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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chicken Curry 咖喱鸡

This is going to be a short post. The great thing about this chicken curry - it is totally an awesome, fuss-free version of our Malaysian's favorite. I have this instant chicken curry paste by Tean's Gourmet to thank for - a love at first try for me.

I have more than once tried making my own version of chicken curry from scratch. My mom has been supplying me with both curry powder and chili powder ever since I moved here, both of which she got all the way from Singapore. They are the best, or so she says, and I must admit that she indeed makes very good chicken curry using those two.

I, however, have never developed enough skill in making a pot of chicken curry as good as my mom's, but I am nonetheless glad to say that I am more than happy with this instant curry paste for now. It took me a while before I decided to make a post on this despite its simplicity. Well, good things are meant to be shared! Give it a try if you have the chance and see for yourself if it is good enough to remind you of home!

Anyway, here it is - my quick fix chicken curry recipe with a slight twist - satisfaction guaranteed! *evil grin*

PS Absolutely great served with plain rice, Economy Fried Vermicelli 经济炒米粉, bread (especially the fluffy white kind; never mind the nutrition value for once - and try toasting it!), and roti canai!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Steamed Yam Cake 芋头糕

It has been a real long break from blogging - my head had been buried in books in the past couple of months in preparation for a couple of exams, we made a trip back to Malaysia for my sis-in-law's graduation, I headed off for a reunion trip with my high school friends in New York City and Chicago soon after returning here, went for a college interview and thankfully, I got accepted!

I had the joy of hosting two of my friends who extended their stay in the States after the reunion, and it was just within the past week did I slowly resume cooking after months of going inactive.

One thing that one of them, Siew Hoon specially requested for - the Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot 小肥羊火锅. She has always been a huge fan of this, and it was thanks to her that I was first introduced to this Mongolian Hot Pot during our college years about 6 years ago. One of her must-have in the hot pot - yam! The remaining yam that did not end up in the hot pot - they ended up right here - steamed yam cake!

This is a recipe by Su-yin from Bread et Butter in her guest post Yam Cake Recipe (Or Kuih) for Rasa Malaysia. It was a love-at-first-try for me when I first made it a couple of years ago. Su-yin's recipe is simple enough - it comes in a simple ratio of yam:rice flour:water at 1½:1:2. They can be measured with just anything - a bowl or a cup, big or small. This recipe is as good as a fool-proof one as long as the ratio is right. I have, however, had my fair share of not-so-successful attempts, thanks to my lack of skill and experience. Some notes from those experiences of mine:

1. As much as it feels so tempting to load up on yam and dried shrimps, do not overdo them - or you risk ruining the cake's texture - it may turn out hard. You can, however, garnish as generously as you want before serving it.
2. Check that you have enough boiling water in the steamer to last through the steaming process. I ran out of water in the steamer once, and it totally ruined my timing.
3. Let the freshly steamed yam cake cool down completely before serving them. The shape holds better as they cool down - it makes cutting easier.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Seafood Crispy Noodle 海鲜生面

Finally, a break from all the readings and writings! Well there isn't really a break, I am just declaring one myself lol. Here comes my next simple post (can't believe that it has been close to a month since the last!). The truth is, I had made this dish with all the pictures taken a long long while ago. Only, the writing part and the assembly of everything obviously did not happen until now.

This dish was a call I knew I had to make to answer my then serious cravings for wat tan hor 滑旦河 (a Cantonese style of pan fried kuey teow in egg gravy). Again, with what I can find rummaging through my fridge and pantry, this Seafood Crispy Noodle 海鲜生面 is the closest that I can get.

It was through my mom-in-law when I first learned how to cook the wat tan hor. She wasn't exactly making the wat tan hor (using kuey teow) then; it was the vermicelli version of wat tan hor 滑旦米粉 (using vermicelli). The vermicelli version of wat tan hor is better known as something else but oh well, my personal translator is off at work! lol. I shall be back and make amendments to that when I get the chance! Anyway, you can be using any kinds of these noodles - kuey teow 河粉, vermicelli 米粉, chow mein 广东幼炒面, or yee mein 伊面 even.

Oh, how I wish I can get the yee mein that we so commonly use for the Malaysian style of claypot yee mein 瓦煲伊面 here!

