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Thursday, 21 March 2019

How many ways can you eat clams?

When it comes to shellfish, clams is a top favourite of mine (yes, even more than cockles!).  There are many different types of clams from different countries and it's difficult to tell them apart from the shells of where they're from.  But that's not a concern for me as I like them all.

You have clams from western countries, Japanese clams and the most common, our local lala clams which are thin-shelled and oblong-shaped.  All are yum in my books! ^_^

#1 - Clams in Butter, Lemon & Garlic


For something light and fresh, clams in a garlicky, buttery and tangy sauce is bound to stimulate your appetite.

#2 - Hamaguri Ninniku

These are clams topped with a well torched, creamy, garlic mentai sauce for a smoky, salty, creamy finish...absolute yum!

#3 - Clams in Seafood Broth

Asari clams in a seafood broth with dried chilli flakes, garlic and parsley is a tasty starter.

#4 - Kam Heong Lala


Another popular way of cooking la-la at Chinese restaurants and dai chow places is to stir-fry them in a fragrant and savoury kam heong sauce made with dried shrimps, shallots, garlic, bird's eye chillies, curry leaves, soybean paste and oyster sauce.  Salty and fragrant, it's great with rice.

#5 - Seafood Aglio-Olio


When it comes to a Seafood Aglio-Olio, you can bet your sweet ass that clams are part of it along with other seafood like prawns, squid, mussels...and sometimes even yabbies.


But it works just as well with clams alone.

#6 - Siong Tong Lala

This is a dish that's commonly ordered at Chinese restaurants or dai chow places.  The la-la is steeped in a clear soup with rice wine, ginger, scallions and chillies.  I don't get to eat this nowadays since my immediate family is not into la-la (worst still if rice wine is involved) and my extended family members deem shellfish unhealthy. :P

#7 - Mixed Seafood Pot in Thai Coconut Broth


In this seafood pot, the seafood of clams, prawns, mussels, halibut and scallops are steamed in a Thai-inspired broth made with coconut milk, lemongrass, onions, ginger, chillies and fresh lime juice that's both tasty and refreshing.

#8 - Lala in Spicy Sauce


Or how about some spicy la-la clams stir-fried with lots of dried chillies, garlic, ginger and maybe some salted beans?  Salty, spicy, delicious.

#9 - Clams in Miso Broth


For something light, clams in a miso broth with silken tofu cubes, wakame seaweed and spring onions can be a healthy choice.

#10 - Rice Wine Lala Beehoon


One of the ways locals like to eat their la-la is in a bowl of rice wine with beehoon (that's similar to siong tong la-la clams except this one has noodles and more broth).  The lightly cooked fresh la-la with a hint of rice wine and ginger is absolutely warm and comforting. ^o^

#11 - Clams in Cajun Sauce


Cajun sauce is a favourite with seafood boil...then throw in a shellfish like clams for good measure. ^_*

#12 - Lala Chien

We all know about oh chien (or oyster omelette)...but have you had lala chien (or lala omelette)?  Now that la-la is costly (and perhaps commercially not viable), the only way you can get to eat lala chien is if you cook it yourself at home.

#13 - Seafood Pizza


Then, there's the seafood pizza where the toppings may consist of prawns, baby octopus, squid.....and clams, of course.

#14 - Lala Dim Sum


We even have lala dim sum, y'all...hihihi! :P

#15 - Japanese Seafood Curry


Not the best way to have clams but did had them once in a Japanese seafood curry with bits of prawns, squid and scallop.

#16 - Seafood Soup


In a tomato-based (or saffron-infused) seafood broth, you're bound to find clams amongst the fresh seafood.


And what's better than clams in a seafood soup.....de-shelled clams, of course!  Seen here with firm de-shelled prawns and flaky white fish.

#17 - Clams in Hotpot or Steamboat


Finally, you can expect clams to be offered as one of the ingredients in a hotpot (probably more usual in a shabu shabu than a local Chinese steamboat).

Clams get a lot of stick for being bad for health.  But you'd be surprised to read about the health benefits of clams if you google it.  It's only bad when they're eaten raw (or undercooked), like any shellfish for that matter, so eat your clams cooked.  As always, eat anything and everything in moderation.  So, what's your favourite way of having clams? ^_~

Monday, 18 March 2019

#ewew tries Indomie Salted Egg Noodles

Indomie is a very popular brand of instant noodles from Indonesia and some variations can be found in our Malaysian supermarkets as well.  Indomie Mi Goreng is probably one of the best known and most frequently eaten here.

I was recently given this Indomie Salted Egg Noodles bought directly from Indonesia to try.  Well, salted egg is like the 'in' flavour these days.  It's found on everything and anything....from salted egg yolk croissant to salted egg fried rice, salted egg squid or prawns, salted egg chips, salted egg pasta, salted egg buns, salted egg fries, you name it...they have it.  So, why not on instant noodles, right? ;)

On opening the packet, there were two sachets of seasoning, one contained the salted egg granules/powder together with ground chilli powder while the other sachet held some kind of dark sauce.

