Food

Spicy Seafood Aglio Olio

  • 2 heads of garlic – finely chopped
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 10 scallops flesh
  • 15 mussels with shells on
  • 2 medium calamari – sliced into rings
  • 500g prawns
  • olive oil
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • oregano
  • 10 bird eye chilli
  • 100g butter
  • 3 cups seafood stock
  • 2 lemons

Seafood Stock

  • shell and heads from 500g prawns
  • one stick of unpeeled carrot
  • 1 large onion – chopped into two with skin on

Cover all the ingredients with water and bring to boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

Steps

  1. Cook spaghetti as usual – salted. Drain and put aside. Rinse with cold water.
  2. Heat the wok and pour olive oil.
  3. Saute the garlic and put all the dry herbs.
  4. Stir fry all seafood
  5. Add seafood stock and cover for 3 minutes
  6. Add spaghetti, mix well
  7. Zest the lemons and squeeze the juice – add to the wok.
  8. Add butter, chilli and stir well.

The Joy of Homegrown Vegetables

Perhaps this is not the most economical way to get our vegetables. Growing our own vegetables required time, fertilizer and equipments. However it is definitely the most satisfying as we can cook it in a very simple and just let the flavor came through.

Another positive side effect is that we are seeing less rotten vegetables in the fridge since we don’t need to buy as much from the market. It’s also very educational for the whole family especially the kids. We as adults also don’t know much about farming but the learning and mastering is definitely rewarding.

The Best Kacang Pool in Bangi

The bean and beef gravy is exquisitely spiced topped with onions and chili. It is paired with a thick toast slathered with ghee. The killer move here is two eggs fried with ghee. To be really over the top they also include crispy papadoms and one lime.

Salt, fat, acid and heat – all there and balanced. Yours for only RM7 at Restoran Sri Bestari in front of Kompleks Pendidikan Islam Bangi.

Simple Pocket Pizza

Seven years and three kids after our wedding, we still have a pile of unopened wedding gifts – our extended family and friends had been very generous. One of it is a sandwich maker. On the box it suggested to do pocket pizza.

So we just take two slice of white bread, a slice of mozzarella and some leftover bolognese sauce. Cook in the sandwich maker for four minutes and we have ourselves a piping hot tasty breakfast.

Thanks a lot to whomever gave us this sandwich maker!

Sirap Bandung Soda Recipe

Sirap Bandung Soda Recipe

This is a recipe passed down from my oldest auntie. The ingredients are one thing but I think the method is the key here.

  • Carbonated Ice Cream Soda
  • Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • F&N Rose Syrup
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Salt
  • Ice  
  1. Pour ice & syrup into a jug
  2. Stir continuously while pouring in ice cream soda & evaporated milk
  3. Add a tiny amount of vanilla essence & salt

Key technique here is to keep on stirring and never add water else the evaporated milk will curdle. Using evaporated milk with higher milk fat content such as Ideal will make the mixture even more susceptible to curdling.

There’s no exact ratio as you just need to eyeball the color and add to taste. But as a guide, we usually use 2 cans of evaporated milk for a big bottle of soda.

But if you really wanted the exact ratio of ingredients, the book Johor Palate did provide some hard numbers and a variation of the method. I’ve personally never tried it but it kinda make sense.

Real Foamy Teh Tarik

Nasi Lemak Royale Kedah at Presint 8, Putrajaya
Restoran Umi Ayra, Jalan Dahlia 6/1, NIlai Impian

It’s rather hard to get real foamy teh tarik these days. Many just have a thin layer of foam which is just the bottom layer of these two excellent examples.

These are two that I had recently encountered so head over to the noted restaurants below each picture. Will update this post if I encounter more.

Update 28 July

Restoran Azura, Seksyen 3 Tambahan, Bandar Baru Bangi

The Real Dream Kitchen

Modern kitchen design with built-in cabinet and induction cooker might be the prominent thing being sold. Sleek lines and slick surfaces rule the day.

