Thursday, June 30, 2011

三味蒸蛋 3-Flavoured Steam Egg

Steam egg is an egg dish usually categorized as a soup dish.  

The basic ingredient are : eggs and water, seasoned with a bit of salt.  A wide variation of steam egg can be derived by adding different additional ingredients to it, 三味蒸蛋 3-flavoured steam egg is one of many variation of it.

First, hard-boil a salted egg.  Cut into small pieces.
Century egg need not to be cooked.  Cut it into small pieces too.
Then, beat 2 egg with 400ml of water, in a big bowl, preferable metal or ceramic made.  Too much water may prolonged cooking time, and the egg turns out watery.
Put in the chopped salted egg, and century egg.  Add in a bit of salt to taste.
Steam for about 30 minutes, until the egg hardened into a tofu-like substance.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Century Egg 之 松花纹

皮蛋, supposedly ‘leathered egg’, yet named as ‘century egg’ by the Westerners.  During the Ming Dynasty, it was known as 混沌子, which is beyond translation, even for Google translate.

Century egg also known as pine-patterned egg, a more accurate-translation from alternative Mandarin name 松花蛋. 

Some century egg have patterns on the surface of the yolk, which resemblance pine branches.  The pattern is believed to be crystal salts of amino-acids.

Century eggs are coated with a mixture of quicklime (calcium hydroxide 石灰), soda ash (sodium carbonate 碱面) and salt (sodium chloride).  Quicklime reacted with soda ash, and forms sodium hydroxides.... Sodium hydroxides then seep through the egg shell and reacted with the amino acids in the yolk, forming amino-acid salts.  It’s the crystallization of the amino-acid salts that form the pattern on the yolk surface.     

Friday, June 24, 2011

MILO + Egg

Yes, you are right.  Its an egg in MILO !  An hardboiled egg, to be exact.

This is my own ongrizinal recipe.  
There are other MILO+egg combination, one that I know is crack open a fresh egg into a cup wih MILO powder, pour in boiling water and stir, the egg will be cooked and appeared to be fine shreds of yellowish-white colloid suspended in chocolate-coloured MILO.  A few slurps and its finish !  No chewing required.     

My version is simple : an hardboiled egg in MILO.   Using a spoon, cut he egg  into bite-size ; or scoop the egg out and bite it off the spoon.   I used to have it for supper or breakfast, when there's no much options.  If after finish the egg, and still not satisfied ... and theres still MILO left, can always add in few crackers ...

You may ask : How does it taste like ?  
Hard to imagine ?  Why not try it yourself tonight ?  
Bon appetit !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


MILO® is a beverage of cocoa, is a product by Nestlé, developed by Thomas Mayne, launched at the Sydnes Royal Easter Show, in 1934.   MILO® first production plant located in Smithtown, near Kempsey on the on the North Coast of New South Wales.

The name MILO®  was derived from a mythical Greek athlete Milo of Crotona ( 6th century BC ).

MILO®  consists of mixture of chocolate and malt powder.  The malt extract is rich in energy in the form of different types of carbohydrate : glucose, maltose, oligosaccharide, and polysaccharide.  Often fortified with vitamins and minerals  : B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin, C, Ca, Mg, Fe, P ,  thus it is not surprise MILO® ‘s TV commercial jingles sings “minum MILO®  anda jadi sihat dan kuat”.  

MILO®  is very popular in Malaysia, where the brand is synonymous with chocolate flavored drinks. 
It has 90% market share in Malaysia, and Malaysian were said to be the world’s largest consumers of MILO® .  Other similar beverages : Ovaltine® , Horlick® and Vi-Co®, find it very hard to capture Malaysians taste.
The largest  MILO®  factory in the world locates at Chembong, Negeri Sembilan.   
MILO®  was first introduced as a nutrient supplement 1950s.  It is closely associated with sports and often labeled as sport drinks.  It was MILO®  that coined the slogan ‘Malaysia Boleh!’. 

In Peru, during the 1970s, MILO®  can labels displayed Peruvian towns, crops, fauna and floral.  After 1980s, the advertising fit to sports images.
In India, MILO®  fails to compete with other beverages, thus ceased its production.
In Australia, the home country of MILO®  , a new version called MILO®  B-Smart was released in 2008, which is of finer texture and has added vitamin B and iodine.
In Brazil, production of MILO®  was discontinued, but other Nestle brands, Nescau and Nesquik still continues.

