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Everything posted by Shiewie

  1. It's usually spelt as Ling Zhi - have seen it sliced in various Chinese herbal preparations. Here are a couple of links on it: - http://www.medboo.com/eng/lingzhi/ - http://www.wild.paonia.com/reishiinfo.htm
  2. Came across this Singaporean food blog, shiokadelicious while searching for a picture of Chinese leeks in relation to the Chinese leeks thread (we get leeks from China in Malaysia/Singapore around Chinese New Year time and they look a lot like the picture that helenas posted). Renee has some gorgeous pictures of Singaporeanised / Malaysianised southern Chinese New Year food and traditions in her blog.
  3. Think so..if not then probably Indonesia or Thailand. Definitely not from the UK. Haven't got any around so can't verify it - will check where exactly when I'm at the shops. Will check too as I'm off to the airport later today. Don't like the ones with fillings though, nor milk or white chocolate at all.
  4. Shiewie

    More stirfrys

    I second getting one of the huge old-fashioned cast iron woks from a nearby Asian market - they're ugly but wonderful to use (we use a gas burner). We used a stainless steel one for years and it was pain to wash it back to a gleaming state whenever something was burnt - it's now been relegated for steaming and blanching large amounts of vegtables. Edited to correct typo
  5. Honestly I think the local cadburys do a better job, godivas have gone progressively worse over the years I feel. Even lindt is a better choice. Cadbury?!! Not the ones we get here in KL - sickeningly sweet and very little cocoa flavour. The Godiva we get is made in Belgium I think - it's wonderfully smooth though slightly sweeter than Valrhona. Lindt is good too but what we get here is sweeter than Godiva's. It's likely that chocolates of the same brand are manufactured in various localities so what you get in one place can be quite different in quality from that of another. A friend who is Kit-Kat connoisseur makes it a point to try Kit-Kats in different countries whenever she travels and it seems Aussie Kit-Kats are the best, then French, UK and lastly the ones we get locally which are manufactured in Thailand.
  6. I have the Kerala one too - but that was the only one in the series that was available in the bookshop. Bought it immediately when I saw it but have yet to try out the recipes.
  7. skchai / rachel, How do you eat the nien gao (neen go in Cantonese)? The traditional Malaysianised / Singaporeanised ones are cooked in tins lined with banana leaves - the banana leaves act as a container once they're cooked (guess they wouldn't have been cooked in banana leaves in Guangzhou originally ). We eat them fresh and soft, and once they're hard, they are stored by cutting them into slices and sunning them so that they don't get moldy. You don't eat them all hard though - the slices are steamed and rolled in freshly grated coconut; dipped in eggy batter and fried; or sandwiched between slices of taro and sweet potato, dipped in eggy batter and fried.
  8. Pan - Custard apples are called Buah Nona in Malay. And yes, attap chee or palm fruit is the young fruit of the nipah palm of which the dried fronds are used for attap roofs. So I guess palm fruit would be called Buah Nipah Muda in Malay. It's used a lot in ais kacang so you may eaten some before - it's the flattish slightly chewy translucent shaped somewhat like a fava bean things. v. gautam - I'm afraid durian does not taste nor smell like any of the fruits you mentioned (apart from it being strong smelling like the jackfruit but their smells are nothing similar). AzRael - googled and found that wood apples are called gelinggai / belinggai in Malay. Think it must be one of those fruits that are not comercially cultivated in Malaysia and as such can be quite difficult to find nowadays. Hue - the texture of a rambutan can be somewhat like that of a lychee but crunchier (if it's a good one). Don't think the taste is similar though they both have a very slight sourish undertone. The fragrance of a lychee is quite predominant whereas that's not the case with a rambutan.
  9. I generally don't like or eat chocolate but I do like the Godiva dark chocolate squares and bars with 72% cocoa which are not sweet and leaves a faint fragrant bitter taste in your mouth. We only have one Godiva outlet here in Malaysia - at the airport ... and I have strict instructions from my chocolate addicted sister that a box of dark chocolate squares is required each time I'm on my way back from wherever.
