She’s my girl…

Ever since my girl got posted to a school in town, she has not been doing much cooking or baking for the simple reason that it is a lot busier here compared to her previous school in the jungle. It does not matter much to her though – she enjoys what she’s doing and she likes her current working environment, her colleagues and all. Well, with the partial lockdown/MCO/RMO, she sure has a lot more time on her hands and yes, she has been busy in the kitchen.

The other day, she cooked this beautiful fish curry…

Melissa's fish curry

bay kar/ikan tenggiri/mackerel no less using the instant curry paste for seafood, our favourite brand and yes, we sure enjoyed it to the max. I guess it does not seem like anything to get excited about but the thing is she is more into other cuisines, not so much our own Asian ones, other than sushi, perhaps, and that was the first time she tried cooking fish curry.

This is a Thai-Chinese dish, the bihun ladna

Melissa's bihun ladna

…or Rad Na ราดหน้า (rice noodles with gravy) except that they use kway teow but of course, we did not have that in the house and at this point in time, it was not all that convenient to go out and buy. Cooking this involves first frying the noodles after which a sauce is quickly made and poured over the noodles. Ladna in English means “Pour on the Face“.

She got to know about this dish in Sg Petani, Kedah but it came across to me like wat tan hor or bihun goreng basah (with sauce/gravy). Yes, it was nice, especially with all the prawns and ingredients added, but I wouldn’t say it got me all excited, not something that I would be dying to have again.

She is more into western delights like this frittata…

melissa's frittata

– an Italian egg-based dish similar to an omelette or a crustless quiche. I guess it is not really vegetarian as there are eggs and cheese among the ingredients alongside the potatoes and the broccoli. We enjoyed it very much but I sure wouldn’t mind if there’s ham or bacon or corned beef in it.

At one time, my girl was baking all kinds of gluten-free bread because she could not eat the regular ones from the bakeries and she missed it quite a lot. There were some that turned out all right while some were total disasters but none was quite the same – like regular and gluten-free pasta. That day, she tried making some dinner rolls…

Melissa's dinner rolls

…and much to her delight and excitement, they were an overwhelming success. Of course she was delirious with joy and since we liked them a lot, I told her to bookmark the recipe so she can make them time and time again for us to eat.

The lockdown was supposed to end today but unfortunately, it has been extended for another two weeks till the 14th of April and nobody knows whether it will be extended further or not then. I suppose my girl will cook some more in the meantime and if she does, I shall feature the fruits of her labour in a later post.


A thoughtful and generous gesture is always appreciated, well, by me, at least and I do appreciate how, during these difficult times, there are people who always think and care for others and do whatever they can, however, small to help anyone in need.

The other day, somebody shared an appeal on Facebook, purportedly from the Sibu Hospital, asking for donations/contributions and I drove all the way to send some of the things I had stocked up in the house – I wouldn’t have left the house, otherwise and because of that, I had to drop by the shops in the neighbourhood to restock on the stuff that I had given away.

I was quite pissed off when the authorities released a press statement saying that they were quite well-provided for and did not ask for anything. Well, I did what I felt I should do out of my own sincerity but what I did not like was the way they put it – at least, they should add that they appreciated all who had sent them stuff, thank you very much. That would not be so hard to do, right? But I would give them the benefit of the doubt – they were probably so caught up with this dreadful thing to think of much else.

I have always been blessed abundantly – people give me things all the time and yes, I do appreciate it a lot and just the other day, I received an sms from my friend, Annie, in KL telling me that she was giving me some of the jiaoxi/shui jiao (dumplings) her brother made…

Jiaoxi from Annie

…and her nephew would send them over to my house the following day and she added that she had paid for them.

Her brother went into this business once and yes, he did give me some to try but he left town soon afterwards to work here and there and now that he is cooped up in the house owing to the partial lockdown/CMO/RMO, he has gone back to making them again for sale.

I asked his son, Annie’s nephew, when he brought them to my house and he said they are RM14.00 a pack and there are 15 in each one of them, less than RM1 each…

15 in a pack

My missus pan-fried one of the packs right away and in no time at all, we all sat down to enjoy eating them…


The skin was beautifully done, very nice and smooth and not chewy/rubbery or hard like some that we had had the displeasure of buying and eating and the meat and chives filling was really delicious.

