Mrs. Chan

Archive for the ‘Labour of Love’ Category

Kee Heong Bakuteh 奇香肉骨茶

In Amateur Cook, family festivities, Labour of Love, Pork Dishes on May 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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My master, my chef, Mr. Stevie Chan.

He is an ardent home entertainer, or should I say great host to family parties. Loves cooking for immediate family members and close friends. Cooking at another’s kitchen can be stressful and difficult. Ingredients and utensils are alway not perfect as you needed them be, moreover you will be so conscious of the fact that you are actually invading someone else’s “important” place.

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As some of you already know, Stevie and I are in the midst of getting our matrimonial home in order. Bought the place before we wed and now we have been living like nomads in between residences of  Agnes and my Mom. It is moving well and we hope to be hosting many a great home parties for closed buddies and relatives. Pickyin a great food blogger from Singapore has booked to come and stay over to give me tuition on cooking and baking tips. I smell great feast and festivities!

Bakuteh, is a very difficult dish. You can asked around, what and how people like their BKT. Trust me, you get very funny and personal comments. I am an almost expert on BKT as I was brought up eating BKT for breakfast everyday before my dad dropped me off to school in Ulu Kepong in the 1970s.Then. in the 1980s we travelled slightly further to Klang and Imbi, venturing beyond in search for finer concoction and presentation of BKT.

I am quite open to the choices offered, I fancy the pig trotter braised in dark soya sauce, pork intestines and stomach, or the big bone/small bone delicacy, or a casserole pot of assorted meats and additional garnish of straw mushrooms, bean curd sheet, mushrooms, fried fritters/yau char kueh etc. You are spoilt for choice and there rightfully will be one that match your taste bud.

Bakuteh, truly a personal dish, one man’s meat can be another’s poison.

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Tofu a very complimentary stuff that goes well with casserole pot BKT. Choose the best, from Bukit Tinggi or Bentong.

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Our honored guests tonight is a very beautiful and soulful couple, Lam Yuet and hubby, Jian Quiang. Behind the cooking counter, Stevie is pretty stressed out because Jian Quiang comes from Klang and an expert on BKT and tea. Apologetic as well because, we chosen to take a short cut to use a very good ready mixed BKT herbal sachet from Kee Heong. Anyway, what matters is, Stevie is a very serious cook and makes sure he has the best ingredients.

While cooking we were reminiscing the last trip up to Ah Her’s at Pandamaran, Klang, recommended and treated by Jian Quiang. It was the best BKT we ever tasted, nowhere else in the world you can find another match. The consistency, the texture and flavour; immaculate and just right.

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Coco Chan, the youngest sibling of Stevie, sharing a light moment with hubby.

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Sol looking good at 6 months.

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Home parties are so warm and fun.

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My 3 choice recommendations for BKT is as follows:-

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Kee Heong Bakuteh 奇香肉骨茶

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 1 kilo of meat, ideally secret pork belly and soft spareribs (for halal substitute with chicken) Do Not cut meat into bite size.
  • 2 packet of Kee Heong Bakuteh Sachet
  • 4 big whole pulps of garlic with skin
  • kei chee, dangguai, huaishan, pakkei (optional)
  • whole bean curds and deep fried tofus
  • mushrooms
  • dark and lite soya sauce
  • salt
METHOD:-
  1. bring 3 liters of water to boil, add both dark and light soy sauces, whole garlic, whole meat and spareribs, and Kee Heong BKT herb sachets,
  2. boil for 10 minutes, turn fire to low setting,
  3. after 30 minutes, add whole deep fired tofus and whole bean curds,
  4. simmer for another 30 minutes
  5. cut into smaller bite size the meat to be served
  6. serve mushrooms, bean curds and deep fried tofus into smaller bowls as side dish (optional)

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Homemade Pandan Kaya

In Labour of Love, Snack Food on May 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm

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After our successful stint with homemade bread, we want more. We needn’t look very far for excuses in wanting to attempt on homemade kaya.

One, Momsie is around. Two, we bought a tray of eggs and it would be good to consume them. Thirdly, there is a packet freshly blended and sieved coconut milk sitting in the fridge.

I know, we sounded crazy. Nowadays with so many kopitiams sprouting around town, you can have your favourite “roti bakar” or toasted bread with generous spread of kaya on cold butter. No reason to go through laborious process of making a homemade kaya at all, right?

Wrong, wrong wrong.

Homemade is always, BEST!

INGREDIENTS:-

10 eggs

equivalent sugar to eggs

2 tablespoons of sugar to make caramel to add colour (optional)

freshly squeezed milk from 2 old coconut

a bunch of screw pine leaves knotted together

METHOD :-

  1. Always use free range chicken eggs or duck eggs. They are better in colour and aroma. We used normal standard chicken eggs because we needed to deplete stock. Crack 10 of those in a deep stainless steel bowl.
  2. Pour in the sugar and stir till sugar is fully melted. Momsie warned me not to beat but to stir in one direction.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk. Here we had used ready packed ones from the wet market. It did not help us to get a better consistency because there is too much water added into it. Therefore, it is better if we could just buy grated coconuts and squeeze them ourselves. Drop the bunch of screw pine leaves inside.
  4. Bath the stainless steel bowl over a wok of water over medium low heat. Stirring it clockwise.
  5. 20 minutes later, sieve the liquid. Momsie said this will take out unwanted white that coagulated too early.
  6. Continue to bath the mixture for another 40 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool and transfer into jars.

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I have a confession, no, I have 2 things to confess here.

One, I am nuts and utterly a kaya fan. Tricky though, I love my kaya thick and eggy. I love my toast with slightly higher a ratio in kaya over butter.

Two, I tried making kaya twice and I flopped miserably.

Now that I had this simple practical exercise with Momsie, I will proudly show you my experiment in the near future.

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.

Ingredients:

  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.

the star of fruits

In Labour of Love, Momsie's Garden on April 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Momsie is supervising her harvest. Who gets what and how much or how many. She is reserving that pair for us to eat on this hot Sunday afternoon.

Isn’t it amazing. This little star fruit tree provides us a year round supply. Golden, juicy, sweet and no disgusting chewy fibre. Pure goodness in every bite.

When it is time for us to depart for KL, momsie and maid will be very busy. They will make sure every golden fruit up the tree is harvested and shared among us. This time around, I counted more than 20 star fruits on momsie’s patch.

A platter of golden serving.

Labour Of Love

In Labour of Love on March 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Momsie’s gonna teach me my favourite hakka snack food, Hee Pan (喜板) and we will need to get some banana leaves. So I was asking if we should go market and pick some, she laughed.

Most times, they can be substituted with parchment paper. Been told the aroma and taste would not be great. Since there are a few banana trees in momsie’s garden, we use natural then.

It was an opportunity for her to trim off many unruly branches, many were dried up too. Fortunately, there were enough for us to make at least 60 squares for the snack we are making.

There is no shortcut, every piece is wiped and cleaned properly. Momsie would measure them up and block cut them into smaller sheets before cutting them into moderate squares.

Momsie and her sporadic garden. Will take you through her garden and their seasonal blooms. Watch out !!!