Sunday, October 31, 2010


八珍鸭汤 ( literary means ‘soup of 8-invaluable-herbs with duck’ ) is a very special herbal soup for the Sarawakian Foochows.

八珍汤 is devoured by both boys and girls, young and old, back in my hometown Sarawak, especially of the Foochow descendants.  Yet, over this side of South China Sea, only the females consume it for its supposedly ‘yin’ nutritive value.

So, it was a shock when our friends in Peninsular learned that we boys, too, consume 八珍汤.

It was a day before Dasiong’s birthday, and we decided to cook for him 八珍鸭汤 with 面线 ( pronounced meesua in Foochow, Sarawakian Foochow’s version of vermicelli ). It’s a package of 八珍 simmered with whole duck (cut into pieces, of course), served only with meesua. …. a nostalgic concoction for the wanderers from the faraway land.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

罗汉果 凉茶

1.罗汉 ( dried fruit of Siraitio grosvenori )
2.百合 ( dried bulb scales of Lillium brownii var viridulum )
3.冬瓜糖  ( sweetened stripes of Cucurmis hispida fruit - winter melon strips )
4.蜜枣 ( sweetened fruit of Ziziphus zizyphus )
5.桂圆 ( dried fruits of Dimocarpus longan )
6白木耳  white fungus ( dried Tremella fuciformis )

Additionally, can add
莲子 lotus seeds ( seeds of Nelumbo nucifera )
白果 ginkgo seeds ( seeds of Ginkgo biloba )
Simmer all ingredients ( except white fungus ) in 3 liter of water, for 1 hours ++ untill the gingko seed, or lotus seed softened.  By then, the 罗汉果 has started emitting its aroma.

Only then, put in all the white fungus.  Bring to boil for a while, and it's done !
( don't cook the white fungus too long.  Over-cooked white fungus tends to be hardened, and losts its agar-like chew )

Serve hot.   But I perfer to have it chilled during a hot summer day !

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yam Cake 芋头糕

Ingredients A
1. Sarawak dried prawn, pounded
2. minced pork meat
3. yam, cubed to 0.5cm x 0.5cm size
4. salt
5. pepper powder

Cook Ingredients A.  Make it extra salty and spicy.

Ingredients B
1. Rice flour
2. Corn flour
3. water.

Mix  3 water : 2 rice flour : ½ corn flour.   Add in cooked Ingredients A.
Steam for about 20 minutes.

The yam cake can be refrigetated for few days.  Just saute it over Julia’s non-stick pan.
Best have it with my favourite chili source over a cup of milk/Milo/coffee.

LotusRoot Peanut Soup 莲藕花生汤

Ingredients :

1. Lotus Root  莲藕 ( rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera )
2. Peanuts 花生
3. pork meat 猪肉
4. dried squid 吊片 / scallop 干贝

Method :

( Lazy to write.  It’s preparation is basically similar to most Chinese soup.  It doesn't matter if you want to slow-cook  or pressure-cook it, as long as the ingredients are cooked.  The quantity and ratio of ingredients are much depend on personal liking. )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nasi Kunyit 黄姜饭

Ingredients A :

1. Clove Cengkih (Malay), 子香, dried flower bud of Syzigium aromaticum
2. Cinnamon ( Kayu manis (Malay), 肉桂 , dried bark of Cinnamomum sp )
3. Cardamon ( Buah pelaga (Malay), 白豆蔻, dried seed pod of Elettaria cardamomum )
4. Star anise ( Bunga lawang (Malay), 八角, dried fruit of Illicium verum )
5. Shallot ( Bawang merah (Malay), bulb of  Allium cepa var. aggregatum )

Ingredients B :
1. Tumeric ( Kunyit (Malay), 薑黃 ,  powdered rhizom of Cucurma longa )
2. fresh Lemongrass ( Serai (Malay), 香茅 Cymbopogon citratus )
3. Coconut milk
4. Rice

Method :
1. pre-soak rice in tumeric powder for few minutes.  Wash and drain.
2. saute Ingredients A.  
3. cook the rice with coconut milk, fresh lemongrass, and Ingredients A.
4. add salt to taste.

