Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Craps..Oppsss..I mean Crabs!

Going through some old photos with Hubby one night, we were amazed over the collection of crabbies we had for the past 2 years. No wonder Hubby's cholesterol sky rocketed after he met me. And so he suggested why not a post on all the crabs I had...not a bad idea eh? Too many crabs picture to choose from...so I shall select a few of my favourites.

#1 A Simple Homecooked MudCrabs
Occasionally, a Malay guy would turn up at the SS2 wet market with 2 big rattan baskets of mudcrabs all the way from Kuala Selangor. Quite cheap too, about RM12 - 13 per kilos depending on the sizes. One thing to bear in mind though, if you want to catch him, you must be there before 7.30 a.m. as the MBPJ usually do their rounds around 8.00 a.m. Opps..yah..forgot to mention, he does not have licence to trade...that is why he can sell it at such low price. You can still get crabs from the normal fish stalls but the price would be doubled. By the way, am quite psycho cos I loves killing crabs, dunno why. I prefer my crabs to be steamed with garlic, chinese cooking wine and a dash of soya sauce for maximum sweetness. Yumzz.

#2 Conned Crab
This curry crab which I had in Bangkok was a memorable for the wrong reason. We got CONNED!!! We wanted to go to this Somboon Restaurant which was highly recommended for this dish but we were driven by a tut-tut driver to a bungalow converted nameless restaurant instead. I wouldn't mind if the high price was compensated by good taste but it was basically tasteless. Such a waste for a nice big juicy crab.

#3 Flower Power
Flower crabs...the crab species I least fancy as I find the meat texture not as bouncy as mud crab. However, it does power up sweetness of the gravy, like the one we had in the photo below at Unique Seafood Restaurant. I remembered my brother in law used to tell me, flower crab meat is nice to sweeten the taste especially steamed egg. In conclusion, he said that flower crab is best used as compliment to other ingredients instead of being the main dish. Ahh...we talk like a crab specialist isn't it?

#4 Hot Hot Claypot
Claypot Crab with Glass Vermicelli....got to say this is one of the unique dish i tasted in Bercham, Ipoh. The soup was good and full of sweetness of the crab, but guess what else they put into the soup? Slices of Bacon!! No wonder so full of Ommpphhh!!!

#5 Double-Up the Cholesterol
Salted egg yolks=very nice but cholesterol very high. Crabs=yummy but also cholesterol very high. Hence, Salted Egg Yolk Crabs = Sinfully Yummy. Used to be my favourite style until I discovered Butter Crab (refer to #9) from King Crab Restaurant. The photo below was taken at Unique Seafood Restaurant, however I prefer Greenview Restaurant's (Sin Chew Jit Poh roundabout) version.

#6 Once-a-year Delicacy
Hairy Crab is a famous delicacy in Shanghai cuisine and is only available during Autumn season. Believes to be cooling to the body, either wine or ginger tea would be served to balance the yin and yang in the body. The price of the crab varies according to origin, weight and gender. Last year, Hubby treated me to this delicacy at King Crab for my birthday dinner. Priced from RM48 to RM100++ per piece, I got to say it's a bit pricey for the little amount of roe. They do have a little bit of meat which I very determined to dig out since it's soo expensive.

Yummy roe, best dipped in vinegar with shredded ginger

#7 Drown with Beer
I am so fortunate for having such a great cook as brother-in-law. During one of our visits, he bought these two fierce-looking Snow Crabs from the seafood wholesaler for half the normal price. I volunteered to kill the crab but as you can see, the crabs were not tied...and I might not have the strength to chop my way through.
According to bro-in-law, best way to cook is to steam it with Toohey's beer, Australia's local beer. He said it doesn't taste as nice using other brands. He put some glass vermicelli underneath the crabs...ooo....it was sooo good after it absorbed all the essence from the crabs.

#8 Itsy Bitsy Spider

The first time I ever come across spider crabs was at Unique Seafood Restaurant. Huge and fierce-looking and so far, it's the most expensive crab I ever eaten. The one we ordered was slightly less than 3 kgs (including cooking charges, approximately RM600++). Strongly suggest to order the crab if you have a table of 8-10 people.
The spider crab was cooked two way, salted egg yolk and braised in superior stock (photo below). Half way through the salted egg yolk only then I realised that I forgot to snap a photo of it. Sigh! It was indeed very good and meaty, even the legs were like claws, chunks and chunks of meat. DELICIOUS!!

