We’re so good together…

I used to enjoy eating Quaker oats, boiled till nice and mushy and sweetened with condensed milk. Eventually, they came out with the instant version where we just need to add hot water, no need for any boiling for a prolonged period of time.

I don’t know when or why I stopped eating it but I always enjoyed those rich and creamy oats cookies/biscuits from Jacobs and anyway, it is not easy to get hold of condensed milk here these days – what they are selling everywhere are sweetened creamers made from palm oil, not cow’s milk.

It so happened that I read somewhere that if I take three tablespoons of oats every day for a month, it will help lower my cholesterol. Remembering how I used to enjoy eating that, I made my way to one of the neighbourhood shops to buy a pack. Yes, they have Quaker but the instant ones and I think I saw somewhere that those aren’t as great.

In the end, I settled for a pack of these organic rolled oats…

…which I have to boil for quite sometime before they become mushy and soggy enough to be eaten.

Of course, I cannot add any condensed milk as I am supposed to stay away from dairy products as well. Needless to say, they are not very palatable, bland and quite a chore to eat and at times, I added a little bit of honey or our low GI gula apong (nipah sugar) but even so, after a while, I, more or less, gave up.

I told my sister about it and she went and ordered this huge pack of dried cranberries…

…for me. It’s from the same people who came out with these sambals that my dear friend, Mandy, sent me sometime ago. I am not supposed to eat those because like raisins, they are soaked in sugar syrup before drying so the sugar content is very high – I can’t eat raisins either!

However, my sister said that cranberries are good for the kidneys so I can mix a bit with my oats for the sweetness and also the delightful taste of the cranberries would make it a lot easier for me to eat the oats.

I tried cooking just a bit with the three tablespoons of oats…

…in low fat milk (it is all right for me to drink that)…

…till it is mushy and soggy…

…and it turned out to be rather nice – I love the taste of the cranberries and there is a hint of sweetness in the oats that makes it a lot easier to eat.

My sister said that I can eat it on alternate days, no need to eat it every day if I am worried about the sugar and incidentally, perhaps I can buy a can of sweetened creamer to add to the oats sometimes – after all, it is not a dairy product so except for the sweetness, it should be fine for me…once in a while. What do you all think?

James…

I did blog about this char siew sauce

…before, more than once, perhaps because we have been using it ever since the first time we tried it and it turned out to be very much to our liking. Yes, we did try Lee Kum Kee and/or some brand from Cosway but no, they were not as nice.

Well, the other day, my missus took two slabs of meat, the tenderloin and marinated them in the sauce the whole day. Come evening time, just before dinner, she grilled them in the oven till they were nicely done…

She cut them up into slices…

…and served…

Yes, we sure enjoyed that and the next morning, since there was a bit left, I cooked a plate of The Kitchen Food – Sibu Instant Kampua – 厨艺食品, dark soy sauce and served that with a few slices of the char siew on top…

…like how they would do it outside.

That sure looked good, don’t you think so? You can grab a packet of the char siew sauce to try if you have yet to do so. It should be available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores.

Bear…

The ladies in the house love anything and everything Korean so I would often see them whipping up some Korean dishes and making their own kim chi and when they come home from shopping, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Korean products in their cart, some packs of instant noodles…

…perhaps.

Well, recently they came home with a few packets of this…

…and when I went and googled, I found out that gomtang is actually Korean beef bone soup.

There is a joke that “gom” in Korean means bear, so it is a soup made by boiling bear meat. But gomtang is made using beef, not bear meat. It is also called gomguk but here, “gom” means “boiled” bones or meat for a long time.

Usually, these Korean instant noodles do not come cheap but they probably bought this one at a discounted price, seeing how the expiry date was a few days ago. More often than not, they are extremely spicy and are red in colour with the very strong kim chi taste so I would not touch them with a 10-foot pole. I saw that this one was not like those so I decided to take a packet and give it a try.

