Saturday, November 29, 2014

Best Wings Recipe: Sticky Gula Melaka Glazed Chicken Wings

Let's end November with a fantastic recipe - sticky gula melaka glazed chicken wings! After experimenting with lots of different marinades, this is by far the best chicken wing recipe I've tried. If you love wings, you gotta try this!

What I like about this recipe is definitely the ease of making and availability of the ingredients. I have everything I need in my kitchen pantry, and all I need to do is measure it out and mix it in a bowl and pour it over the chicken wings. So easy! Plus it tastes really really really good.

Sweet, salty, sticky, juicy wings... absolutely glorious! Worth getting your hands dirty, and they're so good you'll wanna lick your fingers afterwards. Yup, finger licking good they are!

My kids absolutely adore these chicken wings - my boy surprised me the other day when he ate one after another wing and kept telling me how yummy it was. He likes to do this "tick" sign with his fingers as a sign of his seal of approval. We usually serve this with a side of salad to keep things simple.

This is a recipe so easy that you can even assign it to your children to make. Baby D made the ones we had a couple of weeks ago - from marinating to arranging them on the baking tray, as well as making the salad (I helped him pit and peel the avocado but he did everything else). I make this recipe at least once a month now as my family tells me "more of this, please" ;)

Sticky Gula Melaka Glazed Chicken Wings
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 1 minute
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves 4

12 chicken wings, cleaned

For the marinade
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin or ginger wine
3 tbsp gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup or concentrate
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp shichimi powder
2 tbsp cooking oil

1. Place all marinade in a bowl, and mix well. Pour over the chicken wings and marinate for at least 6 hours in the fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 190C (roast mode). Line a baking tray with foil and arrange wings on tray in a single layer. Pour the marinade over the wings and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the skin is sticky, and a beautiful golden brown.

3. Remove and serve immediately with some of the marinade leftover in tray as a dip.

Note: Gula melaka syrup is available in supermarkets- they usually come in a 500ml bottle, costing about RM5-7 depending on brand.

Avocado, lettuce and cherry tomatoes salad
For the salad
1 ripe avocado
1 baby butterhead lettuce
6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 lemon

For the dressing
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey

1. To pit the avocado, first you need to find the stalk and remove it. Hold it horizontally, with a knife through the centre until you hit the seed then move the knife in a circular motion until you go all the away around. Twist the avocado halves in opposite direction and it will come apart easily into 2 halves. Sink the knife into the avocado seed and remove. Squeeze lemon juice all over to avoid discoloration. Chop the avocado into bite-sized chunks. Season with salt.

2. Place ingredients for dressing a bowl and whisk well to mix.

3. Place avocado, butterhead lettuce and cherry tomatoes into a salad bowl and then pour over dressing and toss. Season with more salt as necessary and serve immediately.

The wings and salad that Baby D made ;)

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*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 5 December 2014.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dim Sum @ Tim Ho Wan Malaysia 添好運, The Boulevard, Midvalley, KL

*Note: This restaurant has closed down.

Tim Ho Wan 添好運, Hong Kong's most famous Michelin-star dim sum restaurant has finally arrived on Malaysian shores, and will opening its doors to the public tomorrow (28th November) at 11am. Their first outlet is located at The Boulevard, MidValley (right opposite the water fountain in front of The Gardens Mall). I was delighted to be invited to experience Tim Ho Wan's dim sum in Malaysia at their pre-launch lunch event today.

Tim Ho Wan's 添好運 name means "add good luck" in Cantonese and its first hole-in-the-wall outlet in Mongkok, founded and run by Chef Mak Kwai Pui (麥桂培) earned a Michelin-star in its first year of operation. In their overseas outlets, people would queue up for hours just to get a taste of the delicious dim sum. Seating at the Malaysian outlet is also on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The menu at Tim Ho Wan Malaysia features their signature items, the "Big 4 Heavenly Kings", vermicelli rolls, steamed items, deep fried items, rice, congee, vegetable and desserts. Despite the restaurant being full with invited guests, service was polite and efficient.

Not to be missed is the famed Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉烧包 (RM10.80). I have drooled over these whenever my friends have posted them on Instagram/Facebook and am glad that I have finally gotten the chance to taste them. The baked bun has a crisp yet fluffy exterior and slightly sweet tasting with a savoury, meaty filling. Really good, I have to say!

Crisp, fluffy, sweet and salty.. all in one!

