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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 tofu

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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!

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.

Another day, another fried rice recipe, and this time it is one of my favorites – bacon fried rice.

I usually do this a day after making myself “continental breakfast” which used up 1/2 a pack of a small pack of bacon, the leftover is just perfect for a single portion of fried rice.

bacon fried rice homecooked

Ingredients (1 portion):

  • 3-4 stripes of bacon
  • 1 egg
  • garlic, 1 clove, chopped
  • leek, 1 stalk, cut finely (you can also use spring onion)
  • cilipadi, chopped (optional)
  • some mushroom, sliced
  • cooking oil, 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • salt, pepper, soya sauce to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up wok, fry bacon till they start to get crispy, oil not needed
  • use remaining oil from bacon, scramble eggs to 70% cooked, set aside
  • heat up some cooking oil if none left, fry garlic, then leek, mushroom, cilipadi
  • add rice, add dark soya sauce, add some salt & pepper (less salt since bacon is already salty)
  • add bacon & egg, stir till you’re satisfied
  • ready to serve!

A simple meal for one, you can also replace bacon with luncheon meat or any other meat to be honest, but bacon is of course, most superior. Enjoy!

Check out more simple recipe here.

Hello, guess it’s time to share another one of our experimental recipes, this time – fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk.

pumpkin with salted egg, steamed pomfet
pumpkin with salted egg, steamed pomfet

We originally stumbled upon this dish at a restaurant in Klang, and since it was quite an eye, or taste bud opener, I decided to re-create the same thing in our own kitchen. The result was pretty decent. So if you want to try something perhaps a little different at home, this recipe should fit the bill.

pumpkin, curry leave, chili padi, flour, salted egg
pumpkin, curry leave, chili padi, flour, salted egg

Ingredients (2-3 pax):

  • half a small pumpkin
  • 1 salted egg yolk (2 shown is pic, overkill)
  • 4-5 chili padi
  • curry leaves
  • half cup flour
  • dash of salt to taste
  • enough cooking oil for deep frying

deep frying pumpkin is the first step
deep frying pumpkin is the first step

Cooking instructions:

  • cut pumpkin into bite size slices and coat them in flour
  • heat up oil & deep fry pumpkin till golden brown
  • crush salted egg yolk with a spoon
  • heat up 2 spoon of cooking oil and fry egg yolk till fragrant
  • add pumpkin, then curry leaves & chili padi
  • add salt to taste (if need to) – done!

then fry everything with salted egg, done!
then fry everything with salted egg, done!

The version in the picture has a bit too much cooking oil to it, so with a little less oil it should be perfect, happy cooking!

A week ago we bought three garupa fish for something like RM 25 from the Meru Pasar Malam nearby, and since we’re going to have to eat the same fish on three different occasions, it was an opportunity to try out different recipes.

I vaguely remember that we bought some fermented beans (tauchu) over CNY cos my brother had used it as a “secret ingredient” in his version of jiu hu char, so it was time to experiment on a version of garupa with tauchu dish.

raw ingredients - fish, tauchu, onion, garlic, ginger, chili padi
raw ingredients – fish, tauchu, onion, garlic, ginger, chili padi

Thankfully, the version I ended up cooking based on what we had in the pantry and fridge ended up rather delicious, so I’m penning it here for my own future reference. As always, you’re more than welcome to try it out yourself, and if you do, let me know how it turns out.

Ingredients:

  • one medium size garupa fish (siakap/barramundi should work too)
  • a couple of onions (sliced)
  • half a clove garlic (chopped)
  • an inch of ginger (strips)
  • 2 tablespoon of tauchu
  • 2-3 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • half a dozen chili padi, green or red

sautee everything minus the fish
sautee everything minus the fish

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil and then stir fry everything except the fish
  • once fragrant, add 1.5 cups of water
  • bring water to boil, then add fish
  • lower the heat, let simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness of fish)
  • serve while hot

simmer & steam for 10 minutes and you're done
simmer & steam for 10 minutes and you’re done

As fermented bean is already quite a salty product, salt is not needed in this cooking method. The result is a simple fish dish that brings out the natural taste of seafood while having a sauce base that’s flavorful with a bit of a kick. Goes really well with rice. Will not hesitate to use this recipe again.