She forgot…

My girl bought some instant ramen once and she was praising it to the skies and of course, she finished it in no time at all. I remember the packet was white but she went and bought another pack, the packets were black. Unfortunately, this time around, it was kind of disappointing – the one she bought earlier was sold out.

Well, the mum came home from the supermarket at the mall near our house one day with these…

Nissin Ramen

…and I thought they looked like those that my girl bought once. I asked her if those were the ones she bought before but she said she could not remember.

This is a Singapore product but made in Indonesia and inside, you will find the noodles and three sachets…

Nissin Ramen, noodles & sachets

– one with the seasoning, another with the oil and the last one with some dried garnishing.

I chose the white and red packet to try – the Tokyo Shoyu – premium bonito blend and once cooked, I served it with some char siew I had in the fridge and paper-thin dried seaweed sheets…

Nissin ramen, cooked and served

…for a more authentic Japanese touch and garnished it with some chopped spring onion from my garden. LOL!!! It turned out that there were some minute slices of narutomaki alongside some dried spring onion in the sachet with the garnishing…and other than that, this one’s probably fish (bonito) flavoured.

I sat down to eat and I must say I was impressed. It was very nice! A tad salty for me though (especially since we hardly eat much salt and msg at home) so I would want to add more water next time…or use only half of the sachet of seasoning. I’d most probably do the former since I thought the soup was very nice.

DELTA – THE MARKETPLACE (2.311968, 111.847043) is located in the basement of the Delta Mall, Taman Seduan 8, Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai.

Can’t go wrong…

The other day, I blogged about the non-fried noodles that was not all that compatible with Bovril but I did say that I had a lot left and I would try to cook it some other way in the hope of finding a winning combination.

I was thinking of cooking it char kway teow style so I boiled the noodles and rinsed and drained it well…

Noodles

…and for the ingredients, I had some prawns – one simply can’t go wrong with those crustaceans…

Prawns & fish tofu

…and also two cubes of my girl’s leftover fish tofu with cheese that I sliced thinly.

I tossed the noodles with dark soy sauce (they use kicap manis for their mee goreng at the Malay shops and stalls) and a sprinkling of sugar…

Ingredients added

…plus a whole lot of chopped spring onions from my garden – they are growing rampantly so I was very generous with it. Otherwise, if left there unharvested, they will wither and all would go to waste…and I also added a spoonful of my missus’ blended chili & garlic dip.

I fried some chopped garlic in a bit of oil till golden brown before throwing in the prawns and fish tofu after which the noodles went in. I mixed everything together well and once fried enough, I added two eggs and it was done…

Fried mee ckt-style

I garnished it with some more chopped spring onion and served. I would have loved to add some taugeh (bean sprouts) but we did not have any in the fridge and I did not want to go out and buy.

Yes, it was very nice, cooked this way but I would say that all noodles cooked this way would be nice – be it our dried kampua or kolo mee or our mee kua/mee sanggul and even our yellow noodles. I’ve never fried bihun like this though but I did cook some pek koi that day in more or less this same way and it turned out really great too.

Everything as planned…

Well, Father’s Day came and went and we had dinner at home to celebrate, everything as planned.

My missus marinated the rack of lamb the night before and roasted it in the oven for an hour or two…

Roast New Zealand rack of lamb

It was absolutely delicious, you take my word for it, served with roasted potatoes that my girl prepared, and it went so well with the mint sauce…

Mint sauce

…that the mum made using the leaves from the plants I planted in our garden.

The Aussie wagyu beef…

Aussie wagyu beef

…was somewhat disappointing though. It was dry and hard, probably the result of being cooked for too long. The next day, I took the leftovers, cut the meat across the grain into thin slices and threw it into the slow cooker, along with the fried onions by the side and also the roasted potatoes from the lamb dish and it turned out so so so good! In the end, we managed to finish all of it, nothing went to waste.

The half-shell scallops with garlic & vermicelli…

Half shell scallops

…were easy to prepare. We only had to steam it and yes, it was very nice especially with my missus’ blended chili and garlic and lime dip.

My missus cooked this mushroom soup…

Mushroom soup

…for everybody and I made some coleslaw…

Coleslaw

We only ate a bit of it though – there were simply too many things to eat and since it could be kept in the fridge to be eaten slowly, we went for the Ceasar salad…

Ceasar salad

…that my girl made instead. I bought a bottle of Ceasar salad dressing, made in Taiwan, from a supermarket here and it was quite nice.

There were croissants and cake and ice cream for dessert but those will be in tomorrow’s post. You’d stick around, wouldn’t you?

