Monday, October 31, 2011

Steam Exploration ::: Lor Mai Kai / Dim Sum Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡

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Lor Mai Kai / Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡

This is one of my favorite food any time of the day since I was a little kid. When i was conveniently staying in front of a corner coffee shop I use to take away a few and bring to work to share with my colleagues. Use to have it alone by it self with a milo, coffee or teh-tarik... not forgetting Dim Sum time too! Having the urge to make it myself, guess it is because of my daddy's family background genes pushing me, here i am trying to steam up some Lor Mai Kai for the dear... *love* my first trial~

Ingredients for making 12 aluminium bowls!
5.5 cups Glutinous Rice
600g sliced de-boned chicken thigh
100g sliced Fresh Shiitake Mushroom
2 thinly sliced Chinese Sausage (**Optional: non-halal)
12 Aluminium Bowls

Mixture (A)
10g / 2cm minced Ginger
4 minced cloves of Garlic
2 teaspoons of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons of Chinese Cooking Wine (HuaTiao Wine)
1 tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
1 teaspoon of Salt
2 tablespoons of Corn Starch

Mixture (B)
2 tablespoons of Cooking Oil
8 minced Shallots
5 minced clove of Garlic
2 teaspoons of Dark Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons of Light Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon of ground White Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of 5-Spices Powder
2 cups of Water

Step 1: Rinse and soak Glutinous Rice for 5 hours or more. Be careful as it is very fragile after the long soak.
Step 2: Marinate Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom separately with Mixture (A) for minimum 30minutes. Make sure you stir it up and make sure all are covered by the mixture.
Step 3: Heat non-stick pan, put in Cooking Oil to heat too! Saute Garlic and Shallot until fragrant.
Step 4: Stir in the soaked Glutinous Rice with Mixture (B). Keep stirring until all rice are coated evenly.
Step 5: Pour in the Water and on off stirring until all the water is absorbed by the Glutinous Rice then you can turn off the fire.
Step 6: Pre-heat the steamer.
Step 7: Now it's arranging time! i did my calculations so: 3 slices of Chinese Sausages, 2 sliced of Shiitake Mushroom followed by 3 pieces of Chicken. I did this for all the 12 aluminium bowls then head towards the following step.
Lor Mai Kai / Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡
Step 8: Scoop up the glutinous rice in the pan and give them a press to make it compact. Fill till it is 90% full.
Lor Mai Kai / Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡
Step 9: Place as many bowls in the steamer
- for immediate consumption steam for 40mins.
- for storage and later consumption steam for 30mins, cool then wrap it individually in a plastic bag and put in the fridge. When want to consumption steam for another 20mins.
Lor Mai Kai / Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡
Step 10: Using a spatula to run around the bowl then turn it around on a plate and serve it warm with some Sitiawan Chilli Sauce (Garlic Chilli Sauce). Let the consumer opens his/her bowl to keep it warm longer.

Lor Mai Kai / Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡

Have fun with this recipe!

I'll be trying to make up some more dimsum recipes so i can organize a DimSum gathering one day... ^.^

Lor Mai Kai / Glutinous Chicken Rice / 糯米鸡

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feed your Inner Carnivore at the Beef Baron!

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I think my job is pretty awesome. Yes it's stressful and there are quite a few big drawbacks, but at least I get to go places that I wouldn't otherwise think of going to. And to eat at some fancy places at the company's expense. Like the Beef Baron Rib and Grill restaurant in the Peermont Walmont Hotel in Botswana. So let's get down to the eating business!

There's a bottle of wine on the table when I'm seated, but having almost zero capability to hold alcohol, I have a coke and an apple juice instead.

The complimentary sliced bread loaf is nice, warm, soft and fluffy. It comes with one plain butter, and two flavored ones. The marmite butter tastes exactly like marmite and isn't to my liking, but the garlic/parsley butter is nice!

Pity, then, that the soup of the day (cream of leek) is awful. Extremely salty and with chunks of not-completely-dissolved cream/starch. Terrible.

You can choose your Calamari grilled or deep fried. I chose grilled, which comes with a pretty nice lemon butter sauce. Rice was a bit underwhelming though.

