Otak-Otak (Spicy Fish Custard Parcels) Recipe

Making this favorite Nyonya dish is easier with the Royal Selangor jelly moulds.

Finished steamed otak-otak

Today is the most time-pressed post yet. We started prepping for this dish at 8pm so please forgive us for the brevity as I am writing this under immense pressure to meet the Jellyriffic challenge midnight posting timeline. I think we’re pretty crazy to try something this ambitious so late especially when it’s our very first time making this as well.

But guess what? It took all of 1 hour to prep. Despite the number of ingredients, this dish actually comes together quite quickly especially if you have a blender at home or food processor to do all the hard work!

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Recipe for Bubur Cha Cha

No, “bubur cha cha” isn’t a type of dance. It’s a sweet, coconut-based soup that we enjoy quite often here in Malaysia. But the recipe is a bit different from our Honeydew Sago Dessert recipe, our Indonesian Es Teler recipe, or the cendol that we enjoyed back in Penang. Bubur cha cha is a Nyonya dish made with different types of sweet potatoes and yam (or Chinese taro). To the sweet potatoes, you add a little pearl tapioca for a textural counterpoint.

Bubur Cha Cha

Bubur Cha Cha

In Hawaii, you could find something similar in Vietnamese restaurants except that their versions were more pudding-like with more tapioca pearls than sweet potatoes. And I believe in the Philippines, they add bananas to their version.

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Ayam Pong Teh (Nyonya-style Braised Chicken with Potatoes)

A sweet and savory, easy to make Malaysian chicken dish that has become a mainstay in the House of Annie’s kitchen.

ayam pohg teh

I first tried Ayam Pong Teh at a Nyonya restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. My cousin had taken me to eat it and we all enjoyed the flavorful tender chicken and potatoes and also the savory sweetness of the sauce on our rice. It was the most popular dish that day.

I had been wanting to try to make Ayam Pong Teh ever since then. So imagine my surprise when I saw that this recipe was featured in one of my Saveur magazines many years ago.

When I saw the feature on Malacca and saw the recipe, I must admit I was skeptical. Very often, I don’t trust Western magazines to do justice to Asian recipes (they often substitute and “westernize” the flavors a little so that they are no longer truly authentic). But when I looked at the Ayam Pong Teh recipe, I thought it sounded pretty good. And I should have trusted them more—Saveur’s editor is James Oseland after all and he has spent many years in this part of the world, even coming up with a cookbook that I love. And next to Fine Cooking, Saveur is the other food magazine that I love. (Man, I’m missing both these magazines right now!)

So, I tried the recipe, and ever since that first time, this has become a mainstay in my kitchen. The flavors were just right! Also, it’s quite a simple recipe really for something that delivers so much flavor.

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Jiu Hu Char

Jiu Hu Char (vegetables cooked with dried shrimp

Jiu Hu Char is a Penang Nyonya dish that we always had when we were home for the holidays. Any special occasion would be a good time to find this dish at our family home. The flavors remind me a little of my mom’s popiah (they share similar ingredients) but this dish is eaten mainly with rice instead of being wrapped in a flour skin.
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About Us

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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