Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PEA'S FARM

[Before I start, please note that I have named my veggie patch as Pea's Farm, small but is slowly growing...]

After my successful batch of home-grown Hong Kong Choy Sum, I was even more determined to make good use of my veggie patch. I went to Tesco and grabbed more variety of vegetable seedlings and pray hard that it will grow. I do have this habit of checking my veggie patch every morning before going to work and every evening when I reach home.
Imagine my excitement when I see something tiny cracked out from the earth one fine morning. Anyway, these are the latest addition to my Pea's Farm (I am so gonna make a signage to put at my farm)

Baby Nai Bak... infant version of Bak Choy? Very crunchy and sweet. Don't they just look yummy?? Stir fry with lots of garlic and a dash of fish sauce. Yum yum...those baby nai bak I had before never tasted so good than those from Pea's Farm.
Baby Nai Bak

I have not come across any Malaysians who doesn't like Kangkung (tell me if you are one), Kangkung is also known as water convolvulus to some or morning glory in Thailand. Thanks to my mum-in-law, she told me not to harvest the whole plant but simply cut off the stem as the plant will regrow!!! So from a packet of seedlings that costs less than RM2, now I have unlimited supply of Kangkung. This will remain a long time resident of Pea's Farm!
Kangkung

Can you guess what plant is this??? Carrots!!! I have no idea when to harvest this so I think I am gonna leave it for another month or two. *Pea, Jieh Jieh make you heart-shaped carrots again yah*
Carrots

Shue Miu or potato leaves....another Malaysians favourite. Extremely easy and fast to grow. Stir fry it with sambal belacan or fermented beancurd (Fu Yue) and cili padi....yumzzz!!! Been growing this for months and I already had countless plates out from this patch. Permanent resident of Pea's Farm!
Shue Miew

Lastly, the Japanese cucumbers which grows better and BIGGER in Setia Alam..cool eh?? This I admit is Hubby's effort although I do play an important role from time to time, ahem..by watering the plant. The size of the cucumbers was amazing and it produces so many fruits at one go. Best eaten raw for its natural sweetness.
Cucumbers

Now now, what should I grow next??

Friday, April 24, 2009

HING KET GRILL HOUSE @ Kampung Jawa, Klang

Thanks to Julian Si of Jules Eating Guide in Malaysia, now I have discovered another great eating place in Klang. In fact, most of my subsequent food posts will be featuring eateries in Klang. Today, I shall rave about my most favourite find, Hing Ket Grill House which is located at Kampung Jawa, Klang. Where? Scroll to the bottom of this post for direction, but WAIT!! Read on first, scroll down later.

Kampung Jawa seems to be a Malay kampung (village) area so it was quite a surprise to find a busy and packed Chinese restaurant located along a dusty main road, right opposite a mosque (use this as a landmark). The house which is converted into restaurant is quite big. One can choose to sit at the open-air area or the main dining area with ceiling fan or the small air-conditioned area. The grill area is located right in front of the shop, whereas other non-grilled items are whipped up at their back kitchen.
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Three different sauces were placed on our table upon seated. Fiery hot chili sauce both with and without belachan (shrimp paste) and mint sauce for their specialty grilled lamb.
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Fried Tong Fun or Glass Noodle is one of their recommended dish. Needless to say, it was in our must-order list. Priced at RM10 which I assumed it was for 3 pax, the tong fun texture was perfect!! Full of wok-hei and very tasty! Usually I tend to limit myself with tong fun because of indigestion problem, but I just couldn't help myself to 2nd helpings..ok, make it 3!
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We wanted to try their tapioca noodle but was told it was not available that day. Lady boss recommended stir-fry yam noodle (RM10) instead. It was stir-fry with black sauce, similar to Hokkien noodle version. I didn't quite like it as the texture of the yam noodle was flat. I prefer tapioca noodle with the chewy QQ texture.
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Lala Meehoon (Vermicelli with clams) was quite good too. Despite a little too tiny, the clams were fresh and sweet. Bonus point is, they are quite generous with the ingredients. This was also priced at RM10. If you ask me, go for the Fried Tong Fun!
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The Or Chien or Oyster Omelet priced at RM12 was surprisingly good. Purely omelet version without the gluey starch. Most importantly, the oysters were fresh and juicy! Good stuff especially dipped into their spicy chili sauce. This will going to be my repeat order on my next visit.
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Ahhhh...another yummy dish we had was the Salt Baked Prawns (RM19.00). It was cooked to perfection! At this point in time, we concluded that the chef at the back kitchen really rocks! We couldn't wait to come back again to try all the other items in their menu. Now, what about the grilled stuff???
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I read that Grilled Lamb is their specialty and according to Julian, it is priced at RM9 per piece. I thought the portion is quite small for that price so I suggested to order 3 pieces to try. When it was served, honestly I was not impressed at all. It looked a bit dry. I was so wrong. One bite and everyone gave thumbs up! It was soooo well marinated and tasty! It was juicy and very very tender. Oooo...the most delicious part was of course, the sinful piece of crispy fats. The mint sauce surprisingly very good too! We ended up ordering additional 3 more pieces. Looking at my bill, they charged us RM45 for the lamb so it came up to RM7.50 per piece. Not sure if they have calculated wrongly, but I will definitely ask them on my next visit.
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One bowl of white rice please!! Hubby couldn't resist from ordering rice to go with the Baked Assam Stingray (RM13). Five of us ended up sharing a small bowl of rice to go with the gravy. Personally, I find the gravy a bit on the sweet side and not spicy enough. No kick! For your information, I am still yearning for hot hot spicy food since I came back from Humen.
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From the saucy version, we ordered another portion of stingray but this time it was grilled with curry powder. A HUGE piece of stingray priced at RM18. Very meaty and satisfying!
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Priced at RM14.40 for 4 pieces, all the boys gave big thumbs up for the perfectly grilled sotong (squid).
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Lastly, the Deep Fried Crullers (char kway/you tiao) stuffed with squid paste (RM6).
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I didn't like the taste of the squid paste. If I am not wrong, they must have added my most hated artificial crabstick into the paste. Very artificial taste...not good not good. Maybe it was just me because the boys enjoyed it though.
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Not a bad coverage for a first visit eh?? A total of 11 dishes (2 orders of lamb) for 5 adults came up to RM157.00. A very reasonable price to pay for such great food. Also do read Julian's post on this great place HERE. His plate of crabs was such a killer!!! I shall have that next visit!!!

