Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lala (Kepah) with cooking wine - Homecook

My first discovery in cooking up this shell food was freshness is everything. No more frozen ones too no matter what the label claimed to the contrary. The other was not all of these molluscs are the same. You have to spy the inside if possible and determined whether these are meaty or not. No point in getting those that are on a diet.

Thirdly, the use of a good cooking wine. I have still not found one as yet that rival some that were used in Tai Chows esp here.

The 4 most important ingredients are garlic, onion, ginger and chili. Use the rule of thumb. If possible add a chicken cube (the best would be liquid stock, it is ok to use from can or tetrapak) and also sugar to take away the edge from the rice wine.

Cooking method:

Wash the clams thoroughly. I get mine from Village Grocer. A bit pricey but good. Pour them into boiling water for a minute or less depending on whether the clams are of the thin (lala) variety or thick ones. Once partially open, can get rid of sand and debris within by straining it through a sieve.

Fried all the ingredients till fragrant. Add stock. Bring to boil. Add the clams and cover pan with a lid. Three minutes will suffice or wait for the shell to pop open. Add the cooking wine. How long you want to keep cooking its up to you. It's your comfort level on food safety. We have to trust the vendor's selection of the supply chain. The longer you wait the smaller and tougher the clam meat will be.


1) I was told that there are imitation rice wine. The bottle below should be the correct one as I obtained it from the restaurant that cooked one of the best Lala in town. The other one I used was has very similar features and claimed to be from the same importer. Upon using the bottle fro my second cook-out with Lal (Kepah) below I instantly tasted better soup.

2) I also boiled the Lala (Kepah) separately to removed the mud and dirt before removing it and putting them in the pan for frying with the ingredients. I can see that the pot of water looked murky. Caution: Do not overboiled it as you still need to cook them in the pan.

3) For my 3rd tryout, I will use some chicken stock to enhance the taste as I do not use MSG.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Crazy Crabs - Oasis Ara Damansara

We gone bonkers with crabs fever. Those over a kilogram kind. We decided that a reprise was in order after our first visit. Again the chili crabs was our favourite. It looked like the cooked crab was lying on a red carpet. The sauce was so tantalising to the taste buds that we can't helped but scooped it into our mouths when the crabs were gone. It was sweet, sour and savoury. The gravy was of the right consistency, not too watery and too dense.

My wife insisted on the mantis prawns. It was not really my favourite as it came mostly chewy and spongy. I prefer a more firm and solid texture when chewed. Nevertheless it tasted as it should, deep-fried and savoury to the core.

The baby octopus was a bit of a disappointment not in taste but in amount. Wish there were more. And the gravy was so minute in volume compared to the "red carpet" that came with the crabs. 

For my vege, I like anything with okra and stinky beans. The meat with the soy sauce was a great departure from the usual sambalicious style. All in all a good meal for 3 of us.

Oasis Square, Oasis Ara Damansara, 2, Jalan PJU 1a/22

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Oven baked Pork Chop - Homecooking

Some tart, sweetness and savoury made these chops delectable. If you want it more flavourful reduced the juices in a pan and then poured on the chops.

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 tsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Olive oil
I tbsp Tomato sauce

Pre-heat Oven to 200°C and cook each side for 10 minutes.

Make you get 63°C internal temperature for the chop. These 2 chops hit 65°C

You can check out recipe here

Monday, November 20, 2017

Popular Durians Head to Head - Musang King vs D24 by volume and weight

I am not comparing fast cars or geeky gadgets. What got me pique was when I bought both the MSK and D24 together and enjoyed both. But after observing the seeds of both it got me thinking and I did a simple experiment.

Near to Ara Damansara there's an industrial area where durians from Raub were brought to Klang Valley to be sold. So far they have brought top of the range MSK and D24, some the best that I have ever eaten. This week I conveniently popped in a few times to the detriment of my wallet.

I had an enforce fast on MSK durian due to the price and also lots of fakes in the market masquerading as MSK and charging upward to RM85 per kg. That's almost unforgivable to any durians lovers. I may glad I ended my avoidance when I came to this dealer. All is good here despite the viral fake news. Their durian shells attract flies. Checked. And I was told that their plantation emphasied organic farming. The seeds are flat and thin. Checked. Star shaped colouration at the bottom of the fruit. Checked. Orangy knit colour. Checked. Wrinkly skin on the pulp. Checked.

One of the distinctive feature of MSK is its thin flat seed. After eating some arils of D24 and MSK I dumped the seeds into a pot with water and saw that the D24 seed sank to to the bottom like a rock and the MSK actually floated like a civet would hopping from tree to tree.

So I put both the seeds on a scale. The D24 seed weighed 3 ⅓ times more than that of MSK.  The obvious observation was not just the big difference in weight but also the volume of pulp lost due to the D24's big oval seed. So we lost on weight and also on the delectable pulp. Even though the old tree D24 is half the price of MSK it is also worth noting that MSK tastes better according to almost everybody. We pay for the pulp not the seed!

Go figure if it's worth eating MSK all day long if you have a bent on a thorny binge!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Leng Kee Teow Chew Seafood, Taman Sri Gombak

A lunch for two and lovely fellowship. This shop is what I called the trinity of Tai Chows in Taman Sri Gombak. Closely situated with one another it gives us some choices. The healthy competition ensures fair pricing to the benefit of the consumers.

The other two Lam Chye and Sin Kee is well featured since I go there on a regular basis. Sin Kee is for those who want string taste while Lam Chye is more folksy and many dishes look homecooked. Lam Chye has the best premise for those looking for cleanliness and ambience. 

