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I’ve always been a fan of lala meehun at Lai Foong kopitiam in KL. If you haven’t had them, you should definitely spend too much time waiting for a bowl and give it a try if you happen to be around Petaling Street area.

Lala meehun, made simple at home
Lala meehun, made simple at home

However, as we all know, for a long time during Covid season, dining in wasn’t allowed, and I was forced to come up with my own solution when craving hits, so I came up with a way to re-create this dish, except I used meesuah, you can easily substitute this with meehun (additional 1-2 minute cooking time).

Without spending another 500 words in grandmother stories like most other recipe blogs out there these days, let us just dive in and get started.

Ingredients:

  • fresh or frozen lala
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches of ginger, sliced
  • some vege (optional)
  • water + chicken bullion (or leftover soup stock)
  • enough meehun or meesuah for 2 pax
  • Chinese rice wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil/lard

ingredients are simple
ingredients are simple – lala, ginger, garlic, vege, chicken bullion

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic & ginger till fragrant
  • add in water & chicken bullion (or use soup stock), bring to boil
  • add lala and cook for 1-2 minutes, until they start to open
  • add meesuah/meehun, then vegetable
  • remove & serve while hot
  • optionally, add a cap full of Chinese rice wine for extra kick!

cooking is done within 3 minutes
cooking is done within 3 minutes

Result is a simple dish that’s packed with lala sweetness, enhanced with hotness of ginger & fragrance from fried garlic. If you’ve enjoyed the dish at Lai Foong, you will enjoy this.

While doing grocery yesterday, I spotted some big and juicy looking shellfish available, and immediately reminded myself of those delicious steamed lala in New Boston Restaurant, a dish that I missed in terms of taste, but not so much in terms of wait time..

So naturally, I decided to get me some of those lala and attempt to recreate the same dish at home. I think I came pretty close, so here’s the recipe to share with everyone.

steamed lala as inspired by New Boston restaurant, Klang
steamed lala as inspired by New Boston restaurant, Klang

Ingredients:

  • lala – soak them in salt water for at least 1/2 hour to reduce chances of hanging sand/mud
  • ginger, julienne, as much as you want, old & hot= better
  • garlic, half a bulb, chopped finely
  • chili padi – chopped
  • Chinese rice wine

garlic, ginger, and cilipadi are crucial
garlic, ginger, and cilipadi are crucial

Cooking instructions:

  • fry garlic with oil until golden, set aside
  • steamed lala with ginger, cilipadi, and a couple tablespoon of Chinese rice wine
  • steamed only until shellfish are opened, this only takes a couple minutes or so
  • put fried garlic on top, add a bit of salt if preferred
  • served while hot!

The result turns out pretty well, could perhaps improved with better quality of Chinese rice wine, but so long as the seafood is fresh, results won’t be disappointing. Try it!

Simple cooking video below.

 

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Kung pao chicken is dish that is familiar to many of us, especially those who have spent some time ordering for a single serving Chinese “tai chao” dish around Klang Valley. It is coincidentally also a dish that is pretty simple to prepare on your own, as I have shared before some 15+ years ago.

kung pao chicken sweet potato recipe
kung pao chicken sweet potato recipe

Today, I want to share a slightly tweaked version of this traditional dish, by incorporating some sweet potato that I’ve gotten my hands on. Here I present to you – Kung Pao Chicken with Sweet Potato! (I know, I could be more creative with the naming, like Sweet Earthy Phoenix combo or something…)

Check out the video of the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarter chicken legs (or other parts if you so prefer), cut into bite sizes, deboned if possible
  • 1-2 sweet potato, cut in small chunks
  • half cup cashew nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 dozen dried cili
  • 3-4 cili padi (optional)
  • cooking oil

Sauce:

  • 1.5 table spoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 table spoon soya sauce
  • 2 table spoon dark vinegar

cast iron pan comes in handy for frying too

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil
  • start with ginger, garlic, and cili (both)
  • add cashew nuts if they’re not toasted, stir fry till fragrant
  • add chicken and sweet potato together, cook for 5-7 minutes
  • add sauce, and stir for additional minute
  • put on some spring onion or cilantro before serving (optional)

Enjoy!

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.