Who loves Thai’s style sticky rice and mango? You would see me waving my hands frantically, as others who love sweet stuff. For many, sticky rice is a little bit too sweet, but for the sweet tooth, it is something delicious, worth traveling hundreds of miles. When my parents went to Bangkok for a short holiday, she brought home a box of sticky rice and mango. Seriously, she did. I was very surprised that she actually put the box in her hand carry and flew for 4 hours to bring that home to me because I so love them.
I made sticky rice and mango this morning, and it was creamy and sweet, slightly nutty with the addition of sesame seeds. Not really the same as the ones in Bangkok or any other Thai cities, but for a Thursday morning snack, it was such a treat and I had so much fun making it. They plated up really well too with Royal Selangor’s pewter moulds.
That morning, mother and I sat on our dining table enjoying the two cones of sticky rice and we talked about our neighbours. Yeah, we did. It is the best snack for our mother and daughter gossip sessions.
My cooking style is not very adventurous, as you might have seen. I am an annoying perfectionist, I only cook things that I know will work, although it doesn’t always work 100 percent of the times, but the percentage is pretty high to keep my head sane. I guess I have a very demanding day job, that I have to remain focus from the moment I wake up till 5 o’clock, which sometimes couldn’t come soon enough, so if I am going to take a couple of hours off work to cook, that dish better work and I’d better take good pictures of it.
The pudding fiasco from yesterday has left me a bit traumatized. I cheered myself up with a little frozen treat from my little red book (or blue, in this case). It is refreshing. It is cheerful. It makes you smile on the first bite. It is like those cheesy chick flicks’ first dates.
Do you have any fruit that you can simply not be able to eat it, and the smell of it is just enough to make you feel sick? I do, I do. I have a couple, actually. Whenever I have no other choice but to eat them, I squeezed a bit of lime juice on them. The lime makes the fruit bearable, almost delicious. That fruit is papaya. I know that I am an ungrateful, living in tropical paradise but hating papaya. I feel awful sometimes, but I can’t help it. The point I was trying to say is that lime is a great way to smarten up any fruit, and bring the taste and sweetness of fruit to a new dimension, with just a little twist. Adding lime to my favorite fruit is just heaven.
This frozen treat have all the things I love. Watermelon. Lime. Chocolate chip, which is what makes it extra special. What is the fruit that you can’t take and what do you do to ‘dress it up’?
Two things happened worth a bit of sharing. First is that I taste my first sago pudding. Yeah, I have never had sago pudding before. Second, for the first time since the beginning of the cone journey, I made a wobbly pudding. Of all the dishes I made using the cone, they all stand straight and perky. This one, not so much. It was too late to start a new one and I didn’t have a back up plan.
Sago pudding is a Malaysian dessert that I picked up from a cookbook I got a couple of months ago. I have never had it, so I didn’t know the consistency of the dish. It turns out to be soft textured and served with coconut milk and palm sugar sauce. I enjoyed it greatly, after I accepted the fact that I only had one decent shot before the cone collapsed.
This is the pearl sago that I used. I have never cooked with this type of sago before, and the ones I bought had bits of red color sagos. I didn’t know that the dish will turn out pink. Do not wash this. I washed my first batch and most of the sago fell apart.
It is Monday and I am having that usual ‘I need new ideas’ freaking out moments. I probably never told anybody but I don’t actually have plans. I am making things up as I go along. I am keeping my fruit konnyaku dish as a back up if I don’t come up with anything exotic or new. Since I didn’t have time to shop or do anything else, the konnyaku is making its appearance here.
Blogging every day for 30 days is kinda exciting, not only words flow more freely but I actually grow to love writing more. I started blogging 4 years ago and that blog I started wasn’t this one. I posted pictures and topics that interests me. I made quite a few friends and they remain good friends and most of them still blog. I got my camera and started taking pictures of food, and cooking them. A couple of food blogs were popular three years ago and they were really kind bloggers. They inspired me to start my own. This blog starts to evolve and taking a more solid shape and I am actually very pleased at myself, for sticking to doing something for, well, more than 3 years. Anybody who knows my mother probably would know that I never finish what I started. Classic humanoid character that is. I have always been interested in stories behind people who blogs about food. Mine starts from owning a camera and my reluctance to go outside and shoot outdoor.
I love konnyaku. Everybody loves it. Konnyaku jelly gets famous and becomes household names years ago when it was marketed together with cheap plastic moulds. I always make mine using glass cups. I used the Royal Selangor mould, obviously, and from the top view, these babies look like flowers, don’t they?
Prepare your favorite fruits, I based my fruit choices on their colors. Red, yellow and green. Strawberries, mandarin oranges and kiwi fruit.
Ingredients are konnyaku powder, water, sugar and kaffir lime leaves.
The problem with documenting family recipes is that there isn’t any measurements and whenever you try to confirm the “recipe” you are told off-handly, it annoys people. When those people are much older, they tend to give you different cooking directions, even when you have notes that you wrote that day they would still be in denial and you would be the “crazy” person. At that point, I can tell from first hand experience, that it is best not to argue and be a wise girl and take that as a great opportunity. Sometimes I wonder if other bloggers have the same problem as I do. Do you record recipes from your family members?
This yam cake recipe is the one that I really need I have to nail and after the third times I think we did it. This time the cake turns out to be soft and silky enough to melt in your mouth, but solid enough to cut through. I love the texture of the cake, the base is soft and the top is crunchy with different level of crunchiness. It is particularly interesting when you bite into toasted sesame seeds which seems to pop. This cake is pretty fiery, as you can see, we love our chopped chilies.
I have had people asking me why does their yam cake is almost impossible to cut. I have a little tip for those whose cake is very soft and sticky. Pop the cake in the fridge for fifteen minutes or so before cutting. If you think it is too cold to serve, steam it for a couple of minutes over boiling water.
Steamed yam cake (or ‘or kueh’) is steamed taro cubes in rice flour mixture, with spring onions, Chinese celery, dried shrimp, Chinese BBQ pork, sesame seeds and fried shallots. Different families have different recipes, this is ours. And I totally love it. The mixture is prepared in advance and cook on stove top till thick and poured in greased mould, usually round or square pan. The pan is steamed for a bit till the cake is fully cooked, and condiments are scattered on top of cake and the whole thing is steamed further. Cake is served warm over breakfast or afternoon tea.
I used the cone moulds lined with banana leaves. The condiments are added after the cakes hold their forms. It is a new way of serving yam cake. Quite interesting for me. And people I gave the cones to. They must have thought I am getting weirder by the day.
Prepping for the cake starts the night before.