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Everything posted by tonkichi

  1. really, i am referring to the ones that are at least 1 inch across; sometimes served in their pod which is like 8 inches long. the first time i saw it, it reminded me of that Woody Allen film in which all the vegetables are bigger than humans. soramame? Like big fava beans? here is a picture of soramame: http://www.pref.kagawa.jp/eizo/vol003/en/5...ki/syoka/02.htm yes, but the ones I've enjoyed are bigger than the one in the picture. The sushi chef served it as an appetiser. Just one pod per person, with about 5 peas inside.
  2. really, i am referring to the ones that are at least 1 inch across; sometimes served in their pod which is like 8 inches long. the first time i saw it, it reminded me of that Woody Allen film in which all the vegetables are bigger than humans.
  3. The fried bone /skeleton from the sardine or whichever fish they've used for sushi. those giant peas- don't know the name. sweet and buttery. tori karaage- fried chicken croquette- esp the curried ones.
  4. An Pan Cheesy mochi balls (not bread but I go crazy when I see this at the Japanese style bakery)
  5. erm, you mean the little bud inside the lotus seed. that is meant to be discarded, anyway it tastes bitter- you need to split the seeds to get to them first. hope this helps. oh, in case you haven't "peel" the brown skin off, that needs to go too.
  6. hmm, never cooked or eaten seahorse before. thought it was an endangered animal?
  7. Make a sweet soup of course. Boil with some rock sugar and dried longans until the lotus seed is soft. Delicious hot or cold.
  8. At home, we would have a Cantonese style soup as one of the dinner dishes. I slurp from the bowl during the meal, so making any other lubrication redundant. Sometimes instead of a savoury soup we get sweet soup, which we eat at the end of the meal. In this case we would drink (cooled) boiled tap water, like everyone else in Singapore. The government says the tap water is clean, but we boil it anyway. Boiling seems to make the water taste softer. Sometimes we fancy bubbles, esp if it is very hot. Then it would be Pellegrino; or Diet Coke.
  9. I am a Chinese, my great grandparents came to Malaysia from Guangdong two centuries ago, but have only visited China once. We went on a family holiday in Shanghai and Huangshan area for 6 days last year, doing the scenic tour. We were "escorted" by the official tourist guide, so ended up eating at their "friendship" restaurants and forced to take frequent rest stops at tourist traps like souvenier "museum" shops and acupuncture centres. So I can only comment from a tourist's perspective. The food we were served was completely inedible, bearing no resemblance to all the Chinese food I've ever come across in Asia, Europe and USA. Everything was bland or oversalted;they don't even seem to use any aromatics like shallot, ginger or garlic. And the oil, oh my, everything was cooked in cold oil I think. We resorted to rinsing bits of food in hot tea or water before eating but we were still overwhelmed. The rice was frequently cold, and I suspect, recycled from table to table if not meal to meal. So there we were, for days on end, a hungry bunch looking miserably at the table piled high with dishes, and not eating much. My stash of dried fruit was very popular. One evening I gave up and went to the tourist shop in our hotel in Huangshan, to buy a piece of red-bean bun (like anpan). The bun had a tiny button of bean paste smeared on the two diametrically opposite ends, but there was NO filling inside at all!!! outrageously expensive too!! so it was dried cranberries for dinner again. There were some high points of course: in Shanghai all the dumplings we tried were good, even those in places that looked like fast -food joints. And once we were served (for first course) some cigar-shaped spring rolls filled with red beans and dusted with icing sugar- these were delightful. and of course our flight was delayed for 6 hours so they fed us dinner at the airport hotel, and the food was not bad at all- I was never more happy to see sweet and sour pork than that evening. it was sweet, it was sour,.... my taste buds were so grateful.
  10. This is a new word, or rather, slang. You would not find it in the official school text books, in fact, the teacher will probably penalise for use of this word. There is a website called www.makansutra.com, started by a really nice photographer called KF Seetoh. His foodie friends and him eat their way around all the hawker centres in Singapore and rates them anonymously. These reviewers are called makanmata; it certainly sounds catchy!!
  11. Mata Mata is a Malay word for police. As children we used to call the police "Maa..Taa". So Makan Mata literally translates to "police who eats"!!!!Or a detective who sniffs out the good eats. Other word for foodlovers: Makan kaki. Kaki is the word for leg, we use this word interchangeably with companions, e.g. mahjong kaki, football kaki .....
  12. Durians- you either love it or hate it. This is a very popular fruit in our parts. Not called King of Fruits for nothing. The best comes from Malaysia, esp if it came from the "wild", or from the kampungs and small orchards. These are more "stinky", and the taste more complex. For true durian connoiseurs, we look for a certain pungency in the aroma, and the taste should have some bitter notes to balance the rich sweetness. The sweet ones are for amateurs. The best ones will make me sneeze, the same reaction I get when drinking very good whisky!!, probably means it is stimulating certain nasal nerve endings. Most exported durians come from Thailand, as they have managed to farm it in a systematic manner, and the smell is not as strong. The species is different too. Available all year round, rather than the Malaysian ones which fruit only 2-3 times a year. Thai durians are very big, like a football. The pieces of flesh inside the fruit are huge, and very filling. Taste sweet and not much else, rather like eating another variety of banana. I have not eaten Thai durian for years, but they are better in the processed form, e.g. in cakes, ice creams, sweets etc, for their consistent taste and bulkier forms.
