Craving For Curry Noodles?

When in this part of the world, one is always pondering about what culinary delight will be the highlight of the next meal (possible even as early as one day before).

It is akin to being a ‘national pastime’ – particularly when one realizes that tasty local fare abounds in Penang. A reputation that has spread far and wide, well beyond its geographical borders.

Whether in often uninteresting looking restaurants or from the hawker stalls, there is always a particular restaurant or vendor whose stall is more well-patronised than others. Such is the case with the ‘curry noodles’ or ‘curry mee’ in Penang.

As recent as mid-November, these sisters were publicised in the local daily for their famous curry noodle dish. Please click here to read all about it…

Another curry mee stall that we have been faithfully going to over the years is probably one of the city’s most well-kept secrets, though it has enough of a following at the Hillside, Tanjong Bungah area where it is located. To share this vendor’s location, here is the photo of the curry noodle stall and the chef himself… it is along the Jalan Sungei Kelian Road. Open for lunch, except on Thursdays.

Curry mee shop in Tg Bungah, Pg

We are thankfully fortunate to be in Penang where we enjoy easy access to these famous curry mee vendors….but what of our faraway friends who live in places that do not have such simple culinary joys of life within reach?

Then perhaps one might like to think of whipping it up in your own kitchen, the instant noodles way! The latest brand – MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodles – is said to be currently one of the best options available in a package. Try it if you can….. it is pretty good, if we may say so ourselves!

My Kuali Curry Noodles

Toodles for now….

 

Mary

 

Advertisements

Penang: #1 Foodie Destination In The World

Penang #1 Foodie DestinationIn the festive flurry of the last few months, our gatherings with friends and relatives were made more memorable with the abundance of good food – Penang style.  For that, we graciously thank the good Lord for His blessings.

In Penang, the local fare has long been labeled as ‘the best’ in Malaysia. Now the reputation has spread far and wide, thanks to Robin Barton of Lonely Planet who placed Penang in the #1 spot of foodie destinations worldwide.

Click on the following news links to read all about it:

The Independent UK

The Star Malaysia

Time Out Penang  

As Robin Barton noted…. the most commonly heard phrase in this part of the world is…. “Have you eaten yet?”  which inevitably leads to… “join us for (a meal)….” or “let’s go for (a meal)….”. Hence, sussing out the best places that serve the tastiest local cuisine is a daily affair and practically a national pastime.

Until the next post, it is time to prepare some goodies from Mary’s Kitchen for tea.

Mary

Fuss-Free Fish Floss

Fish Floss with breadWe grew up enjoying pork, chicken or fish floss sprinkled on a slice of buttered bread, either for breakfast or as a yummy snack. Not only is it the ideal sandwich filler, it adds a different flavor to rice porridge or some rice dishes too. Be warned, it can get quite addictive….

In Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong, it is easily available, and there are some well-known Singaporean brands that have captured the mainland Chinese market over the last few years.

However, if like many a Malaysian living abroad, perhaps the easiest way to get hold of some delectable meat or fish floss, is to prepare it in your own kitchen. That way, at least you know what went into its making!

Once again, cousin Pauline in the UK, who has mastered the art of whipping up local Malaysian specialities, shares this recipe which she simplified and fine-tuned from one obtained online.

FISH FLOSS (This amount yields a Chinese bowl-full)

Ingredients
I small tin tuna ( approx. 185 gm) in oil is best
1 dessert spoon light soya sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
Sprinkling of white pepper
Sprinkling of 5 spice powder
A few drops of chilli oil
A sprinkling of chicken powder (optional)
Salt as needed

Method
Drain some of the oil from the tin.
Put the fish in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and mash and fry. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix and fry over low heat now, until mixture becomes floss-like and golden brown in colour.  It takes approx 20 mins. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and allow floss to dry further as it cools. Enjoy!

We are always thankful for such simple pleasures in life. Amen.

Mary

Hot Out of the Oven…..

Apple-Rosette Cupcakes for tea timeRecently, we were inspired by a recipe based on thinly sliced apples laid out on pastry strips, and rolled into rosette shapes…but before we could say ‘jack-in-the-box’, our cousin Pauline had come up with a pretty variation of the ‘apple rosettes’.

They turned out to be such lovely to look at, and oh so tasty tea-time bakes. Most of all, so easy to put together. Here we share Pauline’s ‘how-to’….. please click on Apple Rosette Cupcakes for more details.

Enjoy…and thank the good Lord for simple pleasures.

Mary

“Going Green” with Banana Leaf Dining?

Banana LeafBeing typical Malaysians with a love for multi-cultural cuisine, the family anticipated with relish, a friend’s invitation to a banana leaf dinner this evening.

For the uninitiated, eating a hot meal off a freshly cleaned banana leaf, is said to be a naturally flavourful experience. While the bright green leaf ‘plate’ places one in a relaxed mood, it also feeds the imagination with other ways in which to apply the banana leaf to good culinary use.

