Category Archives: quick and easy

The King of Fruits – Ze Durians

What’s the king of fruits?
What tropical fruit draws much appeal yet repels just as many as it has appealed to? Did I hear you mention that name? That very name, much feared by other countries, airlines, hotels?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It is…the Durian!

Lmao, couldn’t quite come up with a better entry than that but hey, it’s better than saying..”Hi, I’m blogging about the durian, also known as stinkypoo fruit” :p
Just teasin’ ya 😉

It was night market, night for me today. Having left work a tad earlier than usual, I made my way to the market for some goodies. I was passing by this little van that sold, loads of durians. Kinda hesitated a bit as I wouldn’t want to spend any thing on a piece of fruit that gives me loads of bad breath and I mean, really bad breath. But, temptation came, tempted me with its enticing tentacles, I walked closer to the truck and the rest, like they say, is history. Using my mouth to start bargaining for the best possible deal/price/price downhike, I managed to buy get myself a pretty reasonable deal of 5 durians + 3 free durians at a cost of MYR50. Bloody hell :p I could have settled for one but no, they were too tempting.

Anyhow, there are many ways to eat/process your durians. The common ways would be, eating its flesh right when it’s opened or making a durian pulp to be made into

1) fermented durian a.k.a tempoyak (to be used in curries, and this smells BAD!)

2) cake

3) play dough..(Btw, I’m just kidding about this )

4) ice cream

5) dodol (a delicacy in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines)

6) fried into little chips (urgh..not my fave anyway)

This ugly piece of thorned up ball is as versatile as your everyday avocado. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if grapes or other fruits were as versatile as this? Truth be told, durians aren’t as nasty as myth or urban legends have made it out to be.

It’s a fruit that stinks (thanks in due part to a certain organosulphur compound) only when it’s opened, and when you’re not accustomed to its smell. But upon eating a mouthful of it, you’d be surprised that it’s sweet, creamy and well..yummy! It has a somewhat custard-like texture and it’s not surprising that durians have been consumed since pre-historic times in Asia and was only introduced to other countries some 600 years ago. Time have yet to change mankind’s perception of this stinky beast.

One of those rather traditional Thai/Siamese way of eating durians.

. hot steaming rice

. cold water is poured over hot rice

. a dash/sprinkle of salt

. a couple of durians and you’re good to go (and die that is 😉 )

There are the other ways of consuming durians the Thai trad way, most notably durians and coconut milk with vanilla-infused sticky rice. Dear me…that would be, death for me. I hadn’t had that much durians but seeing as I’ve not had durians in years (approx 10 years I think) I puked out after 5 seedlings :p That’s what durians are all about, richness in a rather crude context *burps* Oops, excuse moi 🙂

Malaysian Pancake – The Recipe

As requested, here’s the rather simple recipe to make Malaysian pancakes.

What you’d need is

  • 340g of plain wheat flour ( not exactly sure what other flour types can be used of course
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 eggs-beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of water/H20
  • 1 cup of milk (Yum I love milk)
  • 2 teaspoons of corn oil

Pancake Inards or otherwise known as fillings :p

  • 3 teaspoon of roasted/grounded peanuts
  • 6 teaspoons of butter
  • 6 teaspoons of castor sugar ( this is to give it the sweet crunchiness with the grounded peanuts )
  • 3 teaspoons of cream-style corn

Batter preparation

Mix flour, sugar and salt into a bowl.
Make a well in the center.
Add in milk, egg, oil and water in the well.
Mix it all in together

Preparation Method

  • Lightly grease the pan with a knob of butter
  • Heat pan till you see a little wispy smoke being emitted.
  • Take a large spoonful of batter and spread evenly onto the greased pan.
  • When the batter is half cooked, sprinkle some groundnuts, sugar and add in a few teaspoons of corn over the surface.
  • Add in another knob of butter. Cover pan.
  • Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and fold into two.
  • Serve it piping hot.

Blueberry compote recipe

This morning after my blood test I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. I feel so proud, normally I probably could not be bothered doing something so erm, demanding (as opposed to popping bread into a toaster) but hey, it’s the long weekend!

I won’t post the pancake recipe up here since I think most people know how to make pancakes. Or at least they cheat using the ready-mix packets at the supermarket. I decided to use the remaining blueberries from Mother’s Day to make this blueberry compote. Gotta love leftovers!

Blueberry Compote Recipe (Serves 4ish)

Ingredients
* 300g blueberries (in my case I used 150g-200g blueberries)
* 50g castor sugar (you can use normal sugar for this but castor sugar is better. To make castor sugar from regular sugar, you need to grind it up until its fine which can be done with a processor)
* 50mL Cointreau (or similar)

If you don’t have a bain-marie, use an ordinary pot and get the water to simmer. Get a bowl which can fit on top of the pot (without touching the water in the pot). In this bowl, put all the ingredients in. Simmer for 20 minutes, tossing or stirring occasionally.

Serve immediately.

Eggs…….

I thought Angela didn’t like eggs unless they were hidden in pastry or cakes etc, but I was just informed that she actually didn’t mind some of the ways eggs are prepared. I, on the other hand, love eggs. They are so versatile and delicious cooked anyway. 😀

The Finished goods! - congee, chinese food, wandering gourmet

So I thought I’d share my favorite way to prepare a special and different type of egg. It’s called “Century Egg and Lean Pork Congee”. I made this the other day for my brunch (I over slept), so the pictures are my own. Century Eggs or 100 year old Egg, for the uninitiated, is usually a duck egg that has been preserved in a clay, salt, lime, ash and straw mix for a few weeks.