My girl in particular loves these dumplings unlike me. I am not crazy about them but will eat when there is any to be eaten but I sure would not go out of my way for them. I did enjoy these though so if anyone around here enjoys these dumplings…

Dumplings, pan-fried

…and are keen on placing an order for a pack or more to enjoy, they may PM me on Facebook or send me an sms giving me their address, telephone contact and the number of packs they would like and I would convey the orders to Annie’s brother or the nephew. Yes, they will do home delivery, provided the house is not too far away.

Thank you so much, Annie & David, for the dumplings and thanks to you too, Anson, for going through the trouble of sending them over to my house, very much appreciated, indeed.


Another two days and it would be the 31st of March, the day when the partial lockdown or the Movement Control/Restricted Movement Order was supposed to end but sadly, it has been extended for another two weeks till the 14th of April.

I am not that concerned about meat and fish as there is a whole lot of those available in cans once what we have in the freezer runs out and who knows, even if we can go out to buy, there is none for sale – there may not be anybody selling! However, when it comes to vegetables, there aren’t many choices that come in tins – sweet corn, processed peas, baked beans and we do not stock on a lot of the fresh ones either as most will not keep very long except for a few like cabbage, for instance.

I did blog about cooking cabbage a long time ago and and most of the time, people will just fry it with garlic and egg and add salt and msg. In that post of mine, I did add a bit of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) for the added flavour.

Well, the other day, I took a few leaves from the big one we had in the fridge to fry and as always, I cut the vegetable into long thin strips…


…and for the ingredients, I peeled and chopped three cloves of garlic and sliced half a lap chiang (Chinese sausage) very thinly…


I had used half the other day to fry my gluten-free corn and vegetable shells char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles) style.

I fried the garlic in a bit of oil till golden brown before adding the lap chiang after which I broke an egg into the wok and scrambled it thoroughly before putting in the cabbage. Usually, after cutting, I would soak it in water and I would drain away the water just before it goes in. That way, there would be enough water to cook it already, no need to add anymore as that would render it soft and overcooked and not so nice. I added a bit of salt to it and once done, I dished it onto a plate…

Fried cabbage

…and served. That certainly was quite a lot, enough for lunch and dinner.

We all enjoyed it and it makes me wonder as to why cabbage is not available in the Chinese restaurants here, not that I can remember – I don’t think I have seen it on the menu anywhere.


I blogged about cooking it here in 2011 using a chunk of pork bone for the stock and in 2013, I used chicken.

Well, there was a little left of one pack of those bean curd sticks (tauhu kee) after my missus used most of it to cook I-can’t-remember-what-now and blame it on my OCD – I simply cannot stand seeing something sitting there idle, day in and day out, so I took it and soaked it till soft in hot water…

Tauhu kee

…before draining it, ready for use.

To this day, my girl still would not eat it as she thinks it tastes like plastic but she loves the soup so this time around, I used some different ingredients and even though she would not eat the sticks, there would something else she could enjoy.

I defrosted some minced meat from the freezer, added a sprinkling of salt and chopped spring onions and mixed them well. There were two slices of pre-fried tofu in the fridge – I can’t remember what my missus bought them for, whatever she was cooking so I took those and cut them into quarters and stuffed them with a bit of the minced meat. My girl would love eating those!

I used the rest to make meat balls, something that she would enjoy too and I peeled three cloves of garlic and got ready a bit of tang chai (preserved vegetable)…


I did not add too much of the latter as we aren’t exactly all that fond of it so we would not like the taste to be so strong that it would overpower that of all the other ingredients.

I filled a pot with water, threw in the garlic and the tang chai and brought it to boil. When it started boiling vigorously, I threw in the meat balls and I let it simmer so as to get the taste of the meat out into the soup since I was not using any bone stock or anything like that. Then I threw in the stuffed tofu and once the meat was cooked, I added the bean curd sticks. I guess most people would add salt and msg according to taste but I used a bit of fish sauce instead.