For those who are interested to give this place a try, do jot down the information below.
Hing Ket Grill House
Lot 3569 Batu 3¼
Kampung Jawa, 41000 Klang
Tel: 03-3371.3913 or 3371.0861
Opening Hours: 11.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.; 5.30 p.m. - 10.30 p.m.

As for the direction, as copied from Julian's blog:
Described as: Not far from Connaught Bridge TNB Power station
Directions: Courtesy of food.malaysiamostwanted.com
It is located off the main road along Kampung Jawa, Klang.
1) If you come from Federal Highway, after toll, go straight. 1st viaduct, go up.
2) At roundabout, turn left. (condos in front).
3) When you reach traffic lights, take left. There’ll be shoplots on the left. Go straight.
4) At traffic lights, turn right.
5) You’ll come to a T-junction, turn left there.
6) Travel down that road, quite a distance.
7) Shop is on your right so you’ll have to keep a lookout (at a curvy part of the road).
8) This shop is sandwiched btw a house and another shop.(the whole area is called Kampung Jawa)

Still not sure how to go?? Hahaha...invite me along and I will bring you there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I AM 6.....by PEA

Jieh Jieh came down early morning and gave me a big cuddle and a big big kiss on my nose...and I knew my special day is here again. Jieh Jieh said I turned 6 today..that means I am 42 in human years! I think I should start calling Jieh Jieh as "Mui Mui"!

Jieh Jieh said no toys for me this year as Bratty Pumpkin always snatches toys away from me. Jieh Jieh compensated by cooking me something very yummy this year. Chicken Liver Stew!
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Jieh Jieh decided to throw in some garlic to make my chicken liver more flavourful. First, she boiled a few spoonful of water to soften the garlic.
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She poured the sliced liver and carrots into the pot and cooked for 5 minutes.
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Jieh Jieh took my bowl and put it on the kitchen top and spent 10 minutes assembling my dinner. I have no idea what she was doing. I kept wishing that she would hurry up and serve me dinner.
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Waahh...Jieh Jieh made me heart shape carrots!!! Bratty Pumpkin didn't get any...neh neh neh neh neh!!
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It was soooo yummy! It's even better than the chicken drumsticks I had for my previous birthdays! Jieh Jieh, can I have this every day????
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Deeee...licious!!!!!!!
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Jieh Jieh upgraded on my birthday muffin too! Apple Oats Muffin from Starbucks!! Now Pumpkin, beat that!!!! Neh neh neh neh neh....
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I only have a quarter of the muffin. So deeeee...licious!!! It was so soft and moist. Bratty Pumpkin had a quarter too. Jieh Jieh said we cannot have too much as the muffin was too oily for us. Bummer!!
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It was so yummy....I definitely had a wonderful BurppDay today!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

WONDERFUL SUPPER @ HUMEN

From the moment we arrived in Humen, Hubby's friend kept raving about the oysters he had in his previous trips. He said it's dirt cheap and delicious. We were of course delighted when he kept assuring us that he will bring us there for supper. Despite the light drizzle on our first night, we went ahead with our plan. I don't think we could sleep thinking of the oysters if we didn't go.

