Saturday, February 14, 2015

Eat and drink in Krabi

Thai cuisine has always been our family’s favourite cuisine. This is also one of the reasons why we favour Thailand as one of our top choices of traveling destinations.

As mentioned in my previous Krabi traveling post, in this episode I will cover the story of the food that we savoured in this little Southern Province of Thailand.

During our stay in Krabi, most of our lunch meals, if not covered by the day tour operators, were decided by exploring the local street food along our lodging area in Ao Anang. We would simply sit down and ate as and when we came across some street food that looked palatable.

Among those street food Ray and I favoured the most was the BBQ chicken! It wasn’t KFC, but it was still finger-licking good! If BBQ is not your cup of tea, then Banana pancake is another “must eat” not to be missed in Krabi! Winking smile

krabistreetfood_collage

Krabi’s night market was another great place to taste their local street food. Similar to other Thailand tourist spots, Krabi also had a walking street night bazaar which operated in the evening of Friday-Sunday in Krabi town.

Krabi town is located more than half an hour driving distance from Ao Anang beach. We went on a Friday night taking their public bus transport, essentially a bigger version of Tuk Tuk. I was a bit disappointed as the Krabi town walking street night bazaar was much smaller in scale than what we experienced in ChiangMai and Bangkok.

krabinitemarket_collage

In Ao Anang beach area, there were lots of Thai and Western restaurants. Authentic Thai Cuisine and Western food were easily available. We also noticed many locals in Krabi were Muslims, hence halal food was just as common. Many of the Thai restaurants were operated by Muslim owners. This explained why so many Malay Muslim tourists from Malaysia liked to visit Krabi.

The following were some of the Thai authentic rice meals we ate.

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May I introduce a beverage to quench your thirst in Krabi? My number one choice definitely was their fruit shakes! Sorry, to those who thought it might be beer clip_image001

During our time in Krabi, other than plain drinking water, we simply tried out every flavor of fruit shakes available.

Basically we just shake, shake, shake away our thirst with all sorts of fresh fruit smoothies that we could find, Mango, mixed fruits, strawberry, coconut, dragon fruit… The top rated shake to both the father and son was still their forever loved banana shake while my pick was mixed fruits which varied from stall to stall, a combination of any mixture of fresh fruits they had on hand upon order made. clip_image001[1]

So, remember if you happen to travel to Krabi, after the spicy Thai food, as the Taylor Swift’s song goes "Shake It Off" to shake the heat away!

So, remember if you happen to travel to Krabi, after the spicy Thai food, just like what Taylor Swift song "Shake It Off" to shake the heat away !

shake_collage

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sea Sand Sun @ Krabi, Thailand

 

Since Ray started schooling, we could only plan our annual family trip to coincide with his long school break. It has become kind of a family tradition to have at least one island trip per year. Last December we picked Krabi, Thailand as our destination.

Shared in the following are the highlights of the trip.

We started our action in the water on day 2 of our trip with a full day Island hopping itinerary covering 4 island - Phranang , Chicken, Tup and Poda Islands

4islandskrabi_collage

The Tup Island has its own unique phenomenon commonly referred to by the locals as Talay Waek which means divided sea. During high tide, the island is divided into 2 islands, 400metres apart. At the peak of low tide, a sandbank emerges to connect the two islands together allowing you to walk across freely between the two islands on a strip of sandbar seemingly dividing the sea to two.

tupisland_collage

Well, I must say that Krabi may not have as white, as fine sandy beaches and as good snorkeling spots as compared with other islands we visited in the past such as Koh Lipe, Thailand and the Peninsular Malaysia East Coast Islands, but Krabi still has its own attractions.

