Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 ~ Year of A Rabbit


I take this opportunity to wish members of my families, friends, and readers...


Happy Chinese New Year...

May the New Year brings us Happiness, Prosperity and Joy

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lin Chee Kang/ Lotus Sweet Drink


Lotus-sweet-drink

Yesterday was a very HOT day in Perth.... humid and sticky.
I woke up at 5.30am yesterday and was sweating like it was midday. At 7 am... I was hanging out my washing and the sun was a quarter way up on the horizon and the heat was getting intense... and by 8.30am ... my washing was done... and its not even midday yet...
No fun on days like this...at wits' end

Since we are heading towards a HOT weekend... to have Lin Chee Kang / Leng Chee Kang or Lotus Sweet Drink would be just nice... serve it chill (you can serve this warm too).

Mr H was reminiscing his younger days while enjoying his Lin Chee Kang... it is not a daily or even weekly treat for him as a boy ... but yearly... only when the Chinese Opera comes to town...   There would be heaps of stalls set up for this festival... selling varieties of food and drinks. The children would run about while the adults sat and enjoy the performance... stories of ancient era ... were told in colourful costumes, singing, dancing and acrobatic movements. 

Chinese Opera ~ Photo Courtesy from Google Image
And it is my late dad's favourite dessert too... and he would have his HOT... I was introduced to Lin Chee Kang by my dad as I sat and slurped my Sweet Ais Kacang (shaved ice with all sweet nutty ingredients ) and he would order this HOT dessert.

Lets whip up Lin Chee Kang  for Chinese New Year celebration next weekparty

Some of the dried ingredients ....



Recipe

2 tablespoon basil seeds or biji selasih
6-7 Malva seeds (kembang semangkuk in Malay or Tai Hoi Lam in Hokkien)
jelly - cubes
dried lotus nut
dried lotus bulb
a packet of dried Longan
1 cup of sugar plus 1/2 cup of water (to make syrup)
a packet of cooked gingko nuts
icecubes to serve
Barley and sago (optional)
  1. Soak basil seeds, Malva seeds, lotus nuts and lotus bulbs overnight.
  2. Boil lotus nuts and lotus bulbs until soften. Note: Split the lotus nuts and gingko nuts and take out the core... seed or pips like shape ~ these little ones are so bitter!!)
  3. Boil the dried longan with 1 1/2 cups of water... reserve the water and leave it aside.
  4. Mix everything in a bowl and add water to adjust 'sweetness' to your liking... and serve in individual bowl..
  5. Enjoy it HOT or COLD...




Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pandan Buttered Prawns with Egg Floss

Note : The Souvenirs are still up for grabs... to enter just  click here... Hurry... hurry... its closing midnight 2nd February 2011....


butter-prawns


One dish that my kids would asked their Aunty Lili (Mr H younger sister), to order when we go out for family dinner at Batu Kawan Seafood Restaurant... is Buttered Prawns. They love the prawns that were covered in crunchy, sweet egg floss. I have yet to see Buttered Prawns featured in the menu in any Chinese Restaurants around Perth... (if anyone has... do let me know...).

Preparing the prawns is the easiet part, but making the egg floss is tricky... as it requires both hands ~ one hand to hold the container while making sure that the eggs were poured in a steady stream... while the other has to vigorously stir the eggs in the wok... it was too difficult for me!!! my brain couldn't cope with thattongue... shhh....that was just an excuse so that I have less 'work' to do winking.... I leave this tricky bit for Mr H to dobig grin, while I tried to take some shots... unfortunately my shots were all blur ... sorry...

The kids were happy and contented for the day... It will be many...many... moons before I cook this dish again... Lots of oil and butter were used that left my kitchen floor 'oily' and slippery...crying more work!!!



