Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11 Elevating my mind & creativity through my senses

A wonderful morning I had even though it was 36ºF/2ºC out today, but I brave myself for another day of bike ride to work. Such lovely day should not be wasted. Not an eventful day, but it was a good one.

Kampua Mee at Rafie Cafe, Sibu. Delicious! :)
Last August, I had a blast, traveled back to my roots for  4Fs ~ family, friends, food and fun! :) I still miss my family and the food, after a couple of months back into reality, work and daily routine. Recently, I tried recreating what I still crave, The Kampua Mee of Sibu. My first taste of Kampua Mee was at Rafie Cafe in Sibu, Sarawak, during one of the most spontaneous and best trip I had -- driving from Kuching, Sarawak to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, with my sister and her 2 girlfriends. Simply delicious. With just little ingredients, the noodle satisfies all your taste buds. Since then, I have been craving for more. Too bad, we were in Sibu for only a few hours, stopping by for lunch and Durian.

Now, back in my own kitchen, I tried to recreate the Kampua Mee through my taste buds memory. Below is what I would think some of the ingredients would be, but with a twist as I am being my own cook.

Kampua Mee Style Noodle How-to.
My version of 'Kampua Mee' Style Noodle.
5-6 shallots
3-4 ( i like it a lot)  cloves of garlic
half a teaspoon dried chili flakes
3 tablespoon olive oil
half a cup of raw Shrimp (cut to smaller pieces, as I find that it flavors better in cut into small pieces.)
a cup of cut Gailan (optional)
a cup of sliced carrots (optional)
1 packet ( 1lb) of Hongkong style noodle ( pre cooked noodle)
2 tablespoon of light soy sauce.
Salt and pepper to taste.

my 'Kampua Mee' style noodle.
Heat up oil on medium, add onion and let oil infused the onion for about 5-10 minutes, Add garlic, do the same. Let the onion and garlic in the oil for about another 10 minutes, keeping the heat on medium till the onion and garlic gets caramelized. Add in half a teaspoon of chili flakes. less if you like it less spicy. I like mine a bit with heat. I added Gailan & Carrots for my recipe. You can omit this if you like. Mix well for about 5 minutes, then add in the Noodle. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients well for about 10- 15 minutes, making sure the noodles are well blended well with flavors of the oil.

Cooking takes less then 30 minutes for this dish. I hope you'll try them and you will like this simple but flavorful dish.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bahasa Sarawak Mensia : Bahasa Sarawak Lama - Sarawak Classic Malay VI

Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5  | Part 6 
(roll over image below for its description)

Beautiful brass earrings worn by Orang Ulu
...continuation of my part 5. My sister, Nim, sent me some more words recently. This will be part of an ongoing collection and translation that I have been doing. Read the main page for more info on this language translation project I am doing. Enjoy.

I will be doing it in 3 languages, Bahasa Sarawak, Bahasa Malaysia and English ** it is not yet refined in any terms or category nor arranged in an alphabetical order as it is a work in progress

**make known that there are many words that are spelled with 'k' at the end and any word with the " ' " is with a silent 'k' in pronunciation, with an abrupt stop to the word. Any word without  the " ' " please emphasize on the "k" sound.
Also referred to as a glottal stop. A very important info given to me by Suhaila Saee:) thanks Su:)

Below are samples of why the glottal stop is important to each word spelled and used correctly.

sa' ja' (sak jak) : walaupun - even though
sak ati : sakit ati - annoyed

the word '
sak' here is spelled the same but with a different pronounciation and meaning. the use of " ' " is very important to denote that each is different.
before I begin, tips with pronunciation in Sarawak Malay:
a = ä as in Father
e = e as in Term
é = é as in Let
i = ee as in Bee
o = o as in No , Toe
u = u as in Took, Put
ei,ey, ay = as in Day, Pay,

ng = word begins with 'ng' as in thing
ny = word begins with 'ny' as in banyak [banyak means more in English]

reference for ny from:
Retroflex nasal  / rujukan untuk ny dari: Sengauan lelangit

