Dry Bak Kut Teh has been a crazed for a few years now in Malaysia.
Even before I encounter it in restaurants, I have always imagined that a dry version of BKT should work nicely, a sort of braised pork ribs in herbal sauce.
Of late, it has been a crazed in local BKT joints here. With some tips from my friend (Jabez) who owns the Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh, I did try making it in Toronto but I did not quite have the right ingredients. When I got back here, I gave it a go and I was satisfied with it.
Today is the last day of my six-month Sabbatical. I am grateful to all who have made this season possible, and to my Lord for His grace and gifts. I had an amazing time in Toronto and other parts of Canada. Having made new friends there, I hope to return one day.
While the food in Toronto is quite good, it was difficult to create some local dishes such as hor fun (flat noodles) as the texture quality of the hor fun there is different. I thought it "cool" that today I could cook a nice dry version of hor fun for the family before I get back to the reality of life and work tomorrow.
Your mum or grandma must have made some curry puffs that you miss so much.
Commercial ones are not the same. You know that.
We are so busy, huffing and puffing, that the idea of patient pastry recipes like these have become feint memories and a lost tradition. Thus we stuff ourselves with "chunky" ones (sorry, can't resist the pun) and moan about the good old times.
"Wha ah, kali paff tis days tass so bad? I miss my po-po's." (With a mouth full of pastry and mashed potato, it can be hard to speak Singlish properly.)
Making curry puffs may sound like a lot of work for most. And having tried it, I can tell you it is not for the lazy. But my Mum's version has delighted many.
I have here a version of rempah fried chicken the Malay way which has pleased many of my guests. It is actually quite simple to make. And it goes very well with nasi lemak.
The first step involved is marinating it. Use ground spices and the fresher they are, the better. Buy fresh grounded ones or use seeds and grind them. Like coffee beans, spice seeds just keep the flavours better, especially in our humid tropical weather.
As for the chicken, cut into larger pieces. The drumsticks and wings should be kept whole. Larger cuts help to keep the meat moist inside with a crisp exterior as you deep fry.
I have just returned from spending 5 months in Toronto, Canada as a part of my Sabbatical break. This is also one reason I was blogging less. I met many wonderful friends in Toronto and there are many good things about the city which I hope to write about soon.
Being a food blog, it is back to food. And I am back to my home and familiar kitchen environment. I was early at the wet market this morning and was glad to come across some pork jowl (or cheek). It is not displayed and you have to ask the butcher for it.
Using my Mum's Char Siew recipe (here and here - I have been blogging Char Siew recipes ad infinitum!), I patiently braised the cheeks till I got the right texture. The result is a tender succulent CS with a nice "bounce" to the bite. Do cook it on low fire and be patient.
I am blogging this recipe for a Canadian friend who had visited Singapore before and was missing the food there, especially laksa. She wanted to learn how to make it.
It is was not difficult to make the laksa broth. Make the chicken stock and then combine with the rempah (curry paste).
What was more challenging cooking it was using whatever ingredients I could find in Toronto and having to do it within the limitations of a hostel kitchen. I will describe the recipe here and the options one can take to improve or simplify it.