  10. Shiewie


    Okra is used a fair bit in Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian / Singaporean cooking as mentioned by Pan in the first post. It's generally known as ladies' fingers or kacang bendi (after bhendi in Tamil?) over here. I don't mind the sliminess and am quite happy eating it lightly blanched with a dip of bean paste (tau cheong), freshly cut chillies and kalamansi juice which a friend concocted. Okra is one of the essential vegetables in a good fish head curry. Other favourite ways with are to slit in lengthwise and stuff it with fish (or fish and pork) paste in Hakka dish called Yong Tau Foo or simply stir-fried with belacan (shrimp paste) - see recipe in recipeGullet - fresh shelled shrimp can also be added to it before putting the okra in.
  11. Hi helenas Still slightly confused here ...duh. When you say bain-marie - do you mean using a water bath in the oven or a double-boiler on the stove top? If it's the water bath in the oven, I think it should work fine as it's approximately the same as steaming in a wok - we steam sweet and savoury custards in a wok and also use a water bath in the oven for creme caramel and they both work fine. There is a similar Malaysian dish called otak-otak - a curry custard with pieces of boneless fish in it. There a few variations of otak-otak - it can be steamed in banana leaf parcels, grilled over charcoal fire in smaller banana leaf parcels or steamed in a dish with betel leaves lining the bottom of the dish.
  12. Pignuts anyone? A friend bought them from her local market - it seems they're pretty tasty. I haven't opened the packet yet though.
  13. I believe it's a northern thai street food dish, though the only place I managed to notice it was Bangkok. Basically it's a bunch of ingredients wrapped in a bai chapoo (or here, spinach) leaf, either by you or the vendor. The ingredients are dried shrimp, peanuts, chopped lime, chopped coconut, chopped ginger, some more things, and a marmalade like sauce. http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/mkum.html Maybe it's not in NYC yet... http://www.jamesbeard.org/events/2002/11/020.shtml On authentic--bai chapoo leaves can be quite tough, and I find it very hard to choke down when they're that way. Perhaps that's the street-food ingredient-quality problem again. Irwin--what do you think of Typhoon? They apparently recruit chefs from Thailand, as opposed to being a place started by immigrants. At one point someone told me that many Thai restaurants around here were run by Vietnamese people. Perhaps many are, but the ones I've been to recently definately have mostly thai-speaking staff. Hi Pan The bai chapoo leaves are betel leaves - daun kadok in Malay.
  14. I am not a fan of durian and don't particularly like the smell but I'll eat a segment or two if there's some around (it somehow becomes less smelly if you eat some!). Malaysian durians tend to be more stinky/fragrant (depending on which camp you're in ) than Thai ones. Though durian is banned by most hotels, the Chinese restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental in KL serves a rather yummy durian pancake dessert - prime durian flesh with a dollop of whipped cream wrapped in soft thin pancake ... and I don't want to know the the fat content or calories for it. There's also another upscale restaurant in KL which does a durian souffle.
  15. Been offline most of Christmas week and just managed to read your blog. Thank you for the excellent blog and absolutely stunning pictures!
