Category / Seafood
It’s going to be the year of Horse in a few more days, and like so many Chinese families, reunion dinner is on the menu. So are you going to just watch your mom prepare everything? or are you going to be contributing at the kitchen and come up with at least a dish like a good filial son or daughter should?
Well, if you’re the latter and lacks in the finer skills in front of the stove, here’s a simple lala recipe you can follow that just might make your mom proud.
ingredients are lala, garlic, ginger, chili padi
This is a lala (or any clams) dish with garlic, ginger, and chili padi. Takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and is also one of the cheapest seafood dishes you can come up with especially during CNY season.
Here are the ingredients:
- 1 big bowl of lala/clams
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 inch ginger, stripes
- 6-10 chili padi, chopped
- 5 tablespoon cooking oil
fry till the shells are opened, wise to steam it a bit too
- soak lala/clam in salt water for 30 minutes, rinse
- heat up cooking oil and fry ginger & garlic till fragrant
- add in lala/clam
- add chili padi
- fry till all shellfish are opened, you can use a lid to cover the pot for steaming effect
- ready to serve
lala with chili padi and garlic
This is a rather simple and fail proof dish, you can also spice it up by adding some Chinese cooking wine or soup stock to give it a more fragrant flavor.
Click for simple recipes from yours truly, and Happy CNY.
One of the activities we participated in while at The Datai Langkawi (see blog post) was a fun session on cooking conducted by the two chefs who are specialized in Thai cuisine at the beautiful hotel.
The session took place at the Thai Pavilion, a semi-open air restaurant that’s built on stilts and situated by the main swimming pool.
learning some tricks from the chef
Here are the two recipes you might fine useful to add to your cooking repertoire.
Our first dish was goong phad keemao, or fried drunken prawn. While the name might suggest that this dish involves alcohol, it actually wasn’t the case. Here goes:
- prawn (250 gram)
- fresh cili padi (8 gram)
- onion (20 gram)
- tomatoes (20 gram)
- galangal (20 gram)
- lemongrass (10 gram)
- cooking oil (30 ml)
- garlic (10 gram)
- kaffir lime leaf (2 gram)
- thai basil leaf (5 gram)
- oyster sauce (30ml)
- fish sauce (15ml)
- pepper powder to taste
the drunken prawn doesn’t use any alcohol, halal version
- heat oil in wok, then add garlic, chili, onion, and stir together
- add prawn, galangal, lemongrass, pepper, stir till prawn is half cooked
- add oyster sauce, kaffir lime leaf
- add chicken stock (or plain water if you don’t have chicken stock) and Thai sweet basil
- adjust saltiness with fish sauce
- serve while hot
you can cook the tomyam in either clear or “red” version
Next is arguably the most famous Thai dish of all time – tomyam gai. We made the chicken version here, but you can substitute with prawn, squid, or other seafood as well.
- chicken breast sliced (60 gram)
- galangal (10 gram)
- lemongrass (10 gram)
- kafir lime leaf (5 gram)
- abalone mushroom (20 gram)
- tomyam paste (10 gram)
- fish sauce (10 ml)
- lime juice (10 ml)
- chicken stock (150 gram)
- coriander leaf (5 gram)
Haze, KY, and WeiZhi showcasing our dishes at The Datai Langkawi
- boil chicken stock with galangal, lemongrass and tomyam paste in small pot (leave out tomyam paste if you want clear version)
- let the ingredients reduce a little, then add chicken, abalone mushroom, and kaffir lime leaf
- let cook for another 3-4 minutes
- season with fish sauce and lime juice
- add coriander leaf before serving
After the cooking session, we sat down and had our dishes with some steamed rice. There was also some Thai dessert and white wine to complete the course. It was pretty fun and now I do think I should slot in cooking classes whenever I travel to other places. These recipes are pretty easy to follow, I’m pretty sure I’ll make them at home.
Datai was such an awesome experience, I miss it already.
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!
