Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Craving for Wantan Mee and Char Siu

Seems like spring is coming & the sun's coming up! :D

As always in life, there's always a tradeoff, ... there's lots of crazy winds coming up as well which tends to blow you off track on the road. Just remember to apply the Phythagoras' Theorem under these circumstances when cycling (an advice from an economist) :P

Anyways, cravings round 2 hit last week and this time it was Char siu (BBQ roast pork).
I started getting really tired of Western styled breakfasts and in the UK there seems to be only cereal, toasts or the standard English fry ups for breakfast. Running out of ideas and having tried the American pancake solution previously, I'm looking for new stuff & something to look forward to at the start of the day.

And THEN I realized I missed the konlo mee (wantan mee) back home, and so what are we waiting for? Let's do it!

First, there are a few obstacles to overcome. Raw ingredients, i.e. the fresh egg noodles and pak choy which are not available in Sainsbury's or any other non Asian supermarkets basically. Made a trip and bought these before hand in the strive for authenticity of my beloved konlo mee. Since my main aim was more for the char siew, I decided to ignore the wantan (pork/prawn dumplings) this time. So all I needed was noodles, pak choy and char siew.


Maybe ;)

So how on EARTH do I make/get char siu? Having given up all my hopes on getting good char siu in the UK (yes, even London chinese restaurants) as I find them too chewy, hard, tasteless and the general absence of the charred burnt crispy bits at the end. Ok, maybe you can say I'm a bit too meticulous there, but hey, when cravings strike, let's say we only settle with the best (within your means of course!).

So, now that the latter option is extinguished, sounds like it's a fun project of making your own char siu! I've been looking and eyeing on a particular recipe for some time and this sounds like the opportunity to finally experiment and mess about the kitchen, heheh

It's not that difficult, probably more of procedural steps that makes it more time consuming, as it is in Chinese cooking in general. Anyways, to cut the long story short, I'll let the picture do the talking:

This is the 3 pieces of pork shoulder that was marinaded overnight and put into the preheated oven:

This is another upclose snapshot of it after 20 minutes or so of grlling ... I had to open the oven to turn and baste the meat. Check out the SMOKE! LOL, this is definitely my favorite picture

It's surprisingly hard to check whether it's cooked as the marinade has darkened the color of the meat in the first place! This is how it looked once it was done (notice we get the slightly charred burnt bit at the edges :D)

So time to slice up the meat (& a round of tasting session) and making the gravy (not shown) :

Blanch the pak choy and the noodles, seasoned with some sesame oil and dark soy sauce and


A very satisfying dinner with cravings fulfilled :D

Recipe will be up for those who want it, but I will probably post it up next time when I'm free.
Wasted half an hour already and yes, I still have 14 essays waiting for me LOL

What a procrastinator ....

Monday, February 26, 2007

Craving for WTH

Just to clarify, it's Wah Tan Hor (Yin yong?) that I meant :)
It's one of my all time favorite orders at hawker stalls ('tai chow') which does various sorts of fried noodles. Man, now that reminds me of another dish that I miss.

Must be the CNY season, when you are stuck in the room as a permanent essay lab rat, churning essays to feed the greedy supervisors, when you think you deserve all the holiday in the world...

So yes, I manage to get fresh rice noodles (kuey teow) from Chinatown in a recent trip to London and make something up that tastes similar :)

This is a picture of the C&R version of it that I took some time ago, looks very inviting:

This is my version, slightly dry as the kuey teow seems to be absorbing the gravy despite having loads to begin with! Had it with fishballs, pak choy, squids, mussells and some prawns too! Too bad there's not much eggy sauce left , but still made me happy all the same, cravings satisfied!Ack, all these still doesn't help that 14 essays are waiting for me to be done. :S Man, I'm super whiny today :P Hopefully Music & Lyrics can cheer me up tomorrow night!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Malaysia Nite 2007

The CUMaS Malaysia Nite 2007 is unique in its own way, capturing audiences with its minimalist approach :) Kudos to all who worked hard and trained to make it such a roaring success!

It was set as a play within a play, with minimal props (efficient!), heavy makeups (especially the Fairy Godmother), and a simple story depicting the difficulties and turmoil (& of course fun in the end) that one has to go through with the preparation of a Malaysia Nite show, which of course, most of us students can identify with.