The noodles, at first glance, looked a lot flatter and wider than say our usual Maggi instant egg noodles that we get here.

The instructions said to boil the noodles for two minutes (not the usual three) before tossing into the flavoured seasoning.

I made sure I cooked it according to the instructions.  And then, toss, toss, mix, mix...and it's ready for eating! ^_~

My first mouthful of the noodles, I found the texture too soft even though I followed the cooking instructions to the tee and boiled the noodles for just two minutes.

Next, did I taste the salted egg in the noodles?  Hardly More like no.  I did smell it initially in the salted egg granules when I brought it close to my nose.

I also didn't quite like the flavour of the dark sauce the noodles were tossed in.  I'm not sure what went into the flavouring of the dark sauce (perhaps a combination of dark soy, light soy, maybe oyster, hoisin or some salted bean paste sauce?) but somehow the combination of flavours didn't work.

Eaten as a whole, the noodles felt starchy and lacked the flavour of salted egg.  I wonder if it was the salted egg powder that made the noodles have this starchy and sticky mouthfeel (as salted egg tends to be).

In the end, I may love all many things salted egg but I guess Indomie Salted Egg Noodles won't be one of them...or perhaps this one just didn't cut it! :P

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Eatomo @ Bangsar

Eatomo @ Bangsar is one of our favourite places for good tasting, affordable and great value Japanese food.  And just like Christmas, we had one of our Chinese New Year meals here.

I like that I can easily get a table during the festive period since Japanese cuisine isn't usually on people's minds when it comes to a CNY meal (+ we grew tired of indulging in too much Chinese food).  By the way, did you notice the two salmon 'caught' in the fishing net above?  I thought it was rather cute.

First thing I noticed on the menu was a dish synonymous with CNY....what else but the Eatomo Yee Sang at RM78 (for regular) and RM98 (for large) which we chose not to have.  The photos below were from two separate visits.

A starter I've always wanted to try is the Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter @ RM13.90 with a Fine de Claire oyster (FDC4) or option for a larger oyster (FDC1) @ RM18.90 in a house-made tomato-based cocktail sauce (note that a FDC1 oyster is RM8.90 and a FDC4 is RM13.90 on its own, so that means the cocktail shooter costs an extra RM5).  Don't let the name Bloody Mary fool you as this one is safe to slurp (even for those who are under age to drink!) since this is a tomato-based cocktail.  I've always been curious about an oyster shooter but couldn't try since a shot of vodka is involved until I found this one.  So, this was my first oyster shooter...albeit a non-alcoholic one.

Now, how do one go about eating an oyster shooter?  Well, if the oyster was served in the shot glass, that'd be easy...just slurp it up! ;)  But since it was served atop the shot glass and the tomato-based sauce was filled right to the brim, I sipped the briny 'liquor' (or juice) from the oyster first to prevent the shot glass from overflowing when I put the oyster in later.  The tomato juice was bright and had a slightly salty aftertaste when I slurped the whole thing into my mouth.  Pretty delicious way to eat an oyster.  Now, did I eat this the right way?...kekeke! ^_~

Another addictive starter (which we had before...and continues to order every time we're here) is the Enoki Fries Basket @ RM9.90 that's super crispy and worth every cent.

I'm impressed at just how they're able to get the well seasoned batter to such a crisp level.  Your kids will give you extra hugs and kisses for ordering this.  And sometimes, one is just not enough! :P

After trying the Mentaiko Mozza Fries @ RM16.90 for the first time on our last visit, (like Sean) we were hooked.  Who wouldn't when the perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, gourmet fries are laced with lots of savoury and smoky-flavoured mentaiko (and oh, there was some mozzarella cheese too).

As usual, no visit to Eatomo is complete without ordering one of our must-haves, the Wok-Fired Spicy Gyutandon @ RM21.90.  This time we even went overboard and doubled the beef tongue for an additional RM15 until we can't even see the rice underneath...hehehe! ;)  You can also add on an extra rice for a more substantial meal (or share the dish between two).

Hey, but enough is enough.  Let's try the Wok-Fired Spicy Brisket Bowl @ RM19.90 instead for a change. After all, it's the exact same recipe (as the beef tongue) in their house special sauce with a nice kick of heat from the chillies, finished with a sprinkling of fragrant fried garlic and a hint of freshness from the chopped spring onions.

The Australian prime beef brisket was very thinly sliced (with just a little fat on it) rendering it ultimately tender.  I ended up preferring this to the beef tongue for its soft and tender bite.  There you go!  It pays to try something new, it might just surprise you.

If beef isn't your thing (not that it is), order the Wok-Fired Spicy Chicken Don instead @ RM14.90.  This was our first time having this...everything's the same except you get thinly sliced chicken and some Japanese cucumbers.  It has a similar taste as the beef don except it's done with chicken.  Of course, I prefer the beef version.

If you have a really good appetite and one bowl is not enough, you can consider the Mentaiko-Seared Tamadon as your add-on option.

