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.

Ingredients:
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.

Postscript:

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.





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