have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Typical Weekend Dinner

On weekends when we are not out food hunting, a simple home-cooked meal is most comforting. Whenever my family get together, we will always find a reason to eat. Here is one of our home-cooked dinners.
Petai. You either love it or you don't, simple as that. It's definitely an acquired taste. I have got to know people who are totally not adventurous with food but they seem to drool over petai. Petai prawns, petai with sambal belacan, petai curry etc... This famous little green bean has gone a long way since its humble beginning, which was then eaten raw dipped in sambal belacan.
I have cooked it in many ways but still love it best stir-fried in sambal belacan hae bee (dried shrimps). Here's my recipe for all those petai lovers out there!
600 gms freshly peeled petai (cut the beans in half to make sure there are no worms hidden inside or else hmmm yum! delicious worms!)
300 gms dried shrimps (pre-soaked in warm water and drained)
200 gms fresh red chilles
3 shallots
1 piece of toasted belacan (prawn paste - 2 cm square)
1 Tbsp assam paste (soaked in hot water, throw away the seeds and retain the assam water)
6 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Pound chillies, shallots and belacan into a fine texture.
  2. Add in shrimps and continue to pound till shrimps are blended in together with the chilli paste.
  3. Heat oil in a wok and pour in the pounded ingredients, fry till fragrant and add in assam paste water.
  4. Simmer for about 15 minutes and finally add in the petai and stir for 5 minutes.
  5. Petai is served.
My next dish is the "Braised Pork Thigh". I must admit, this dish is pretty high on cholestral and fats but then again to console myself, I don't eat this everyday. Well, here is goes.
Pork thigh (1.5 kg) - otherwise known as "thui kut"
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of crushed garlic with skin
5 star anise
7 cloves
10 crushed black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
7 coriander seeds
4 Tbsp oyster sauce
4 Tbsp scallop sauce
2 Tbsp black soya sauce
3 Tbsp light soya sauce
2 dried oysters
1 dried octopus tentacle
100 ml vegetable stock
  1. Heat oil in a braising pot, throw in the garlic.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and vegetable stock.
  3. Boil for 20 minutes.
  4. Put in the pork thigh and simmer for 4 hours, turning the thigh from time to time to avoid burning.
  5. Ready to serve.

Whenever I get my hands on big fresh prawns, I can never resist making this dish. It's easy and does not need much ingredients cos fresh prawn themselves are already deliciously sweet and tasty.
All you need is to trim off those pokey edges of the prawns and marinate with some sea salt. When dinner is about to be served, heat up some olive oil in the wok and put in the prawns. Stir-fry till fragrant and serve. This is a dish worth trying cos it doesn't take much effort.
To wash down all those rich food, I've decided to make a simple soup using my vegetable stock (refer to My Malaysian Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner). Bring the vegetable stock to boil and add some greens and black chinese mushrooms. The vegetable I used in the photograph is the chinese 'Thong Hoe" (asian lettuce) but you can substitute it with any green leafy vegetables eg baby spinach, choy sum (flowering cabbage) or chan choy (ceylon spinach). Lastly, sea salt and pepper to taste. Bon appetite!


  • Wow! what a hot blog you got here.
    I must comment as a restauranteur who loves eating, I find that you sure can make the simplest dishes seem so delicious. That salted egg and porridge sure brought back old cravings. Your interesting pumpkin curry send me straight to the wok and it sure taste yummy as mentioned.
    Girl, if you cut your first publication, I want it on my bookshelve....perhaps even a cook show. I sense passion brewing and your natural talent for foods make me see a double of Malaysia's version of nigella bite!!

  • You are one awfully good recipe blogger... I hope you don't mind but I will be taking all if not some of your recipes to my grave.... I really have to start cooking these recipes of yours

  • Thank you for liking my blog, do try all the recipes and let me know the results. You may modify them as you go along to suit your taste buds. As for me hot and spicy is always welcome.And btw don't grave so soon, many more posts to come.


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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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