Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Round-Up #13

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Monday everyone, and once again it’s time for a round-up. Thank you to everyone who contributed something to our event, we truly appreciate your support.

Let’s start this week by welcoming a couple of newcomers.

Say hi to Nadia who blogs at To live with passion’s simplicity . She takes us on a little culinary tour of Muar, a town in the state of Johor, Malaysia, and introduces some very interesting delicacies. For example, there’s Mee Pusing (translated as Spun Noodles), something I’d never heard of before.

 Mee pusing

She also ate some delicious sounding Nasi Ambeng, another delicacy I’d never heard of before!

Thanks Nadia for teaching me something new.

Our other newcomer is Rita who blogs at Rita’s basket, and she made some yummy steamed yam cake for us. Check out her beautiful plating skills.

How pretty is this?

Argh! I am so sorry, I accidentally missed out another newcomer to our flock. Please welcome Jehanne from The Cooking Doctor who served up some tasty Chicken Rendang. She's tweaked this dish so it uses minimal ingredients and time, perfect for the busy cook.

Of course, our event wouldn’t amount to anything without the support of all our long-time friends who keep on contributing!

Here’s Gert from My Kitchen Snippets who gives us Inchi kabin/ nyonya fried chicken. Intrigued by the sound of this? Read the post to find out how the dish was named.

Interestingly named fried chicken.

She also made some jemput pisang/ banana fritters and gave it a lovely presentation twist using chocolate.

Who doesn't like chocolate?

Next we have Lisa from My lemony kitchen who made some Hakka bamboo dumplings. This is another dish I’d never eaten before, and it sounds very interesting as the dumpling skin contains yam.

Yum, dumplings!

Cheah from No Frills Recipes is no stranger to this event, and contributed three dishes, thank you!

Try the sweet fluffy steamed sponge cake flavoured with black sesame for a delicious treat.

Flecks of black sesame add oomph to this cake

Or if you’re not into cake, how about the Sea coconut ad snow fungus sweet soup?. Guaranteed to cool you down.

 The ring shaped piece is the sea coconut.

She also cooked an intriguing savoury soup of fish bladder and spare ribs. I’m not sure if I’ve ever eaten fish bladder before. Have you?

Up next is Biren from Roti and Rice who made one of my favourite tea-time snacks Ondeh ondeh. This snack uses sweet potato for the dough, giving it a lovely orange colour.

Look at that filling!

She also made two types of pao (steamed buns), using special bao flour. If you’re interested in seeing the effects of using other types of flour to make pao, do check out her post.

Perfect pao

Next let’s say hello to Zurin from Cherry on a cake who made a delectably named ayam masak madu (spicy honey chicken), a dish which was featured on a guest post at Rasa Malaysia. (I’m sure that blog needs no introduction!).

Spicy, honey chicken

She also made cekodok (banana bites), and has a great tip for using rice flour to give the bites some chewiness.

How cute are those picks?

And to finish with a bang (heh, sorry couldn’t resist), check out her kuih bom (sweet potato bombs), a snack made using sweet potato and coconut.

Pretty bombs

Actually, we had more than one bomb this time. Diana from Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls also gave us kuih bom, using sweet potato grown in her own garden.

More bombs!

She’s a fantastic gardener, and used more home-grown produce to make Talam labu (pumpkin cake), and talam keledek (Sweet potato cake).

How vibrant!

Next we have Shuhan, from Mummy I can cook who made some satay and a speedy shortcut satay sauce.

Why do I suddenly crave satay?

Then she used the leftover sauce to makestir-fried green beans. Waste not, want not :) Delicious!

Fresh and tasty

Ooops! Sorry to our regular contributor Kristy from My Little Space, I almost missed her out! She made three tasty treats for us.

 First a herbal soup packed with flavour, called Jiao Zi Yang Shen soup. Jiao Zi is a type of dumpling, and Yang shen is a type of medicinal herb.

A herbal soup with dumplings

Then there's a delicious looking crispy skin chicken. If you've ever wondered how to get that crisp, shiny, restaurant quality skin, Kristy shows you how.

Oooh, shiny skin!

And then she made some very pretty Roti Jala / Net bread. Yummy!

Lacy bread

And of course, Muhibbah Malaysian Monday would not be complete without my friend Suresh from 3 hungry tummies. He made some yummy looking white-cut chicken.

Hungry yet?

He also made a very hearty looking aromatic soy braised pork belly, perfect to combat the winter chill.

Warmth on a plate

And last but not least, he showed us step-by-step instructions for making his aunty’s curry puffs. Don’t they look great?

Pleated puffs ready to be deep-fried.

Once again, thank you everyone for sending in your entries. The next round-up will be hosted by Suresh, so please send you entries to sureshchong(at)yahoo(dot)com. Don’t forget to add a badge and link back to both Suresh and myself in you post.

Have a great start to the week and happy cooking!

