A fine savour on simple pleasures

My aim is to reduce the tension in my mind by sharing my thoughts and experiences in the things that I love; which I could not express openly due to circumstances. Be it in doing stupid things, experimenting on new recipes, failings in research work, writings..just some doodle ranting stuff

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthdays 2009

Well, actually there's a birthday party thrown by my labmates last week :) It was a really nice one. For me, HF, Roger, PCF and Kok Wai..but Kok Wai was sick, he was unable to attend. This small party was done at Bukit Expo, and you know what? As a student for 4 years here, I actually didn't really know how to get there in my car *laughing* I was late some more coz of stomachache XD

Kak Irah cooked a super delicious you-dont-eat-you-die spagetti. I kept on licking the container of the gravy afterwards. There's also some drinks and a pretty cake.

D famous extremely mouth-watering spagetti... (I wan sumore T______T)

Everyone were eating..eating and eating...focus!

The cute 1.5kg cake from all labmates for us 4 (actually 3+1, Roger is not our labmate, but sort of a buddy..HF's bf)

PCF, Roger, HF and me hehe~ As if a guy with his 3 concubines XDXD
MF, Roger n HF :)
Iera wf our seniors..Kak Li Oon, Iera, Kak Anu..behind is Kheng2 :)

All in all, the party was awesome. I was forced by them to dip my nose into the cake.. gosh..btw the cake is from King's, really delicious, despite the cough syrup taste of the cherries haha

...mmm..tak saba waiting for my lil bro ni :) He's on the way to pudu to meet me. We will go back to our hometown today yay! *again?* yup! Home sweet home, here we come!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lab session

Last thursday was the mark on the completion of the first lab session in Biophysical chemistry class that I've moderated with my labmates. I'm actually the only person from a different lab for this day. It's because I don't have classes anymore, my 3 other comrades have bioreactor systems exactly during the lab session, hence they are moved to friday lab sessions.

There are actually two lab session per week for this subject because the students involved are too many. More than 80. Half will go to thursday, another to friday. These kids are bright and optimistic, although abit clumsy. Some of them did prepare well before going for lab, but some didn't bother. However, the things that I realize is that, these kids really learn fast :) I'm rather proud of them.

Last week, we went for preparation of acetate buffer and calculating the buffering capacity using the Henderson Hesselbalch equation. Easy task. BUT, the kids don't really can understand instructions kot. Many times they did things wrongly. Its an easy experiment at which you only have to titrate 2M NaOH with your buffer and take the reading for every ml you put in and plot a graph. Maybe they're a bit impatient. But all in all, the real problems lies on the malfunctioning of nearly 1/2 of the newly purchased biuret. Many groups have to share. Dah la have to repeat. AIGOOO...

My supervisor was giving them some explaination aka lectures on buffer preparations. Kids, better listen carefully. You're gonna use em soon enough if you stay on biochems line of work.

Kusyuk habes! :) You don't concentrate, you're gonna dig yer own grave man..work can't finish, make mistakes sumore..repeat la...

Today (approx the next week), we will go for the determination of the isoelectrical point of egg albumin (protein) by reacting them with 0.1M Mc Ilvaine buffer which consequently will lead to the plotting of a curve. Let's see how's the kids fairing this time :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Salam Ramadhan!

To all those Muslims out there, Happy Ramadhan! Today is the first day of Ramadhan, and I'm alone here..feel..erm..a bit sad actually..but toughen up! It's not a big deal.. *sigh* A friend of mine promised to drop by this weekend, but it seems she purposely 'forget' it..Well, I don't blame her though *shrugs* But, I've invited her, let her make her own call on this matter. I won't contact her to remind.

Btw, today, a package from Sarawak came. Its from my adopted big brother, Nibel-nii-sama. For my birthday. Its an album. He even wrote a haiku for me *happy*. Aniki has been a really great brother to me. He always give me moral support and advices. We even like the same genre of songs (which is very rare coz my friends said my taste is weird). Its an album from Akiko Shikata. Truly marvelous. I'd say 9 out of 10. These songs are rather considered as a mix of sopranos+new age. Full of hymnos as well.