You have it all in this play: Romeo and Juliet, sabotage, Indian dance, cat fights (swords and shoes too!), a damsel in distress, an evil 'witch', a dumb jock, cheesy scenes (& lines: You must be tired, because you've been running around in my mind ...), and death all entwined in the story with a twist. Big one. Perhaps it's the rojak of all these that makes up the Malaysian element ;)

The show is even better if you know the characters in person beforehand as this is a prerequisite to enjoy the play (and the spoofs) at a higher level. Nevertheless, it still has the ability of it to appeal to audiences from in and out of Cambridge.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

5th week blues aside ...

These are some of the lovely meals I had not too long ago that I forgot to post up...

Unintentional fusion food creation: mini naan with char siew chicken stirfried with onions

And this delicious one of pork and mushroom in white wine sauce with salad and sweet potato mash as sides :)

Man, I am almost knocked out although it's only halfway through term! Shall cheer myself up with cooking all week after raiding the chinese shops with too much food supply :P

By the way, it's Shrove Tuesday today, so happy flippin' those pancakes!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year :D

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Hey Fatt Choy, & wishing you all a very prosperous year of the Pig!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How appetizing ....

I do know that Selwyn's college food is not bad, and above average compared to many other colleges, but there's always an exception yea?

I was just browsing at the weekly menu to see if there's anything inspiring going on (yesh, don't laugh, it's crucial to avoid "sambal" burger and Malaysian chicken curry attempts), and I came across this for dinner this Friday

Soup Of The Day
A Red Chilli Nightmare & Dirty Rice
B Glazed Chicken Supreme
V Broccoli & Tofu Fried Rice
Chips/New Potatoes
Onion Rings x 4


It definitely sounded nightmarish at the thought of eating unhygienic rice LOL
If I'm not mistaken dirty rice is something from Carribean cuisine, like Jamaican? I don't know, have yet to wikipedia it, any ideas?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rome-ing around (II)

Italian's are pretty hardcore when it comes to caffeine, and take their espresso's seriously. This potent cup of espresso from the famous Sant Eustachio cafe (since 1938, quite a history there) kept me from sleeping for more than 24 hours!

That aside, we did what all Roman do in Rome, by having a good ol' traditional Roman meal after lining up for a bit for this place in Trastevere. A very basic and simple pasta dish first...

accompanied by 2 versions of Roman chicken dishes

Desserts was pine nut slices

but we much preferred the tiramisu! Clowns in Cambridge does a good one as well :)

On our final day in Rome, we were walking the streets and I still had yet to eat my squid ink pasta. Hence popping by a grocery shop to buy some of their colorful dried pasta, and asked a lady for direction to this quaint little cafe with decent food... and got my dose of Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia :D
That was just simply spaghetti in squid ink with a few slices of fried garlic and nothing else. A little bit too much olive oil for my liking, but nevertheless its AWESOME. This is the gnocchi dish by the same cafe as well, perhaps a bit too heavy for me as its really filling. The type of lunch that makes you sleep instantly in the late afternoon haha

And finally in Rome, on the mini buses, I saw this logo and didn't understood it till MUCH MUCH later .... -_-

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ahn Nyong Ha Se Yo!

Phew, this is pretty much a mad term...
just when you thought you finished some work, more comes in lightning speed
After a while you just get paranoid and say "IT'S COMING!"

Anyways, I want to divert from my part 2 of Rome trip postings and talk about Korean food!
Explored one of the new restaurants back home and found this jewel in Subang Jaya called Dae Jong Gum (not sure of the exact spelling, but it's named after the famous Korean series Jewel in the Palace or somethPublish Posting) in Taipan.

This is the set lunch my mom and I had. I had a bowl of potent Kimchi soup with rice, full with meat, seafood, tofu and spices... good stuff and would be perfect for a cold winter's day...
except that I was back home and was melting whilst having it, LOL

And here comes the HUGE array of side dishes, 10 of it, buffet style, as you can request for refill for as many times as you like.

As the restaurant was totally empty as we were the earliest patrons during lunch time, I was too shy to take my camera out to take the pictures. In the midst of it, the Korean lady owner popped by to say hi and thought I was a food reviewer, LOL (sounds like a good hobby). And gave us free complementary Kimchi pancake

Nope, I don't get commissioned here, but just felt that this was probably one of the first Korean restaurant in Msia that has decent standards and reasonable price :)

Bibimbap is another one of my favorites, yet I still prefer Japanese food overall somehow ...