Recipe: (serve 6-8)
1 kg of prawns - deveined
2 stalks of curry leaves
1-2 pandan leaves - cut into 1 inch strips
50g of rolled oats
5 egg yolks - lightly beaten
3 cloves of garlic
100g butter plus 3 tablespoon of oil
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoon of sugar
cut up bird's eye chillies (optional)
salt to taste
To make Egg Floss

  1. Heat up the wok on high heat. Add butter and cooking oil.
  2. Once the butter melted and start to bubble, add the egg in a steady stream . This requires 2 hands operation, one hand pouring egg, while the other has to vigorously stir.
  3. Keep on stirring until the egg is golden. (dont worry if there seemed to have a lot of 'Bubble Activity' in your wok')
  4. With strainer and bowl ready, then strain the mixture.
  5. Leave it to cool before transfering to absorbent kitchen paper. Set aside.

For the prawns

  1. Clean and deveined the prawns
  2. Heat the wok with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook the prawns on high heat, until its pink (careful not to overcook). Dish it out with slotted spoon and put aside.
  3. Saute curry leaves, garlic and pandan leaves until fragrant.
  4. Add oats and keep stirring until oats are golden.
  5. Add milk, sugar and salt to taste. Finally return the prawns to wok (with cut up chillies) and keep stirring for few minutes.
Sprinkle the egg floss over the cooked prawns and serve with steamed rice.

Have a Good and Wonderful 
AUSTRALIA DAY
26th January 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fish Sour Soup and Cambodian souvenirs Giveaway...

Cambodian-Fish-Soup


My first 'Food' post for 2011... and what a better way to start 2011 with a humble yet refreshing Sour Fish Soup from Cambodia... plus I have 3 Souvenirs from Cambodia to give away to 3 lucky readers...anywhere in the world... just scroll down ... after the recipe... to enter the draw. good luck

There is quite a distinctive similarity in Cambodian and Thai food..oops... I could be in hot soup for the statement... Cambodian uses a lot of fresh ingredients in their cooking ~ lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and so forth.  They consumed plenty of fish ... fresh from Lake Tonle Sap ... Sap means freshwater... Fish is much cheaper and easier to get than any other meat... eg chickens were sold for US$4.50/kg... and the average wages for a busy tour guide could be from US$250-300 per month while the rest could be earning about US$100/ month...lets do our maths...  sad

I asked our Tour Driver, Rhowan, what is a typical Khmer food? Flat Rice Noodles in Vegetable Broth, Fish cakes and many more but Fish Sour Soup is his favourite dish...

So this my take on Fish Sour Soup... from our recent trip to Siem Reap click here ..to go to our Holiday Post.



Recipes
4 pieces of firm white fish - cut into 3 cm.
3 tablespoon of tamarind juice
3 lemongrass stalks - bruised it with the back of a knife
2cm of fresh galangal
2 coriander roots -washed and slightly bruised it with knife
1/2 brown onion - sliced
2 bird's eye chillies (optional)
2-3 tablespoon fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 -1.5 liter of water
Juice of 1 lime
fresh coriander for garnishing
  1. Place water, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind juice, galangal, onion and coriander roots in a medium size pot. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and bring to a simmer for at least 10-15 minutes, to infuse the flavours of the fresh ingredients.
  2. Add fish sauce (and salt if required).
  3. Lastly add fish.
  4. Bring to a quick boil and turn off the heat.
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice. Add more lime juice... if sourness is desired.

Cambodians Souvenirs to Giveaway.big grin
My dear readers,
I have 3 items to giveaway... A soft Cambodian silk scarf, a set of beautiful chopsticks and a lovely embroidered purse.


For a chance to win... do one of the following or all 3...  and increase your chance to be the proud owner of one of these items... 
  1. Leave your name (or email address) in my comment box... No Anonymous please... it will be a difficult task for me to identify.. who is who if I have more than one anonymous...  or
  2. Click 'Like' button on my Facebook Fan Page here and let me know that you have done so... on my Facebook here ...(or click the 'Add as Friend' button...) or
  3. Follow @mykeuken here on Twitter and tweet "@mykeuken Cambodian Souvenirs Giveaway' or
  4. do all of the above and you get 3 chances in the 'hat'  ...
Giveaways are open to anyone anywhere on this planet... reachable by Mr Mailman..winking.  and this offer ends at Midnight (Perth Time) 2nd February 2011 ( I like the number 02.02.2011)... so be quick... and Good Luck...

