Some like it hot…

Well, I most certainly do! That was why when my mother-in-law gave us two huge pieces of bay ka or ikan tenggiri (mackerel) that day, we used those to cook some assam (tamarind) fish curry. It seems that my in-laws do not like fish which, of course, works in our favour. Well, we did not bother to go out and buy the usual veg for this dish – ladies’ fingers, brinjal, pineapples – and to replace all that, we just threw in some durian flowers that we got from her as well.

Assam fish curry

To go with that, I had some four-angle beans so I pounded some sambal belacan (prawn paste with chilli)and had that for ulam (dip). That was yummy!!

4-angle beans ulam

However, instead of taking the veg raw, I steamed it first…like what I would usually do with ladies’ fingers and brinjal when I have them for ulam. Don’t!!! Not with four-angle beans! Just take it raw like cucumber…Nice and crunchy!!!

So, apart from the nitty-gritty ingredients used, basically it was a free meal. My foster-cousin in the kampung gave me those four-angle beans. In view of the rising prices of things, she (and my aunt in the kampung too) have started planting vegetables around their houses…which works in my favour as well for they will always spare me some.

It certainly is good to see some positively-inclined people taking measures to enable them to sail through the economic slowdown without feeling the pinch that much. If you still insist on carrying on the way you are used to regardless, shopping and dining and spending like there is no tomorrow, then that is your prerogative; just don’t grumble about the escalating expenses that you incur. It all boils down to a matter of having the right attitude and sense of responsibility and self-control and setting priorities. We should be able to differentiate between our needs…and our wants!

Oops! Sorry I digressed…..

Where have all the flowers gone (1)…

Well, some people have eaten them…and yours truly is guilty as charged. As far as I know, many people love durians while some cannot stand the smell. I don’t mind durian…but I absolutely love it served as a dessert, Thai style with pulut (glutinous rice) and santan (coconut milk). Drool! Drool! Other than that, I also like unripe durian cooked sayur rebus style. Anyway, this post is not going to be about the fruits…but about the flowers.


You can collect the flowers when they have dropped from the tree and then, taking the stamens, you have to remove the anthers, leaving only the filament.  You must not wash the flowers prior to that or else, the anthers will become sticky. For this same reason, it is better not to collect the flowers if it has been raining.

Now, there are several ways of cooking the flowers and one of which is with kunyit (tumeric) masak lemak (with santan/coconut milk) 

Durian flowers kunyit masak lemak

or you can fry them with sambal udang kering (dried prawns)…

Durian flowers with sambal

A friend of mine once bought from the market some of the pounded ingredients for cooking curry and she just fried that in oil before adding the durian flowers and salt and msg. She let me try a bit and it was also very tasty.

Well, no-meat Friday is here again, so if I can have a dish of durian flowers to go with the rice, plus a bit of this umai (Melanau-style raw fish), that would definitely be a feast to behold… 

Melanau-style umai

Anyone care to join me…? LOL!!!

Footnote: The umai is from 3-Q Takeaway, located in the middle block (ground floor, to the left) at the Sibu Medical Centre. The food there is very nice (available for takeways only) and I love the kacang-ma. The only drawback is that there is no fixed menu so one will never know what they will cook on which days.

Hello again…

Hello, my friend, hello…! Well, it was good to see you again, Bongkersz, even though it was just a fleeting visit.

That’s right! He was in town for a while on Sunday, reaching here at around 8.30 a.m. and I took him for breakfast at Grace Cafe in the Dewan Suarah area to appease his craving for dianpianngu. Here’s a photo of him saying grace before he licked the bowl clean…(Don’t let your imagination run wild now eh? LOL!!!)

Good grief! Just a couple of weeks in Kuching and don’t you think he has put on weight? Somebody must be feeding him very well! Look at those cute, chubby cheeks!!! Like a fat baby’s that people love to cubit-cubit!!! ROTFLMAO!!

Bongkersz saying grace

The following mylongkang’s photo was uploaded onto flickr by cibol; it was taken when they were in Sibu earlier this year around Chinese New Year. Don’t you think Bongkersz was slimmer and younger then…..and he looked much better with hair? Hahahahahahaha!!!!


