Monday, 12 October 2009

A black meal

One of the nights, my family had a "black meal". You see, all the dishes we had with white rice, were all "black".

Tadah! First black dish - Bak Kut Teh!  Look at this black soup. I made this one with pork ribs and chinese mushrooms, plus the ready-made satchets of Klang Bak Kut Teh spices. Quite easy to cook and one of the family's favourite.

Second black dish - Braised Pork.  This was made by Mom. It does not look exactly very enticing but many local chinese loved this dish, especially the guys. Chunks of pork (lean and fatty) were braised for an hour or so with black soya sauce and light soya sauce and some aniseed and cinnamon sticks. The longer it is cooked, the more tender the meat will be.  The black soya sauce made this dish looked "black".

Third Black dish - Braised Hoo Kee (Fried Beancurd Sticks). This is a vegetarian dish which I made. The slabs of fried beancurd sticks were bought from the market, soaked till soft, and squeezed dry. Then I stir fry it lightly with oil, minced garlic and chinese mushroom for about 5 minutes. Then I left everything in a pot to simmer, adding black soya sauce, light soya sauce, salt, garlic (few cloves), aniseed and oyster sauce (optional). The concoction is thus "black". This dish is wonderful with porridge or rice. Hence our meal of 3 black dishes.

I could not do without greens. I stir fry some chinese broccoli (kai lan) with garlic slices. It was so crunchy and yummilicious!
Then another day, I was starving one evening. So I went to the coffeeshop to ta-pao (takeaway) some dishes to go with white rice. As I was on vegetarian, I chose these dishes (clockwise) - Bittergourd with Salted Egg Yolk, Crispy Fried Beancurd, Claypot Tofu and Baby Kailan. I liked the Crispy Beancurd the most, as it was crispy on the outside and real soft beancurd that melted in the mouth on the inside. The Claypot Tofu had a mix of cabbage and beans and a few prawns (which I had to avoid). All the dishes were done well and very appetising indeed for the 3 of us. To me, perhaps I was starving, the food felt so comforting.   

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