Our turn now…

Well, it’s our turn now – today, the 3rd Sunday in June is Father’s Day. The mums already had their turn on the 2nd Sunday in May and we had a simple steamboat lunch at home to celebrate the auspicious occasion. My girl insists on some kind of celebration today but no, we are not ready to go out for lunch or dinner yet so we will have to come out with something ourselves at home.

Now that they have relaxed the lockdown somewhat, I guess we can have it in the evening – as always, we are inviting my sister to join us and she will be able to go home after that. Before this, everyone would have to be home and must stay home by 7.00 p.m.

We loved the Aussie wagyu steaks that we had not too long ago…

Aussie wagyu steak

…and even though we have finished the three packs that I bought, my missus did manage to grab a few more from another place and we still have some in the freezer. I am not all that keen on having individual steaks again so I am suggesting grilling two slabs only  and cutting the meat into small bite-size pieces for us to share and we can have something else at the same time.

I went to that place that sells all the frozen stuff and bought these…

New Zealand lamb

– one rack of lamb (RM57.04), lamb foreshanks, two in a pack (RM20.71) and a pack of lamb shoulder chops (RM24.47), all New Zealand grass-fed and I told the ladies to pick one and cook for our dinner.

We had the lamb rack in September last year and it was very good…

New ZEaland rack of lamb

…so I think we shall have it again. We did have the lamb shanks not too long ago, for our Christmas dinner.

I also bought a dozen of these scallops (RM12.99 for half a dozen)…

Scallops

…and we can serve those as well.

I’m thinking of having a pasta dish too and of course, we shall be having a salad or two. At this point in time, we have not decided yet what we shall have for dessert. We’ll see! I guess there will be enough to go round and we shall not be going to bed hungry.

A VERY HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you dads out there! Hopefully, we shall all have a delightful day – after all, it only comes once in a year. Cheers!!!

Not thrilled…

I saw these noodles…

CINTAN non-fried noodles

…in somebody’s blog sometime ago and yes, I’ve seen it in a lot in the shops and supermarkets. Obviously, it is very well-marketed.

I can’t remember whose blog that was or how she cooked it and what she thought about it but I went ahead and bought a pack in March at the beginning of the MCO/partial lockdown as I thought if we had nothing else left in the house, we would be able to cook this – there are 10 pieces in a pack…

10 pieces

…enough for the 3 of us for 3 meals, at least. Now that the lockdown has eased somewhat, I was thinking that I might as well open the pack to cook and eat to get it out of the way.

I decided to use it to cook my usual Bovril mee so I fried two peeled and thinly-sliced shallots in a bit of oil in a pan till golden brown after which I took them out and used the fragrant oil to toss the noodles. I added all that was left in the old bottle I had in the fridge – no, I have not started using the new bottle yet – plus a bit of dark soy sauce and a pinch of msg. I boiled four pieces of the noodles for 3 minutes, drained it well and tossed it with the aforementioned ingredients.

I bought some quite nice char siew (for once – we do not get good char siew around here) from the fruit and food shop near my house and I had a bit leftover so I heated that in a pan and sliced it thinly to serve with the noodles…

Bovril mee with char siew

…garnished with the fried shallots and chopped spring onion from my garden.

As we all know, all noodles, instant or otherwise, may vary in taste and texture and I felt that this one too isn’t quite the same as the rest. Yes, it was quite nice but no, I was not all that thrilled by it. It reminded me of some made-in-China so-called “Hong Kong Noodles” that I bought a long time ago. Personally, I would prefer our own mee sua or dried kampua noodles or kolo mee or even our mee sanggul (mee kua).

I still have six pieces left and I intend to cook it some other way – who knows it may be very much nicer. We’ll see!

Pineapple…

It sure was a pleasant surprise when out of the blue, my friend/ex-English tuition student, Alex, dropped by my house that day to give me  a pineapple…

Pineapple from Alex

…a very huge one, weighing 2.5 kg…

2.5 kg

I was thinking of planting my own when I saw others doing that and showing off the fruits in their blogs or on Facebook but when I googled to find out more about how I could go about it, I was horrified to learn that it would take 2 years or more, 3 to 4 years even, before one can expect any yield from the plant. Never mind! I’ll just go and buy when I feel like eating  any pineapple.

Usually, we will just eat it like that or with rojak sauce to go with our meals but on special occasions like Chinese New Year, my missus would cook her specialty – her kunyit (turmeric) pineapple with udang galah (freshwater prawns)…

Kunyit pineapple with udang galah

However, I don’t recall her doing that this Chinese New Year. That was why that day, I was thinking perhaps she would want to cook it for us to enjoy since we had not had it for a while now.