Come lunch time that day, I dished some of it out onto a bowl, sprinkled a bit of chopped spring onion from my garden and served…


Yes, it was very nice and yes, my girl enjoyed it but no, she did not touch the bean curd sticks!


My girl bought this pack of gluten-free corn and vegetable shells…

Gluten free pasta

…a long time ago when she thought she might be gluten-intolerant. We paid over RM1,000 for tests to be done – they had to send to KL and we waited quite a long time for the results. Thankfully, they came back negative and this pack of pasta had been sitting there all this while.

That day, she wanted to cook some creamy tuna pasta and seeing that it had not expired, she decided to use this. It was very nice, what she cooked that day even though I did feel that the texture of the pasta was a bit different, kind of coarse being made from rice – I guess they are as different as yellow noodles and  bihun.

There was some left over so the next morning, I decided I would use the rest as a substitute to fry à la char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles). Blame it on my OCD but I have this thing about seeing things sitting there idle for a long time especially when there is not very much of it left. At times, I would just take it and throw away.

These were the ingredients that I prepared…


– finely chopped garlic, thinly sliced chili, some prawns, lap chiang (Chinese sausage) also thinly sliced and as I did not have any taugeh (bean sprouts), I used cabbage instead, cut into thin strips. I cooked the shells for 9.5 minutes, following the instructions on the packet to the letter, drained and rinsed with room temperature water to prevent any further cooking in the residual heat.

I fried the garlic in a bit of oil till golden brown, added the chili followed by the prawns and the lap chiang and then, I added the pasta. I added a dash of soy sauce to give it a bit of colour and then, I added two eggs. Once done, I added the cabbage and mixed it thoroughly with everything.

Finally, I dished everything out onto a plate and garnished it with some chopped spring onions and fried shallots…


…and served.

Yes, it…

Gluten-free corn & vegetable shells, ckt style

…was very nice despite the aforementioned difference in the texture (and taste) of the gluten-free pasta. I sure enjoyed it and I wouldn’t mind cooking it again this same way next time.


My herbs circle…

My herbs circle
*Archive photo*

…was doing great at the start. Everything I planted flourished but eventually, things started to change and almost everything shrank and withered and died – my oregano, my sawtooth coriander, my daun sup (Chinese parsley), even my dill and my curry leaves. Only the serai (lemon grass) was growing well, so well that I had to keep trimming it ever so often.

Well, recently, I heard of this brainchild of Monsignor Father Michael Lee of the Catholic Diocese here in Sibu. He was making this organic compost…

Organic compost

…for sale in 1 kg packs for RM4.00, using these recycled resealable tea bags…

Recycled resealable bags

That sure is good for the environment – waste not, want not!

I went and bought a few packs for my plants to help him a bit in his venture and after using it for a few weeks, I am glad to note that my herbs circle is coming back to life.

The curry leaves look good…

Curry leaves

…sprouting new branches from the stump and my dill too…


I planted some Thai basil seedlings…

Thai basil

…but I can’t tell right now how they will fare.

My girl’s wild onions never died but they did not seem to be doing so well either, so scrawny, barely surviving…

Wild onions

…and likewise, my mint…


…has been spreading far and wide but the leaves are very small unlike the ones that I have in the pots kept in the shade.

I am also using this compost for my rambutan tree at the back of my house and much to my delight, it is sprouting new leaves and branches and looking really good. I certainly hope that I shall be able to say the same about my herbs circle soon…and yes, I shall return those recycled resealable bags to be reused. We must do what we can, however little, for the environment.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, he or she can buy this organic compost at the Laudato Si’ Canteen at the Catholic Centre but of course, that will have to wait till this partial lockdown or Restricted Movement/Movement Control Order comes to an end. The sad thing is that it was announced yesterday that it would be extended till the 14th of next month, April, Lord have mercy!!!

LAUDATO SI’ CANTEEN (2.287292, 111.832110) is located in what was previously known as the Catholic Centre in the compound of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Jalan Lanang and St Rita’s Primary School, Jalan Bukit Assek.


My girl bought a pack of instant Japanese ramen from the supermarket at the mall near my house and she liked it a lot, nicer than this Thai one, she said and she finished the whole pack in no time at all.