The songs
- Chowa~ Fuurai no Shirabe
- Haruka Naru Tabiji
- Kiseki
- Kaze to Rashinban
- Chowa~ Honoo no Kyoumei
- Uzumebi
- Replicare
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni~Rengo
- Chowa~ Utakata no Komoriuta
- Kuon no Umi
- Aoiro Kandzume
- Tsuisouka
- Chowa~ Daichi no Sanka
- Utau Oka~ Salavec rhaplanca
- Amnesia
- Chowa~ Harmonia
- Harmonia~ Mihatenu chi he

All in all I'd say that my nii-sama has never failed me in all these years. I truly hope someone as nice as him will get a good reward in his life. Although I might never meet him for the rest of my life, I want him to achieve the happiness worthy of his personality. Domo arigatou aniki! *bows*

Today feels a tad bit sweeter due to the songs and the haiku :)

I'm somehow blessed.

One of Akiko's song - Utau Oka~ Salavec rhaplanca

Sambal Fried Tempe with Potatoes ~ Simply Vegan!

Yesterday, I cooked two dishes for dinner, a dry hot one with a mild soupy one as to complement each other. The first dish is known as sambal tempe. What is 'sambal'? Sambal uses chilli paste as the base for cooking. Non-Malaysian would be scared to eat if they knew this *chuckles* Or is it truly too hot for those lads? I don't know myself. The truth is, we Malaysians uses a lil bit of magic to kill of the hotness and adjust it to the right taste for each of our own tongue.

Well, I know a lot of people knows how to make this, heck maybe everyone knows. But, to help out the beginners, and the low-budgets, I usually will explains everything from the making of the chillie paste (incase, you didn't have enough dough to buy the premade packet ones, or incase it cannot be found in ur vacinity, only fresh or dried chillies are available) to finding the right kind of 'tempeh' and significance of alternatives for replacements of items that is not available :)

Tell ya one thing, if you prepared the cooked chilli paste properly, it can be kept for at least 1-2weeks and to be used with different kinds of stuff like fish, chicken, crabs, shrimp etc.

Well, lets start;


- 4 tbs of chilli paste - chilli paste can be made from dried red chillies of fresh ones* (check the postscripts)
- 1 big onion
- 1 pkt of tempeh - cut into thin pieces (+-0.5cm) - thinner tempeh would make it crunchier when deep fried
- 1 medium sized potato - cut in wedges
- 1 pcs of asam gelugor/keping (can be replaced with tamarind juice)
- sugar
- salt
- water (2 cups)


First things first, blend the onion with minimal water (if using dry blender is better) or you can use the conventional way, a good grace of mortar and pastle + sweat *laughing* Tell ya what? I've once used a laboratory's mortar and pastle used to extract mitochondria from leaves (an organelle within a single cell) to prepare ingredients for cooking crab :P Nobody knows and I'm still fine. So I supposed it not that bad huh XD

Use around 3-4 tbs of oil at medium fire and saute the onion until frangrant first before adding 4 tbs of chilli paste (this is to your choice, if you want to make more gravy, put more, if want it abit dry, you can put less). Keep on stirring. Don't stop since the heat can burn your chilli paste. When the mixture of oil with chilli paste started to separate themselves (you can see the oil comes to the surface in bubbles), quickly lower down the fire.

Add in 1 cup of water with 1 small piece of 'asam keping' and let it simmer for awhile. Below is an image of 'asam keping/asam gelugor'. An alternative for this is the tamarind juice. But this juice will only be added nearing the end of the cooking. I'll tell u when later.

During the meantime, immerse your potatoes in water for awhile to reduce the amount of white residues coming out of em. The white residues are starch. You see, potatoes are high in carbohydrate like rice, so you should reduce them if you wanna eat rice :)

Deep fry your 'tempe' using a different wok filled with 4 tbs of oil. Keep on stirring them once awhile. When they're nice and crispy, take em out and put on top of a paper towels for the extra oil to absorb em.

Then, fry yer potatoes until golden!

