Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Temple of Mango Dessert

When we chanced upon this dessert shop in Hong Kong, we weren't really sure what it was.

It looked like a dessert shop, but at the same time, it also looked like the Tua Pek Kong temple in Kuching .
We knew the shop had a menu & everything but we weren't sure whether that was the food menu for offerings. Just kiddinglah. We were pretty much the innocent, puppy-eyed tourists but we weren't stupik.

Actually, She Liew San is a very well known chain of franchise shops which specialise in Mango dessert. Almost everything they sell there had mango in it. I don't know where they get so many the mango. Uncle Ting Pek Khing would have been an even happier man (he is already very happy. If I were him, I'd be too) if this shop was in Kuching. His Ming Khiong Garden's mango business would have exploded the billboard charts & the movies' top ten box office.

In Hong Kong, this mango shop is everywhere, just like Ming Khiong's Garden in Sarawak. It seems to be a very popular hang out place. We saw one at Tsim Tsai Tsui and another one at Causeway Bay, and I'm sure there's lots more.

And after seeing it everywhere, you knew you needed to try it out to see what the heck it's all about. The place is small as anywhere else in Hong Kong. Seats are limited & business is brisk. When you step in, a woman would suddenly appear out of nowhere & start finding seats for you in Hong Kong speed.

Sorry, I couldn't resist doing this. Well, she does look like she's shooting web.

The menu has much more mango based items, but we could only fit these in (how much mango can a human being take?):

Mango juice and mango cubes in coconut milk with a mango gelato ~ superb for mango lovers. Double , triple dose of mango. Very fresh mangoes too.

Mango juice and mango cubes in coconut milk and black glutinous rice. Another thumbs up. One faboulous thing about this store is that the mango's sweetness is just nice. Not too sweet neither too sour.

Greg ordered a traditional warm simmered papaya with white fungus dessert AGAIN.

Supposedly very good for skin and throat. It was nice but nothing to shout about. I think most Hong Kongers had mastered this dessert to the hilt.

Of course there were other snack items of non-mango relations:

Radish cake.

Very crispy on the outer layer and soft sticky inside. Yum!

Glutinous rice ball with peanut and sugar.

A little like our muaci here but the balls at this place were nicely chewy and peanut with sesame and sugar combo is fresh and thus gave the balls a well blended flavour.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sweet Spicy Spare Ribs Indonesian Style

Both of us just love Pondok Laguna to death the first time we step our foot there for Alex's birthday. It a place with a wonderful atmosphere & it serves Indonesian food. We cannot comment on the authenticity as that was the first time we had a full spread of Indonesian meal. Prior to that, we only had Indonesian style curry and rendang cooked by Mum's friend, Aunty Ratna.

I seriously think that Indonesians are very good cooks and their dishes are always very strong in flavour. Even their cookies and cakes are generally very rich and tasty. If ever there is a chance, I would love to go there and learn how to cook and bake Indonesian style.

Most Indonesian dishes are spicy with a nice tinge of sweetness. This recipe is originally for chicken but pork is very sweet, so I usually do this with spare ribs. This is a very good dish to cook for a dinner get together. Ingredients are generally simple and it packs a punch especially with rice.

1kg or so or spare ribs, cut to finger lengths
1/3 cup of vegie oil
2 heaped tbsp of lemongrass*
1 stalk of fresh lemon grass
1 heaped tbsp of chilli paste, Indian paste or add water to grind chilli powder
1 tbsp of garlic
2 tbsp of red onion
2 tbsp of sweet bean paste (tau pang jang)
1 tbsp of ketumbar powder (coriander powder)*
2 heaped tbsp of asam + 2 cups of water
3-5 tbsp of sugar

1)Season spare ribs with a little salt and pepper.

2)Heat up wok with 1/2 of the oil and stir fry chilli paste. Paste usually suck up oil quite fast and stick to the wok. Dont worry about the burnt effect. Adding a little of remaining oil and keep on stir frying till oil start appearing on the side of chilli paste.

3) Add garlic, onion and remaining oil. Stir fry till fragrant. Add 2 tbsp of lemon grass, bean paste and ketumbar powder. Continue stir frying till ingredients are well mixed and paste like.

4) Add spare ribs/meat. Continue stir frying. Add strained asam water to cover up to at least half of the meat. Mixture will look very watery and redish as chilli oil float upwards. Simmer, lid closed, in small fire for at least an hour or till meat is very soft but still attached to bone. Stir occasionally to prevent bottom from burning.

5) Finally add sugar to taste. Open the lid and turn the fire up and let the juice boil till thick and half of its original amount.

Serve 5-6 with rice.

