Saturday, 31 December 2011

My Secret Recipe: Nasi Lemak Sotong

Nasi Lemak used to be my everyday breakfast when I was still a small boy. When I said everyday I do mean EVERY MORNING I ate a pack of nasi lemak, either with sambal sotong (squid cooked in chili paste) , sunny top, fried chicken or just nasi lemak biasa, the one without any top-up especially during school break. All these happened at a town where I grown up -- Shah Alam.

At Shah Alam, nasi lemak stalls can be seen almost everywhere. Its the commonest food available in the morning, where people who are rushing to work will stop by to get a pack or two of nasi lemak, fried meehun or kuih as breakfast. Its so convenient that most of the nasi lemak stalls open in front of their own house or just beside the bus stop!

Back then, my mom always buy us nasi lemak from a Malay "Mak Cik" (synonym of "aunty") who stayed not far from our house. I can't clearly remember her name, but what left in my memory was her always-happy voice and the beautiful daughter... AHEM... I mean her spicy sambal and aromatic rice cooked in rich coconut milk. Not forget to mention about the sambal sotong which is sweeter compared to the normal sambal. I often asked for extra fried  ikan bilis (anchovies) because I love the blend of crunchiness with spiciness.

This is my version of nasi lemak, based of my memory for how a nasi lemak should be. Its not difficult to cook you don't have to watch movie 《Nasi Lemak 2.0》 or follow Namewee's pathway to learn how to cook a nice nasi lemak. Here is my recipe where I learnt from my memory of how to prepare a good Nasi Lemak Sotong:

For the sambal:
Onion, big: 3
Shallot: 5
Garlic: 3 cloves
Chili paste (Chili "Boh"): 3 big spoon (to taste)
Salt: To taste
Brown sugar: To taste
Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
Cooking Oil

Finely chopped the onion, garlic and shallot, leave aside. Blend all the remaining in a blender / food processor thoroughly until its smooth. You can add more cooking oil if the mixture is not blend properly. Taste it, I always let my tongue and nose to learn if I got a right ingredient and amount. 
Over hot pan, brown the onion and shallot before add in the blended stuffs. Shimmer it. NEVER add in too much water, we don't want our sambal become a curry! Once the sambal is cooked with right taste, add in the squid.

Sotong (Squid):
Get a medium size "sotong kering" (dried squid) from any wet market. "Sotong kering" is a squid which was dried for storage and before is sold to the customer, the stall owner will soak it with some kind of alkaline or plain water to "restore" it. A few mm thick of dried squid will expand to nearly double its thickness, interesting?!! If you are not from Malaysia, feel free to substitute it with any kind of squid.

For the rice:
2 cups of rice (for 2-3 persons)
Coconut milk, preferably fresh from shredded coconut
otherwise 1 small pack of prepacked coconut milk
1 small teaspoon of salt
1 inch of ginger, slice
Don't forget water for cooking the rice

If you are from Malaysia / Asian, I am sure you know how to use a rice cooker. Just follow "half-finger rule": add water to the rice pot for about "half-a-finger" height from the top layer of the rice. That's inclusive of coconut milk in this case.

Anchovies, 1 small bowl, deep fried.
Boiled egg, 2 (1 person each, add more if you like)
Cucumber, 1

Brown the shallot, garlic and onion

Deep fried anchovies

Squid cooked in sambal

Dang! Dang! Dang! This is how my nasi lemak looks like!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Spice Master (Noodle World) @ Jalan Penampang, KK

I was told by the waitress the Spice Master Restaurant near Borneo Resthouse is splitted into two different kind of cuisine: The one I visited at the first floor is the noodle specialty, while the space at the ground floor is the BBQ and Steamboat restaurant, which was yet to open during my visit.


Spice Master Noodle World serves Chinese style ramen with porky soup, with some other types of noodles and broth base for you to choose. We ordered the Ramen with Dumpling and Pork Bone Soup, and the Potato Noodle with Smoked Duck.

Spice Master

Ice Lemon Tea

Popular dishes

Fish cake

Ramen with Dumpling (RM11.90)
This was recommended by the waiter but I don't get it why the dumpling is fried one instead of the normal dumpling.

Potato Noodle with Smoked Duck Breast (RM10.90)

Foods: 13/20 (Small portion, stingy meat despite the price tag)
Drinks: 18/20 (Very nice ice lemon tea!)
Environment: 17/20 (Clean)
Service: 12/20
Price: 14/20 (Expecting more meat at this price)

11.30am - 3pm

1, Lorong Gunung Perlis,
Taman Fraser, Jalan Penampang,
88200, Kota Kinabalu


View Spice Master in a larger map

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Bridge No.8 @ Sim-sim Floating Village, Sandakan

If you ask me what is the MUST TRY food when visiting Sandakan, I strongly recommend Bridge no.8 at Sim-sim Floating Village. I visit here almost on my every trip to Sandakan, shhh... don't tell my boss...

There are 3 or 4 restaurants lies along the Bridge No. 8 at Sim-sim Floating Village, which is the first bridge when approaching the village area. The next bridges are named no.7, no 6, no. 5 and so on. If you can imaging the concept of a floating village, these bridges were build on the sea connects the land with the floating houses and between houses. Most people ended up at the wrong direction because logically numbers start from smaller figure but it simply don't apply at here. Most of the villagers at Bridge no. 8 are Chinese, but I do saw a few Malays/Muslims houses but anyway when you go right down to the end towards Bridge no. 1, there are more and more Muslims villagers.

This is Sabah's culture, as I always see Muslims visiting the seafood restaurants running by Chinese, who serve Chinese cooking. Its equivalent to Chinese visiting Malay stall, or Indian eating Nasi Kerabu. Personally I prefer Nasi Goreng Kampung over Nasi Goreng Yong Zhao. No problem. There should be no issue of Halal or not because its seafood. Its (suppose) not an issue here at Sabah but I heard some people is telling my Muslims friends that visiting a pork-free, non-Halal certified food outlets are wrong. I see it as a complain from the local Muslim community, that someone "out there" is trying hard to change their mindset. This message (of not visiting non-Halal certified food) is circulated among the Malay newspaper and TV stations owned by "The Cronies". We need not to discuss further here, but this is discrimination and discrimination promoting hatred and should be stop right away.

Sotong Masak Kicap (Baby Squid cooked in Dark Soy Sauce), a MUST TRY when you come to Sandakan. I never see this elsewhere!

Pi-dan Dumpling cooked in soup is another Sandakan's signature dish!
Pi-dan means century egg, a kind of preserved duck's egg that are black in color.

Heong-dai-mai (in Cantonese, 香底米),deep fried thick mee-hun cooked in broth.

Can you see the what kind of seafood inside? Its squid, prawn, fish and scallop!!! No frozen seafood here as Sim-sim is a fish market for the locals.

The price is getting more expensive nowadays but trust me, its 100% cheaper than any seafood you can get from KK and KL!

By the way, I was visiting the stall on the left at the very end of Bridge no.8. Can't remember the name though, but its all the same! Fresh & Delicious!

Foods: 19/20 (Never disappoint me!)
Drinks: 18/20
Environment: 18/20 (Floating restaurant, nice view)
Service: 17/20
Price: 18/20 (RM5 - RM20 per head depends on the food ordered)

Usually 9am - 9pm

Bridge no.8,

Sim-sim Floating Village,
Jalan Buli Sim-sim,
Sandakan, SABAH


View Sandakan Town in a larger map


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