Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cari Makan @ Hulu Yam Baharu - 咖喱虾+ 咖喱鱼头



WL Restaurant
tel : 03-60751881

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Poison in our Foods : Nitrite

In August 2011, surveillance conducted by
Zhejiang Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce found that excessive nitrite 亚硝酸盐 was present in culibose imported from Malaysia.  It was unsure how nitrite could occurred in bird’s nests燕窝. The Malaysian exporters claims no additives were added to bird’s nest, especially nitrite.

Experts says it is normal to have trace amount of nitrite in bird’s nest, but 4400 mg/kg is totally unacceptable.  Expert says nitrite may occure naturally due to chemical reaction.  Some studies suggested that It could be from the bird droppings, or other environmental contaminant.
Traces of nitrite is also found naturally in some vegetables, eg. beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, potato, spinach, tomato etc. 

Processed meat, such as sausages, smoked meats and fishes, fermented meats, hams, canned meats, etc and cheeses may contain nitrite not exceeding 200mg/kg.  

Nitrite are permitted preservatives in many countries for processed meat, but do not include bird’s nest.

Bird’s nest is a prized delicacies, especially for the Chinese.  Bird’s nest is produced by swiftlets, Aerodramus fuciphagus ( synonym Collocalia fuciphaga ), and German’s swiftlets, Aerodramus germani.  The swiftlets used a glutinous secretion to bind together materials for nest building, or construct a whole nest with it.  

Bird’s nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans.  A 100g of bird’s nest cost about USD1,000.  bird’s nest is believed to be very nourishing and contains unknown properties.  It is claimed that bird’s nests can help maintain a youthful, radiant and wrinkle-free complexion.  

Bird’s nest has a translucent appearance.  It smells similar to the scent of egg white.  It contains mainly carbohydrates ( sialic acid, galactoamine, glucosamine, galactose, fucose ) , amino acids ( aspartic acid, blutamic acid, praline, threonine, valine, etc ) and minerals ( copper, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, sodium, etc ). 

It is very disturbing that such a premium delicacy contains nitrites.  Nitrites, when consumed, will go into the blood stream and react with hemoglobin ( Hb ) to form methemoglobin ( metHb ).  MetHb cannot bind oxygen, which decrease the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen to body tissues, thus causing a condition known as methemoglobinemia.   Methemoglobinemia may cause bluish tinge on lips and skin, tiredness, coma and even death.  However, metHb formation is reversible.  Nitrite in blood is rapidly oxidized to nitrate, and excreted via the urinal tract.  

The China health authority thus announced the maximum of nitrite in bird’s nest to be 30mg/kg ,  adopted from the existing rule on processed meats.

Still, it is recommended that bird’s nest should be thoroughly washed and soaked before stewing.  Washing and soaking for few hours can in general remove substantial quantity of nitrite.  The water used for soaking should also be discarded and replace once or twice during the soaking process. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ongrizinal Baked Pumpkin

pumpkin, thinly sliced to 3 or 4 slices.

Preheat the oven at 150°C.
Add a bit of olive oil on pan.  Lay the pumpkin slices nicely.
Heat for about 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

Serving for 1 pax.

Monday, September 12, 2011

冬粉鱼丸汤 Cellophane Noodle & Fish Ball Soup

very simple instruction :

First, mince some garlic, saute over hot wok.
Julienne some carrot ( to garnish ).
Add in a bowl-full of water, put in 10 fish balls, carrot & some cellophane noodle.
Bring to boil.
Add salt & pepper to taste.

丝瓜炒冬粉 Stir-fried Smooth Luffa with Cellophane Noodle

simplified instructions :

1. mince some garlic, saute over hot wok
2. ( optional ) add in, chicken meat / pork / fresh prawn / dried prawn
3. add in the smooth-luffa, stir fry a bit,
4. add in some water, and some cellophane noodle,
5. simmer till everything softened,
6. add salt to taste.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

炒红萝卜 Stir-fried Carrot

The carrots in a mix-veg dish are always cut in chunks, slices, or diced, taste a lot like a carrot ( duh ! ) ( which is not my favourite bite )
Cooking a sole-carrot dish is very challenging.  The dish could ended up in trash bin.

So, I fast and furiously julienne 2 carrots with a box-grater.  Set aside.
Mince 3 clove of garlic,  saute it.
Slice some pork / chicken meat.  Add into the wok.  Stir till partially cooked.
Add in the carrot.  Stir fry a bit.  Pour in some water, simmer it till cooked.
Add salt and pepper  to taste.

Surprisingly, it tastes good !

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Black pepper is the drupe fruit of a liana plant Piper nigrum of the Piperaceae family.

P. nigrum is native to India.  Yet it is extensively cultivated in tropical regions.

The word ‘pepper’ is derived from Tamil word ‘pippali’, of which the Latin word ‘piper’ derived.  In Malay language, pepper is referred as ‘lada’ : black pepper – ‘lada hitam’, and white pepper – ‘lada putih’.  The Malay word ‘lada’ too refers to chili pepper. 
It is known as 胡椒 in Mandarin.

Black pepper is produced from drying of green matured drupes of P. nigrum.
White pepper consists only the seed of the pepper, with the skin removed via retting.
Green pepper is green peppercorns treated with special treatment.

Pepper gets its spicy heat from the piperine compound.   

Sichuan pepper is the fruit of mostly Zanthoxylum piperitum, of the Rutaceae family.   Few other species are use as Sichuan pepper as well : Z. piperitum, Z. simulans, and Z. schinifolium.

Zanthoxylum is a genus of some 250 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, native to warm temperate and subtropical area worldwide. 

The generic name is derived from Greek words ‘xanthos’, which means ‘yellow’ ; and ‘xylon’, which means ‘wood’.  It refers to a yellow dye made from the roots of some of its species.
It is known as 花椒 in Mandarin.

Sichuan pepper gets its special flavour from hydroxyl-α-sanshool.

Chili pepper is the fruits of Capsicum genus, of the Solanaceae family.  There are some 20 – 27 species, 5 of which are domesticated :  C. annum, C. baccatum, C, chinense, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens.

Chili peppers, are short-lived perennial shrubs originated in the New World Americas, spread across the Old World after the Columbian Exchange.

The generic name ‘Capsicum’ is derived from Greek word ‘kapto’, which means ‘to bite’.
The common name varies between countries : capsicum, cabai, chile, chili, chilli, chilli pepper, hot pepper, green pepper, red pepper, bell pepper, lada, paprika, 辣椒 etc.

The chili fruit contains capsaicin, which produce the strong burning sensation.