On to the main courses, then, starting with 600g of grilled pork ribs. No complaints about the flavour - it's a sweet and slightly tangy honey BBQ sauce and tastes delicious! However, the meat on the ribs, like other ribs I've tried in Africa, isn't the fork-tender, fall-off-the-bone variety that I'm used to. They're quite chewy! I wouldn't classify it as "tough," but it certainly means that you pretty much have to use your fingers to pull the meat off with your teeth.

No rib-eye available on the menu so I order a medium-rare 200g sirloin steak which annoyingly comes closer to medium-well. I've got no complaints about the taste & the basting, but I don't understand how a restaurant that specializes in steak can get the done-ness wrong.

The ambience of the place is quite nice! It's wood everywhere and has a very classy "feel"/ambience to it ...

... pity, then, that the food isn't all that great. Drink, appetizer and Main Course will run you about 170-180 BWP per person (MYR 72 - 77), so it's actually pretty damn expensive, even taking into account the "restaurant in a hotel" premium.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Korean Exploration ::: Home KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물 - Version 1

Something I have plan to make for dear on Sunday however, his business trip is postponed.

Here I am sharing it 1st..

Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물

I've made the Kimchi myself, too! But, can't edit the pictures to upload for blogging! Will update the Homemade Kimchi recipe soon~

serving for 3-4 persons

120g Pork Belly sliced thinly sliced
60g Pork Lion Shoulder thinly sliced
1.5 tablespoons of Cooking Wine
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물

1/2 Onion Sliced
4 Fresh Emperor Shiitake Mushroom thinly sliced
Diced half of the Silken Tofu sliced into cubes
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물

2 tablespoons of Vegetable Cooking Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic Diced
2 small bowls of Kim Chin with a bit of Kimchi Juice
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물

3 small bowls of water
1/4 cube of Chicken Stock
3 teaspoon of white miso paste
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물

Top with:::
2 Spring Onions Sliced

Step 1: Marinate (A) for 15Mins in a pot.
Step 2: Prepare the list in (B),(C),(D),Topping while (A) is Marinating.
Step 3: Now to Stir fry (C). Heat pan - pour in the Vegetable Cooking Oil - put in the garlic still lightly browned - put in the kimchi and stir fry for 2-3mins.
Step 4: Let's start arranging. Using the same pot that has (A) - place the stir fried (C) on top - place the (B) all in each corner.
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물
Step 5: Pour (D) in slowly then take it to a boil and simmer for 10mins.
Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물
Step 6: Dish it in individual bowls or a bowl for all to share and sprinkle the Sliced Spring Onions on top & serve.

It'll be superbly better if we can use Korean clay pot and cook in it and possibly in individual clay pot for each person.

Enjoy it with rice~

Homemade KimChi Soup / 홈메이드 김치 국물

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Porcine goodness at Daorae Korean BBQ - Sri Petaling outlet.

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There are tons of Korean BBQ restaurants in and around KL (and its surrounding areas). Vast majority of them are single-shop outlets though; Daorae is the only one I can think of that operates on a chain-restaurant, many-outlets-around-town style. We're trying out the Sri Petaling outlet to see if it's any good!

I don't know if you feel the same, but when I first started eating Korean BBQ years ago, you had to grill your own meat. This gave a pretty good sense of "attachment" to the meat, since ... well you know, since you cooked it yourself. Nowadays almost all joints have foreigners cooking the meat for you at your table though. Perhaps the restaurants don't want you to screw up the cooking of the meat and then subconsciously think "ew the food here sucks."

Salt-spice oil, garlic, and other condiments. And a big jug of cold water without needing to ask for it. In my opinion all restaurants should do this, not just Korean ones.

Of course, no Korean meal is complete without the accompanying side dishes, or banchan. These are either "complimentary," or "priced into the bill" depending on how you want to look at it. We found that the kimchi was nice, but the rest of the dishes were very ordinary.

While we're snacking on the banchan, a waiter cooks up our pork! We hardly ever eat beef at Korean BBQ's - mostly because of the price. Pork belly and pork loin normally runs rm20-rm25 per serving, but beef rib-eye can be more than twice that. Why is beef that much more expensive than pork? I buy my rib-eye steaks at Jaya Grocer for rm8/100gm. But anyway, once it's cooked, grab a slice (or two), dip it in your sauce of choice, wrap it in a salad leaf, add whatever else you want, and voila! Heavenly bite-sized morsel.

