Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kam Heong Lala (Clam) cooking with Worcestershire sauce

When it comes to some of the Malaysian cuisines, there are no English word for it. I seriously don't know how to translate "Kam Heong" to a better word, though, I think it is in Cantonese. If it is then it would probably be 'fragrant clams'.

Kam Heong lala is the easiest dish to make and it takes you no less than 30 minutes, inclusive of preparation to do.

Cooking has always been the most fun and relaxing thing to do for me. Plus, I enjoy experimenting on fusion of tastes that are rather different from the norm, these are my own hybrid of recipes. You may notice I have added a side note of options that even if you do not add them, it is still okay.

First things first, find a really nice meaty clams or else you would just be cooking shells. I frequent the market place a lot and sometimes their produce is different, you may not be able to find certain seafood unless it comes with a season. This time, I decide to grab those clams.

Ingredients for 2 person
500g clams
2 shallots diced
3 pieces of garlic
3 bird eye's red chilli
1 teaspoon of dried shrimps
1 inch of sambal belacan (optional)
1 tablespoon of curry leaves
1 inch of ginger diced
1 tablespoon of Lee Kum Kee chilli bean paste/ alternative - soy bean paste if you don't want it to be too spicy.
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon of fish sauce (optional)
2 stalk of spring onions - finely chopped
1 tablespoon of meat curry powder
1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine/ alternative - white wine

I clean the clams by soaking them for a good 20 minutes and rinse twice to remove the sands from the shells.

Heat the wok with adding cooking oil and add garlic, stir fry until fragrant. Then add your chilli, sambal belacan, dried shrimps, shallots, chillies, ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.

As the aroma fills your kitchen, add the Worcestershire, fish sauce and your chilli bean paste or soy bean paste and stir fry along with your earlier spices until the paste thickens with the oil.

Pour in the clams and coat them with your paste around them for 1 minute, add wine and curry powder and continue to stir fry until the clams open for another 3 minutes.

Lastly add spring onions and continue to to stir for another 1 minute and it is ready to serve.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Golden fried rice.

If you are looking for a fast and simple meal to make and at the same time, tasty. I would recommend the golden egg fried rice. There have been some stories around this recipe, though simple but fit for the Chinese Imperial family; that is what I've heard of course or read somewhere.

The total minute need to spend on making this dish doesn't take more 20 minutes. 

Ingredients for 2 pax
2 egg yolks
1 cup of rice
green peas (optional)
dried shrimps (optional)
2 shallots
1 inch of ginger - diced
2 pieces of garlic - diced
2 strip of bacon - bits (optional)

1. Cook the rice first adding 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
2. Dice ginger, garlic and shallots
3. Take 2 strips of bacon and pinch them to make it into bits.
4. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into bowl and add 1 tablespoon of dried shrimps - let it soak

Making the yellow gold rice
1. Once the rice has already been cooked, scoop them into a mixing bowl and only take the yolk of the eggs separating the whites in another bowl. Add the yolk into the cooked rice and gently coat them.

1. Heat up oil into wok - use 1 tablespoon only. Then add the diced garlic, ginger and shallots, stir-fry until golden brown. remove and reserve.

2. Add pieces of bacon bits and stir fry until cook, remove and reserve.

3. Add dried shrimps and peas into the oil and continue to fry for another 3 minutes, leave them in your wok.

3. Your wok would have some remaining oil that has an aroma of bacon and garlic, that would be good to flavour the egg rice. Pour egg yolk coated rice into the wok along with the peas and dried shrimps and stir fry it for another 2 minutes.

4. Once it is finished, served in a plate and garnish it with the earlier browned garlic, shallots and ginger.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Condiment Calamari (Sambal Sotong)

Today I visited the market to stock up some food and saw that they had the calamaris that was large in its size and decided to buy them to make Sambal Sotong. It is actually the most easiest dish to make, despite the long time spent mostly on cleaning the calamari. I tend to have my own way of cleaning it thoroughly especially removing the skins. 

Ingredients; - prepared for two people
4 pieces of garlic
1 purple onion
1 inch of ginger
4 red chillies 
1 banana leaf
1 cinamon stick
1 dried Garcinia cambogia (dried tamarind piece)
4 calamari
1 inch of belacan
1 piece of star anise
1 table spoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1. dice garlics, onions, ginger, red chillies (de-seed the chillies if you want it to be less spicy)
2. Put all into blender to form the paste.
3. Chop calamari into many pieces and use paper towel to dry them.
4. Coat them with salt, pepper and turmeric followed by cornstarch
5. heat up pan and pour a table spoon of oil
6. add blended paste into it and stir until darkened
7. Alternative - either you add 1 tablespoon of sugar or in my case I use cinnamon for its sweet taste.
8. continue to stir for 5 minutes, add star anise and finally the chopped calamaris
9. Fry the calamari and mix with the sauce for a good 5 minutes - depending on the thickness and quantity of chopped calamari cooked into the pan but you should never fry them for too long.