Ok, back to the reality. The concept to the making of this dish using any of those noodles is essentially the same. It is after all, the gravy that matters most. With the chow mein that I am using, I made it a point to deep fry the noodles in batches before pouring the gravy over it. This gives an extra crunch to the dish - a huge plus! That, of course, is optional. As with the gravy, it is really flexible in terms of the choice of ingredients you can use - seafood, any kind of meat or just vegetables and tofu - they all work great! Once you have got them all lined up ready for the wok, cooking this is just a breeze...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tom Yum Fried Vermicelli 冬炎 炒米粉

Life is getting much more hectic! I started taking a writing class just recently and that has taken so much of my time! But as much as I find it hard to believe it myself, it has been fun so far! There is so much to learn, plenty to share and even more to brush up and work on. Anyway, that explained why I have been missing in action for such a good while. The bad news? Now that I have got the class rolling (despite just one single course), this rather messed-up routine of mine will be tagging me for now... at least until the class officially comes to an end.

The bad bad news? It has really siphoned almost all of my time and energy in me. I have less time for house chores, less time for grocery shopping and almost no time left for any action (big or small) in the kitchen. Baking has altogether ceased, the kitchen can go untouched for days at times and all that I have now is probably just enough time to make a quick bite on especially days with classes and others with a due date to meet. Lunch and dinner have become exceptionally simple - they are whatever that I can make out of the few ingredients that I can find sitting in the pantry and fridge.

This - the blogging - is one that I'm not entirely willing to forgo. In order to make this workable for me, I believe what's being blogged about from now will be a whole series of real simple cooking. It probably is time anyway to think and get serious about filing those 30-minute meals recipes that everyone can benefit from at some points or another (in my case, almost all the time now).

Here's the first one on the list! Tom yum fried vermicelli! It wasn't that long ago when I first had this. Mom was the first to discover it in the morning market that she frequented. It definitely was a love at first taste for her. Sure enough, she soon recommended that I tried that too and that was... WOW! Pretty unique, honestly! It is far different from the usual soup version of tom yum that we are so accustomed to. This is a real great variation to cooking using the tom yum paste. Words, however, won't do justice. You have to try it for yourself!

Here's a list to what I would think as essential to whipping up this dish - vermicelli, meat and/or seafood (any of your preferred choice), bean sprouts (that will be the main source of fiber!), a carrot (for an extra hue and crunch) and of most importance - the tom yum paste. Find a real good brand that you like because that ultimately will be the key that unlocks every potential this tom yum fried vermicelli has. Just one last thing capable of adding a little magic to the dish - a few leaves of kaffir lime. It always is a huge plus if you have them but worry not if you don't - it's still gonna be fine. You won't need a bunch, just a couple should suffice in giving you that hint of lime and fragrance.

the trusted brand

On a separate note, here's a totally random quote that so aptly describes what I have been feeling of late...

"The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”  
― Michel Legrand

Lets get cooking!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang

MalaysianFood highlight - the Nasi Lemak! I have been planning to make a post on this for a while now, yet I have never gotten enough motivation to get me kickstarted each time. And so I fell victim to procrastination, time and again. There are some pictures securely stored in my "to-blog" folder taken from my previous Nasi Lemak cookout quite a while ago, but you know how some stuff just sadly no longer appear as appealing after you look at them for a good while? Well that happened in this case of mine; and that's me deciding to continue putting that thought on hold, delving further into the "that can wait" mode... right until now.

The cue to make this came out of nowhere just over this past weekend. I have no idea what triggered it, but one thing rolls on to another - I went on to get all the ingredients needed, and the following day - I was all set on recreating the sinfully delicious dish for the day while finding myself busy snapping away with a camera in hand. I guess it's true that you really should follow your passion at times - because when you have got that in hand, you are as good as being halfway through it! The battle will be a breeze! Well not totally, but it just feels right to say that simply... lol.

So here's a post specially dedicated to the famous Malaysian Nasi Lemak! It probably is safe to say that every Malaysian and Singaporean love their Nasi Lemak... with the coconut milk rice infused with the aroma of pandan (screwpine leaves) and ginger served with an egg, then garnished with anchovies fried to a perfect crunch, fresh roasted peanuts, refreshing slices of cucumber and a liberal serving of sweet and spicy sambal... YummMmm... it's just hard to not love everything about it really!

Just like all the other times I had made this in the past - I chose to serve it with the Chicken Rendang. There are plenty of other options out there - thanks to the bits and bits of creativity juice contributed by the many passionate people (that's the passion again!) out there. These days, there are the choices of chicken or beef rendang, crispy fried chicken, sardine fish, sambal petai (stink bean sambal), sambal sotong (squid sambal), sambal kerang (cockles sambal), paru (beef lungs) and the list just goes on and on!