**In Sarawak dialect, the way you pronounces words with 'R' are also different. Emphasis on the 'R' are as if there are 2 'r's with an 'h' = 'rrh' , not rolling end of your tongue but using the back of your throat. Guttural Sound.
Below are words collected from conversation between my sister and her colleague, Hairani Bujang on May 21st 2011. Some words may have been translated before, but just in case I won't miss anything, I will repeat some here.

tekot : skirt
godang: - klinik/gudang  - clinic or warehouse
melampar:  berselarak  - a mess
mengarei / mengambor (mengaray/mengambor) : berselarak - messy/scattered/clutter
skoh pioh/sekoh pioh :  bergegas - swagger/ in a rush/hurry/exuberant
encébér / cébér-cébér (enceber/ceber-ceber) : terkeluar  - refering to things coming out of place
encuér (encuer) : jongang - referring to protruding teeth
ngelébé' (ngelebek) : tanda permulaan tangis (pergerakan pada bibir)pout/pouting (before crying)
beranggong : merangkak ?,  crawling ( as in baby crawling)
betétér (berteter) bertatih - toddle
pagu/pak: ?,  ledge
baju séndar (sendar): baju tidak bertangan - singlet/tank top/sleeveless pullover
baju pelanén (baju pelanen) : baju melayu - Malay traditional attire for men
sabok: samping - a skirt piece attire worn by men as part of a complete Malay Attire
sabok 2 jari: cara mengguna samping -  way of wearing the 'skirt piece' for Baju Melayu
kain cukin [kain salin lepas mandik ] : kain persalinan  lepas mandi - a piece of cloth to use after taking a shower
berjerépét (berjerepet) : digunakan untuk merujuk pada mata bengkak - always referring to swollen eyes
bigi' kedaong (bigik kedaong) :  biji kedawung/kedaung -  Parkia javanica
bigi' kedaong (bigik kedaong) :  digunakan untuk merujuk pada mata -  a word use to refer to one's eyes
bigi' umbi' (bigik umbik): - akar umbi /permulaan-penghujung - head or tail / beginning or ending

contoh ayat - sentence
eg sik tauk bigik umbik ku crita kau ya /  kita sik tauk bigik umbik tang ada jak di anoknya : Tak tahu akar umbi cerita kamu tu  / kita tak tahu hujung pangkal terus dimarahnya kita  - I do not know the beginning or end of what you're saying / I have no idea what its all about and I still got scolded

ano' (anok)  : marah - scold
tua bigi' / tua ija (tua bigik) : budak berfikiran dan begaya seperti orang dewasa - a kid who acts and thinks like an adult
nyerudu' (nyeruduk)   [itit nyeruduk aik juruk or nyeruduk nya gugok] : itik seruduk air longkang / jatuh tersungkur - ducks ? in a small stream /  falling dived face first
buang pelambir / nyeru' - ngajak or ajak ( nyeruk/ ngajak/ajak)  : mengajak/ menjemput - invite
nyangkong:  tumpang sekaki - ?
lampam [kandong masa pengilan] : bekalan selepas kenduri - a 'to-go or take away' box after a reception esp wedding or engagement party
menoés / jemoés (menoes / jemoes) / menais / monyéng(monyeng) - always referring to dirty face esp after eating
ngerelip: kerlipan? - bling bling
ngindin:  to crash on one's lunch or dinner
terémén/trémén (teremen/tremen) : kerawang, renda, patam  - lace (from the word 'lace trimmings' as in things use to decorate)
ngeruit-ngerina:  perkataan kasar digunakan untuk seseorang yang berkeinginan dan tidak sabar untuk berumahtangga pada umur yang terlalu muda ( gatal nak kahwin)  - a harsh word referring to a person who wanted to get married at a very young age
telinga wi' (wik) : bengal - stubborn, temporarily deaf
telinga baja : degil -  stubborn
telinga jabér / telinga jabier (telinga jaber): telinga yang tebal - very thick ears - digunakan untuk mengatakan apabila seseorang yang degil amat - describing a person who is beyond stubborn or hard headed
ngerukut: rambut yang berombak-ombak / ikal mayang   -  curly or wavy hair
ngerétés (ngeretes) - rajin / bergerak dengan pantas/ cepat bekerja tanpa diarah - moving in a fast manner / efficient  / working efficiently without being asked
anak empunok:  anak saudara / udang halus -   referring to kids and krill
nyelepat:  ? -  multitasking (to describe doing more than one thing at a particular time like killing two birds with one stone)
nengong:  mendengar rahsia orang - eavesdrop