#9 Current Craze
Ever since I tried the Claypot Butter Crab from King Crab Restaurant, I was hooked to this dish. Creamy and yet not too heavy with aromatic curry leaves, got to say this dish will stay in my favourite list for quite some time, of course, right until I discovered another tasty crab dish.

#10 Most Memorable Crabby Moment
While Hubby and I was strolling down the Esplanade in Cairns, Queensland, we saw a glass tank in front of a restaurant with giant mud crabs raising its claws whenever passerby stopped to peep at them. The restaurant was packed so it must be good and hence, we decided to try it out. Priced at AUD60 (approximately RM170 for a plate below) and an hour waiting time, the giant mud crab came with rice as well as a big bowl of tropical fresh fruits. The claw is as big as my palm!!!
I was a bit upset when I saw my crab was cooked with creamy mushroom sauce. Surprise surprise, it tasted so good and not a drop of gravy wasted. I find it really healthy to wash down what we ate with a big bowl of fruits. Definately this is the most memorable crab dish I ever had from all my travellings.

So, are you feeling crabby now??

Sunday, February 25, 2007

On da 7th Day of Chinese New Year

The 7th day of Chinese New Year is referred to as "Yan Yat" meaning everyone's birthday. My mum used to make congee with sliced fish to celebrate this special day but now that she is no longer around, we don't practice this tradition anymore.

Hubby and I was in KL town today, cos we got an appointment with the migration agent to submit our PR application. And today is also the first initial payment was made. Excited yet full of worries..but I guess wait till our PR is approved then only start worrying of starting life anew.

Since we already in town and it was almost dinnertime, we drove to Jalan Alor area to hunt for food to ease our growling tummy since we skipped lunch today. As usual, Hubby craved for Beef Noodle from Ngau Kee at Tengkat Tong Shin but I was more keen on having grilled chicken wings from Wong Ah Wah Restaurant at Jalan Imbi. Being pure gluttons, we compromised!! Beef Noodlefirst then Chicken Wings later!! Hahaha!

The unlimited pot of chilli sauce was really a welcoming sight once we were seated. Good chilli sauce does wonder to a dish.

Mine, all mine!!

While Hubby had Dried Lou Shue Fun, I had dried egg noodle. I love their minced meat which if not mistaken is minced pork and not beef cos i overhead the boss telling the lady at the next table. Speaking of next table, 3 ladies were having their dinner there and two of them actually doesn't take beef and was talking rather loudly their reasons for not taking beef. Hmmm...funny lor...so many other choices in that area and if you don't eat beef, then why go to a stall which specialised in beef noodle leh?

Hubby's bowl My bowl

The soup today was exceptionally beefy and Hubby loved it so much until he finished my share!

Next stop, Wong Ah Wah Restaurant at Jalan Alor which is really famous for its chicken wings! I tried their dishes once when we treated our guests from Melbourne here last year. Apart from chicken wings and dished with rice, they also offers pork dumpling (sui kow), yong tau foo, satay, grilled seafood and many many more.

A very thick menu

The chicken wings (RM1.90 per piece) were fantastic! The succulent wings were crispy outside, juicy inside. Heavenly good!

Grilled Chicken Wings..my favourite!

The Sambal Belachan Kang Kung (RM10) was good too.

We also ordered the Kam Heong Cockles (RM10) which came in Extra Small serving!! So small until you cannot believe it! Gravy was superb but the cockles were not fresh so we requested it to be changed, and they did, rather unwillingly though. They kept argued that it's fresh and taste like that. Duh! You think I first time eating cockles issit?????

They exchanged the cockles with Kam Heong Lala which also came in XS size. Anyway...very tasty but I still prefers cockles than lala. Sigh!

Guess what? In my microwave now, there are 5 pieces of grilled chicken wings and two big packets of mixed beef. Hubby tarbau-ed for supper as he will be staying up late for football tonite. Not that I am complaining..*wink wink*!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

On the 6th Day of Chinese New Year

Not a special occasion, but I was requested to cook dinner since my dad, aunt and uncle headed up to Genting this morning and will only be back during dinnertime. I whipped up 3 dishes within half an hour...and I was really satisfied with my performance tonite from just looking at them wallop up my dish within seconds, okay, a bit exaggering, maybe within 5 minutes?