* I normally lightly pan fry the ketumbar seeds without oil and grind my own ketumbar powder with a blender/grinder. Lemongrass, if bought, usually comes in a bunch and I would only use a few. Instead of wasting it, I normally get the maid to cut them up, pound and blend them to fine pieces. Keeping ingredients such as this in fridge is very handy and avoid wastages.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

NEE's Super Dooper Kiasu Hamburger

Greg and I love Chilli's Mushroom-Swiss Burger.

We would generally not miss it when we visit KL. And of course in Kuching, the only place we can satisfy our cravings would be at home. Anyway, cooking our own burgers is definitely a much healthier option as compared to the overpowering recycled oil in the roadside Ramli burgers, & the bland McDs & KFCs. Also this is fantastic on days when I want a one-dish-settle-all kinda meal.

My version is the in-all-foochow-spirit-of-kiasuness one. You can certainly change/reduce the portion and items according to taste.

Hamburger Pates:

450gm of fresh mince beef
60gm of bread crumb
1 no of large egg
1 piece of good quality ham, chopped to fine pieces
2 piece of good quality bacon, chopped to fine pieces
1 small onion, diced to small pieces
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of mixed herbs
1 tbsp of parsley/celery, chopped to fine pieces
1 teasp of salt
1 teasp of pepper
1 teasp of sugar

1) Heat frying pan and melt butter. Pan fry onion and bacon till fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly.

2) Mix all other ingredients except 1 and bread crumb in a big bowl. Stir well until well combined.

3) Add bread crumbs and 1. Continue mixing and slap the mixture against the bowl til a springiness factor can be felt when pressing against the mixture.

4) Divide the mixture into 4 portions if you want chunky pate or 5 portions. Shape into a round ball by gently throwing the mixture from one hand to the other. Place mixture into a 4 - 5 inch ring. Press to shape into a pate. You can keep pate in freezer for up to 1 month or so.

5) Heat up pan with another tablespoon of butter. At small to medium fire, pan fry pate for approx 5-6 min on each side or til fully cooked for well done. Both side will look a little burnt on the edges. Test for doneness by using a skewer or satay stick. If juices ran out is clear, the pate is cooked. Assemble the pate with the rest of hamburger parts.

The Hamburger Assembly:

For every hamburger, my usual assembles are:
1 no of burger bun, sliced into half
Fresh lecture
2-3 slices of tomatos
2-3 slices of cucumber
1 slice of bacon
the choice of bbq sauce/tomato sauce/chilli sauce/mayonaise/mushroom sauce*

* Mushroom sauce is one of our favourite.

100-150 gm of fresh button mushroom, slice to thin slices
1/2 no of small onion, diced to small pieces
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 no of good quality beef stock + 3/4 cup of water
1/2 tbsp of worcheshire sauce
salt, pepper, sugar to taste.

1) Heat up pan with butter. Add flour and pan fry til light brown. Add onion followed by mushroom.

2) When mushrooms are semi cooked, add stock mixture and worcheshire sauce. Simmer till cooked. Add salt pepper and sugar to taste.

Serve with more salad.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fresh Fruits Salad with Prawns

After reading Terri's blog on her Rock Melon Prawn Salad, I had a very bad craving for something like that. And since Mom and Dad were away in Melbourne, thus leaving me with the task of feeding my wittle brother Raymond, the thought making this dish became much more pleasureable.

This is a recipe which I grew up with because Aunty Selina and Aunty Linda would do something like this at Grandma and Grandpa's gatherings in the older days. I made some modifications to theirs, using different fruits, and I added prawns (inspired by Terri). For a different version, please visit her at hungerhunger.

I used fresh fruits for this salad.

1 no of mango
1/2 no of small-med honeydew/rockmelon, just riped
1/2 no of small papaya, just riped
1/2 no of medium pineapple
optional fruits ~ 1 small can of longan, 1 small green apples, 1 small pear

Note: You can either use mango or honeydew/rock melon as the main fruit as both are quite strong in taste. If mango is the main fruit, use 2-3 nos. If honeydew/rockmelon is the main, use 1/2 + 1/4. I did not use mango because I could not find it anywhere in Kuching last week, so i used the formula for honeydew.

1 jar of 230ml Kraft mayonaise
3 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk
3-4 no of local limau/lemons
600-800 gm of unshelled medium prawns
1-2 tbsp of chopped parsley

1) Cut all the fruits into small cubes of 1 cm X 1 cm. Keep them refridgerated.

2) Mix the mayonaise, sweeted condensed milk and limau in a bowl. Mix well and store in refridgerator.

3) Prepare a pot of water enough to cover prawns. Clean and devein prawns. Boil for 3 min or so until the prawns are cooked. Don't overcook though. Peel the shells off and keep it in refridgerator.

4) Prepare 1 to 3 way ahead so that you can chill them. Before serving, mix mayonaise mixture and fruit mixture. Mix some mayonaise mixture with prawns and place onto top of fruit mixture. Sprinkle parsley on top.

Excellent for hot days or with fried/bbqed dishes.

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