At this stage, when both ingredients are properly fried and put aside, check on your chilli paste (you should actually check them regularly on intervals and stir abit). If its rather dry, you can add in another 1/2-1 cup of water.

Add 5tbs of sugar, 1tsp of salt. Taste and adjust. If its not sour enough, put water and leave it for a while, let the 'asam gelugor' work its magic. If its not salty enough, just add salt. If the hotness still persists, add in sugar to neutralize it. Please don't add all 5 tbs sugar like I said in one go, what I mean is, put in abit and taste. It can never go wrong duh. Also, if you don't have asam gelugor and you wanna substitute with tamarind juice, this is the right time. Add less water if you wanna add tamarind juice inside.

Stir for a while. Add in the fried potatoes and tempeh. Close fire.

This is what a sambal tempe looks like. It does look hot and spicy, but believe me, its really not so..its delicious! And its totally vegan! For 4 persons :)

P/s; I'll explain a little about some facts on chilli paste, tempe asam gelugor etc for your reference.

(a) I've searched for the meaning of asam gelugor and found nothing. Maybe its a local ingredients. I can't even found the original fruit for this one. It is a piece of sun dried fruit. The original colour is yellow orangy. If for tamarind, easy2 :)

How to make a tamarind juice for cooking
- fresh tamarind - break the pod and take the fill within, put in some water and knead with your fingers (make sure not cuts on ur deinty fingers, coz it'll be oh so much pain since its acidic). The right final result would be to obtain a viscous brownish liquid, extremely sour. Use more tamarind if the liquid is not viscous enough. Then seive! Take the liquid only.
- tamarind in a ball form - take out like one handful and dilute with water. Do remember so seive the solution in order to separate all the impurities

How to make chilli paste for cooking
-fresh chillies - grab handful of fresh red chillies (no matter whats the number), cut to small parts (around 1-1 1/2 inch) and blend them with minimal water (make it around 1-2cups). YOu can remove the seeds if you want. Make sure its in paste form, if its not, add more chillies
-dried red chillies - cut the dried chillies to small pieces, boil them at medium heat until all the seeds come out and sink to the bottom. After the wrinkled dried chillies started to look like fresh chillies, close the fire and scoope out the surface using a ladle with small2 holes. You can also use a small seive. Blend with minimal water. Usually I use the whole bag of chillies and turn them to paste and keep in fridge. But remember this chilli paste won't last long if you didn't fry them first.

How to choose the right tempe/tempeh;
tempe usually comes in plastic packages or in banana leaves. The ones that you should pick must look reaally white w/o black residues on top. If its dark yellowish brown, NO. Coz yellowing means the tempe is old. The blackish thing might be fungal spores of Aspergillus niger (which means got cross contamination). Accumulation of this will lead to aspergillosis. If the texture is not firm, then oso NO. Btw, just so you know, tempeh is made from soya beans inoculated with a starter culture, the Rhizopus spp. So, its totally vegan, sorta like tofu :) You can check out the article at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh Its really dem tasty! (if you cook it right tho XD)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Simple Vege Rice Porridge

Dem, sorry for the pics of the previous post. I don't feel like editing it. Too much work.

Well, getting to the main point;

Yesterday, my housemate cooked this for dinner because we didn't have enough rice to cook a decent meal *laughes* We only grab 2 handful of uncooked rice to make this porridge. And as well as some leftover veges in the fridge.


2 bunch/handful of uncooked rice (consider 1 bunch/person)
lotsa lotsa water
veges (i use 1/2 carrots, 1/2 potatos, 1 pak choy (baby sawi)) - make em into cubes plz darlin..or juz cut to small pieces
5-6 slices of ginger (slice it thinly)
1/4 chicken/anchovy/vege cube (as the stock)
2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of corn flour*optional
glass vermicelli*optional

How to do it;

As easy as pie darlin' (easier thn pie actually);

put in 2 handful of uncooked rice into a big pot (at least around 20x15x20cm) make sure the pot is deep enough to be filled with 5 cups of water (the english cup you use to make coffee)

boil the uncooked rice with water at low heat for at least 1/2-1 hour. Please close the lid to make it cook faster.

when the rice didn't look like rice anymore (meaning nearly squashed haha), add in yer ginger. Stir..Add in carrots and potatos..leave it for around 15 minutes.

