I first learned how to use Asian spices from my best friend’s late mother whom I dearly called Auntie Wong.
Growing up in Malaysia, Auntie Wong was an acrobat in a circus, and later became a self-trained dentist. ‘How do you install a denture for an old lady without a single tooth,’ she laughed,’ luckily I was young and good looking then, I asked male dentists for helps and was never refused’.
Auntie Wong migrated to Australia in early 1980s with her three daughters. She ran a small take away shop in Glebe, an inner Sydney suburb, selling Malaysian fast food. To supplement the limited income from the shop, in the evenings she made spring rolls for catering companies. My friend Mei, the youngest daughter, helped with the spring rolls while she was still in primary school.
Some years later, Auntie Wong saved up enough money and bought a studio apartment. Auntie and Mei lived there for many years, sharing a bed. In their tiny but always welcoming home, Auntie Wong cooked me many heart-warming meals. The smell of delicious food filled the small space, and what a wonderful place it was. My favorite dishes were the Singapore meat and bone soup, noodles with salmon XO sauce, and fried rice with Indian spices.
While enjoying meals, auntie told me many of her life stories. I was always inspired by her amazing abilities to adopt to changes, and her keen spirit for new adventures.
Here is my version of a spiced fried rice – simple, aromatic and satisfying, with fond memory of Auntie Wong’s kindness and love.Read the rest of this entry »
Years ago, my little boy loved a book called “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”. The story talked about a tiger who visited Sophie’s house and ate all their food. Sophia’s dad took Sophie and her mum out to a cafe, had a lovely supper with sausages, chips and ice cream.
‘How could sausages be lovely?’ my little boy asked.
So here is my version of sausages – a one pot meal with onion and capsicum, spiced with garam masala, turmeric and mustard oil.
Method is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
After a weekend of non-stop eating and drinking, we were keen to have a very simple meal this lovely Monday evening – perhaps some warm rice with a few sprinkle of seasoning.
I cooked the rice in a rice cooker. I used 1 cup of white glutinous rice with 1 cup of medium grain rice. The cooked rice was gently soft but not too sticky. I then rolled some rice into balls, and coated the rice balls with furikake.
I bought my furikake from a local Asian store. I particularly like the one with wasabi flavor. The furikake was made in China which is fine with me as it was very delicious.
A simple meal and no recipe required.
Some weeks ago I tasted ‘okowa'(Japanese glutinous rice) for the first time. There were 5 different type of okowa – red bean, chestnut, scallop, salmon and gomoko (hijiki & chicken). They were all very tasty. The rice were served at room temperature.
Today it was scorching hot in Sydney at 43 degree celsius. Perfect day to try out a rice ‘salad’ with some glutinous rice. I used 2/3 white medium grain rice and 1/3 black glutinous rice, so it was a lot lighter for a chilled dish. It was just the right texture, chewy, grainy and not too sticky. I added saute bacon, Chinese mushrooms and peas to the rice.
Recipe is as follows:
A few weeks ago I set off to make a few carrot & vegetable dishes. Here is one of them…
It is made with sushi rice, saute pumpkin with cumin, saute carrot with turmeric, saute capsicum with garam masala and nori sheets. Sesame seeds were added for extra flavor. The ingredients are layered in a terrine pan, and wrapped with 2 nori sheets.
Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »
When I was a little girl, sticky rice was such a treat – we would only enjoy it on special occasions such as weddings or festival seasons. It is probably because it takes extra efforts to fry glutinous rice ?
Recipe is as follows:
Nasi kuning is an Indonesian rice dish cooked with coconut milk and turmeric. If you have a rice cooker, my ‘relaxed’ version of fried rice with ready made nasi kuning paste is easy and delicious.
Method is as follow: