• Food,  Lifestyle,  Recipes

    Kangkung Recipes For The Thrifty Malaysians

    It’s all over the Internet, your Facebook timeline, newspapers and even in mamak conversations. Oh yes, it’s official – Kangkung has become the talk of town in Malaysia!

    In case you don’t really comprehend the sudden obsession Malaysians have with the vegetable, just take a quick read at our 10 Best Kangkung Memes of 2014 piece. You can thank us for your daily dose of laughter after you read the post

    Jokes aside, kangkung is a hardy and leafy vegetable that can be quite palatable when cooked right. However, it is undeniable that the most common way of cooking this vegetable is to stir fry it with sambal belachan. Don’t get us wrong though, we absolutely love sambal belacan; it’s just that sometimes a little variety is needed. Right?

    That in mind, and in case kangkung is further used to measure the health of our nation, here are a few kangkung recipes that might come in handy for hungry (and thrifty) Malaysians.

    Adobong Kangkong
    Recipe and photo from Wok with Ray. 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb pork belly or any other meat (cut into 1 inch cubes)
    • 1 bunch kangkung (Remove the bottom part of the stem)
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup palm vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 1 tbsp. finely-minced garlic

    Instructions:

    1. Heat wok over high heat.
    2. Add in pork belly, soy sauce, vinegar, water, pepper, and garlic.
    3. Allow to boil, then turn heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally to distribute the sauce.
    4. Cover and continue cooking until meat is tender.
    5. Transfer sauce to a bowl but leave the pork belly in the wok.
    6. Keep stirring until oil start coming out of the pork belly and the meat starts to brown. (For other meat, a little oil can be added to prevent burning)
    7. Add the kangkung and sauté for about two minutes.
    8. Add the sauce back to the wok.
    9. Let the sauce boil. Keep stirring and turning for about 2 minutes.

    Thai Deep Fried Kangkung
    Recipe from Tara, Let’s Eat.

    Ingredients for Deep Fried Kangkung:

    • Leaves from 1 bunch kangkung, washed and dried
    • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
    • Salt to taste
    • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
    • Cold water

    Ingredients for Dipping Sauce:

    • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
    • Vinegar (according to your preference)
    • Salt and pepper (to taste)
    • Chili powder (optional)
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    Instructions:

    1. To make the dipping sauce, simply mix all ingredients together.
    2. For the deep fried kangkung, mix flour, cornstarch, ground pepper, onion, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
    3. Add cold water enough to make a thick batter.
    4. Coat each leaf with the batter and fry until crispy.
    5. Drain on paper towels and serve with the dipping sauce.

    Creamy Kangkung And Pumpkin (Kangkung and Pumpkin Masak Lemak)
    Recipe from Handmade R.

    Ingredients:

    • 500 grams kangkung (approximately one bunch)
    • 500 grams pumpkin (peeled and cubed)
    • *2 tsp. ikan bilis
    • *3 small onions (peeled and finely chopped)
    • *1 big onion (peeled and finely chopped)
    • *5 cili padi
    • *1 inch of fresh turmeric
    • *3 slices of ginger
    • 500 ml of coconut milk
    • Salt to taste

    Instructions:

    1. Pound together all the ingredients marked *
    2. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add pounded ingredients
    3. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until its fragrance rises. Be careful not to char it.
    4. Add coconut milk and bring to simmer.
    5. Add pumkin and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until almost tender.
    6. Add kangkung and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until stalks are just tender. Stir frequently.
    7. Season with salt to taste.
  • Food,  Lifestyle,  Recipes

    Making Strawberry Santas For Christmas

    Here’s a nifty Christmas delight that you can make effortlessly in a jiffy – Strawberry Santas!

    I’ll be frank – I’m no Martha Stewart when it comes to home decorations (even though much less could be said about the lifestyle guru’s photography skills). Which is why I was extremely happy when I came across this simple but oh so impressive Christmas creation!