We did not have any udang galah in the freezer – I had not gone to the central market for over three months now but I did buy some very big and fresh pek hay (sea prawns) from Mukah not too long ago so early that morning, I peeled the pineapple and cut it into chunks…

Peeled and cut

…for her to cook the dish…

Kunyit with big prawns

Needless to say, we sure enjoyed eating it that day – the gravy went so well with rice and we loved the sweet pineapples and succulent prawns too.

Thank you so much for the pineapple, Alex. It was so kind and thoughtful of you. God bless always and take care, you and your loved ones.

My favourite one…

Some of my regular followers may remember that I was looking for curry-flavoured instant noodles that taste like curry as we know it and all that I tried did not seem to be what I was looking for.

I did try this brand and thought it was quite awful – the rest might not taste quite like it but they were definitely better than this one. Somebody did suggest the Chef series from that very same brand and I was quite sure I did try it before but I could not remember exactly whether I liked it or not.

Well, during this COVID-19 MCO partial lockdown, my missus had been buying all kinds of instant noodles and it so happened that she bought a pack of the aforementioned brand…

Mamee Chef noodles

It states “mee tarik” (pulled noodles) quite clearly on the packet but personally, I could not tell the difference. At the end of the day, it is what it is – instant noodles.

My missus seems to enjoy it a lot and would cook a packet for herself quite often when she wakes up in the morning so the other morning, I decided to give it another try.

There are three sachets inside, two with two sections…

Sachets

…one with the oil and what looks like soy sauce and the other, the curry seasoning and what looks like santan (coconut milk) powder. The third sachet contains dried tofu and dehydrated vegetables.

I cooked one poached egg using this method that seemed to work very well for me and yes, I kept vigil to make sure that the egg yolk would be nice and runny…

Poached egg

…not overcooked.

I fished out the egg and put it aside and used the water to boil two huge prawns and one tofu puffs. That way, the bits of egg white that had gone swimming in the water would not go to waste. I removed the prawns and the tofu puff and threw in the noodles, adding all the contents in the sachets.

Once cooked, I poured everything into a bowl and placed the prawns by the side. I cut the tofu puff into quarters and in it went as well, together with a few thinly-sliced tomato, left over from my breakfast platter that day. Finally, I garnished it with chopped spring onions from my garden and some fried shallots…

Mamee Chef curry laksa

…and served.

Yes, I thought it was very nice, whatever you call it – curry laksa or curry mee. There was that delightful curry taste, not obtrusively lemak and yes, I did enjoy it even though I thought the dried tofu was a bit on the hard side, nothing to shout about and if there were traces of any dehydrated vegetables, I sure did not notice.

All things considered, I think if it is curry-flavoured instant noodles that I want, I would go for this one, my favourite so far.

First hand…

My missus bought a pack sometime ago but she happily ate it all by herself and she did not say a word about it. She went on to buy all the other varieties and tried them one by one. When I asked her, she just said they were all more or less the same – like kampua mee, nothing more, nothing less. Well, unlike the spicy vinegar one, she did not finish them all off so I was able to try them as well here and here.

In the meantime, my cousin in Bintulu posted a snapshot of the spicy vinegar one that she had and said it was good and in response to that, my cousin in Kuching commented that the meepok was good too but my missus went out and bought a pack of the regular, with dark soy sauce. That was why the other day, I went and got myself a pack…

Spicy vinegar meepok

…so I could try it myself, first hand! It is RM8.00 for 4 packets whereas the regular kampua mee, be it black or white, is RM8.50 for a pack of 5.

There are 4 sachets…

Sachets

…inside, two of which look like the fragrant oil (lard) and the light soy sauce that one would get with all the other flavours and there are two more – one that looks like chili oil and the other was something black, not too sure whether that is black vinegar or not but when I emptied all the contents onto a plate, I could detect its sourish fragrance.

As always, I boiled the noodles to perfection, drained well and tossed everything together…

Meepok spicy vinegar with ang chao pork belly 1

I heated up what was left of the ang chao pork belly my missus cooked the day before and served it by the side and garnished the dish with some chopped spring onion from my garden. I tried the noodles and felt it was very nice.

I would not say it was exactly like the regular or usual ones – I could detect a little difference, just a bit but when I mixed it with the thick and slightly sweet and sourish ang chao pork belly gravy with its traditional Foochow red wine and strong ginger fragrance…

Meepok spicy vinegar with ang chao pork belly 2

…it sure brought the taste to a whole new level. That was so so good!!!

Unfortunately, that was all that was left of the pork belly so we would have to finish the remaining three packs without it.

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.

Under control…

I plant a lot of stuff in my garden that we can use in our cooking.

