Mrs. Chan

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

HAPPY FAMILY: Dai Lo, Dai So & family

In family festivities, Happy Chan Family on May 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Normally I am the official photographer of the Chan family. Today has been an exception, I decided to let Stevie “take over” his camera as Dai So called personally for this favour. I am happy to take a step back and enjoy the festivities.

It is no ordinary day today. Besides, 1st May being a Labour Day public holiday, it is also the birthday of the eldest son of our Chan Family. Chan Keng Choon or most affectionately addressed as Dai Lo (大老) amongst us siblings and in-laws.

Dai So (大嫂) has been planning this birthday since last year. Everyone in the family was given enough notice and she reminded us to be present for this auspicious celebration. Gosh, 50 sounds like a BIG number. It was only 21 years ago that Dai Lo at 31 years old cradle snatched a 17 year old bride in my Dai So.

And today, at 50, this simple and inward looking couple is gifted with 4 junior Chans. Dai Lo and wife run a restaurant in Pantai Kundur; a restaurant boasting authentic and delicious Hakka dishes. I hope to be writing about him and his recipes, soon after I have completed introducing the Chan family members.

This accompanying, very unprofessionally taken and unedited video clip is posted especially for Fargo and Shauna. We wished you all could be here to celebrate with us.


Keria Gula Melaka

In Snack Food, Traditional Kuehs on May 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm
My parents lodged us at relatives in Melaka during my mid term and long term school holidays. Firstly to ease their very tight cash flow, secondly, so mom could rest and not tend to her 3 do-re-me kids.
We loved it. From the cheap matinee movies, swimming in the public pool, long walks from Jalan Pengkalan Lama to Jalan Munshi Abdullah, from Jalan Hang Tuah to Bungaraya or the Esplanade. Melaka was so small indeed.
One of my favourite snack was the Kueh Keria from Pangsapuri 9 Tingkat, located next to the tiny Savoy Cinema. My late maternal grandma called it, Kueh Gelang. My memory of this kueh, chunky, creamy sweet potatoes on the inside; flaky crystalised sugar on the outside. She will reward me with this treat whenever I was there with her during my holidays. I miss my grandma and I miss this kueh gelang from Savoy.
Although Momsie’s attempt on these keria or potato donuts wasn’t as perfect, I had loved to share the experience and key area where the pitfalls you should avoid.
I was pretty excited when Momsie was boiling some leftover sweet potatoes. This was exactly what should not take place. Always steam your potatoes as they tend to be having just enough moisture inside to form a soft dough. Boiling it was bad, and not sieving it at all was disastrous. Boiling made the sweet potato absorb unnecessary water which requires more flour to make it mouldable.
That eventually led Momsie into using more flour than it was supposed to be; potato ratio should dominate here.
Just pick up a small ball of dough. As you form a rounded shape, slowly use your finger to dig in a hole in the middle. Quite easy.
Momsie declared that she made a tray years back and there were too much potatoes inside, making the dough lipid and soggy. At this point, we conscientiously knew our little donuts will come out harder that it should be. The corrective measure was to add in a little bit more mashed sweet potatoes, we had none left.
Fry them “bangles” till golden in colour, dish out and drain oil.
There was a great debate as to whether we should do this donuts with white sugar or palm sugar. Dad was in favour of palm sugar and I seconded him without any hesitation. My thought was, real high quality palm sugar is fragrant and should be a better choice. We cooked the syrup and were too hasty. The syrup was not condensed to a right consistency and in Momsie’s term, “tak cukup kering”. Therefore, our keria gula melaka does not possess a distinct layer of crystalised palm sugar. They looked “wet” and glossy.
Please use and adapt this recipe  from ALESIA.
300grams of sweet potatoes (about two medium sized)
1/2 cup of all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon *optional 
a pinch of salt enough
oil for frying
For sugar coating
1 tube of gula melaka or 1/3 cups of white sugar
3 tablespoons of water
How To
1. Peel, wash and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes. Steam and once cooked, mash them.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and combine all the ingredients. Knead to form a smooth dough.
3. You can either roll the dough out to 1 inch and use a doughnut cutter or you can shape a ping pong size dough into a ball, flatten it and make a hole in the middle using your finger like a ring
4. Heat oil in a wok, deep fry the doughnuts over medium flame till golden brown. Dish out and drain.
To prepare the sugar coating 

1.Place the sugar or gula melaka and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and heat gently until sugar melts. Careful not to caramelize the white sugar, you only need a thick sugar syrup not caramel syrup.
2. Add in the fried kuih keria, coat well. Cool them on plates.