My aunt bought a red tilapia and initially I wanted to steam it 'Cheong Ching' style (taucu & chilli version) but I ran out of taucu. Luckily I stocked up lemongrass and ginger leaf in my freezer and so I decided to make Assam Sauce. All you got to do is to blend the lemongrass, ginger leaves, garlic, shallots...heat up in the wok with oil...then add in seasoning and tamarind juice. The Assam sauce turned out amazingly delicious!!!! Everyone praised that the sauce was really good *grinning proudly*
To prove that I am not self-praising or self-boasting of my creation, I took a picture of the plate as proof. My cousin actually finished off the remaining gravy on the plate after i took this picture.

My cousin requested for my Honey Soya Sauce Prawns but I was too lazy to deep-fried the prawns so I opted for an easier and healtier alternative which is also my all-time favourite, Steamed Prawns with Garlic and Shaoxing wine. It's a best way to enjoy the sweetness of the prawns.

My aunt also tar-bau roast pork from the market. The skin was still crunchy even though she bought it in the morning. Dipped in soya sauce...yummmzzz!!

Lastly, a veggie dish to balance our meal: Boiled Tung Ho (I have no idea what it is called in English). It's my favourite veggie whenever I have steamboat..slurps!

So happy that everyone enjoyed the meal, really worth my every sweat in the kitchen. Craving for frog porridge now..how how how? Tomorrow lunch maybe?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Seafood Hotpot (Minus da Pot)

After ransacking my fridge to see what ingredients I have, I found I still have boxes and boxes of seafood bought from Kuala Selangor about 3 weeks ago. Hmm...so I decided to cook seafood hotpot. Using the scallops and squids, I also added some Japanese tofu, sweet peas, black wood fungus and enoki mushrooms and onions. At first I wanted to cook this dish using claypot but due to the hassle of cleaning it after the meal, I decided to just use my wok, which doesn't take any much difference. I believes cooking in claypot is only nice if you use charcoal or woodfire...more authentic!

The ingredients....
For the sauce, I used oyster sauce, soya sauce, sugar, fish sauce and a dash of sesame oil. Shaoxing wine strongly recommended but I ran out of it...sigh!
Blanch the snowpea and wood fungus for about 1 minute
Pan-fried both sides of the japanese tofu till golden brown.
Heat the wok, dump in the onion and garlic, then put in the squids and scallops and stir fry about 30 seconds.
Pour in remaining ingredients and pour in the sauce and stir well.
Tada.....a very yummy plate of Seafood Hotpot (minus the pot)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sambal Sardine

There is an Indian restaurant (I will blog about it someday) near my place which serves roti canai with Sambal Sardine...and trust me, the sambal is really delicious. After consulting my Indian colleague on how to cook it, it sounded easy enough for me to try cooking it myself.

Personally, I prefer Ayam Brand Sardine in Tomato Sauce which is slightly more expensive butthe quality is very much better. The steps for making sambal sardine are as follows:

Drain the sauce, deboned and mash the sardine
Pound 3 pieces of garlic
Also prepare 2 tbs of chilli boh and 1 chopped big onion
Heat up the wok, put in 2 tsp cooking oil and stir fry the garlic and chilli boh till fragrant.
Add in the mashed sardines and chopped onions and a bit of salt and sugar. Mix well and dish up.
Tada.....a bowl of sambal sardine, best served with steaming white rice.

Errr...although it looked quite presentable in terms of colour, somehow it doesn't taste the same as the Indian shop. Wonder if they will share with me their recipe...hmm...will ask when i go there again.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chan Kee (Hakka) Restaurant

The Makan Gang met up for a Chinese New Year get-together lunch. My dad also joined for the eating session as he was alone at home. Many restaurants are still closed so we tried our luck at Chan Kee (Hakka) Restaurant at Sunway Mas, near to Kampung Cempaka. Goodie..it was opened and on a hot day like today, you wouldn't want to be in the car touring around looking for a place to eat! This restaurant used to be at Damansara Utama but relocated to this place due to high rental at the former location.

The first dish we ordered was the "Jar Yuk" which I accidentally deleted the photo from my camera. Sigh. Anyway, Jar Yuk is pork belly marinated with fermented red bean curd and then braised with wood fungus. You can easily find this dish from any mixed rice stall. I don't quite fancy this dish though.

