Sunday, February 28, 2021

Just like that

Friday was the Chap Goh Mei. 15 days of Chinese New Year has ended, just like that. Everything felt like wind, come quick and go as quick as well. Not much of a celebration this year but we must uphold the tradition as much as we can.

Chap Goh Mei is as important as the reunion dinner on the eve. However I did not cook as extravagant as our reunion dinner as the boys had their homeworks and tuition as usual that day. I was rushing in and out sending and picking the boys so no time to cook much.

Hubby came back early from work that evening. By the time the boys and I reached home slightly after 6pm, he was preparing a pack of firecracker outside our house. 

Everyone got to watch the rattling firecrackers before we were ready to take our dinner.

Six dishes were prepared. Special request by hubby; abalone in brown sauce. I opened up a can of abalone and blanched some broccoli to go with the abalone.

This pork rib with lotus and red dates was cooked in the morning. I used slow cooker so it was easy and let the slow cooker did the work. 

Something the kids love, ie luncheon meat and potato cubes. 

Stir fried kailan with carrot, and I added some roasted cashew nuts on top. A way to finish up the CNY snack. 

My last batch of big prawns was been used that evening. This time, I divided the prawns and cooked 2 flavours for the dinner. 

A simple pan fried prawns with garlic. Everyone loved it as it was fresh and tasty. 

Another half, I marinated the prawns in tamarind juice for few minutes before pan fried them. It was nice as well. 

And that was our Chap Goh Mei dinner. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Have you ever

Have you ever tasted chicken cooked with Sarawak laksa paste?? No? Then you miss a good thing, I tell you. 

I've eaten it many years ago, when I was younger. My mum cooked it few times and each time, I was the one that took the bigger portion of it. Somehow other than me and my mum, none of my family members enjoyed it. So you could said, growing up, this dish was one of my favourite dishes invented and cooked by my mum. 

So it has been ages since I tasted my mum's stir fried chicken with Sarawak laksa paste and I was suddenly craving for it last week. 

There was one laksa paste pack in my pantry and it was going to be expired by end of the year. My hubby bought few packs last year during the MCO. Used up few packs for Sarawak laksa but due to the tedious preparation, I haven't cooked it for months.

So I used up this Jin Lu brand. Traditional flavour as it printed on the packet. RM8.70 from Choice Daily supermarket. Hmm. I don't know how traditional Sarawak laksa paste coukd be as there is only one taste. Mixture of spices and seasoning that give it that spiciness, sour and savoury taste with fragrant smell and robust flavours. 

Okay, for my stir fried chicken with Sarawak laksa, you will need the following main ingredients as well. Garlic, shallots and lemongrass. 

Half portion of chicken, chopped into biteable size
50g Sarawak laksa paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 shallots, sliced
2 lemongrass stalk, bruised lightly and sliced
2 tbsp cooking oil
50 ml water or more
4 tbsp coconut milk
Salt to taste

1. In a wok, heat up the cooking oil. Saute the garlic, shallots and lemongrass until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
2. Add in the chicken parts, cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until chicken is half cooked. 
3. Toss in the Sarawak laksa paste and water. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes till chicken is thoroughly cooked. 
4. Add some more water if it dried up or you wanted more gravy to the dish. 
5. Add in the coconut milk and salt to taste. Let it simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes. 

Do give this recipe a try. You may enjoy it very much. I love this chicken dish; it goes so well with white rice.  

Monday, February 22, 2021

A bit of this and that

Most of the time during CNY, we took it easy and I did not cooked much other than on the Eve.

On 1st day of CNY, we stayed at home, catching up on Chinese dramas. We had mee suah chicken soup for breakfast and then lunch and dinner consisted of these below.

I heated up the leftover from the Eve, ie roasted chicken.  

I bought some braised pork trotter before the CNY, so we had that too. 

I took out a pack of big prawns and steamed them with just ginger, garlic and Chinese wine. Very fresh and sweet. 

I got this ready-to-eat jellyfish from my mom. 2 packs given by her during our reunion lunch and I used up 1 pack on 2nd day of CNY lunch. 

Product of Sarawak. The jellyfish was nice, very crunchy. Just add in the seasoning and dressing that packed in the pack and toss in some crushed peanuts, it is ready to be consumed! 

Of course that was our appetizer! Our main course was steamboat on the 2nd day. 

CNY snacking was unavoidable during holiday. Everyone was busy snacking on this and that. 

I fried prawns and fish keropok this year, so the kids had been busy digging into the tin and most of the keropok was gone by 2nd day!! 

It has been very warm this CNY. Plus with our air-con was switched on almost the whole day, we tried keep cool with some mung bean soup. Too much of snacking and eating, so a nice, cool dessert to cool ourselves. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

One of the few

Last Wednesday, hubby and I went to Desa Wira market to get our meat and vegetable supplies for the Lunar New Year. 

As expected, this small neigbourhood commercial centre cum wet market was packed with people. Even the coffee shops were quite full. 

After a quick buying, we picked up this place out of few coffee shops around for breakfast. I settled for a bowl of kolo mee hoon from this Thong Shun Kolo Mee shop. Old-school taste, just alright for me. 

Meanwhile my man ordered kueh chap cheng from the next door coffee shop, Mui Tat Economy Shop. RM8 for this lovely kueh chap cheng. Mild in taste just like how we liked it. 

