Wednesday, April 1, 2009

.: Kitchen series :.

4th day.

Of being confined in bed. Alhamdulillah, the stifling viral fever have subsided a little and I'm finally able to move around *in a semi-comatouse state*, dragging myself away from the comforts of the bed, pillows and blankets. Loads of gratitude to the ones that sent me messages to my cell, FB and email. To the ones that called, and I didn't pick up, sorry. The medication made me delusional, unable to distinguish whether the phone is really ringing or it's all in my head. Insya'Allah, I'll return the calls @ well wishes once I'm better.


In case people think that I haven't been in the kitchen ... :P
  • Pai Tee [Top Hats] :: Incredibly time-consuming to make. The Pai Tee casings [top hats] are made using metal molds. Normally, the fillings comprise of julienned jicama, carrot, and chopped shrimps. My aunt decided to break from the norm, suggesting to have beef and mixed vegetables instead. Took me nearly 2 hours just to finish frying the 'hats'. Anyway, it's great as hor’deurves.
  • Cucur Jagung [Corn fritters] :: Aunt found this recipe in one of her Indonesian recipe books, hence we tried it out. The ingredients are similar to the standard cekodok ikan bilis [Anchovy fritters], substituting the ikan bilis [anchovy] with jagung [corn] and chili.
  • Stir-fried Vegetables.
  • Sweet Bean Pau [Chinese:: 豆沙包 Pin Yin:: dòushābāo Hokkien:: tāu-se-pau] :: Steamed bun filled with sweet bean paste. Sometimes we have this for breakfast or tea.
  • Pistachio cake :: The original recipe calls for peanuts. There weren't any so I replaced it with pistachios. Dad said it tasted like something from his childhood. *it's uncommon for dad to complement like so* Needless to say, it only lasted 2 days.
  • Ubi Kayu Rebus [Boiled Tapioca] :: Super simple dish. Boil tapioca and sprinkle sugar on top. Mum used to mash this for us.
  • Fried Tang Yuan [Chinese:: 汤圆 Pin Yin:: tāngyuán]:: Made from glutinous rice flour. These were filled with sweet bean, boiled, coated with sesame and fried till golden brown. Usually Tang Yuan is eaten during the Lantern Festival, served in sweet soups or boiling water instead of frying.
  • Stir-fried Vegetables.

Mother nature have been playing games in the sense that on certain days we are blessed with downpours for all those puddle sploshing sessions, with other days being sunny and breezy for kite-flying. *yes, you can see kites in KL*

Aunt and mum do most of the cooking, but sometimes they get me to do a part of it. I dictate simple, easy, quick as well as healthy and good cooking so of late I've been dabbling with stir fries to complement the dishes. *stir fries are healthy?* As a matter of fact, yes. Although my posts beforehand are more of me baking, my forte is actually on stir fries. I won't be sharing a recipe on that though. :)

The one I'm sharing is one of the base soups for Tang Yuan; sweet bean soup known as tong sui [sweet soup]. A basic sweet bean soup comprises of 30grams rock sugar, 100grams red beans [red azuki beans], 6-8 cups of water and screwpine leaves. I cook by instinct *mum doesn't use measuring cups* so I'm roughly estimating the amount. The amount really depends on how thick or sweet you want the soup to be. Soften the beans by boiling it with water and screwpine leaves for 45mins till 1hour. Once softened, add in the rock sugar, cook till dissolved, discard the screwpine leaves and serve hot or cold with or without the glutinous rice balls. Thin the soup if the consistency is too viscous. Variations can be made by including orange rinds, lotus seeds, lotus roots, lily bulbs, longan seeds etc. or using brown sugar, artificial sweetener etc. topping off with crushed peanuts. :)

Best be off to make barley drinks, the best option for hot days and cooling off one's fever.

Work starts again tomorrow. :)
12.41noon Malaysian Time
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