Beautiful crisp golden exterior... ;)

Their other signature items include the pan fried carrot cake 萝卜糕(RM9.80), steamed egg cake a.k.a Malay cake (RM7.80) and vermicelli roll with pig's liver (RM10.80). We super love the steamed egg cake 马来糕, which apparently takes 3 days of preparation for it to become soft and fluffy. Indeed we love the soft texture with a nice caramel flavour. Baby D, who is on his first food review with mummy today had almost the whole one to himself. A must-try!

The vermicelli roll with pig's liver was a bit too gamey for my liking, I'd stick to the regular ones with BBQ pork or shrimp next time.

All mine :D

We also enjoyed the Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce (RM9.80) - the chicken feet here have a more bouncy texture and is wonderful paired with the sauce. Comes in 4 generous pieces.

This was my mum's favorite, steamed spinach dumpling with shrimp (RM7.80) with smooth, translucent skin. Tim Ho Wan prides itself in using only fresh and quality ingredients, and their dim sum is made to order to retain dim sum's flavour and texture.

Love the spinach and shrimp filling!

Another must-order for us when eating dim sum, siew mai aka pork dumpling with shrimp (RM10.80). Simple but well executed.

Pork rib with black bean sauce (RM8.80)

 The wasabi salad prawn dumpling (RM10.80) - crisp and juicy, topped with ebikko and wasabi mayo sauce for a spicy kick.

The next 3 items I did not try, took the photos from our neighbour's table ;)

Prawn dumpling (RM11.80)

Vermicelli roll with BBQ pork (RM12.80)

Beef ball with beancurd skin (RM7.80)

There are 2 desserts to choose from, the mango sago pomelo (RM8.80) and tonic medlar & osmanthus cake 杞子桂花糕 (RM6.80). The mango sago pomelo was really good and refreshing, and not too sweet either. At first we ordered one bowl to share, but it was so yummy, we had to order another ;)

Jelly on a plate, wibble wobble... ;)

Tim Ho Wan's Malaysia menu

My Top 5 Must-try items from Tim Ho Wan are: baked bun with BBQ pork, steamed egg cake, steamed spinach dumpling with shrimp, wasabi salad prawn dumpling and braised chicken feet with abalone sauce.

Opening times: 11am to 10pm (last orders 9.30pm).

Serves Pork.

Price: Prices start from RM7.80 for dim sum items.

Location: Tim Ho Wan, 27-G, Ground Floor, The Boulevard, Midvalley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (opposite the water fountain in front of The Gardens Mall)


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Baby Sumo Birthday Week #2: Rakuzen Japanese Restaurant @ Publika, KL

The birthday celebration continues.... and since both my kids love Japanese food, we visited Rakuzen in Publika. Rakuzen has been around for many years, but this is actually our first time visiting, although we do visit their sister restaurant, Kita No Zen in The Gardens Mall on a weekly basis.

The restaurant is pretty spacious, and we were seated in one of the booths. Service is fast and efficient. Similar to Kita No Zen, they offer a la carte menu as well as set lunches. There are around 20 set lunches to choose from, and with the set lunches, you get miso soup, chawanmushi, pickles, appetizer and fresh fruits for dessert. Really good value for money.

Hubby went for the salmon sashimi zen (RM23) which came with the standard plate of 7 fresh, luscious slices of sashimi.

My kids favorite - saba teriyaki. We love the fatty belly part - so yummy when grilled, almost melt-in-the-mouth. Saba teriyaki zen (RM23).

I went for the Sake oyaki zen (RM30), which is something I cannot get at KNZ - essentially this is a chirashi topped with 3 types of salmon - thick slices of salmon sashimi, salmon belly as well as ikura (popping delicious salmon roe). Totally satisfying!

Thanks Hubby yet again for the birthday lunch!

Please visit their website for full list of restaurant locations and opening times.

Opening times: 12.00pm - 3.00 & 6.00pm - 11.00pm daily.

Price: Reasonable.

Location: Rakuzen, No. 6, Lvl G2, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 KL (near MPH entrance).

Tel: 03-6411 0822

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Recipe: Korean Grilled Chicken (Bobby Flay)

Eaelier this month, I tried and posted a Korean-style marinated steak recipe from Bobby Flay and today, I am posting yet another Korean-inspired dish from him - Korean Grilled Chicken (one of his most popular dishes on Food Network). Looks like Bobby Flay is a fan of Korean flavours!