It’s time for another recipe sharing session. This time it’s seafood – fried prawns with soya sauce, a simple to prepare and yet pretty luxurious dish (just because prawns are so expensive these days).
I had some prawns in hand thanks for mom who actually works in a market, and since I ran out of asam to make my favorite nyonya style sam prawn, I went online to look for something simple to prepare, and landed on this fried prawns with soya sauce recipe from Babe KL. I know Babe KL & Capt’n Hook personally and was sure that her recipe wouldn’t go wrong.
trim off all sharp edges, add pepper, salt, corn starch
Anyway, here are the ingredients you need:
- big prawns, I had XL prawns, bigger the better
- 1 bulb garlic – chopped
- 2 inches ginger – cut into stripes
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce
- a couple stalks of spring onion
- cooking oil
cook the prawns and place it aside
Prawn preparation steps:
- trim off the all appendages of the prawns with a scissor
- clean and pad dry the prawns with paper towels
- marinate prawn with salt, pepper, and cover with corn starch
- heat up some cooking oil and fry prawns till reddish (2-3 minutes)
- set prawns aside
ginger, then garlic, then prawns, and all the sauces, finally spring onion
- heat up oil (or just use the remaining from frying prawns)
- fry ginger for a minute, then add garlic (because it takes longer to cook ginger)
- when garlic & ginger starts to turn golden, add in the prawns
- add worchestershire sauce, soya sauce, and dark soya sauce
- stir fry till fragrant
- add green onion and stir a little more just prior to serving
there you go, classic fried prawns with soya sauce
So there, the dish really turned out pretty well, I actually wished that we had put in even more garlic & ginger cos they really brought out the taste of the prawns and went well with rice. For those who likes it a little sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon of sugar too.
For more recipe from yours truly, click on my cooking category.
Now that CNY is over, it’s time to get back to do some cooking, and boy did it feel great!
Other than all those pictures and memory of yummy hawker foods in Penang over that period, mom also gave me a fridge full of fish/prawns/pork/chicken all nicely frozen, and they are now sitting in my fridge here in PJ. Basically over the next few weeks, my grocery shopping only consists of fresh vegetables and some spices.
Gotta love mom!
black pomfret with sauce, rice, and some vege
Anyway, today I’m going to share with you this fairly simple recipe of black pomfret with sauce that I improvised from the classic Malay dish that’s often referred to as bawal hitam ber-sos.
You can usually find this dish at Malay restaurants, but it is also fairly common in the repertoire of Penang Nyonya cooking.
Unlike normal pomfret that’s best steamed, black pomfret has harsher and leaner meat that isn’t as flavorful, a stronger tasting sauce makes a good compliment to this fish. So here goes:
oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, and a bunch of other ingredients
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 large black pomfret
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 bulb of garlic, chopped
- 2 small red onion/shallots, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, cut into rings
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into small slices
- 3 chili padi, smashed
- a few slices of ginger
- 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoon soya sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper
this is how you prepare the awesomesauce
You can start frying the fish, and in the mean time, prepare the sauce with another frying pan side by side. They should be done at just about the same time.
cooking instructions (fish):
- generously cover the fish with turmeric powder and salt, leave for a few minutes
- heat up enough oil to cover at least half the fish
- fry fish for 8 minutes
- flip over and fry the other side of the fish for another 6 minutes
- the timing might differ slightly depending on the size of the fish, the idea is to get it to be golden brown
cooking instructions (sauce):
- with mortar & pastel, crush red onion/shallot, garlic, and one of the chili padi
- heat up 3 tablespoon of oil and add fry the resulting pulp until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes
- add ginger, yellow onion, bell pepper, and the remaining chili padi
- add oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, soya sauce , sugar, and pepper
- add 1/4 cup of water
- continue stirring until onion and bell pepper are soft, about 5-6 minutes
fry the pomfret separately, then pour on the sauce
Pour the sauce over the pomfret and consume while hot. Best served with steam rice.