Anyway, to get back to what I was talking about, Huai Bin ( and Mary ( joined us later. Umm…actually Huai Bin came first because the towkay-neo (lady boss) had some business to attend to…and then, instead of heading to where we were, she went to the original dianpianngu place in the town centre and since it was already past 11 then, we decided to meet at Ruby Restaurant instead.

Since his last trip, Bongkersz had been yearning for the butter scotch prawns at the Ruby Restaurant here in Sibu;all his efforts to find a place in KL or Kuching that cooks prawns that same way have been in vain…so I decided to let him have another go at it.

Ruby's butter scotch prawns again

I also ordered his favourite cangkuk manis

Ruby's cangkuk manis again

Huai Bin loves the butter cheese baby kai lan there so we had that too…

Ruby's butter cheese baby kailan again

I wanted to try something different, so I ordered pork belly with dried chillies and salted fish. Goolooloo loved it…but although it was very nice, I think what I had once at stall no. 7 at Taman Selera Muhibbah was nicer. Perhaps they should add more salted fish…and use the “long” type instead for extra “fragrance”.

Ruby's pork belly with dried chilli and salted fish

You can find some more photographs if you bother to click the links to the other blogs but without doubt, it was a delightful lunch, considering particularly the company one was with…and I was pretty sure Bongkersz had a good time too before he left to return to Kuching via Sarikei. I hope you found your trip worthwhile, my friend, and do come again sometime…

Gimme more…

All my life, I had never eaten sweet potato leaves…until my friends, a young couple, moved from a rural town to Sibu and they planted that in their backyard.  The first time they gave me some, I did not know how to cook them, so I had to ask around and somebody told me that I could just cook them like kangkong.

Last Friday, I saw some for sale at a grocery shop in my area at RM1 a bundle, and I bought one to fry for dinner. It was easy, quite hassle-free, in fact. I just chopped some garlic and cut some chillies, fried that in oil together with a bit of belacan and in went the leaves, adding a bit of ikan bilis (anchovies) stock to them just before serving them on a plate. This was the dish I had for RM1.00, not inclusive of the bit of ingredients that I had used…

Fried sweet potato leaves

On one occasion, my friends gave me one plastic bag full of the leaves…and I left them in the kitchen sink, planning to cook  them later. Then an ex-colleague came to my house to help me repair some leaking pipes and when he saw the leaves, he asked me where I had got them from. He said that they had high medicinal value and were not “cold” like kangkong which would be bad for people suffering from arthritis or rheumatism and the like. In the end, since he was praising them to the skies, I asked him whether he wanted them…and he did! He took away the whole bag full!!! Sulk! Sulk! LOL!!! 

Well, I’ve googled and found some interesting information on those sweet potato leaves, so I would like to share it with everybody…

According to a new research from the University of Arkansas, sweet potato leaves are chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants. In total, they contain 15 different compounds that could help prevent heart disease, diabetes, infection and some types of cancer.

From a comment on

According to LSU professors in Food Science and Horticulture, sweet potato leaves are high in lutein, protective against age-related macular degeneration.

The leaves of sweet potato are…anti-diabetic. They are helpful in lowering blood sugar.

Gee! That ex-colleague of mine obviously knew his greens. The sweet potato leaves actually taste very nice, nicer than kangkong and now that I know they are so beneficial, gimme more…anytime!

Well, just to wrap up the post, that day, we had this plate of steamed white pomfret (ikan bawal putih) to go with the sweet potato leaves.

Steamed white pomfret

I certainly eat simple food and live a simple life, don’t I? LOL!!!

Come Saturday morning…

Well, it’s Saturday morning and the weekend’s here…and most of you are probably getting up too late for breakfast and too early for lunch.  So what about some brunch then? Any idea what you think you would like have? Are you going to drive around (burning liquid gold) in search of some nice things to eat?

Now, if you’re in Sibu and you’re quite sick of the usual kampua and Foochow fried mee, you should give this one a try. Perhaps you would like to go for some Tom yam mihun for a change. I have featured that some time ago, so you can click on the link to have a look if you had missed it then or have forgotten what it looks like.

