Hi, Let Start Cooking the Laksa …. An In Depth Analysis and Pictorial Procedural Description Of The Famous Sarawak Laksa (Part III)

UPDATED POST ON 16-10-2014 – NEW PICTURE TAKING

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PART III   COOKING THE SARAWAK LAKSA

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Part I and Part II are rather “theoretical” and this post will show you the practical steps to prepare the Sarawak laksa.

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To make a delicious bowl of Sarawak Laksa, besides having some good laksa paste that I mentioned in Part II, there are few important things that you should note in your course of preparation. The process of preparation is rather laborious and I will list out the steps and unlike other posts, you should consider follow the order of steps here to save your time of preparation..

IMG_89851


WHAT YOU NEED?

In this post, the units or quantities listed out here is for about 15 bowls of laksa and you should reduce it accordingly after taking into considerations the number of persons and personal preferences.

IMG_2955 

  • Fresh Prawns or Shrimps (1kg)
  • Chicken Breast (0.75kg)
  • Coconut milk (500g) 

For coconut milk, you can use fresh or packet coconut milk. If you like it more milky (lemak), you can add in more coconut milk. If you are health conscious, either substitute it with evaporated milk or don’t add any milk at all. Have you ever heard that this delicacy is a “cardiologists nightmare”?

 IMG_3152 

  • Thin Rice Vermicelli – 1 kg (about 2.5 packets commonly sold in the markets)
  • Home-made laksa paste or ready-made laksa paste  – 1.5 kg (2-3 big packets commonly sold in the markets)

Do you know that to qualify a dish as laksa, the noodles must be either thick or thin rice vermicelli in it? Curry Mee is not a laksa as per definition of laksa here. At home, we do eat it with instant egg noodles ..Smile

 IMG_2957

  • Calamansi (about 20-30 pieces)
  • Some Sambal Belachan
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Coriander leaves and Chinese celery chopped into small pieces

One of the most important condiments in this dish is Sambal Belachan, a type of condiments made from shrimp paste. You can know more about belachan here. That is why sometime Sarawak Laksa is called Sarawak Sambal Laksa. I have buy the over-the-counter sambal belachan in Singapore and the taste just blends especially well with the soup.

If you have kids at home and they do not take spicy food, actually, when making the Laksa Paste, you can ignored chilli as an ingredients. So the laksa broth or soup that you cooked will not be spicy and you can let your kids have this. When you are eating on your own, just have one big scope of Sambal Belachan in it, the taste will be similar with those paste that have chilli in it..

IMG_89891

MAY BE I SHOULD CONSIDER MAKING  LAKSA PASTE FOR SALES TO CHILDREN OR SILVER AGE MARKET.   THEORITICALLY, SARAWAK LAKSA WITHOUT COCONUT MILK AND TOO MUCH OIL SHOULD BE CONSIDER AS A HEALTH FOOD SINCE IT IS FULL OF SPICES AND HERBS…Smile

The coriander leaves that you see in my picture is the type sold in Singapore and West Malaysia. Traditionally, in Kuching, Sarawak, coriander “seedlings” were used. However, it is harder to get it nowadays. In my old days, as one of my brothers do not like the strong smells of coriander leaves, we use Chinese celery instead. Until today, I still have the habit of mixing these two leaves as a garnish for the laksa.

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THE COOKING BEGINS…

If you don’t want to add seasonings like “axinomoxo”, then try to follow these steps as it will save you time and seasonings! Joking.

 

Step 1 – Blanching the Chicken Breast

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  • Clean your chicken breast, boil your water and put in the chicken breast. The minimum amount of water required will be at least to cover the chicken breast. But you can use more water as it will be used later.
  • Use medium heat and boil for about 20 minutes until cooked. Don’t cook too long because you breast will be juicy as all the juice will be in the soup.
  • Traditionally, in Kuching, chicken breasts were used because it is easier to hand shred and with less bones. However, you can also use the whole chicken. If this is the case, you have to use high heat to bring the water to  boil, submerged your chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked, dip in ice cold water. You can refer to my post on chicken rice here.
  • Hand shred your chicken breast  and set aside for use.
  • Remember to keep your “chicken stock” for future use.


Step 2 – Blanching the prawns

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  • Clean the prawns. Blanch the prawns with the chicken stocks in Step 1.
  • Personally, I prefer to blanch the prawns with shells at it will keep all the juices. If you shell the prawns, the blanch prawns will be less tasty.
  • This process will take only about 5 minutes. Sieve the prawns and set aside the “prawns and chicken stock”.
  • As long as the prawns are cool, shelled the prawns and devein it. If you found that the prawns are dirty after you devein it, use some cooked water to clean it.
  • DON’T THROW AWAY THE SHELL, keep it for next use.


