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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.

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If you’re someone who’s in Kota Kinabalu having a craving for proper Penang hawker food, I have good news for you. Jin Siang kopitiam at Luyang happens to serve a pretty competent bowl of Penang style prawn mee, with another hidden option!

Jin Siang Prawn Mee at Luyang, Sabah
Jin Siang Prawn Mee at Luyang, Sabah

Jin Siang is located at Luyang Commercial Centre, about 5 kilometers away from KK town center in, well, where else but Luyang? Parking isn’t usually a difficult affair, but I believe you do have to pay for it.

I was actually last there about 3 years back when covid wasn’t in our lexicon, traveling was only restricted by your wallet, and face mask is associated with the likes of batman & spider-man. How I wish we’re transported back to that life again… but I digress.

Penang Prawn Mee and Fried Prawn Mee
Penang Prawn Mee and Fried Prawn Mee

I tried the Penang prawn mee here and thought it was a pretty competent recreation of what they serve in Penang. The soup was fragrant, and all the ingredients checked out. The sambal was perhaps an area that could be improved a bit but overall it should certainly satisfy anyone’s cravings, being over 1,700 km away from the island of origin.

my KK food buddy
my KK food buddy

My dining buddy Yann May opted for something more special instead – fried prawn mee! I am not sure if you can even find this in Penang (or KL). It was as you would expect, prawn mee with all the same ingredients but fried, I thought it was interesting and a good change of pace, though personally may not be something I would order.

Jin Siang also has char kuih teow on their menu, we did not try it. If you’re in Kota Kinabalu thinking of Penang hawker dishes, this is a place to check out.

jin siang prawn mee kk menu

map to Jin Siang prawn mee

Address:
Kedai Kopi Jin Siang
17, Lorong Damai Point,
Luyang Commercial Centre,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.962056, 116.091603
Tel: +6016 832 8708

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Lock down DIY project has been quite a trend worldwide isn’t it?

After completing the replacement of wooden deck with granite tiles project, we had a lot of salvageable thin Merbau planks that was just asking to be repurposed.  Many ideas came to mind, but the priority has got to be a wooden bench.

research and 3d design in SketchUp
research and 3d design in SketchUp

I went online and did quite a fair bit of research on various designs that people came up with, some even complete with cutting list for home DIY projects. At the end, a particular Danish design caught my attention. It was elegant, fairly simple, and the salvage wood I have should suffice without too much effort.

Also, this bench is priced at 1,250 EUR, yikes.

writing it all down, measure twice, cut once
writing it all down, measure twice, cut once

Many hours spent on familiarizing myself with SketchUp 3D software later, I managed to figure out the various length and angles of the cut list.

Sketch the result and list them all on my trusted wood working notebook and proper wood working job officially began.

drill, dowels, and trust the titebond glue
drill, dowels, and trust the Titebond glue

Half the effort spent was actually not shown here – removing nails and sanding away previous paint job on these salvaged wood. I also used putty to patch up the nail holes as well.

Cutting was done with miter saw as well as a table saw, and joinery was done mainly with wood dowels reinforced by Titebond 2 wood glue (my trusted brand). I did make a mock up to ensure the dimensions are right before finalizing everything.

you can never have too many clamps
you can never have too many clamps

Almost a whole week’s worth of clamping and gluing job later, the bench was in shape. It was then sanded a couple rounds with a hand held sander and finally coated with non shining wood varnish for weather protection, and also to bring out the natural dark color of those beautiful Merbau wood.

finished product - wooden poolside bench
finished product – wooden poolside bench

Final products is as above, Jean as the model for scale. Top of the bench is 2 plank wide and served as double duty for hand rest as well as coffee “table”.

Next wooden project soon!

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Sometimes all you want is a dish with meat with some vegetable on rice, one that is nicely marinated, full of flavor, and hits your requirement of protein, carb, fiber, and all that jazz. If that sounds like your kinda thing, let’s get on with how you can prepare this version of stir fry beef bento that I came up with.

stirfry beef bento recipe, the ingredients
stirfry beef bento recipe, the ingredients

The recipe is fairly simple, but does call for good quality beef slices. Here I use some Australian beef, but the same recipe can also be substitute with lamb slices, or even chicken slices as well.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 200 gram beef slices
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cap of shaoxing wine (optional)
  • black pepper
  • 2 red/green chili, slices
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, chunks
  • 1/2 onion, slices
  • 2-3 stalks of spring onion, cut to 2-3 inches
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Cooking instructions:

  • marinate beef slices with all the sauce and sugar
  • heat up frying pan with cooking oil
  • fry garlic and onion till fragrant
  • add chili & spring onion, add sprinkle of salt
  • once 80% cooked, add in marinated meat
  • don’t over cook the meat, takes only 1-2 minutes to ensure all sides of meat is brown, and you’re done
  • serve on steamed rice
  • optional – add onsen egg

add an onsen egg to complete the bento
add an onsen egg to complete the bento

Preparing and cooking this dish takes perhaps 20-30 minutes, and it probably lasts all of 10 mins or less on the dining table. Love the combination of sweet, salty, umami, and spiciness from all these ingredients. Lovely for a quick afternoon lunch. Try it!

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Lobster is often seen as one of those luxury meals that you order in a fancy restaurant during special occasions. In fact, one of my first experiences with this crustacean was during a birthday event at Lobsterman SS2.

Fast forward almost a decade later, with Covid still looming over us and safety in dining out hasn’t completely sorted, it’s time to perhaps bring these luxury all the way to the home kitchen, shall we?

baked lobster recipe
baked lobster recipe

Here’s a simple recipe to bake lobster together with garlic bread as sides, here we go!

Ingredients:

  • lobster – cut in halves, break the claws
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches of butter
  • cilantro, finely chopped
  • cheese (Mozzarella), shredded

Cooking Instructions:

  • cut lobster in half & break claws of lobster for easing eating later
  • melt butter with chopped garlic
  • spread half of those garlic butter on bread
  • add chopped cilantro to remaining half of garlic butter, then spread on lobster
  • add cheese on top of lobster
  • put everything in oven at 180c for 8-10 minutes

garlic butter is the key
garlic butter is the key

And that’s it, a fairly simple way of preparing lobster. I’ve accidentally used Parmesan instead of mozzarella here so while tastes pretty good, it didn’t have that melted look that would have been better. Will have to try it again!

Happy cooking!