I don’t know the chemical affects of the process, but it turns the egg white into a brown jelly like consistency and the yolk turns a partially creamy, bluish green, almost like mold colour. The taste of this egg on its own is slightly tart and almost like blue cheese, so it is more of an acquired taste.

You can buy it form most Asian grocers now, as it is rather popular, and to make life easier they already washed the mud off the eggs. Contrary to popular beliefs (due to its name) it is not preserved for 100 years. I think it was one of those poetic names bestowed upon the humble preserved egg by our ancestors. An easy way to serve this is sliced into quarters and eaten with a slice of pickled ginger. Yummy! Or the more common way is to have it in a congee. Congee is a savory rice porridge eaten throughout East Asia for breakfast or as a light lunch. So here is my recipe for Pwei Tan Sow Yok Chok (Century Egg and Lean Pork Congee).

You start with your basic congee, which is made with just lots of water and a little bit of rice, boil th eheck out of it until it is to the consitency you like. I prefer mine thick, but if you find it too thick add more water. I think it is about 4 parts water to 1 part of rice. When we make a large pot of it we tend to use just half a cup of rice in a big pot filled up to the halfway point with water.

While that is cooking, slice up into tiny little shreds, some lean pork. I’m talking pork with preferably no fat on it. I like to boil my egg first, but I don’t think you have to. (I have a paranoid mother, I’ve picked up her habits. :S) cut up the egg into iddy biddy pieces, keeping in mind the taste is strong and its not cheap for an egg.

When the congee is mostly a soupy consistency, add the pork and season with salt and white pepper. Add chicken stock if you want, then add the egg pieces. Taste it and adjust to your tastes. Serve piping hot with a drop of sesame oil a sprinkling of finely chopped spring onions, and deep fried wonton pastry pieces if you want. Enjoy!

Banana Cake Recipe

My mum decided that I should make Banana Cake today. No, seriously – she made me make it.

When I came home from work yesterday evening, she shoved a piece of paper into my hand and said, “I want you to make banana cake. Can you make it tonight and get all the ingredients out after dinner?”

I didn’t make it after dinner. That’s my TV time!

She was annoyed at me so she woke me up like 3 times this morning between 7-8 am telling me to get up to make cake. So finally I gave in because I figured she would just keep waking me up until I made the banana cake!

Here’s the recipe for the banana cake which she got somewhere from the Internet. The cake turned out quite well, except the time the recipe stated that it should be in the oven was wrong for my oven. Instead of the required 20 minutes, we needed to put it in the oven for about 32 minutes or so.

Banana Cake Recipe
Ingredients
170 grams butter
300 grams white sugar
3 eggs
5mL Vanilla Extract (or Vanilla Essence)
180mL Sour Milk
225 grams mashed bananas
310 grams all-purpose flour
3 grams salt
2 grams baking powder

Method
Mix together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence in a large bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Then add this bowl to the creamed mixture (ie, the other bowl with the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla).

Then add sour milk and the mashed bananas to the mixture, then beat it together well.

Put the mixture into a cake loaf tin.

Warm the oven up at 175 Celsius, and put the cake in for about 30 minutes. (And check it at the 20 minute mark just in case the baking time in the recipe actually works in your oven).

Raspberry Swirls Dessert

Tonight after work I decided to make a Raspberry Swirl Dessert. Ok, so I’m not exactly sure what the exact name of this dessert actually is. Basically it’s one of those layered desserts which you can put in a shot glass (or a larger glass). I had something similar to this at work one day except it was like blueberry swirls with like.. jelly. Or something. ( But a big thank you to who ever was having a function and had food left over! Left over work food is delicious especially when there have been major conferences on!)

Ingredients:
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
3 tsp icing sugar
Vanilla yoghurt
Biscuits (like Marie biscuits, Oatmeal biscuits, or whatever you like really)

Method:
Put the raspberries and icing sugar into a blender, and puree it until it makes a lovely red-pink sauce.

Put a spoon (or more) of the raspberries into the glass of your choice so it makes a layer.

Then put a spoon (or more) of the vanilla yoghurt.

Sprinkle a layer of biscuit crumbs on top of that. To get the biscuit crumbs, put the biscuits in a plastic bag, and roll over the bag with a rolling pin. Alternatively, if you’re really angry about something and need to get the stress out, get a kitchen mallet and bash the biscuit crumbs.

Put another layer of vanilla yoghurt, followd by a raspberry layer, then more biscuit crumbs.

Alternatively, you could put the raspberry purée on top of the biscuit crumbs instead of the vanilla yoghurt, then put a layer of the vanilla yoghurt, then fresh passion fruit.

Serve cold.

Food Pouching – quick, simple and easy cooking

One of the quickest, simplest and easiest ways to cook is to use the Pouching technique. This technique is good for those who don’t know how to cook or aren’t good at cooking. It is also a great technique for those who are really busy because you can just pop this quickly in the oven and go off and shower or do some work, and when the timer’s up, you can just go and grab the food out of the oven.

The Pouching technique is a basic steaming technique which only requires you to put food that can be steamed into aluminium oil (recommended) or greaseproof/baking paper (less recommended), creating a pouch, and putting it into the oven. I feel aluminium foil is better than baking paper when steaming because the paper gets to get soggy but aluminium foil does not.

For Pouching success, I would probably put in some kind of carbohydrates/starch like rice (optional), one meat, vegetables, and some sort of seasoning and/or liquid.

food pouching

When you’re putting it all together, imagine whether or not the options you intend to use would mix together well for your personal taste. For example, I probably would never put rice, fish, carrots and honey together in my food pouch – but you might!