Sunday, April 29, 2012

Culinary Not-So-Genius

The plan was to cook Penang Assam Laksa today, but apparently the fish didn't look too fresh in the market, so I settled for plan B- Sambal Udang.

The recipe looked simple enough. Prawns, tamarind, kaffir lime leaves, and a rempah made of dried chillies, shallots and belacan.

Normal people who have embraced modern technology would have blended the ingredients in a blender, but not me. As if the recipe was not simple enough, I decided to pound the rempah ingredients into a paste by hand using a pestle and mortar.

What would have taken a quick blitz on the blender took me upwards of ten minutes and I pounded away, juices from the soaked chilli splattering onto every surface in the vicinity. Thankfully I was wearing glasses, otherwise I probably would have a stray splat into my eye (it hit the lens instead).

When I finally got everything into a reasonable looking paste, I started to cook. The instructions said to fry the rempah in some oil (more splattering), throw in the prawns, 2 cups of water, tamarind juice, kaffir lime leaves, salt and sugar to taste.

And of course, instead of watching how much water to pour, I confidently lifted up the kettle and oops. Too much water. Lol.

The final dish turned out ok, but would have been much better if the rempah was a smooth paste and if there was less water. But a success nonetheless!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Wow I'd forgotten how blissful it was to be serving notice. Making the decision to quit was very easy. Doing the actual deed, tough. But now that it's done, suddenly, the load lightens and you feel more carefree. Colleagues who have seen me in the past couple of days commented that I look happier. Haha.

I still have a month to go, but already my lunch and dinner schedule is packed with a tonne of farewell meals and celebrating to do! As Abel said, it's the end of an era. Time to plan my holidays.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

But sometimes, it just needs to be done.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Penang Assam Laksa

TNP published a recipe for penang assam laksa! I think I will try to make it next week. If the results are good, I don't need to go to Nex to satisfy my cravings anymore!
Posting the recipe here, for reference when I want to make the dish. It looks simple enough. This recipe serves four.
500g laksa noodles
6-8 Indian mackerel or 10 short mackerel (a comment on the recipe said to use 8-10 Indian mackerel or 15 short mackerel for a thicker texture)
1 torch ginger bud, halved lengthwise
1/2 rice bowl laksa leaves
2.5cm lengkuas / galangal
150g tamarind, soaked in 300ml hot water and strained
1/2 cucumber, julienned
150g pineapple, julienned
1 red onion, sliced thinly
3-4 stalks mint leaves
2.5l water
1tsp sugar
salt to taste
10-12 dried chillies, soaked till softened
12 shallots
3 stalks lemon grass, use only 7cm from the root part
2.5cm penang belacan
- Blend all to a paste
Prawn paste:
2tbsp prawn paste
2tbsp hot water
Bring 2.2l water to a boil. Add fish in and boil at low heat for 10 min. Remove and set fish aside to cool.
Once cooled, pick out the fish meat, making sure that there are no bones. Meat from the stomach area may be bitter, so avoid those parts.
Strain the cooking liquid and bring to a boil, adding ginger bud, lengkuas and laksa leaves. Boil on high heat for 10 minutes.
Lower the heat, and add the tamarind water, rempah and fish meat. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
Add sugar and salt to taste.
Boil a pot of water and cook laksa noodles for 2-3 minutes. Strain and put in a bowl. Add sliced onion, pineapple, cucumber and mint leaves. Pour soup on top and drizzle with prawn paste.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Squeaky Clean

I'm so pleased! I finally started using the sonic toothbrush, and I'm liking it very, very much.

See, I first heard of the sonic toothbrush when I was having dinner with Pam the other day. She was gushing about how good it was, and how the toothbrush helped with dental problems like bleeding gums and the like.

Having done the PR campaign for this product, she was extremely familiar with the technical aspect of it and all the good this toothbrush could do. I was quite keen, but the hefty pricetag made me think twice.

Fast forward to Christmas last year, and while out shopping for Christmas gifts, I saw that the sonic toothbrush was being sold at a discounted price. So I got one for myself, brought it home and left it in the cupboard.

Remembered to pull it out yesterday, and charged it, and used it for the first time last night. They recommend brushing for 2 minutes only, for 30 seconds in each quadrant of the mouth. Thankfully I read the instruction manual (for a toothbrush!) so I figured out what the beeps and pauses meant.

The buzzing sensation takes some getting used to, and my first brushing was alright. I went to bed and woke this morning, brushed my teeth and oh my! I can see the difference already!

My gums usually bleed, so when I brush my teeth, the "bubbles" are usually tinged with blood. But not this morning!

It could have been a coincidence, but I'd like to think it's my swanky sonic toothbrush. Let's see how my gums and teeth do over the next few days. Yeeaah!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Is There Such Thing As Too Much Coffee?

I just had 2 cups of coffee. Within the hour. Lol.

Anyone who knows me knows that this is just a recipe for disaster. I'm talking a mile a minute, my voice has apparently gone up one octave, and I'm bouncing in my seat. LOL.

I'd be typing in caps but .. I'm sane enough to know that that's just rude. Hee.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

So Sedap

If there is anything I miss about the time I was married, it'd definitely have to be my ex-MIL's cooking. She was amazing, whipping up sumptious meals and cooking everything from scratch.

I fell in love with her beef rendang at first bite, and some even (jokingly, I hope) say I got married because of it. Lol. But oh man, it was sososososo good. I'm so glad that at least I learned how to cook it.

Decided to cook beef rendang today. Slurp. Got the ingredients and started prepping after lunch. And it wasn't difficult to cook, just really time consuming.

But was it well worth it. By the time it was dinner, the beef rendang was ready and everyone got to taste. I'm glad it's a winner.

Mmmm. I think I might try to make bergedil next.