She went back to the supermarket to buy some more but because she wanted to try some of the other flavours, she bought this one…

Instant Japanese ramen

The packaging of the previous one was black in colour. It was quite obvious that she was not too thrilled by this one as the packets remained sitting there for quite a while.

Well, the other morning, I took one to try. I don’t know what flavour it was as everything was in Japanese, not a word of English. Inside, apart from the noodles, there were two sachets, one of the seasoning and the other one looked like pepper…

Noodles and two sachets

…to me.

The noodles took quite a while to cook and once it was done, I rinsed it to wash away any excess starch. I boiled some more water and added the contents of the sachets, followed by a prawn for the flavour and the taste and when it was cooked, I put the noodles back in to heat it up before pouring everything into a bowl lined with a couple of leaves of organic hydroponic lettuce…

Instant Japanese ramen, cooked 1

…and garnishing it with a bit of chopped spring onion and fried shallots. While I was doing all the aforementioned, I multi-tasked and boiled an egg to eat with the noodles.

I did not think it was anything special though, I’m afraid – I think this was chicken-flavoured…

Japanese instant ramen, cooked 2

The only good thing I can say about it is the noodles – the texture and taste were different from all the other instant noodles in the market and I actually quite liked it a lot.

I asked my girl and yes, she too said it was nothing out of the ordinary which explains why the packets of the noodles did not seem to be moving at all. I guess she will not buy this flavour anymore the next time around.

THE MARKET PLACE supermarket is located in the basement of The Delta Mall (2.311762, 111.846818) respectively, along Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai.

Buy and buy…

It’s the 7th day of the partial lockdown, the Movement Control/Restricted Movement Order so it has been a week already. How are things going at your end? Running out of food in the house? I guess if you are, at this point in time, you can still go out to buy and buy but do avoid crowded places, wear a mask and practise social distancing – stand 2 metres away from the other people around you…and when you come home, take a bath, change your clothes and soak the ones you went out in. Prevention is better than cure!

As for me here, I am getting on fine – so far so good. We still have food in the house and we did stock up on instant noodles so if there is nothing else to eat, we can just have that…and of course, we have our own The Kitchen Food, Sibu instant kampua noodles.

The ladies in the house prefer the ones with dark soy sauce but personally, I like it white, the ones with chio cheng or light soy sauce…

Sibu instant kampua

Well, anyway, that morning, I decided to give the one with the dark soy sauce a try…

The Kitchen Food Sibu instant kampua

…for a change.

In each packet, there are the noodles with two sachets, one with the shallot oil (lard) and the other with the dark soy sauce…

Noodles & sachets

You empty the contents of the sachets into a plate…


…and you can do what I did – add a bit of chopped spring onion and fried shallots for the fragrance and the taste.

Boil the noodles for 3 minutes exactly, no more, no less and drain well. Mix with the ingredients and toss. Once done, serve it in a new plate…

Ready to serve

…and sit down to enjoy the fruit of your labour.

I like places where they do it in a plate and once done, they serve it on another plate like what I did so there will not be a mess and it will look more presentable. At some places, I’ve seen them using a towel to wipe the side of the plate – I am not so keen on that as I am not sure as to how clean that towel is actually.

I had some leftover stewed pork belly in the fridge so I heated up a bit to go with the noodles and I also garnished it with some more chopped onion and fried shallots…

Instant kampua mee

…and I must say that I did enjoy it. That would be enough for a meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I do think it will be a good idea to stretch our rations as much as possible. Come the 31st of the month, if things do not improve – especially when I see a lot of recalcitrant people with no respect for the law and authority (not in Sibu) going out according to their whims and fancies, they may decide to extend this thing or worse, impose a complete lockdown and if there is no more food in the house by then, things are going to be hard, that’s for sure.

It is not about you infecting someone – the danger is you may be in danger of getting infected if you go out! Stay safe, stay home, one and all!


How’s everybody doing? Not going insane yet, I hope. After all, it has only been 6 days, the Movement Control/Restricted Movement Order, almost but not quite a week yet.