On day 3, we had an inaugural experience with a new water sport – kayaking. It was the first experience for Ray and myself. Later, Ray rated this kayaking experience at Ao Thalan as his most fun and enjoyable activity out of all the activities we had in Krabi.

krabikayaing_collage

After a full morning of kayaking, we were taken for an hour elephant trekking through a rubber estate rather than a jungle as stated in the tour brochure.

elephantkrabi_collage

Our final destination was the Tiger Cave temple. So, you might think we did not have enough of wild animal that we went for another close encounter with the tigers again? Sorry, your guess never come close.

The hidden attraction lies behind this temple façade, is a total of 1,237 steps to the summit of the mountain temple where you get to have a magnificent panoramic view of Krabi town.

We counted the steps as we were going up the strenuous flight of stairs. It was actually 1260 steps. After about of 25 minutes of hike, Ray made it to the top first.

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tigercave_collage

Panoramic view over Krabi from Tiger Cave Temple.

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After the tiring climb, up and down, we were delighted to have a great dip in a natural Mineral Hot Spring Waterfall.

hotspring_collage

We ended our final fresh water activity at the famous crystal pool or Emerald pool. The pool was located 1.4KM from the entrance of the park. We got to enjoy the lush foliage of the forest and fresh air along this trail.

The pool to me was overrated. I found the pool as merely a cloudy green color pool with overly crowded tourists in it. This was also due to the not so right timing we visited on that day. It was a Thai public holiday and we only arrived after lunch when the tour group crowds had already built up.

To enjoy the claimed crystal Emerald pool view, it was advisable to go in the early morning when the water of the pool is still and the sediment in the pool is not yet kicked up by swimmers to cloud the water.

emeralpool_collage

While Ray was having his fun time in the pool, I decided to venture further to discover the legendary Blue pool which was another 15minutes trek away from the Emeral pool. Less people visited this pool as no swimming was allowed there due to the many quick sands in that pool.

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This blue pool lived up to its name, the water was crystal clear that one could see through to the bottom of the pool.The water was really amazingly blue, like a very clean swimming pool.

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The above were some attractions that we covered during our short 4 days 3 nights trip in Krabi.

For the next post, I will share the deliciously authentic Thai food we had in Krabi.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nyonya Fried Fish with Chili Lime Sauce 娘惹酸柑辣椒煎鱼

 

Are you bored with just plain deep fried fish recipe? Looking for some extra flavour to spice up the dish?

Sharing below is a simple Nyonya fried fish with mixture of lime juice ( I used Calamansi juice), bird’s eyes chili and seasoning sauce to zest up the flavour.

chililimefishcloseup

After cleaning the fish, do make sure to pat dry the fish with paper towel to avoid water splashes in hot oil.

Once pat dry, marinated the fish with a bit of salt, pepper and dash some corn flour to coat the fish before deep frying it in a hot oiled  wok. Deep fry the fish until crispy texture on the outside but still moist inside. Please refer to this post for ways of deep frying fish.

The Calamansi I used here were plucked freshly from my own garden. The same applied to the bird’s eyes chilies harvested from my neighbor's garden.

You can refer to my green hopes to find out some of the plants and vegetables that I had successfully planted and grew in my tropical garden.

calamansi

However, it was sad to note since my return Malaysia, I did not have any luck in the growing of bird’s eyes chili in my Malaysian garden. The glorious story of my green fingers in the planting of bird’s eyes chili from frozen seeds in Auckland was long gone.Sad smile

If you can’t get Calamansi, which I reckon is not easily available everywhere, you can use lime or lemon to get that sourness required in the sauce.

Instead of pouring the sauce on the fish, you can also make it as a dipping sauce.  This will favour those who can’t take spicy dish, where they still get to enjoy the crispy fried fish.