For the kids, we tapau the kolo mee from Thong Shun. By the time we got home, the kids were still sleeping. As expected, it was school holiday for them so they did not need to get up so early. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

In the can

My man bought few of these South Africa's canned abalones last month. 2 flavours, one is brown sauce and another is clear soup. Around RM30 per can. 5 pieces in a can. 

And then just early this month, he bought few more cans again from the same friend. Also in brown sauce but bigger abalones. 3 pieces in a can. I used one of this for our reunion dinner. 

It is very simple to prepare. Just take out the abalones from the can and pour the sauce in a sauce pot. Heat up the sauce. Directly pour the sauce onto the abalone. Serve warm. 

Brown sauce

Size of the 3 abalones

Abalones in brown sauce

On first day of CNY, I tried the abalones in clear soup for dinner. 

It had 5 smaller abalones in the can. The broth wasn't clear as it stated. 

So, again I boiled the soup first. When it boiled, I tossed in the abalones, let them heat up for few seconds before turned off the heat. 

I steamed some broccoli and arranged them in a bowl with the abalones and pour some of the soup on them. 

My personal opinion?? I liked the brown sauce better. Must immediately enjoy the abalones while they are warm. 

We have few more cans in the pantry. Will devour them slowly. Next indulgence of abalone would be on Chap Goh Mei. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

On our reunion table

This year, I cooked reunion dinner for the family.

Planned for 6pm dinner, so I started to cook at 4pm. Preparation took longer time than actual cooking! 

We received this big white pomfret (or is it silver pomfret) from hubby's friend last week. So we had it steamed with garlic, ginger, tomato and tamarind. 

Another gift from hubby's colleague, shark fin!! She also bought us a container of frozen crab meats and clams to go with the shark fin, so I cooked shark fin soup that evening. 

I followed Rasa Malaysia's Chinese roast chicken for my chicken dish and it turned out great although mine wasn't properly glazed. Taste-wise, it was nice. 

Hubby's favourite childhood food during CNY. Breaded scallop! We got a pack of 15 breaded surimi scallop last December from Jakar when we bought the sio bee. Everyone enjoyed this pan-fried scallop very much. 

Leek is one of the must-have during CNY, so I made this leek with fish maw and carrot. Not the kids' favourite dish apparently as it mostly went into my and hubby's tummies. Lol. 

My homemade pork ngoh hiang. I made and freeze few ngoh hiang a couple days prior to the eve.  I took out 2 ngoh hiang and fried it for our dinner.

Lastly was abalones in brown sauce. Rare dish on our table. I will blog about this delicacy more in my next post. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Last Sunday

Last Sunday, while we walked passed our residence clubhouse. A minimal CNY decoration was spotted at the hall. 

Cute cows sticker and a pot of cherry blossom in front of a dark backdrop. Of course, yours truly could not resist not to snap a shot or two. Nothing extravagant but it was nice gesture of the management office to put something up to lift up the festive mood.

In mid-morning, we went out to pay a visit at my father-in-law's grave. The rain came pouring pretty heavy in the morning but luckily it stopped when we reached the cemetery in Siburan.

Along the way, we stopped by at 688 in Jalan Tun Jugah to buy some flowers and candles. 

We spent few minutes at the cemetery before we drove back. Along the way home, the traffic was pretty heavy. Maybe because it was the weekend before CNY, so many cars were on the road. 

While in the car, I ordered our lunch. Food from Sugarbun! Of course, the kids were the most excited bunch to know that their lumch was from Sugarbun. 

The rest of the day, we stayed and relaxed at home. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Different affair

CNY is this Friday! Are you ready for it?

This year would be a very different affair at home for us. No big celebration, and my mum-in-law is not coming over to Kuching due to MCO in Kapit. 

This year I will be cooking something for the reunion dinner at home. However we will be having a reunion lunch on the eve at my parents' house. 

Hubby bought 2 kg of big prawns home the other day and I had done cleaning and deveining them. If you ask what would be my menu for reunion dinner, I have a menu in my mind. Maybe I will stick to it or maybe not. We will see when the day comes. I promise that I will blog about it then. 

No malls hopping and shopping for new attires this year. All our CNY clothings were bought online.  I even got myself and Jan few footwear from online shop. 

And no, we would not be overloaded ourselves with snacks, cookies and canned drinks this year. We only bought the stuff that we enjoy.  

We received gift of butter cookies and pineapple rolls from a friend last month. I have been enjoying the pineapple rolls since then as I could not resist it. 

Other gifts from hubby's friends. More goodies to munch on! 

And another tub of pineapple roll from another friend. I am overloaded with it this year!! 

I have a thing for pineapple tarts or rolls and I only buy them on CNY so it is an indulgence for me once a year. I bought this (RM30), snowy milk balls (RM28) and cornflake with raisin and cranberry cookies (RM25) from a friend, to show a little support to her.

Not much spring cleaning as I am busy with kids' homeschooling and they themselves have their hands full every weekdays. 

For the coming festive season, we will be staying as much as indoor as possible. Strict SOP on house visiting so we would not be visiting or inviting anyone over. Psst, can save a lot on ang pow money too!! Lol! 

Hope everyone has a safe and as happy as possible a holiday season!