Of course, we can always go out and buy but they sell, for instance, serai (lemon grass) tied in a bundle for RM2.00 and we may use 2 or 3 stalks only and the rest would be thrown away. It is the same when we buy spring onions, RM2.00 and we can only use so much – keeping the rest in the fridge doesn’t help much. It will wither pretty fast and has to be discarded very soon…and don’t ask me how much they are selling pandan leaves for. I wouldn’t know because I never buy those – I have a lot more in my garden than we can use.

One thing that I did not plant was lengkuas (galangal) and I had a very good reason for that. When we bought our house, the previous owner had it in the backyard and it was growing out of control, even under the fence into my neighbour’s compound. I had to get some people to come to dig it all out, roots and all, to throw away so it would never ever grow again.

Usually, my missus would buy, say, RM2.00 worth, for use and store the rest in the freezer so she could have it as and when needed. We do not use a lot of lengkuas in our cooking, just a bit will do as the strong smell can be quite overpowering. It so happened that the other day, she had run out of it and she had not gone out to buy more so she asked me if I had any in the one that I planted.

Yes, I have it in a pot…

My lengkuas

I planted it when my neighbour harvested his and gave me some and I saw a chunk that was already sprouting. I planted it in a small pot and it grew and grew so I transplanted it into a bigger pot. No, I shall not plant it in the ground as this way, I can keep it under control but perhaps, I should transfer it to be a bigger pot so there may be a lot more beneath the soil.

There are supposed to be a lot more leaves than that but because the pot is so small and the stems grow so straight and so tall, everytime there is a strong wind, it would topple over. Trimming away the leaves seems to help.

So, that day, when my missus asked for it, I went to dig and see and yes, there was a lot! I just cut a chunk for her to use and then I went to get a few big fat stalks of serai and some Thai basil leaves for her.

She needed them to cook this lovely Thai green curry…

Missus' Thai green curry

…for our meals that day.

I don’t know if it is purely psychological but it seems that using these fresh ingredients, whatever one is cooking will turn out a whole lot nicer, compared to using stuff that has been stored in the freezer for ages.

Purse…

Lui pao is a coin purse in Hokkien, lui meaning money and pao is a bag or something along that line. Nui is egg in the dialect so nui pao is an egg purse.

When you go and eat noodles at a stall or shop, the seller may ask you if you want a nui pao to go with it. Unfortunately, what you will get in the end is one fried egg, sunny side up or if some oil is splashed on the yolk, there will not be any “sun” and of course, if it is flipped over, it is “sunny” no more.

To me, a nui pao is where you fold the egg white over the yolk, pushed strategically to one half of the circle so that in the end you will get a semi-circular wrapped-up fried egg that looks more like a purse…

Fried nui pao

In our younger days, sometimes my father would bring a few fresh eggs (yes, way back then, we reared our own chickens for meat and for eggs) to buy Foochow noodles, soup, for the family to enjoy and we were immensely delighted to get to enjoy that special treat with the nui pao

Poached nui pao

…but I never did find out how they went about it. Those poached eggs were perfectly done and no, there were no traces of the egg white swimming in the soup, none at all.

The other morning, I tried cooking that egg purse in traditional Foochow red wine soup with mee sua that my missus does so well, not to be mistaken for the mee sua in the egg drop in traditional Foochow red wine soup – that one is completely different altogether. My girl loves this one so much, her comfort food but I never bothered to find out how the mum did it.

I know she would pound (she said these days, she would just use the grater) to mash the ginger so as to get the “hiam” (that strong pungent taste) out of the root but I am not really a fan of doing it like that because in the course of eating, I do not like biting into those bits of ginger. I would either take a chunk and bruise it or cut the ginger into thin slices. That morning, I opted for the latter.

I fried the ginger in some sesame oil before adding water and the traditional Foochow red wine. Then I put in one chicken stock cube and poached two eggs in the soup (I already cooked the aforementioned fried one earlier) and once done, I poured the soup over some mee sua that I had also cooked earlier and sat down to eat…

Runny yolk

Of course, I made sure that the egg yolk was runny, just the way I would like it.

It was nice but nowhere half as nice as when my missus cooks it. As I have mentioned earlier, she prepares her ginger differently and she said she will fry the eggs in the sesame oil and leave them to cook in the soup. Maybe that would make some difference, I wouldn’t know.

Actually, I cooked this for the three of us for breakfast that morning because I wanted to try the traditional Foochow red wine that I had bought from Peter. He was not in when I dropped by the café so he called me the next morning advising me to check the wine to make sure it was good, otherwise I could take the bottles back to change. He said those had been there for so long, before the lockdown, so he was not sure which batch those came from. Well, the wine was excellent…just that my way of cooking was not up to my missus’ standard. Perhaps I can try again another day and the next time, I shall add the shitake mushrooms, the wolfberries and the red dates – the complete works!!!