 

RECIPE

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Ingredients:

Fish – 2 medium size whole fish (the smaller the fish easier to deep frying in getting crispy texture)

Dash of salt, pepper and corn flour to marinate

Sauce

Juice from 4-5 calamansi lime

(to your liking on sourness, reduce quantity if using lime or lemon which bigger size)

 

4-5 bird’s eye chilli, sliced thinly

 

1 tsp. of sugar
1 tsp. dark soya sauce

1 tbsp. light soya sauce

( This 3 seasoning can be replaced by Indonesian sweet soy sauce – Kicap Manis ABC being used then no sugar and dark soya needed)

 

1 tbsp. oyster sauce

  1. Deep fried fish in hot oil till crispy and dish up and set aside on a plate discard any excess oil from frying pan with paper towel.
  2. Heat up wok in low heat, add in seasoning sauce and sugar, let it dissolve then add in bird’s eye chilli stir and off heat.
  3. Add in calamansi lime juice and mix well, and taste. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  4. Pour the sauce over the deep fried fish and serve hot.

娘惹酸柑辣椒鱼

主料:
鱼 - 2个中等大小的全鱼(较小的鱼更易油煎至口感松脆)
盐,胡椒粉,玉米/太白粉腌

酱料
酸柑汁4-5酸柑粒(根据自己对酸味的喜好)
4-5辣椒仔,切成薄片
适量,糖,老抽,生抽, 蚝油

  1. 在热油中煎鱼,直到香脆盛起,用纸巾吸收任何多余的油后备用。
  2. 用小火烧热锅,加入调味酱和糖,让它溶解,然后加入辣椒仔炒匀。
  3. 熄火加入柑酸柑汁拌匀,口味测试,相应地调整调料。
  4. 倒入辣椒仔酸柑酱在煎鱼上,趁热食用。

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Stir fry udon with Tai O‘s Shrimp Paste 大澳蝦醬炒乌冬面

 

This is another fast and simple lunch meal that you can enjoy within 15 minutes of cooking time.

Sharing below – another rush hour fusion lunch meal of mine,

Stir fry udon with Tai O ‘s Shrimp Paste

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The main ingredient used here is cooked dried Shrimp paste I got from Tai O village at Lantau Island ( Tai Yu San 大嶼山) , Hong Kong during an impromptu trip with my two pretty nieces and sister-in-law in August 2014.

taioshrimpaste

We went for an excursion boat ride to Tai O to visit this small fishing village during our day trip to Lantau Island.

taio

We bought a day trip package tour which included a cable car to Lantau Island, a bus trip to Tai O village and a boat trip for dolphin sighting. However, we didn’t have any luck with dolphin. Sad smile

taiocruise

As we strolled along Tai O village, we noticed only a few streets were packed with stores and tourists.

Fresh seafood could be found easily, many of which were made into dried seafood such as salted fish, shrimp paste, popular souvenirs to tourists.

taiovillage2

We bought our shrimp paste from following shop. The shop owner told us that this cooked shrimp paste is very easy to be used. Just merely adding in few tablespoons of the paste into ready cooked plain noodles It would instantly added flavor and no other seasoning needed.

In fact, it is better known in using as seasoning for fried rice in Tai O. Other than rice and noodles, stir-fried water spinach with shrimp paste is another great recommendation.

taiovillage

 

Ingredients:

1 pack of udon ( you can opt for other noodles)

3-4 pcs of fish balls/meat balls/fish cake/prawns

2 pcs nuggets ( optional)

1 egg

 

Seasoning:

2 tablespoons cooked dried shrimp paste (to your taste)
1 tablespoon soya/oyster sauce (to your taste)

1 tsp. chili ( optional)

 

For garnishing:
1 tablespoon of Gim ( Korean seasoned roasted dried seaweeds)

or

1 tablespoon of spring onions


Instructions:

  1. In a small pot bring a pot of water to boil. Add in Udon and add in side ingredients. Cook for 2 minutes. Drained and set aside.
  2. Heat up a pan with 2 tbsp. of oil, add in cooked Udon stir fry a while before adding an egg and seasoning and continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes until well mixed.
  3. Dish up and garnish with spring onions/dried seaweeds before serve.

