RSSArchive for May, 2006

3-in-1 Ipoh White Coffee

3-in-1′s are popular in Malaysia where I grew up in. You can find 3-in-1′s in many grocery stores in Vancouver but you will find that most of them are made in Malaysia. I always suspect that 3-in-1′s are only popular in Singapore and Malaysia. So, do you find that in your country too?

Anyway, White Coffee (or better know as Ipoh White Coffee) is a popular brew in Malaysia. White coffee is produced by roasting the beans with only margarine and without any sugar, resulting in a roast that is less dark, hence the term “white” coffee.

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We bought the “Ipoh White Coffee” 3-in-1′s from the Smart ‘N’ Save store in Lansdowne. Each pack (see below) costs $5.48 and contains 15 sachets in all.

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3-in-1′s are called that because it contains all three popular ingredients in a typical Malaysian coffee brew — the coffee, the sugar and the milk (or creamer). They are processed in a powder form and each sachet makes one cup. It’s convenient and quick to make a cuppa.

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Preparing it is simple … you just pour hot water into the cup, do a quick stir and you’re done.

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The manufacturers had done a pretty good job despite this being instant coffee. Even the distinct aroma of white coffee is there. The coffee has a certain richness. If you have never tried 3-in-1′s before, I hope you give that a try and let me know what you think of it. If you can get hold of white coffee 3-in-1′s, better still …

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No Post for Yesterday and Today

Hello all … the PC at home stopped working yesterday. It has been getting increasingly eratic the past two weeks. The system got too slow and of late IE requires a few starts before it launches. Yesterday, it just refuses to launch at all!! Ditto with FireFox.

We decided to reformat the whole machine. So, we’re not posting today having spent the good part of today backing up the hard disk and will shortly reinstall the programs. Gosh! The photos itself took four whole DVDs — I shudder to think how long it’ll take to restore them all.

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Come back tomorrow?

Suanne and Ben

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Shawarma from Abdul’s on Kingsway

Shahdad swore that the bestest Shawarma in Vancouver is found in Burnaby’s Abdul BBQ, He brought us to try it out and it was simply fabulous. So, over the weekend, I simply had to bring Suanne and try it herself.

Abdul’s BBQ is located in the Crystal Mall on Kingsway and Willingdon. It’s a small shop located facing Kingsway. You will not miss it driving past the Mall on Kingsway.

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Abdul’s is a small shop with about seating for 12 on the inside. Abdul also set up a couple of tables outside his shop. Ordering is very simple because he had very big pictures posters of his menu plastered on the outside.

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Shawarma (sometimes also spelt as shawerma) is a middle eastern way of cooking meat. Common meat used are beef, lamb and chicken. The meats are cooked on a rotating machine with sources of heat over a period of several hours.

Abdul has three shawarma machines, each skewered with beef, chicken and lamb. He said that he normally will finish selling all these food by the end of day. His business had steadily grown since he opened his outlet in the Crystal Mall. He told me that when he started he had only a quarter of what you see above and today he often had to turn away customers at the end of day because his is completely sold out.

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The meat that is slowly cooked is then shaved off with a large knife and drops to a circular tray below to be retrieve. Abdul was kind enough to show me close-up the shaving of the meat. It was simply juicy and mouth-watering. I had to swallow my saliva twice while taking these pictures!

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Abdul is a very friendly and chatty owner of the shop. He told me that he’s Syrian and had been doing this for 16 years now. Abdul told me he uses nothing but the best quality meat for his shawarma. For beef, he uses only top round beef and for lamb, he uses only lamb shoulder.

Suanne and I were not particularly hungry and decided to order his Mixed Shawarma Platter. The Mixed Shawarma Platter was huge that it was enough to give both of us a good full meal. It consists of the three types of shawarma meat served with rice and pita. It also came with four sides. I felt that it’s pretty pricey as it costs $10 — but then I can accept that because Abdul did really use the best of ingredients and the food was great.

Here is a description of what the Mixed Shawarma Platter we ordered:

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The shawarma meat was well done and is served on top of the rice. It was a bit dry for us — we like our meat to be moist-er. Not complaining here … perhaps shawarma meat are like that. However, the taste of the meat were distinct and is awesome eaten with the rice.

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Abdul cooks his rice with butter and salt. They were aromatic and loose. It was so good that we can even eat the rice by itself only.