Anyway, first things first. This is the name of the coffee shop…

The coffee shop

and this is the stall…

The food stall

Where is it, you say? It’s at the Delta Commercial Centre area where the now-not-so-new Delta Mall is located, on the far end next to Sweet Smelling Bakery, facing Gambir Road. So Goolooloo’s shop is pretty close by and Zouk’s, Clare’s and Housefly’s homes as well. Other than the aforementioned Tom yam mihun, you can have porridge and maybe Sarawak laksa as well, if I’m not mistaken or you can have this…

Pork kway teow soup

It is actually clear soup with minced pork balls, green veg, black fungus and an egg plus other bits and pieces…and you can have noodles, mihun or kway teow in it. Actually, there’s also pig liver and other innards but I’m staying away from those temporarily. Just in case you’re wondering, that costs RM4.00 too…and it is nice though usually I would prefer something stronger and spicier like the Tom yam mihun that I had before.

Incidentally, if you love the barbecued char siew and pork ribs, the homemade Chinese sausages or roast pork belly, chicken or duck…and you think the best is at that stall opposite the Public Bank Tunku Osman branch in the town centre, they have a stall here too. Actually, the brother runs this one…and he definitely is more friendly and pleasant than that @#$%&*+%$ one in the town, and the workers are nice and efficient too. I usually tapau home because it is not served with chicken rice, but with plain rice instead.

There are other stalls as well – one selling kampua and other things and the one at the back serves Foochow fried mee and so on…but I do not know if they are any good as I have not tried them before. Maybe you can go and sample and let me know…???

Accidentally in love…

I am free on Tuesdays…but that means I will have to cook dinner. Anyway, before I get to that, I had to go to the bank yesterday – the one in Upper Lanang Road. It used to be in Rejang Park and was not that inconvenient as it was near my house…but sometime ago, they closed down that branch and moved to the other end of the town. Well, I’m not going to deliberate on that but while I was in the area yesterday, I spotted a stall in one of the coffee shops selling kolo mee

Sibu kolo mee

Somebody should tell them that just because they dump in some minced meat, fish balls and veg, it does not become kolo mee. It still tasted like kampua mee but with the extras. Just like the pseudo-authentic kampua mee I had in Auckland (at NZ$8 per plate!)! It was nice but it just was not the same. I feel that they should just leave it to the people concerned. If you want to eat kolo mee, go to Kuching…and if it’s kampua mee that they want, then they can come to Sibu!

Now to get back to what I was going to talk about, I had to cook dinner yesterday so I must decide what I would like to eat. I did not want to cook ladies’ fingers as I would need to use sambal kering (dried prawns) and I think I should stay away from that for a while…

Fried ladies' fingers

Besides, Bongkersz cooked that recently and he might call me a copycat…but to be frank, if you take a look at his post, it did not look at all that appetising! ROTFLMAO!!! Anyway, I did not have to cook the main dish as we still had some leftover ikan tapah masak kunyit (Tapah fish cooked with tumeric) that my missus cooked a couple of days ago…so I had to tolerate my craving for some lemon chicken for a bit…

Lemon chicken

In the end, I settled for pumpkin instead. I had cooked half of it last week, sayur rebus style…so I still had half of it in the fridge.

Normally, I would cook it with udang kering (dried prawns), the same way that I would cook ladies’ fingers, but it looked like I had to do without that. I pounded two shallots, four cloves of garlic and three chillies, and fried that in a bit of oil, adding one stalk of serai (lemon grass) to that a while later. I also put in one teaspoon of sugar, to caramelise it, as Kylie Kwong would say…and then in went the cut pumpkin. After mixing the pumpkin with the ingredients thoroughly, I added water and left it to simmer until the pumpkin was cooked. Finally, I added a teaspoon of ikan bilis (anchovies) stock, threw in a few curry leaves for additional fragance and continued to simmer it till the gravy thickened.

Fried pumpkin

So this was the end result. It certainly looked mouth-watering and when I tried it, it was really very very nice! I loved it!!! Somehow, it reminded me of the chilli crabs I had in Singapore in the early 70s at places in Changi or Bedok. Ummm…have I accidentally stumbled upon the recipe they used at the time? Well, I simply must try it out one of these days…but that will have to wait till I am absolutely sure I will not end up with another gout attack…! LOL!!!

Who do you think you are…

What do you like to eat? What is your favourite food? And what does it tell about your personality? Well, if you like any of the following, are you what they think you are?

If you like ICE CREAM, not much ruffles your feathers. Smooth and mellow, that’s you. You are natural with children and your friends consider you the cream of the crop. But if you prefer HOT DOGS, jeans and a T-shirt are usually your clothes of choice.  You are patriotic and a hard-worker who can be counted on.  You are loyal, affectionate and good-hearted.

