Monday, January 30, 2012

Hokkien Prawn Noodles (Halal Version) 福建蝦麵 (清真版)- "Malaysian Monday 70"

Apart from asam laksa and char kway teow, Hokkien prawn noodles or simply known as hokkien mee in Penang is a must try dish for tourists visiting the island. This culinary treasure brought to Malaysia by Hokkien migrants a century ago can now be found all over Malaysia.

My plan was to make some Ipoh hor fun (a dish derived from prawn noodles according to renowned food historian  Lin Jin Cheng (林金城)- click here to read the article); but decided against a trip to Victoria Street just to get the rice noodles, using what I had in my pantry seemed like a much better idea on a very hot afternoon.

Traditionally pork ribs are used but I used chicken instead to better promote this delicious dish to my Muslim readers. The broth is the soul of the dish so do be patient and wait for the rewarding result. 

P.S the next MMM roundup will be up next Monday, remember to send in all your entries to my friend Sharon from Test With Skewer at

serves 4 to 6 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
500g of banana prawns, poached and shells reserved
2 chicken breast, poached and shredded
1 packet of hokkien noodles
1 packet of rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water till soften and drained well
1 bunch of kangkong (water spinach), washed and cut into 6cm lengths
1 packet of bean sprouts
fried shallots
chopped spring onions
cut chillies in soy to serve

for the broth;
3l of water
4 chicken wings
1 head of garlic, bashed
3 slices of ginger
1 tsp of peppercorns
4 tbs of cooking oil
reserved prawn shells
salt to taste

Bring 3l of water to a simmer then add in the chicken wings, garlic, ginger and peppercorns. Bring it to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour.

Discharge the solids from the pot and bring the stock back to a boil. Add prawns and cook for until just done (~ 1.5 minutes). Remove and allow to cool before peeling the prawns leaving the tails intact.

Fry prawn shells with 4 tbs of cooking oil in a separate pan for 5 to 8 minutes, using a potato masher to press down the prawn heads to release all the goodness. Add the content of the pan to the pot with the stock and simmer for 30 minutes, remove the solids and season well with salt.

Bring the broth to a boil then add in the chicken breast, turn off the heat after a minute, put the lid on and let the chicken poach in the hot broth for 18 minutes, remove and allow to cool.

Shred chicken into neat slivers. halve prawns lengthwise and have the rest of the ingredients ready.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, cook both noodles to your liking and lightly blanch the kangkong and bean sprouts.

Top with prawns and chicken and ladle some of the hot broth over garnish with fried shallots and chopped spring onions and serve with some cut chillies with soy on the side. 

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer is hosting the first event of the year, please send all your entries to
To find out more about the event and on how to enter, please click HERE.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Green Pepper And Meat Patties With Black Bean Sauce 豉汁青椒肉餅

I had the grand plan to compose and post something on Thursday but it was a public holiday and I ended up spending the day eating and drinking with tummy instead.

Nothing groundbreaking but just another idea on what one can do with the humble mince and if you are a fan of black bean sauce, you are going to love this. Some green peppers were added to add colour and to save me from having to cook another vegetable dish. 

If you prefer the good old beef in black bean sauce, make sure you check out my makeover version too.

Enjoy you weekend and please come back for a Malaysian Monday post on Monday!

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
oil for frying
1 medium size onion, sliced
2 green pepper, sliced into long strips
1 cup of stock
corn flour solution for thickening
coriander leaves for garnish
sliced chili rings for garnish

for the sauce;
5 tbs of fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbs of oyster sauce
3 tbs of sugar
4 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cm knob of ginger, chopped

for the meatballs;
500 g of mince of your choice
1/2 cup of chopped water chestnuts
2 spring onion (white parts only), minced
1 tsp of grated ginger
1 tsp of sesame oil
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of oyster sauce
a dash of white pepper
a dash of Chinese cooking wine
1 egg, lightly beaten
about 4 to 5 tbs of corn flour

To prepare the sauce - mash black beans with the back of a spoon then add in garlic, ginger and the rest of the ingredients.

For the patties - place mince, water chestnuts, spring onion, seasonings, beaten egg and corn flour in a large bowl and mix well. Form mixture into 20 balls the size of ping pong and lightly coat them with a little corn flour.

Shallow fry meat patties in batches until golden and cooked through. Drain well and set aside.

Saute sliced onion with a little oil for 30 seconds then add in the sauce mixture. Cook for a minute before adding the stock.

