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Beef with Chinese Bok Choy Stir-fry Recipe 白菜炒牛肉

Monday, September 29, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 7 Comments »

A vegetable and beef stir-fry is a great and simple way to make sure you have your vegetables and protein. Taking my cue from the ever-popular Beef with Broccoli that is available on most Chinese take-out menus, I substituted broccoli with Chinese Boy-Choy (I used the green leafy ones) and infused my dish with grated ginger instead of the usual ginger slices. I am a huge fan of ginger and I find that using grated ginger instead of ginger slices imparts a heavier gingery goodness to the dish. If you have time to marinate the beef even better, but if not, just try to slice your beef as thinly as possible (I used some flank steaks) for the flavours to better seep into the beef.

The Chinese believe that ginger has a lot of beneficial qualities and in general is good for you, for example, you will find that a lot of Chinese dessert soups (tong sui- 糖水) has some ginger in it, the ginger is used to lessen the 'cooling' effects of most tong sui (literally translates to Sweet Water from the Cantonese dialect but Sweet Soup will be a better translation).

I find that I have been featuring a lot of dim sum recipes lately - while still simple does require a little bit more time spent in the kitchen, hence today I decided to feature my simple beef stir-fry recipe which is tasty yet very quick to whip up!

Another simple hit from Tastes Of Home's kitchen!


For more of my beef recipes, please check out the recipes below:

Claypot Beef with Glass Noodles Recipe

Beef Simmered in Mirin

Steak with Wasabi Butter Sauce


Deep-fried Shrimp Wonton Recipe 炸馄饨

Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Looks like I'm on a dim sum (點心) roll, after making my Steamed Pork and Chives Dumplings and my Shanghai Pork and Shrimp Dumplings , I decided to make some very simple wontons with only shrimp as the main filling. No 'fancy' folding and pleating required, just twist and seal. These little 'golden packets' are packed with shrimpy goodness and make great appetizers or snacks. These wontons may also be boiled and served with chicken broth depending on your preference.


Feel like trying out more delicious, home-made dim sum recipes? Click on my other dim sum recipes below:

Steamed Seaweed Rolls Recipe

Golden Wrapped Tiger Shrimp Recipe


Chinese Steamed Cake Recipe 蒸蛋糕

Saturday, September 27, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Recipe from Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei

I love steamed cakes and this is a simple recipe for something sweet and light. These steamed cakes are sold everywhere in Malaysia and is one the most popular light cakes for the breakfast meal back home. As I don't have much of a sweet tooth, this is perfect for me when I have a craving for something sweet. However, if you've never tried steamed cake before, you might be in for a surprise. I like to eat this just plain on its' own with cup of scalding hot tea.


For more dessert recipes of mine, please click below:

Asian Neopolitan Cake (Marble Cake) Recipe

French Apple Tart Recipe

Mashed Banana Fritters (Goreng Pisang) Recipe

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Buddha's Feast (Vegetarian) Recipe 羅漢斋

Thursday, September 25, 2008 | Labels: , , | 5 Comments »

This dish is no stranger to Chinese dining tables all over the world especially during festivities. Buddha's Feast or "Lo Hon Chai" (as pronounced in the Cantonese dialect) is made entirely with vegetarian ingredients hence its' namesake as Buddha himself was a vegetarian. Abstaining from eating meat is a religious practice in many cultures and in Buddhism, it is believed that being a vegetarian will improve one's karma and hence improve one's 'ranking' in the next life as Buddhists believe in reincarnation.


Anyhow, since this is a cooking blog and I'm no expert on theology, let's get on with the recipe shall we?

The dish derives most of its' flavour from fermented red beancurd (南乳) or otherwise known as 'Red Chinese Cheese', a cousin to its' plainer counterpart, the humble (but delicious!) fermented beancurd (腐乳) . The usual ingredients in this popular dish are Chinese cabbage, dried beancurd sheets or sticks, mushrooms, cloud-ear fungus and last but not least, glass noodles - or at least that's what I'm used to at home. As the dish gets most of its flavour from fermented red beancurd, this is another one of those Chinese dishes that requires an acquired taste or perhaps at the very least, a very wide and open palate.


