06 July 2006

Delapan Kasih, Delapan Kisah, Bahagian Keenam

As luck would have it, I was preparing this little Delapan Kasih when ka..t tagged me. I suppose posting it now would be menyelam sambil minum air (two birds, one stone), wouldn’t it? Let’s start.

Eight foods from pMom’s kitchen (plus two)

Popiah. Light soft pastry around a vegetable stew (?) cooked to a secret recipe. Every popiah chef has her own recipe, and pMom is no different. As a side note, I heard popiah in Penang is sometimes flavoured with shrimp paste (heir ko), which gives it an interesting flavour. At home, our popiah is stiffened with a leaf of lettuce before rolling. I like the crisp, fresh flavour that comes with lettuce: it goes well with the chilli sauce, for some reason.

Pai Tee. This is finger food at most parties. Crispy pastry thimbles filled with that vegetable stew again. Aitelyu nyonyas are so fond of their overcooked vegetable stew…. Take a thimble in one hand, line it with half a leaf of lettuce then spoon in the veggies. Again, every chef has her own secret recipe.
The thimbles are difficult to make. It is not simply a matter of finding the mold, mixing up a bucket of batter and then persuading some silly little plink to make thimbles. Dipping the mold into batter, then into hot oil is an art.
The thimble just boils up out of nowhere from this thin layer of batter around the mold and you have to quickly get it out before it starts to burn (chau huay tar), preferably without breaking the brittle thing. Until I had mastered that little ballet, pai tee in our house had a distinctly smoky flavour to it.

Pandan Chicken. If I needed any more proof that we are nyonyas and babas, this is it. I simply can’t get enough of Pandan Chicken. I have no idea what goes into the marinade nor if the leaf-wrapped chicken meat is barbecued or deep-fried. This (and the huge amount of work that goes into it) is probably why pMom only makes it for family meals and not for parties. I would quite happily ignore everyone else at the table and be best friends with whoever is nearest to the Pandan Chicken. Nothing comes between me and my Pandan Chicken….

Lam Cho’. Take six eggs, tamarind, cili padi, onions and dried shrimp (hairbee). Soak the tamarind in water, then strain the resulting juice and throw away the hampas (the yucky stuff that remains). Chop everything else into small pieces, then mix and season to taste. The resulting egg salad is a deliciously eye-watering treat. Eating Lam Cho’ is how I acquired a taste for cili padi.

Tu tor thng. Pork maw, boiled up with rock salt, peppercorns, gingko (optional) and more cloves of garlic than you (or I) can count. Waste not, want not. Everything that goes into the pot can be, and often is, eaten.

Liver. This probably doesn’t qualify as cooking, but it is something I do remember. Finely chopped liver goes into a small bowl. Boiling water follows. After a suitable pause, it gets fed to plink. The theory is that it makes plinks grow up healthy. It tasted better than it sounds, I promise….

Tau Mio, fried with garlic. Tau mio is a wonderful little green vegetable, looking like a cute cross between clover and beansprouts with the inconveniences of neither (I personally wouldn’t eat clover). It has a delicate, cress-like flavour that is surprisingly helped by the garlic.

Tau Iu Kei. A little like ka..t’s Tau Yew Bak, only with chicken and garlic and TungKu…. Winn, did you hear me? TungKu-TungKu-TungKu-TungKu-TungKu-TungKu-TungKu-TungKu....

Fish fried with tau chneoh. Tau chneoh is a versatile fermented bean paste. It smells and tastes better than it sounds, really! If I remember correctly, you start by lightly pan-frying a fish then put it to one side. The fishy oil in the wok receives crushed garlic to brown. When that is done, a large amount of tau chneoh goes into the mixture and the cook gets out of the kitchen: there is a lot of fizzing and crackling from the tau chneoh as it joins the hot oil. When it’s safe to go back in, the sauce should actually be nice and loose. Stir until bubbling evenly, then ladle over pan-fried fish.

Perut ikan. Just like it says on the label, the main ingredient is fish maw. Using a secret recipe handed down from pGrandma to pMom, this strange, wonderfully tart dish gives absolutely no clue as to how it got its name. All the unsuspecting diner ever sees is an inviting island of vegables sitting in a mysterious, fragrant soup. Eat with rice. Amboi, best-nyer!

Go visit ka..t and tag yourselves. Go on, you know you want to….

28 Comments:

At 4:05 am, Blogger Simple American said...

Aiseh... Now I am so hungry Plinksan. Where's my sugar-free tasteless yogurt?

 
At 5:23 am, Blogger angel said...

Gimme tu tor thng!!!
Gimme pandan ciken!!!

