|Mom posted me four HUGE A4 envelopes filled with Malaysian teas and coffee!!! :)|
As you may probably know, I am now living 7000 miles away from the place I grew up in and call 'home', in a completely strange, foreign, and occasionally hostile (in more ways than one, but especially in terms of the climate) land, and as a result am quite frequently prone to bouts of extreme homesickness.
By 'homesickness', I really mean deep and insane cravings for a taste of familiar, comforting food from home. Being no stranger to the kitchen, I have chased away many a bout of homesickness with hearty, warming, delicious Malaysian food and now, with my recent acquisition of a spanking brand-new digital SLR, it seems a waste and a shame not to record my culinary adventures with it.
So, for your reading (and drooling) pleasure, KLchick proudly introduces a new series of blog posts which will be titled Cooking with mom, a series of home-cooked food posts inspired by familiar Malaysian Chinese-style dishes my mom has cooked for the family.
Now, what better way to kick off this series than with some truly Malaysian staples: fried rice (or nasi goreng in Malay) and fried noodles (mee goreng)?
Chinese-style fried rice and stir-fried noodles
These humble, peasant dishes utilize the Asian cupboard's most basic staples - rice and noodles, which can be bought anywhere in KL for next to nothing. At Asian grocer's in Western nations, however, that is a different matter, but the extra cost is well worth that taste of home. ;)
The dishes are then filled in or enhanced by whatever leftovers are available in the fridge - usually chunks of meat, and vegetables which are diced into equal-sized cubes. Everything is thrown together in a large pan, or wok, and the result is two of the most basic, simple staples of Malaysian Chinese home dining.
Vegetable / sunflower oil
Cooked rice (best to use leftover rice that has been kept overnight in the fridge OR rice that has been well cooled after cooking to ensure the grains don't stick together) OR cooked instant noodles (both rice and noodles can be cooked in the microwave to speed up cooking time and save energy)
Onions or shallots
Meat and vegetables of choice
Salt, pepper and soya sauce to season
For noodles: Kicap manis/pekat or dark soya sauce where kicap not available
Heat oil in pan.
Add in onions/shallots and stir fry until light golden brown in colour (do not let them burn).
Add in meat (if using raw meat, or else add in cooked meat together with vegetables) and fry until cooked.
Add diced vegetables and fry until hot or cooked (if using raw vegetables).
Add in rice or noodles and mix everything together.
Crack several eggs in and stir vigorously to ensure egg gets evenly distributed and forms fine strands instead of getting clumpy.
Season to taste (add kicap manis/pekat if frying noodles to get that rich brown colour), and dish up!
My mom used to cook 'tong sui' or sweet dessert soups like barley yee mai, or barley with beancurd soup, or red bean soup whenever she did these stir-fry dishes to counter the saltiness and oiliness of the fried dishes. One of the most satisfying meal combinations ever.