Chicken Saturday, October 15, 2011
Loh Mai Kai.
It has been a long time since I had a good one. It was my childhood favourite. The Siew Pau stall sold this. He will move the stacks of bamboo steamers around to get to the Loh Mai Kai bowls. Then, scooped out of shallow aluminum bowls, it was served on a plastic plate with chili sauce. Memories.
It is nothing like that sold in aluminum foiled dishes in many coffeeshops here, with a cardboard stuck on the top carrying the brand and name of the supplier. Outsourcing. Clearly, convenience has triumphed once again over effort and passion when it comes to cooking.
This is why I am intrigued by stories such as this on Muah Chee scooped by Ieat here. There are some who still believe that food should be done well even if most customers don't care.
I wish I could tell you that what you see above is bought from somewhere here in Singapore. And I am happy to know if you have some "lobang." (tips).
My Mum made fabulous glutinous rice ("Loh Mai Fun") and this was one of her regular contributions to church potluck breakfast gatherings.
She will labor on it in her wok, working on it constantly with her 'wok chan' and adding water occasionally till it iscooked to perfection. It was hard work. She did not like to use the regular steaming methods. Those who have experienced cooking glutinous rice will understand why. She wanted the rice to be fluffy and separated, not in gluey wet blobs or clumpy.
The latter can dislodge your dentures.
It is notoriously difficult to achieve some consistency using regular steaming methods. This is especially so when you are making a large batch. Some parts will end up too soggy/sticky or under-cooked. And what happens most times is that the rice will end up being overcooked as no one likes bits of it which are still hard.
Haruan: If they won't bite, buy them homeThere was a time when I used to go on fishing trips with some fishing kakis on my staff- for males only, of course.
After all, have you seen any fishing boats equipped with toilets?
One of our favourite destinations was the Banting Lake located north of Ipoh. We went with my brother and some die-hard fishing kakis from Ipoh.
|We looked like a bunch of Vietcongs.|
Chicken Thursday, October 06, 2011
"Waste not, want not."
You may have heard of this phrase and it is a good one to remember for home cooks.
I try to adhere to this motto but with time, I realise that it is easier to 'waste not' if one gathers more culinary experience and confidence. I am also learning to store my veggies and herbs, using the usual housewives tricks and tips.
I have a batch of week-old basil and kaffir lime leaves which did not looked like they could go any further. And some leftover coriander roots which I was keeping for use in another dish.
"Waste not?" Yes, indeed. Lets do a dish with these.
You have eaten this dish before, haven't you? Maybe you have even cooked them.
It does belong to the CF&G category.
I am not sure I need to do a tabled recipe for this one. I will go with the more traditional format.
Chicken Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I have in possession some lovely young galangal carried in all the way from Banchang, Thailand.
They were gifts from some of our friends there.
There are many lovely dishes one can whip up with these beauties. One of them is Tom Kha Gai, the delicious soup dish which has often been overshadowed here by the more popular Tom Yum.
The word "Tom" means "to boil". "Kha" means galangal and "gai" means chicken. The main infusion herb used here is galangal. And just in case you think I can speak Thai, I got inspiration for this recipe from The Principles of Thai Cookery by Chef McDang
If you have the right ingredients, this soup is easy to make. If you do not have these young beauties, the older Malaysians ones will do.