It is truly funny in a sense that when I was living in Malaysia, this was one of my least favourite dishes since I think I'm really a carnivore at heart (hmmm) but now that I'm living far from home, I devoured this dish as it was truly a taste of home.

1 head of small Nappa/ Chinese cabbage, rinsed and chopped to 1 inch thick pieces
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 cubes of red fermented beancurd
1 tsp of soy (optional depending on your taste buds)
8 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked for about 2 hours or until soft)
1 handful of cloud-ear fungus (soaked for about 2 hours of until soft and expanded)
4 beancurd sticks (soaked for about 2 hours or until soft)
2 bundles of glass noodles (soaked for 10 minutes or until soft)

For other recipes with nam yue, try:

Deep-fried Nam Yue Chicken Wings

Hakka Char Yoke (Fried Pork)


Heat about 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok or claypot - I used my claypot as I was using my wok for something else. Once hot, saute the garlic first for about 20 seconds and quickly add the nam yue. Stir-fry around briskly, smashing the nam yue as you go. Now, add about 1/2 cup of water. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the glass noodles as the latter will absorb all the broth almost immediately. Add more water if required. Once the ingredients are cooked, try the broth to see if it's flavourful enough, add some soy or more nam yue to your liking. Finally, add in the glass noodles and stir around. Wait for about 20 seconds and dish out. Serve hot with rice.

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Shanghai Pork and Shrimp 'Crystal' Dumplings Recipe 上海水晶餃

Monday, September 22, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

This is another feature from my repertoire of dim sum (點心) recipes. These cute dumplings are cooked in much the same way as potstickers (鍋貼) where they are first pan-fried and then cooked in water or broth. These delightful little dumplings are very easy to make in that one just has to gather the ends of the wrappers together and twist to seal. You can be creative with the filling and you can use shrimp or lobster and if you don't eat pork, you may substitute with ground chicken or you can always just experiment with different medleys for fillings though I would always have some seafood in them. I used some white vinegar in the marinade for an unmistakably Shanghainese flavour but if you don't like the taste of vinegar, you can choose to skip this step.


On a side note, a reader (Fibrolady) told me that she was planning a dim sum party which is such a wonderful idea! I hope you will find this recipe useful as well and I will be posting a steamed bun recipe soon.

Chinese Hakka Steamed Salted Egg with Pork Recipe 咸蛋蒸猪肉

Sunday, September 21, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Update:  I added better photographs of this humble Hakka dish and included some images of salted egg in its' raw form and the dish before steaming.  I hope these additional images will help you in following this recipe.  I was pleasantly surprised that this seemingly simple dish seemed so popular with you, my dear readers, so I thought an update would be welcome. 

This is a truly a taste of home for me. I believe this is a humble Hakka family dish - a steamed concoction of salted egg, regular eggs and ground pork. It is rather difficult to find this dish served at most Chinese restaurants since the ingredients used are considered too 'cheap'. But, this is one our favourite family dishes and the salted egg really brings a different or 'higher' dimension to the steamed egg. A note of warning to most non-Chinese readers, this is also another one of those 'acquired taste' kind of Chinese dish.


I'm sure that most of you will be familiar with the steamed egg dish - let me know if you have ever came across this humble yet delicious Hakka creation, I am pretty curious as I've only had this dish at home or in other Hakka family homes. Anyway, in contrast to the steamed egg dish where care has to be taken to make sure the surface of the egg is smooth and free of 'pock-marks' or rather craters, no such care is needed with this dish so this is in fact easier.


Golden Wrapped Tiger Shrimp Recipe 金黃炸蝦卷

Friday, September 19, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Chinese always say that a dish has to have the 色(colour or how it looks), 香(fragrance) and 味(taste) elements to make it excellent. These crispy wonton skin wrapped tiger shrimps definitely fulfill all three! This dish is essentially deep-fried tiger shrimp wrapped with a little wonton skin, tied with chives. I marinated the shrimps in some garlic powder and a small amount of oil beforehand.


