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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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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Fried Squid Fail

Squid, squid, squid. Every time I go to the market, I pass by the fish section, and whenever there is fresh squid there, they taunt me. “You are too chicken to try to cook us!” “Nyeah, nyeah, we know you’re not going to buy us—coward!”

Tray of Squid at Stutong Market

tray of squid

And truth be told, I walk away. Every. Single. Time. Without buying them. In the back of my mind, I think to myself. “C’mon, I can do this. Cooking squid isn’t that hard. What’s the big deal?” And then I think, “Oh man, the year is going to go by and I’m going to have to confess that I didn’t try cooking squid even though it was part of my resolution.”

So finally, one day, I stopped and taking a deep breath, I approached a fish vendor and bought half a kilo of his smallest squid. Because I didn’t know any better. And because small ones would cook faster and I would be less likely to botch it. See…I had my mind set on frying calamari. So I took home my half kilo and set to work.
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Garlic Cheddar Polenta with Shrimp and Asparagus

Do you love asparagus?

Asparagus

Do you love it because of its sweetness? Do you love it because of it’s symbol of spring? Or are you like Nate, who just recently came to love it because of someone else’s persistence in pushing this vegetable?

I must say that I can’t think of anything that complements asparagus more than shrimp. We had yummy success in the past with our Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and Asparagus recipe. So when I came across this recipe in Fine Cooking for polenta with shrimp and asparagus, I had to try it out. (more…)

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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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