Inside, besides the noodles, there was a sachet – the soup base…

I did hear my girl complaining when she cooked it to eat that it was very salty so I just added half of the seasoning and threw away the rest.

There wasn’t any leftover meat or whatever in the fridge that I could serve with it so I boiled an egg, peeled it and placed it by the side with some lettuce and tomato…

Oh dear! I did not do a good job with the egg this time – the yolk did not turn out perfect. I sprinkled a bit of the chopped spring onion from our garden and my missus’ fried shallots on top and served.

I must say that it did not sweep me off my feet when I ate it, not at all! I thought it tasted like one of those ordinary instant noodles, the chicken flavour and even the texture of the noodles was kind of disappointing…

I’ve had Korean instant noodles where I really liked the noodles, if nothing else.

In my honest opinion, our own made-in-Sibu Daddy Mee, chicken flavour wins hands down if I were to compare that to this…

I don’t know about the ladies but I, for one, would not bother to buy it again if I happen to see it in the shops.

Then there were two…

Yes, there were only two when they first started. Wait a minute! I think there was one only – the original or what we call the white version of the kampua mee. Then they added the black version, the one with the dark soy sauce…

*Photo from The Kitchen Food – Sibu Instant Kampua – 厨艺食品 Facebook page*

The ladies in the house prefer the latter so we would always have a pack or two in the house (now selling for RM9.50 each) for them to enjoy whenever they feel like it.

Inside each pack, you will find these individually-wrapped packets of noodles…

…with two pieces inside…

Actually, once cooked, they will expand a bit and you will get quite a substantial amount in your plate for you to enjoy.

These days, you will only get two sachets with the noodles, one with the seasoning oil and the other, in this case, the dark soy sauce…

There used to be another sachet of fried shallots but you do not get that anymore these days.

I emptied the one with the seasoning oil into a plate plus a bit of the dark soy sauce. Then I added half a tablespoon of Bovril…

After two failed attempts to get to enjoy Bovril mee outside, here and here, I was getting quite desperate so I decided to take the shortcut and do it like this instead of cooking from scratch.

I boiled the noodles till soft and tossed them with the ingredients in the plate, after which I sprinkled a bit of chopped spring onion from our garden on top…

I would rinse the noodles well in water first to remove any excess starch (I would do the same when I cook mee sua as well) but I was feeling lazy that morning so I did not bother to do it.

I just fried an egg and served it by the side…

Of course, it is up to you to add char siew or siew yoke or whatever you choose – I’ve seen people adding sausages or slices of luncheon meat.

There you are, this makeshift version of my Bovril mee…

I must say that I quite enjoyed it but I have this feeling that it would be nicer if I had cooked it from scratch.

THE KITCHEN FOOD shop (2.304994, 111.847404)…

…home of the original, the one & only Sibu instant kampua, is located in the Sibu Bus Terminal area at Lorong 7A, Jalan Pahlawan, right next to the UOB Bank there.

I knew a girl…

I knew a girl, Mingchu was her name
I was in Form 6 and she was in Form 4
Then she moved to Hong Kong
Last I heard, she was still there, happily married with kids
THE END.


LOL!!! I just thought I would start today’s blogpost with a little story about someone that I used to know because there is this made-in-Sibu product by that same name. My sister gave me a pack of the mee bo (mee pok) so I wasted no time at all in cooking myself a plate…

…to try, with some roast duck by the side.

My sister has been singing its praises for a long while now and I have been searching for it…

…high and low but to no avail. No, you cannot find it at the leading supermarkets and major grocery stores – perhaps, they have no intention of competing with their celebrated competitor in this same field that is being sold most everywhere all over town.

I like how they highlight Sibu, Sarawak in the packaging and looking at the information at the back…

…it looks like they are manufacturing their products for export to some place in Victoria, Australia.

Inside, there are 5 individual packets of mee pok

…and two sachets…

…in each of them, one with the oil and the other with the light soy sauce – I suppose you will get the dark one if you opt for that instead.

