Category Archives: Food

I got double down dared and I chickened out

by Penang Boy

I got doubled dare today and I couldn’t do it. It was just… too… fattening.

It’s from a prominent fast food chain and I love the food there but this is just too much. I don’t want to be like this guy.

Nothing wrong with you buddy but I just don’t want to be fat.

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FoodRant #3: WOAH! The art of frying!

By Penang Boy

Thank you Mr. Alton Brown.

I sometimes cook and one thing I know, I suck at frying. I know, I know. Frying is greasy and the food is so bad for you. Why would you want to learn how to fry? Hey! Frying is a work of art. It is as honorable a method to cook as pan frying, roasting and even boiling (which is kinda of a no-brainer.)

Thanks to an episode about tempura on Good Eats which I happened to pay attention to, I have finally, for once in my life, been able to grasp the concept of frying! Woo hoo! I am elated beyond imagination! I am so excited! Now I just want to fry everything!

I have this recipe of my favorite dish from Penang that I always want perfected. It’s one of those foods that you can only find in the streets. They are greasy, oily Fried Belachan Chicken (Fried Shrimp Paste Chicken). I don’t know if the origin is from Penang but there are sure a lot of them in Penang street hawkers. It is absolutely delish and it’s one of my all time favorites (next to Fried Oyster. If you don’t know what is that, stay tune for more Penang food blog entries). I whipped up the recipe myself (Yes, pretty creative) but I have never been able to actually perfect it. It’s so frustrating. I’m pretty sure you all have experienced this. You got the recipe right but your technique is not there. I finally got it! This is actually my fifth official try and I GOT IT!! HAHAHA! SO HAPPY! I AM SO HAPPY! I AM SO HAPPY! THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!

And the result….  Crispy Fried Belachan Chicken! The picture only contains like 10 pieces of the chicken left. I bought 6 chicken thighs. My sister, E, and American Girl kept on eating the chicken as it got out the fryer. Gosh. I was so happy I do not know how to express it in words! Just ask American Girl how happy I was. I just can’t stop being happy.

Well, just for your info, here’s what I learnt. For those who are into cooking, the few tips I learnt are: the fryer has to be perfectly at a constant temperature of 375F. It is also advisable to use alcohol(vodka) to mix the batter as it will not form gluten, which absorbs the grease. The alcohol is actually volatile and will evaporate at a very low temperature so you don’t have to worry about your food being alcoholic. This technique is also useful when you bake. Less gluten, less ‘carb-y’ feeling, lighter taste, oh so goodness.

After my frying experiment, I went on to cook another dish. Nothing spectacular. Just plain old pasta! But… the mushrooms are actually cooked to perfection thanks to an advice from Julia Child. Ah…. cooking techniques are just marvelous! Here’s a picture of my humble pasta.

Ah! I Love Food! Happy Cooking and Eating!

American Girl Learns About Tamarinds

We are in a Malaysian Restaurant.  Penang Boy’s sister just ordered fish head curry with tamarind.

American Girl: What’s a tamarind?
Penang Boy: I explained before remember? It’s a tropical plant. The seeds that come from its trees are sweet and sour and are used to flavor some Malaysian dishes. And Mexicans also use it for candy.
American Girl: The reason I keep asking is because it sounds so familiar! Is it those Chinese candy things?
Penang Boy: No.
American Girl: Is it those green things?
Penang Boy: No. That’s okra.
American Girl: Is this a tamarind?
Penang Boy: No. That’s a bean!
The food arrives.
Here, this is fishhead curry flavored with tamarind.
American Girl: So what is a tamarind?
Penang Boy: Sigh…this girl…

Penang Boy Learns About Cracker Jacks

Penang Boy: Hey that’s Cracker Jack! Your favorite cheese!
American Girl: What?! Cracker Jack is not a cheese.
Penang Boy: Didn’t you say it was your favorite cheese?
American Girl: Uh…you mean Pepper Jack?
Penang Boy: OH!!!
American Girl: (laughs very hard)
Penang Boy: (laughs)… so what’s Cracker Jack?
American Girl: It’s an American brand of popcorn and peanuts with caramel on it. You know, (sings)
Take me out to the ball game,
take me out with the crowd,
buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I ever get back-

Penang Boy: You really don’t care if you ever get back?

FoodRant #2: Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas

American Girl lives in a country where Panda Express reigns and authentic, quality Asian food is hard to come by.  Penang Boy came from a country where he claims has the best Asian food in the world.  So when Penang Boy ate the food at this restaurant and said he wanted to cry with joy, you can imagine that American Girl was nearly dead.

Ankimo
Steamed monkfish liver with seaweed in a sour, lemon sauce.


American Girl: (Takes a bite). Oh my god! Sooooo good, the liver tastes like fishy paste! And the sourness goes with it perfectly!
Penang Boy: What if someone chops you open and eats your liver?
American Girl: Hey!

Crab Croquette
Fried food roll containing cream and crab.

American Girl: So creamy on the inside…
Penang Boy: You forgot to take a picture.
American Girl: Oops, oh well, there’s one more left.

Buta Meshi
Rice and pork cooked in a clay pot.

American Girl: I feel cheated. Why is it that I was denied of this my entire life?
Penang Boy: Mmmm…can you taste the pork fat melting in your mouth?
American Girl: I LOVE how the rice sticks to the pot and gets crunchy!

Au Gratin Potatoes
Baked potato with curry covered with cheese.

American Girl: These potatoes taste so light! Better than how Americans cook them.

Lychee Shochu

American Girl: (Takes a long swig from the straw). This is my new favorite drink. Is it alcoholic?
Penang Boy: Yes.
American Girl: Why didn’t you tell me? Ice is coming out of my nostrils!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!! Oh my god!

Heaven is…

by Penang Boy

Heaven is….

a slice of good Parma Prosciutto.

And some Indian food after!

FoodRant #1: Test Your Garlic Tolerance

Photos from besighyawn. Imagine you had to light this for the Olympics.

by American Girl
To me, garlic is and will always be a seasoning.  However, I’ve often witnessed Penang Boy POP ROASTED GARLIC BULBS INTO HIS MOUTH.  I am only willing to subject myself to this strange behavior if it would save me from killer vampires.

Yet, Penang Boy went to the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival last year and came back determined to make me regret my absence.  So we drove down to Gilroy this year, and after I met the Jumbo Garlic Guardian and had a taste of his goods, I became somewhat of a convert due to my inability to erase the memory of garlic bread melting in my mouth.  When the light yet crunchy texture of that baby hit my tongue, I had a moment similar to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when starving Charlie gets his first bite of a Willy Wonka bar and goes to chocolate heaven. Except it’s garlic bread.

However, let me emphasize that garlic on garlic bread is still a condiment.  The ultimate taste test was still yet to come, a dish where garlic was the star.

Are you ready for this!?

Key word: FREE. That and I wanted to be able to say “Yeah, I had garlic ice-cream.” So we stood in line and got us some famous garlic ice-cream. Reactions:

Penang Boy: Hmmm…not bad.

American Girl: *no answer* Dead from garlic fumes.

Well, I guess now we know I’m garlic intolerant.

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