The coconut milk rice recipe was one that I got from my mom - simple and straightforward in fact. This version of mine features the brown rice. Using that i=s definitely not a conscious decision made; the brown rice is what we usually have at home almost on an everyday basis. It can be substituted with the usual jasmine white rice - it's all a personal preference really. Just be sure to adjust the amount of water needed - pretty much just like how you would usually cook the plain rice - white, brown or even red.

The sambal is really what I would think as the limelight of the dish. This sambal recipe is one that I adapted from Ju at The Little Teochew in her post on the Nasi Lemak Sambal Chili. I have so far been trying a different recipe each time I make the Nasi Lemak, in hope to search for the cream of the crop. With me stumbling upon Ju's recipe just recently, I think I am pretty convinced that I can now stop looking around - this is by far one of the really good ones that I have chanced upon. And the best part of it - it is made perfect even without having the need to include the belacan (shrimp paste) in its making. That's Nasi Lemak made a notch healthier!

The previously featured Chicken Rendang recipe is again my mom's. And that reminded me... I shall be posting some new photos of the rendang to the previous post shortly - some better looking ones with the natural lighting taken in the day they are :D

And now... its making!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage

Edited June 4th 2013 @ 10:15am
A friend left me an email late last night saying that I may have mistaken something else for the broccoli rabe in this post. Even as I clicked on the link within the mail and read the Wikipedia page on broccoli rabe (which I had read once before I actually set out to hunt for my first ever bundle of broccoli rabe or rapini), I was still pretty convinced (but very panicky) that I had got the right broccoli rabe. So I went through a quick mental checklist. The broccoli rabe has...

  • a different appearance from the regular broccoli CHECK
  • baby florets and long stalks  CHECK & CHECK
  • a similarity in shape to the Chinese kailan CHECK
  • ruffled, spiked leaves surrounding the florets Hmm, I don't remember seeing much of these in that bundle of greens that I bought...
  • a delicate bitterness Erm... definitely not. Those of mine were actually sweet! Oopsssss

So I went on to check on something else - baby broccoli. Uh-oh... it was indeed baby broccoli or broccolini that I had gotten myself that day. Here's a link to a neat description of broccolini, a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kailan. 

And here's a link to a page that compares all three - broccoli, broccolini and broccoli rabe; and another one here that does a real great job at clearing the air.

Here I am with a confession to make - I have got it all so wrong! It really should have been broccoli rabe in place of the broccolini used in this recipe. Pardon me, my huge mistake! 

And here's to you, Huey Fang! Thank you for pointing it out to me!

I recently added this book to my cookbook collection - the MasterChef Cookbook. Browsing the new and barely 2-month-old bookstore here in the neighborhood (which by the way, where have all the bookstores gone?), it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted this. Love at first sight? Pretty much yea! It features the recipes to the many winning dishes by the final 14 contestants and judges - Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot.

And what really caught my attention with just a very brief flip-through was how they each comes with neat instructions and real attractive photos - that even as an amateur, these are the scrumptious dishes that you can always try creating at home rather easily.

Even before I actually paid for the book and officially made it mine, I had already started bookmarking the pages mentally - "Woo, the Egg in Purgatory!", "Egg en Cocotte with Mushrooms and Brioche Toast!" (and there I gestured for my hubby to come over with a "psst" and we started salivating over the food photography together), pasta! (and you'll be surprised how even the simplest kind like the Linguini Aglio e Olio looks so much greater and made to sound totally doable in the book) and a whole range of seafood! The book is that good! Well at least it is at first glance...

This Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage marked the first recipe that I tried out of the book. I have never had anything close to this before, so what made me choose this over everything else in the book must have been its simplicity and how it looks so attractive despite having just three real simple ingredients - the pasta, broccoli rabe and the Italian sausage.

A recipe courtesy of Joe Bastianich, I would say that it is indeed a simple dish at its best! Quoting his actual words from the book -

"An outstanding dish shouldn't be overly complex. Often the best ones are made with only a handful of ingredients. For example, this pasta recipe contains little more than broccoli rabe and sausage. The delicious simplicity of authentic Italian food is what we are looking for. When you think you have enough ingredients, take two out!". 

And simple and outstanding this dish sure is!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Banana Cake

It's baking time!