with hafeez May 22nd 2011

Sayat:  sayat - slice fine

contoh ayat - sentence
eg :
bedarah tangan kenak sayat pisok
:  tangan berdarah luka terkena pisau -  hands are all bloody after the terrible cut

bebenyin: berkilat hingga menyilaukan mata - a description of an item too shiny till it makes you squint
sigat - rajin - hard working, diligent
rhéh (rheh) - perkataan singkat untuk pureh abbreviation for pureh
puréh (pureh): baka - ancestral line
kela' anta udi' / lagi' (kelak antar udik/lagik) :  - nanti hantar lagi - will send some more to you again later
puang: kosong  - empty
basah renyah: basah kuyup -  soaked / drenched
lebor laor:
- basah kuyup -  soaked / drenched
negam:  terpacak berdiri tanpa bergerak - static
alu / lalu: lalu - after that / then

contoh ayat - sentence eg :
Bilanya nangga boss datang, alu bediri negam sia jaknya.
Bila dia ternampak boss datang, terus terpacak berdiri tak bergerak dekat situ.
He went static when he saw the boss coming his way.

tekunyap-kunyap: kunyah - chewing
merejok: ?, ?
nabun/menabun: berlari dengan lajunya - sprint

najo:  laju  - super fast
colop: berhenti ditengah permainan - stopping during a game
kudik/buak: ?, ?
kelas: berkerut/lisut - shrivel/shrink

with Dot & Azzah June, 15&16th 2011
ékot (ekot) : ikut - follow
lan :
jom - lets
pesi' (pesik) : tanggalkan (untuk pakaian di badan) - take off ( for clothing on the body)

my explaination to my niece of the difference between Literally in English and ARUM BULA' (BULAK) in Sarawak Malay

LITERALLY is exactly doing how it is or written, and ARUM BULAK is so-so, or ALMOST to the exact or similar thing, there comes the word bulak , ARUM is like nearest to ( or to include ) OR ( making an exaggeration of a situation)  It's like 'AS IF IT'S' and as for MUN, it's like saying 'IF', (which Azzah said correctly) 'Literally' is doing exactly the same as asked or written. Word for word.

An anonymous writer commented in part 5, and I include the answer I wrote here

"Boleh explain word 'tek' "  - maksud & penggunaan

Tek: Tadi - just now /just
•perkatan yang di tambah bila berbicara - a word that is added during a conversation
•digunakan hanya untuk beberapa seketika; beberapa saat atau minit - only refers to a few seconds or minutes ago.

contoh ayat - sentence eg :
Apa polah kitak tek? : Apa yang kamu buat tadi - What did you do just now?


Apa padah kitak tek? : Apa yang kamu kata tadi? - What did you just say? 

to be continued...

Bahasa Lamak Serawak tok dikumpul dari :

Bahasa Lama Sarawak ini adalah koleksi dari :
These Sarawak Classic are a collection of words are form:

Hazel Hazelina, Ariffin Kifle aka aPayne, Amla Kamal, Hj.Suhaili b. Hj Wahed Embai & Hjh Niah bt. Seman, Ayahanda Hj Bolhassan Rais & Bonda Hjh Fauziah Umar, Rashidah, Ranimah, Noraisah Hj Bolhassan; Suhaila, Bokhari & Juaini Saee; Muriyadi Basri, Hj Saee b. Adon. & Hadiah Abg Zainuddin, Haffiz Abdul Latip, Lita McPherson, Sonny Kushairi, Surie & Sarbini Hussein, Maria Shamit, Afique & Azzah Muriyadi, Dayangku Noorfazidah Awang Sh'ri, Reza Mohamad, Nurul Izzati Aveiro, Rudzaimeir Roza Malek, Zurwina Sharkawi, Alynawaty Hajmi, Dr Kamil Salem, Tina Marikan, Filzah Affendi, Susana Salleh-Weekes, Leez Rahman, Haniz Wilson, Faridah Abdul Hamid, Rafeedah Morshidi, Dayang Norazan Zain, Irma Osman, Yasmin Mae, Hamidah Ahmad, Sharifah Wahani Syed Johan, Danish Nadzmi, Sepuk (forgive me if I do not know your real name,) Mazillurza (or Azrullizam,) Amizain Al-Edrus, Roslan Misa, Zakiah Ahmat, Ramona Ariffin, N Azura Szly, Rohana Kiprawi, Hafizul Hakim, Encik Dzul, Ithnani Apandi, Habibah Norden Harvey, Abg Moasili a.k.a. Moss, Nazaruddin Hj Hamit a.k.a. Naza, Melanie Merikan, Hairani Bujang, Hafeez Ideris...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Masala Vadai aka Cucur Rodei