Whenever I eat deep-fried wontons, I always tend to just eat the part with the filling and discard the part where it's only the wonton skin. Due to that, I actually cut the wrappers into much smaller squares just enough to wrap around the shrimps without having the 'extras' to tuck into. It is also really worth it to use tiger shrimp for this dish as the tiger shrimps really add to the fragrance and flavour of the dish. I know that some of you may not have much time in the kitchen, but just the extra steps of wrapping and tying really add to the dish, making the shrimps pleasing to the eye, sense of scent and taste.

Crispy Cornmeal Fried Chicken

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Labels: , , | 12 Comments »

Everyone loves a good crispy fried chicken right? Well, I think this recipe really provides the answer - the buttermilk is great at keeping the chicken meat moist while the outer layer is as crispy as can be. The chicken is 'double-fried' where they are fried at a low temperature to make sure the meat is cooked while the second frying step is done at a high temperature to lend extra crispiness to the skin. I like to add corn flour to the flour mix as I find that this ensures a higher level of crispiness. The chicken was marinated in brine (water, salt and sugar) overnight. For some reason, I marinated about 8 drumsticks - I was obviously not thinking right! Nevertheless, they did make good leftovers - I did not make any sauces to go with this as the chicken drumsticks were very tasty on their own. I can't wait to try this recipe out with a belacan twist, watch out for that future recipe on Tastes of Home!


Dim Sum: Steamed Chives and Prawns Dumplings Recipe (點心)

Monday, September 15, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Having dim sum (點心) is also known as going to yum-cha or 飲茶 (which translates to tea-drinking from Cantonese) especially amongst the contemporary Cantonese people. I have always been a fan of dim sum - there is just something so incredibly appealing about foods served in those petite helpings usually from a cart piled high with mounds of bamboo steamers. It was always fun to see what tasty morsels were creating delicious wafts of steam from under each 'tower' of bamboo steamers. Sometimes, I think I enjoy the process of ordering from the little carts more than the actual eating itself!

Of course, there are many variations in how a Chinese restaurant may serve dim sum now, there are some where you just order at your table, and they bring the dishes straight to your table once it's done. I think this actually lessens the 'fun' for me maybe because I have been used to carts ever since I was little and it just means less to me when the dim sum is 'cooked' (probably just heated up) in the kitchen and then brought to the table.


Today I feature a well known item on most restaurant's dim sum list, steamed chive dumpling with pork and shrimp. This tasty dumpling recipe should definitely take a place in your cooking repertoire - of course, it is quite easy to simply order this at a restaurant, but isn't it fun and satisfying to be able to make some things on your own when you feel so inclined? Especially when it looks and tastes as good as these little dumplings!

Stir-fried Noodles with Shrimp and Crabmeat in Gravy Recipe

Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 5 Comments »

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival everyone! Today, I'm featuring whole wheat noodles with shrimp and crabmeat in gravy, you may choose to add squid or other kinds of protein to your liking. I find that the crabmeat is really quite essential for the flavour of these noodes though, and provide a nice texture to every bite. I have been picturing this dish in my mind for a bit, it turned out really delicious and was really quite simple to whip up. The gravy is simply cornstarch mixed with some chicken broth, and the noodles are stir-fried beforehand with soy sauce to ensure maximum flavour. The gravy used in this dish is similar to that of Cantonese Fried Noodles except that I eschewed the eggs in the gravy.

Like most Chinese dishes, the "wok hei" or wok-breath (translated from Cantonese) is very important, however in an indoor kitchen, there's only so much wok hei that can be had. Anyway, the noodles still turned out very yummy and I'm quite sure you will like this one! In fact, I think I'm going to go get a second helping! Oh yes - I had my trusty bird's eye chilli peppers in soy sauce as the perfect accompaniment to my yummy seafood noodles.


Serve with lots of bird's eye chilli peppers! YUM!

