Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day Out with Kids in Semenyih + Recipe for Organic Tomato-Basil Salsa

A couple of months ago, during the school holidays, we wanted to take our kids to the Rabbit Fun Land in Semenyih, but when we got there the place was closed for the day. Kids were really disappointed as they were looking forward to see and feed the rabbits.

On our way in, we noticed a signboard for Ladybird Organic Farm so we went there to have a look. And thank God we did, as they had a small section in the farm whereby they have animals such as rabbits, geese and chicken. Hurrah! :D This put a huge smile on our kids face once again.




Hello rabbits, pleased to meet you :)


Geese


Rooster


Other than visiting the animals, we also got to experience how organic vegetables are cultivated here. Definitely an eye-opener for the kids. First the seeds are sowed into these mini containers, then moved to the plots once they are bigger.




They also have various fruit trees such as papaya..

Passion fruit

Roselle



Checking out the plots where the vegetables are planted in the specially designed greenhouse



Dragon fruit plant


A lovely day out


Feeding time :)


All in all, a great experience for the kids to learn about how vegetables and fruits are grown. There is no entrance fee and they even encourage people to pluck their own vegetables. We bought some organic cherry tomatoes, kailan and nai pak before leaving.  They also have various herbs for sale such as misai kucing, Sabah snake grass, and angelica keiskei.They also deliver their products to Klang Valley, for more info please see their website here.

Note to parents: It can get quite hot here, so do bring a hat and plenty of water for your kids.

 **********

For lunch, we stopped by at a food court called Restoran 77, not far from the farm (at the main road, opposite the Kuil Sri Subramaniar). We randomly ordered some food to share - wantan mee (RM4.30), fishball noodle (RM4.50), Penang char koay teow (RM4), and a plate of char siew (RM5). Pretty decent food and the stall operators are really friendly.






Char koay teow


Ornate Indian temple - Kuil Sri Subramaniar Semenyih



For dinner, we had stir fried organic nai pak that we bought from the farm, and Hubby also made a fresh tomato-basil salsa, which we had with pita bread and minced pork (recipe here). Really tasty! Here's the recipe:


Fresh tomato and basil salsa
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 3-4

Ingredients
20 cherry tomatoes, diced
10 basil leaves, roughly torn
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place ingredients in bowl and mix well with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Store in fridge until required.



Pita bread with tomato-basil salsa and minced pork



Location: Ladybird Organic Farm, Lot 1731, Batu 25,Jalan Broga,43500 Semenyih, Selangor Darul Ehsan. (near University of Nottingham Malaysia campus)
GPS Coordinates: 2.939158, 101.898488


Location: Restoran 77, Batu 21, Jalan Semenyih, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor.
GPS Coordinates: 2.951490, 101.845418


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Monday, April 28, 2014

Recipe: Chinese Stir Fried Egg Noodles (生面 sang meen)

Do you sometimes dream about a certain dish or food, and when you wake up, all you wanna do is cook (or go out hunting for it) and eat it? I have food dreams frequently and recently I  had a dream about 生面 (sang meen), also known as fresh egg noodles. When I woke up, I had a really strong craving for it so I went to the market to get the ingredients to cook this dish.

Chinese-style stir fried egg noodles 生面 (sang meen)


This is one of my favorite Chinese stir fried noodle dishes, and is a must-order for us if the restaurant offers it. I wasn't sure which type of noodles to use as I only knew it as 生面 (sang meen), but the noodle vendor in the market told me to use wantan noodles, a type of egg noodles. The egg noodles are first blanched in hot water, then cooked with an array of vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, spring onion and beansprouts as well as prawn and sliced fish cakes. This dish is typically seasoned with light and dark soy sauce, and then topped with some toasted white sesame seeds at the end. Best eaten with pickled green chillies :)



This was really similar to the ones we get from the Chinese restaurants around here and I was very happy that I was able to replicate it from memory. For something I managed to whip up in under 30 minutes with easily accessible ingredients, it definitely satisfied my cravings and more! :)




Chinese stir fried egg noodles 生面 (sang meen)
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 fresh wantan noodles
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 carrot, peeled and julienned
1 cabbage leaf, julienned
3 Chinese or shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and thinly sliced
2 fishcake, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, cut into 1 inch length
A handful beansprouts, rinsed and drained
8 king prawns, peeled and deveined with tails intact
1/2 tsp ginger wine
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules (optional)

To serve
Pickled green chillies (recipe here)
1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds




1. Marinate prawns with the ginger wine.



2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook for 10-15 seconds then rinse in cold water. Drain well.