Incidentally, this is VEGETARIAN so true-blue Sibu Foochows will frown upon the fact that there is no lard in the ingredients, something that they will insist upon when it comes to kampua mee in order to meet their approval. Apparently, they do have those with the coveted stuff and my sister did give me a pack of that as well but I’ve yet to give it a try. Anyway, if you go to those Malay shops and stalls to enjoy their HALAL kampua mee (that is getting more and more popular by the day and some are quite nice, really), this is what you will get – lard-free kampua mee.

Empty the contents of the sachets into a plate…

…boil the noodles till soft, drain well and toss them thoroughly with the oil and the sauce…

…prior to serving. I had some leftover roast duck from the previous night’s dinner so I served that by the side and I did sprinkle a bit of chopped spring onion over the noodles.

Yes, it was very nice – quite plain and simple, not so complicated but I liked it! If I am not wrong, they will give you some fried shallots if you buy their kampua mee – I saw the photographs on their Facebook page and incidentally, if anyone is interested, the products are available via Lazada or Shopee. My sister said that she got her packs from Doremart here in Sibu and one can get it at Kim Hock and maybe Farley too.

I’ve had it all…

My brother in Auckland, New Zealand sent me this photograph…

…and asked me if I’ve tried it before.

Of course, I have!!! I’ve tried all the different varieties including the ones in this mee pok range. My missus bought this dark soy sauce one

…and my cousin in Kuching was singing praises of the spicy vinegar one so we also tried that…

…and yes, we did enjoy it too.

My brother said that somebody in Auckland, New Zealand is importing these instant kampua mee and selling them at only NZD10.50 a pack, which is very reasonable (without conversion) considering that they are some RM8 or 9.00 a pack here. This means that they can now enjoy it at home without being slaughtered at the shops there. I hear the prices of all (Asian/Malaysian) noodle dishes there are fixed at NZD17.90 a plate/bowl.

I am not going to feature ALL the different varieties produced by The Kitchen Food instant Sibu kampua that I have blogged about before here but I would want to mention that when they first embarked on their humble beginning in 2013, a thousand and one imitation brands appeared on the market. Everyone was so anxious to jump on the bandwagon but of course, most of them fell by the wayside along the way very soon. Today, only a sprinkling are left while this particular brand is still going strong and is very well-marketed. You can find their products at most leading supermarkets not only in Sibu but in towns and cities throughout the country and overseas!

My brother also mentioned that the importer also brought in some Kuching/Sarawak laksa and initially, I thought he was talking about the one from this same company

…which is very nice but theirs has ramen, not bihun.

However, eventually, my brother said that it came in some red and blue packs and I knew straight away that those would be the ones from that company in Kuching and yes, that one has bihun

…and is pretty decent, worth buying and enjoying.

But when it comes to Sarawak/Kuching laksa, my favourite these days would be this particular brand

…but it does not come cheap, over RM29.90 for a box of 6 packets earlier in the year, dunno now.

I did hear of some people here who are not so fond of the sago vermicelli though so they would rather go for another brand. We do not mind it one bit and for one thing, when we cook it, the house would be filled with the awesome fragrance of the laksa broth/soup that can easily put many of those in the coffee shops in town here to shame.

I don’t know if they have this brand in New Zealand or not but at least, the other two are good as well and now that they can get the much coveted instant kampua mee there, folks can buy their own to cook and enjoy in the comfort of their own home without being fleeced alive like those 25.97 million New Zealand sheep there!!! LOL!!!

THE KITCHEN FOOD shop (2.304994, 111.847404)…

…home of the original, the one & only Sibu instant kampua, is located in the Sibu Bus Terminal area at Lorong 7A, Jalan Pahlawan, right next to the UOB Bank there.

All of it all…

My doctor said I should increase my intake of protein, something about all of it leaking into the blood stream or the urine or whatever but unfortunately, I have to stay away from red meat and dairy products. I was eating a lot of fish until the mere smell of it would make me feel sick instantly!