    Strawberry Santas are sweet treats that are fool proof and a cinch to make. All you need to do is:

    1. Hull the bigger end of the strawberry so that it has a flat base.
    2. Cut the tip off to form the hat and body pieces.
    3. Stand the bigger berry piece and spoon/pipe on whipped cream.
    4. Gently top it with the smaller strawberry piece.
    5. Decorate with chocolate bits or/and candy pieces.

    And here’s the best part: while they are great dessert treats on their own, these Strawberry Santas can also be used to decorate cakes, cupcakes or even as ice cream toppers. Pretty awesome right! Just take a look at these awesome ideas below.

    Also, don’t worry if you’re not so keen on whipped cream, because bananas and cream cheese work well too!

    So what are waiting for – it’s time to go get some strawberries!

  • Food,  Lifestyle,  Recipes

    [Recipe] Sambal Tomato

    Forget the usual sambal belacan, this one made with tomato is the bomb!

    Our favourite chef, Marina Mustafa shares with us her unique sambal tomato for you to try this weekend. Here a tip – pan frying the ingredients first in oil and allowing the flavours to develop makes this sambal much more richer in taste. It has the “freshness” factor with the added benefit of tomatoes! As with any sambal, she reckons the pestle and mortar will be a great tool to combine all the flavours together.

    The best part is you can use the sambal as a dip with long beans, deep fried aubergines, fresh julienne cucumbers, deep fried tofu and tempeh.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 1 whole ripe & firm tomato, quartered
    • A large handful of birds-eye chillies
    • 10 shallots (bawang merah kecil)
    • A thumb-sized shrimp paste, roasted
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar

    Method:

    1. Heat the oil in a pan.

    2. Fry the shrimp paste, shallots, bird’s-eye chillies and tomatoes till all the ingredients become soft & limp.

    3. Remove from the pan and place everything in a mortar. Pound it gently with a pestle.

    4. Flavour with salt & sugar. Combine all the flavours.

    5. Serve in a little bowl and perfect to be eaten with white rice or dipped with vegetables!

    Marina Mustafa is a celebrated chef who is often sought after for her simple cooking method and fuss-free style. She has contributed to various publications and appeared in cooking programmes on TV. Always cheerful and bubbly in person, her treasure throve of recipes are available here.

  • Food,  Lifestyle,  Recipes

    [Recipe] New England Clam Chowder

    It’s creamy and it’s oh-so-delicious, here’s a recipe you can try at home!

    This historical dish is well-loved for centuries and if you have tasted one, you know the cream-based chowder yields much flavours and texture. Traditionally, it contains potatoes and onions but there are a couple of different ways to make chowder. The New England recipe is creamy, while the Manhattan clam chowder is clear broth as with the Rhode Island. These are just a few of the famous ones.

    Chef Marina Mustafa shares with us her own recipe that is sure to whet your appetite.

    New England Clam Chowder

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 tbsp of butter
    • 1 cup of finely chopped onions
    • 3 tbsp flour
    • 1 cup of water
    • 2 medium-sized potatoes, cubed
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 cup cream
    • 1 cup clams, cleaned & diced (Steam for 10 mins if using fresh clams)

    Method:

    1. Melt butter in a pan.
    2. Sautee’ the onions till limp and transparent.
    3. Put in the flour & stir till combined.
    4. Pour in the water gradually, then put in the cubed potatoes.
    5. Season with salt & pepper.
    6. Cook covered on medium fire for 15 minutes or till potatoes are done.
    7. Reduce the heat and pour in the milk & cream.
    8. Lastly, put in the clams and cook for a further 5 minutes.
    9. Do not allow the Clam Chowder to boil. Just allow it to heat through.
    10. Serve with bread, or better still, crackers!

    Marina Mustafa is a celebrated chef who is often sought after for her simple cooking method and fuss-free style. She has contributed to various publications and appeared in cooking programmes on TV. Always cheerful and bubbly in person, her treasure throve of recipes are available here.

