Friday, August 31, 2012

Taiwanese Chicken Curry Rice 臺灣咖喱雞飯

All good times must come to an end and that must be what the British colonizers in Malaya were thinking exactly 55 years ago today - but that was after they took away a handsome chunk of the federation's wealth for over a century. On the other hand they must be credited for leaving behind a functioning system of governance, a (often) fair judiciary system and solid infrastructures that enable us to be a peaceful modern state that we are today. Selamat hari merdeka to all my fellow Malaysians and remember to join the virtual merdeka open house party at Babe in the city - KL  for some uniquely Malaysian dishes!

O.K ! Enough of history lesson and sentimentality and lets get to the more important business of food!

Before driving off to the bush, J asked for a curry meal knowing very well that we won't be eating anything except for instant noodles, instant porridge and hot chocolate for a few days. 

It can be a challenge trying to make most curries without coconut milk, yoghurt or a packet of Japanese curry block in the pantry, fortunately I remembered this recipe that I read just days before. The result is a surprisingly creamy and delicious curry that tastes remarkably similar to our beloved Japanese curry. If you have some coconut milk powder on hand, do add a tablespoon of that into the curry for the wonderful aroma of coconut milk without having to feel too guilty about it.

recipe adapted from 誰吃了老街好菜 (Who Has Eaten Good Food From The Old Street)
serves 3 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium size brown onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
300 g of chicken thighs, cut into cubes and marinated with ingredients marked*
1 tsp of grated ginger*
1 tsp of grated garlic*
1 tsp of light soy*
2 tbs of vegetable oil
4 tbs of curry powder (see notes)
2 tbs of light soy
1.5 tbs of sugar
1.5 l of stock
corn flour solution for thickening
steamed rice to serve
blanched snow peas to serve
notes - I used Malaysian meat curry powder, otherwise use a generic Madras curry powder instead.

Cut and marinate chicken with soy and ginger, prepare the vegetables.

Heat wok until smoking then saute onion until lightly charred, add chicken and continue to cook on high heat for a minute.

Add curry powder and potato cubes and stir fry for a further minute, make sure everything is well coated with curry powder.

Transfer the content from the wok to a clay pot, add stock, sugar and soy and simmer until potato is tender.

Finally thicken the curry with a little corn flour solution, check for seasonings before serving.

Ladle chicken curry over a bed of steaming hot rice and some blanched snow peas on the side.

I am submitting this to The Soup Kitchen @ Deb's blog The Spanish Wok

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chinchalok Relish With Shallot, Chili And Lime - Merdeka Open House 2012 & "Malaysian Monday 86"

If you are already a fan of pungent Asian delicacies such as dried shrimp, shrimp paste, fish sauce, mentaiko or salted fish then you are going to enjoy and appreciate this simple condiment that is packed full of flavour. But if you are rolling your eyes and feeling sick at the thought of all the ingredients I just mentioned, it is wise to look away right now.

I wasn't planning to start blogging again until next week but then I remembered the invitation from Pick Shan (Babe In City - KL) for her annual Merdeka Open House party. Not wanting to miss out on the virtual party to celebrate our country's 55th birthday I interfered with my trip to share with you something that is uniquely Malaysian.

I actually did have plan for a grander and more sophisticated dish but sadly time wasn't on my side. Though simple and uncomplicated in term of ingredients used and the preparation process, the same can't be said about the taste of this relish using chinchalok (brined baby shrimps or krills, or udang geragau in Malay), an age old Malay delicacy that is now enjoyed  by all Malaysians. 

P.S More recipes using chinchalok will be posted in the coming weeks so please stay tuned!

makes 1/3 cup
you'll need;
2 to 3 tbs of chinchalok (brined shrimps)*
2 shallots, sliced
2 to 3 bird chilies, sliced
juice from one lime
*available from good Asian grocers.

This is what chinchalok looks like.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. A delicious relish is ready in less than 5 minutes. Serve alongside rice or congee.

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer will be hosting this month's event, please send all your entries to
To learn more about the event and on how to enter, please click here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mung Bean Noodle Soup With Chicken And Vegetables 雜錦粉絲湯

We had a wonderfully warm 18 C day but before I had a chance to dust off the picnic basket, cold wintery days returned with a vengeance. 

To counter the inhospitable weather one often needs something hearty and rich;  a hot pie or a hot bowl of pumpkin soup would be ideal but I was quite happy with a bowl of hot noodle soup using whatever I can find in the kitchen, meaning I was able to avoid the elements altogether.

Thanks to my new jar of Vietnamese satay sauce (see photo and descriptions below), I was able to spice up the otherwise fairly plain dish. If you are unable to find Vietnamese satay sauce use Sichuan chili oil, Cantonese chili oil or my homemade dried shrimp chili sauce instead.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
recipe per serve
you'll need;
1/2 a chicken breast, marinated with a little soy, sesame oil and corn flour
2 Chinese cabbage leaves, sliced
1/2 a carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
2 bundles of mung bean noodles, cooked until al dente and drained well
1.5 l of stock
a handful of baby spinach
dash of sesame oil
dash of white pepper
chopped spring onion to serve
Vietnamese satay sauce to serve

Prepare all the ingredients. You may use meat and vegetables of your choice of course.

Cook noodles until al dente and drain well.

Bring the stock to a boil then add in the vegetables, follow by the marinated chicken slices and pre-cooked noodles, when it returns to a boil add in the baby spinach.

Top with chop spring onion or coriander and drizzle with a little sesame oil.

For an adult version simply add some hot condiments I suggested earlier.