  13. I am addicted to marsala thosays, and eat it for breakfast three times a week. Here in Singapore we are very partial to Curry Fish Head; I think this is not from India, but we like it anyway. Can't cook Indian food. Otherwise, I will eat tandoori and bryani about 5-6 times a year. When I was a student in London we ate in or had takeaways from curry houses all the time- probably not authentic but closest to Malaysian food a that time. Vindaloo, madras, onion bhaji, pakoras.
  14. Putu mayam is fine rice noodles shaped into a pancake. Eaten cold, with orange-coloured sugar and fresh coconut.
  15. Does putu mayam count? One of my favourite breakfast food.
  16. Ajinomoto was not allowed in the house, but I know the amah would sneak some into stews and braises, for that rich flavour. My mum and her generation believed that MSG would make you thirsty and cause hair loss!! Sakura- they had dishes like Nasi Bojari, and their Nasi Lemak cost at least 10 times as much as the street version..but really delicious. Imbi Road-full of neon lights, cake shops, wedding dress palaces and bah kut teh stalls(pork rib soup). Actually my mum liked to take us to Sakura to learn table manners, she would order the western dishes like chicken chop or fish n chips for us so we could practice using knife and fork, LOL My father actually used KFC as the yardstick for judging fried chicken. In those days before anyone heard of cholesterol and heart disease, we would have suppers at least 3-4 times a week. It could be peanut pancake or dough fritters (you char kwai or "oil-fried devil") or pork buns from the street stalls, or they would marinate big quantities of either pork ribs or chicken to fry for late night supper. If it was tasty, Daddy would say "even better than KFC"!! I remember the first time my uncle took us to a Japanese restaurant. In the early 80's. He ordered sushi- and we all (including the other adults) gawked and our jaws fell- raw fish! It looked like the earthworms we dug up from the field after the rain. We had a taste, and could not swallow. of course we now know our toros and sabas, but the first time is always memorable. Do you remember Central Market? It is now a tacky "handicrafts centre", but in those days it was THE market. My aunt living in the kampung (village) would put on her best samfoo (chinese pajama suit) and take a bus to "Town" on her Central Market jaunts once a week. The sights and smells of a busy produce market...... live chickens and ducks, the Indian lady with all her spices, the Malay makcik with exotic vegetables like petai, kacang botol, oh my. My favourite treat was a swiss-roll cake sandwiched not with jam or icing, but kaya , that rich egg-custard jam, sold at one of the Hainanese-style bakeries; the cake was dense rather than light and airy, but the kaya was even better than my mum's version, it was thick and eggy and sweet.
  17. yum-cha is literally "drink tea". We say yum-cha when we have a dim-sum meal. Usually on weekends, but if you are in HK it can be any day of the week. I don't remember Hotel Malaysia at all. The Chinese restaurants that we used to go to when we were young were places like Overseas, Tai Thong and Chan Kee. Chan Kee is more of a family-type place that serves wonderful yong-tau-fu and a type of freshwater fish steamed with fresh ginger. The fish has a muddy smell and hundreds of sharp little bones, but the flesh is a lovely fine texture and the taste is sweet; the ginger helps to offset the muddy smell. I remember Chinese restaurants of the past serving tea in glasses with metal holders- very retro. And the condiments would include a bright yellow mustard that was very pungent; as kids we used to dare each other to see how much of it we could eat. Nobody puts out the mustard anymore. Federal Hotel was one of the grander hotels before the Shangri-Las and Sheratons came in the 80's. It is on Jalan Bukit Bintang, near Sungei Wang Plaza. I have not been there for over 10 years. The dim-sum at Merlin/ Concorde is still very popular, and when I last ate there about 5 years ago, it was very good. My grandmother insisted on having dim-sum lunch most Sundays, so over the years we ate at Merlin and Federal, later at Shangri-La, then at Dynasty, followed by Nikko,and nowadays it is either the Ritz Carlton or Tai Thong. Very high-quality stuff, and expensive, I am glad it is the older generation who are footing the bill. My family lived in Jalan Ipoh and later we moved to Bangsar, so we ate around our area. We get our roti canai from our neighbourhood coffeeshop. My mum does not like Indian food so we missed out on stuff like marsala thosay, naan, tandoori, banana leaf rice, etc until I went for studies in London (vindaloos, onion bhajis, pakoras) and later moved to Singapore, and working right in the heart of Little india. In the 70's and early 80's the culinary scene in KL was not diverse. It was either formal meals at fancy Chinese restaurants or our local coffeeshops for local foods like pau, chicken rice or wanton noodles. We did not eat out often, as my mum was paranoid about hygiene and use of MSG- we either ate very uptown or not at all, so we missed out on a lot of street food. Fast food though, was OK- those places seemed clean and had airconditioning. KFC was a major destination. Later it was A&W with its root-beer float in frosted glass, coney dog and waffles.In those days the food and drinks at A&W were actually tasty. McDonalds came later, in the early 80's- and it was also good then, with its quarter pounder and more importantly, the toys that went with the meals- my brother amassed a sizeable collection of their digital watches. "Western" style restaurants like The Ship served steaks and fish n chips- I did not realise that there was other stuff out there like pasta, anchovies and even shepherd's pie. One restaurant we did go to a great deal was Sakura, on Jalan Imbi. It served excellent street food in an upmarket restaurant setting, and it was a local landmark. The owner sold the restaurant a few years ago and then opened another restaurant called Madam Kwan- this is now the default place for a family gathering. Another favourite Chinese restaurant was, and still is, Chow Yang in PJ, we have been eating there at least once or twice a month for the past ten years. Now of course, KL is much like most developed cities- you can find any type of food here. It still has a down-to-earth quality about it, and as a whole it is harder to eat a bad meal in KL compared to say, Singapore.