Poke-poke the potatos to make sure its soft before you put in your green vege (pak choy).

After you add in pak choy, you must quickly add in black pepper, salt, chicken cube and glass vermicelli. Stir abit and taste. If he taste is just right for you, you can add in the corn flour. Don't add all, juz a bit and stir. Make sure the broth thickens to your desired thickness then stop, if not it'll turn too gooey. You won't like it.

Yaataaa! Done! easy right? only took some time to make em. Remember not to use big fire coz it'll burn your porridge easily, better make it steady with a low fire and getting a really nice porridge.

You can deco yer stuff with fried shallot, some chillies and green onions. I only put in the fried shallot :)

Ready to serve for 2 persons!

There are actually many ways to make porridge. I'll give you some tips on how to reduce the time of cooking/making it taste better;

a) If you soak the uncooked rice with water 1/2 hour before you start cooking, your cooking will turn to porridge sooner (make sure to immerse the rice juz at the surface and put in 2-3 drops of sesame oil)

b) sesame oil makes the appetite of the consumer of your food bigger. put some in any/every soupy cooking you make if you like

c) the porridge will taste better if you made a broth first out of the meat you want to use before you put in your uncooked rice

d) if you plan to put some herbs in your porridge, it must goes in before the meat.

e) the flow of items to put into soupy/porridge base cooking
herbs>meat>rice>hard veges>flavours>soft veges(can alternate)

f) if you want to put shrimp/octopus (sotong? ^^;;), made sure its at the 'flavour' or 'soft veges' stage. If you put in too early, it'll become hard and tasteless. Made sure it is cooked under 2 minutes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

End of Happiness~ Returning to Serdang :(

The flowers grew so prettily at home. I truly love these flowers. Momma said, "Cut em up deary. You juz have to arrange them in the soil. veli easy, will grow real soon honey". Crap. The easier tree, 'lemongrass' (i think) in my house oso nearly die siow..crazy crappy super non-green thumb XD

Then, we started to paint henna on our nails~ my momma started it first, painting the nails on my feet while I'm doing her homework for her *laughes* (can you believe it? her presentation for promotion is done by her daughter ^^;;) But as long as she's happy, anything is fine by me.. We started painting our nails.. My big sis, momma and me. Pretty2 yay!

I went back to Serdang on Sunday afternoon of the 16th Aug 2009. I manage to obtain a bus ticket of my choice and able to purchase a single seat. Thank goodness. But then since I sat 2nd from last, I gotta bear with the bumpy ride. Macam naik kuda lao XD

The bus moved at exactly 12.00 noon. My mom was sooo fussy asking me to bring along cod liver oil. My sis bugged me to buy vitamin C..aigooo~

At the middle of the journey (around 2 1/2hr journey), we reached an R&R. R&R is a kind of place where travellers stop for refreshments, petrol, prayers or just to take a quick nap. This place is beautiful. Its in Tapah, in the heart of Perak, a state just a little bit to the south of Kedah.
At this place, we can purchase local fruits, trees, souvenirs and even eat any kinds of food we like, be it fast food chains like kfc, mcD, baskin robins and dunkin donuts, or even rice, traditional cakes/pastries, noodles etc. Its a nice place to rest I'd say. The driver gave us 25 minutes, I spent my whole 20 in the washroom, juz sitting there and relaxing, cuz the place was so nice (not smelly at all) got lotsa partitions, not juz toilet :)

I reached Pudu at 6.00 pm. It's heavy traffic, like always. I jumped off and quickly took LRT Star of Ampang. A lot of people cough and sneeze but they didn't wore a mask. This was craziness. I seriously hated people whom are not concern about someone else's condition. Sometimes I think they prefer to infect it to other so that it'll be 'fair'. If I got it, everyone must got it too. Jahat btol. >.< After reaching the last stop, my bucuk took me and we went for dinner at Serdang haha.