For this recipe, Bobby Flay uses a whole chicken but I opted to use chicken maryland instead since I find that drumstick and thigh are best for roasting and the cooked meat is moist. The meat is marinated in a mix of Korean red pepper paste (gochujang), light soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, ginger and garlic. Only 1/2 heaped tablespoonful of gochujang is used in this recipe, so I would say this is pretty mild but just perfect for me since my kids would be eating it too. By all means double or triple the gochujang quantity if you prefer a spicy kick.

The chicken is left to marinate for 4-8 hours, then oven roasted until a beautiful golden brown. You can also grill the chicken if you prefer. The chicken is then served with some of marinade sauce which has been reserved. In his original recipe, Bobby Flay serves this with some tortilla wraps, but butterhead lettuce works just as well. Simply wrap the chicken in some lettuce, top with dipping sauce and enjoy!

A very easy chicken recipe, with big flavours. 

Korean Grilled Chicken
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Bobby Flay
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 4

4 chicken maryland, separated into 8 pieces

For the marinade
1/2 cup low-sodium light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp toasted white sesame seeds

To serve
4 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed (optional)
or 1 butterhead lettuce, leaves washed

1. Place the ingredients for a marinade in a bowl and whisk together. Add half of the mixture to the chicken, then turn to coat. Cover and let the meat marinade in the ridge for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

2. Add the spring onions, sesame oil, black pepper and sesame seeds to the remaining marinade and reserve as a dipping sauce for the finished chicken.

3. Preheat oven to 180C (roast mode). Line a baking tray with foil, then arrange chicken on tray in a single layer. Place in oven and cook for 25 minutes, until cooked through and skin is crispy and golden brown. Arrange chicken on a platter, and serve wrapped in tortilla (if desired) with dipping sauce on the side.

4. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken on the grill or BBQ.

Note: You can also serve the chicken with some lettuce. Wrap the chicken in the lettuce with some dipping sauce.

I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Bobby Flay" event which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Grace of Life Can Be Simple. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Bobby Flay websites or cookbooks for the whole month of November 2014.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in November 2014 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Grace of Life Can Be Simple and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Baby Sumo Birthday Week #1: Cilantro Restaurant, KL

Every year for my birthday, Hubby would spoil me to a few nice meals in the run up to the actual day. The first venue that we picked was Cilantro KL, having had many nice meals here in the past.

Every Fridays, they do a 4-course lunch for RM150 nett, which includes a glass of Prosecco as well as coffee/tea. And of course, not to be missed here is their amazing truffle butter... don't be shy and slather on your bread. You could always ask for another and they would happily oblige ;)

The amazing truffle butter

To start, we had the Cold Capellini with Hirame and Aosanori. This was my favorite dish of the afternoon - loved its simplicity yet bursting with umami flavours. The delicate fish was topped with some kickass wasabi and crunchy seaweed. Fantastic!

The second course is a warm starter, Nipah Crab with Piment d'Espelette Soufflé. I wasn't too impressed with this dish, especially since the souffle was tiny and looked deflated, and I found not one, but three pieces of crab shell in my plate. Certainly not acceptable for a fine dining restaurant.

For mains, I had the Grilled Angus Beef with Mushrooms while Hubby went for the French Pigeon with Foie Gras. I enjoyed the grilled beef, very nicely cooked, but next to the grilled beef there was also a piece of braised beef (not sure which part) but it was tough and felt a bit out of place. I would have been happier if it wasn't there. Hubby's main course was good and a nice change since it's not everyday that he gets to eat French pigeon.

Dessert was also a non-event for us, Roasted Apple with Caramel Ice Cream and Tuile. All I got from eating the ice cream was a burnt aftertaste (we've had their caramel ice cream before and it definitely doesn't taste like this). Hardly exciting.

So, we ended up going to The Deli (also in Micasa Hotel and operated by Cilantro kitchen) and ordered a strawberry meringue with vanilla ice cream. A sure-winner, this definitely perked our moods up again.

Thanks Hubby for the birthday treat!

Opening times: Lunch - available on Fridays only. (12.00pm -2.00pm). Dinner - Monday to Saturday (6.00pm - 10.30pm). Closed on Sundays.

Service: Good.

Price: RM150 nett per person inclusive of glass of Prosecco

Location: Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar, MiCasa All Suite Hotel, 368-B Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2179 8082

Website: (Lunch menus updated weekly)

GPS Coordinates: 3.162273,101.719548

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