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One of my favorite quick meal is fried rice, and of all the different versions, one of my favorites would be the good old fashion sambal belacan fried rice.

Since it isn’t exactly a popular dish at hawker centres or Chinese/Malay restaurants, I thought a simple recipe could be helpful for those who are a bit adventures in the kitchen.

sambal belacan fried rice with prawns
sambal belacan fried rice with prawns

First of all, to make sambal belacan fried rice, you must make sambal belacan. No brainer right?

The ingredients couldn’t be simpler, I got them from local market

  • red chili
  • chili padi (optional)
  • belacan (prawn paste)
  • around 10 red chili to 2 table spoons of belacan (approximate)

sambal belacan's ingredients - chili & belacan
sambal belacan’s ingredients – chili & belacan

Here’s how you do it

  • roast the belacan in oven at about 200 degree till fragrant (or stinks, depending on your personal interpretation)
  • cut chili in halves and remove seeds, chop them further to smaller pieces
  • place belacan and chili into mortar and pestle and pound away

The mortar and pestle was obtained for RM 35 at a local market. You can use a blender but it won’t taste the same though. I keep the finished product in an air tight jar in the fridge.

Haze's pounding it the old school way
Haze’s pounding it the old school way

So now that you have the sambal, here is how you make the fried rice, ingredients:

  • 2 servings of rice, well duh! (overnight leftover’s the best)
  • 4-6 prawns – peeled and marinate with a bit of salt
  • 1-2 stalks of scallion, chopped finely
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • half a tea spoon of dark soya sauce
  • 2 table spoon of sambal belacan

can you smell it?
stir to perfection

Steps:

  • heat up the frying pan with 2-3 table spoon of oil, then fry prawn for about a minute
  • add rice and sambal, stir like mad
  • add the dark soya sauce
  • make an opening in the middle of the frying pan, add a table spoon of oil, and crack the egg
  • add a squirt of soya sauce on egg, then stir like mad
  • add scallions last

Salt is not needed since belacan provides the necessary saltiness to the rice already. The result is two servings of really spicy, fragrant, and rather delicious old school sambal belacan fried rice. Sambal took about 30 minutes to prepare, and fried rice another 15 minutes or so.

Of course, we made more than enough sambal for just cooking fried rice, the actual main intention was to use it as condiment for tau eu bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce), which will be the next recipe I publish here.

I actually got the idea to make this dish from the “tai chau” place near one of the badminton halls I frequent. It tasted so good the first time I had it, we ended up ordering a second plate of the same thing. So when I decided to make a vegetable dish for lunch, it was just natural that I had to try to reproduce this french beans with dried shrimp (虾米玉豆). With this KY’s recipe, you can make it too!

French Beans with Dried Shrimp (虾米玉豆 )
this stuff was really good

Ingredients:

  • French beans
  • dried shrimps
  • cili padi
  • garlic

Steps:

  • mince the dried shrimps and cili padi together and chopped some garlic separately
  • heat the frying pan with cooking oil and start frying the chopped garlic
  • add minced dried shrimps and cili padi after 20 seconds
  • fry the mixture till golden brown, then add French beans
  • add a sprinkle of salt to taste, fry the beans over high heat for a minute or two
  • ready to serve!

French Beans with Dried Shrimp (虾米玉豆 )
very simple ingredients and preparation method

This is my very first trial in making this dish, and I must say it didn’t turn out bad at all. I had a little too much dried shrimp going on, and definitely way too much cili padi. However, the taste was still very good, crunchy and fresh tasting beans contrasting with the flavor of minced dried shrimp and the hotness of cili padi, a great combination. Try it yourself!

After the lala miso soup, my second dish for this year’s reunion dinner is Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork. This is actually the first time I made this dish, though had it a few times at various restaurants, usually with Choi Tam (Brussels Sprout). I would usually have my vegetables fried only with garlic, but since this is the year of pig, why not a spice it up with some roasted pork?

Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork
this dish sure looks yummy, isn’t it?