Step 3 – Making of additional Prawn Stocks

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  • In another pot, put in some more water and boil the prawn shells until the colour starts to turn whitish. If you don’t need that much of soup, continue using the stock from Step 2 to cook the prawn shells.
  • The stock in the first picture is the prawn + chicken stock as mentioned in Step 2 (from blanching of chicken breast and the fresh prawns).
  • The stock in the third picture is the prawn stocks from boiling the prawn shells;
  • Look at the colour of the stock, the milky colour means that the soup is very concentrated and you can just take a spoon and taste it. It will be very delicious. A side note, if you are not cooking Sarawak Laksa, when you shelled the prawns, just keep it in the fridge until a sizeable amount, then use this step to cook the prawn stock, then you can use this stock to cook the Hokkien Prawn Mee or Penang Prawn Mee!
  • If you are concerned about the chicken oil and if you have time. Put in the fridge and let the oil solidify, just throw the oil away.


Steps 4 – Cooking the Laksa Soup

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  • Put the home made laksa paste into the stock from Step 2 and 3. Bring to boil, add in coconut milk and other condiments. Off the fire immediately when it start to boil again. Otherwise, the coconut milk will turn into coconut oil and your laksa broth will be spoilt.
  • Remember that if you are afraid of having high cholesterol, use evaporated milk instead. How much coconut milk to add is very much depends on your personal preference. I remember when I was young, my parents sometime cook laksa without coconut milk….
  • Besides adding salt as a condiments, I have the habit of putting fish sauce instead.
  • Note that the colour of my laksa broth is very bright because I use only fresh red chilli. If I used dry chilli, the colour will be darker.
  • Cooking laksa will definitely yields quite a lot of oils. Just scope it away before you use the broth.  Like chicken stock, you can put in the fridge for 2-3 hours, let the red oil solidify and throw that away. Heat up and serve. In that case your stock will look quite dull (brownish in colour).


Step 5 – Making the Egg Omelettes

 IMG_2958 

  • Break the eggs, put a few drops of cooking oil, use fork or chop stick to slightly beat it until all the yolks and the whites are completely mixed.
  • Have a hot pan, pour some egg mixture into the pan. Either use a spatula to spread them evenly. You can also do this by twisting your pan slight in a circular motion.
  • As soon as the egg mixture is firm in the bottom and you can smell the fragrance of fried eggs, just scope up the omelettes, let it cool and shred in fine long pieces.
  • Note that if you are using a non stick frying pan, there is no need for you to use oil for frying as long as your pan is very clean and free from any food particles. You can also add a few drops of oil to the egg mixture before you pan fried them.
  • THIS STEP CAN BE PERFORMED IN BETWEEN ANY STEPS BETWEEN STEP 1 AND STEP 4


Step 6 – Blanching The Bean Sprouts and Rice Vermicelli


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  • In a frying pan, fill in some water and drip a few drops of cooking oil. Bring to boil, blanch the bean sprouts (approximately 5 minutes). Sieve the bean sprouts, set aside for later use.
  • Use the same water to blanch the rice vermicelli. That will take about 10-15 minutes depending how soft you want it to be. The process can be shortened if you have soaked the uncooked rice vermicelli before hand.
  • Once you  sieved the rice vermicelli, quickly put it under running tap water (or if you don’t like to drink from tap water, use some cold boiled water) for about 2 minutes.The purpose of this step is to ensure that you have some springy rice vermicelli instead of soggy rice vermicelli that stick together.
  • The few drops of oil also have the role of ensuring that the rice vermicelli would not stick together. In addition, that small amount of oil will help you to “preserve” the colour of your bean sprouts. It will look fresher instead of cook.
  • If you cannot stand the tails of the bean sprouts, you can hand picked the tails before you blanched them. For me, I usually hand picked the tails but when I run of times, I will just eat with the tails!!

  • This step is best carry out before you serve the guest.


Step 7 – Assembling and Garnishing

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  • After a few hours of ordeal, you should start to “regret” making this dish!  Lets have a quick recap of all the ingredients before serving.
  • You should have blanched rice vermicelli, blanched bean sprouts, chopped coriander leaves and Chinese celery, cooked Sarawak Laksa broth, blanched prawns, shredded chicken breasts, stripped egg omelettes, calamansi and sambal belachan.
  • Take a bowl and assemble the ingredients following the sequence as in the picture (from left to right then to second row…) This, I believe will be the best presentation of your Laksa Sarawak. While the rice vermicelli have submerge in the soup, your prawns and the colour egg stripes are sitting happily on top of you reddish gravy, Do you think it is appetizing.

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CONCLUSIONS

  • In Part 1, the definition of Sarawak Laksa, its uniqueness and the popularity have been discussed HERE.
  • Part 2 dwelled into the details of making the Sarawak Laksa Paste with a list of all major raw ingredients, its procedures and a comparison analysis between recipes. Please refer HERE.
  • Part 3 detailed how Sarawak Laksa should be prepared.

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  • Hopefully, this will benefit those who are keen to learn more about Sarawak Laksa and for those who are overseas, as all these spices are mostly imported from Middle Eastern countries, you can start making the paste using the powder form purchased from Indian stores. In that case, you will not worry about the kitchen equipment required, how to cook and grind the raw materials, it will at least cut short half of your time. I believed that this is also what our manufacturers in Sarawak is doing.
  • This is a long post that dealt with lots of research, reading and testing. If you found that it is useful, please forward to your friends. I will be most happy to answer any queries they have. Any factual findings that are not accurate, please drop me a line to let me know.
  • Appreciate your time reading this series and ENJOY YOUR HOME MADE SARAWAK LAKSA…

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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A Quick And Easy Dish–Tuna Kiwi Salad

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INTRODUCTION

Today is Saturday and I have done my marketing earlier in the morning when my kids are sleeping and the crowds in the supermarket were lesser. I have just completed my marketing, cleaned my seafood and put back to the fridge and is time to issue my post today.