I reached home at 7.30 pm and slept at 10.00 pm. Its really nice to be home. Its really dreadful when have to return. Dem.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fried banana

yeah, actually my momma made it this morning for breakfast with tea, but its not enough to me. That's why I made the kimchi fried rice *laughing again* But then I find that I should post the how-tos here. It not tough at all to make a flour coated fried bananas :)


bananas - can cut into whatever shape you like. but please do cut, the thinner it is the easier to fry
1 cup of wheat flour
1/5 cup of corn flour - to make it crispy
1 teaspoon of tumeric powder - yellow golden colour!
1 egg - sedap heheh
pinch of salt
sesame seeds *optional

Please remember, bananas are high in potassium, K, which assists in the flux of K+ and Ca+ ion transport between the cell membranes. Cyanides which inhibits this transportation can kill us immediately, so remember how important is banana please. Banana is also high in dietry fibres which can help people with GIT tract problems (gastrointestinal). So if you can't pass motion properly you can go for bananas :) BUT, banana's sugar content is so high it is equivalent to a plate of rice, to people who wanted to diet, reduce this yea..haha (i know this but i still made fried rice, pandai XD)

Enough ranting;

Add both flour togather, add some water gradually and mix them properly. Made sure dont make it too watery. It must be like a thick paste. If it becomes to watery, adjust with a wee bit more of wheat flour.

Add tumeric powder, egg and salt and mix. At this stage you might want to add a bit of water to turn it into a thick broth like a liquid chicken stock. Taste a bit yea. Made sure its not too salty. It won't taste good

Add in few pinch of sesame seeds into the mixture and coat your bananas with the mixture.

Fry in a preheat cooking pan/wok/whatever you have with an inch of oil (use whatever oil you have) at medium fire just about 5-10 mins or so.

Made sure don't fry too long since the sugar in the banana can react with heat producing Millard reaction. This reaction actually produces toxic. Alot of people didn't know this. That's the reason why people said McD's fried fries is bad for health. Actually anything that contains sugar you overheat produce the same reaction. Be it simple sugar or complex sugar.

Walah, fried banana for you :)

It doesn't look pretty *laugh* coz Ive eaten alot of em before thinking of taking a pic whahaha

Really good with a cup of earl grey or jasmine tea :)

Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)

I made kimchi fried rice (also known as bokkeumbap, a simple low budgeted korean cooking) this morning for breakfast since there's alot of rice leftover from last nite. Heheh. Another reason is, my sister's matured kimchi was really well done (despite the over salty taste due to excessive usage of salt during salting process to the cabbages. Its not so bad. My 2nd kimchi making trial also got the same problem before).

The rice im using is a mediocre medium grain rice, contrary to the norm of a short grain rice usage. Hence, the texture will be slightly different with other bokkeumbap.

So, here's a pic of how a proper kimchi should look like. It is made of chinese cabbage + radish + green onion. Easy measy. I'll post the receipe next time.

So what you're suppose to do is to take around 3-4 large leaves with the gravy and all as a base (this is for 2 person's cooking k) and chopped them to tiny pieces.

Other ingredients;

1/2 big onion - slice properly please
3 garlic - slice oso nicely
1/2 carrot - slice to whatever shape you like
some chile de arbol (the green one). This one is extremely hot, so if you can't stand it, better don't put in please. Its gonna kill you softly when you eat after its finish *laughing*
some meat; be it sausages, small pieces of chickens or beef, its up to you. I put in chicken scallops since thats the easiest thing i found in the freezer.

Okeh! Lets start cookin'!

1. Saute the onion and garlic til frangrant using just a lil bit of oil in a wok (easier to cook).
2. Put in the kimchi and stir properly and add in the chillies and scallops. Stir some more. Please use medium fire, don't let it burn, won't taste nice.
3. Put carrots and put 4 scoopes of rice. (Basically 2 scoopes per person lah). Lower the fire at this point. Do it fast k. Don't let the carrots to overcook or you'll loose your vitamin A and sweetness :)
4. Stir well until all rice has been homogenously mixed. Add in some kimchi gravy if the colour doesn't look nice. You can put in soy sauce, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Check the taste and adjust.
5. Then, move the rice to the side of the wok with your ladle to make and empty space in the middle of the wok for your egg. Crack that egg in the middle.

