Nasi Lemak

Only the man who is not hungry says the coconut has a hard shell.
~ Ethiopian Proverb

We can never go wrong serving the ever favourite Malaysian Nasi Lemak. Nasi Lemak is a favourite rice meal normally eaten for breakfast. It is the closest to being the official national dish of Malaysia. Directly translated from Malay, nasi lemak means “rice in cream”. Nasi lemak is spicy.

When I was in Malaysia, I remember that we line up to buy the dish from the hawkers even before they get a chance to setup their stalls. Good Nasi Lemak is hard to come by now in Vancouver. I love the sotongs (cuttlefish) and cangkerang (cockles) for side dish … sigh.

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Suanne made Nasi Lemak for dinner recently. The most important ingredient is the sambal which gives the dish the signature spicyness. Polly gave us some Malaysian-style fried anchovies which we have not found in Vancouver (thanks Polly!). The fried anchovies and fried peanuts gives the dish the crunchiness.

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The nasi lemak rice must be cooked in coconut milk (otherwise, it will not be called nasi lemak, wouldn’t it?). Suanne put in some sliced ginger for flavouring.

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Chinese New Year Pot Luck

Time flies when you are among friends.
~ Basque Proverb

Today is Chap Goh Meh, which is the final day of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration. A few of our friends from Malaysia and Singapore met together at Eric and Sabrina’s new home. We last met together last summer — it’s good to meet again to celebrate the Chinese New Year together.

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Eric made three main dishes. He made a fried bee hoon, yam cakes and pineapple tarts. He always impresses us with his cooking. Sabrina is such a lucky girl.

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Polly made curry chicken and potato. She thoughtfully made two versions: one spicy one and another milder one for the kids. It was rich and thick — very nice. It never goes wrong to have spicy dishes for our group. Polly uses the Prima Taste brand.

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Lee’s Fried Chicken on Kingsway

— Lee’s chicken had been replaced with a Korean/Japanese eatery

A chicken with beautiful plumage does not sit in a corner.
~ African Proverb

Our boys love fried chicken. They normally wants this for lunch after their Chinese classes on Saturdays. Although, the most common fried chicken places in Vancouver is KFC and Church’s Chicken, we don’t really fancy them.

Instead, we like this rather unknown place called Lee’s Fried Chicken. We tried it once out of curiosity some years back and has since been going there quite regularly. It is located along Kingsway between Royal Oak and Nelson. BTW, although this place serves primarily fried chicken, they also serve Korean and Japanese food like sushi, noodles, etc during weekdays.

The husband-wife owners of this outlet are Koreans. Since we were such regulars over the years, we get very good service from the owners — they give us real plates and cutlery instead of styrofoam and plastic ones!

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The boys love the fries the most. It’s always served hot and is crispy on the outside and soft on the insides — made perfectly. It also has the right touch of salt. Arkensen always says that it has good texture and great taste. The serving is large enough for the four of us.

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Lo Bak Go (Chinese Turnip Cake)

The only unsinkable ship is friendship.
~ Jeff Sczpanski

Polly came over and helped me make Lo Bak Go. I am glad she came over because it’s a lot of work making this. I learned this from a previous Community Kitchen class.

Lo bak go is a savory cake which primary ingredient is grated daikon radishes. The daikons are mixed with bits of dried shrimp and Chinese sausages that are steamed and then cut into slices and pan-fried. Chinese people normally make Lo Bak Go in the Chinese New Year.

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As the name implies, the main ingredient is the daikon radish, which is also known as Chinese turnip (or lo bak). The rice flour and corn starch is used to hold the cake together. The other ingredients such as Chinese sausage, mushrooms, shallots and dried shrimp are used for flavouring.

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Korean Pancake

He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes.
~ Maltese Proverb

I prepared Korean Pancakes for a light dinner tonight. It is a batter with vegetables and meat. For meat, I used luncheon meat.

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Pancakes are apparently popular in the Korean culture. There are many types but the one I prepared tonight is the vegetable pancake. The pancake mix costs about $2-$3. Other ingredients used are carrot, suey choy, cilantro and luncheon meat. You may substitute the luncheon meat with other meat like prawns, baby oysters, etc.

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Singapore Restaurant on Broadway

Update 26-May-2009:  This restaurant had been reported on Urbanspoon as closed.

Coarse rice for food, water to drink, and the bended arm for a pillow – happiness may be enjoyed even in these.
~ Confucius

After six years, we still crave good old Malaysian food. We tried to locate the Cafe De Light restaurant this weekend but for some reason we just can’t find it. Oh well, we were pretty hungry and just picked the Singapore Restaurant which is located along the same street, Broadway.

We’ve been to this place once before.

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The parking was plentiful seeing that it was a weekend. The restaurant was quite empty too. The owner of the restaurant told us that they get very busy on weekdays but is slow on weekends. I can understand that seeing that Broadway lies smack between office buildings.

The owner was from Indonesia, looks like Chinese Indonesian to us. He told us he came over 28 years ago and has since owned this restaurant. I find that amazing because I always thought that restaurants that lasts so many years are rare. (more…)

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Laksa

There is no love sincerer than the love of food
~ Geoffrey Neighor

Rachel gave us a box of Laksa paste and premixes which they brought for us all the way from Singapore. This was what is rightfully called Laksa Lemak because there are many varieties of Laksa. This version of Laksa is of Peranakan origin, that is, born of the intermarriage of Chinese and Malay cultures.

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Laksa lemak, also known as nonya laksa, is a type of laksa served in a rich coconut gravy. The presence of the coconut cream (the pressed “milk” of the grated flesh of a fresh coconut) which adds a distinctive richness to the dish. Laksa is traditionally garnished with laksa leaf, also known as Vietnamese coriander or Vietnamese mint.

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Here are the ingredients we use to prepare the Laksa for lunch.

Ingredient (3).0The Laksa box contained four pouches:(1) the Laksa Premix,
(2) the Laksa Paste,
(3) Sambal Chili and
(4) Dried Laksa Leaves.
Ingredient (2).0For noodles, we use the shanghai thin noodles.
Ingredient (1).0We also had some fried beancurd (tofu-pok).
Ingredient (4).0For meat, we use fishballs and prawns. Cilantro is used to garnish the dish.

The Laksa can be used to make two-three servings. (more…)

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Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorns

The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have.
~ Yiddish Proverb

It’s hockey night today. Nanzaro wanted to watch the Canucks game against our arch-rival, the Flames. He made popcorns for snack for the game.

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The popcorn we bought was a mouthful — it’s called the Orville Redenbacher’s Ultimate Theater Style Butter Flavour Popcorn. Each box costs $2.99 and comes with four separate packs.

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This brand is different from many other popcorns in that it comes with a separate pour-over flavour pouch. The flavour is made from real butter. That’s why they call it the Ultimate Theater Style.

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United Airlines Snackbox

A good meal ought to begin with hunger.
~ French Proverb

On my flight to Atlanta, I thought I try out United Airlines’ Snack Box even though Suanne packed some snack for me. It has been a while since most airlines had discontinued free inflight meals even for long haul flights. On United’s flight over 3.5 hrs, one could purchase United’s snack boxes for USD $5 each — they accept only cash. United has choice of four different types of snack boxes. Click here for their selection. I wanted something a bit salty and cheesey. I opted for the Mini Meal Snack Box.

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The boxes were shrink wrapped. I was pretty surprised by the content. It was packed pretty tight and had a very good selection.

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