Serve with chickencurry, beef curry, rendang, prawn sambal, or anything nice.

Seaweed Tofu Soup 紫菜豆腐羹

Saute sliced ginger in oil.   Add in minced pork, minced shittake mushrooms.

Add in water, minced tofu ( 软豆腐  ) and seaweed ( 紫菜 ,Porphyra sp ).  Bring to boil.

Stir in an beaten egg.  Finallly, thicken the soup with  corn flour. 

Add salt to taste.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yam Rice 芋头饭

Sauté pounded Sarawak dried prawn with minced pork meat.  Add in diced yam, simmer till softened.  Make it extra salty. 

Cook rice with half amount of water than normal.  When the rice is almost cook, mix in the cooked yam, and continue cooking till the rice is completely cooked.

Note : If the water is too much, the yam rice may ended up soggy & sticky.  Otherwise it will be just nice  . … not too dry, not too damp …  nice granules of rice grains

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Braised Chicken with Judas's Ear 鸡肉焖黑木耳

1. Pre-soaked dried Judas Ear 黑木耳 ( Auricalaria auricula-judae ) for 30 minutes or until it softened becoming a jelly-like texture, cut into bite size ;

2. Sauté sliced ginger in sesame seed oil ;

3. Put in cubed chicken meat, and sauté till partially cooked ;

4. Put in the Judas Ear, and simmer till cooked ;

5. Add salt to taste.

6. Alternatively, can add in button mushrooms ( Agaricus bisporus ) or shitake mushrooms ( Lentinula edodes ).

Belacan Kangkong 马来风光

Kangkong is a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as leafy vegetable. It is identified as Ipomoea aquatica of the family Convolvulaceae.

It is knows as water spinach in English. Kangkong is the Malay name. In Mandarin, it is known as 空心菜; literally "hollow vegetable". In Cantonese, it’s 蕹菜. It has many other names in other languages : ผักบุ้ง – phak bung ( Thai ) , ga zun ywet ( Burmese ) , rau muống ( Vietnam ) , etc.

The leaves are usually stir fried with chilli, garlic and belacan.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food Attack ! 金针

It is reported that daylily buds contain a natural toxic colchicine ( 秋水仙碱 ). Although colchicine is used as medicine, ingestion of excessive dose of colchicine may cause poisoning.

Symptoms starts 2 to 5 hours after ingestion, include burning in mouth and throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and kidney failure.

Onset of multiple-system organ failure may occure within 24 to 72 hours. This includes hypovolemic shock due to extreme vascular damage and fluid loss through the GI tract, which may result in death.

Additionally, sufferers may experience kidney damage resulting in low urine output and bloody urine; low white blood cell counts, persisting for several days; anemia; muscular weakness; and respiratory failure.

Recovery may begin within 6 to 8 days. However, there is no specific antidote for colchicine.

Daylily Soup 金针蛋花汤

Daylily 金针 is the flower bud of  Hemerocallis fluva ( synonym H. citrina ), a monocot perennial plant of family Hemerocallidaceae of order Asparagales. 

Dried daylily buds can be bought in most Asian market.  Fresh buds which are more gratifying, however, are harder to acquire.

As daylily buds contains colchicine, prior to cooking daylily buds, it is advisable to pre-soak the dried buds in water for about 2 hours prior to cooking.  Fresh buds need to be soaked for 30 minutes in warm water, follow by boiling for about 1 minute.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sarawak's Smoked Prawn

This is the uniquely Sarawak’s smoked prawn, locally known as kupas tigah in Melanau language.

The Melanaus are native of Sarawak, residing along rivers and costals of Borneon Malaysia.  Tradionally fishermans and farmers, the Melanaus used to live in tall stilted houses by the riverines. 

Sokedprawn is considered important foodstuff by the Melanaus.  The prawns are harvested from the sea, deskinned, straightened, and smoked over an open hearth.  The end product is an  appeasing marroon coloration, chewy, savory with richness of prawn.

Kupas tigah can be stored for long period time, and thus was once an important staple food for fishermans, and wanderers as well.  It was taken along with sagu and umai.

Today, priced at a hefty RM70/kg, kupas tigah is well incorportated into cuisines of other ethnic group of Sarawak.