Categorised as South Indian, banana leaf cuisine is usually found in a no-frills restaurant, without air-conditioning, just with whirring fans to keep its diners cool amidst servings of hot curries. We marvelled at how devoid of embellishments that particular restaurant was, yet judging by the good number of patrons within, it was obviously a matter of ‘quality food’ over the ‘decor’ that worked in this equation.

As they say, ‘our eyes were hungrier than our tummies’. Each of us eagerly nodded to one too many ladles of parboiled rice, scooped onto the clean rectangle shaped banana leaf, laid out neatly with the spine of the leaf nearer to the edge of the formica-topped table.

Next, spoonsful of chutney, cabbage and brinjal cooked to vegetarian perfection, were served on our green leafy ‘plates’.  And always, a few pieces of papadum placed on the side.

They then plonked down on the table, three aluminium buckets, each containing a different curry – chicken, fish and vegetable. Self service being the order of the day with the curry buckets, they came complete with huge soup ladles. A word of advice: do not dally over which curry you prefer, lest the buckets are swung off the table before you are done helping yourself to one of its spicy contents.  It must be explained that the trio of curry buckets are to be shared with other tables in turn too. Additional side orders of delectable dishes complemented the vegetables and curries.Helping oneself to the curry in the bucket.

At the end of the tastefully satisfying banana leaf rice meal, we observed the etiquette of folding the empty leaf into half, with the outer edges facing you….thus  signifying that the meal was well-appreciated.

To wash down the heavy meal, some diners prefer to drink an aluminium cup of ‘rasam’ which only suits some palates due to its tart tanginess….while some, like us, chose to down frothy concoctions of ‘teh tarik’ or ‘pulled tea’.

We count our blessings for every meal, and  hope you enjoy yours too. No matter what ends up on your plate, be thankful for it, as many in the world have nothing to eat! For the less fortunate, let us always say a prayer for their well-being.

Amen.

Mary

Party Menu Planning

In this part of the world, there are festive occasions where home parties or open-houses are called for, and menu planning and food preparation are either done at home, or partly (sometimes fully) catered affairs.

There are also any-reason-for-a-gathering occasions whereby like-minded friends who just love bonding over good food at one another’s home in turn, for a few hours of camaraderie and cosy togetherness.

While the right mix of guests ensures a jovial mood amidst lots of laughter and fun, the hostess inevitably ends up having to prepare the right amount of food and drinks for the occasion…

In Malaysia, the food types at most gatherings might differ from western meal choices…but we came across this blog link that has a guide on ‘how much to serve at a party’. It is in an easy to read chart format and should be a good gauge as to how many portions to be served per person.

If anyone out there has suggestions on party portions where our local dishes are concerned and wish to share with the others, you are most welcome to do so.

To whet the appetite of guests at our home parties, our family artist usually prepares a creative menu, unique to the celebrant and theme of the day, like in the menu above. After all, a shared meal should be a feast for all the senses…(on that note, look out for more sharing of ideas….)

Cheers and happy party-planning!

Mary

Tizzy About Tea-Time

At our home, tea time has always been an important occasion.   It starts at 4pm and lasts till about 5 or 6pm, depending on how many friends have joined the ‘happy tea hour’.  Over the years, we have progressed through all the stages of tea-time formalities.  From a full silver-serviced tea complete with cucumber finger sandwiches, laid out on a (now antique) silver trolley, to a very informal gathering of friends who know it’s an ‘open house’ time, and drop by bearing treats for tea, in true Malaysian style.

My sister is all for a whimsical tea with cups and saucers like those shown here, as well as in this, which gives us all something to oooh and aaah about.  Perhaps it harks back to the days when she used to serve tea very formally to her dolls in a garden setting!

Nowadays, our tea is served in an assortment of colourful mugs, with a mini spread of Malaysian tea-time cakes and treats.  Sometimes when there are more friends who arrive with a wider assortment of food, it turns into high tea and everyone moves on to the dining table when seating around the usual living room coffee table runs short.

Whatever the occasion, the camaraderie is what draws our friends to drop by.  Everyone has a different preference of beverage. Apart from the traditional western tea, it could be Chinese tea, an herbal concoction or even a ‘teh tarik’  (Malaysian/ Singaporean ‘pulled tea’).

Traditionally, the ‘teh tarik’ is best prepared by the ‘mamak’ (Indian Muslim) vendor but now a similar version is available in sachets – just put it in a cup and pour in hot water from a higher point to create the mandatory ‘froth’.

Incidentally, we have stumbled upon this fabulous website which collates recipes beautifully illustrated by artists, and here are a few recipes for a variety of teas which caught our attention…Pulled Tea (Teh Tarik – by a Malaysian illustrator) , Iced Tea, Honey Milk Tea and Chai Tea.

It is time to put on the kettle and bring out the pineapple tarts I made for tea! Toodles….

Mary