At an easy-on-the-pocket price of RM14.90, it's bound to fill even the heftiest of appetites as a second donburi.  And if you happen to have a bottomless stomach, you can even have a third....heheh, just kidding! ^_*

My Personal Opinion

As always, another two really satisfying visits.....would there be any other outcome?  Hehehe! ^_~

Eatomo Food Co
No 21 Jalan Telawi 2
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2202 3280

Monday, 11 March 2019

#ewew cooks Black Pomfret in Black Sauce (Ikan Masak Kicap)

When I was at the wet market a week before Chinese New Year, staring at a Chinese silver pomfret (or tau tai chong) which cost more than RM100, my eyes gazed upon a black promfret of a similar size next to it (and it was going for just RM14.50)! :O  What??...that's only about 10% of the price of the white pomfret!  I thought I could make sweet sour fish for the reunion makan.

On reaching home, I realised I may have jumped the gun a little.  I can't serve a black pomfret for the CNY reunion dinner as the colour wouldn't be very auspicious for the new year now, would it? ;P  Not that I believe in such traditional customs and beliefs but I also do not wish to upset the elderly and those who do believe.  

The fish obviously didn't make it to the reunion table...and that's how I ended up with a black pomfret in my freezer....which I had to get rid of by cooking it for our own consumption.  So, this is my take on Black Pomfret in Black Sauce a la Malay-style, or otherwise known as Ikan (Bawal Hitam) Masak Kicap.

Ingredients:

1 large black pomfret
1 red onion, half cut into rings & half sliced
3 red (or green) chillies, deseeded and cut lengthwise
2 shallots, coarsely shredded
2 cloves of garliccoarsely shredded
1 inch of gingercoarsely shredded
1 small tomato, cut into wedges
1 bunch of spring onion, cut into 2-inch lengths
Oil (for frying the fish)

For the sauce:
1/4 tbsp dark soy
1/2 tbsp light soy
1/2 tbsp dark sweet soy (or kicap manis)
3/4 tbsp (bottled) chilli sauce
1/2 cup water
A pinch of salt

Preparation:

Pat dry the pomfret and make three slits on either side of the fish.  You can also substitute the bawal hitam with ikan kembong, ikan selar, ikan tenggiri or ikan tongkol (whichever fish you fancy).  Rub the fish with salt and turmeric powder (and let it marinade for a few minutes).  Just remember not to do it on your cutting board (do it on a stainless steel or ceramic plate instead) as turmeric stains just about everything.

Prepare the aromatics and vegetables.  Coarsely shred the garlic, shallots and ginger for use as aromatics.  Deseed the red chillies and cut lengthwise.  Cut half a red onion into rings and slice the remaining half for the aromatics.  Cut the tomato into wedges and the spring onion into 2-inch lengths.

Method:

Shallow-fry the fish in some oil (ooo, I got myself a big-ass fish which could barely fit into my pan even after I snipped off part of its tail).  You can also choose to deep-fry the fish for a crispier finish but I don't like to do deep-frying at home (for the mess it creates) plus shallow frying is a much healthier alternative.

Once cooked, transfer the pomfret onto a serving dish.

Pour out the excess oil (used for frying the fish) and leave about 2 tbsp of oil to saute your aromatics (of garlic, shallots, onions and ginger).

Once the onions are translucent and soft, make a sauce with all the ingredients listed above for the sauce. Add a pinch of salt as the kicap manis brings quite a bit of sweetness to the sauce.

When the sauce comes to a simmer, do a taste test and adjust the seasoning at this point until you're happy with it.  Add in the onions (that have been cut into rings), red (or green) chillies (can also be substituted with fiery cili api if you like your sauce more spicy) and tomato wedges.

Simmer for a good 5 minutes until the onions and tomatoes are nicely soft and everything is combined.  Let the sauce reduce and thicken slightly.  Add in the spring onions at the last minute.

Pour the sauce over the fish and my Black Pomfret in Black Sauce is done.

As we all know, the meat of the black pomfret is more compact and drier than white pomfret (which is usually steamed to enjoy its smooth and flaky texture).

The texture and taste of the meat isn't all that bad as long as you get your hands on a really fresh bawal hitam.  And we can't dismiss the fact that it's a truly affordable fish to eat.  A black pomfret of this size can easily feed a family-of-four.

The black pomfret also tends to have a fishier smell compared to white pomfret, so it works best with a robustly-flavoured sauce like this one.  Or you can also make a version of ikan masak kicap pedas with some freshly blended chilli paste.

I first ate ikan masak kicap from a Malay stall (and liked it) and that inspired me to try and replicate it at home (I thought it shouldn't be too difficult).  I just added a bit more aromatics and vegetables in my version instead of only onions and green chillies.  

I may have gone 'overboard' with the veggies a little but you can't deny that the abundance of it makes it a perfect one-dish meal with rice....got fish, got veggie, got sauce...what else you want-lah....kekeke! ^o^

Sudi cuba my Ikan Bawal Hitam Masak Kicap? ^_~  Senang dimasak, sedap dimakan.....hihihi! ;D

Serves 3- 4 (with rice)

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