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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Vegetable

Brinjal is one of my favorite fruit/vegetable (whatever you want to call it), and today I want to share with you a quick and simple way of preparing this all time favorite – fried brinjal Chinese style, with ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen pantry.

brinjal, dark soya sauce, sugar, mini bell pepper, garlic, pepper
brinjal, dark soya sauce, sugar, mini bell pepper, garlic, pepper

Ingredients:

  • one purple brinjal (chopped in bite size)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon salt cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • small bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, peeled and cut

this fry brinjal dish is done within 5 minutes
this fry brinjal dish is done within 5 minutes

Cooking instructions:

  • heat up frying pan and oil
  • put in garlic & miniature bell pepper, fry till fragrant
  • add brinjal, fry for a minute
  • add water, sugar, dark soya sauce
  • cover frying pan and let it steam for a couple minutes
  • add salt & pepper to taste
  • serve while hot

vege, fish and soup makes for a complete meal
vege, fish and soup makes for a complete meal

My main purpose penning this entry is so that I can refer to this when I want to re-create this dish in the future. Eat well and start cooking!

Today I want to share a very simple recipe, and with an ingredient that you can probably plant on your garden, or even in a pot on your balcony at home – basil!

Remember the home made ghetto sous vide solution? Well, we made more beef from the session than we can eat and kept them in fridge, so the natural thing to do for the next day was to use it to cook something instead of having cold steak, enter fried beef with basil.

beef with basil recipe
beef with basil recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 200 gram beef – thinly sliced (raw beef is fine too)
  • one bunch of basil leaves
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, chopped
  • pepper
  • chili padi (optional)

3 types of greens from this pic were from our garden
3 types of greens from this pic were from our garden

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic till fragrant
  • throw beef and basil, stir, and then all other ingredients, stir for a couple minutes
  • the end

This is literally one of the simplest recipes, tastes great and goes really well with steamed rice. Have fun cooking, and get started on growing some of your own food! In the picture above, the radish, long bean, and basil were from our garden.

To be honest Fu Yu Yau Mak, or Romaine Lettuce with fermented bean curd, was not a dish I’m familiar with growing up in Penang. Mom never really cooked this in our dinners, and it was only when I moved to Klang Valley for college did I have my first taste of this combination, and I love it ever since.

As it turns out, this is also one of the simplest dishes to prepare, here’s how:

the ingredients - garlic, romaine lettuce, fermented bean curd
the ingredients – garlic, romaine lettuce, fermented bean curd

Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce for two pax
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cubes of fermented bean curd (smashed em)
  • 2-3 spoons of cooking oil
  • 5-6 chili padi (chopped)

fry the garlic first, then everything next
fry the garlic first, then everything next

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil in medium heat and fry garlic till fragrant
  • add in lettuce, chili padi & fermented bean curd
  • fry until vegetable is soft, add 1/4 cup of water or soup stock if you prefer it a little wet

We’ve moved into the new house with a bigger kitchen, so expect a bit more simple recipes coming this way. Happy cooking!

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
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 with Petronas Gas and BH at the Curve
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
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
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 performers
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
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
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
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!

This Thai minced pork cucumber soup is something that we came across while staying over at Khaolak for degassing purposes after a satisfying live-aboard diving trip at Similan Islands.

The soup was so good that when we came home, Haze and I tried to re-create the same dish at home, and I think she got it pretty close. Here’s the resulting soup that is somewhat healthy, simple to make, and may I say, quite delicious. 😀

Thai Cucumber Soup with Minced Pork
Thai Minced Pork Cucumber Soup

Ingredients:

  • big fresh cucumber
  • fish sauce (or salt)
  • white pepper
  • minced meat (300 gram or enough for stuffing)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

ingredients are simple, we use fresh cucumber
ingredients are simple, we use fresh cucumber

Instructions:

  • While heating up 3 bowls of water, remove cucumber skin, cut in halves, then into bite size, remove the seeds
  • mix minced meat with generous amount of pepper, a teaspoon of fish sauce (or a dash of salt), and a teaspoon of sesame oil
  • apply minced meat on cucumber where the seeds used to be (you can 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch to make the mixture more sticky)
  • carefully put the cucumber into boiling water with meat side on top
  • boil for 15-20 minutes or until cucumber is soft
  • serve while hot

minced meat and cucumber is a great combination
minced meat and cucumber is a great combination

This soup usually comes with tong fun (glass noodle) so if you wanna add that, do go ahead. For even more flavorful soup base, feel free to add chicken/pork bones too.

Happy cooking!