Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wild Star Fruit

The local Sarawak fruits season is in full swing ....and one of the fruits unique to Borneo is the Baccaurea angulata or tampoi belimbing or Wild Star Fruit (山杨桃). At this time of the year, you can also see the use of these fruits for great table decor in hotels or at large public functions.

This is also one of my favourite local seasonal fruits.

The fruits come in this bright red, or pink and I have seen some  that are yellowish pink.

When you cut the fruit open .....

Just eat the white juicy, sometimes translucent segments! They can range from very sweet to a sweet tangy taste.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nostalgia Food 3 - Salted Eel

In our family, salted fish was always a side dish on the dining table be it for a porridge breakfast, or for lunch, dinner and supper. Being Hakkas, our cooking have a bias towards preserved food whether vegetables, meat or fish. It is part of our clan history as nomads during the thousands of years our ancestors moved around China. In fact, the very name "Hakka" or "客家" means "Guest people".

In the past, my mum often made her own salted fish, particularly eels, as she said that the ones made commercially were not so tasty. So recently, when she said that she wanted salted eel, I had to trot off to the market to look for fresh eels. After a couple of unsuccessful forays to the fish markets, I finally found some at the 3rd Mile Market, Kuching.

Now to make the salted eel. 

First, de-fin and de-gut the eels and use the handle of a spoon to gouge out the "spinal cord" along the length of the fish. Wash and the cut the eel into about 4" lengths.

Add salt and mix to make sure that the fish is coated with salt.

Lay out on a rack and allow all excess water to drain off. I did this in a sealed container with a draining rack inside. Leave in a fridge for about 3 days.

Next is to dry the wet salted fish. I laid out the fish on a  large enamel tray and then covered with a fine stainless steel netting to keep out any flies. The trays need to be out in the sun for a couple of days until the salted fish is dry but not hard. The fish should look like those below.

Once done, put the dried salted fish into a  tightly sealed container and store in a fridge. Just take you what you need and fried until golden brown ...

Eaten with porridge or rice, it is a great side dish to improve your appetites - especially when you are feeling poorly without much of an appetite!!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to Mum

To Mum on her 87th Birthday

福 如 東 海 長 流 水

壽 比 南 山 不 老 松

The cake is from friends, Peter and Zhen of "Bake and Chilled". We just wanted a basic cake - simply decorated. The cake is a red beans-green tea cake.

Mum's verdict? DELICIOUS!!! Two helpings!

If you want to know more of "Bake and Chilled", search for Peterzhen on FaceBook and you can see lots more of their beautifully decorated cakes.