This open-air hawker place is located not too far from our hotel. We were spoilt with choices as there were simply too many stalls to choose from. We (Hub and I) just didn't know where to start! The rest of them were really focused, they aimed for the oysters!

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While the rest went to look for a table, Hubby and I were glued to this stall. Hubby was attracted by the braised brisket and tendons while I was salivating over the stewed radish! We didn't expect it would taste so good. The soft juicy radish was the best as it absorbed all the flavour from the gravy. Dipped with the super chili oil...ahhh...I flew to heaven and came back down for more! Oooh...the taufupok or tofu puffs did a good job in absorbing all the rich flavour too! For this, we came back the next night for more.
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Taadaaaa...presenting to you, the dish we came here for.....grilled oysters!! Topped with generous amount of garlic and super duper spicy chili paste, it was good! Plump and juicy! Of course, no one dare to eat it fresh, I don't think the locals do too. But with so much chilies on it, no bacteria would be spared! Having this on a rainy chilly night was simply perfect to end the day. Anyway, the first stall we had on the first night was so-so, but the 2nd night (photos below) rocks!!!
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Steamed Gwai-Fah fish with chili and lots of it was good too! First time having Gwai-Fah fish and it was really fine and smooth. Look at the generous amount of chili oil.....yes, it was super duper HWAT...but like I said earlier, it was raining and slightly chilly, so this really warmed us up.
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The waiter recommended a shellfish dish to us in which the name was unheard of. The moment the dish was served, we were like "Ooohh...Lala"! Nonetheless, we were quite satisfied with the sweet tasting lala.
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For once, we managed to order a non-spicy dish! Salt-baked prawns served on a claypot filled with coarse salt. The prawn skewers were wrapped with aluminum foil buried right in the middle of the claypot. Err..looks like joss-stick on pot hor?? Surprisingly, the prawns were good. We didn't need to remove the shell as it was so crispy. We could taste the natural sweetness of the prawns as it was very lightly seasoned with salt. Goes so well with beer. Big thumbs up from us.
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I have heard many people raving about duck tongue but I never have a chance to try it. Never did I expect my trip to Humen would be so fruitful. A plate of deep fried salt pepper duck tongue was placed in front of me.
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Initially I was a bit skeptical to try as I felt a bit squirmish looking at it. But hey, I have tried bugs in Thailand before and no tongue is going to stop me...and yes, I lurveee duck tongue now. Hard to describe the unique flavour of the tongue. All I can say is, it is indeed very very tasty! Do we have this dish in KL?
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Lastly, grilled squid we saw from a stall by the roadside. Heavily seasoned with spices....I find it so-so. The after taste of the hot spices irritated my throat, plenty of water needed after having this.
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And this completes my journal of my 3 days 2 nights trip to Humen. I was so sad as I almost get to go for a 2nd trip in early May but we found out that it clashes with some family reunion. Oh well, nothing is more important than my family coming back from Melbourne...woohoo..and yes, it means MORE MORE MORE food exploration coming soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

RED HOT CHILI PEPPER....Humen Specialty!

Again, Humen amazes me...the food I had here were simply delicious! Blame it on my lousy Beijing and Shenzhen trips I had before, I wasn't quite impressed with China, so much so, my expectation was set to the lowest. But Humen totally changed my mind.....read on and you will understand the reason why...

# 1 - I FEEL SO @ HOME
I was surprised when Hubby told me the locals here love Malaysian food especially curry. I expected it to be very mild and diluted in taste but I was so wrong after having my lunch at Hubby's friend's restaurant which is located just right in front of our hotel. Yes....my first meal here was Malaysian food!!! Cooked by a Malaysian chef based in Humen, I tell you, this plate of curry chicken with potatoes rocks! The moment I put a spoonful of gravy into my mouth, I grinned and exclaimed to Hubby "It tastes exactly like my recipe!!". Thick, rich and flavourful...and very spicy!
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The chef whipped up a pot of Fish Head Curry for us to try and comment. Although I find the gravy a tad too sourish, the fish head was really good. The meat was soft and fine in texture.
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Another dish for us to try, Prawn Noodle aka Mee Yoke. Lack of prawn flavour and I was too busy attacking the curry chicken to even pay attention to this bowl of noodle. Well, for those who are interested to make this at home, do try
my recipe for richer and tastier broth. 3