Sold as powder in its signature green tin,  MILO®  is also available as a premixed beverage in TetraPak, and 3in1 packages. 
MILO®  can be served hot, lukewarm (MILO® suam) or chilled (MILO® ), with milk, or Nescafe instant coffee powder (Neslo).
Other MILO®  derived products are : chocolate bar, cereal, yoghurt, ice cream etc

More information about MILO®  can be retrieved from  and

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MILO + Cracker

MILO + cream cracker is a mash up, instant, snack of my all time favourite.  It is convenience, easy to prepare, fast, economic and most important of all, fill my empty stomach !    I can have it between meals, midnight supper, for breakfast, lazy-to-cook-day, … while watching tv, reading… etc

Akin to American counterpart of cookie-milk, I believe this combination of snack is a specialty of S.E.Asian Chinese. 

It is a cup of MILO, and a few crackers.  Crackers are soaked momentary in hot MILO – not too long so that the crackers still have its crunchy bite – then scoop out with a table spoon.   It may look messy and distasteful for some, as the crackers looks somewhat awful when if softened.

I remember spreading sweetened milk or kaya on the cracker before soaking them into the MILO.   Hmmm....too sweet even for myself. 

Thinking of it, the cracker can be replaced with any type of cookies… be it butter cookie, Oreo, etc.  Just soak it, scoop it !

A more ‘civilized’  way is to dip-only the crackers in the MILO, and lift it up and bite it.    But, if the MILO is half full, then it might be inconvenience to dip the cracker.   A gentleman way it is, but not so effective, I think.  ( 歹势吃自己 / segan makan, perut lapar ! )

Sunday, June 19, 2011

竹蔗凉水 SugarCane Herbal Tea

竹蔗 ( literally means bamboo cane.  = bamboo, = sugarcane ) is a kind of sugarcane, dark purple in colour, at 1-2cm diameter, it is skinnier than the normal sugarcane ( Saccharum officinarum ). It is also less juicy, and less sweet.  Very much favoured by the Chinese community as the main ingredient of infamous sugarcane herbal tea.

I supposed bamboo cane should be Saccharum sinense, but can’t be 100% sure.  It is also known as Chinese cane.

Fresh Chinese bamboo can be bought in most Asian fresh market.  Dried ones find their ways to hypermarkets and sundry stores pre=packed.

before cleaning ......                                                                 after cleaning ......

If you have fresh Chinese cane, it is vital to clean it off any debris, dirt, buds and dried leaves.  Scratch it, scrub it, rub it, wash it.  Then, cut it into about 10cm long ( for them to able to fit into my pot, of course ), chopped them into 2 - 4 vertically.

Simmer them in a huge pot of water with big chunk of chopped carrot, till the water turns yellowish and smells of sweet sugarcane aroma.  Ironically, add in a bit of sugar to sweetened it up.  Serve hot or chilled.  Discard off the sugarcane lol .

Minus all the hassle of cleaning and chopping, one can always head to any grocery stores or hypermarkets to have pre-packed dried Chinese cane.  Those dried packs are mostly produce of China, often have other herbs added to it : arrowroot, carrot, and Imperatae root.

丝瓜炒虾球 Stir-fried Luffa with Prawn

First, heat oil over medium flame, stir-fry in sliced ginger.
Add in minced garlic as well. 
Then, add in minced meat and skinned prawns. 
When the meat and prawns are half cooked, add in the luffa.
Stir-fry a bit  Add in some ShaoXing wine ( 绍兴酒 ).
Simmer for a while till the luffa is softened.  Add in bit of water when necessary.
Lastly, a pinch of salt and some oyster sauce ( 蚝油 )to taste.

Monday, June 13, 2011

皮蛋瘦肉粥 #2 Lean Meat Porridge with Century Egg #2

This is again a porridge of century egg. 

Yet, this time, I incorporated the 2 century eggs into the rice for simmering from the beginning.  The century eggs were cut into 4 quarters, together with some minced lean meat.  I expected the porridge to be murky and darker coloured, because of the century eggs.   Yet, it turned out quite fair !  And it doesn't smells unpleasant too.

A little bit of salt and msg, and its another mouth-watering dinner !

I checked the century eggs sold in Jusco Taman Equine.  Its RM3.90 for 4 piece, i.e. RM0.975/piece.
The Singapore's century eggs cost S$7 for 20 pieces, i.e S$0.35.  Convert to Malaysian Ringgit @ rate of 2.4, its RM0.84/piece. 
OMG !  Singapore's century eggs are really cheaper than Malaysian's
How can that be ? 

Well, I believe our government will surely compare the price with other development countries, and concluded that our century eggs are among the cheapest !

( OMG ! = Oh My Government ! )

Friday, June 10, 2011

Century Egg 皮蛋

Century egg ( 皮蛋 ), or alkalized egg is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months.

When the Westerners first reached China, they were puzzled with this preserved egg, assumed that it took very long time for it to become dark coloured, thus named it ‘century egg’ or ‘thousand-year egg’.   It is also called ‘pine-branch egg’ ( 松花蛋 ) for the snow-flake pattern on its white.   