  18. I was born in 1969, and our family moved to KL in 1976. I am not familiar with Hotel Majestic, it is likely to be called something else now. Hotel Malaysia is still around. Merlin is now Concorde Hotel, home of Hard Rock Cafe. Dim sum is still served at Concorde. I remember going to the Merlin for Sunday yum-cha, saw my first butter sculptures there, and we ran around the courtyard with a pond and live fishes. Another Sunday yum-cha spot was Federal Hotel, with its dragon columns and red decor. Bangles- does not ring a bell here. We loved chestnuts- it was a rare treat. My father got them from Petaling Street (Chinatown), and they were sweet, nutty and much larger than the ones we get nowadays. Chinatown was also where my mum got roast duck, sold by men in little pushcarts. I can go on, but we can do it by PM. I love KL, even though I am living in Singapore. Am planning to retire there.
  19. I love Japanese bamboo shoots. Yesterday we had some sauteed with some belly pork and onions, it was just fabulous with rice. does japanese sweet potato count as a vegetable- that is another favourite. also spinach and japanese cucumbers. Do not like mountain yam.
  20. Bondgirl, have you had a chance to try the recipe. I was just thinking you can add lemongrass to the rempah mix, it will certainly add depth and fragrance.
  21. Kuala Lumpur. My father's family lived in this "new village" settlement in Salak South. I am not even aware there are local chestnuts, have always eaten the China ones.
  22. I made laksa lemak when I was a homesick student in London. This is a basic recipe from my "home economics" book, so is not very sophisticated. You might like to experiment with it. You need 1. A rempah of ground chilli, onions and garlic. Proportions vary accrding to level of heat. . 2. A whole bunch of dried shrimps, washed, rinsed and also whizzed in a food processor till very very fine. 3. Coconut milk- if no fresh milk is available, a brand like Kara is just as good. Fry the rempah till it is fragrant, then add the shrimps and fry some more. When the mixture is browned nicely, turn down the heat and add the coconut milk, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add water if soup is too thick. Salt to taste. Pour over rice noodles, garnish with chicken slices, prawns or fish cakes, and snip laksa leaves (daun kesom) over the whole dish ( if it is available). Enjoy.
  23. I prefer cempedak to nangka- the strong smell and texture is exactly why I like it. I never refuse cempedak fritters, and now I remember cempedak ice cream. Yummy. When I was a child, my grandmother had a nangka tree in her backyard, so we ate nangkas a lot, and did the roasted seed business (chestnuts were rare and expensive then). However, her nangkas were not that tasty or sweet, and some parts close to the centre of the fruit were downright gummy, so it wasn't my favourite fruit. A few years ago, the Thai came out with a type of nangka that is very sweet, and now I buy them whenever I see it. As for local Malaysian fruits, I love durian (my grandmother's neighbour had a durian tree overlooking her yard, and any durians that falls in her yard were claimed by us), mangosteen (manggis), chiku and langsat. I don't like rambutans, because the flesh sticks to the seed, then again I ate a lot of it when I was a child, my grandmother's neighbour had , you guessed it, a few rambutan trees in their yard. And the bananas- so many varieties. Grandmother had a papaya tree too, that yielded a better tasting fruit than her nangka tree.
  24. Wwe eat the jackfruit and another similar fruit called "cempedak" as a fruit, hardly cooking them. Jackfruit may be chopped up thrown with red beans, sweetcorn, jelly and topped with shaved ice, coconut milk and syrups in the dessert "ice kacang". Cempedak may be fried as fritters.
  25. tonkichi

    Pork Belly

    do you cut the rind off first? have only had miserable failure trying to slice thru pork skin at home j no, we do not cut out the skin.
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