we could mingle with other Malaysian since we only get to see most of them once a year.
Live band, singing raya songs
Hundreds of people came in their sunday best. It is really nice to see people in their baju kurung/baju melayu (Malaysian traditional attire) and batik. Although a normal sight when you are in Malaysia, it is definitely rare here.
Beef Rendang

I hope you enjoy reading about some of our Malaysian tradition. We are going to have our very own open house soon so please do come back. ;)

Chicken Rendang

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Foodbuzz Made Me An Iron Chef,

NOT! Just my wish :P

I was not feeling too well last weekend what with the temperature ranging between the 60s F and high 80s F. But when I received another package from Foodbuzz, camwhoring-I-must!

We both like our burgers well-done

Please take not that no spatula was burned in the process of taking these pictures. It was used solely as a prop but I did sleep at Holiday Inn Express last night. haha. (Just kidding. I did not sleep at the Holiday Inn. Just mocking their U.S. commercial).

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