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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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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Peanut Butter Pita Bread

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Qn: What is the only food that does not spoil?
An: Honey

Hello all. After eating out the past week, we’re blogging again about food at home. This is my (Suanne’s) creation — I call this PBPB, the Peanut Butter Pita Bread. I am preparing this as a snack for Ben’s flight to Atlanta today.

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The PBPB is a very simple snack, filling and easy to carry (i.e. it does not get squished like sandwiches does). I made this for all the guys at home. All of them like it very much. We buy the Pita Pockets from the Superstore about once every two weeks. Each pack comes with 18 pita pockets and costs $4.19. About 23 cents each … it is cheap.

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The main ingredients are peanut butter and frosted cornflakes.

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Roast Chicken

Finally! As promised, a blog on chicken. Suanne roasted a pair of chicken for dinner today.

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We normally buy roasted chicken from the deli section in places like Safeway, Superstore or Save-on-Foods. We used to buy them for dinners and when Suanne does not feel like cooking. The boys particularly liked the chicken and the fries that comes along with it. It was a good deal for about $11 which also includes two sides and buns.

Just prior to Christmas, we found a really cheap roasting pan from Linen-n-Things. It was only $15 after rebates and it comes with a free 4-piece gourmet carving set. Since then we have roasted our own chicken.

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Naan Pizza

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Cheese and bread make the cheeks red.
~ German Proverb

This is Suanne’s invention — a good one I must say. Suanne always had a problem making thin crust pizza, you know, the type that is crispy and crunchy. Until today she has not managed to get the dough just right. So, she substituted the dough with Naan bread. Here is what her Naan Pizza looks like:

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The beauty of this pizza is that it’s very fast to make and it taste just great-n-crispy. Most important of all, there are no dishes to wash. This takes only 20 minutes to make. Suanne makes this for breakfast every now and then. You may want to consider making this for lunch with more toppings like pepperoni, roasted chicken, etc.

To make this you need the following five items: Naan bread, pizza sauce, shredded mozarella cheese, parmesan cheese and some herbs. We buy all these from the Real Canadian Superstore and does not cost much.

The Naan bread costs about $3.59 for a pack of 12 pieces. For the herbs, we use Mrs Dash for flavouring. We like Mrs Dash and used that with eggs, spaghetti, etc. It’s healthier than using seasoning salt in our opinion. We estimated that it will costs about $1.25 to make each piece. The most expensive ingredient is the mozzarella (about 2/3 of the total costs).

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Sticky Rice

All happiness depends upon a leisurely breakfast
~ John Gunther .

We had sticky rice for dinner today. Both Arkensen and Nanzaro said that they love this a lot because it’s tasty. I think that it not only tastes good, it looks good too.

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The main ingredients for this dish are glutinous rice, Chinese sausage, shitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, shallots and garlic. Suanne got this recipe originally from her younger sister. Here are the before and after preparation shots of the ingredients:

For serving of 4:

  • 4 Chinese sausages, diced
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted, diced
  • a small handful of dried shrimps, soaked and chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce

The above ingredients are just an estimates. You can always adjust the amount to your own preference.

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Spicy Pulled Pork Bun

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The four food groups: Fast, Frozen, Instant, and Chocolate.
~ ahajokes.com

OK, OK … I know, I know, I know … it’s another PORK dish! Sorry-lah bruder! Before you pass any judgement, just take a look at it … mouth-watering, right? Well, it’s another of Suanne’s fave. It’s a bun filled with spicy pulled pork.

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Suanne uses a bread-machine to prepare the dough. It takes two hours for the bread-machine to prepare the dough — that includes rising time. I guess you could also manually knead it but it won’t be easy. Suanne knows of people who uses food processor or standing mixer to prepare the dough.

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It is easy using the bread-machine because you just dump all the ingredients into the pan and set it to dough-cycle. The mixing, kneading and rising process is all done in the machine. You just got to wait for two hours. Ingredients includes milk, egg, flour, sugar, margarine, salt and yeast.

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