Old-Fashioned Mac and Cheese Recipe

Saturday, September 13, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Everyone loves a good, hearty bowl of hot Mac 'n' Cheese right? This popular American dish was purportedly introduced to Italy by the famous explorer Marco Polo and later made its way into the United States by the early 19th century. I know my forte is more Asian food but it is always fun to try out new recipes right? Apart from trying out recipes of different cultures, one will always learn something new, for example, today I learnt that cheddar cheese actually originated in a small English town, aptly named Cheddar!

To be honest, this is the first time I'm making mac and cheese the 'proper' way, most of the time I've only had it out of a box unless I order it at a restaurant! As most of my readers will know, most of my recipes are quick and simple - this dish requires a little more preparation time and baking time alone takes about 40 minutes. The onion and garlic used in this recipe really add a scrumptious fragrance to every bite. However, it was well worth it and a delicious deviation from my usual, albeit yummy Asian recipes.



Recipe adapted from Savouring America by Williams & Sonoma

3 cups milk (I used reduced fat)
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small bay leaf
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
10 oz dried rotelli or any tubular shaped pasta
1/4 cup unslated butter
3 tbsps all purpose flour
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 tbsp cooking sherry
dash of pepper

1/3 cup fine dried bread crumbs
2 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Now, prepare a baking dish (about 1.5l of 1 1/2 quart) by buttering the dish lightly. Set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the milk, minced onions, garlic and bay leaf and bring to a slow boil. Remove from heat and aside.

Now, boil the pasta according to package instructions and run through cold water, draining well.

Using the same pot in which you cooked the pasta, melt the butter over medium-low heat and once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until well blended. Continue whisking while cooking until the mixture is bubbly but not browned. Slowly add the milk mixture you prepared earlier, while whisking all the while. Raise the heat to medium high and whisk constantly until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and think - this is the base for your sauce. Remove the bay leaf.

Now, add the cheddar cheese, chives, sherry, 1 1/2 tsps salt and pepper - stir until the cheese is just melted and smooth. Add the pasta and gently toss to coat evenly. This will be a good time to taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper to your liking. Spoon the pasta into the previously prepared baking dish.

Final step before placing in oven - make the topping (optional). Simply mix together the breadcrumbs, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly on top of the pasta. Bake for 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot.

Whisk constantly

Before placing in oven

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Stir-fried Mui Choy with Pork Recipe

Friday, September 12, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 2 Comments »

After a few posts in a row of my yummy belacan series , it's time for something relatively milder. To me, this is the dressed down version of Mui Choy Kau Yuk (Pork Simmered with Salted Turnip), much simpler yet still tasty. Mui Choy is part of the Chinese dried vegetables repertoire, usually made with Choy Sum (translates to Chinese Broccoli from the Cantonese dialect) where the latter is dried and then marinated with mostly salt and kept in jars. Hence, it is important to soak these vegetables before using to rid them of excess salt and of course to totally remove the sand. Tasty and simple, serve with hot rice for a satisfying meal. Though mui choy is a popular Chinese dish, mui choy is almost never used during festivities especially Chinese New Year as the word mui in Cantonese means being in bad shape and of course due to most Chinese people's superstitions especially during Chinese New Year which is time for everything new, mui choy is never served. I still remember that aghast look on the face of a restaurant owner when I asked for a mui choy dish one Chinese New Year.

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1 packet of mui choy, soaked in cold water for about 1 hour
1/2 pound of pork, sliced (I used fatty pork)
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp sugar

Firstly, saute some garlic in cooking oil until fragrant. Next, add in the pork slices and stir-fry briskly until about half cooked. Now, add in the chopped mui choy and stir-fry some more. Finally, add the soy, sugar and about 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer until cooked. Add more sugar or soy depending on taste.

Soak the mui choy in water

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Malaysian Belacan Fried Rice Recipe

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

I have been touting the versatility of my specially treated belacan - it's the norm that when one pounds belacan, one usually prepares more as the belacan can be used in a huge variety of dishes, adding spice and flavour to many dishes. Today I feature Belacan Fried Rice. As most of you may know, one-day old rice is usually preferred for making fried rice. This is because the rice will be a little hardened on the following day, making it ideal for the addition of sauces and new flavours.