For those who are looking for a quick fix and resides in Melaka, I just bumped into an article on Keria Antarabangsa in Jalan Tengkera. Would appreciate if readers can share with us on places around KL/PJ that sell awesome sweet potato donuts.

Potted Kai Lan (kale) – Chinese Broccoli Rabe

In Labour of Love, Momsie's Garden, Snack Food on May 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Stevie and I are  interested to cultivate some greens for our balcony. Obviously, we had eyed a few plants from Momsie’s garden that we could either sweetly get her to ready few seedlings. Otherwise, I would just sweetly coaxed her to part with a few of the amazingly seasoned ones in her garden.

I am thinking of a pot of these Kai Lan or Chinese Broccoli Rabe.

There are so many types of Kai Lan’s in the market; especially now that they are importing in by the hundreds of containers daily from China. You can find baby kailans, big stems kale, and many variety more. I used to love this vegetables back in the olden days; they were crisp and odourless. They didn’t taste like chemical or pesticide stubbornly clinging onto the waxy plant.

Momsie’s Kai Lan tastes heavenly.

Momsie says it’s magical, they keep growing as you peel them off to cook. Endless supply.

Pretty foliage.

Good thing, Stevie loves the mustard leaves and I am crazy on the crunchy sweet stems. We never have to fight.

Fried Rice with Kai-Lan

It’s the morning after the grand celebration of Stevie’s eldest brother, Keng Choon’s 50th birthday party. Although we were promised a hearty breakfast treat from his missus; no one seemed to be up yet.

Momsie knew we all needed to be ahead of the mad rush home to KL. She was already busy in the kitchen planning to cook us a simple fried rice. Nothing tastes like Momsie’s simple fried rice. She will use whatever ingredients that are available in the kitchen.

She was, as usual shy and apologetic. She didn’t expect me to be up that early and especially to be interested to blog about the 2 simple snacks; a fried rice and keria gula melaka ; she was about to prepare for her children. Anyway, I told her to be easy and let me just be a happy trigger by the side.

This morning, we ran out of long beans and spring onions. Of course, Momsie without any hesitation used a few leafy Kai Lan from her garden. Although fried rice seems to be such an easy platter to dish out, I can tell you it is never easy to fry a tasty simple fried rice. I have my fair share of stress doing this dish for Stevie. Most times I know I can never match Momsie’s and I can really know why.

I hope you have a chance to sample Momsie’s Fried Rice; perhaps the next round you are here she will be using some ladies’ fingers instead.

Washed, cleaned and cut.

Lightly beaten eggs, minced garlic, diced wax sausages.

Savoury, salty and tasty anchovies add special flavour.


  1. cold steamed rice;
  2. kai-lan, washed and chopped (1 cm in length);
  3. ikan bilis/anchovies
  4. chinese wax sausage, diced
  5. eggs, beaten
  6. dark and light soya sauce
  7. fish sauce
  8. mince garlic
  9. pinch of salt
  10. cooking oil.

Fried Rice with Kai-Lan Cooking Method:

  1. Stir in some salt into the beaten eggs;
  2. Fry ikan bilis/anchovies till golden and crispy, drain well and set aside;
  3. Blanch the Kai-lan in boiling salted water for 1 minute, then rinse it under cold water, drain well and set aside;
  4. Heat 1tbsp oil up in a wok, stir fry the shiitake until fragrant, scoop out and set aside;
  5. Heat  oil up in a big wok, fry the beaten eggs until set;
  6. Add the sausage, garlic and fry till fragrant;
  7. Add rice, cook it under high heat until it is heated through and separated;
  8. Then add the kai-lan, stir them very well with the rice;
  9. Optional, you can add colour to plain white fried rice with a little thick dark soya sauce;
  10. Season with salt, fish sauce, and light soya sauce, and then serve.