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Some of my close friends were asking me why am I having  a daily post.. Frankly speaking, I am tired of taking pictures, cooked, taking pictures again, compile, blog and publish. I do not have any worries about of what I am going to blog about as I have to cook at least one meal a day and there are many household recipes that I can blog. However, it is my intention to build up my readership number and my recipe database within a year.. That explained the reasons of my daily posting and  I will alternate between household savoury dishes and pastry items..I am sorry to take up your time to hear an old “grumbling”……

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Putting that aside, today I am going to share a very simple salad recipe that I have prepared yesterday. It should be one of the healthiest cuisines that I have blogged about as the fats involved is minimal and the ingredients are packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals. This is my own creation and I do not have recipe for you to refer. It is really a refreshing alternative after a few post of meat dishes such as Dongpo Meat and Chinese Barbecue Pork.

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I have named this salad as “TUNA KIWI SALAD” though the major ingredients were tomatoes. I will also share a number of presentations that you can consider how to serve this delicious salad.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 6-8 persons

As it is a salad, therefore, I am rather reluctant to give an exact quantity. The quantity and types of ingredients are for reference only.

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Must haves

  • 3-4 large tomatoes

  • 1 small canned tuna (either in oil, with brine or with mayonnaise)

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (if canned tuna is in brine is used)

  • 2 kiwi fruits de-skinned and cut into small cubes.

  • Pinches of salt

  • Some shredded cheddar cheeses

Optional and substitutable

  • Pinches of black pepper

  • Some chopped coriander leaves or basil or Italian herbs preferred

  • 2 boiled eggs – cut into small pieces

  • Some pine nuts (not in picture)

  • Some cherry tomatoes (not in picture)

  • Some Chinese lettuces

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cut the tomatoes into half. Use a spoon to take away the centre. Chop the centre into small pieces. You can either keep the seeds or throw away the seeds depending on how moist is your overall salad. However, it is advisable to throw away the seeds and juices but keep the centre. This illustration included the seeds and hence the salad was a bit moist.

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  • Cut the kiwi, boiled eggs, tomatoes and tuna into small pieces or chunks.

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  • Put all in a big mixing bowl. Add either chopped coriander leaves or dry Italian herbs, black pepper, pinches of salt and shredded cheddar cheeses. Stir until well mixed. Note: You have to be careful about the addition of pinches of salt.

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If your tuna is soaked in brine when you purchased it, there is no need to add salt but you may need to add in olive oil. If your tuna is soaked in oil when you purchased it, there is no need to add olive oil but you have to add it pinches of salt. If you prefer, you can add in some lemon juices.

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  • Scoop out the salad in the tomato cups or fresh lettuce leaves. Dust with additional cheeses or black pepper if desired.

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CONCLUSION

Personally, I liked this tuna salad very much. It is very healthy and easy to prepare. Try and see if you like the salad or not.

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Hope you like the post today and cheers.

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 For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s Facebook Page.

Hi, Let Start Cooking the Laksa …. An In Depth Analysis and Pictorial Procedural Description Of The Famous Sarawak Laksa (Part III)

PART III   COOKING THE SARAWAK LAKSA

Image

Part I and Part II are rather “theoretical” and this post will show you the practical steps to prepare the Sarawak laksa.

To make a delicious bowl of Sarawak Laksa, besides having some good laksa paste that I mentioned in Part II, there are few important things that you should note in your course of preparation. The process of preparation is rather laborious and I will list out the steps and unlike other posts, you should consider follow the order of steps here to save your time of preparation..


WHAT YOU NEED?

In this post, the units or quantities listed out here is for about 15 bowls of laksa and you should reduce it accordingly after taking into considerations the number of persons and personal preferences.

IMG_2955 

  • Fresh Prawns or Shrimps (1kg)
  • Chicken Breast (0.75kg)
  • Coconut milk (500g) 

For coconut milk, you can use fresh or packet coconut milk. If you like it more milky (lemak), you can add in more coconut milk. If you are health conscious, either substitute it with evaporated milk or don’t add any milk at all. Have you ever heard that this delicacy is a “cardiologists nightmare”?

 IMG_3152 

  • Thin Rice Vermicelli – 1 kg (about 2.5 packets commonly sold in the markets)
  • Home-made laksa paste or ready-made laksa paste  – 1.5 kg (2-3 big packets commonly sold in the markets)

Do you know that to qualify a dish as laksa, the noodles must be either thick or thin rice vermicelli in it? Curry Mee is not a laksa as per definition of laksa here. At home, we do eat it with instant egg noodles ..Smile

 IMG_2957

  • Calamansi (about 20-30 pieces)
  • Some Sambal Belachan
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Coriander leaves and Chinese celery chopped into small pieces

One of the most important condiments in this dish is Sambal Belachan, a type of condiments made from shrimp paste. You can know more about belachan here. That is why sometime Sarawak Laksa is called Sarawak Sambal Laksa. I have buy the over-the-counter sambal belachan in Singapore and the taste just blends especially well with the soup.