  16. I've always thought of the lunar calendar as the chinese calendar...anyway, jo-mel has hit on something there. Googled it and found something on the MSN Singapore site which explains that the origins of the winter solstice festival is interrelated with the Solar Calendar. When we were little, seasonal festivals were usually celebrated by having large family dinners at my maternal grandmother's house. For festival dinners, there was always white poached chicken, roast pork (siew yook), some sort of fish and prawn dishes, a curry, sambal and ju hu char (a Nyonya jicama dish) (the curry, sambal and joo hu char is definitely Malaysian/Singaporean Chinese rather than traditional Chinese). Dinner would be split into a few sessions as there'd be too many people to fit around the two dining tables all at once. Kids didn't eat at the table but were usually given a plate of rice piled with the various dishes to eat in front of the TV - I used to long for the day when I'd be allowed to eat at the adults' table. (My mother says that it was because we were such messy eaters when we were little - it seem that after a meal I'd have grains of rice in my hair, clothes and even underwear .) My gran, her maids and a couple of relatives would spend the morning of Doong making trays of different coloured tong yuen. I'd usually insist on helping but I think most of the time, the tong yuen I made were discreetly disposed of as they didn't meet my Nyonya gran's exacting standards (Nyonyas are notorious for being very fussy cooks). We also used to be told that we had to eat our tong yuen othewise we wouldn't grow older! Now only if that were true ... We didn't have offerings for deities or prayers though as my grandfather was very unconventional and didn't allow what he called 'taoist mumbo-jumbo' in his house (he used to say that if there were taoist monks at his funeral rites, he would rise up and strangle them ... but that's another story ).
  17. It's time for the Winter Solstice Festival (Dong Zhi / Doong Jeet in Cantonese) - strangely it seems to always fall on 22nd December every year irrespective of the lunar calendar (could someone please help explain this?) Some say Dong is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar, more important than Chinese New Year, where families gather and share a meal together - sort of like a Chinese Thanksgiving. A food that is symbolic of Dong is Tang Yuan (tong yuen in Cantonese) - glutinous rice flour balls served in a gingery sugar syrup (or pandan flavoured ones in Malaysia and Singapore). Some have fillings of sugar, crushed peanuts, red bean paste or black sesame paste. We make plain tong yuen at home, larger white ones and smaller coloured ones - when we were little, my sister and I always wanted to have black and multi-coloured tong yuen but my gran and mum didn't like our suggestion. Do you celebrate Dong Zhi? What other foods are symbolic of the festival?
  18. correct. cantonese just has an additional term. huo guo is used as well. Think huo guo translates to "for wor" in Cantonese.
  19. Chinese pork tripe soup with lots of crushed peppercorns and ginger from this tiny dingy shop in the outskirts of KL that only serves 5 types of dishes. There's also pieces of free-range chicken, pork, pork liver, pork intestines, tung choy and cilantro in the soup. The soup's served piping hot in a claypot with a dip of soy sauce with fresh birds-eye chillies and chopped garlic. My stomach feels all warm and comfy after eating the peppery soup.
  20. Think si gup (jup) ribs are ribs in marinated soy sauce. Dejah - a most impressive dinner!
  21. Hi Joel tonkichi would be the best person to give you suggestions for Singapore. Also have a look at Makansutra for food places in Singapore. As asked by Pan, where do you plan on going in Malaysia? Just Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah and Sarawak as well? Unfortunately, January is not such a good time to visit the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia (Terengganu and Kelantan) as it would be the tail end of the monsoon season and a lot of the island resorts and national parks may still be closed. Chinese New Year falls on 22nd Jan next year so Malaysianised Chinese New Year foods and celebrations should be something to look out for. There's also Hari Raya Haji (a Muslim festival to honour those who've completed their pilgrimage to Mecca) on 2nd Feb where cows and goats are sacrificed as food offerings to the poor. Ask away on Malaysia and I'll try to answer the best I can.
  22. Welcome Dejah Congee and gai larn as suggested by ecr sounds good to me too. Here'a a link to a recipe for taro corquettes (Woo Kok). I haven't tried making custard tarts but IMHO the flaky crumbly chinese-style pastry works best as it seems to melt in your mouth together the wobbly custard .
  23. I'm glad you found the discussion on this thread useful and enjoyed your trip to KL....though I must admit that vegetarian places were only mentioned very briefly here. Do post here when you plan to come to KL again and we'll try to come up with a more comprehensive guide to vegetarian eateries.
  24. Would love to hear more about this
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