The funny thing about tastes is that for things that you absolutely loath as a kid may yet turn out to be one of your favorites as an adult – such is the case for me with bitter gourd, and to be frank, quite a few other items.
So for those of you who dislike durian, petai, asparagus, Guinness, and more, perhaps ya’ll just need more doses of them until you like it!
Anyway, here’s one of the recipes I did with bitter gourd over the course of this Covid-19 season.
Bitter Gourd Tofu and Pork Soup Recipe
- 1 bitter gourd, cut in chunks
- 3 carrots
- 300 gram pork belly, cut into bit size chunks
- 1 block of soft tofu
- 2 tomato
- 1 inch ginger
- a handful of salted vege (optional, you can replace with salt to taste)
- boil pork belly for a couple minutes and remove from pot, throw away the scummy water
- use a bigger pot, boil 4-5 bowls of water with everything except tofu for about an hour or so in low heat
- add tofu just before serving
- salt (optional) and pepper to taste
Comfort food especially on rainy days, I usually have it with steamed rice and some soya sauce + cili padi as condiment.
This is my version of bacon French toast, one that led me to buy a loaf of bread after not having any for more than two months since the start of MCO (movement controlled operation) thanks to Covid-19 pandemic (this description may come helpful years later).
There are many French toasts recipes, this one is mine.
- 2 pieces of bread
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon of butter
- 2-3 pieces of bacon
- 1 piece of cheese
- put the egg in a bowl, beat & mix with butter
- pan fry bacon
- when you have enough oil released from bacon, fry bread after dipping in egg+butter
- place bacon on bread once crispy
- place cheese at the end
- eat while hot! Green bits are optional
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.
- 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
- 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.
When I was young, we made it a point to have a soup dish in every meal, in retrospect, I guess that’s a great way to have kids having enough liquid in our diet?
Anyway, I remember that one of my favorites of such soup dishes were the salted fish bone tofu and pork soup. So when I was at Kota Kinabalu not too long ago, I made it a point to get myself some good quality whole kurau salted fish that includes the boney bits.
So here’s the recipe I got from mom.
- salted fish bone (preferably ikan kurau)
- a bulb of garlic, peeled
- an inch of garlic, sliced
- spring onion, cut into 2 inches length
- pork slices, 300-500 gram
- tofu, 2 blocks
- 2 liter of water
- 4-5 tablespoon cooking oil
- soak fish bone for half an hour
- fry garlic, ginger and fish bone till fragrant
- add pork slices and brown the exterior
- add water and bring to boil for at least half hour
- add tofu for the last minute, add spring onion too
Comfort food for rainy days for sure!
I was raised in a place in Penang called Pepper Estate, essentially a small housing “kampung” with mostly “grade 3” houses arranged haphazardly along narrow and steep roads. What it does not have though, is pepper plant.
At my current place, perhaps to remind myself of my origin, we planted a peppercorn plant at the garden, and the little thing has grown over the years and start to bear fruits on quite a regular basis. Birds usually got the most of it, but when I’m fast enough, I get myself some too!
While we mostly have peppers in dried & powdered format, raw green peppercorn does have its use, especially in Thai cuisine. Today I’m going to share my first dish with this ingredient – Stir Fry Green Peppercorn Beef
- 200 gram beef, thin slice
- few stalks of spring onion
- 1 red chili
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
- cooking oil
- a few stalks of raw green peppercorn, crush likely with pestle and mortar
- with some corn starch on the beef, marinate with rice wine, dark & normal soya sauce
- fry the beef half way and set aside (just about 1+ minutes)
- heat up oil and fry garlic and onion till fragrant
- add peppercorn
- add back beef and fry for another minute or so
- finish off with green onion and red chili
Result is a pretty delicious and fresh tasting beef dish with a bit of a kick. Try it!
Check out more simple recipe here.