Well actually, this banana cake featured here was done quite a while ago. And the photos have sat in my to-blog folder forever! So long it probably is about time to be baking this again, soon...

This, is a favorite of mine (oh and I have got so many other favorites! lol). My history with the banana cake started even before I actually started schooling really. An uncle of mine used to man and run a concession stand right in the middle of a huge golf course back in my hometown. That's where the golfers stopped to take a break from the game, stay off the sun (and sometimes rain) for a brief moment and have a drink and something light to munch on before moving on.

And kids being kids - with nothing more practical and productive to do most of the days - weekends especially, this golf course was where I used to spend a whole lot of my free time back then. My job description included helping around whenever and wherever help was needed (even that came optional) and being the boss during the brief minutes of my uncle/aunt/or cousin sisters' absence. But really, a bigger part - no, in fact most of the time spent was just me (sometimes with my brother) and my cousin sisters playing around in the nature - feeding the fish and turtles in the surrounding ponds and chasing the monitor lizards (yup, not even kidding here lol!).

All these came with this - which was the best part of all - that I could help myself to the endless food and beverages at the concession stand all day long! The banana cake was my big time top favorite! Bought freshly baked daily from a bakery shop in town, I would always remember the aroma of the bananas lingering around, noticeable even before you actually make an entry into the shop. And as of the last time I checked with my mom-in-law, the shop's standing strong to-date still. Which, just reminded me - I probably should make a stop for a slice of the banana cake there during my next trip back!

That marked the official start between me and the banana cake story. Over the years, I have had plenty other banana cakes everywhere. You get them everywhere in Malaysia, thanks to the great abundance of the bananas grown locally. Bakeries aside, they have been greatly manufactured and are actually sold in pre-packaged loaves (with long expiry), just like how the everyday breads are sold. In fact, that's where you can find the banana cakes - on the bread shelves! With such a vast selection in the market, there are easily the really not-so-good ones - essentially baked with a bunch of flour making up the volume and artificially flavored with some banana essence giving the taste, probably with a tinge of coloring to make it look all the more appealing too. And of course there are the real good ones - nothing artificial in their making - just like the one that made me fall in love with the banana cake at my very first try decades ago.

The sweet Pisang Mas (or the mini bananas) makes the best banana cakes - a fact made known to me by my mom. But the baby bananas are not something that we see much around in the market here. So I resorted to using the main and the most popular commercial variety sold here - the Cavendish (or better known as the Montel bananas in Malaysia). Left to ripen fully when it will have more brown spots than yellow, the banana is said to be at their height of sweetness bearing the strongest banana flavour, which then makes it all perfect for baking...

This recipe is one I adapted from Christine from Christine's Recipes in her post on the Banana Cake Recipe. And this marked my second attempt at this using the same recipe. This second time, I have made an adjustment calling for a slight reduction in the amount of sugar used and a reduction in the baking time as well. Those two, are of course subjected to personal preference and the performance level of different ovens. But this is one that I have got really happy with for now, so here's me penning this down as a reference to myself hereon, and to everyone else who may share the same interest in baking a homemade loaf of banana cake...

Just a final note here - if you noticed the darker layer at the bottom of the loaf of banana cake, to be honest I was a little concerned with that bit when I first sliced through the cake, thinking that I might have underbaked it. But nope, that part wasn't sticky, nor was it hard or having a texture any different from the rest. It tasted perfectly fine! So really, why a different tone? I honestly have not an idea. Anyone with any idea?

Anyhow, you should really try this for yourself - the cake's moist, so fragrant and soft it makes my man at home who is just an ok ok person with the banana cake fall for it even!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Crispy Curry Fried Chicken Wings 香脆咖喱粉炸鸡翼 Mom's Recipe #3

Picking up from where I last stopped in my Mom's Recipes collection, here's one of my big-time favorite - mom's fried chicken! This is one that I have fallen in love forever, probably as soon as I had started learning on how to nibble on chicken bones safely. A recipe that has survived through the decades of me growing up, it was the guaranteed center of attention in each and every birthday party that dad and mom had hosted for my brother and I when we were kiddos still.

A must-have on each of those occasions and a regular on other days a home, there is just nothing not to love about these wings.

Over the years, the recipe has been modified, detailed and perfected time and again. Mom has always been one who cooks by feel, so were all the changes that she would be making from time to time, all of which she obviously deemed as necessary (when I would have thought that it is already as perfect as it can get!). And as of the last time I checked with her just a couple of months back - this is her latest version of the recipe. A treasure now mine, it is now quickly becoming a favorite of ours here at home too.