Lastly, served it banana leaf to enhance that rich chilli flavour.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Visit to Aquaria KLCC

It was a long weekend with the Chinese New Year public holiday spanning over Thursday to Sunday, I've decided to indulge in the simple pleasure of visiting a place in which I enjoyed most when I was a kid; animal exhibitions.

So I've thought that it shouldn't have much people in the city as most are out of Kuala Lumpur during this festive season, 'very typical Malaysian balik kampung' strategy which is regardless of what race you are.

I brave myself to take the train and not drive that day......

To my surprise, I have never felt like a foreigner in my own country; the entire station was lack of Malaysians that is one thing.

I digress.

I believe the last time that I visited the public zoo, I sworn never to visit any animal exhibitions ever because of how ill treated these animals confined for public amusement. I remember the last time, there was this stupid talk show host doing a show, while the keeper was beating the elephant to submission. My friend and I shouted and ruin their filming for abusing the animal. I got was dirty looks but I  still continued my protests, until they decide to stop filming for a while.

Then, I thought there wouldn't be such things for fishes... I was wrong.

The first thing I did not like about Aquaria KLCC was the staffs that were so concentrated into sales and the sales of stupid photography session than taking care of the sea creatures well being.

First thing, I saw a lot of employees lined up at the ticketing counter and force welcome pictures than the one guarding the open pool animal. There was this idiot old man with his asshole son pulling the fish and yanking it with its tail. I shot him dirty looks and shouted, leave them alone but he found it funny. where was the employees guarding them? none available, they were too busy making money through fugly photo sessions with the unruly crowd.

Secondly, No flash activation on cameras allowed! but no, many still do it and no one said a word, the sad banging and knocking on the glass aquarium. Obviously, no crowd control but only crowd control with another photography booth session which they will charge you when you exit.

I did manage to take nice pictures of the fishes but, I guess my best solutions to ever see animals is just purely from National Geographic channels.

In conclusion, I vowed never to visit any animal exhibition again.. not when how they were treated. stupid humans!

Below are just little pictures that I've taken during the trip... my last trip

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The King Bee

I was chatting with my colleague today about the Queen Bee syndrome. It was right after the very few articles that I have stumbled upon during a totally random browse.

Taken from context and I quote;
  1. Queen bee syndrome was first defined by G.L. Staines, T.E. Jayaratne, and C. Tavris in 1973. It describes a woman in a position of authority who views or treats subordinates more critically if they are female. This phenomenon has been documented by several studies.
  2. Queen bee syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The first thing that comes to my mind was from the movie "The Devil wears Prada" and then it hits the stage where I was self evaluating myself if I had such syndrome. I knew the game of office territorial politics where you don't mess with the Alpha female in the company, I seemed to have taken over the throne after two years later when she left.

However, I digress.

Coming back to the topic, I do admit I may have possessed a few of its traits but not being the major Queen Bee - the fact that I am very particular with the delivery of the task in which I expect the same heart and soul ingredients in my soup. But after further reading on, I see more critical articles towards woman in managing positions that judges them based on their strength rather than viewing any such thing as the King bee syndrome. The fact that I've even tried to google King Bee, I ended up with the results on Queen Bee.

From there I've decided that some men in authority positions then to be more of a King Bee than women in the same position. In my opinion that women tend to be watched and critiqued under the microscope on the teenist mistake that is deemed "unwomanly" or the reasons for women not being able to helm a managerial role. I believe that most men do play the part being biased towards women, the fact that women on a higher position will not sabotage their own team. This is because, she believes that if the team performs, so will she.

Men on the other hand, in most cases tend to bite each other during the game and it seemed acceptable in this case - there is even a term for such behaviour "Dog Eat Dog World". So that is all right to have that saying but if women tries to survive and build her own sister's strength, she is a queen bee?

Amongst the biggest oppressor and the main reasons why women cannot sit on the throne of an equal towards men in the corporate world is because they have been taught to be second class in which the rules and limitations are being drafted for them.

I know this because I came from a typical Asian background that preaches You shouldn't be successful nor do You need to earn a very high salary, if not, You cannot get married.

This was the very fact that was instilled in most of my life. However, I tend to have a rebellious streak and therefore broke all the rules of conformed femininity.

To conclude here are my own outlined and definition of a King Bee Syndrome; (Even though I know there are no such thing as a King Bee but Prince Bees.. meh)

King Bees are known to hire other "yes man" or meek females in order for them to oversee their kingdom of mediocre pastures. They expect their minions to do their bidding in minimal performances but most importantly UPHOLD their ego to the highest order. A King Bee would speak loud and clear in a very authoritative tone to flaunt the size of their ego so that the rest can hear. No one can walk side by side with a King Bee, you must always walk behind them.

A King Bee NEVER addresses their colleagues as colleagues but MY STAFF.

Sounds familiar? then why isn't there be more research and articles about them? I feel like I am the first to write about it BASED on Life experiences and my encounters with many King Bees.