大澳蝦醬炒乌冬面

主料:

1乌冬面或任何您所选择的面条/冬粉等

3-4个鱼丸/肉丸/鱼饼


调味料:

2汤匙大澳蝦醬, (你的口味)

1汤匙酱油/蚝油,(你的口味)
1
茶匙辣椒酱的(对于喜欢额外辣的口味)

配菜:
1大匙,青葱的


1
汤匙韩国调味的烤海藻

方法:
1
,把一锅水煮沸乌冬面,加入配料,煮2分钟,沥干待用。
2
,热油加入乌冬面翻炒几下,加入蛋,配料炒香
3。后加入大澳蝦醬调味,翻炒均匀3分钟。
4
洒上青葱/干海藻即可上碟享用

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pork & Dried shrimps One Pot rice 电饭锅猪肉虾米煲仔饭

 

Simple rice cooker one-pot meal

I bet many of you working moms would love to get your family meals prepared with ease when you have a rush and tight schedule, no? Shared here is an easy and simple one-pot meal perfect for a hassle-free midweek lunch or dinner. To me this recipe is a great option for a lazy weekend instead.

The name “One Pot” which literally means everything is mixed and cooked together in one pot and served as the only dish.

This recipe was adapted from Cantonese one-pot rice dish, originally made use glutinous rice cooked in a clay pot. We simplified the recipe by using normal rice cooker instead.

For the ingredients, we retained the usual Chinese pork sausages, pork slices and dried shrimps. However, you can twist the recipe by adding some greens to it to make it a balanced diet. Chopped long beans or French beans are good options. Carrots and mushrooms are also great choices.

I didn’t have them when I prepared the meal; I substituted with slices of tomatoes and lettuce to go with the rice instead.

 

porkprawnrice

Our family love to have soup to go with rice. To compliment with this one pot rice, we used to prepare simple miso soup or fish balls soup to serve together.

onepotricesoup

 

Pork & Dried shrimps One Pot rice
Serve 4

porkshrimo_collage

Ingredients:


2 cups of Thailand Jasmine Rice

 

Water ( 1 :1.5 water ratio)

(Much depend on the type of rice, some rice may absorb more water, rule of thumb is to use slightly less amount of water as compared normal plain rice.

I usually don’t measure in cups; I use my palm as measurement, as long as the water level slightly over my knuckles)

Pork belly, cut into small strips
Dried shrimp, soak and wash
Chinese Pork sausages (lup cheong), steam to cook and sliced thinly

 

Marinate Pork slices with:

Light soy sauce (to your taste)
Dark soy sauce (to your taste)

You can use roast pork if you have it on hand.

 

Rice Seasoning: (to your taste)

2 cloves Garlic - peeled, chopped

1 tbsp. Light soy sauce

1 tsp. Dark soy sauce

1 tbsp. Oyster sauce

1 tbsp. Maggi chicken stock essence (optional)

 

Garnishing:

5 gloves small shallots peeled and cut into thin slices.

 


Method:

 

onepotrice_collage

 

 

1.    Marinated the pork strips and dried shrimps and set aside for at least half an hour.

2.    Wash, soak (30 minutes) and drain uncooked white rice, add one tbsp. of Maggi chicken stock essence to the rice and set aside.

3.    Heat oil in wok, sauté the slices of shallots into golden brown and set aside.

4.    Leave some oil in the wok and add in dried shrimps and stir fry until it starts to dance before adding pork slices and continue to stir fry for 3- 4 minutes before dish up and set-aside.

5.    Add 1tbsp. oil in wok and sauté the chopped garlic until fragrant before pouring in the rice.

6.    Add in water and seasoning with dark and light soy sauces and oyster sauce; continue to stir-fry to mix for 5 minutes, taste test before dish up.

7.    Transfer the fried rice back to rice cooker and switch on cook button to let it cook in the rice cooker for about 15 minutes.

8.    After 15 minutes, open up the rice cooker cover and you will see the rice is boiling, time to add in the fried pork/shrimps mixtures and pork sausages, stir to mix before closing back the cover and let the rice continue to cook until rice cooker automatically turn to "Keep Warm" mode.

9.    Leave it there for another 5 to 10 minutes before dish up.

10. Garnish with sautéed shallots and serve hot.

 

ricecookerrice01


电饭锅猪肉虾米煲仔饭

2 杯的泰国香米 ( 四人份)

水(米和水的比例:1:1.5 这个比例很重要,关系到饭的生熟程度!太烂不好吃,夹生则根本没法吃!)
2瓣大蒜 - 去皮,切碎

五花肉切成小条状,腌猪肉片30分钟用适量酱油,黑酱油。 可用烧肉代替。虾米洗净浸泡滤干,洗净的腊肠蒸熟切成薄片。

饭调料: 1汤匙。酱油 :1茶匙。老抽酱油 :1汤匙。蚝油,1汤匙。美极鸡精(可选)

摆盘: 5粒小葱头去皮,切成薄片。

用电饭煲做煲仔饭的制作方法步骤如下:

  1. 把肉调味(备用)
  2. 米洗好(最好用水浸泡30分钟),加入1汤匙。美极鸡精备用
  3. 在炒锅烧热油,爆香葱头成金黄色,备用。
  4.  在炒锅烧热油,爆香葱头成金黄色,备用。
  5. 留少许油,并加入虾米爆香再把猪肉片倒进去继续翻炒34钟盛起备用。如果你想加豆角菜类,现在就可以加入,随着猪肉炒拌。
  6.  炒锅下油1汤匙,爆香蒜茸再把米倒进去翻炒几下,倒入清水调味料继续翻炒均匀越5分钟口味测试盛起
  7. 转移炒饭回电饭煲让它在电饭煲煮约15分钟。
  8. 将锅盖打开看一下,电饭煲里的水沸腾后马上放肉虾米,切好的腊肉搅匀,盖上盖子,继续煮,关跳起后,再焖5-10分钟,撒上炸葱头片即可食用。

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bag Sewing Projects

 

After I started the wristlets projects, I found many free online bag tutorials which were not as difficult to follow as I thought. With so many scrap curtain fabrics that my ex-classmate,Cecelia gave me after she shutdown her curtain fabric shop, I decided to fully utilize them. Instead of making more small wristlet and phone bags, it was time for me to take the challenge of making bigger bags.

2014 Wristlet collections

izawristlet

phonewristlet

mywristlet

I am really not a handbag person as I seldom wear handbag to work or even for shopping. Because of this, the likes of branded handbags such as Gucci, Prada, LV etc. were never in my “must have” list. I am ok to settle with any bag as long as it is functional. These online DIY bag patterns are functional and pretty. They are great for own use and also great as gifts to give away.

The following bag collections are the results of the many weekends that I spent since end of last year. Whenever I was not into baking, these sewing projects took place.

Most of these bags were no longer with me, except for the following three bags, which I just couldn’t give them up due to their nice fabric pattern.

Pleated bag by U- handbag

pleatedbag

My favorite evening bag, Rosette round handle bag

rosettebag

and this latest collection Diana Hobo bag

dianahobo_bagcollage

The following bags were gifts that I gave away to relatives, friends and colleagues for various functions such as New Year, new born and farewell.

These were diaper bags for my Finance team members. You can get the free diaper bag tutorial from here

diaper bag_collage

diapertotebag_collage

New year bag for my second Sister-in-law, Phoebe Bag pattern by Rebeka Lambert.

phoebebag_collage

Farewell gift to my ex-IT staff, round wooden handle tote bag.

mazurabag_collage

The latest hobo bag to my ex-Finance member.

shirleybag_collage

These bags may not be made from fancy expensive material, but every bag made was a limited edition as they never shared the same bag and fabric patterns. For all the bags that I gave away, I hope the new owners would cherish them dearly and whenever they used it, I would be in their thoughts.