A good accompaniment to go with rice, noodles or just a snack on its own, it makes a great dish to be presented on the dining table and even a greater candidate for a party food!

The making is relatively easy and yet the taste is never compromised. Deep frying done right with the right temperature and the right heat locks in the moist real well and marinating it well ahead of time - that's where all the flavors really do come from. So what you get in the end are pieces of fried chicken wings that are crunchy on the outside and perfectly juicy and flavorful on the inside.

And yes... they're finger lickin' good!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sambal Stuffed Mackerel 参巴塞 Kembung 鱼

Back! I'm back! It has been a really long while and a good break that sure was! One that left me yearning for more (and definitely so looking forward to another break anytime soon), coming home was just... a little difficult indeed. But truth be told, I'm back feeling like I am a better person, having learned that there is so much more installed in life and surely... all energized! It took me a while to get back to blogging and I do sincerely apologize for not being back on time. But now that both the hesitation and procrastination barriers have been broken through, this will hopefully set me back on track... fingers crossed! *wink*

Deciding on a starting point, I thought this would make a fair continuation to where I last stopped - the Laksam Kelantan. Not directly related in any ways, their similarity simply lies on the fact that they share a common ingredient in both their makings - the Indian mackerel fish (better known as the Ikan Kembung in Malaysia). I chanced upon the Indian mackerel fish not that long ago - probably just a couple of months back - but I was truly thrilled to have found it in one of the Vietnamese grocery stores around where we live. And that finding almost immediately sparked off plenty of ideas as to what I can now make and cook out of it - all of which are some specialties of Malaysian cuisine - mostly those that I am rather familiar with, others not so.

And I started off with the Laksam Kelantan in conjunction to the Malaysian Food Fest (MFF) Kelantan Month held by Gertrude from My Kitchen Snippets last month. This Sambal Stuffed Mackerel 参巴塞 Kembung 鱼 was one of my mom's specialities, my dad's all-time favorite despite the fact that he had always disliked fish (for their bones and the danger they pose! lol)! Yup, this was his one and only exception. But seriously, anyone who have tried this would have easily fallen for this too.

Nothing like the usual steamed of deep fried, this Sambal Stuffed Mackerel 参巴塞 Kembung 鱼 is just so delectable (and even that hardly justify how good they really are!). And obviously, it is the sambal that makes it all special - spicy, salty with a tad of sweetness and tanginess from the tamarind. Stuffed and then pan fried to give them a slightly charred look (and crispiness at some parts while the firm flesh within not at all jeopardized), they are seriously finger-licking good and best had with rice!

And just like how my dad had obviously decided back then - going bare hands and picking at the fish bones in this case was just worth it all!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Laksam Kelantan

It has been a real long while since I last had laksam. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"... there's so much truth in that saying when it comes to many aspects in life, but probably just not so much with food. It wasn't until I came across Gertrude's from My Kitchen Snippets on her post on the Malaysian Food Fest (MFF) Kelantan Month that had once again stirred all the memories of everything Kelantan-related food in me after all this while.

Browsing and reading through her post, it felt like a walk down the memory lane - of all the family gatherings my dad's side of the family had had in Kelantan back in my younger years and particularly of the many years dad spent working in the state up North along the Peninsular East Coast, away from home.

A sweet moment of reminiscence that sure is...

My appreciation (with some curiosity) for the diverse cuisines in Malaysia is one precious value I take after my dad. We share the same enjoyment trying different cuisines whether or not they are the familiar to us, checking out new places, exploring different cities like the locals, strolling at one local bazaar after another and especially getting spoilt for choice when it comes to food. It was during those trips of ours to Kelantan that I was briefly introduced to Kelantan culinary delights. And the rest of the story - they simply unfold and develop themselves there onward.

Of the extensive list within Gertrude's introduction post that reveals some the most famous dishes in Kelantan with good details, my attention kept getting diverted back to one single dish among them - the laksam. Oh, how I've missed it! Made famous in the East Coast particularly in (but certainly not limited to) Kelantan and Terengganu, it is a local favorite for many, even for a Kuantan folk like me.

The difference between the laksam of both states? Not much really... they closely resemble one another especially in term of appearance. The only difference (but maybe not so notable after all) is probably how the Kelantan laksam tends to be a little sweeter in taste whilst the Terengganu version - a little more savory in general.