Add the meat patties and green pepper and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes before thickening the sauce with a little corn flour solution.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and some sliced chili rings.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese Style Sticky Beef Ribs 滷香烤牛仔骨

It is the second day of Chinese/lunar new year and I can't help but feel a little melancholy with photos of endless banquets and gatherings received from family and friends choking up my inbox..... well it is business as usual here and I just had a sandwich for lunch.

Since many of you might have made soy poached chicken for the reunion dinner and is left with a pot of master stock, how about another one of my recipes to reuse the stock again?

If you are a non-beef eater, pork spareribs will work equally well just reduce the cooking time accordingly.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 4 to 6 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
2kg of beef ribs
1.5 l of master stock (lu shui, 滷水 aromatic soy chicken poaching liquor*)
3 tbs of honey
1 tbs of sugar
toasted sesame seeds

*if you haven't got the soy poaching liquor, this is what you'll need;
1 cup of light soy
1/2 cup of dark soy
6 cups of water
1/2 cup of rock sugar
1 cup of chinese cooking wine
5 cm knob of ginger, sliced
3 garlic cloves
1 spring onion (white part only)
1 cassia bark or cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 tsp of Sichuan peppercorns

Remove excess skin and fat and cut into large chunks.

Boil beef ribs for 10 minutes then drain and rinse to remove all impurities. Bring the master stock or lu shui to a boil and add in the ribs. When it returns to a boil, turn it down to a bare simmer.

Cover and simmer until the ribs are tender (~2 hours - 2.5 hours). The stock should be reduce significantly by then. Remove ribs and allow to cool.

Transfer the remaining stock to a smaller pot together with the honey and sugar. Mix well and reduce until the sauce is sticky and syrupy.

Place ribs on a baking tray and put under the grill for 5 minutes on each side. Alternatively you may do this on a bbq.

Baste the ribs with the syrupy sauce several times during cooking.

Place ribs on a platter, pour over the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Lunar New Year 春節快樂 2012

The year of the dragon is upon us and we would like to wish everyone a safe, prosperous and happy new year. Posting will resume on Tuesday so see you then!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Liang Ban Ji Si Fen Pi 涼拌雞絲粉皮 Cold Chicken Salad With Cucumber, Mung Bean Sheet And A Tangy Sesame Paste Dressing

Hot days exceeding 30C are back after a brief hiatus and now is the time to share with you this refreshing and very delicious cold dish using the rest of the poached chicken from our Hainanese chicken rice meal.

It is very similar to bang bang chicken that I posted a while back but with the addition of mung bean sheet (粉皮, fen pi), a popular summer threat in China. Mung bean sheet can be found easily these days, if not feel free to use mung bean noodles (粉絲, fen si) instead.

This is an orgasm of flavours and textures on the same plate; the soft silky fen pi, tender chicken slivers, crisp cucumber ribbons all smothered with the sweet, sour, spicy and nutty sauce, to top with that the toasted sesame seeds and peanuts that add the wonderful smokey crunch.... I Hope I am not sounding too much like Nigella Lawson here!

P.S simply omit the chili oil for a more child - friendly dish.

serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
1/2 a poached chicken or 3 medium size poached chicken breasts*, shredded
3/4 of a continental cucumber, peeled into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler
2 mung bean sheets (粉皮), soaked in hot water to soften, refreshed and drained well
3 spring onions, chopped
1 red chili, cut into thin rings
2 tbs of sesame seeds, toasted
3 tbs of toasted crushed peanuts (optional)
* to poach the chicken breasts - bring 1.5 l of water to a boil, add in a spring onion, 2 slices of ginger, a dash of Chinese cooking oil and season well with salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the pot, turn off the heat after a minute, cover and let chicken steep for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot and allow to cool before shredding.

for the dressing;
1.5 tbs of white sugar
1.5 tbs of light soy
1.5 tbs of Chingkiang vinegar (鎮江香醋) or Chinese black vinegar (黑醋)
6 tbs of smooth Chinese sesame paste (芝麻醬) 
2 tsp of Sichuan pepper (川椒), toasted and ground
1.5 tbs of sesame oil
3 tbs of chilli oil with sediment (辣椒油) (optional)

Mung bean sheet at its raw state. 

Break mung bean sheets into large shards and soak in hot water for 30 minutes. Refresh and drain well.