  • Food,  Recipes

    Ramadhan Recipes With Zespri Kiwi Fruits & Chef Rohani Jelani

    Last week we shared with you how kiwi fruits can help you during the upcoming Ramadhan month. And here’s another interesting fact – not only do these tangy fruits taste great fresh, but they’re also equally yummy when incorporated in our daily dishes!

    In conjunction of the upcoming fasting and Raya month, Zespri Malaysia teams up with Chef Rohani Jelani to create some delicious Ramadhan recipes using Zespri kiwi fruits! Here are four of our top favourites;

    Zespri® Kiwifruit Wedges with Prawn Masak Lemak

    Ingredients (Serve 4):

    • 2 Zespri® Green Kiwifruit, cut into wedges
    • 300 g medium prawns, left unshelled
    • 1 red chilli cut into 2 cm slices
    • 5 – 6 chilli padi
    • 5 shallots, sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • 1 cm ginger, sliced
    • 1 cm turmeric root, sliced
    • 1 turmeric leaf, tied into a knot
    • 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
    • 2 tbsp. oil
    • 150 ml water
    • 200 ml thick coconut milk
    • Salt to taste

    Directions:

    1) Leave the shells of the prawn on but the heads. Split prawns down the back and remove sand track. Rinse briefly, drain well and set aside.

    2) Place chilli padi, red chilli, shallots, garlic, ginger and turmeric in an electric blender. Add 1⁄4 cup water and grind to a fine paste.

    3) Heat oil in medium size pan over moderate heat. Add the ground paste and lemon grass, fry until mixture is fragrant and a little dry (about 5 minutes).

    4) Add in 150ml water and half of the coconut milk. Bring mixture to boil.

    5) Add prawns, turmeric leaf and salt to taste. Cook gently for 8 – 10 minutes or until prawns are pink and firm.

    6) Add remaining coconut milk and boil mixture gently before adding in kiwi fruit wedges. Remember to stir gently at all the time to prevent the coconut milk from curdling. Turn off heat after 5 minutes and serve.

    Zespri® Kiwifruit & Green Chilli Sambal with Salad Platter

    Ingredients (Serve 4):

    • 2 Zespri® Green Kiwifruit, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 4 – 5 green chillies, cut into 3 cm lengths
    • 10 green chilli padi kept whole
    • 4 shallots, cut into halves
    • 10 g belacan (roasted shrimp paste)
    • 3 tbsp. oil
    • 3⁄4 tsp. sea salt
    • Juice from 4 calamansi limes (about 2 tbsp.)

    Directions:

    1) Heat oil in a small pan

    2) Add in both type of chillies, shallots and belacan. Cook on medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes or until chillies and shallots are slightly charred around the edges.

    2) Add kiwifruit, stir around for a minute and take pan off the heat.

    3) Transfer contents of the pan into a granite mortar/food processor. Add salt and lime juice and pound/pulse until well combined. Taste and if necessary, adjust seasonings.

    3) Serve sambal with ulam, grilled or fried fish.

    Spicy Zespri® Kiwifruit Kerabu Meehon

    Ingredients (Serve 4):

    For the kerabu:

    • 2 Zespri® Green Kiwifruit
    • 1⁄2 cup grated coconut
    • 100g meehoon (rice noodles)
    • 150g shelled/de-veined prawns, poached
    • 50g dried prawns, fried in oil till crisp
    • 6 shallots, thinly sliced
    • 1 small bunga kantan (torch ginger bud), finely sliced
    • 1 cup pea shoots
    • 40g finely shredded carrots
    • 1⁄2 cup mint leaves

    For the chilli dressing:

    • 3 red chillies
    • 10g belacan (roasted shrimp paste)
    • 3 tbsp. calamansi lime juice
    • 1 1⁄2 tablespoon fish sauce

    Directions:

    1) Remove seeds from 2 of the chillies and slice. Place chillies, shrimp paste, lime juice and fish sauce in an electric blender and blend to a fine paste. Set aside.

