Fried Chicken with Ginger Floss (Ayam Goreng)



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There are many types of Ayam Goreng and hardly stick to a fixed recipe, apart from being consistent with a few basics behind a good fried chicken Malay style.

This latest recipe is quickly becoming one of my favourite for its simplicity and great results.

I have been making it as a side dish Nasi Ulam, a recipe which I will be blogging soon.

I have always been curious about the "crispies" that I see on the Ayam Goreng which is served in Malay stalls in Malaysia. After some conversations with makciks (they are always friendly and willing to share their tips...some will even let me see who they cook them in their kitchens!) I finally figured out that it came from blended or pounded ginger. The blended ginger sticks to the chicken when fried and adds texture and flavour.

Sambal Udang with Belimbing



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I have already blogged the Sambal Udang recipe.  

Many of you will know that belimbing goes very well with it. Belimbing is a sourish fruit that grows well here. Being a pastor, I have no shortage of belimbing as there will be a some members out there who have one of these trees in his/her garden.

Knowing that their pastor like to cook, I get plastic bags of them regularly. After all, belimbing goes to waste pretty quickly after they are plucked or when they ripen. And gifts from your garden to the pastor makes a lot of sense, though I have yet to declare such gifts on my annual tax returns.

Belimbing cooks very quickly and I normally add them within the last few minutes of the dish. I cook the samba first, and then the prawns and the last thing that goes in are the slices of belimbing.

This dish is appetising. Eat it with mint leaves, cucumber and steaming hot white rice.

And somehow, it always taste nice eaten with hands.

Lemon grass and belimbing (right)










Cooking Fish Head Curry



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Bringing our overseas guests for Fish Head Curry can be an amusing experience.

Few of them expect just a single head and pair of eyes staring at them from the dish.

As there as as many type of curries as there are Indian, Malay home and Nonya homes, you can imagine the countless ways you can cook this dish.

It is as the name says: just fish head in curry. Cook your curry paste or sauce and add the fish head in. As fish cooks quickly, it is a dish that can be assembled just before serving.

I will share here what I usually do, including some alternative ways of cooking it.  I find this dish easy to cook but tedious to explain, as is often the case for curry dishes. I seldom use a fix recipe for this and it does not bother me if the dish turns out differently each time as long as it is delicious and the basic rules are observed:
  • a well-balanced aromatic curry
  • fresh fish which is not overcooked 
  • veg that is not mushy. 

Yesterday in Melaka: This city is more than just Nonya food...



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I believe in Yesterday
... and chendol, for the matter.

Melaka is a convenient for short getaway for Singaporeans. I was there for a short break recently. It is a haven for Nonya food but I did not have any of the usual dishes.

The typical Nonya restaurants in Melaka can be pretty average as modern chefs go for convenience rather than excellence. There are some very good ones but you often need to book in advance.

When it comes to Nonya, I grew up eating them, and as a grown up, cooking them. My Mum learned a lot from my step-grandmother who was a very good Nonya cook. Come to think of it, my step grandma was always dressed in her sarong kebaya.

No wonder. Our daughters always said that Nonya restaurant dishes "taste like home." My cooking has inescapable Nonya roots. This may explain why we do not always make a beeline for Nonya restaurants as we seldom eat what we can cook at home.

There are some good Nonya recipes here on this blog.

Perfecting the Roast Chicken



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This is my usual cooking notes to remind myself of what I have been cooking.

Not that I get to cook a lot these days since I took up my new assignment at a very busy church (hint - it has the largest cross in Singapore - see pic). It is a cool church.

The humble roast chicken is something that is commonly done in many households and it does seem like our kitchen ovens are conventionally designed for it.

My idea of a good roast chicken is this: the skin should be crisped, nicely browned and the meat flavourful and moist. That is the reason why putting the chicken on a stack of vegetable is a big no-no for me. It was a method I used when I was following a cookbook. The meat should be moist and flavourful and this means you should not overcook your chicken.

Sous Vide Appliances for the Home Kitchen



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L-R: Sous Vide Magic, Demi-Supreme, Anova
Top: Codlo
If you do a lot of Sous Vide cooking, and assuming you can afford it, it is useful to have more than one type of appliance.

I have been using Anova, Codlo, Sous Vide Supreme and Sous Vide Magic.

I know this may sound like over-indulging a cook's fascination with kitchen appliances but I don't own all of them. Some are shared with my Mum-in-law and they are also used in my church food ministry. They fulfil a wide range of sous vide cooking needs.

I will let you know what I think of them.