I have not an exact recollection as to when and where I had first tried the laksam, but it has always been one of the few dishes in my "lookout" list especially during the Ramadhan months with food bazaars springing to life everywhere. Having not had it for so so long, that post was all needed to first get me so intrigued, and then all motivated to check the laksam out a little more. That, plus some extra  readings especially on its making and I'm all decided - this is it! I shall give it a try making my own at home!

Scouting out for a laksam recipe was not too difficult a task - thanks to its popularity! This is a recipe I adapted from Ita at Masam Manis in her post on Laksam which in turn has originated from Yani at Myresipi.com. My only setback in this laksam making - I did not manage to get hold of any asam gelugor (dried tamarind slices). So where it should be present, I substituted them with the tamarind juice instead (a suggestion brought forth by Chef Wan in his post on Tuna Curry featured on Asian Food Channel). It did concern me a little wondering if the lack of asam gelugor (and especially its natural fruity flavor) will affect the laksam much, but it was proven unwarranted in the end. There's the promised delightful tangy taste in the gravy nonetheless, and it's not at all disappointing. But should you have the asam gelugor readily available in your pantry, by all means please do use them...

Breaking the laksam down to its components, we have the laksam gravy, the noodle, the ulam (a mixture of fresh herbs and salad eaten raw) and the sambal. A brief look at it - it is generally a serving of rolled up flat rice noodles drenched in a rich and relatively thick white gravy, topped with a variety of ulam and finished with a huge dollop of sambal (and a squeeze of lime!).

 ikan kembung (Indian mackerel)

The rich and relatively thick white gravy - it is the centerpiece to a serving of laksam, pretty much defining the quality of the laksam in general. Made primarily with fish - first steamed, deboned and then pulsed into a paste, the gravy with a natural sweetness coming from the fish is then made creamy by adding in the coconut milk. Some of the choices of fish include the ikan kembung (Indian mackerel), ikan selar (yellowtail scad), ikan selayang or ikan tamban (both translated as sardine on the MalaysianFood.net in its glossary page). With some minimal spices adding in some aroma and tanginess to the gravy, its taste (and appearance) is accentuated and made even more unique with the use of black pepper powder and especially so when it is freshly and coarsely ground.

The laksam noodle is made with a mixture of rice flour and wheat flour. Slightly thicker than the usual flat rice noodle (kuey teow), making the laksam noodle has always been more like a homemade affair - they are almost never seen or sold readily made and packed in the market unlike all the other easily available types of noodle. From a smooth batter, a small amount is spread in a thin layer and steamed to set. As it cools, it is rolled up neatly and cut to bite sized right before serving. Soft with a tad of springiness, they should neither be too thin or too thick in texture.

The ulam made up of different types of vegetables and herbs makes a great source of fiber that completes the laksam in terms of its nutritional value. It is also the garnishing that does the rest - it adds color, complements the aroma and enhances the taste. Some commonly used greens that make great candidates for this ulam include the bean sprouts, cucumber, long beans, daun kesum (Vietnamese coriander) and bunga kantan (torch ginger bud). Served raw (some julienned, some thinly sliced, others serves as it is), the ulam adds a contrasting flavor and texture with an extra crunch to a serving of laksam.

And for the finishing touch - the sambal! Made with fresh red chilies and some birds eye chilies for an extra kick, it comes with a hint of piquancy from the shrimp paste (belacan) added in. A plate of laksam now completely transformed visually with the vibrant red of sambal - with a grandiose squeeze of the fresh quartered lime to wrap things up... the laksam's all done!

Now... to the recipe!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Green Beans Omelet 四季豆炒蛋

This is your quick and easy 15-minute recipe (and my short and simple 1-hr-at-most post lol). Eggs have always been my best friend; their versatility has never failed to impress me. Easily paired, mixed and matched, you can have them the simple way (fried, boiled or poached simply), made just slightly complicated with them used in all the many kinds of omelets and simple stir-fry dishes like...

Or they can be incorporated into a little more complicated ones. Say...

That's quite a list of all the everything egg-related dishes I have posted thus far! But truth be told, the eggs have always been the really reliable one single ingredient that somewhat makes my life easy at times. They have come to my rescue time and again - when time is a limiting factor and you need to whip up a meal in no time; or you simply just run out of ideas as to what to put onto the dining table any nights; or you have an extra guest or two that you need a little something more to be served all too soon.

This omelet with green beans generously scattered all over - it's simple and totally inexpensive, tasty and nutritious - pretty much all the essentials in a single serving.

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