My belacan fried rice recipe is as simple as it gets, just saute some garlic and a protein of your choice (I chose shrimp - I'm a seafood freak!) and stir in some rice. You can add some shredded egg omelette, a hard boiled egg or simply a fried egg as the perfect accompaniment. If you feel like making fried rice but do not have one-day old rice in your fridge, you may cook some fresh rice and lay them out on a baking tray for fast cooling but I have yet to try this since fried rice for most Asians usually represent a tasty solution to leftovers. There are times though that I purposely make more rice than necessary to ensure that I will be able to make some tasty fried rice the next day.

Allow me to present another post in my Belacan series, the essential Spicy Belacan Fried Rice


Tip: If you decide to add more than one protein say you want to have shrimp and chicken in your fried rice, be sure to fry each ingredient separately first, then add in the rice to stir.

Stir-fried Ladies Fingers (Okra) with Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Recipe

Monday, September 08, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 7 Comments »

What do you do when you are free at home and you don't feel like trawling the malls? You pound belacan! (this is a joke btw) At least that's what I did - I took the chance to make more of my stinkily addictive belacan for today's feature, stir-fried ladies fingers with belacan. So simple - a lot of Malaysians will tell you that they can have about 2-3 bowls of rice with this cheap and easy dish. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Stir-fried Taro Leaves with Belacan , the magical ingredient, belacan is really an acquired taste - I started acquiring this taste since I was a child! Okra is also known as ladies fingers - I remember asking my mom why would people want to cook somone's fingers when I was still a child and of course I heard peals of laughter, at that time I did not understand of course but the shape of the okra does resemble the slender fingers of a lady right?


Closer view

Claypot Beef with Glass Noodles Recipe 牛肉粉絲煲

Friday, September 05, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 5 Comments »

What do you do when you're feeling a little tired but yet want to have something good and home-cooked for dinner? You opt for the one-pot-meal! At least that's what I resort to - today I feature my beef in claypot cooked with some glass noodles. Glass noodles are really highly absorbent and very tasty after being simmered together with the beef in claypot as they absorb all the flavours really well. Another benefit of the one-pot-meal is of course you have less dishes to take care of and have more time to take care of other stuff. Just throw everything together, let them simmer and you will have a tasty and satisfying meal. This recipe will be good with Chinese or Nappa cabbage added as well.


Stir-fried Rice Noodles/ Meehoon/ Bihun Recipe 炒米粉

Thursday, September 04, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Most Asians love carbs so it's quite difficult to have us on the South Beach Diet of Atkins (in my opinion!). We can have carbs all day from breakfast until supper - very typical for us indeed!

Anyway, today I am featuring simply stir-fried rice noodles, simple and basic with no frills except for some shrimp added to the noodles. You can opt to omit the shrimp and you will have a nice vegetarian dish or you can subsitute the shrimp with slices of pork or chicken. The allure of a tasty yet simple-to-make dish is unbeatable; just throw in some garlic, green onions, shrimp (in this case), add a couple of splashes of soy and of course the noodles and voila! A satisfying and quick meal is served. I just wanted to add if using small shrimp like me, please do purchase the peeled ones - unless of course you can get your dear husband/boyfriend/the one who does not cook to peel them and give them the title of your sous chef to dress it up a little! Ha Ha (This 'tactic' should work a couple of times at least!)


Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings Recipe 甜辣鸡翼

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 11 Comments »

Yes, another feature on one of my favourite things to eat, sinfully delicious chicken wings! (I did lessen the 'sin' factor by baking instead of deep-frying them though). As mentioned before, you will find that chicken wings are so easy to prepare and as long as you have a tasty marinade going - it takes quite a lot to mess them up (unless you're my sister! tee hee!). This time, I drenched the chicken wings in some sweet chilli sauce and basted them twice during the baking process. I find that the basting really helps to create the yummy-looking and tasting glaze that I've hopefully captured on my camera.