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This is our favourite part — the pita spread with what Abdul said is his secret sauce spread. We could order it spicy or mild — we chose spicy hot and it was really, really HOT. It’s not so hot that it burns but it’s … never mind, it’s hard to describe here.

The spread was what made Abdul’s pita so different from those I have tasted before. Abdul said he uses a garlic sauce made out of seven different types of spices. Abdul sears it slightly on the Shawarma machine before serving. It was really that good — you MUST try it.

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Here are the first two of the four sides. The main side is a salad of tomato, cucumber, lettuce. The other pinkish looking sides is a cabbage salad. The cabbage salad is dressed either in yogurt or sour cream — we’re not sure. Both of these are a bit sour.

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There is a hummus dip and italian parsley salad.

This is a must-go-and-try place and is one of those great lesser known hole-in-the-walls. BTW, the address is 1691-4500 Kingsway, Burnaby and he’s opened seven days a week.

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Jude’s Date, Nut, Chocolate Chip Cake

This is Minoo’s second recipe which is Jude’s Date, Nut and Chocolate Chip Cake. This is a cake filled with lots of goodies like honey, date, walnut and chocolate chip. This is quite a dense cake and it’s preferably bake in a shallow pan to prevent overbrowning of the edges while the inside is not fully cooked.

I have no idea why this is called Jude’s Cake. I tried googling it but came up with nothing on it at all. Anyone of you out there know why this is called Jude’s Cake? For all I know, Jude might just be someone Minoo knows.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (whole wheat or half unbleached white)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 to 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Click on the link below for cooking instructions …

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Curried Red Lentil Soup

We were invited to Minoo’s Cooking Class in Caring Place yesterday. Minoo whipped up two dishes, Curried Red Lentil Soup and Jude’s Date, Nut and Chocolate Chip Cake.

Here is the recipe for the first dish, Curried Red Lentil Soup. Lentil is a good substitution for protein for vegetarian eater. Lentil is cheap compare to meat and it’s also high in fiber. It is very filling and yet light to our wallet.

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A bowl of creamy Curried Red Lentil Soup is great on a cold winter day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils (or any lentil of your preference)
  • 2 quarts water (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (more, if you like it spicier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
  • herb salt or salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream or yogurt for garnishing

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Kuejadas (Portuguese Tart)

While I was browsing through my recipe collections this week, I found this Portuguese Tart recipe. I don’t remember if I have ever made it before. I love to collect recipes and most of the recipes just lay in my collection and never being used at all. Do you have the same feeling?

I’m wanted something sweet and I remember the ingredients of the Portuguese Tart do spell ‘SWEET’ in it. So, I decided to give it a try.

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The Portuguese Tart is caramelized on the outside and has a custard like texture inside. It satisfies any sweet tooth and I’ll bet you just can’t eat one only.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 can 14oz condensed milk
  • 2 cups milk

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Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice

Today’s Community Kitchen cooking class was led by Wonnie. Although Wonnie is a quiet and unassuming person but she led the class well today.

Wonnie made two dishes today. The first dish is Tofu pudding. I had featured the Tofu Pudding recipe in my blog sometime ago and so I would not describe Wonnie’s recipe. Click here for the tofu pudding recipe.

Now, the second dish that Wonnie made was Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice.

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The Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice is very appetizing with a mild tanginess and spiciness from the kimchee. We all enjoyed it very much.

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Focaccia from President Choice

Let me tell you … we were not that adventurous when it comes to groceries before we started blogging. We just always go to the same aisle and buys only stuff we are familiar with. Since we wanted to blog on something new these days, we began to pay more attention to stuff we normally ignore. This is one new food to us and have never heard of.

Focaccia (pronounced as foh-KAH-cha) is a flat bread topped with stuff, very much like what you see in pizzas. Except that we see that they don’t use pizza sauce, at least not the one we bought. The one below, caramelized oinion and pesto chicken, costs $4.99 only.

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Focaccia is a popular Italian and Greek dish. It is often baked with herbs and cheese added to the dough. Focaccia can be looked upon as a predecessor of the modern pizza.

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We like a crispy texture — to do that we have to bake it with direct heat (i.e. without a tray). Baking takes 25 minutes in a 400F pre-heated oven.

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Compared to pizzas, this is a thad too dry. But the bread was really crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. At least we know what a Focaccia is now.

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