That’s the way the crumble crumbles

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. First I caught some sort of yucky virus which knocked me flat for about a week. Then we’ve had issues with our apartment (won’t bore you with the details) which means we have to pack up, find somewhere else to stay and move out, all on very short notice. Suffice to say, I have a lot on my mind at the moment, so do pardon my posts, or lack thereof, for the next few weeks. Sadly, I even missed this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, which would have marked two years with the group. Ah well.

Our meals during this time have been rather “blunt”. “Blunt” is Mr. Kitchen Hand’s term to describe food that lacks finesse. The bluntness stems from my efforts of using the bare minimum to make up a dish so that I don’t overstock the fridge before we move.

I’ve also been working on emptying the contents of the freezer, which is how this cherry crumble (crisp) came about. I’d saved a couple of bags of summer cherries, hoping to turn them into jam, or pie at least. But desperate times called for super-quick measures.

There’s no real recipe as such, I started with as many cherries as would fit into a buttered ceramic baking dish, tossed a few tablespoons of sugar through the fruit, and added the zest of a lemon. For the topping, I used about 80g plain flour, 60g butter, a heaped tablespoon or so of rolled oats, a handful of roasted hazelnuts, a teaspoon of baking powder, a dash of cinnamon and a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar. First all the dry ingredients were pulsed in the food processor, then I added the butter and processed until the mixture looked like breadcrumbs. This mix was scattered over the cherries and the whole lot bunged into the oven while I went off and packed more boxes. When the crumble smelt heavenly and was golden brown on top and bubbling juices were spilling over the edge of the dish, I knew it was ready (about half an hour).

Hot, sweet crumble and a dollop of vanilla ice-cream did a lot to restore the spirits :)

Have a great weekend. And hope to see you round here very soon.

Malaysian Monday 78: Nasi Kunyit (Tumeric Rice/ Sticky yellow rice).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Monday everyone, and thank you for all the well wishes. I’m almost back to normal but still need my rest, so this post is going to be very short and sweet.

Nasi kunyit literally translates to Tumeric Rice. It is usually made from glutinous rice, and is served as a rich side dish. This rice often makes an appearance at celebratory meals, and is often accompanied by chicken curry. Actually, the rice goes well with any sort of dish with sauce.

I really enjoy this dish, and will pick it over plain rice if it is featured on the menu. Unfortunately, the rest of the family aren't as taken. Both the MC's liked the little bit they tasted, but refused seconds. Mr. Kitchen Hand was a non-starter.

If you would like to try your hand at making this, it’s really quite simple to throw together :

Nasi Kunyit (Yellow Sticky Rice)
3/4 cup glutinous rice - soak for a little while, at least half an hour, but better if you have time to soak it for about 5 - 6 hours.
pinch of salt
pinch of white peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
3/4 cup coconut milk

Drain the rice well, mix with all the ingredients except the coconut milk, and place in a heatproof bowl and steam for about 10-15 minutes. Add the coconut milk, gently stir to mix through, then steam until cooked, about another 10-15 minutes.

See? So simple even an invalid could do it.

Remember, I’ll be hosting the next Muhibbah Malaysian Monday round-up, so please send  your entries to its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com. MMM is a joint collaboration between Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies and yours truly.

Thanks for joining me for a yellow dished Malaysian Monday ;) , see you soon.

Pause a while

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I've got chills, they're multiplying. Add to that a cough and a painfully sore throat and you have the reason why I haven't updated my blog nor produced any Malaysian Monday offering.

Thank you for visiting and I'll get back to all of you when I feel a bit better.

Hoping the honey and lemon tea will do its magic soon.

The girls of Orange country and an adventure in the mountains.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

(sorry, photo heavy post)

Hellooo? Anyone still out there? Yes, I’m still here, still enjoying the school holidays with the MCs. But I did promise to tell you about holidays of a different sort didn’t I? When I snuck away for a girlie, child-free weekend.

“The girls” are a group of mums I’ve known since MC Senior was a few months old. Although we’ve been friends for close to nine years, and have organised many family trips together, last weekend was the first time we could coordinate our schedules to go away just by ourselves. (No clashes of work, study, family or newborn babies)

Our destination? A town called Orange, about four hours drive west of Sydney. Apart from being a well known food and wine destination, it is also the hometown of one of the mums in our group. This came in very handy as we only had a full day and part of a morning to explore, so her insider knowledge was much appreciated.

Although the conditions were very cold and quite a shock to our systems, the weekend was filled with much relaxing, a lot of eating and even more talking!  Here are some highlights of our trip:

The Orange Region Farmers Market.

Jams, jellies and chutneys at the Greentrees gourmet preserves stall.

As luck would have it, our trip coincided with the monthly Farmers Market. Although it was brutally cold, the lure of interesting produce was too hard to ignore. At first glance, I was a little surprised at the size of the market, it seemed quite small. Then I realised, unlike other markets I’d been too, all the stalls here focus solely on food of some kind, no crafts, clothes or plants to bulk up the numbers.