    2) Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and pour hot water to cover. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes or until tender (taste to check). Drain well and set aside.

    3) Peel and slice kiwi fruits (approx. 0.5 cm thick). Set aside and chill while you prepare remaining ingredients.

    4) Toast grated coconut over low heat, stirring constantly until crisp and golden brown. Set aside.

    5) Place blanched (warm) noodles in mixing bowl, add in prepared dressing and toss well.

    6) Add blanched and dried prawns, shallots, bunga kantan, pea shoots and carrots. Toss gently to combine.

    7) Add prepared kiwi fruit and mint leaves last.

    8) Transfer into serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled toasted coconut. Serve immediately.

    Zespri® Kiwifruit, Ginger and Mint Soda

    Ingredients (Serve 4):

    • 2 Zespri® Green Kiwifruit, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
    • 40 g ginger, peeled and crushed
    • 30 g young ginger, thinly sliced
    • 1⁄2 cup mint leaves
    • 800 ml water
    • 2 tins sugar-free soda water, well chilled
    • 2 – 3 cups crushed ice

    Directions:

    1) Place crushed ginger and water into a small pan and bring to boil.

    2) Turn down heat and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until water is reduced to 700 – 600 ml.

    3) Strain liquid and discard ginger. Cool completely and chill till cold.

    4) When close to serving time, place ginger water, crushed mint leaves and ginger slices together in a large jug.

    5) Add crushed ice, top with chilled soda water and add kiwifruit slices. Serve immediately.

    All recipes are provided by Chef Rohani Jelani of Bayan Indah Culinary Retreat. For more information on Bayan Indah, please proceed to their official website or their Facebook Page.

  • Food,  Recipes,  VenusMaxisFeed

    Healthy Juice And Smoothie Recipes For A Better Wellbeing!

    Although I understand that consuming heaps of fruits and vegetables is crucial for a good wellbeing, I do admit that I am sometimes (perhaps even many times) bored of them.

    This had then resulted in me mixing and creating liquid concoctions of the healthy and green kind! Juicing and making smoothies are a great way of consuming your daily dose of fruits and veggies, because let’s face it – I can’t be the only one who’s bored of munching pear cubes and celery sticks on their own!

    Liquefying fruits and veggies is also a great way to get essential vitamins, minerals and fibre into fussy eaters, specially kids! Also, did you know that by juicing or making smoothies, you’d be able to consume a larger amount of greens? However, do note that one should not entirely omit out eating fruits and veggies – juices and smoothies should only be added into your diet and not as a replacement. Treat them as a tasty delight, or whenever you feel lazy to chew on that daily apple.

    Be they watery goodness or pulpy wonders, here are some juice and smoothie recipes to give your systems a healthy boost;

    Gut-calmer (for anti-inflammatory purposes). This will help to tone and heal the inflammation in your gut.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 carrots
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1 green apple
    • 2 stalks of celery
    • ½ a lemon
    • a handful of fresh parsley
    • 1 inch piece of ginger

    Tips and variations: Sprinkle juice with turmeric for a nice finishing. You can also use sweeter apples (e.g. Fuji) or even pears! Also, why not try including some beets – not only are they great for cleansing the blood and colon, the juice’s colour will also turn completely into a nice reddish tone!

    Recipe based off Get Real 4 Healthy 

    Sweet Green Flush (relieves digestive system). As apples aid in digestion and improves bowel function, this is good for those looking to calm down their digestive system.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 green apple
    • 1 pear
    • 1⁄2 inch fresh ginger
    • 1 lemon, peeled
    • 1 cup spinach

    Tips and variations: Add in a carrot or two to help eliminate excess water from the body!