CRABS!! My all-time favourite food!!! I really didn't expect to have crabs for lunch! Using the same curry paste as the chicken, it was used to cook the crab. Hubby said he prefers the chicken version whereas I enjoyed both! If I didn't have so much rice earlier, I would have taken some buns offered to us to wipe this plate clean!
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I spotted soup in the menu and I just couldn't resist such comfort food especially when it was raining mostly throughout our trip. Don't ask me what are those black fungus thingy cos I have no idea. It might be some kind of mushroom as the soup has got some woody taste.
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#2 - HUNAN CUISINE AKA XIANG CAI

I was told one of the specialty in Humen is Hunan cuisine
湖南菜 or also known as Xiang Cai 湘菜 which is well known for its hot spicy flavour. You can get more information on Hunan cuisine here. The Hunan restaurant we went to is a big restaurant with many branches. I didn't manage to get the name or the address as everything was in Chinese. Also, they didn't allow me to take any photos of their food, so I guess no point to do any further publicity for them. Anyway, I still managed to take some photos before and after I was stopped..hehehe! The first dish below was Spicy Frog Legs, a very colourful and aromatic dish. One bite and I was hooked! Their level of spiciness way exceeds our Malaysian tastebud. Even for a chili lover like me I find the dishes here wayyy tooo hooot!!
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But after a few bites, my tastebud seems to adjust to the heat. The lotus roots braised with soya sauce was so tasty. Crunchy and rich with soya flavour and yes, it's super spicy! Such a simple dish yet so yummy, I hope I can recreate this dish at home.
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Three yummy dishes in a row...I love Hunan cuisine! The Stir Fry Mushrooms with Pork Slices was wonderful too. It was full of wok hei (essence imparted from the wok) and yes, it's so spicy, you can feel your tongue burning! We were grabbing tissues at this point in time to clear our nostril and the sweat on our face but the dishes were so addictive, we keep on going for more......
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If not mistaken, this is the famous Water Cooked Fish....super duper HWAAATT!!! A layer of red hot chilies were hidden beneath the sliced scallions. The fish was cooked to perfection with 3Ss...Soft, Sweet and Smooth!! Actually the gravy would go so well with a bowl of steaming white rice!
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# 3 - I LOVE SZECHUAN CUISINE MOST!!!
Szechuan cuisine 四川菜 is quite popular in Humen too and the restaurant that we went to really rocks! I was totally in love with the first dish, an appetizer made of wood ear fungus. Very pungent and I could taste very strong garlic flavour, sesame oil and coated with chilies. Of course, the infamous Szechuan peppercorns were added for the tingly-numbing effect. A handful of raw crunchy peanuts were thrown in too. It took only one piece of the wood ear fungus to numb your tongue. The numbing effect started off right in the middle of my tongue...and as I put more into my mouth, within minutes, my tongue became totally numb. 10

I didn't quite like the steamed spare ribs as I tasted a layer of flour coating the meat. I suspect it was battered and deep fried before being steamed.
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Crunchy french beans soaked in chili oil topped with lots and lots of garlic, chilies and peppercorns....it was actually very very tasty!!
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I don't know how to translate this dish into English, but for those who understand Chinese, this is a very famous Szechuan dish named as Fuqi Feipian (夫妻肺片). It consists of thinly sliced boiled beef brisket and tripes drizzled with the same spicy sauce consisting of chilies, garlic, sesame seed oil and peppercorn. Wanna guess who insisted of ordering this dish? 14

The waitress recommended us their specialty noodle dish. I quite enjoyed the chewy translucent noodle. Initially I find the soup too spicy...but as my tongue went totally numb, I drank one whole bowl of soup without feeling a thing!

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You must be wondering by now if I suffer any side effect from being overdosed with chillies. Amazingly, nothing. No sore throat, no constipation, no tummy upset. Maybe it was the beer...we had so many bottles of it to cool our body.
Maybe the cool and rainy weather helps too! Food here is cheap...4 dishes of appetizers and 3 bowls of noodles with 2 bottles of beer came up to only RM60 for the 6 of us.
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After my Humen trip, I noticed that my chili intake has increased. I was searching for spicy food to satisfy my cravings the first couple of days after I am back home. Anyone could recommend me any good Szechuan restaurant in KL or PJ?

Anyway, do drop by again for my last post on Humen to find out what I had for supper, TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!

 

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