Eat eggs, he said, but eat the white only. WHAT? But I love the yolks…especially if they are soft and runny. Besides, if I eat just the white, what is going to happen to the yolks? Do we just throw them away? Isn’t that such a waste? Well, since I am not ready to do that, I would just limit my intake of eggs to say, around two a week…

According to this website, “…the problem with the yolk is its high phosphorus …but if you don’t have a phosphorous issue, you can use the yolk and this is for people who want to include some type of animal protein in their diet. The good thing about eggs is it doesn’t raise the blood sugar at all so it could be a good substitute for people that have or good food for people that have diabetic kidney disease.

Actually, my phosphorous and potassium levels are all right, no problem with them but of course, that does not mean that I can go ahead and eat all the egg yolks I want. Everything in moderation, that’s what’s best.

I like eggs in any form but these days, I will usually have them half boiled/half-cooked. I will bring some water to a boil in a saucepan and turn off the heat before putting in the eggs, straight from the fridge and leave them in the water for around 7-8 minutes. That way, the white will be cooked and the yolk is still soft and runny…

…both of them…

I don’t mind leaving them in the hot water a little bit longer so both the yolk and the white are a bit harder but the former must still be soft though a little less runny. The white would be a bit like the texture in hard boiled eggs by then.

I try to cut down on the soy sauce these days but I think I am o.k. with the amount of pepper that I add…

Once I’ve mixed everything together…

…I would just slurp it all down. I do enjoy eating eggs like this.

Then, there is this piece of information from another website, “However, in this context, even the earlier beliefs that the egg yolks are bad for kidney patients has been refuted to a great extent which means that the food item happens to be safe for the one and all…” and this website seems to contradict what all the rest are saying. Eat your egg yolks,” the heading says, “it’s the egg whites that can kill you! Heads you win, tails I lose.

I guess whatever it is, we should eat everything sparingly, not too much of anything, never mind what the people say and how good they are for you…and PRAY very very hard every day!

Time changes…

Time goes by so slowly…and time can do so much!” Thus goes the line in the very popular song, “Unchained Melody and indeed, there can be no denying that time changes everything!

I’ve been wanting to go back here to try their Sarawak laksa

…for a long time now (we did go twice – once, the place was packed and another time, we were too early and they had not started for the day yet) but I only managed to do so last Friday morning.

It was raining the whole morning so there were very few customers around and parking was a breeze. Besides, I went at around 11, too late for the 10 o’clock tea and too early for lunch.

It appeared that they are using a new system of ordering now – they will not come to your table to see what you would like to eat or drink – instead, you have to place your orders with this lady…

…seated in the corner and pay her for everything before going to take your seat.

I don’t know if she submitted my order via computer like the very sophisticated system that they have here because as soon as I was through, she got up and went to the counter/kitchen at the back so she could have done everything verbally. If that is what she has to do everytime, it probably will get somewhat messy if there are a lot of customers going there to eat.

The Sarawak laksa came soon enough. It was only RM6.00 in 2019 and like everything else, the price has gone up. It is now RM7.00 a bowl…

…which is no big deal really – I am getting quite used to these rising prices but the thing was it did not look quite like what we used to enjoy so much here before…

…and yes, it tasted quite different…like they had used a different brand of the Sarawak laksa sambal and I thought it tasted a bit sweet. I used to think it was the best in town because it was very close to what the good ones in Kuching taste like, just as nice or perhaps even nicer. Now, I’m afraid that is no longer the case.

Even the sambal belacan

…paled in comparison to the one before but I guess we cannot blame them for using something cheaper, not the best exclusive one from Bintulu anymore because it is no longer that affordable to use, not at all.

Well, if it’s any consolation, I would still say it was all right but no, I would not say it is the best in town, not anymore.

Moving on from the Sarawak laksa, my sister gave us these ang ku koi

…from her ex-student…

…who is running some kind of home business. The ones with the red bean paste were sweet but these with the mung bean filling…

…were slightly savoury, not sweet at all. As a matter of fact, it had its own special taste that might need a little getting used to and though this is better for me, being on a low/no sugar diet, I prefer the slightly sweet ones here that I would buy once in a while.

