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!
Last Monday I took a day off to take advantage of the Tuesday holiday for a pro-longed weekends (man I can get used of that 3 day work week) and attended a cooking demo at Le Meridien KL.
It was part of the “Experience Vietnam” promotion at Latest Recipe that runs from 16-22 May, 2011. Three chefs from Sheraton Saigon - Chef Tran Cong Tien, Chef Nguyen Thi Duy and Chef Bui Van Tien Dong flew all the way here to KL to infuse the restaurant with some true blue (or red?) Vietnamese cuisine, and of course, to share a few recipe with us.
yes, these are real Vietnamese ladies too.
I’ve always been a fan of Vietnamese food ever since the university days in the States, and having traveled to Saigon for 9 times over the last 7-8 years or so, this brand of South East Asian cuisine isn’t exactly very foreign for me.
Yet, this is the first time I learn how to make a real Vietnamese Sping roll. It turned out to be really simple, you can source all the ingredients locally and make yourself some authentic Vietnamese spring rolls too!
making a vietnamese spring roll
Here’s the ingredients to make 20 spring rolls:
20 pieces of rice papers
80 grams of lettuce
25 grams of your favourite Vietnamese herbs (basil and chives usually)
70 grams of carrot, sliced in strips
200 grams of fresh rice vermicelli (they use the thick version, i think mee hun might work too?)
20 pieces of blanched prawns, peeled & halved
Then the ingredients for dipping sauce
50 grams of tamarind pulp
50 ml of hot water
40 grams of dried mung bean
60 ml of tepid water
200 grams of preserved soya bean
50 ml of corn oil (or any cooking oil)
10 grams of chopped garlic
60 grams of sugar
Kim and I got our hands dirty, and our cooking skills upgraded
The steps in making the Vietnamese spring roll is surprisingly easy:
wet the rice paper on one side with hand, but careful not to drench it
apply a piece of lettuce, then 2 basil leaves, a few strips of carrot, then some noodle
next fold the rice paper from both sides, then roll up from bottom until you just cover the ingredients
at this point put 2 pieces of shrimp on top, a piece of chives, and continue to roll the spring roll till complete
The last step separated out for mainly aesthetic purposes, so you can clearly see the shrimps through the translucent rice paper. Brilliant, I always wonder how they made it that way. Now I know.
chef Tran Cong Tien and team making Bo La Lot (beef in fragrant leaves)
While you can consume the spring roll as is, they are best served with the soya bean dipping sauce, and here’s how you make them:
Stir in tamarind pulp in 50 ml of hot water, then strain through a fine sieve and set aside.
Steam the mung beans with 60 ml of water for about 20 minutes then blend together with the steaming water to form smooth paste. Set aside.
Blend the soya bean into a smooth paste. Set aside.
Next, heat up the oil in a pan, sautee the garlics till golden and throw in tamarind pulp paste, mung beans paste and soya bean paste. Stir till combined.
Simmer for 10 minutes till mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and allow to cool down before storing in fridge. This dipping sauce can be kept for up to a week
Cheo Troai Noouc (the dessert), Haze, Chef Antoine, Ciki
The good chefs from Vietnam also taught us how to make one of the most iconic Vietnamese food – Bo La Lot (grilled beef in fragrant leaves), and the dessert by the name of Cheo Troai Noouc (sticky rice dumpling with green bean filling and ginger syrup). I didn’t get a chance to try how to make those, but perhaps one day!
Address: Le Meridien
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470 GPS:3.135631,101.686476 Tel: 03-2263 7888
The deal includes a dry pot of fish ball, pork intestines, deep fried pig skin, pig stomach, fried fish maw, foo chuk, vegetables + 4 boiled rice. You can check out my review of Xiao Fei Yang at the Pudu branch. This deal is for their newer Damansara Utama branch. Head over to check out the deal and grab it before it expires on midnight of 25 May, 2011!
Address: No:40G & 42G, Jalan SS21/62, Damansara Utama, Kuala Lumpur
Ladies and gentlemen, today yours truly don on chef’s hat and pretend that I know something about cooking. The recipe you are about to read comes from the Southern part of the country that likes to police the world. Yes, that would be U S of A.
We are going to learn about fried okra, on of my all time favorite beer food that isn’t served in any restaurant this side of Pacific.
First, the ingredients, and they are fairly simple:
okra (or lady finger, if you prefer)
half a cup of milk
a cup of corn flour
a tea spoon of salt
pepper to taste
other spices optional (be imaginative, if you would)
fried okra makes for awesome beer food
Then, the steps, this is child’s play in terms of cooking, no post graduate degree in culinary field is required:
slice or chop okra into bite size
beat the egg, milk, salt, pepper, and corn flour in a mixing bowl till even
coat the okra
fry till golden brown
serve while hot!
This is one yummy snack that goes very well with cold beer, Kilkenny, Heineken, Guinness, anything! I brought this as my contribution to Suan’s xmas eve potluck, and was happy that it was well received. Even master chef Lance liked it, and that is plenty good for me
mimi bacon pizza by Haze
Haze came up with this concoction that she called mini bacon pizza. The ingredient’s pretty straight forward:
bacon (as many slice as you have bread
pasta sauce (tomato base)
flatten the bread (she had somehow forgotten this part then…)
spread pasta sauce on bread, then add cheese and oregano
carefully lay a strip of that precious bacon on top
roll everything up and hold it with a toothpick
fry till golden brown (for the health freaks, you can also bake them)
The result certainly did not disappoint either, I liked it a lot too!
Lance brought a pot of clam chowder that had uses some sort of bacon stock, it was by far the best clam chowder I’ve ever had! You can actually order it at bbq-addicts.com, I guarantee that you’ll be 100% satisfied!
Suan cooked up some bacon carbonara that turned out to be the best pasta she’s ever made, Kim too roasted a chicken, very juicy, and tasted plenty awesome right out of her new oven! Horng made some sort of east-meet-west sausage for the potluck.
xmas eve party at Suanie’s crib
The little get-together over xmas eve turned out to be a very gastronomically satisfying event. We had a little bit to drink (there’ll be plenty more for NYE in a few days’ time at Michael’s), and spent the night reliving the old tradition of watching Euro Trip all over again.