Masala Vadai, or Cucur Rodei  we call it back home. One of my favorite savory snack food. My mom knows me too well and always reminded me in case I ever forget:)  She knows I always look forward to my favorite Cucur Rodei from this one Indian lady at her small spot in Kuching Sunday Market, buying a bag full to bring home to family, with extra eaten with freshly squeezed sugarcane juice on my way home. Heaven! I can eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her Cucur Rodei is perfectly cooked, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Thank you Auntie, for the best Cucur Rodei in Kuching! Nothing beats this.

Recently with my crazy cravings for food from home, I cannot just go out and get one like I used to. I have to make some myself and I had tried making these before, perfecting the recipe each time through taste bud memory and with the help of the world wide web. What I thought all those while, that the lady's famous masala vadai has dried shrimp, I was so wrong. The flavorful taste of it tricked me, and I did a few trial and error till this came out. This is one full vegetarian snack that you would love, entirely.

For my friend Rosalind, here's my simple recipe for my Masala Vadai.

Main ingredients

Masala Vadai ~
by FreezerNinja
1 lb of Chana Dhal ( soaked 4-6 hours or overnight)
One medium Onion
1-2 fresh Chillie ( or you can also use dry chillies, ground, some people like it cut in pieces or 1 teaspoon of chillie flakes) ~ heat of chillies to each one's taste bud
2 tablespoon of chopped Parsley (optional * I love the flavor of parsley in my mix)
2 tablespoon of chopped Cilantro
2 tablespoon of chopped Curry leaves ( fresh or dry)
1 teaspoon of Coriander powder ( you can use Coriander seeds and grind them coarsely instead of powder, I love these to create more texture)
1 teaspoon of Cumin ( ground or whole)
1 teaspoon of salt ( to taste)
Oil for frying


1. Grind Chana Dhal coarsely, not fine.
2. Grind Onion with Chillie, Parsley, Cilantro and Curry leaves together.
3. Add ingredient 2 into 1. Add Salt to taste, Cumin & Coriander to the mixture.
4. Make into balls and flattened into patties.
5. Heat enough oil for frying.
6. Drop each of the patties gently into the hot oil.
7. Fry about 4-6 mins, flip them once you've seen the sides get golden brown but make sure not to disturb them before this happens or else will break  and get it crumbly in the oil if its not cooked & adhere to each bean.
8. Deep fry till golden brown.
9. Take it out of the fryer, on a rack to get access oil out or on a paper towel.

Crunchy on the outside, medium soft on the inside. Yummmm!

I hope you would love these as much as I do. Its a flavorful & fiberful snack. Vegetarian all the way!:)

Note: I did try baking them, instead of frying, I put them on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and bake them till it is golden brown. I find that it gets a bit too dry, but not so bad. I still prefer it fried. Double yumm!:)

Enjoy, All:)

Monday, February 21, 2011

From Red Turtle to Red Velvet

ang ku kueh sans mold
my very first Ang Ku Kueh made, sans mold
Once very young, I always look forward to my Mom's question, 'Do you want to go out to the 'Pasar'* with me?" My eyes would say, 'Yes!' before my voice came out! At this age, I am thinking selfishly that I am my mother's only child. ~I am in my own world, but I love you no less dearest sisters and I am thankful to have all of you & will never ever trade you for any luxuries in this world. :)

These are times I treasure most, I would create a mental album of images around me. I was only half the height of my own petite beautiful mother. Everything is big. One image among many caught my attention ~ A stall near the bus station with arrays of delicacies, desserts. One particular Chinese dessert. The most beautiful, in my mind ~ Red, delicate with beautiful pattern embossed, oval shaped dessert placed nicely on an oval cut banana leaf. That time, I must feel like I have eyes of a goldfish ~ goggling, snapping, capturing all those beautiful colors. I would just stared quietly, never dare to ask if I can have some, only if my mom offers to.