3. In a wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for about 1 minute, then add the carrot and cabbage and cook for a further minute. Add the fishcake and prawns and cook for about 30 seconds, then place the noodles, stirring frequently. Season with dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and chicken stock granules and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the noodle is cooked through (taste a strand).

4. Finally, add the spring onions and beansprouts and give it a quick stir, about 30 seconds, until cooked.

5. Serve immediately with some pickled green chillies. Garnish with some toasted white sesame seeds.

Note: If you cannot get fresh egg noodles, you can substitute for dried thin egg noodles.Refresh in boiling water before using in Step 3. You can also add chicken or pork strips.








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*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 18 October 2014.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Restoran Tak Kee, Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands

After visiting the Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm, it was time for lunch. There are quite many restaurants in Gohtong Jaya just by the strawberry farm, and we just picked one at random- Restoran Tak Kee, as our lunch venue.

We wanted something quick and simple, and on the way in, we saw a couple of tables having the Hokkien mee. We ordered a portion for 2 person (RM16). It was a great plate of noodles with lots of wok hei, no wonder everyone else was having this too!


Surprisingly, my little boy asked for a bowl of white rice- lol Chinaman!


Yellow noodles coated in luscious, dark caramel sauce with pork lard (chee yau char), pork, prawns, squid and choy sum :)


A plate of stir fried vegetables (sweet potato leaves - RM9) 


Noodle face, noodle moustache


The restaurant also specialises in seafood


Our dessert - Cornettos


Verdict: Good, simple homecooked fare at affordable prices. 

Price: Total bill RM31.
.
Location: Restoran Tak Kee, No. 52, Jalan Jati 1, Gohtong Jaya, 69000 Genting Highlands, Bentong.

Tel: 03-6100 1218

GPS Coordinates: 3.398617, 101.766817



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Friday, April 25, 2014

Recipe: Asparagus Bacon Pasta with Poached Egg and Parmesan

Hurray, one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus is back in season again! I bought a huge bunch from the wet market the other day, so decided to whip up a few different dishes featuring this delicious vegetable. For my first asparagus dish, I made pasta for lunch since my son loves it a lot.

Asparagus Bacon Pasta with Poached Egg & Parmesan


Asparagus are full of vitamins A, B and C, virtually fat-free, and full of fibre and folic acid and is also great for the heart, boosts your immune system and cancer defences, as well as being great for skin, nails and hair. This time, we got the larger asparagus, which have a crunchier bite to them. I decided to saute them with some garlic and serve it with pasta, bacon, Parmesan and poached egg. Just snap or cut off the woody ends and cook the asparagus for a couple of minutes, to keep them tender and sweet.


I made 2 plates - one with and one without the poached egg. The non-egg version was for my little boy, who had a cough. Despite having a cough, he finished his whole plate off pasta with gusto :) I personally prefer the one with the poached egg as the runny egg nicely coats each strand of pasta and gives it a wonderful creaminess. Other than poached egg, you can also substitute with a soft boiled egg (recipe here).



Now you see it, now you don't :D



Asparagus Bacon Pasta with Poached Egg and Parmesan
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
150g spaghetti
10 stalks asparagus, washed and woody ends trimmed
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 rashers streaky bacon, sliced thinly
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To garnish
Parmesan, freshly grated
2 eggs, at room temperature (optional)
Parsley, finely chopped
Truffle oil (optional)


1.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to pack instructions (al dente should take about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and drain, run under cold water to stop from cooking further.

2. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in frying pan on medium high heat. Add bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Remove and set aside.

3. In the same pan, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the asparagus and fry for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Add the pasta, drizzle with remaining olive oil and mix thoroughly for about 1 minute, and then season with chicken stock granules, salt and pepper. Mix in the crispy bacon.

4. Using a two-pronged carving fork, swirl some of the pasta around the fork. Slide the pasta off the fork and mound it in the center of a plate. Repeat for each serving. If serving with poached or soft boiled egg, place the egg on top of the pasta (in the centre). Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley.

5. For the poached egg, see this whirlpool method, or Delia's method, or clingfilm method. This time, I am using the Delia method - fill a frying pan with 4cm barely simmering water. Break each egg into a cup and lower into the water. Cook for approximately 2 minutes (you will know it's cooked when the egg white has set). Use a slotted spoon to remove. You can also serve this with a soft boiled egg.

6. Serve immediately. Shave Parmesan cheese on top and add a dash of truffle oil to finish.

Note: Please do not discard the asparagus woody ends.Save them in a zip lock bag and place in freezer. See here on what you can do with them.









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*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 28 April 2014.

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