If you have kids at home and they do not take spicy food, actually, when making the Laksa Paste, you can ignored chilli as an ingredients. So the laksa broth or soup that you cooked will not be spicy and you can let your kids have this. When you are eating on your own, just have one big scope of Sambal Belachan in it, the taste will be similar with those paste that have chilli in it..

MAY BE I SHOULD CONSIDER MAKING  LAKSA PASTE FOR SALES TO CHILDREN OR SILVER AGE MARKET.   THEORITICALLY, SARAWAK LAKSA WITHOUT COCONUT MILK AND TOO MUCH OIL SHOULD BE CONSIDER AS A HEALTH FOOD SINCE IT IS FULL OF SPICES AND HERBS…Smile

The coriander leaves that you see in my picture is the type sold in Singapore and West Malaysia. Traditionally, in Kuching, Sarawak, coriander “seedlings” were used. However, it is harder to get it nowadays. In my old days, as one of my brothers do not like the strong smells of coriander leaves, we use Chinese celery instead. Until today, I still have the habit of mixing these two leaves as a garnish for the laksa.


THE COOKING BEGINS…

If you don’t want to add seasonings like “axinomoxo”, then try to follow these steps as it will save you time and seasonings! Joking.

 

Step 1 – Blanching the Chicken Breast

IMG_2959

  • Clean your chicken breast, boil your water and put in the chicken breast. The minimum amount of water required will be at least to cover the chicken breast. But you can use more water as it will be used later.
  • Use medium heat and boil for about 20 minutes until cooked. Don’t cook too long because you breast will be juicy as all the juice will be in the soup.
  • Traditionally, in Kuching, chicken breasts were used because it is easier to hand shred and with less bones. However, you can also use the whole chicken. If this is the case, you have to use high heat to bring the water to  boil, submerged your chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked, dip in ice cold water. You can refer to my post on chicken rice here.
  • Hand shred your chicken breast  and set aside for use.
  • Remember to keep your “chicken stock” for future use.

Step 2 – Blanching the prawns

IMG_2972

  • Clean the prawns. Blanch the prawns with the chicken stocks in Step 1.
  • Personally, I prefer to blanch the prawns with shells at it will keep all the juices. If you shell the prawns, the blanch prawns will be less tasty.
  • This process will take only about 5 minutes. Sieve the prawns and set aside the “prawns and chicken stock”.
  • As long as the prawns are cool, shelled the prawns and devein it. If you found that the prawns are dirty after you devein it, use some cooked water to clean it.
  • DON’T THROW AWAY THE SHELL, keep it for next use.

Step 3 – Making of additional Prawn Stocks

IMG_3170

  • In another pot, put in some more water and boil the prawn shells until the color starts to turn whitish. If you don’t need that much of soup, continue using the stock from Step 2 to cook the prawn shells.
  • The stock in the first picture is the prawn + chicken stock as mentioned in Step 2 (from blanching of chicken breast and the fresh prawns).
  • The stock in the third picture is the prawn stocks from boiling the prawn shells;
  • Look at the color of the stock, the milky color means that the soup is very concentrated and you can just take a spoon and taste it. It will be very delicious. A side note, if you are not cooking Sarawak Laksa, when you shelled the prawns, just keep it in the fridge until a sizeable amount, then use this step to cook the prawn stock, then you can use this stock to cook the Hokkien Prawn Mee or Penang Prawn Mee!
  • If you are concerned about the chicken oil and if you have time. Put in the fridge and let the oil solidify, just throw the oil away.

Steps 4 – Cooking the Laksa Soup

IMG_2984

  • Put the home made laksa paste into the stock from Step 2 and 3. Bring to boil, add in coconut milk and other condiments. Off the fire immediately when it start to boil again. Otherwise, the coconut milk will turn into coconut oil and your laksa broth will be spoilt.
  • Remember that if you are afraid of having high cholesterol, use evaporated milk instead. How much coconut milk to add is very much depends on your personal preference. I remember when I was young, my parents sometime cook laksa without coconut milk….
  • Besides adding salt as a condiments, I have the habit of putting fish sauce instead.
  • Note that the color of my laksa broth is very bright because I use only fresh red chilli. If I used dry chilli, the color will be darker.
  • Cooking laksa will definitely yields quite a lot of oils. Just scope it away before you use the broth.  Like chicken stock, you can put in the fridge for 2-3 hours, let the red oil solidify and throw that away. Heat up and serve. In that case your stock will look quite dull (brownish in color).