1901 hot dog/Image from

If you have a weakness for DONUTS, you are artistic and creative. You enjoy hoobies and crafts such as cake decorating, needlework and woodworking. On the other hand, for SUB SANDWICHES lovers, variety is very important. They are adventurous and like surprises.

Pete's sandwiches/Image from

And if you would die for some FRIED CHICKEN, family, tradition and old fashioned values are important to you. You like things slow, relaxed and stable while those who prefer PIZZAS are friendly, outgoing and sociable. They also enjoy intimate candlelight dinners. Sharing comes naturally to them and they usually look on the bright side of things.

Peppino's pizza/Image from

I, for one, do not fancy FROZEN YOGURT but if you do, you enjoy new and exciting things. The future appeals to you. You are positive and friendly and health and fitness are important in your life. But if you would rather indulge in some BURGERS AND FRIES, you are always on the go and know how to have a good time. You believe in honesty, integrity and fair play.

McDonald's burger and fries/Image from

Anyone for MEXICAN FOOD? If that is your cup of tea, you do not mind a mess. You like your home comfortable and lived-in instead of being so neat that it looks like a museum. Money and material possessions do not impress you. Personally, I would rather go for CHINESE FOOD, so if you are like me, you are surrounded by an aura of mystery and intrigue. You love to travel and visit new, exotic places. Thoughtfulness and patience are some of your many virtues.

Chinese food/Image from

So how accurate is the analysis of your personality? I do not think I can narrow down to one specific item…but looking at ALL the things that I like, I find it somewhat pretty accurate. Do let me know how it went with you…

Photos from

If I were a carpenter…

Well, I’m not…and neither am I going to talk about carpenters, just Carpenter Street in Kuching. I wonder how it got its name…for I used to hang around there as early as the 70’s but I don’t recall seeing any carpenter or a lot of carpenter shops – maybe a couple selling local-made furniture, that was all.

What I remember about the street was that there was a wide open section among one of the shop blocks. It may still be there today and it used to double as a temple and on certain festivals, they would have the Chinese wayang (opera shows) there. At other times, there were food stalls though I won’t know whether it’s the same today. I loved the kolo mee there and also that at a coffee shop further down the road at a T-junction, Carpenter Street with either Bishopgate or Temple Street.

Gerrie sent me this photograph of the kolo mee at Kim Joo coffee shop along Carpenter Street…

Kolo mee @ Kim Joo, Carpenter Street

I don’t know if it’s the same coffeeshop that I used to go to but I can recall they had liver and all the pig’s innards. It was really delicious and what impressed me most was the waiter. Though a mere kid, he was able to remember what everybody wanted or did not want even though there were 5 or 6 of us. He did not even have to write it down and he would get all the orders correct. These days, you get those dumbos…and even though they write it down, they still mess everything up!

If I am not mistaken, there was a very popular restuarant there – Ang Lee Restaurant or something. Well, it was definitely not named after the famous movie director, that’s for sure, for it existed long before that guy came into the limelight! I had dinners there a few times but I can’t exactly place a finger on what the specialty of the house was. I think it could be the char siew there that was nice, I’m not too sure.

Well, I used to go to Carpenter Street a lot because I had a lot of friends in that vicinity. I knew a girl at the first shop on the right behind the General Post Office, and I had a friend who ran a stall selling sweets, tidbits and so on in between two blocks of shop houses at one of the T-junctions. Then I had a friend at Bishopgate and one at Temple Street and more at Main Bazaar. Sigh!!! Time and tide waits for no man…and in a blink of an eye, all that remain are the sweet memories of the happy moments we shared a long, long time ago. I do not know where they are now; I only hope they are all doing fine and leading happy lives. Who knows, one day, we may meet…but I won’t know whether we can still recognise one another anymore. After all, that was some 30-40 years ago…

Don’t throw it all away…

This was a photograph that I took late in the evening on Tuesday last week…

Queue for petrol

Elegant Coral had sent me an sms telling me to go and fill up as the petrol stations would be closed for two days demanding for an increase in the commission in view of the increase in petrol prices. I didn’t bother as I just had mine filled about a week earlier and I paid RM75; it used to be around RM60 only. There was also an sms that said that there would be another increase in petrol prices the following day. Well, the next day, the petrol stations were all open and the prices remained the same.

