Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Chicken Soup with Common Vegetables - Homecooking

How do you get a good bowl of soup and I mean a solid one! It can be done using an electric pressure
cooker. The time taken plus prep will just be 10 minutes preparation time for the ingredients and 30
minutes for the soup to be ready.
The process is simple and we get a good part of a great quick meal cooked. I thought I got one of the
best clear chicken soup. It was sweet and nutritious. No salt was needed.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
1) Chicken breast with bones and ribs - 140gms
2) Good quality Anchovies/Ikan Bilis - 40gms
3) 2 tomatoes, 
4) 1 yellow onion, 
5) 1 potato, 
6) 2 carrots and
7) A few sprinkling of cracked black pepper.
Cut up the chicken and the vegetables to 2inch size chunks. Put all into the pot and cover with water till
an inch above the ingredients. Set to soup (20mins). It will need about 10mins before pressurising
happens. Serve with soy sauce if needed.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bún Chả, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Bun Cha here in Bui Vien Street is super famous. Lunch or dinner a line will form before it opens for business. Originated from Hanoi, I supposed this will be a taste of the North. Bui Vien Street in recent 3 years have been transformed into a happening place for backpackers.Previously it was the parallel Pham Ngu Lao and the perpendicular De Tham streets. Comd dusk this street is musky with sweat from all who come here looking for action. It's wine, dine and song.

Smack right in Bui Vien Street will be Bun Cha 145. It is well recommended in the social media so needs no introduction. The must have will be Bun Cha Noodles. It consists of a bowl of grilled pork in a bowl of clear soup with sweet and sour notes. The pork is smoky, tasty and aromatic. What do you expect from grilled pork from the Vietnamese?

Add the chilli slices and garlic pieces into the soup. Then the lettuce and lastly the Bun (thin rice noodles). Then dig in. Despite the various testimonies, I found the sweet and sour taste not complementary to the meat and noodles. Maybe I have had too many of the southerners' very strong fish sauce, beefy, lemongrass, pork (and others) bones soup. Again I emphasise it is more of preference than quality.

I ordered another dish as I found the Bun Cha portion was not sufficient for lunch. So I went for Fried Fish Paste in Green Rice. The fish balls were stretchy and QQ and the taste again was superior yet subtle. This I must say was very good. Worthy for fine-dining restaurant!

145 Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Crunchy and Sweet Stir-fry Holland Peas

This is another version of Cantonese stir-frying. I have with me Holland Peas. It's different from Sweet Peas in that the peas inside the Holland Pea pod are much smaller.

130gm Holland Peas
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tsp Oyster sauce (reduce or increase to taste)
1 tsp soya sauce (reduce or increase to taste)

1) Heat wok to high heat, reduce to mid
2) Put in garlic and fry till fragrant
3) Put in pods and then Oyster and Soya Sauce
4) Since Holland Peas are quite flat without the large peas inside, a minute to two is sufficient
5) Plate and enjoy

Monday, July 9, 2018

Kopitiam Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock - Oasis, Ar Damansara

We need a good brunch fix during Hari Raya holidays and were running out of options. Decided to drive into Oasis, Ara Damansara. Fortunate to catch them.

Usually the car parking was not so amenable but well its the holidays. Zoomed in to the cart selling nasi lemak and we were rewarded. Deep-fried while leg of the chicken. Fantastic taste. A good start.

And being a sucker for sticky rice and a bigger sucker for yellow/kunyit sticky rice, the choice was as clear as day. So ended up with the curry chicken complement of the style of Kapitan curry. Yup, every bit of the curry gravy were gone at the end.

A little grouse here, the sticky rice was too moist for my liking. Still a good eat. The price was very reasonable. My first but will not be the last.

B-G-01 Block B, Oasis Square, Jalan PJU 1A/7, Oasis Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya,

Friday, July 6, 2018

J C Expresso Coffee - Bandar Sri Damansara

I have been here a couple times. Used to be my old neighbourhood and I did enjoyed a cuppa here with friends. Coffee was better than the usual. I esp liked their Piccolo Latte, really rich and taste and smell of good coffee.

Their kitchen produced good food. When hungry pick up some of the staple Cafe food. My salmon steak with spaghetti was filling, the pasta, aldente and the  steak well done.

Good for tete-a-tete, its airconed and the spacious seating arrangements with comfortable table and chairs. Sometines, lost track of time.

Do try their cakes too. May not be top of the line but good over a conversation and help to relax and bring out the good mood. A great place for a neighbourhood cafe. I am not sure if they like my classification but I do hope people outside the neighbourhood can drop by. But for that they need to have some top drawer signature food and drinks.

5, Jalan Ara SD 7/3a, Bandar Sri Damansara,

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Burger Nasi Lemak - McDonald's

Nasi lemak burger? Only from McD or else someone else will steal their thunder? There is no monet to n be made from it i believe. It is for novelty sake and bragging rights. I doubt this product will last as the price of RM14. 95 ala carte is prohibitively high. Try once if you want.

The smell and taste of Sambal was there. Somehow it will not surpassed those with a banana leave as a base layer to absorb the heat or impart an infusion of the leaf to the meal. Missing were the usual suspects of sotong, rendang and surprise, there were no ikan bilis and peanut. And of course the nasi lemak can't be there as there was the bun!

But then you may want to try the Nasi Lemak but not the burger kind. I will get it soon!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Portobello Mushroom stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Bacon

A light and healthy meal can be cooked up with some simple ingredients found in our larder and refrigerator.

4 Portobello Mushrooms
1 medium onion
5 bacon strips
Mozzarella Cheese (add Parmesan if desired)
Olive oil, cracked black pepper and salt
Adding some garlic won't harm it.