Step 5 – Making the Egg Omelets

 IMG_2958 

  • Break the eggs, put a few drops of cooking oil, use fork or chop stick to slightly beat it until all the yolks and the whites are completely mixed.
  • Have a hot pan, pour some egg mixture into the pan. Either use a spatula to spread them evenly. You can also do this by twisting your pan slight in a circular motion.
  • As soon as the egg mixture is firm in the bottom and you can smell the fragrance of fried eggs, just scope up the omelets, let it cool and shred in fine long pieces.
  • Note that if you are using a non stick frying pan, there is no need for you to use oil for frying as long as your pan is very clean and free from any food particles. You can also add a few drops of oil to the egg mixture before you pan fried them.
  • THIS STEP CAN BE PERFORMED IN BETWEEN ANY STEPS BETWEEN STEP 1 AND STEP 4

Step 6 – Blanching The Bean Sprouts and Rice Vermicelli

    IMG_2974

    • In a frying pan, fill in some water and drip a few drops of cooking oil. Bring to boil, blanch the bean sprouts (approximately 5 minutes). Sieve the bean sprouts, set aside for later use.
    • Use the same water to blanch the rice vermicelli. That will take about 10-15 minutes depending how soft you want it to be. The process can be shortened if you have soaked the uncooked rice vermicelli before hand.
    • Once you  sieved the rice vermicelli, quickly put it under running tap water (or if you don’t like to drink from tap water, use some cold boiled water) for about 2 minutes.The purpose of this step is to ensure that you have some springy rice vermicelli instead of soggy rice vermicelli that stick together.
    • The few drops of oil also have the role of ensuring that the rice vermicelli would not stick together. In addition, that small amount of oil will help you to “preserve” the color of your bean sprouts. It will look fresher instead of cook.
    • If you cannot stand the tails of the bean sprouts, you can hand picked the tails before you blanched them. For me, I usually hand picked the tails but when I run of times, I will just eat with the tails!!

    • This step is best carry out before you serve the guest.

    Step 7 – Assembling and Garnishing

    IMG_3175

    • After a few hours of ordeal, you should start to “regret” making this dish!  Lets have a quick recap of all the ingredients before serving.
    • You should have blanched rice vermicelli, blanched bean sprouts, chopped coriander leaves and Chinese celery, cooked Sarawak Laksa broth, blanched prawns, shredded chicken breasts, stripped egg omelets, calamansi and sambal belachan.
    • Take a bowl and assemble the ingredients following the sequence as in the picture (from left to right then to second row…) This, I believe will be the best presentation of your Laksa Sarawak. While the rice vermicelli have submerge in the soup, your prawns and the color egg stripes are sitting happily on top of you reddish gravy, Do you think it is appetizing.

    IMG_2847


    CONCLUSIONS

    • In Part 1, the definition of Sarawak Laksa, its uniqueness and the popularity have been discussed HERE.
    • Part 2 dwelled into the details of making the Sarawak Laksa Paste with a list of all major raw ingredients, its procedures and a comparison analysis between recipes. Please refer HERE.
    • Part 3 detailed how Sarawak Laksa should be prepared.
    • Hopefully, this will benefit those who are keen to learn more about Sarawak Laksa and for those who are overseas, as all these spices are mostly imported from Middle Eastern countries, you can start making the paste using the powder form purchased from Indian stores. In that case, you will not worry about the kitchen equipment required, how to cook and grind the raw materials, it will at least cut short half of your time. I believed that this is also what our manufacturers in Sarawak is doing.
    • This is a long post that dealt with lots of research, reading and testing. If you found that it is useful, please forward to your friends. I will be most happy to answer any queries they have. Any factual findings that are not accurate, please drop me a line to let me know.
    • Appreciate your time reading this series and ENJOY YOUR HOME MADE SARAWAK LAKSA…
    • I LOVE SARAWAK SAMBAL LAKSA………

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    Vegetarian Pizza Is Just As Tasty ! Simple And Basic Vegetarian Pizza Preparation

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    INTRODUCTION

    I loved pizza. Pizza is one of the most common food that I ordered when I have meals in Western Restaurants. I love pizza for its dough and cheese. It is a comfort food that I can easily eat an 6 inches diameter pizza. However. I have never really ever prepare pizza since I start my baking 15 years ago. I am thinking that since I have made bread, cakes, muffins cupcakes etc., why don’t I make my own pizza?

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    In my Facebook group : Food Bloggers and Foodies United, one of the bloggers Ms Ainy Wajahat from Pakistan have posted some pizza recipes and I promised here that I will bake some pizza. Therefore, I have based on her recipes to make the dough. For the toppings, since I am still on the vegetarian diet, I have used mostly vegetables found in my fridge.

    Initially, I intended to make my own pasta sauce. Somehow, as I am too tired that afternoon, I rushed to a provision store nearby and bought a can of ready made pasta sauce. You can read the making of Pasta Sauce from fresh tomatoes HERE.

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    Instead of preparing it  in the traditional round shape pizza, I have opted to make a rectangular shape pizza which is easier for me to bake and cut for later serving. I made the dough in the morning and intended to have the pizza for lunch, somehow, the family members decided to go out for lunch, therefore, I froze my dough in the fridge and only made the pizza during dinner time.

    Making pizza is really simple and at times, I just wonder why shall I pay so much for pizzas that were sold in the eating outlets.

