Daily menu – so far

So, since we have been away from Malaysia for yonks, you cannot imagine the excitement of finding fresh herbs, spices and various produce being sold all over Kuching and our immediate vicinity. Things like pucuk manis and daun kesom, cockles, tiny little gelama fish sold in little piles of about 20 for about RM5 – all these screamed traditional village fare to me. Thus, this past week, our menu has featured the following:

Monday – Seafood lunch as it was a public holiday and we went exploring to Kampung Buntal and Santubong.

Tuesday – Gulai Pucuk Ubi dengan Cendawan Kukur, Sambal Tumis Udang dan Telur Terubuk Goreng

Wednesday – Ikan Tenggiri Tumis Asam dengan Belimbing Buluh, Rendang Kerang, Ulam pegaga dan timun dengan Sambal Belacan

Thursday – Ikan Bawal Hitam Goreng Garing, Sambal Tempoyak dengan Pucuk Ubi, Pucuk Paku dan Midin Stir-fry dan Sambal Belacan

Friday – Asam Pedas Ikan Sembilang, Ayam Goreng Kunyit, Ikan Pekasam Gelama dan Ulam.

No photos yet to upload as our camera is also on the way ūüė¶¬†¬† As the seafood around here is fresh and plentiful, we are looking forward to increasing our intake of fish and reducing red meat in our diet. We really overdosed on red meat when we were living in the Middle East.

 

How to cook rice without a rice cooker :)

As per my last post – we are currently living minimalistically (kind of…) and I have had to do without my rice cooker as it is currently making its way to Kuching, inside our car. The pot was just too bulky and heavy to carry as hand-luggage with us, so… having been assured that it would not take too long for our cars to arrive from Peninsular Malaysia – I thought I could do without it for a week. It has now been almost 3 weeks and¬†the cars are still on the way. I¬†cannot put my family through the ordeal of eating out every day and, as¬†generations of women before me have had to live without a rice cooker and managed to cook rice perfectly, I decided to try and¬†boil rice in my thin pot on top of the stove.

After 2 days of porridge-like goo, followed by dried out grains, I think I have found the best way of getting the rice boiled and steamed to fluffiness.

Rice for 4

2 tea cups of fragrant rice (Thai long-grain, jasmine rice)

Water

Method:

1) First, wash the rice thoroughly until water runs clear.

2) Soak the rice and leave for 20 minutes.

3) Drain the rice of all soaking water (you can recycle this water for plants.).  Add 2 tea cups of water to the rice.

4) Boil rice uncovered on medium heat Рonce water starts to boil, you will see that the outside circle of the rice in the pot look plumper than the middle Рstir once to re-distribute rice evenly.

5) When water has evaporated to the same level as the rice (still wet and bubbling though,) put heat on lowest setting, cover the pot. Leave for about 7 minutes (do not remove cover!)

6) Check if all water is absorbed. If rice look fluffy, switch the heat off and leave rice covered to steam for about 10 more minutes.

7) Rice should be ready to be fluffed and served.

It sounds a little complicated – but it is well worth the effort. If you have extra rice, you can always cool it in the fridge and make fried rice the following day.

New life in Kuching, Malaysia

So, after 4 years of wandering in the deserts of Riyadh (and loved it, by the way,) we came home to Kuala Lumpur for a month before moving across South China Sea to our new home in the city of Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, one of the 2 Malaysian states located in the island of Borneo. Since our arrival in Kuching on 30th August, we have now managed to set up our home in Demak Laut, about 15 minutes away from the city of Kuching. The compound that we live in belongs to the Royal Customs Department, consisting of a cluster of bungalows, semi-detached houses and apartments with a soccer field, multi-purpose hall, a tennis court and a surau for communal prayers.

It is very quiet here during the day as most people go out to work. My neighbours are hardly home, so, I am left to tinker about on my own all day. Having been surrounded by ladies almost every day in Riyadh, this seclusion is different, but not unwelcome. I keep busy with housework, but now that things have become more or less routine, the time has come for me to continue with blogging.

At the moment, we are living minimalistically – our cargo from Riyadh have yet to get here, and the same is true of our cars. What we have in the house is very functional – I can do basic¬†cooking, laundry, clean relatively well and¬†be entertained. The empty spaces are rather comforting and I do feel that we can do without a lot of the “stuff” that we have coming.¬†However, I am also looking forward to having my food processor, cake mixer, baking and kitchen stuff again. No matter what I say,¬†a cleaver and a paring¬†knife are hardly enough to get all jobs done well, as well as the really thin pots and pans I am currently using.
Till next time…