If you love milk, this is a traditional snacks from the Philippines you must try. I make a point to always buy back at least a box of Yema Tower whenever I travel to the Philippines (in addition to pork rind and garlic chips)
Yema Tower from Philippines
Towers of Yema is basically made from evaporated milk. In fact, you can supposedly make this at home by slowly boiling evaporated milk in low fire until most moisture is removed, then perhaps try to shape it ala playdoh style.
The thing is soft, sweet, and carries a strong milky taste to it. I often eat too many of these in a single seating, it’s like a dog/cat treat for human. I can’t imagine it’s terribly good for your teeth though.
this goes very well with coffee
I also find that this Yema tower thing is awesome with coffee, especially black unsweetened Americano. The sweetness of the treat really compliments coffee real well.
Damn it, I need to find me some Yema Towers.
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve traded in the old faithful RS 250 to a new Aprilia Shiver a couple months ago. I present to you, my Red Italian Lady, my daily driver to work.
If you wonder why some people choose to ride despite the inherently higher risks, ask yourself if you’ve seen a bike parked outside psychiatrist’s office?
Chef Wan is my favorite Malaysian celebrity chefs of all. The man has arguably done the most for Malaysian cuisine than anyone ever had. I was genuinely proud when I saw his cooking show on TV when I was in Vietnam.
The man is my hero.
Chef Wan went around and gave tips to the contestants
I finally got to see the man in real life a couple Saturdays ago during Pencarian Chef Selebriti 2 dan Gas PETRONAS event. Together with Petronas Dagangan Berhad‘s Nik Faizanira Nik Affandi, and Berita Harian‘s Jami’ah Sokri, they were the panel of judges for the event.
Pencarian Chef Selebriti 2 Berita Harian dan Gas PETRONAS at the Curve, Damansara
Before I got ahead of myself, Pencarian Chef Selebriti 2 BH dan Gas PETRONAS is the second year of the unique competition that has the aim to find chefs who has interesting personality, highly eloquent, and be able to communicate and capture audience with his/her culinary knowledge. Of course, one must also be able to cook up great dishes.
Our hosts of the day were two very funny guys – Angah Raja Lawak and Mie Raja Lawak.
Mohd Zamri bin Sahari, the emcees, Kamarudin bin Dali, Riza bin Ismail
The competition was separated into two main categories – individual and professional. Kimberly and I attended the event just as the professional category was getting started.
These were the three finalists
Mohd Zamri bin Sahari, 25, Culinary lecturer and freelance chef
Riza bin Ismail, 28, Executive Chef
Kamarudin bin Dali, 38, Hotel Chef
and they had one hour to prepare an appetizer and a main dish
The chefs were given one hour to come up with an appetizer and a main dish to impress the judges. Ample ingredients were given, which includes seafood, vegetable, meat, mushroom, seasonings, and so on. Blender, pots, pans, knife and all other necessary kitchen utensils were available as well.
While there’re kitchen helpers for the individual event, professional chefs had to do it all by themselves.
Ayu OIAM, Baby Shima, and Adam AF were among the p performers
While the contestants were busy cooking, we were entertained by Ayu OIAM, Baby Shima, and Adam AF. Chef Wan also went around to the contestants to give advice and asked questions as well.
An hour later, all three chefs successfully completed their two dishes each.
a photo with the contestants and judges, before tasting begins
Then there’s judging time, and boy was Chef Wan an awesome judge.
He was harsh, to the point, and absolutely non-nonsense in his criticism to each dish and the contestants. It was a bit like Simon Cowell, except maybe with even more drama.
Case in point – “if orang mat salleh eat your under cooked potato, they’ll throw it to you”.
To be fair, he also gave some very good advice. If anything, I am now even more impressed with Chef Wan.
Chef Wan was harsh, to the point, and very very good in his critics
Among the dishes mussels in Thai sauce (which was criticized by Chef Wan for deviating away from 1Malaysia theme), salmon with begedil, deep fried tiger prawns, roti jala and so forth. They were beautifully decorated.
and here are your winners! congratulations
At the end, Mohd Zamri bin Sahari was crowned as the champion. His bergedil with pan seared salmon was praised by Chef Wan, and on top of that, I thought he was the most eloquent among the three contestants as well. The prize was RM 10,000, and a 6 month contract for Berita Harian penning the cooking column.
Riza bin Ismail and Kamarudin bin Dali came in as 2nd and 3rd place.
In the individual category, Chua Tor Aik won the top prize, while Azman Abu Samah and Rosni binti Johari were 2nd and 3rd.
I wish the best to the winning chefs and to the runner ups, there’s always next year.
After the event I tried to replicate the winning main dish – bergedil with pan seared salmon. It turned out to be a pretty simple dish to make, and one that wasn’t bad at all when it comes to taste as well. Check out the video!
It’s been a while since I posted any home cooked dishes. So here’s one, a simple garlic fried rice with seafood recipe.
This is something that you can prepare in less than half an hour, garlic fried rice is a pretty classic Japanese dish, I just add some seafood to kick it up a notch a bit. While traditionally they also use spring onion, I replaced it with red onion due to availability and that worked out well to add that crunchiness and freshness element to the dish.
fry garlic till a shade before golden brown, remove and set aside
using the same oil, fry prawns (with a dash of salt), then remove and set aside
sear scallops with shells on, then remove and set aside
the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately
Cooking instructions part 2:
with the same oil, fry eggs till 80% cooked
add rice, and stir for a minute
add soya sauce, salt, and some pepper
add garlic and continue to stir for another minute
add garlic and prawns, stir for another minute
serve while hot (arrange your scallops with best of your artistic ability)
start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything
The key to this dish is to have the garlic and seafood fried separately. This allows better control and ensures that each ingredients are cooked properly since they have different cooking time. Try it!
Most of my raw seafood are sourced from mom, who works at a wet market in Penang. She’d pack them frozen in layers of newspaper so that they remain as such during the journey back to KL. The interesting part is, I usually never really know what I’m getting.
So the latest shipment includes squid, one of my favorite seafood, but also one that I have little experience in preparing. I scouted around the internet a little bit and came up with this recipe of deep fried butter squid, an inspiration from several sources, and some personal preference in taste.
home made deep fried butter squid, yum yum
This dish takes a little longer and more steps than most my other recipes, but the end result turned out pretty good, definitely worth the effort and it’ll be something that I shall make again.
3 tablespoon rice flour
3 tablespoon corn flour
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 egg (beaten)
squid (300-500 gram)
1 inch ginger
half a bulb of garlic (you can have more)
2 red/green chili
salt to taste
2 tablespoon butter
vegetable oil for deep frying
ingredients – squid, flour, egg
cooking instruction 1 (deep frying):
mix rice flour, corn flour, and black pepper in a bowl
beat an egg in another
clean squid, you can cut them in rings for bigger squid, remember to remove eyes and beak too
dip squid into egg, then flour mix, then deep fry till just a shade before the desired golden brown color
set a side these fried squid
cooking instruction 2 (final stage):
cut ginger and garlic into slices
split red/green chili down the middle and remove seeds
heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil, then fry garlic, ginger, and chili till fragrant
add butter, then squid
fry for another 1-2 minutes
viola, it’s done!
just a simple two phase cooking procedure
What I really like about this dish is the infusion of butter into the crunchy layer of the squid as well as the fried garlic/ginger. The chili adds a different dimension as well as giving the dish a little bit of a kick. Fresher squid would yield an even better result in my case, but overall the turned out was better than expected.
Check out my other recipes too if you like these style of cooking. Bon appetite!