Through the process, the yoke becomes a dark grey colour, with a creamy consistency and an odor of sulphur and ammonia.  The egg white become a dark brown, translucent jelly with little flavour.  

Century egg was said to be in existence some 600 hundred years ago during Ming Dynasty in Hunan, when some duck eggs were discovered in a pool of slake lime.

Traditionally duck eggs are coated in a mixture of alkaline clay ( 3 tea : 3 quick lime : 7 oak ash : 9 sea salt ), then covered in rice husk to avoid the eggs from adhering to one another.
方以智《物理小识》: “池州出变蛋,以五种树灰盐之,大约以荞麦谷灰则黄白杂糅,加炉炭石灰,则绿而坚韧”。

In modern production , duck eggs were soaked for 10 days if solution of calcium hydroxide, and sodium carbonate, then followed by several weeks of aging.

Lead oxide is also known to shortened the curing period.  But its highly poisonous, thus very unlikely is used.   On other side, zinc oxide is a safer alternative.  But excessive zinc consumption  can lead to copper deficiency.

There are some misconception that century eggs are soaked in horse urine, due to its pungent ammonia odour.  Horse urine, however, is only slightly basic, ranging from pH 7.5 – 7.9, not enough to raise the eggs’ pH to >9.

皮蛋瘦肉粥 Lean Meat Porridge with Century Egg

Lean meat porridge is best served with century egg. 

But, in a real century egg porridge, the century egg is simmered with lean pork meat and rice until the rice become porridge.   

I have bought a box of century egg during my recent trip to Singapore.  A box of it contains 20 pieces of this preserved duck egg coated in mud-rice husk mixture. 
Century eggs from Singapore ?   Well, the century eggs are actually imported from China, but apparently they are more fresh than those in Malaysian market, and cheaper too ( S$7 for 20 pieces )
Seems like there will be more recipies of century eggs ......

Friday, June 3, 2011

Petai Belalang Sambal Belacan - Experimental Cooking

Petai belalang is  the name the local Malays call Leucaena leucocephala.  Wikipedia says that the Indonesians call it petai cina or lamtoro, while the Thais call it krathin

Petai belalang is definitely edible.  The taste is almost similar to petai ( Parkia speciosa ), only smaller in size. 

However, petai belalang is said to contained mimosine, a toxic non-protein acid amino.  Mimosine is reported to halt diving cell in the late G1 phase by inhibiting DNA replication. ( meaning what ? )  Mimosine is also said to caused lathyrism and depilation in some livestock.  However, fortunately for ruminants, mimosine is degraged to 3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP, then further digested to non-toxic compound.

So,  it is not advisable to consume a large quantity of petai belalang.   Yet, if someone is lost in a tropical jungle or some inhabited island, I guess there are not much choice after all.   Unless there are a lot of mangoes and coconuts available.   Btw, I remember seeing Jack ( the main character in LOST, an American serial drama tv series on ABC ), in one of the final episode of Season 6,  standing by a thicket of petai belalang … do they ever know that its edible ?  

Some 10 immature pods of petai belalang only yield to a few spoonful of edible seeds.  The pods are dehiscent, meaning they will crack-opened when dried.  Immature pods are harder to open, but I soon discovered an easy way to extract the seeds : peel open from the rear end of the pod.  Easy eh ?!

I stir fried them with belacan and pounded Sarawak smoked prawns, just as a petai belacan dish would be.  The taste is less pungent than petai, more tender, less mouthful, yet still have some bitter aftertaste.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

五大天王 5-Heavenly-Kings

四大天王 ( literally 4-heavenly-kings ) is a dish of 4 types of beans, namely : yardlong bean,  4-winged bean, petai ( Parkia speciosa ) and lady’s finger ( although lady’s finger is botanically not a bean, its from the mallow family ), stirfried with belacan.

I have all the ingredients in my garden, except petai.  Why not have something different, I say. 

So, I strolled down my veg garden and harvest whatever are available :
Hyacinth bean ( Dolichos lablab )
Yardlong bean ( Vigna unguiculata sesquipdealis )
4-winged bean ( Psophocarpus tetragonolobus )
Lady’s fingers ( Abelmoschus esculentus )
Chili ( Capsicum annum )
Curry leaves ( Murraya koenigii )

First, cut all the beans, lady’s finger, and tindoras into bite-sizes.
Then, deep fry the curry leaves in hot oil till it become crunchy.  Set aside.
Next, stir fry till fragrant over hot oil some pounded Sarawaks-smoked-prawn, chili and some belacan. 
Put in all the cut vegs, stir fry till cooked.  Sprinkle the curry leaves on top.
Serve hot !

( but its not as good as I imagined :(  ....
maybe next time, I will try stirfry without belacan  清炒 )

Hrm… I should name the dish : 五大天王, 5-heavenly-kings instead