Maybe it’s better this way…

…or at least, it would be a whole lot cheaper, if nothing else.

Well, I’m talking about how I cooked sayur masak lemak (vegetables cooked with santan/coconut milk) aka sayur lodeh the other day. If you click the link here, you would be able to recapitulate how I took the easy way out and did that sometime ago using the made-in-Singapore Prima Taste brand instant laksa paste…and it turned out to be really very good, just like the real thing. The only problem is that the paste is very very expensive here, somewhere around RM16-18.00, don’t play-play! So buying that again is definitely out of the question for this poor old pensioner barely surviving on his measly pension. Sobssss!!!!

Well, I saw this at the shop one day…

ML1

…and though it is not my favourite brand when it comes to instant curry paste, I decided to buy one and try in the hope that it would be the same. I decided to add one stalk of serai, bruised, a few Thai basil leaves from my garden and since I did not have any prawns, a bit of belacan (dried prawn paste) as well. I could not find much around the house and had to make do with some sweet potatoes, bean curd sticks – soaked in boiling water to soften…and some of the fish and mushroom rolls, left over from the steamboat dinner that we had on New Year’s Eve.

I just boiled the serai and belacan in a bit of water and let it simmer for a while to bring out the flavours and then I threw in the sweet potatoes, bean curd stick and fish and mushroom rolls and brought it back to boil. Then I added the paste, santan (coconut milk) and the Thai basil leaves and when it started boiling again, I tried a bit and found it a tad too salty so I add a sprinkling of sugar…and when I tried it again, it was just right!

ML2

So, was it any good? Well, if it is sayur lodeh that you want, I would state in no uncertain terms that this is NOT the paste that you should use. It tasted great! Indeed, it was really very nice…except that it was in no way like what our sayur masak lemak is like. Truth be told, it actually tasted like mee kari (curry noodles) to me – the made-in-Singapore Prima Taste brand or the one from Penang. In fact, I cooked some dried noodles the very next morning to go with it for breakfast and I loved it…a lot!

CM

Well, that went absolutely well with rice too…and to go with it, I also fried some egg white cincaluk (fermented prawns) omelette…

EWCO

Egg white? Yup, that’s right! That’s exactly what I said. You see, my missus used all the yolks to make her Chinese New Year biscuits…

SMM1
*Chinese New Year lanterns at Star MegaMall, Sibu 1*

…and left the white in the fridge so I thought I might as well cook that and eat it up…instead of leaving it sitting in the fridge, exposed to contamination and eggs are rather susceptible to that. I’m sure all of you would agree that it is better this way and at the end of the day, nothing is wasted.

SMM2
*Chinese New Year lanterns at Star MegaMall, Sibu 2*

Yes, we’ve started on the biscuits…

SMM3
*Golden Horse, Chinese New Year decor at Star MegaMall, Sibu*

…and are well on the way in our preparation for Chinese New Year.

What have you all done so far?

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16 thoughts on “Maybe it’s better this way…

  1. I’ve tried the Mak Nyonya paste of Nasi Ayam before. Turn out it looks like Nasi Briyani. :P I love Sayur Lodeh cooked by my father in-law. Originally a Jawanese Sayur Lodeh. I think I should dig the recipe from him.

    I wonder what that tastes like. But if it’s a lot of work, it’s not for me. This one’s good, we all loved it…but it’s not the same.

  2. looks like a lot of spices in the dish. Well, even though it did not turn out exactly the way you wanted it, glad it turned out even better! :D..

    Horses deco are everywhere this year, in malls everywhere.. :D

    We only have one here…or at least, as far as I know.

  3. All looks great and my favourite is the cincaluk omelette & gooey egg. Nice decoration. Over here, it seems quiet. Maybe still too early.

    Too early? It’s less than three weeks away!

  4. So what did your missus bake for CNY? As usual, I make orders from my friends who bake… this year I won’t be buying a lot… just get a few and that is it. Everything increases by 2 to 3 ringgit at least… not worth spending a lot just on cookies…

    Her usual biscuits. Ya…no need for too much of thos e- in the end, I would be th eone finishing everything all up…as lots left over after the new year has gone past. Most people don;t bother to eat much when they drop by – they’d rather have what we serve at our buffet table.

  5. am starting to clear up my stomach space for the CNY goodies! hahaha… Hope the Horsey year does not go galloping wild!

    This one’s facing out…actually Chinese belief, the horse should be galloping in. People nowadays, not so familiar with old traditions and beliefs.

  6. Not much on cny preparations……so many things go on, all done deco done in half way…

    We haven’t started on the decor in the house yet, will do that a couple of days before the day…or else will gather dust only.

  7. hey i have the exactly same packet of paste in belgium here and i haven’t figure out how i should use it yet. lol

    Great for curry mee. Very nice – I certainly would want to cook that again sometimes…maybe with better ingredients like prawns and all.

  8. Maybe one of the day they will ask you to appear in TV for a cooking show…

    I’d look like something the cat dragged in – dripping in my sweat. Muahahahahaha!!!! Now you would not want to eat what I cook already, right? :D

  9. I thought those were sweet potatoes. During planting season, we have them growing in our garden. We had a couple wheelbarrow full of potatoes the past few seasons. I use them in pies, making baked ranch fries, soups and numerous other dishes.

    If I prepare fried eggs, my daughter prefers the egg whites; not the yolk.

    My girl was like that too before – would never eat the yolk so I’d eat that. Love it! :D Yup, that’s sweet potatoes all right. They have those in Malay or ethnic dishes here and they use the mashed sweet potatoes for the curry puff filling. Not too sure of Chinese cuisine, none that I know of really.

  10. The hard boil egg is very well cook…
    The yolk is moist……
    Hope you win big lottery in the horse year….

    They don’t call me an eggs-pert for nothing!!! Eggs-cellent, absolutely perrr-fegg!!! :D ;) Thanks, I sure need a lot of luck!!! Haven’t had a windfall for a long time now.

  11. I guess as long as its tasty, it doesn’t matter if it’s not super authentic.

    It was nice…as a dish of its own…but I would want sayur lodeh once in a while – it’s very nice too…just that I’m too lazy to work from scratch. :(

  12. What have I done so far? Err, not much, actually. I ordered some cookies from a mum who bakes from home… And that’s all! 😬
    Still some cny food stuff to get (just some buah tangan for visiting) and spring cleaning the house! 😬

    Time’s running out – less than three weeks to go. ;)

  13. I love cincaluk omelette. So much cheaper to make them at home than to pay RM10 for an omelette with barely any hint of cincaluk.

    Precisely! Had once at a renowned nyonya restaurant in Malacca – looking for traces of the cincaluk was like looking for gold. :(

  14. Never tried this brand curry paste before. Normally I buy Teans Claypot. Perhaps the taste is very close to the way the Chinese cooks curry, that’s why we love it.

    Chinese curry? No, thank you. Guess that would be something like Japanese curry then. Will eat, nice…but given a choice, I’d go for something else.

  15. Pingback: In different ways… | ...Still crazy after all these years!

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