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This on-going Covid-19 situation has certainly brought out some kitchen creativities in some of us, isn’t it? Not to be left behind, I think I’ve slightly outdone myself with this … Japanese style Saba Fish Rice Bowl, and here’s how you can make your own at home too.

I use a sous vide machine to prepare the fish, but grilling or pan fry will work almost just as well.

Japanese style rice bowl, with plenty of greens & reds
Japanese style rice bowl, with plenty of greens & reds

Without further nonsense, here’s the ingredients you need for this bowl, you can also certainly feel free to substitute certain items as you see fit, some of these are for optics more than tastes alone.

Ingredients for 2 bowls:

  • 2 pieces of saba fish fillet, frozen will work just as well
  • cherry tomatoes, half a dozen, cut in half
  • a handful of broccoli, cut into thin slices
  • fried garlic, 3-4 cloves
  • a stalk of spring onion, chopped
  • butter, 2 tablespoon
  • Japanese 7 spice powder
  • 1 cup rice (Japanese rice preferred)
  • optional – shiso leaf (I used sweet basil cos that’s what I had), and a tablespoon of fish roe

sous vide style saba fish
sous vide style saba fish, a torch is useful

Cooking instructions:

  • Sous vide fish fillet for 20 minutes at 50 Celsius (122F)
  • in the mean time, sauté garlic till crispy
  • then sauté tomato and broccoli with butter
  • once fish is done, slice into bite size, and use torch to score the skin
  • arrange everything on a bed of rice and then sprinkle on some 7 spice powder

I think this was one of the prettiest rice bowls I’ve ever assembled, was quite delicious to eat as well as it supposed to be somewhat of a healthy meal. I think this calls for me buying more frozen saba fish!

To be frank, I never did grow up with pork belly with salted fish dish, I supposed it was a dish that wasn’t particularly popular up north in Penang where I grew up, that or my family was not privy to the greatness of this combination during that time.

My first time having this was at Lucky Loke restaurant over a decade ago and been a fan ever since.

pork belly with salted fish
pork belly with salted fish

A few days ago, I finally recreated this dish in the kitchen, and it turned out to be pretty simple and rather delicious as well!

Here goes the recipe –

Ingredients:

  • Pork belly 300 gram, remove skin, marinate with equal portion (2 tablespoon) of cooking caramel, rice wine, and oyster sauce
  • 3-4 bulbs shallots, cut in quarters
  • 2 inch ginger, thin sliced
  • 6 dried cili, fresh cili (optional)
  • 3-4 clove of garlic
  • spring onion for garnish
  • 2 table spoon salted fish, cut in small chunks
  • 3-4 tablespoon cooking oil

it's a stirring and frying affair
it’s a stirring and frying affair

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up pan, fry garlic and salted fish
  • add dried cili & shallots, fry till fragrant
  • add pork, medium heat, cook 5-10 mins depending on thickness
  • add fresh cili & spring onion last min

Result was fantastic and require no additional seasoning, now I just need to get me a small claypot to complete the look & feel properly instead of using a frying pan and serving bowl.

I am a fan of kuih teow soup, and often said that it is a Penang hawker dish that is under represented in Klang Valley, taking a backseat to the more popular char kuih teow, prawn mee, and laksa alike. So yah, during this MCO period, I do start to miss having it, hence I made it a point to re-create a version of my own the other day with some leftover pork bone radish soup that I had the other day.

Here’s how you can do yours too with this simple recipe.

home made kuih teow soup

Ingredients:

  • soup stock (I used leftover pork base radish soup, you can use chicken soup too)
  • pork belly meat (chicken/duck are good too)
  • kuih teow
  • spring onion
  • bean sprouts
  • beef ball/ fish ball
  • cili padi and soya sauce as condiment

Instructions:

  • cook the meat in soup stock till soft
  • remove and cut into bite size
  • add kuih teow in soup and cook for a minute or two
  • add bean sprouts
  • serve with spring onion on top
  • a dash of garlic oil and lard would work well  here too (I didn’t have)

This turned out to be quite wholesome and comforting, perfect for warming up the tummy.

The days of cooking at home continues, and for someone like me who grew up on an island, fish is always a very familiar ingredient on the table, and when you have fresh seafood, the best way to prepare them is almost always by steaming.

Today’s recipe involves a block of fresh garupa fish filet from one of the local grocery stores, and instead of just normal steaming, I’m adding a bit of a twist – with BRAND’S Essence of Chicken.

garupa steamed brands homecooked

I actually got the inspiration from this dish slightly more than ten years ago at Yap Yin & BKT restaurant in Seri Kembangan with their steamed haruan fish dish. The recreation for today is slightly different and simplified. Without further ado, here we go

Ingredients:

  • 1 block fresh garupa fish filet
  • 1 bottle BRAND’S Essence of Chicken
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 glove garlic, diced
  • some wolfberries
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • salt to taste

garupa steamed brands homecooked with brand's chicken essence

Instructions:

  • clean and dry fish, salt it lightly
  • placed ginger both above and under fish in steaming bowl
  • pour BRAND’S Essence of Chicken + soya sauce
  • steamed for 10-12 minutes (depending of fish thickness)
  • separately fry garlic till golden brown
  • use garlic & spring onion as garnish, serve while hot

The result is a dish that’s also full of nutrient and also yummy to eat. Try it!

Check out more simple recipe here.

When I was young, mom always made sure that there’ll be one soup dish in every meal. Usually it’s something like.. 1 meat, 1 vege, 1 soup, balanced diet, like it should be.

One of the easiest and fastest soup to cook would be bayam, a vegetable that can be obtained rather cheaply here in Malaysia. So here goes my simple recipe of the day – bayam soup with ikan bilis.

bayam soup homecooked

Ingredients:

  • a handful of ikan bilis  (dried anchovies)
  • a few bulb of garlic
  • some wolf-berry
  • bayam vegetable
  • 1.5 liter of water

Instructions:

  • Boil ikan bilis + garlic + wolf berry for 30 minutes
  • Add bayam for 1 minute
  • Add salt to taste, maybe some pepper
  • Ready to serve,  additionally you can also stir and egg or two prior to serving for extra protein

There are some recipes calling for discarding the anchovies, but I believe in not wasting perfectly fine food, especially since I bought these from Kota Kinabalu’s Filipino market, which is of pretty decent quality.

Check out more simple recipe here.