Heat oven to 205°C, rinsed mushrooms quickly in water, scraped the gills out and removed stem. Dry with paper towels. Do not drowned mushrooms with water as it can be soggy and hard to cook and bad to eat.

Place mushrooms on the oven pan top down and sprinkle some olive oil and then slide it into oven. Cook for 15mins or shorter. Now cook the fillings for the mushroom.

A fee drizzle of olive oil into the pan. Medium to high heat. Put the chopped onion in and cook for a few minutes until brown, add the bacon strips and cook for another few minutes. Once the mushrooms are out, add a few dashes or cracked black pepper and salt for both sides.

Fill the underside of the mushrooms and then onion and bacon and top it up with Mozzarella. Pop it back into the oven for another 5minutes to finish. Bon Appetite.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Betty's Midwest Kitchen - Aman Suria

A good thing lasts. I heard about Betty's during my blogging days 10 years ago. The dishes are based mostly on pork. It's been a long time coming for my visit. Its location is not that familiar to me.

With WAZE or Google Maps you will almost always make it there. Thus said, nowadays investors are willing to get less desirable properties to site their restaurants and focus on quality delivery instead of been under pressure over the monthly rental.

Social media can drive traffic and so with the GPS Apps available free, getting to the destination is a breeze.

If you are hankering for some pork dishes, this is the place. I got a full meal and enjoyed every little bit of it.  Food was good, the marination, the tender morsels and the sauces will make you go back again. And I think they are always on their toes given the number of restaurants around the many rows of shops nearby. Service was attentive and they try to customer relationship us back.

Our food: Pork Belly, Soft Ribs and Soup of the day (Onion Soup)

A-G-40, Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria, Petaling Jaya

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Seng Heng Restaurant - Pulau Pangkor, Perak

The hype when in a fishing village will be to eat freshest of the fresh seafood. How fresh can you get! Seafood caught overnight and landed the next day. Great. Fishes caught by net or rod? Rod will command a premium. Fishes that went into the net earlier will not be as good and fresh as those that went in the net towards the end of the fishing expedition. That's what I learned from the locals. But then how to ID them will require local knowledge and wisdom. So be friendly and asked questions and help. We discovered another well patronised restaurant dishing out fish head in soup or curry. And the head and fillet used will depend on how much we pay. We asked for the dragon tiger grouper fish head and fillet. Well, we came from afar so we are willing to pay more to get at the best.

Address: Seng Heng Restaurant Sungai Pinang Kecil, Pulau Pangkor, Perak

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sweet Peas Stir-fried - Homecooking

Stir-frying among the Cantonese is quite common. The community prefers something that is not so thick in sauce and spices. They don't use alot of oil. Generally, they avoid deep-frying and roasting. Their frying using oil will be pan-fried. It's too heaty and may cause sore throat. Anyway, the younger set is more exposed since most eat out nowadays.

Stir-frying always has some garlic, salt and Soya Sauce and a bit of ginger. Some use a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I avoid it. Pieces of pork and chicken are used to give the dish a better taste. Otherwise, there is always the stock or cubes (not recommended unless without the MSG).

130gm Sweet Peas, remove the strings (Pic 4)
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 pinches of cracked black pepper
Salt to taste or soya sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil till hot, put in the garlic, once fragrant, add the sweet peas. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes or you can see the peas changes colour to a darker green.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Lard Rice and Soya Sauce Pork Cube - Homecooking

The latest studies are clear on the value of animal fat. In tines past, we just skimmed it off and threw it away. Today it is a valuable commodity. I cooked some Soya Sauce Pork Cube yesterday and have a bowl leftover (Pic 4), meat, sauce, fat and all. On how to cook Soya Sauce Pork get to this post.

So I scooped out the lard and some sauce and placed it inside the rice pot (Pic 3) to cook with a cup of rice in a pressure cooker. The results after 20+minutes. I got a small pot of cooked rice (Pic 2), firm, fragrant, smooth and tasty, just as I like it.

Heated up the leftover Soya Sauce Pork Cube and I am ready to dig in (Pic 4).

Tip: overnight soya sauce pork always taste better.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mekong Riverside Dinner - Mukdahan Thailand

It was the low season, the restaurants are having lower crowds. The heat is ever pervasive and you can feel it wherever you go except the AC areas. And it's April, the hottest time of the year. The only mitigation is the April's mango season.

The really good real estate will be those frontiers g the river Mekong. And during the last 2 months and the first 2 months of the year when the weather is cool you get to sit al fresco facing the deep and wide mother of all rivers here in Indo-China.

We were content with sitting indoors. The AC is helping with reducing the heat and muggy air but just. Our food came fast and again it must be the heat that got us sluggish. It was reflected in our food selection. I am sure the restaurant can do better.

Deep-fried Pork Neck (Kor Moo Thod), Gai Jiw Moo Sap (Omelette with Minced Pork) and Kai Lan Deep-fried Pork (Moo Thod). Must have left our thinking caps in our AC rooms. Hahaha.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Butternut Soup - Homecooking

This is one of the easiest soup to do and it tastes great. I prefer butternut than pumpkin as the taste is richer and smoother while the texture of pumpkin is rougher. Throw in a generous amount of butter the soup will reward the investor greater.

I have no fixed recipe. I go by feel. Probably, 3 parts butternut and 2 parts mix of potatoes, carrot and onion of equal parts. However, the more butternut the tastier. Cut it into chinks and put all in a pressure cooker and time it to vegetables. Once done let it cool down a bit and then blend it with butter. A few shakes of the cracked black pepper will make it better. Serve with toasted bread or just some bread.