 I love how colour-coordinated this stall holder is. Most of the fudge was sold by the time I got there but I managed to bag a slice of chocolate-ginger fudge. Very chocolaty and not too sweet. Big hit with the MCs.

 Can I has cupcakes?

 Mini rhubarb cupcake with vanilla buttercream ($1.50). SO good. The tart rhubarb pieces were offset by the not too sweet but very vanilla-ey icing.

 Bless this lady and her servings of hot tomato soup. ($4) Delicious and warms you up from the inside out.

So this is what fresh hazelnuts are supposed to taste like! Raw hazelnuts, roasted hazelnuts and hazelnut products from Fourjay Farms.

How can you resist a bargain like this?

 Errr..I didn't spend much time at these stalls. Brave and hardy souls out here.

Entry to the markets is through a gold coin donation, and thankfully, the majority of the stalls were indoors and undercover. Although I’d promised myself I was there to “just have a look” I ended up leaving laden with bottles, jars and packets. Ooops. Never mind, at least this was the type of shopping I could share with the family.

 Market loot - hazelnuts, apples, jam, fig and olive tapenade, caramelised white balsamic vinegar, fudge


After the markets, we went for a spin and traipsed merrily through a few cellar doors around the Mt. Canobolas/ Cargo Road area.

First stop, La Colline wines, and what better way to start than with bubbles? 

Next, we headed to Borrodell on the Mount, a very pretty vineyard. Even though it was a grey day, the view was still quite stunning. This winery offered liquers and cider as well as wines.

I ended up taking a bottle of the cherry liquer home. It smells amazing and surprised me when I first tasted it. I’d expected sweetness, but instead it was quite tart (but mellow), with a slightly bitter finish. Quite sure that the liquer is meant to be drunk neat but I’ve had fun experimenting with it. So far, it’s been added to champagne (not bad), soda water (very refreshing) and coke (oh don’t look at me like that). I know it sounds a bit silly, but I was thinking of cherry-coke, and the combination actually works. I did seek an independent opinion from Mr. Kitchen Hand, who supported my hypothesis. The resulting drink tasted almost like a bourbon and coke, without the sweetness. 


While I am still enjoying the cherry liquer, I’ve since experienced immense regret at not purchasing the beautiful Gewürztraminer produced by the same folks. Apparently, the only place you can taste this in Sydney is at Tetsuya’s. Next time, I’m buying first and asking questions later!

Our final vineyard was Word of Mouth Wines, where we were treated to some wonderful hospitality. Our host was incredibly patient - he answered all our questions graciously, made a coffee for our designated driver, and dealt with a large, noisy group who’d interrupted our tasting session with aplomb. I left with a 2007 Pinot Noir, and a fun, little dessert wine called Sweet Milli.

We could have swanned around wineries all day but next we needed to prepare for a night out.

Dinner at Union Bank

Our friend L, the Orange local, had booked us into this restaurant and we were given a table across the courtyard away from the buzzing main bar/ restaurant area. At first, it felt a little too quiet, after all, it’s not everyday we glam up and head out together. But once the other patrons in our part of the restaurant left, it was almost as if we had our own private dining room. Very conducive to lots of secret girly chatter ;).

The food was impressive, and I loved how each dish came with a suggested wine by the glass. I’d never have known to order an Angullong “Bull’s Roar” Tempranillo (2010) otherwise. In fact, I loved the wine so much, I went and bought a bottle the next day at the adjoining Union Bank wine store.

My duck dish at the Union Bank - crispy skin, melting on the inside. The broth was flavoured with star anise. Wish there was more bok choy but apart form that, I loved it.

A couple of the other dishes - sorry, bad night time photos

All too soon, our weekend of feasting ended and we headed back to Sydney, but not before we experienced a bit of drama on the road. The route home took us over the Blue Mountains area which had been experiencing strong winds all that week. The winds had been causing havoc, uprooting trees which fell onto train lines and power lines.

As we made our way over the mountains, we were suddenly told that the road had been closed because another tree was about to fall. No one quite knew how long the road would be closed for, so we pulled into a side street to discuss our options. Should we wait, perhaps for hours, or turn around, head back the way we came and try the alternative route back to Sydney.

Then we realised we were standing outside a cafe. A warm, cosy inviting cafe. We knew exactly what we had to do - stop for lunch!

We could not have picked a better spot to wait out the wind than at the Brown’s Siding Store and Cafe (the original home of the Whisk and Pin gourmet label) in Medlow Bath. Even though the kitchen had officially closed, the lovely staff welcomed us with open arms, turned on the oven so we could  have pies and lasagne, and kept us updated with news of what was happening outside on the road.


The cafe ended up becoming a refuge for many locals who were stuck on this side of the road trying to get to their homes on the other side. No one was being allowed across until the tree fell. Eventually, over an hour and a half later, nature took its course, and we were allowed back on our way after the fallen tree was cleared.

All’s well that end’s well :)

Have a great weekend. (Thank you lovely L for organising our trip!)