Peel cucumber into think ribbons using a vegetable peeler and set aside.

Skin and bone the chicken and shred into neat slivers.

Prepare the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients in a bowl. 

Layer cucumber, mung bean sheet and chicken on a large platter, drizzle the sauce over and top with spring onions, chili rings, toasted sesame seeds and peanuts.

Mix well and enjoy! Serve this as part of a Chinese meal or a snack with a few cold beers on a hot summer afternoon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hainanese Chicken Rice 海南雞飯 - "Malaysian Monday 69"

Based on a classic Hainanese dish named wenchang chicken (文昌雞, wen chang ji); Hainanese chicken rice  or simply known as chicken rice was brought to Southeast Asia by Hainanese migrants seeking a better life at the turn of the 20th century and it is now a popular everyday dish in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (check out my post on the Thai version - khao mun gai).

As a child I preferred the roast chicken version as I didn't quite understand the appeal of the not overly attractive pale poached bird. It may not be the most seductive looking dish on the block (sadly study in beige is not a good look for anyone of  us or the food we serve) but what it lacks in the look department is fully compensated by its taste and aroma - fortunately I did find that out later on in my life.

To me this is a truly sophisticated dish that utilized every part of the humble chicken. No fancy kitchen gadgets or hard to get ingredients are needed to reproduce this classic dish at home. Get the best chicken you can afford and follow a few golden rules and you will be making the best chicken rice time and time again.

P.S Hainan Island (海南島) is a subtropical island in southern China. Today this once sleepy backwater is better know as Hawaii of China with its luxury hotels and million dollar properties.

serves 4 to 6 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 free range chicken, excess fat removed and reserved
5cm piece of ginger, bashed
2 spring onions
1 head of garlic
1 tsp of pepper
enough water to cover the chicken
salt to taste
2 spring onion, cut into 5cm lengths and sliced finely lengthwise
blanched lettuce to serve
garlic oil
light soy
cucumber slices to serve

for the chili sauce;
2 long red chillies
6 bird chillies
4 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lime
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of light soy

for the ginger and spring onion sauce;
5 cm knob of ginger
2 spring onions, chopped
salt to taste
dash of sesame oil
4 tbs of stock

for the rice;
reserved chicken skin and fat
2 cups of jasmine rice, washed, rinsed and drained well
2 pandan leaves, knotted
pinch of salt
4 cups of chicken stock

Remove excess fat from the chicken and cut into cubes, rub salt all over the chicken and stuff its cavity with ginger, spring onions and garlic.

Place chicken in a pot together with the rest of the aromatic, cooking wine and seasonings. Pour enough water to fully submerge the bird. 
Method 1 - Bring it to a boil then turn it down to simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat, cover and let the chicken steep in the hot stock for 2.5 hours. Do not attempt to open the lid before the time is up. 
Method 2 - Bring it to a boil for 2 minutes, reduce the heat to a bare simmer, cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not attempt to open the lid throughout the cooking time.
*Reserve the stock and check for seasonings, you will need this for the rice, ginger sauce and the broth.

While the chicken is poaching, prepare the chili sauce by mixing all ingredients in a blender. For the ginger sauce, blend ginger with in a blender then add in the rest of the ingredients. Check for seasoning for both the sauces.

When the time is up remove chicken and rub some oil all over the chicken, place the chicken in the fridge until needed. If chicken is cooked using method 2, immerse chicken in a basin of iced water for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and rub with oil. 

To prepare the chicken rice - place the reserved chicken skin and fat in a pot and slowly render out the fat.

Remove the solids and add the drained rice to the fat. Fry rice in the fat for a minute or two, making sure all the grains are well coated with the fragrant fat. Some cooks may add a little butter or margarine to make it even richer both in taste and colour.

Transfer rice to a rice cooker, add stock, a pinch of salt and the knotted pandan leaves to the pot. Cook as you would with normal rice.

Remove bones and cut the tender and juicy chicken into manageable slices. 

Place chicken on top of some blanched lettuce, drizzle with some garlic oil and light soy, some spring onion and cucumber slices. Serve with the fragrant chicken rice, sauces and a bowl of chicken broth. 

Or one may serve the dish ala hawker style - simply place the chopped chicken on top of some of the fragrant chicken rice and serve with the sauces and a bowl of chicken broth.

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer is hosting the first event of the year, please send all your entries to
To find out more about the event and on how to enter, please click HERE.

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