"Delicious tender meat in a herb broth"
Normally a rainy day complete with fog would put me off driving to Klang for lunch, bak kut teh (BKT) however, is the perfect meal when it’s slightly cooler out. It would be the ultimate winter dish if we had a winter…steaming hot herbal broth with tender meat; the very definition of a Malaysian stew.
Taman Intan, Klang is the BKT capital in Malaysia, and while there are a few spots to choose from, I go with a Klang expert who tells me that she prefers what Weng Heong has to offer to the others. With 12years under their belt, the BKT here is worth driving the extra mile for.
Each individual clay pot is stewed for 2hours to get that perfectly tender meat that breaks apart with a spoon. You can choose to have lean meat, fatty meat, spare parts, or a combination of all three. As a BKT novice I decided to go with a majority of lean meat and some fatty meat thrown in for added flavour and texture.
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We’re going crazy for noodles this week! We’ve got curly and thin, crisp and slippery, saucy and dry. No matter how they’re cooked though, they all make for a delicious fast and easy meal. However, although the stir-frying is done in a flash, the biggest challenge with these recipes is getting all the ingredients set up and ready. A lot of the… More »
Firstly, prepare your make-shift steamer. If you are using a new bamboo basket, rub a bit of oil in the basket to season it or else your dumplings will stick and tear when you take it out.
We used a wok with boiling water at the bottom and basket balanced on top. Just keep the water at the low simmer and you have steam! Important tip:… More »
"The real deal!"
The bowl came to me, smaller than average but filled to the brim with briny broth. Sarawak laksa redux, broken down to essentials, coarse vermicelli, chicken slivers, pink prawns, beansprouts and what I've come to call a clever Sarawak bouillabaisse. Finally in Choon Hui, the real deal. First taste and I knew that what I’ve been having in KL is just a pale imitation. It’s brinier and darker here with hardly any santan. Flavours are explosive with a hit of pepper. Gosh it’s good.
Sarawak laksa is made by combining a spicy paste with chicken/ prawn stock. Now what goes into this paste is a point of speculation. Many Sarawakians say that the best is Swallow paste and no one can tell me exactly what goes into it. I wondered what came first, the laksa or the paste because if the paste came first, then whoever came up with Sarawak laksa was a genius. Captured market man. Trawling around Satok market I discovered a few more pastes, all with recipes at the back and with ingredients listing the usual aromatics like lemongrass, onions, galangal and candlenuts but always with a mysterious ‘rempah’ at the end. One day I will reverse engineer this paste. Yes, I will.
Choon Hui is a head above the pack because the lady who makes Sarawak laksa here does not use any of these pastes but actually makes her own everyday. This is why there’s a certain authenticity to her laksa and it tastes different from others. Many people who tried making Sarawak laksa at home (using the paste because that ‘rempah’ component is so darn mind-boggling) always have the same complaint. It just isn’t good enough or something is missing. So my guess is this, even with the paste, you have to adjust. There's no hard and fast rule, no real recipe for the paste because it's a business, a closely guarded secret.
Oh this fried chicken is so good. It’s beautifully fragrant and at the end you will get crispy onion and lemongrass bits to crunch on in between juicy mouthfuls of succulent chook. More »