    IMG_5559



    WHAT IS REQUIRED

    Dough – Recipe adapted from Ainy Cooks

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    • 500 grams plain flour

    • 30 grams butter (at room temperature) or olive oil or ghee or normal cooking oil

    • 300 ml of water

    • 1 egg

    • 1 teaspoon of salt

    • 1 tablespoon of instant yeast

    Toppings

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    • Some Enoki mushrooms (cut into half)

    • Some fresh mutton mushrooms (shredded)

    • Some fresh sweet corns

    • Some green capsicums (shredded)

    • Some sausages (for my kids portion)

    • 1 tin of pasta sauce about –about 500 grams

    • Abundant of mozzarella cheeses or cheddar cheeses or goat cheese or other cheeses of your choice. 

    The ingredients here are for reference only. You can add a whole range of your preferred vegetable such as tomatoes, pineapples, preserved olives, celeries and etc..

    IMG_5553



    STEPS OF PREPARATION

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    • In a big mixing bowl, place all materials except butter/ghee/cooking oil/olive oil and use a dough hook to mix until well mix. Add in butter and continue to beat until the dough is smooth. Let it proof for at least 1 hour or until the dough size double. Use a cling wrap or a wet towel to cover the top.

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    • Lightly grease a baking tin and pre-heat your oven to 200 degree Celsius.

    • Punch your dough in the centre to let the air escape. Lightly knead and use a roller pin to roll into  a flat piece resembling the shape of the baking tin. It will be about 0.5-1 cm thick for the dough to cover all the tin area. Make it as even as possible.

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    • Use a fork to lightly make some holes on top of the dough. As this is a big piece of pizza, this is to let the air to have some holes to escape.

    • Spread some pasta sauce on top of the dough

    • Fill the top with your choice of vegetables  and meats, if desired. sprinkle some Italian herbs mix such as basil, oregano etc..

    • Sprinkle sparingly with mozzarella cheese or other cheeses with your choice.

    I have make half of the pizza as vegetarian and another half into ham and sausage pizzas for my kids.

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    • Bake your pizza in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the bases are cooked and cheeses have melt.

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    • Cur into your desired size and shape and best serve hot with your choice of additional sauces such as Tabasco sauces, mayonnaise or just plain.

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    CONCLUSION

    This was one of my very first basic vegetarian pizza that I have made  with great success. The post was very short because it deals with basic pizza preparation. More variations will come and Guaishushu will tailor the taste to the very Asian taste such as curry and etc.. However, that shall have to wait after Guaishushu finishes his vegetarian diet.

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    Hope you like the post today and have a nice day. Cheers.

    newmarvelousmondays-button

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    Nostalgic Soup Than Can’t Erase From My Mind–Chinese Style Potatoes Soup

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    Updated Post on 9-10-2014

    I have prepared the soup again today and have some new picture taking. However, today when I prepared the soup, as I am running out of time, I have decided to by pass the sautéing of the starch and onion. I put everything in the wok, boil until the meat is soft and add the starches. Of course, it was not as fragrant as what my father have prepared but it saves some times.. Kids start to like this starchy soup. Personally, I prefer the yam or taro version but shelve the idea as kids still dislike the taro.

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    INTRODUCTION

    I seldom have soup recipe in this blog except salted vegetable duck soup, a well known traditional Chinese soup for Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese.  Of course I have many other soup preparation illustrations such as bitter gourd and pineapple pork rib soup, double mushroom chicken soup, sweet corn pork rib soup and many more at Guaishushu’s Facebook Page under the index start with “S”.

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    Today, I will share this special soup which is a comfort food with nostalgic and sentimental feelings for me.  I am still in doubt its origins and totally unsure if other families are cooking this soup, not at least my circles of friends. It is hope that via this post, some readers will be able to tell me the origin of this soup!

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    This is a “strange” soup cooked by my late father. Not even my late mother cook this soup as she said it is a bit laborious to cook this soup.

    In fact, the ingredients and cooking method have influences of both oriental and western method of cooking. Talking about this soup, I am sure my brothers and sister in laws can recall about the soup. It can either be cooked with taro or  potatoes. What we usually cooked is with yam or taro and I knew my sister in laws still cook the taro version of this soup as at today.

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    The potato version of soup what is always in my mind. When I told my mother in law that I wanted to cook this soup, she looked at me unbelievably and she thought that I am cooking ABC soup, a soup that were cooked using carrot, potatoes and onions. I told her no, it is a pure potatoes soup!

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    WHAT IS REQUIRED

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    • 250 g of potatoes cut into big chunks

    • 250 g of onion cut into a quarter

    • 250 g of pork ribs

    • 6 cups of water

    Thickening starch

    • 50 g of sweet potatoes flour

    • 400 g of water

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

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    • In a big soup pot that can accommodate at least 10 cups of water, put some water adequate to cover the pork ribs.

    • Blanch the pork ribs until the outer layers is slight cooked. Throw away the water.

    • Wash the pork ribs under running water to get rid of any blood clots and add in the cut potatoes. Add in 6 cups of water and bring to boil under high heat. Once boiled, turn to medium heat and continue boiling until the potatoes and meats are soft. This will take 15-20 minutes. You can just let it boil until your next step is ready. Change to low heat if necessary.

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    • In another sauce pan, add in 1 tablespoon of oil, add in the cut onions and fried until the fragrance of onion start to spread.