That’s fine and dandy to cook pasta and pastries but highly restrictive for the full experience of Malay cooking. It can’t handle the full smoke, smell and stain.

People talk about dry and wet kitchen but Malays with kampung in their heart will want wet on wet kitchen. Only then one can cook the most flavorful dishes at full blast.

This is even more expensive than designer kitchens as you need ample real estate to do it!

Cheap & Easy Way to Make Great Coffee at Home

If you think using French press from IKEA is cheapskate, now I’m going to get cheaper. This time I’m using drip cup and filter paper combo from Daiso. It’s only 3USD.

Cheap but well made

The technique I described using French press before do deliver consistent result. However it just take too long and the cleaning up is such a pain. It’s hard to quickly dispose all the ground coffee clogged up in the pot and there’s simply too much stuff to contend with. I want to be able to get excellent coffee at home in a reasonable time and quickly get to work.

Using this drip it goes straight to the cup and all the waste is contained within the filter. Then I can chuck it straight to the waste bin or dump as fertilizer for the plants in the backyard.

I just wing it when using this method from whatever I remembered watching YouTube videos on drip brewing.

  1. Put the dripper and filter on. Pour 50ml of hot water just to clean it and preheat the mug.
  2. Throw the water out.
  3. Weigh 15g of ground coffee for 250ml of water.. I just use the same ratio from the French press recipe.
  4. Pour 50ml of 95 degree Celsius water. Let it drip slowly first (30 seconds or so – don’t really look at the clock). Make sure you hit all the ground coffee.
  5. Then I just went as fast as possible to pour the remaining 200ml.

The end product is a bit too hot to drink right away so you need to wait a bit. Taste wise it’s not as good as the French press but close. Definitely way better than store-brewed coffee.

That’s more than enough to make my day.

Secret Strawberry Shop in Cameron Highlands

Obviously it’s no more a secret once I published this blog post but this shop is still rather hidden.

The biggest frustration with buying strawberries from Cameron Highlands is it tends to get sour once you reach the low lands. Some attributes it to the higher temperature. But I think the truth is the strawberries are not very good to begin with.

My brother-in-law worked in Cameron Highlands since last year so he get to know where the locals buy their strawberries. It’s rather away from the usual tourist areas but these strawberries are claimed to be of Japanese export quality. It’s naturally sweet and flavorful – no sugar dipping shenanigans here.

Look for the shop with green shutters
The shop looks more like a warehouse rather than the usual souvenir shop

The shop is located in the Tringkap neighborhood on the way down from Tanah Rata to Simpang Pulai. The landmark is Nur Iman Restaurant which in turn is next to Pondok Polis Tringkap.

This sells for RM12 per pack. A lower grade pack sells for RM8 but still super nice.

My brother-in-law had bought these several times and the taste remains excellent year round. So we can really vouch for the quality of this strawberries.

May this info made your Cameron Highlands trip even sweeter.

Indian Vegetarian Lunch @ Anjappar

Special Vegetarian Set

I admittedly had overdosed on red meat this Syawal. Too much beef rendang and beef satay in my belly. Hence, I decided to search for Indian vegetarian food. Azwin also keen to try it out.

I heard there are nice meals to be had around Brickfields area but I don’t know anything more specific. Although all three of us are techies, none of us bothered to check out Google Maps or Foursquare. We just crossed the road from NU Sentral and walked right.

We came across Anjappar and Amin said he had dined there before. He cautioned that his tastebud might not be as refined to give recommendation. Azwin & I decided that it’s more than sufficient. So we just walked in and ordered the Special Vegetarian since we wanted to sample a wide range of their offering.

At RM18 per set, I would say the taste is at par with higher end restaurants in malls and hotels. Our belly is filled, tongues are tickled yet there’s no overwhelming aftertaste. The fried cauliflower deserved special mention for turning such a bland vegetable into an excellent dish.