Their signature dish, Steamed Wan Yue (Grass Carp) with Minced Ginger Sauce. I find the fish slightly over-cooked and the ginger sauce too overpowering for me but Hubby loves it a lot.

The "Dau Gan Dau Fu" which is actually Braised Japanese Tofu with Beancurd Roll (Dau Gan), am not sure if it's called Beancurd roll but this dish is very common and can find in every chinese restaurant. Got to say the presentation of this dish was quite awful, as can be seen in the picture below. Taste wise, not too bad.

Maybe I had too much meat during the festive season, so I find the Stir-fry broccoli really appetising. Slighty tossed with garlic, and ginger, this broccoli was crunchy and delicious. Yumz.

The last dish was the Steamed Herbal Chicken which I liked the most. The gravy was really good, ended up my bowl of rice was covered with the gravy.,,yummylicious!! The presentation once again was not very appetising...the chicken looks like roast chicken but once you dig in, it's a different story altogether.

The total bill came up to RM100...not too bad considering it's the 3rd day of Chinese New Year and they didn't even mark up the price. Thumbs up!!

On way home, we stopped at this roadside Cendol and Rojak stall at Taman Megah for dessert. Mmm...very refreshing bowl of Cendol for only RM1.50. Perfect way to end a hearty meal.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Oink Oink Year!!!

Couldn't find a cute piggie picture to commensurate with my wishes, so why not feast your eyes with a yummylicious, mouth-watering Suckling Pig instead??

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Prosperous Piggie Year! OINK OINK!

Wong's Family CNY Reunion Dinner

As I will be going back with Hubby to his hometown tomorrow, I cooked a big feast for an early reunion dinner with my dad today and invited my aunt & her family as well. As I was on leave today, I woke up at 7 a.m. and headed to the wet market to get ingredients for the feast tonite. The traffic was crazy...can't even find a parking at 7.30 a.m and the market was super packed!!

Anyway, let me talk about the dishes I cooked tonite. First was the "White Radish & Carrot with Peanuts & Black Eye Beans" which I learnt from my brother-in-law. Actually boiling soup doesn't require any skills, just boil the water and dump in all the ingredients and let it boiled under slow fire for 4 hours. Add salt and that's it.

The ingredients: Chicken Bones/Frames, Peanuts and Black Eye Beans, Dried Longan and Red Dates.
All in one pot..............
After 5 hours of slow-boiling, a very nutritious tasty soup.
I bought a pre-packed Yee Sang for RM24 from Carrefour. Tasted not too bad..and quite big serving too. We didn't manage to finish it as they started attacking other dishes right after tossing the yee sang.
Colourful Yee Sang

It has been a tradition that at each celebration, a steamed chicken dish is a must. The chicken I bought was really good, steamed to perfection. Yummzz!!
Next came the star dish of the night. Honey Soy Sauce Prawns which everyone kept praising. My cousin suggested that I should open a restaurant with this prawn as my signature dish. Haha..not too bad an idea. But got to admit, the sauce was very good. All I did was a few dash of soya sauce, honey, fish sauce, sesame oil and shaoxing wine. Really tasty. Oppss...did I just revealed my trade secret??!!??

Juicy Honey Soy Sauce Prawns

As for spare ribs, I marinated it with fermented red bean curd (nam yue), shaoxing wine, sugar and dark soy sauce for almost 10 hours. Steam it for about 15 minutes and then deep fried it till golden brown. With the remaining sauce, heat it up in the wok, put in corn starch and toss the fried spare ribs till well coated.

Nam Yue Spare Ribs

Lastly, the Mixed Veggie also received lots of compliments, especially from my dad. Ingredients included broccoli, carrot, black wood fungus, white mushroom and squid tossed with oyster sauce.

Mixed Veggies

A very enjoyable meal and it's so satisfying seeing my family enjoyed the dishes I cook. Although am very tired but it's worth it. Speaking of tired, my shoulder aching, back aching, feet aching...not because of the cooking but i also did A LOT of housework today...let me see, wiping, sweeping, vacumming, mopping, changing bedsheets, bathing pea......so so exhausted.

While I headed up to my room to rest, a photo of the 4 Big Heavenly Gamblers (4 Dai Dou Wong) in action.

Zzzzzz....zzzz...snore snore snore.....zzz


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