Monday, August 23, 2010
When I was in Johor Bahru doing my teacher’s training stint, I had Ainur, a Malay and Ting, a Sarawakian as my housemates. People find it weird to have a Muslim Malay girl staying with 2 Christian Chinese girls. But hahaha, we are happy together and most of all, we clicked!! She was rumoured to be eating the "inedible"
while staying with us. But nope, she never did that. Both Ting and I, are very sure that didn't happen.
We cooked at lot, and I was the executive chef, with Ainur being the sous chef. Ainur loved Chinese food and both Ting and I will eat anything. We learn a lot from each other during this 11 months of staying together. I learnt to cook masak lemak cili api, noodles pancake (to be featured later), and of course, today's dish from my good Malay buddy. While Ting was a newbie in the kitchen, she soaked and soaked up whatever we were doing in the kitchen, equiping herself with culinary knowledge to be brought back to Sarawak later on.
Talk about cooking... hahaha. It reminds me of the stove cabinet. When we moved in, the house was bare, because we were the first tenants. It was totally bare besides whatever is given by the developer. And being girls who love to cook, we had to find a way to put the gas stove. Buy a table? Use chairs? Buy a Cabinet? The last idea was crazy, buy a cabinet to be used for 11 months??
One day, while Ainur and I were passing by the dumpster of our apartment, to my surprise, I saw a stove cabinet. In acceptable condition!!!!
I quickly asked Ainur to stop the car and pointed to the cabinet. She quickly parked the car nearby and both of us tiptoed to the dumpster. And quickly moved the cabinet up to our 10th floor apartment. Luckily no one saw us throughout the long journey. Well it feels longer cos we're being sneaky. When we got back to the car, both of us were laughing our hearts out, as if we're both half crazy. When our friends drop by our house, they were surprised to see us having a stove top cabinet. Haha, we just kept quiet about our "steal" from the dumpster.
And one thing about staying with Ainur. People always thought that she's the Chinese and I'm the Malay. Cos whenever we go out together shopping, salesgirls will always talk to her in Chinese and me in Malay. Both of us will be laughing and laughing, and that would make the salesgirl blush. Ainur also taught me about Minang culture, the way the inheritance goes to the girls instead of the boys, and wedding preps, how does it go about. I learnt a lot while staying with her, the good and the bad. The bad being "curses" or "reared ghosts" that is prevalent among the people she knows. A real eye opener to me.
One weekend, Ainur got up early and cooked us breakfast, Nasi Goreng Kampung, a Malay styled fried rice. Long beans, water convolvulus and dried anchovies are always featured in the Malay cooking and it comes together in this fried rice. This is not my first time eating this, thai-styled Malay restaurants have this in their menus and I’ve eaten this countless times. But she made it real good, and she told me how she did it. Pulverizing the anchovies as well. Ah ha!!!
So, here is a recipe, passed to me by my Malay friend to you
½ medium sized onion
2 cloves garlic
4 birds eye chilli (the ones that I bought are not spicy, so, please adjust this according to own’s preference)
1 heaped Tbsp dried anchovies/ikan bilis
1tbsp cooking oil
½ cup finely sliced long beans (not green beans )
1 large handful of water convolvulus (kangkung)
2 Tbsp dried anchovies (I use them dry, unwashed, so that they can be fried to a crisp)
3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1. Puree everything in (A) except oil. If you can’t get it smooth, add the oil, stir and blend again. It’ll get finer.
2. Heat wok on medium heat. Put in oil and fry anchovies until golden, drain and dish up.
3. With remaining oil in wok, put in (A) and 1 tsp salt and carefully fry it until it turns golden.
4. Put in rice and turn the heat on high. Toss until it looks even, push the rice aside.
5. Crack your eggs and put it in the center. Spread the eggs around. Immediately push the rice onto the eggs and toss the rice, making sure the eggs at the bottom are all brought up and broken up. Fry for a while.
6. Put long beans into rice and toss for 15 seconds, followed by water convolvulus. Toss again for 5 seconds, not too long. Dish up and serve.
Of course you may alter the recipe or ingredients as you wish, as fried rice is fried rice. But once the anchovies, long beans and water convolvulus is missing, it no longer ressembles Nasi Goreng Kampung, but just an ordinary fried rice. IMPO.
For me, if there are no prawns or cha siew in Yong Chow Fried Rice, should it bear the name of Yong Chow Fried Rice?? Or no tomatoes in bolognese.... Or use Szechuan preserved vegetables in Teochew Steamed Fish instead of salted mustard? I can't... and this is just me.
I'm submitting this to Merdeka Open House 2010 hosted by Babe_kl in conjuction with Malaysia's 53rd Independance Day.