Wot's Lam Cho?
*garu kapala*
And Tau Lu Kei??
*lagi garu*

 
At 8:30 am, Anonymous may said...

your mama makes pie tee? O.O!!! can I come over for dinner someday? pretty pretty pweeeease?

 
At 12:30 pm, Blogger fantasyflier said...

Pop piah!!!!!
quick I need the recipe...send send!

 
At 1:25 pm, Blogger plink said...

SA: How about sugar-free flavorful yoghurt? Strawberry is nice.... *pot of yoghurt to SA*

angel: Sorry, maybe I should have written Tau Yiu Kei. You knowla, like Tau Yiu Bak, but halal... like Chick-Kut-Teh. ;)
Lam Cho(k)? Spicy egg salad with cili padi wan....

may: Sure can!

FF: I go and look first, ar? I just go home and gasak oni, never actually cooked it myself. Nanti I post one version of the recipe later, OK?

 
At 11:08 pm, Blogger Chen said...

now i feel like drinking Tu tor thng :)

 
At 11:21 pm, Blogger L B said...

Now, I guess no Lormaikai and Tungku cos your mom never cooked one?

 
At 11:28 pm, Blogger Winn said...

plinku i love popiah apart from tungku !!!:)

hehehhee....i duno wat i miss abt my mom's cooking coz she doesnt really cook.

 
At 11:37 pm, Blogger Winn said...

my miss my grandmother's food..but i cant think now :P hahaha..so manyu excuse. !

oh my grandma can make good tungku!

 
At 11:37 pm, Blogger Winn said...

but too bad she tungku oredi..

 
At 1:13 am, Blogger plink said...

Tu tor thng to chen. :)

LB: No, my childhood was a little deprived in that respect. But I did get to sample Lormaikai and TungKu elsewhere. :)

*gives winn helping of popiah* Eh, you want eksetera cili or not?

 
At 2:13 am, Blogger angel said...

Ohh... Ayam Berkicap...
But I still garu kapala @ Tau Chok...??

P E L U K A N C E N D A W A N

 
At 6:14 am, Blogger plink said...

Actuarry harr.... I think Lam Chok might be pGrandma's jit jiu .... No wonder I've never seen it outside the home la....

K A Y A K U E H M U A K Z

 
At 12:03 pm, Blogger L B said...

No KFC either... hmmmp...

 
At 12:30 pm, Blogger fantasyflier said...

yes post post!

 
At 6:48 pm, Blogger Winn said...

no no enuff chilli oredi. too spicy not nice.

got wasabi ? :P

 
At 6:51 pm, Blogger plink said...

LB: Nope, pMom doesn't have the Colonel's Secret of 11 herbs and spices.... But I'd have Pandan Chicken any day, wouldn't you?

FF: Coming, coming!

winn: wasabi in popiah?! You mou gau chor ar?

 
At 3:54 pm, Anonymous ka..t said...

I forget that you are hokkien kia!! Until I read your list of dishes!! LOL

My MIL makes the BEST vegetarian perut ikan!! So damn good you'd swear it's got the real stuff in it!!

It's really menyelam sambil minum air??? Killing two birds with one stone?? Or is that plink-ism??? :D

 
At 9:22 pm, Blogger plink said...

ka..t: Lu/gua, ka leow ma si hokkien lang! It DOES show in the list, doesn't it? :)

Wah, got such thing as vegetarian perut ikan? I think I am going to become your MIL's best friend ler, like that....

I can't help it if you tag me on something i was going to do anyway, hor? Ngam ngam hoe.... ;)

 
At 10:47 pm, Blogger Helen said...

Dang, gained 1kg after reading your post.....

Macam mana?? lol

 
At 11:58 pm, Blogger angel said...

*tong tongs another 10 in plinku's fund*

sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit kayu hitam, hor? *LOL*

 
At 6:33 am, Blogger plink said...

helen: Sorrylar, this page not yet available in low-calorie version.... 1kg gained from reading... imagine how much I gained from thinking the post.... lolz

angel: Wah! Another RM10! OK, now only another RM5k to go.... *dreams of MacBook*

 
At 9:33 am, Blogger Winn said...

re-reading ur blogpost makes me crave for soy-sauce chicken..

*tong tong RM5 for plink....into my own piggie bank:P*

 
At 9:58 pm, Blogger Winn said...

*awaiting bahagian ketujuh impatiently*

 
At 10:32 pm, Blogger plink said...

Winn: Oii!! People where got so free everytime postpost wan! Wait ar... gerenti coming, but very-the-slow. My head a bit liuliu right now....

*soysauce chicken for winn*

 
At 6:23 pm, Blogger Selba said...

wah... no idea of these food.. gotta see the pictures :)

 
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