Still, I do think that everyone should make an effort to save on fuel and everything else for that matter. Confessions-of-a-medical-student has a post on this with some “useful” tips (mostly tongue-in-cheek) as to how we may economise on fuel. I certainly feel that driving at a constant speed and cruising on free gear when approaching a junction or the destination may help; I have been doing that and it has been more than 10 days and my petrol tank is still more than half full. Well, that’s just my two-cents’ worth so it is up to each and everyone of you what you would like to do in the face of the present crisis. But I think I have said it before in an earlier post that we should make a conscious effort to save up on food and try to avoid wastage and talking about that, I had some leftover rice and tuna curry, so I decided to use that the other day to cook some fried rice…

I saw Kylie Kwong on one of those cooking shows and she was commenting that the fried rice from those Chinese takeways overseas was not authentic…and she went on to show the “right” way it should be done. Well, to me, fried rice is fried rice, whichever way you choose to cook it. Here in Malaysia, we have different varieties including the local kampung fried rice or even the Pattaya fried rice.

Anyway, back to my version that I managed to cook using the leftovers, I cut some shallots and chopped some garlic which I fried in oil until they turned brown… 

Shallots and garlic
Fried rice step 1

The way Kylie did it, she added some sugar to “caramelise” what was in the wok, so I followed suit! Copycat, eh? LOL!!! After that, I added the rice and stirred well…

Fried rice step 2

Then, I added the tuna curry…and the stirring continued. You may wish to use some salt and msg at this point but I would prefer chicken/ikan bilis (anchovies) stock. I also added a bit of tumeric (kunyit) powder to give it a bit of extra fragrance and colour…

Fried rice step 3

Then came the eggs…

Fried rice step 4

I broke the yolks and mixed them with the rice, tossing and turning it until the eggs were cooked…

Fried rice step 5

Now, the fried rice was ready to be served…

One plate of fried rice coming up...

So, there you have it! Don’t throw it all away! Reuse, recycle and reduce…and we will definitely be able to ease the pinch to a certain extent, at least, and don’t, for heaven’s sake, believe everything you hear!!! Didn’t somebody say that I only posted stuff that I had eaten outside and never showed what I cooked myself, step by step? Well, here you are! Action speaks louder than words, right? LOL!!!


Well, it’s Friday again! Actually, I had an invitation from Huai Bin to go for ayam pansuh (chicken cooked in bamboo) and tuak (ethnic traditional wine) at the Borneo Cultural Festival…but I don’t eat meat on Fridays and I have this nagging pain in the knee. I wonder if it’s gout…from all those prawns at Min Kong! Never mind! It will pass in a few days…but since I was not going out, that meant I had to cook dinner again. Sigh!!!

Rummaging through the cupboards in the kitchen, I came across some leftover macaroni so I boiled that, adding a bit of oil and salt to the water, until the pasta turns soft…

Macaroni after boiling

In the meantime, I soaked some dried prawns (udang kering) in hot water and chopped some shallots, garlic and chillies plus a bit of tumeric (kunyit)…

shallots, garlic, tumeric and chillies

I pounded all that and this was what I got in the end…

Pounded ingredients

And that’s chopped Chinese celery in the bowl; I could not find any spring onions in the house, you see. I did find some fish balls in the fridge which I cut into quarters. I wish I had some prawns though (Some people never learn! LOL!!!) for that would definitely enhance the taste. There were some bean sprouts (taugeh) and I had to endure the tedious task of getting the tails removed and there was a can of button mushrooms in the pantry so I took that and cut the mushrooms into thin slices…

Bean sprouts, mushrooms and fishballs

When everything was ready, I heated some oil in the wok, threw in the pounded ingredients and stirred till it was fragrant and nicely-browned. After that, I put in the fish balls and the mushrooms. The macaroni followed…and then I broke two eggs into it and stirred till the eggs were cooked before adding the bean sprouts (taugeh). Instead of adding salt and msg, I used ikan bilis (anchovies) stock…and when it was all adequately mixed together, I put the chopped Chinese celery in… 

Kampung-style macaroni

So there you have it…macaroni – my own original recipe. Hmmm…I think I’ll just call it Macarena! LOL!!!