 6. Let it fry awhile before you stir it. If not your fried rice will be clammy and wet. Not nice. Not nice :)
7. Cut some cucumber for additional vege as well as garnishing purposes. Get in some antioxidants in that tummy of yours! You can add on some chopped green onion and fried shallot if you like. Its ready!

My tummy is soooo happy huhuhu..

Kulim~ here i am!

On a spontaneous whim, I decided to return to my hometown in Kulim (its a small town located at the north of Malaysia in the state of Kedah) at thursday nite after obtaining permission from my supervisor since the lab class on friday has been canceled too yeah yeah! :) At 5.15 pm after I thumbprint, i quickly gathered my laptop things and my purse and dashed to the nearest comuter station, which is at Serdang, changed to Bandar Tasik Selatan and went down at Plaza Rakyat, which is a walk away from the bus station in Pudu. Since i have a 'touch n Go', its really a touch away and its really speedy :)

Then, a guy approached me to ask when iam to, i said i wanted a ticket now (at which the time was 7.30 pm) and he said ok. I was shocked and extremely excited. I thought I got a really good deal. Yeah right. Stupid me.

The bus only moves at 8.30 pm, and upon moving, it went to another station at Jalan Duta to pick more people. Basically the bus really moved at 9.30++. Shyt.

Dah la the bus was so crappy. Take a look.

Dem, I usually won't even think of boarding such a bus. But I was desperate. The bus that i used to frequent didn't have tickets until at 11 pm. So I braced myself and reach home at the arms of my momma at 2 am. Dem them, 2 A M mind you. That's practically a freaking 7 hr traveling. Its as if I'm travelling a lot further ahead from Pahang to Kedah.

Hugged hugged hugged beloved momma *happy*

Its 7.30 am the next day! (14th Aug) God, i love home. I was so excited to go to the wet market~<3>

This is known as 'petai'. I don't know its english name. Its rather smelly, but o God, the taste is heavenly if we cook em with anchovies with the usage of grinded chili paste and shallot. I will post the receipe some time in the future. I've once isolated the fruit (err, seed? vege?)'s endosperm (i think) aseptically during tissue culture class when I was in my 3rd semester during my undergraduate studies. It grew prettily into a miature tree in a glass box. Gosh its hard XD

My mom buying some pineapples (funny kan? with the mask and all, H1n1 sake :P) I urged her to buy coz I wanna cooked sweet sour fish for dinner today. Won't post that yet, since it deviates from the 'low cost food' I'm promoting.

Some traditional homegrown veges sold on the streets of the wet market. Do you know that crabs sounded like doves? yeah it did. I once heard it at this market on one faithful day.

This uncle is making a 'roti canai'. A kind of bread made of flour dough+eggs thrown and spin in midair to give it crispiness through aeration *laughing* Fold2 em togather and fried using a flat pan wif minimal oil. We usually eat this bread with a 'curry dhal' or just sugar alone. There's many variation of this bread around.

The traditional bakeries sold with 3piece per RM1 :) Quite nice woorr..

At last, we bought lotsa veges, some fruits and fish..makerel and emm..bawal.. i dont know whats that in english :P Hahaha..I love staying at home~<3>

Before we went home, we went to eat rice (in the morning?!) ye la..nasi kandar kan? hahaha. This is my family's favourite nasi kandar shop owned by an Indian muslim, 'Nasi Kandar Haja'. I've tasted this rice since I'm in my momma's tummy *lol* It has a history of more than 100 years. My pa knows the owner well, Uncle Haja. The pic below is the friendly chatty uncle and his shop :)

Its at the heart of Kulim town. Can't miss it :)

These are the yummy curries! I can't live without it! If I return to my hometown, I will definitely eat here at least once. Its really really REALLY good. Especially the beef curry. Always ask the owner to put lotsalotsa gravy yum2!! until flooding heheh.

This is my rice, beef+egg+eggplant...mmmm~ jangan jeles :P

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