Winners will be chosen by using Random.org.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Off Track # 5 ~ Siem Reap

Happy New Year ..everyone...big hugI am back from my long leave...

On the 8th January 2011, we finally stepped foot in Siem Reap...

It's Mr H's dream to visit Angkor Wat... eversince we met... some 2 decades ago.
Those days... to make the trip to Cambodia was not recommended due to few factors, as well as our own economic situation, did not warrant us to explore the region...
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Day 1

We arrived around 8am, and we headed straight to Prince D'Angkor ... unfortunately we were too early for them... rather than wait for the rooms, we went exploring...

Siem Reap reminded us of Malaysia in the 70's, where motorbikes and bicycles... making their way through the city, weaving in and out of traffic and pedestrians...

 This reminds me...of the old China Town in Kedah where I grew up...


After a good rest... (it was an early flight...), plus kids were hungry (and us), we went to Pub Street for some Khmer food... then off to night market..

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Day 2

We planned to visit smaller temples ~ Pre Rup, Banteay Srei, Ta Som and Neak Pean Temples (the rest of the temples photos will be uploaded in my Facebook) and the carvings on the riverbed at Phnom Kbal Spean, which is about 49km from Siem Reap
The photo above was taken at Phnom Kbal Spean... it was worth every step we made, every rocks that we climbed... We had to track dirt road on foot about 1.5km (one way) to see the carvings...
Makes me wonder... how people in those days went up there, carved the rocks on the riverbed (then after the water blessed the carvings)... bring it down again... a lot of hard work!!

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Day 3

The day to visit BIG temples ~ Angkor Wat, Ta Phrom, Bayon and climbed up Phnom Bakheng to view the sunset over Siem Reap.

View from the highest Tower
Lara Croft Tomb Raider was filmed here...
Little Children at Ta Phrom... waiting for empty plastic bottles..
Leemei's (My Cooking Hut)  wrote about Siem Reap and Cambodian children... so we flew to Siem Reap, with bags full of colouring books, colour pencils, pencils and lollies. We express our interest to our Tour Driver, Phon, that we wish to visit an orphanage centre.
The children were happy to see us... they performed some traditional dance and sang us songs...

Miss E and Mr H Jr distributing lollies to these delightful children...



We ended our Day 3 by climbing steep steps of Phnom Bakheng to view Siem Reap during the Golden Hour...
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Day 4

We headed towards Lake Tonle Sap to view Cambodia Floating Village... then to silk farm and craftworks...


Silk Factory ~ weaving silk scarf

Young Cambodian at work...

We wrapped up our Day 4, soaking in the sunset over Angkor Wat...


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Day 5

The kids had enough of climbing up and down the steps of the temples and doing the touristy bit...
Day 5 is 'Free and Easy'...for us to do some serious shopping... (well.. we did not seriously shop.. reallytongue).

After breakfast at the hotel... we strolled down to Old Market, just to watch the Cambodians in their daily lives... 
Locals ~ buying and selling...
Our tour driver kept telling us that we must not go home without watching the Apsara Dance (Khmer traditional dance). Our last night in Siem Reap, we went to Koulen Restaurant for buffet dinner as well as to watch Apsara Dance... they were really mesmerising... and simply beautiful...



________________________________________________

We said our Farewell to Siem Reap... on the 13th January 2011.

We had a good time in Siem Reap... especially Mr H who started his Big 5 Zero year... visiting Angkor Wat ... fulfilling one of his 'Places to Visit'..

Dont miss my next post.... I have 3 souvenirs to give away to my 3 lucky readers anywhere in the world   thumbs up 

I'll end my holiday post with the photo of monks soaking in the scenery at Pre Rup... Photos from Siem Reap will be incomplete if photos of monks in bright orange garment is not taken ... happy