Or maybe I should sign off my master pieces by making a small embroidery to be sewed inside as my own brand. clip_image001

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mrs NgSK’s Butter Cake 牛油蛋糕

 

Butter cake again ? Recipe #3

Following up from my previous post, here I am introducing another great butter cake recipe from a blog which I came across while I was researching on butter cake recipes.

I was glad that my trial turned out successful. The cake tasted really soft and moist as claimed by the blog post. The main difference of this recipe as compared to the last 2 recipes I blogged before was this recipe required the egg whites and yolks to be separated and to beat the white and sugar into stiff egg white. More skill was needed to make this cake as stiff egg white was not easy to make.

 

P1000604

Crack free butter cake Smile

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P1000618

I baked this cake for my late mother-in-law’s passing anniversary jìrì () prayer ceremony. Besides this cake, I also made my signature dish roasted pork belly while Auntie Lan made rice dumpling ( Bak Chang). It was a sumptuous lunch for her.

Collage 2014-08-03 12_32_40

Mrs Ng SK's Butter Cake

The recipe adapted from Wendyinkk's blog. This butter cake recipe originated from one of the church members of Mrs Ng SK.

Ingredients

  • 230g Butter ( I used the whole butter 250g)
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 4 eggs ( about 200g), separated into whites and yolks
  • 200g sifted self-raising flour
  • 60ml milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 50g caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C for at least 15min, line the base of 8” baking pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the baking pan.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla at medium speed till pale and fluffed up.
  3. Add in egg yolks, one at a time making sure it's well mixed before adding the next.
  4. Add half of the flour, mix at slow speed. Add in milk, mix then the remaining flour.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with 50g caster sugar till soft peaks.
  6. Scoop ⅓ of the egg white into the batter, and mix it thoroughly, to lighten up the batter.
  7. Add in the remaining egg whites and fold it in with a spatula.
  8. Pour into the lined baking pan and level.
  9. Place in the middle rack of the oven, bake for 45 minutes at 170 C
  10. Lower the temperature to 150C at last the 15 minutes if you see the top is too brown, or using a aluminum sheet to cover the top.
  11. Using a skewer to check doneness of the cake by poking into the center of the cake, if it's cooked, the skewer comes out clean.

    牛油蛋糕

    改编自Wendyinkk的博客的配方。这奶油蛋糕配方源自她的教会成员之一。

    成份 :

    230克牛油(我用250克) 150克砂糖, 鸡蛋4个(约200克) ,分为蛋 白和蛋黄, 200克过筛自发面粉, 60毫升奶, 1茶匙香草精, 50克砂糖

    做法:

    1. 烤箱预热至170℃。最好先预热15分钟

    2. 将烤箱预热至180℃15分钟, 可减少至170, 烤盘抹油或置油纸。

    3. 使用低速将牛油+细砂糖一起混合搅拌,换到中速打至松发变白。

    4. 在糖还没有完全溶解,倒入第一个蛋黄后继续搅拌,每次加蛋奶油完全吸收蛋黄后,再加入蛋黄搅拌至蛋黄搅拌完毕。再加入香草精拌匀。

    5. 面粉划分为二分次拌入,鸡蛋奶油里最低速度搅拌混合 最后,加入牛奶拌匀。

    6. 在另一个碗,搅拌蛋清和50克细砂糖,搅拌至软峰 即蛋白膏的峰尖挺立不下垂并硬性发泡。舀蛋白膏分为三次拌入面糊中调匀了。

    7.把面糊倒入抹油的烤盘。在桌子上轻轻地震动和敲击烤盘面糊均匀分布​​,并让空气排出。

     8.将烤盘放进烘箱中架。烤45分钟或至金黄色。 用牙签/串以测试,串出来干净,它已熟, 从烘箱中取出,让烤盘冷却5分钟后才除去烤盘倒出蛋糕。

    注意事项:
    如果蛋糕表面过焦,最后15分钟可在面蛋糕覆蓋一張鋁箔紙

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