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Malaysian CNY delights
#1 Kuih Kapit
*contains egg

credits: http://littlemissmay.com/index.php/?m=200701

The recipe is half standard and half by feel and experience. 1 kg of flour, 1 kg of sugar. That’s the standard portion. The other half is measured by “holding up a wet finger in the air”. 15 to 20 eggs, depending on how tasty (or heong) you want the love letters to be. Milk from 4 coconuts or more, depending on how old the coconuts are. The older they are, the more milk they produce, the less you need.

The amount of coconut milk added to the batter of flour, sugar and eggs is another thing that’s based on feel. My uncles who are pro at this always go by the consistency of the batter when they mix and stir it around a little. Too thick, just add a bit more milk. Too runny, and you’ll be in trouble.

While the batter is being prepared in the kitchen — it takes about 2 hours to get it just right — outside at the indoor garden, the stove is prepared. Charcoal pieces are placed into the stove (see how rusty it is? Now, that’s a really well-used ka-chang!), and left to burn till they smoulder nicely on their own. The perfect “fire” for barbecue.

The moulds are heated up to melt the layer of coconut oil that was applied the year before to keep them from rusting. Now, this is the “secret” — only use coconut oil to coat the moulds before, during and after making those love letters. We’ve tried all sorts of other cooking oils, but they don’t preserve the moulds well enough compared to coconut oil.

Once the moulds are cleaned off of the old oil and recoated with a new layer, the love-letter making begins!

Now, this is one thing I admit I’ve never really tried. Handling the moulds themselves over the stove. I’ve beaten the flour, sugar and eggs, squeezed the milk from the coconuts, mixed with a spring beater till my arms are all tired, folded the thin biscuits till my fingers are almost blistered from the hot oil. Those things, I’m good at.

Cooking the love letters themselves, no. One needs to pour batter onto the mould, put it over the stove to cook for awhile, scrape and clean the edges halfway through, put on the stove again till biscuit turns golden brown, peel off from the edge and toss to the designated letter folder (which is usually me). I’m ok with burning my fingers on the folding, but too chicken shit to try the actual cooking which probably might be less taxing on my fingertips. I’m afraid that I might burn half of the biscuits before they even reach the folding stage. Maybe next year, eh? Or the year after that… Or I’ll just stick to folding…

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posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 @ 9:58 PM

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Eggless Pineapple Tarts

1. 1 packet of Pineapple Tart Flour (~400g)
2. 1 packet of ready made pineapple tart filling (~300g)
3. 1 1/2 tablespoon soy milk powder (to replace the egg)
4. 200 g butter / margarine (for vegans)
5. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1. Add pineapple tart flour into a mixing bowl.
2. Add butter, vanilla essence and soy milk powder.
3. Kneed butter / margarine into the flour until it becomes a smooth dough.
4. While letting dough stand, roll pineapple tart filling into small oval shaped balls.
5. Roll out the dough into a thin spread and cut into strips of 1 inch x 3 inches.
6. Cover the pineapple fillings with the strips, and making sure both ends of the pineapple filling are still visible.
7. Use the back of a spreading knife and gently "cut" the top of the tart to obtain diagonal checked boxes.
8. Place the tarts into paper cookie cups.
9. Pre-heat oven at 180C.
10. Add tarts and bake at 180C for around 20-25 minutes

* The tarts are not "golden brown" as we did not apply the egg-wash to the top layer, you can probably try "milk-washing" it (as for vegans, i do not think soy milk will have the same effect though).

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posted on: Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 7:36 PM

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Name: (forgot the exact name of this restaurant)
Location: SS2 / 66, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Operation hours: 11am to 10pm

Taste = ****
Atmosphere = ***
Service = ***
Price = $$
Location = not very convenient for tourists
How to get there = taxi / bus (any bus that goes to SS2, PJ) / LRT to Paramount and taxi to SS2/66.

A newly opened restaurant. Fairly economical pricing.
This is a typical Malaysian Chinese Restaurant, which offer a full-range menu and also individual rice / noodle dishes.

We tried the "Indian mee", "Hokkien Mee" and also "Yin-Yang Fish (a 'fish' with one half of it topped with minced-ginger and the half with special soy-sauce.)

I loved the yin-yang fish!

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posted on: Sunday, January 11, 2009 @ 6:16 AM

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Nyonya Colors (Malaysia)
Name: Nyonya Colors
Location: Gardens MidValley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operation hours: 11am to 10pm

Taste = ****
Atmosphere = ****
Service = ***
Price = $$$
Location = very convenient for tourists (in a huge shopping mall)
How to get there = KTM to MidValley / taxi / bus

This restaurant serves Nyonya Malaysian food. It is of Nyonya style (Nyonyas are Malaysian Chinese who have adopted a Malay lifestyle. The Nyonyas have fused chinese and malay style of cooking and have created quite a few unique delicacies for all to enjoy!)

Personal recommendations:

1. Teh Tarik (tea, made by "pulling" the tea in midair by pouring the tea from one cup to another) (if you're a vegan, you can request for a milk-free version)
2. The kuih (nyonya pastries) (they don't normally contain milk as they normally use coconut milk)Hidden Treasure


3. Curry Chee Cheong Fun (Chinese rice rolls with curry sauce) (if vegan, best to be safe and ask for the regular black bean sauce - tim jeong)

4. Do try some of the ready-made curry paste. Check the ingredients before purchase. Even though it says "seafood curry", it's still safe as you add the seafood separately. As vegetarians, it's up to your imagination as to what to add. For me, I add tofu, brinjals, potatoes, etc.
*Note: It is cheaper to get it from the morning market in SS2.

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posted on: Thursday, January 8, 2009 @ 6:10 AM

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Kwan Im Vegetarian Restaurant (Singapore)
Name: Kwan Im Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: No. 190, Waterloo Street, Bugis (near the buddhist temple)

Taste = ****
Atmosphere = ****
Service = ****
Price = $$$
Location = quite near to city.
How to get there = MRT to Bugis (head towards Fortune Center)

I have yet to try the mains at this restaurant but I always go there for the pastries. Omg. I love the "wife biscuit" (老婆饼) Loh Por Bang.

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posted on: 6:07 AM

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San Yuan Vegetarian
Name: San Yuan Vegetarian
Location: BLk 18, Bedok South Ave 1, Singapore

Taste = ****
Atmosphere = ***
Service = ****
Price = $$$
Location = quite far from city, near Tanah Merah MRT / Bedok MRT.
How to get there = MRT to Bedok and take the 229 bus. Ask the driver as to when to get off.

I tried the food here and I highly recommend it!

Personal recommendations:
1. Shark's Fin Soup, huge bowl for only $8

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posted on: 6:01 AM

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- Jamie & Yvonne -
Two avid vegetarians are here to share some insights to the world of vegetarianism.
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