Ingredients:

  • Hong Kong kailan
  • roasted pork (RM 3-5, from morning market or hawker)
  • sliced or chopped garlic
  • corn flour
  • cooking oil
  • salt

Steps:

  • heat up a few spoons of cooking oil
  • throw in the garlic and then roasted pork, stir
  • add in the vegetabl ewhen the garlic gets golden, shoots first, then the leaves
  • add some salt for flavor (half a tea spoon should suffice)
  • pour in the mixture of corn flour and water (2 table spoon of corn flour and half a cup of water)
  • stir till vegetable is cooked

Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork
cooking this is easy as 1-2-3

The dish was pretty easy to prepare, and it did turn out great. The aroma of roasted pork complimented the fresh vegetable really well. Corn flour and water gives a slightly salty gravy that makes eating this dish with steamed rice a very good combination. Try it!

It’s been the second year in the running that I get myself busy and cook the Chinese New Year reunion dinner for my family. It is quite a bit of work compared to pigging ourselves out at some fancy restaurant, but I don’t get many chances of cooking for the family, so why not?

Rinnai gas stove
gone with the old, in with the new!

Since my cheap old twin stove has rusted till the point of no return, I decided to get something more hardcore for the kitchen. After scouring around the few electrical appliances stores, I finally get my hands on this hardcore industrial strength Rinnai stove, made in Japan. This baby has a flame thrower ignition sequence, and come complete with thick metal stand that will last me decades. It was RM 185 well spent.

Miso Lala soup

My first dish is the miso soup with Lala (clam).

Ingredients:

  • a packet of Lala
  • some garlic
  • miso paste (or instant miso soup, since I couldn’t find miso paste at Cold Storage)
  • a tube of Japanese tofu
  • spring onion

Steps:

  • clean the Lalas throughly
  • mince some garlic and boil them with the Lala
  • add miso paste
  • add the sliced tofu
  • add some chopped spring onion just before serving

Simple isn’t it? Of course, this is only the first of four dishes that I prepared for the night. A little bit of Japanese taste to the traditional Chinese occasion. I’ll blog about the other 3 dishes: Hong Kong Kailan with roasted pork, steamed pomphret, and beef with broccoli in the next few posts.

Gong Xi Fa Chai to you too!

KY cooking kung pao chicken
This is how the KY’s Kung Pao Chicken looks like, yum!

Just read Peter Tan’s blog on his Chiken Kurma. Not to be outdone, I’m going to talk about my Kung Pao Chicken here.

You see, yours truely does not only build pond his own pond (with lotsa help of course), but cooks too. If you are a hot chick digging guys who can cook, please email me your resume, preferrably with photos and body measurements. Thanks.

Now lets get back to the Kung Pao chicken. The recipe is from a combination of mom’s advice, over the shoulder peeping at local kopitiam chef, and 4.5 years of intense experimentation while I was at the States.

The ingredients:

  • Chicken – portion according to the size of your stomach
  • Dried Red Chilli and Fresh Chilli Padi – portion according to the sensitivity of your tongue
  • Shallots (small onions) – portion according to how often you want to fart
  • Ginger – few slices
  • Garlic – you can never go wrong with adding garlic in anything Chinese
  • Parsley – for decorative purposes
  • Soy Sauce, Salt, Dark Soy Sauce – according to taste

The steps:

  1. Heat up the oil till it’s like damn hot
  2. Throw in the sliced ginger and chopped garlic, then run away as the oil sparks everywhere
  3. Throw in the shallots, in wedges or in whole, if they’re small
  4. Throw in the chillis
  5. Throw in the chicken, fry for a couple minutes
  6. Add in the mixture of your premixed sauce consist of the 3 items mentioned above
  7. Fried till chicken is cooked
  8. Serve with parsley on the top

Simple yet awesome in taste.

they are enjoying the kung pao chicken
The chicks digging it, too

finished kung pao chicken
Nothing but empty plate left, best or not?