Happy Chinese New Year 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

Two years since moving back to the US, we are back in Malaysia to visit during Chinese New Year. It is good to be back!

We have soooo been looking forward to this trip! We have missed all our family and friends here. In addition, we have missed all the great food that Malaysia has to offer.

The first thing we ate at our reunion dinner? Yee Sang.

Yee Sang Ready to Toss
Yee Sang ready to toss

What is Yee Sang?

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Kacang Pool (Foul Medammas) Recipe

Kacang Pool / Malaysian Foul Medammas

Kacang pool

I was introduced to kacang pool only very recently, near the end of our stay in Kuching. My friends, who grew up in West Malaysia, and who knew this dish well, wanted to introduce this dish to us. My friend JY told us that kacang pool (as it is called in Malaysia) was derived from the Middle Eastern dish known as foul medammas, which was made from fava beans.

It was served with a sunny side egg and a side of buttered toast. All of that was great to sop up the runny egg and sauce of this dish. That day, as I was eating it, I thought it reminded me very much of American chilli but with some slightly different spices perhaps.

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Mum Came from Malaysia, and All She Brought Was…

After over a year of being back in the States, Annie’s Mum has come over for a visit! Here’s some of the stuff she brought with her:

Mortar and Pestle

mortar and pestle

Our beloved stone mortar and pestle, which we used to prepare ingredients for lots of dishes in Sarawak (like our Stir Fried Pork with Long Beans). We had to leave it in KL with Mum because it was just too heavy to bring with us. But now we have it again – YAY! :-)

What else was in her luggage?

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Making a Sarawakian Treasure: Dabai Paste

I can’t believe it’s been 9 months since we left Sarawak to return to the States! While we are settling in to our new home, we still keep in touch with our old friends from Kuching, through Facebook, email and WhatsApp. They’re always sending pictures of the yummy Sarawakian food that they’re eating, like Sarawak laksa and kampua mee. The good thing about dishes like these, though, is that we can make them at home, as the ingredients are not impossible to get.

One thing we cannot get, though, is dabai. Dabai, also known as “Sibu olive” (though it is not a true olive but a completely different species, Canarium odontophyllum), is grown only in Sarawak, generally in the central part of Sarawak around the town of Sibu. Over the years that we lived in Sarawak, we grew to love eating dabai. It’s one of the foods I really miss.

Fresh Dabai, “Sibu Olive”

dabai sibu olive

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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