    Recipe based off MBG 

    The Healing Cleanser (for an overall healthier wellbeing). This smoothie comes with a slew of health benefits due to its chosen ingredients –pineapples to cleanse the intestines and kidneys, ginger to get rid of gas, and celery is generally full of vitamin C!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 celery
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1 cup cilantro & parsley
    • 1 lemon (minus the skin and seeds)
    • 2 tbsp ginger
    • 1/3 of a pineapple
    • ½ cup water

    Tips and variations: Just blend on high until mixture is liquify. If you’re looking to turn this to juice, just increase the water amount by a bit and strain liquid!

    Recipe Based Off Young And Raw

    The Kidney Helper (helps cleanse kidneys). Consisting of watermelon, cucumber and lemon juice (which are all excellent natural cleansers) this refreshing smoothie recipe can help flush away kidneys deposits that may lead to kidney stones.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tbsp. organic parsley (chopped)
    • 1 large lemon (minus the skin and seeds)
    • 1 large organic cucumber (diced with the peel on and seeds kept)
    • As much chilled watermelon as you can fit into the blender

    Tips and variations: Remember to blend well until you can see the parsley leaves finely chopped and the seeds in little pieces. If you can’t seem to get organic cucumbers, use normal ones but peel off the skin. Lastly, it should be known that watermelon doesn’t keep well after being blended, so it’s best to drink the smoothie immediately.

    Recipe Based Off BakeSpace

  • Food,  Recipes

    Easy And Cheesy Homemade Sandwich Spreads!

    If you’re anything like my me, you’re pretty much bored of the usual sandwich spreads like peanut buter, jam, margarine, tuna and nutella. Yes, even nutella!

    Seriously now, even if I added in a slice (or two) of my favourite cheese into my tuna sandwich, I would still lose interest in it before I take my tenth bite! Be it because of an easily-bored nature, or a serious dislike of repetitive food choices (like me), one thing is for sure; a variety of sandwich spreads would definitely do anyone some good. And hey, home-made choices are always a healthier and better choice when compared to the conventional canned and bottled options!

    So, fellow sandwich and bread lovers, here are some simple cheesy sandwich spread recipes for you to try and test on! Make them for your family, your better half, or bring it to work! Or use these recipes as a base to create your own cheesy concoction. Who knows, you might even be the next cheesy spread guru! Oh, and do remember wholemeal bread is always better than white.

     

    Cheesy Apple Slaw

    Ingredients:

    • 1 grated apple (green or red)
    • 50g grated cheese
    • 1 TBsp. mayonnaise
    • 2 medium spring onions (chopped)
    • 1 Tsp. lemon juice
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation: Mix all ingredients together.

    This makes up a spread that can generously spread up to 3 sandwiches. It is especially delicious with wholemeal breads or rolls.

    Recipe based off BBC: GoodFood 

     

    Parmesan Tuna

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can (340g) chunk tuna
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
    • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
    • dash pepper

    Preparation: 

    1. Drain tuna, and mix with bell pepper and green onions in medium bowl.
    2. In small bowl, combine cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, and basil leaves and mix well.
    3. Add mixture into tuna and mix well.

    When covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, this spread can last up to 2 days. Oh, and don’t hesitate to try this recipe out with canned salmon or boiled chicken too!

    Recipe based off Busy Cooks 

     

    Cheese and Basil Chicken Sandwich Filler

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large piece chicken breast
    • 7 TBsp. mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil (chopped)
    • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
    • 3 Stalks celery (finely chopped)
    • 4 Tbsp. grated cheese
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Procedure:

    1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Roast at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Let cool, and chop into chunks.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, basil, garlic and celery. Combine with the chunked chicken and Parmesan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    An alternative method of cooking the chicken is to boil the breast meat (skin and bone in tact) with some salt, garlic and bay leaves until nearly done. Also, you can use light mayonnaise if you’re watching your weight.

    Recipe based off All Recipes