Years may have passed, it still sticks with me ~ that bright red kueh* at the stall. Till one day, at school, a friend gave me a bite. What a delicious treat! Where can I have one, more? That was my very first Ang Ku Kueh. Such delicate skin with not too sweet of a filling, fills my brain with happiness. Oh, so good!

That seems eons ago and recently, craving for one. I cannot get one here and have never made one either. I searched for recipes and found a few. One from MyKitchenSnippets, caught my most attention. Comparing ingredients with what is available to me here. No mold, I thought. No steamer, I will improvise. No problem. The taste is key and the color of course. Why the color? Ang is Red in Chinese and Ku is Turtle. Hence its name, Ang Ku Kueh. Red Turtle Dessert.

Only after my first time making this, I know now why it is different from most Malay dessert. The filling and the ingredient in its skin. Two key and very healthy ingredient. Mung Bean and Sweet Potatoes. They are fiber loaded.

Ang Ku Kueh Recipe

1 cup of mung bean
2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup of sugar

2 cups of glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup hot water
a few drops of red food coloring

ang ku kueh how to
Ingredients with step by step images

1. Soak mung bean overnight and steam till soft.
2. Steam Sweet potatoes till cooked.
3. Add the steamed mung bean while its still warm with canola oil and sugar into a blender. Blend till smooth.
4. In a bowl, mix glutinous rice flour, sugar, mashed sweet potatoes, add in hot water and mix into a dough.
5. Add in a few drops of red food coloring, and knead into the dough.
6. Get the steamer ready, here I am using a wok with a rack and layered with banana leaves.
7. Make the filling into balls.
8. Divide the dough into 16 balls. Flatten dough, put the filling in the center and start pinching, closing the dough to form a ball.

red and orange ang ku kueh
Before & After. Red & Orange Ku.
9. Rubbing a little bit of oil on each, then put them on the banana leaf in the steamer. Steam for 8 minutes.
10. Cool and serve. Yumm.

I made a batch without the red coloring and had the natural sweet potatoes orange color for the skin.

cross section ang ku kueh
Chomp! to give you the cross section:)
cross section ang ku kueh
Orange Ku - naturally colored with sweet potatoes as one of the ingredients


* Pasar ~ Market; kueh ~ sweet dessert in Malay

Added March 6th, 2011.

ang ku mold
Ang Ku mold . Thanks Julia!:)
I got this yesterday in my mail from a friend, Julia Lim:) Thanks so much Julia.

before steam Ang Ku
my first trial, a bit too big for the mold.
Ang Ku Kueh
the finish product, Ang Ku Kueh. The way I first saw it


From my love for Red Turtle Dessert to my fascination of Red Velvet Cake.

Red Velvet Cupcake
Red Velvet Cupcake
The famous southern dessert which made me stare at the TV every time a chef makes them. May it be on a throwdown, or a regular food show, I am glued to the screen.

Finally, I had an urge to make it last Christmas for gifts. I found out how easy it is to make this. The recipe search started, comparing each one that I have seen and at last, I found three that I like very much and used this recipe.

From cupcake to the ice cream cone.
I am on a Red Velvet cupcake baking mode!:) I made a regular cupcake and the other putting them in an ice cream cone. Kudos to those who came up with this brilliant idea:) perfect for a little kid's party cake.
Red Velvet process

These are images from my trials in my magic kitchen. My therapeutic space.

Red Velvet in Ice Cream Cone
Red Velvet in Ice Cream Cone

I hope you will try and enjoy them as much as I did. Click this recipe. Happy Baking!:)