This is what vietnamese satay sauce looks like; not quite the satay sauce that we are familiar with but more like a cross between chili oil and Taiwanese sha cha sauce (沙茶醬).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tomato And Egg Broth 蕃茄蛋湯

If you are a fan of tomato fried egg then you are going to enjoy this just as much. Thanks to the abundance of the tastiest tomatoes and endless supplies of the freshest eggs back home we were able to enjoy this delicious dish all year round. These days I can always count on the wonderful hot house tomatoes even in the middle of winter.

This delicious dish is hearty enough to be served on a cold winter night but delicate enough as a light lunch on a warmish day such as today. If you have a mint bush outside that is making a come back like mine, you might want to give my mint omelet broth a try too.

P.S you may slowly add in the beaten eggs last for an equally delicious tomato and egg drop soup.

serves 2 as part of a Chinese meal or serves one as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 tbs of cooking oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional)
3 tomatoes, sliced
3 eggs, lightly beaten with a little white pepper and sesame oil
1.5 l of stock
1 spring onion, chopped

Prepare the very basic ingredients and you are ready to go.

Heat up a wok and when it is smoking saute the chopped garlic briefly with 1 tbs of cooking oil before adding the sliced tomatoes, stir fry on high heat for 30 seconds.

Pour in the beaten eggs and scramble lightly.

Add stock and scramble a little more, bring it to a boil and check for seasonings.

Top with spring onion and a simple yet delicious meal is ready.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stir Fried Rice Vermicelli With Dried Shrimp Chili Sauce And Vegetables 蝦米辣椒炒米粉 - "Malaysian Monday 85"

First I would like to wish all my Muslim friends and readers a very happy Eid ul-Fitr and I am looking forward to reading about all the open houses in the coming days.

I have been enjoying my new batch of dried shrimp chili sauce in every possible way and here is a wonderful way of giving some extra kick to the humble everyday stir fried vermicelli.

Replace the rice vermicelli with noodles of your choice, more ways on using the versatile chili sauce will be posted from now on so make a big batch now!

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 tbs of cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 eggs
2 heap tbs of homemade dried shrimp chili sauce
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
a handful of snow peas, sliced
3 Chinese cabbage leaves, sliced
2 to 3 dried rice vermicelli cakes, cooked until al dente and drained
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of oyster sauce
dash of white pepper
a handful of bean sprouts

Prepare the vegetables and set aside.

Cook the rice vermicelli and drain well.

Heat a wok until smoking, saute chopped garlic with a tbs of oil for 30 seconds then add the rest of the oil and crack in the eggs. Scramble eggs a little before adding the dried shrimp chili sauce.

Add vegetables and cook on high heat for a minute.

Add rice vermicelli and mix well, season with soy, oyster sauce and white pepper and continue to cook on high heat for a further minute. Add bean sprouts and mix through just before serving.

Serve with extra chili sauce and some lime we

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer will be hosting this month's event, please send all your entries to
To learn more about the event and on how to enter, please click here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Roast Potatoes With Duck Fat And Rosemary

Often the simplest and most unadorned dishes are the tastiest and roast potatoes with duck fat is a very good example of that.

J 'demanded' some snacks before the start of our dvd marathon on a cold Sunday afternoon. Having just had yum cha hours before I was quite happy to eat nothing until dinner but in order to stop him from running to the nearest shop and return with some msg laden crisps, I had to do something quick.

I spotted the tub of duck fat (from this recipe) in the fridge and knew what to do right away and the result was a bowl of the naughtiest, tastiest, crispiest golden roast potatoes ever. 

serves 2 as a snack or as a side dish to meat or fish
oven preheated at 220 C (conventional)
you'll need;
3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
5 cloves of garlic, lightly bashed with the blade of a knife
a sprig of rosemary, removed leaves from the stalk
2 to 3 tbs of duck fat*
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the ingredients while the oven is heating up.

Place all ingredients in a oven tray and mix well, season generously with salt and pepper.

Roast in the hot oven until golden and crispy, shaking from time to time for even roasting.

Serve as a snack or as a side to meat or fish.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fried Rice With Prawns, Bacon And Roast Beef

Dear old J has recently (finally) moved out from home. Determined not to survive on takeaways and canned soup he decided to venture into the kitchen and I have been giving him regular cooking lesson since.

Fried rice was the very first dish I learnt so it is only fitting to give a kitchen novice and a fried rice lover his first lesson on how to make the perfect fried rice. I am proud to say he now makes very good fried rice after a few trials and errors on his own.

I won't go on about the technical side of fried rice making but just to show you the result of our first cooking lesson.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 rash of bacon, rind removed and chut into 1 x 3 cm pieces
6 prawns, shelled and roughly chopped
a small piece of smoked beef, cut into small pieces
a handful of snow peas, sliced
a small wedge of lettuce, sliced
2 spring onions, chopped
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 cups of cold cooked rice
2 tbs of oyster sauce
2 tbs of light soy
dash of white pepper
dash of sesame oil

Prepare the ingredients and have them next to the stove.

Heat a wok until smoking then saute garlic with a little oil, add bacon and prawns and cook on high heat for 30 seconds. Push the mixture to aside, add a little more oil and crack in the eggs, scramble the eggs lightly and mix everything together.

Add roast beef and rice, mix well and continue to cook on high heat for a minute.

Season with oyster sauce, soy, pepper and sesame oil and continue to cook for a further minute. Finally add in the snow peas, lettuce and spring onion and cook until vegetables are slightly wilted.

Serve with some sliced chili or some homemade chili sauce on the side.

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3 hungry tummies

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melbourne, victoria, Australia