The Tau Tei Pomfret was excellent. Totally fresh and steamed to perfection. It allowed the meat to speak for itself. The meat is so tasty that the more the chewing g went on the tastier it became. No wonder those with some money fed their infants and toddlers with this fish once their cam take soft food.

The Kam Heong Lala was also fresh and juicy and the frying was done just right. An excellent cook that has proven his ss in the steaming and wok frying. With a right balance of chili powder and sauces this dish is a must order. 

Finally my yingyong order for my vege which is a combination or Choy Sum and Kai Lan. Again excellent stir frying. The vegetables are crunchy and still green like as though still brimming with chlorophyll. I hardly talk about my vege but these was eaten with relish. 

3, Jalan SG 1/10, Sri Gombak, Batu Caves

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Musang King durians has landed

Paying for the last season Musang King durians was both painful and brutal. Even when you were paying RM85 per kilogram and you were not sure you were getting the real MSK. A dicey game indeed.

Hopefully there are some light shining through the doom and gloom. We blamed the weather and China for last season expensive MSK. This season's catch from Ruab was certainly encouraging at RM42 per kilogram. What more with thin flat seeds and golden yellow crinkly flesh, I was very sure it was the redoubtable MSK. The taste buds later confirmed it. I was happy. Hip hip hurray! Hope this will be a long MSK season.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Heng Hong Tin Kee Restaurant, Melaka

Good food after a long drive is succor for the tired soul and body. I had eaten some duds in Melaka and they are having very famous names too. We warned one another in our grapevine against eating in such establishments. But goods friends also recommend their best experiences. Here is one.

This shop is famous for their mutton. But they do have a good pork dish. The mutton was herbal and Chinese in every way. Just think of having the best Mamak Sup Kambing with the additional touch of the Chinese herbs. Well balanced in taste and fall of the bones' meat, what more can we asked for. Thumbs up.

The braised pork with wood ears was a huge pleasant surprise. The taste was so different from similar dishes we had from Penang all the way down to Kuala Lumpur. They may have put some Nyonya spices or herbs inside. The savoury taste is dominant here compared to the sweeter accent we get from KL and Penang. Enjoy!

62, Jalan Tengkera, Kampung Empat, Melaka

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hong Chicken Rice, Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh

This was my fourth sampling of Chicken Rice/Noodles the last 2 months. It was highly recommended to me and I have to try it as it has piqued my tongue! Especially, I was told this is better than the Sungai Buloh Chicken Rice. To take you off the suspense, the Sungai Buloh is better by 1 to 2 notches out of 10 notches. However, the prices here was cheaper.

Mitigating factors was the fish ball. The uniquely shaped dainties were very good and quality. You won't be able to find too much flour inside.

The meat was too much run of mill type given that we asked for village chicken as the texture was not 100% there. I like a more chewy texture. The taste was also a little bit flat. But no complaints as the platter was still good food and chicken. Finally, the ginger dipping sauce was too fibrous and lacking that extra touch of being cooked and prepared to perfection. Go and try it if you are near Bukit Rahman Putra. The locals loved it so you won't be disappointed.

22B, Jalan BRB 6/11, Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ole Sayang, Melaka

We were in anticipation at this old badge of Melaka. The group arrived promptly from our hotel and wefe ready to roll. Our menu for our dinner may be predictable but all the same we were salivating and horsing around waiting for the food to come.
1. Chicken Pondeh
2. Ikan Gerang Asam
3. Sambal Udang
4. Telor Cincaluk
5. Otak - Otak
6. Taufu Oley Sayang
7. Chendol
8. Chinese Tea

The seafood was fresh with the exception of the prawns which I found a bit too rubbery. Surprise surprise food was not very hot. And we found tauchu in the Pongteh and Sambal Udang dishes. Not that we minded, it was a reminder we were in Baba land.

Excellent - Otak2 was fresh and chunky. Ikan Gerang Asam was also good for the fish freshness on one count and the mild curry on the other. Just feel so good to taste and drink. Lastly, the chendol was rich but not overpowering. Sweet but not dominating. Wow, the Gula Melaka was so aromatic that it gave the Chendol the oomph factor.

The Chicken Pongteh is a acquired taste esp with the good mix of tauchu and the soy sources both thick and light I supposed. Good taste for me. As for the rest it was so so. All in all a rather enjoyable dinner.

198 & 199 Jalan  Merdeka,  Taman Melaka Raya

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pei Zing Restaurant, Melaka

We have a budget set lunch with the following: Pork Ribs @ Sweet & Sour
Butter Prawns
Curry Fish Head
Thai Style Chicken
Loh Hon Chai @ Vegetable (not featured) 
Clay Pot Bean Curd
Choy Sum with Garlic 
Fresh Fruits
Chinese Tea

What was good: Pork ribs was up to mark. It was tender and the sauces were of the right balance of sweet, sour and savoury to tillate the taste buds. Try e Butter Prawns were also on target. Super fresh, therefore didn't need to flavour it with much butter and other fillers. 

They seems to have a liking for Salted Fish as a component to flavour the dish. It was found in Thai Style Chicken and Curry Fish Head dishes. The chicken has the crispy skin, the meat was stended and flavourful sauces. However, the fish head was not that fresh and the meat was not firm and became 'powdery' easily. 

As for the rest of the food, the bean curd has too much starch used to bind the food. The 2 vegetables dishes were there for the cellulose. 

For a tad below RM300 for a table, we are happy enough to go our way with a full stomach. 

655-660 G & A, Taman Melaka Raya