    • Put in the sweet potatoes starch and cook under low heat, Stir fry until the flour turned into a lump and become colourless. Note that the main reason of cooking this way is to give the flour some flavour of onions. If you add directly to the soup, you will find the flour in the soup is flavourless. Well that is how my late father cooked and I do agree to it.

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    • Transfer your cooked starch to the soup and continue boiling until the meat and potatoes of your desired textures.

    • Add seasonings of your choice (flavour enhancer such as mushroom concentrate, pepper, salt, light soya sauce etc.).

    • Bring to boil and once boiled, off the heat and garnish with herbs of your choice. Preferably served hot with rice.

    WHY THIS SOUP IS UNIQUE?

    The soup has the oriental elements because it is cooked with normal cooking oils used by Chinese home cooking (instead of butter or olive oils) and pork ribs and flavour using the Chinese condiments. In addition, the thickening is using Chinese cooking ingredients sweet potatoes starch. It is definitely more watery and less creamy than Western soup! The final soup still maintain the shape of the potatoes, pork ribs and even onions. It complements the dryness of the white rice.

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    On the other hand, it is unusual for Chinese to use potatoes to cook soup. Besides ABC soup, most Chinese households do not use potatoes to cook soup. Besides this unusual ingredient, Chinese soups usually do not use thickening agents in soup with the exception of some special soups such as shark fin soups and sweet and sour soups. The soups, in traditional sense should be watery and clear (or whitish colour due to the meat essence in the both). Thickening agents are used in many Chinese dishes including braised dishes, noodle dishes , vegetables dishes, egg dishes, bean curd dishes but not in soup dishes.

    For purposes of further illustrating this soup may have Western influences, I have took out portion of the soup and added plain flour (wheat flour as you used for making cakes) and some creams.

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    This is what the end product looked like and in fact, my kids do not mind this soup after adding of cream and wheat flour. My boy says that the soup is very creamy like cream of mushroom soup that he used to have in Western restaurant.

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    CONCLUSION

    Having a post on this particular soup brings me  lots of fond memories and sentimental feelings, making me wanted to know more about my late father. We did not really communicate much due to very traditional Chinese family upbringings whereby we were not encouraged to ask about what the adults are doing. Communication was always unidirectional. However, if he was still available, I would know how to tackle the issue and “fished” out his thoughts!

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    It is a soup that none of friends knew. It is neither Western or Oriental style of soup. It is a mixture of both. Where my late father learned the cooking of this soup was really a mystery (in my humble opinion). He hailed from China and could not read or spoke ABC not to mention exposure to Western cuisines. The only remote reason that I could think of was due the influence of British colonization of Sarawak until late 1940’s  and at that time, he was a teen.

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    Hopefully by having this post, some of my readers from any  parts of the world can share with me, if you have ever tasted exactly soup cooked in this manner and what do you think is the origin of the soup. It is also hope that my readers will try out this soup and let me know if it suits your taste buds. Thanks and have a nice day.

     

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    • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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    What? Baked Your Rice? Yes, Try Carbonara Cheesy Bacon Baked Rice

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    INTRODUCTION

    The main staple food for Asians are rice. We have porridges, fried rice, plain white rice, steamed rice, braised rice ….. But we seldom have baked rice.

    Bake is usually associated with oven which is rather uncommon to Asians until the last 5 decades (pardon me if I am wrong)….Baking rice is still something not really common especially in Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese household cooking. One could easily have baked rice especially in Portuguese restaurants particularly in Malacca, Malaysia and Macau SAR in Peoples Republic of China.

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    Is baked rice nice? If you are a generation who get use to Western cuisines, I presumed you will concur with me that it is another good way of appreciating cooked rice! Children who are exposed to Western numerous fast food chains such as Kentucky, McDonalds, Pizza Huts etc. will definitely like this simple comfort food that is packed with milks and cheeses.

    Creamy, cheesy and soft are the words to describe the textures of this baked rice.

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    Of course there are many different types of baked rice, as an Asian, I will definitely prepare using ingredients that are well liked by the kids here.

    This post is  about CARBONARA CHEESY BACON BAKED RICE. It is prepared using Carbonara sauce with lots of bacons, kernel corns, canned button mushrooms and etc.… In addition, sensing not many households may have a conventional oven, this recipe called for a mini oven that is movable .. Of course you can used an oven if you wish to!


    WHAT IS REQUIRED

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    • 500 grams of cooked rice (overnight rice is acceptable)
    • 50 grams of bacon – small pieces
    • 100 grams of onion– chopped
    • 100 grams of canned button mushrooms – slices
    • 100 grams of canned creamy sweet corns
    • 30 grams of Japanese “crab meat” (optional)
    • 200 ml of cream + fresh milk (preferred 50% cream : 50% fresh milk)
    • 150 grams of mozzarella cheeses
    • 2 teaspoons of dried/fresh herbs (basil, dill, oregano etc.) (Optional)
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil/butter

    Note:

    This is a good way to get rid of your overnight rice. Of course you can cook with fresh rice for the dish.

    This is a dish with full flexibility, except rice, cream+milk and cheeses, almost other ingredients can be substituted.

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

    • Get ready an 8”x8” inches baking tin or any casserole that are able to withstand high heat.