As for me here, I am getting on fine – been busy catching up with all my gardening. The weeds and grass sure wait for no man so I am never short of things to do. As for the food, we are fine. We are well stocked with fresh and frozen foods, canned, dried and preserved foods, instant noodles so much so that I do not think we will need to go out at all.

I told my missus to buy vegetables that could last – cabbage can keep for a long time, bitter gourd should be fine, beans like long beans, French beans, ladies fingers are all very durable and anyway, should we run out, there is the Brazilian spinach…

Brazilian spinach

…growing in my garden. It’s very easy to grow. You just stick the stalks in the soil and it will flourish in no time at all.

I harvested the ones in this plot…

Just one week

…just a week ago to give to a friend and the other morning, I harvested half of the ones in another plot, still quite a lot left.

It has a lot of health benefits, this Brazilian spinach. According to this website, they include:
1. improving immunity system
2. maintains eye health
3. strengthens bone
4. helps maintain the digestive system
5. prevents constipation
6. helps in smoothing blood circulation
7. prevents anemia
8. prevents premature aging
9. overcome gum problems
10. binding calcium
11. a good source of Vitamin K
12. can fight against cancer

It is not as thin and soft as the cangkok manis

Cangkok manis
*my miserable cangkok manis struggling to stay alive*

…though and just like the cangkok manis, one would have to tear the leaves prior to cooking and because it is thicker and harder, one would need to tear it even more. Incidentally, we only take the leaves, not the stems and definitely not the stalks.

We cook it the same way as the cangkok manis – with garlic, egg and a bit of salt and msg (my missus uses oyster sauce)…

Fried Brazilian spinach

…and yes, we love it!

Now I’m regretting that I got rid of all my sweet potato leaves as they were growing out of control. I guess everyone was getting sick and tired of it so nobody bothered to go and harvest them to cook. Well, if the need arises, I still have my ulam raja and daun pegaga that we can eat with sambal belacan and that Thai-style dish of minced meat fried with Thai basil leaves is actually very nice.

So dark…

Every working day, I will send my girl to work at around 6.00 a.m. in the morning. After dropping her off at the school, I may or may not go some place to eat something for breakfast, depending on the mood but whenever I do so, I will tapao something back for my missus to enjoy.

The problem is at around 6.30 a.m., most places are still closed and among those that are open, many are not in my list of favourites. In the end, you will see me going to the same places again and again which, of course, means that I do not have new things to blog about. That was the very reason why I was here not too long ago and the other day, I went there again.

The ladies at the vegetarian stall…

Ming Xuan Corner vegetarian

…were still getting ready. I did not know what they were serving as the menu was completely in Mandarin so I stood there waiting but no, they just ignored me.

In the end, I just went to the stall next to it…

Ming Xuan Corner stall

…the one I had something from on my last visit, their kolo mee which was not bad but was nothing like kolo mee as everybody knows it so of course, I would not want to order that again.

This time around, I asked for their pan mee (RM5.00)…

Ming Xuan Corner pan mee

…and I would say that it wasn’t too bad. As a matter of fact, I had that a long time ago and I did enjoy it, just that I never came back for more as frankly, I’m not all that crazy about pan mee. To me, it’s just something that I may consider having sometimes for a change.

Now, that brings me to another problem when I go around and eat so early in the morning when it is still dark and I will have to depend on the florescent light in the premises. This photo…

Ming Xuan Corner pan mee, two eggs

…was taken in broad daylight the last time I had this same thing and I am sure everyone would agree that it does look a whole lot nicer. This one was RM6.00, two eggs but it looks like they were a lot more generous with the added ingredients at the time.

We are already into Day 5 of the partial lockdown aka the Movement Control Order and I’ve run out of things to blog about. Perhaps I shall cook some dishes and blog about them or see what else I can talk about to keep things going. We’ll see!

MING XUAN CORNER (2.312754, 111.846595), formerly UNG TONG, is located in the second block of shops on your right if you are turning in from Jalan Pedada at the junction after Delta Mall, heading towards Lorong Taman Seduan 8, somewhere opposite the Bread Sense Bakery outlet there, a little to the left.