SIBU THOMSON CORNER (2.296517, 111.840710)…

…is located at Pusat Tanahwang, opposite Sacred Heart Secondary School, Oya Road or you can go to their other outlet on the 1st floor of the Medan Mall, Jalan Wong King Huo.

For your eyes only…

Yes, I can only see and drool. I can’t eat because I am off red meat so beef…

…is definitely out!

These so-called Salisbury steaks beef patties…

…are our favourite and yes, their beef balls are jolly good too. In fact, we just had that for our Christmas dinner 10 years ago in 2012. Unfortunately, it is not that readily available over here, I dunno why.

For one thing, they certainly do not mince their words about the beef they use to make their products…

…and yes, they are definitely nicer than many of those obscure brands that I would not bother to buy.

There is no need to defrost the patties…

They can be taken out of the freezer and pan-fried to perfection straight away…

…before putting them in your burgers or wraps.

These days, we have these lovely wraps from Australia…

…so of course, my girl will not settle for less…

…and you will not get to see her going for those Mission ones that are sold at every supermarket in town here anymore these days.

The other morning, after toasting a piece of the wraps lightly in a non-stick pan, she placed some cheese and some cherry tomatoes (from our garden) on one half of the wrap…

…before putting in the pre-grilled beef patties…

After that, she added another layer of cheese and cherry tomatoes before squeezing some kewpie dressing all over the filling…

Last but not least, she folded the wrap and placed it in the oven to toast it some more and also to heat it up so she could enjoy it while it was still nice and warm.

I did ask her for a teeny-weeny bit to sample and see what it was like and yes, I would say it was very nice. Unfortunately, it is, as what the title of this blogpost says, for my eyes only. Sobsssss!!!

At night…

Except for Saturday evenings when we go for the sunset service in church, we hardly do anything at night these days. In other words, we just stay home and never go out at all.

We sit down for dinner at 6.00 p.m., more or less and we should be done by 6.30 or so. Then I would adjourn upstairs and have a shower before retiring for the night. No, I don’t go to sleep that early, around 7.00 p.m. but I would not want to go downstairs again – going down is easy, it is the coming up that is the uphill task! Truth be told, I am certainly no longer as agile and as mobile as before any longer.

In the meantime, I just laze around in our master bedroom and watch reruns of “The Nanny“, “The Jeffersons” and “Mr. Belvedere” on my smartphone or “Mrs. Brown’s Boys” (not screened in Malaysia) from the BBC. Funny how I used to watch those shows on TV but I cannot remember ever seeing those episodes before!

I would usually call it a day at around 9.00 p.m., earlier on some days, a bit later on others but that night, at 8 something, my dumbphone (as opposed to my smartphone, my antique NOKIA 3310, also called a brickphone) rang. It was Yan of Yan on second thoughts. She said she had just touched down, after flying in from Kuching for the long weekend (it was a public holiday here on Friday, 22nd July – Sarawak Day) and she would stop by my house on her way home to pass me a few things.

Oh dear! I was already upstairs, ready to hit the sack so I asked my girl and the mum to go out and meet her and get the things she brought. Wowwwww!!!! She brought a whole lot of goodies that she made herself! There were these delightful scones…

she did give me some before and they were so so so good!

Other than those, there were these brioche buns…

…and pork patties…

…too.

Of course, that was red meat, not for me but I did sample a bit and yes, it was so very good. The ladies in the house sure enjoyed the burgers…

…to the max while I could only watch them eat…

Poor me!

Nonetheless, a big thank you so so so much to Yan, my kind and generous friend and thanks especially for going through all that trouble to make all those things yourself…and sending them over to my house. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more!

Yes! I could not resist having a scone for breakfast the next morning and that sure appeased my constant craving for my favourite English traditional breakfast even though I had it without the clotted cream and fruit jam -the buttery fragrance was enough to sweep me off my feet!