    • Put the rice in a big mixing bowl and set aside for later use.

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    • In a sauce pan, put in the olive oil and bacon and stir fry until the bacon were fully fried and the aroma of bacon starts to emit.

    • Add in the chopped onion, stir fried until the onion is soft.

    • Add in 1 cup of water, add in chopped mushrooms, creamy sweet corns and bring to boil under medium heat.

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    • Once boiled, add in the cream and herbs and off the heat. Stir and mixed well.

    • Pour on top of the rice and use spoon to mix well.

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    • Transfer the well mixed rice to the baking tin. Add in more milk if possible.
    • Place in more creamy sweet corns or other side ingredients such as crab sticks if desired.

    • Sprinkled sparingly with mozzarella cheeses and more herbs.

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    • Bake the rice in the mini oven for about 30 minutes or until all the cheeses have become soft and melted. It should be noted all ingredients are cooked ingredients. Therefore, baking the rice is only to ensure that all the cheeses have melted and  speed up the process of sauces absorbed by the rice.

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    VARIATIONS

    Of course, if you want to cut short the preparation process, you can used the ready made carbonara sauces or cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup. The end results will be equally tasty.

    You can also substituted with fresh corns, baby corns, even Asian fish cake if your kids like it and anything that will wake up your families palates!

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    CONCLUSION

    An easy to make comfort food good when you runs out of time to cook a decent meal. It’s full flexibility make it easy to tailor your family taste buds. Try this way to get rid of your overnight rice.

    Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day ahead.

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    I am submitting this to Welcome To All My Bloggy Friends and Recipe of the Week.

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    Don’t Sandwich Me, I Can’t Breathe … Baked Hasselback Potatoes With Bacon And Mozzarella Cheeses..

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    INTRODUCTION

    I remembered that  immediately when I read the recipe Easy Bacon Potatoes published by Ms. Paula Jones’s,  I immediately shared in my Google Plus timeline and promised wanted to try out the recipe.

    Yesterday, when I needed to prepare a lunch in a rush, I suddenly thought of this recipe but was unable to locate it. I searched high and low but in vain.

    Therefore, based on my recollections, I just “anyhow” put together bacon and potatoes and this is what I have prepared.

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    Taste is superb but sizes and some of the ingredients were totally different from Ms. Paula Jones recipes from www.callmepmc.com. Hers’ definitely look more appetizing but too sad, I only managed to find out the recipe when I am searching to credit her recipe while writing this report.

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    WHAT IS REQUIRED?

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    • 10 small washed baby potatoes

    • 4 thin pieces of bacon cut into small rectangular shape

    • 1 teaspoon of general Italian herbs for Italian cooking (optional)

    • 1 tablespoon of soft butter

    • 1 teaspoon of salts

    • 1 cup full of mozzarella or cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese

    • 2 large tablespoons of mayonnaise or sour cream (optional)

    • 2 slices of breakfast cheese (optional)

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    STEPS OF PREPARATION

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    • Wash your baby potatoes. Slightly cut off one side so that the potato can stand on its own.

    • Use a sharp knife to slice open the potato with about 0.5 cm thick towards the direction of the bottom but do not slice through.

    • Rub with salt, butter and Italian herbs (optional). Set aside for next steps.

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    • Slice the bacons into thin strips and place it in between the spaces between the cut potatoes.

    • Place the potatoes in low casserole dish or baking tin.

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    • Baked in the oven at 180 degree Celsius for at least 30 minutes.

    • Take out and sprinkled with mozzarella or cheddar cheese and baked for 10 –15 minutes or until the cheese had melted.

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    • Preferably served hot with generous amount of sour cream or moderate amount of mayonnaise or toppings of your choice. Plain serving is acceptable if preferred.

    • This is good to go with any Western set meals and as an alternative for baked potato skins, mash potatoes, potato chips or any other carbohydrate loaded meal items.

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    VARIATIONS

    • If you runs out of time, you can always sliced it directly instead followed what I described above. You can refer to Ms Paula Jone’s version here.

    • All ingredients mentioned above are mostly substitutable to suit your family taste buds. If you are health conscious, you can lower the usage of mayonnaise or go for low fat mayonnaise dressing. Alternatively, you can also consider replacing the bacons with chicken frank or even fresh meat slices (for steamboat) if you preferred. If you preferred fresh Western herbs, you can put in dill, basil, rosemary and etc.….Full flexibility is the key and I encouraged readers to think out of the box and made one that suits your family’s taste buds.

    • Instead of putting mozzarella cheese, you can also substitute with breakfast cheese slice. As I have run out of mozzarella cheese, I decided to place a slice of breakfast cheese and it tasted equally well.

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    CONCLUSION

    This dish is simple though the process is a bit laborious. However, you can always cut through the potatoes if you run out of time. It is a good choice as a party “snack” (depending on your size), a side meal and some simple home gatherings. It is a comfort  food and the combination of bacon, cheese with potatoes runs well beyond your visual expectations. The taste is just superb. Try and let me know.

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    Hope you like the post today and have a nice day. Cheers.

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      GUAI SHU SHU | Guai Shu Shu is a “shu shu” that is “guai“….


    • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 20 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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