On a separate note, it was pretty hilarious yesterday when I went shopping with my girlfriend at Fashion Valley (this is the mall in San Diego) - I did not buy a single piece of clothing but went home with dishes! I'm sure you don't want to see my food on the same dish over and over again right? haha

Close-up of the yummylicious wings


Hakka Char Yoke (客家炸肉) Recipe (Fried pork in Nam Yue and Wood Ear Fungus (木耳))

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 | Labels: , , | 3 Comments »

Ok, I'm taking another trip down Memory Lane. My mom used to prepare this at home all the time and Char Yoke (which literally translates to Fried Pork from Cantonese) is a popular Hakka dish that is almost always cooked at festivals. As you may know, there are many different provinces in China, where each province had a unique dialect i.e. a version of the Chinese language spoken amongst the locals. Within the Hakka clan, there are more sub-clans but to be honest, I am a little confused myself. Anyway, I'm a pure Hakka girl as both my parents are from the Hakka clan. On a side note, apparently Hakka boys are not advised to marry Hakka girls as Hakka girls are quite good at spending money, not sure where this came from, but so far it rings true at least for my sister and I!

I used pork belly meat as the fats gives the meat the natural crunch once deep-fried. The Chinese like to use different parts of pork for different dishes - hence, most of the time a trip to the Asian store is required for the different cuts of meat. Nevertheless, you can just use pork loin or ribs for this dish.




Wood ear fungus (木耳) is black in colour and is usually sold dried, it is also shaped like an ear hence its' namesake. It is required to soak the fungi in water before using where they will expand once softened. Don't confuse this with cloud ear fungus (云耳) though. Both wood ear fungus and cloud ear fungus however are prized for their medicinal qualities as well.

Wood ear fungus pre-soaking


Wood ear fungus after soaking will expand


Interested in more Hakka recipes?

Try my Hakka Style Steamed Baby Anchovies

Or, otherwise, click below for more delicious recipes with pork:

Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe
Audrey's King To Spareribs
Porky Potatoes
Claypot Pork with Tofu and Mushrooms
Miso Cooked Spare Ribs

1/2 pound worth of pork belly meat, cubed (marinated overnight with 2 tbsps Chinese five-spice powder and 1 egg)
Cake flour for dredging
8 wood ear fungus
2 cubes nam yue (red fermented bean curd)
2 cloves garlic

Deep-fry the marinated pork after dredging in enough cake flour. Once the pork is fried till golden brown, remove from oil and soak in some paper towers. Next, heat about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in claypot or a pan if you wish. Saute the garlic with the Nam Yue till fragrant on low heat. Next, add the previously soaked wood ear fungus and stir fry briskly. Finally, add in the pork and add about 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to let simmer slowly until the liquid reduces by about half. Do a taste test and add more nam yue if you think it's not salty enough.

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Stir-fried Taro Leaves (番薯葉) with Belacan Recipe

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 | Labels: , , | 4 Comments »

If you're a Malaysian or have lived in South East Asia for a bit, chances are that you would have tried belacan (ma lai chan in Cantonese). The highly addictive belacan is made of shrimp paste which is fermented for a few months and then pressed into cakes. Today I feature my mom's recipe for belacan and incorporated into a simple stir-fry dish with taro (yam) leaves. This is quite a common and popular dish in Malaysia and I have been itching to cook it for a bit. I was on a 'quest' to get my mortar and pestle (finally!) today while at the local Asian grocery store - ironically, they didn't sell it there so where did I end up going? My favourite store for dishes - Crate and Barrel! Crate and Barrel actually has a decent collection of Asian cooking apparatus as it turns out.

Anyway, belacan can be added to so many dishes - with water spinach (kangkung), okra, stuffed into fish where the fish is subsequently fried, watch out for this recipe! It is also a family favourite of mine as well to just have the belacan with some raw cucumber slices. I insisted on getting the mortar and pestle to do it the "old-fashioned" way as I want my first attempt at making sambal belacan on my own to be done 'right'. I know that some people just add belacan on its own to dishes, but my mom likes to add the dried chilli, dried shrimp and shallots into the belacan first before using. Try this - if you have other tips for preparing belacan, please feel free to share in the comments section.

Advice: Belacan is definitely an acquired taste and its pungent aroma really turns a lot of people off (at first).


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