We found Daorae overall solid but not outstanding. There are plenty of other Korean BBQ joints with better and more value-for-money food. Specifically in this neck of the woods, I'd prefer a short drive over to Taman Danau Desa to eat at Seoul Korea. The place is dirtier, warmer, and darker, but food's better - and if memory serves me right - a little cheaper, too!

Daorae is in Sri Petaling, along the same road as the Sri Petaling Hotel, and opposite the Shell service station. Non-halal (obviously).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Scrumptious Seafood at Ocean Basket in the Mediterranean Montecasino

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Doesn't this photo look like it was snapped somewhere in Europe?

It wasn't, though - it's in South Africa! In the Montecasino in Joburg, to be exact. It's an awesome indoor casino/entertainment complex that's totally designed to look like an outdoor mediterranean resort of a couple of decades ago. It even has painted ceilings that mimic the night and day sky so you sort of get the feeling that you're outdoors. Fake trees, too!

This blog is about food, though ... so let's move on to the Ocean Basket restaurant in the Montecasino! As its' name implies, this place specializes in grilled assorted seafood - somewhat similar to Fish & Co and Manhattan Fish Market. Is it as good, though? Let's find out.

After placing our orders we're soon served with some bread and butter. Nothing much to be said about it though, other than it tasted as ordinary as it looks.

The Village Salad (R30) is a dish you can add-on to any main course. It's pretty decent - for a salad. Hard to get overly excited over a bowl of vegetables.

No matter though, we're on to the main courses soon enough! I'm having the Platter for 1 (R92). This comes on a hot metal plate/pan with an assortion of grilled line fish, "prince prawns" (first time I've ever heard of this naming convention for shrimp), calamari, squid heads, mussels, and your choice of chips or rice. I found the seafood pretty fresh, and seasoned and grilled very well! It was a tad bit salty, though, and the chips were as horrid as the rest of the meal was great.

Being the awesome blogger that I am, I forgot to take down the name of the dish that my companion ate. And the price. I can tell you that he had a dozen prince prawns, a mound of calamari and some rice. Same story as what I had - the seafood was good, the rice was crap.

Aftermath of the culling of the prawn :P

There are dozens of restaurants and eateries in the Montecasino complex which I haven't tried so I don't have a frame of reference as to how good/bad Ocean Basket is in comparison; but if like me you're here for the first time, it's a restaurant you won't go wrong with!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Awesome Biryanis at The Raj Indian Restaurant

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When you're travelling in a country with very small Indian populations, the Indian food is typically watered down a few notches in the spice/heat department. Y'know ... so that the locals can actually eat it. Not so in The Raj restaurant though - read on for the full disclosure!

The Raj is located in Nelson Mandela Square - pretty decent sized mall in the heart of Johannesburg's Sandton district. It's got a pretty upmarket look and design, and even has an open kitchen of sorts:

Does pappadum count as the Indian version of the French amuse bouche? Hmmmmmmmmmm ...

We start off with a Punjabi Samoosa - 4 pieces for R48.80. Stuffed with peas, potatoes and masala, it's delicious! And, according to my makan-mate, fairly authentic-tasting, too! Size is a bit on the small side for the price, though.

For our main courses, we split a Nizami Gosht Biryani (R118.80) and a Shai Murgh Biryani (R98.80). For those of us who don't speak tamil or hindi, these are Lamb and Chicken Biryanis respectively. Taste-wise they were absolutely delicious. Fragrant rice with just enough gravy mixed in so that it doesn't become too dry. However, the lamb was somewhat dry and tasted like it had been frozen for quite a while prior to being cooked. Oh, and we made the mistake of ordering "very spicy" - it turned out to be super pedas.

At about R300 (RM118.00) for two people it's not the cheapest place around to eat. Food's authentically delicious and the portions are huge, though - I could only finish half of my biryani and took home the other half to warm up for dinner.

Definitely recommended if you're in the area!