Kueh is one of my favourite Malaysian desserts. It is steamed, mildly flavoured, soft, chewy, and slightly sticky. Here is a recipe for a 7, 8, or 9 layer (your choice), 2 colour kueh. The main flavours to this kueh are coconut and pandan.
Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Food’
When I traveled to Malaysia in May 2013, I tried many new foods in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, and Kuala Lumpur. One of my top three favourite things was sabah vegetable. The stems of this leafy green vegetable have, in my opinion, the perfect crispy and crunchy texture. To my knowledge, Sabah, Malaysia does not export this local vegetable, so be sure to look for it in restaurants the next time you’re in Sabah, Malaysia. I tried it stir fried with sambal belacan.
Char kway teow is a stir fried, flat rice noodle dish. I’ve now had delicious char kway teow in Brunei and Malaysia. My favourite is Penang style. This recipe is a recreation of my preferred version of Penang style char kway teow.
I am in love with Hong Kong style milk tea (see recipe here), and on a trip to Malaysia, I discovered that I love Malaysian pulled tea, teh tarik, just as much. The delicious teh tarik, which means “pull” tea, is made using sweetened creamer. Some people add evaporated milk as well. What sets teh tarik apart from other teas is the process of pouring the prepared tea back and forth between two containers until the tea tastes and feels smooth, silky, and light in weight. Apparently, you’re also supposed to develop a good froth. The further the distance between your two containers while you’re pouring the tea back and forth, the better your tea will be. Be careful not to get splattered by the hot tea, and wear clothes that you don’t care about, because the tea stains are hard to wash out.
Outside of Malaysia, it can be difficult to find the best tea leaves for making teh tarik. But luckily, I have been surprised by how good some of the instant teh tarik powders are. The brand Boh is very popular in Malaysia and is quite good. My favourite is Aroma Ipoh’s instant ginger milk tea. I found it in a Chinese grocery store in Toronto, ON.
Pomelo is a very large citrus fruit that tastes like a sweeter, milder grapefruit (photo not shown). Not only does pomelo taste better than grapefruit, it’s also much much easier to peel and eat. I didn’t think that it could get any better with citrus fruit, but I was proven very wrong when I discovered Israel’s sweetie grapefruit (also known as oroblonco in the USA). When I first tasted it, I thought, this tastes even better than a pomelo, sweeter and juicier, almost like a mix of pomelo and grapefruit. Sure enough, I later learned that the sweetie grapefruit is, in fact, a cross between the pomelo and the white grapefruit. I really hope you’re able to find this in your local grocery store. When picking a sweetie grapefruit, the skin should be green and should smell citrusy. Also, the fruit should be heavy and somewhat soft when pressed.
You peel a sweetie grapefruit the same way you peel a pomelo: Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the fruit. Make sure that you cut all the way through the thick rind. Then peel the rind off in large slices. Then use your hands to pull the fruit apart so that you have two halfs with exposed flesh. Pull each lobe of flesh away from the white pith and enjoy.
Other must try fruits include: mangosteen (see here).
Bowls of Chinese noodle soup are comforting, warming, easy to make, and are often one pot meals. They’re also a great way to use up leftovers, because you can use any combination of protein and/or vegetables that you like or happen to have on hand. I’ve provided guidelines for making Chinese noodle soup and suggested some popular topping combinations below.
This recipe is a recreation of my family’s favourite fish broth. We surprisingly found the best fish broth at one of the food court vendors in First Markham Place in Markham, ON. My family and I have never had such a delicious and strongly flavoured fish soup. The best part is that they don’t use MSG! Our cousin took us out in Malaysia for the “best” fish noodle soup, and we didn’t have the heart to tell him that our local food court vendor does it much much better. This fish broth will fill your house with a fishy smell, but if you can get over that, you’ll love the broth. I like to use this fish broth when I’m making seafood paella and Chinese noodle soups (see recipe here).
Cooking with Alison’s Mom (Part 3)
Pork stomach soup is one of my favourite Chinese soups. I just love the texture of pork stomach after it has been boiled in a peppery and clear soup. It is chewy and surprisingly neutral in flavour. The peppercorns in this soup make it especially warming during the cold winter months. Chinese restaurants add a lot of different spices to their pork stomach soup, but I’ve always found that the best soups are made from a simple list of ingredients. So here’s my favourite (and simple) recipe. [On a side note, according to the teachings of Chinese medicine, this is a ‘hot’ soup. The dried bean curd helps to reduce some of the ‘hotness’, but if you feel cold easily or if you have just given birth, omit the bean curd so that you can maximize the warming properties of this soup. If you are cooking for someone who has just given birth, see my grandma’s Chinese Ginger Vinegar with Pig Trotters and Eggs recipe here.]
This is a recreation of one of our favourite dishes from our favourite Chinese restaurant (see another recreation from that restaurant here). It is an easy, one-pot meal that is cooked in a Chinese clay pot. It is fresh tasting, light, and healthy. If you aren’t able to find young pea shoot sprouts, you could substitute with baby bok choy, but believe me when I say that the dish just won’t be the same.
Hong Kong style milk tea is one of my favourite types of tea. A good cup of milk tea should be strongly brewed and well balanced with creaminess that isn’t too rich, and sweetness that doesn’t overpower. It should also feel and taste smooth, silky, and light in weight. The secret to making the best milk tea lies in the blend and ratio of different types of black tea. Ceylon tea is a common component. Every establishment guards its recipe. Luckily, it’s not difficult to make authentic milk tea at home. I’ve shared three recipes below. The recipes differ in authenticity, in the amount of work involved, and in the types of equipment required. I made this for my parents the day after they got back from a trip to Hong Kong and they said that it tasted just like the milk tea they had there. My uncle, who travels to Hong Kong 3 times every year, was surprised by how good it was too.
Different versions of savoury pancakes are popular in Asian cuisine, including Korean pancakes, Japanese pancakes, and Chinese pancakes. My favourite is the Chinese scallion pancake that is believed to have originated in Shanghai. Considering these pancakes are made with flour and green onions, I have always found them to be overpriced in restaurants. Luckily, they are very easy to make. Although they are slightly time consuming to make, you can make a large batch and freeze them for quick and easy future meals. These make a great accompaniment to all sorts of dishes, but especially to stir fried Shanghai noodles (see recipe here) and sticky rice rolls with pork floss (see recipe here).
Cooking with Alison’s Grandma (Part 4 of 4)
‘Joong’ or Chinese rice dumplings have also been called Chinese tamales. My grandma makes the best joong in the world. I can’t eat other peoples’ or restaurants’ joong, because nothing comes close to grandma’s joong. So I was very happy when she agreed to teach me how to make them. It takes a lot of work and the preparation starts days in advance, but her recipe makes 32 and they can be frozen for future meals.