Monday, December 29, 2008

Crispy Little Fish

"Only hardworking people get the chance to taste homecooked food at the lowest price". Agree? How many of us will buy these tiny fishes, averagely with 2" body length from the wet market? And how many of us will take our time to cut, merinate and cook these tiny fishes? It's a tremendous process if one doesn't master the skill. Although a kilo of this tiny fish just cost a few ringgits, but I'll just surrender by looking at the processes. Especially the cutting process, which is very time consuming.

Oh yes, by the way, I'm not too sure what is the name of this fish. We just called it "Pek To Kang" in Hokkien. If really want to translate into English, I will call it Little White Tummy Fish. :) The fish is in very attractive shinny-white color.

To cook this dish, first you have to cut and clean the head and stomach of these little fishes. Then merinate the fishes with turnmeric powder, pepper and sea salt for about 30 minutes. After that, get the fishes coated with a layer of corn starch and deep fry in the hot boiling oil till golden brown.

To eat the fish, you just need to remove the centre bones like this.

I finished up the whole plate on my own. :) Mom specially kept some for me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Anniversary Lunch @ Little Cottage Cafe

19th of December was our wedding anniversary. It is our fourth anniversary. We celebrated this memorable day 2 days later on 21st December, coincidently it was the same day as Winter Solstice. Hubby & I just had our simple anniversary lunch at Little Cottage Cafe.

We went to the old outlet at Burmah Road. They have another branch at Gottlied Road. The cafe mainly serve Western and Italian cuisine. You can either order their A'la Carte or 5-Course set lunch & dinner. We were seated upstairs. They have the typical English-style interior deco, which is nice and cozy inside.

Hubby & I ordered that day's special 5-Course sets. The set was inclusive of bun & butter, mushroom soup, main course, dessert and coffee or tea.

Bun & butter and mushroom soup was served a short while after we placed our order.

Hubby's main course, the grilled fish with caper sauce. The dory fish fillet was grilled and served with creamy sauce made of caper berries. The presentation was good, but the dory fillet tasted so so only, like those frozen dory fish that sell in Hypermarket.

I ordered the Spicy Portuguese Chicken. The deboned chicken thigh was merinated with spice before grilled. I can taste the turmeric smell. :) As you can see, the chicken was slightly burnt. The spice sauce was their homemade sauce that tasted a little bit spicy and a little bit sour. Not bad, quite appetizing.

Then each of us got a tiny cup of peach pudding jelly and a cup of coffee.

Actually I wanted to try their Tiramitsu, but too bad, both of us were full after the meal. May be we took too much of glutinous rice balls just before we went out for lunch. The bill just cost us RM46.80. Haha...a really thrifty anniversary meal for us.

Little Cottage Cafe
Address: 96A, Jalan Burmaah, 10050 Georgetown, Penang.
Tel: 04-2286218
Business Hour: 11.00am to 3.00pm/6.00pm to 10.30pm (daily)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

X'mas present from Foodbuzz ~

Hi, I'm sure everybody's looking forward for X'mas merry X'mas everybody!

Today afternoon I went back home to have lunch with hubby and coincidentally a mail was delivered by postman. It was addressed to me, and seems like foodbuzz sent me a mail! So I hurriedly open up the package and guess what? Foodbuzz just sent me Moo minicards! A tiny little box filled with a range of colorful photos and my name and website printed on the back!

I really love the tiny little cards. They are just gorgeous and I feel reluctant to give them away!

In the end, I sorted out the cards and kept a unique set for myself and the rest...well, I plan to distribute to my friends and family.

Hubby and I plan to go out for dinner tonight. I guess a lot of people will do the same. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fried Carrot Noodle

Recently, I've tried several cooking using different types of organic noodle. I use them to fry, to cook noodle soup, or even "mee rebus".

Organic carrot hi-protein noodle is another good option to replace the yellow noodle. I use the same brand as this. According to the info printed on the packaging, the noodle is made from certified organic hi-protein unbleached flour and organic carrots which are packed with fibre. Carrot is rich in disease fighting flavonoids and helps to protect night vision and promote good skin health. Vitamin A and beta carotenes found in carrot may prevent cataracts, which is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. It will boost your nutritional intake, and also satisfy your taste buds.

Fried Carrot Noodle
Serves 2


2 pcs of Organic Carrot Noodle
Some cabbage, cut into bite size
14 small prawns, shelled
half onion, sliced
2 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp of chili paste
4 tbsp of light soy sauce
half tbsp of dark soy sauce
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil


1. To prepare the noodle, just add the organic noodle (x2 pcs) to boiling water and cook for around 5 minutes until soft. Then, rinse in fresh water and drain.

2. Heat some oil in a wok, and saute onion and garlic till fragrant.

3. Add in prawns and and cabbage to stir fry. I let the cabbage saute for a while until it's cook.

4. Stir in dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and chilli paste to mix well.

5. Pour in the noodle and fry till all the ingredients mix well. Add a little bit of water if it's too dry.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicken Soup With Mee Suah

I learned from a nutritional talk that traditional Chinese herbs are believed to have high nutritional value. Herbs have high minerals contents, which is one of the essential nutrition to our body. If you notice, Chinese usually boil those herbs with pork, mutton, beef, duck and chicken, which are the important sources of protein. The minerals itself, if left alone, will not have much impact to our body. Only with the help of protein, our body can absorb the nutrition.

From the initial mee suah in herba soup, I've made another attempt on this new recipe, Free Range Chicken Soup With Mee Suah. Now a days, I used to buy a free range chicken during my weekly marketing. Normally one kampung chicken will cost around RM13. Although it's more expensive, but I strongly believe it has higher nutrition value, and low in Steroid. It is a wise investment for health. Don't you agree?

This is another simple healthy recipe for a working woman. Try this out and you'll able to taste a bowl of delicious and healthy noodle soup. Hubby and I love this very much!

Chicken Soup With Mee Suah
Serves 2


1 teabag of A1 Chicken Soup Essence
Half kampung chicken, skined, fat removed, and chopped into 2 pcs
5 cloves of garlics, skinned
8 red dates, washed
2 flat tbsp of wolfberries, washed and drained
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
900ml of hot boiling water
5 pcs of mee suah


1. Pour in the hot boiling water into the slow cooker. Add in all the ingredients except mee suah.

2. Let the soup boils under high heat for 4 hours and turns to auto mode for the last 2 hours.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook mee suah and drain. Serve in 2 bowls.

4. Laddle few scoops of soup and pour over the mee suah.

We couldn't stop slurping the chicken soup, it is so yummy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

7 Facts About Little Inbox

Elinluv, Cariso, After Giovani and Food Paradise tagged me on 7 Facts about me and passed me the awards too. I've doing the same tag - 8 Random Facts About Me. However, I realise that I should link the 7 facts to food in this makan blog, rather than the personal facts like the earlier one.

The awards:

7 Facts About Little Inbox:

1. I love cooking, just discover this recently. I seldom stepped into the kitchen before married.

2. I like to eat. I rarely loss my appetite.

3. I'm not a picky eater. I eat almost everything, except those "exotic" food.

4. I restrict myself from taking Maggie/Cintan/Ibumie/Har mee instant noodle and yellow noodle. I go for vermicelli, mee suah, organic wheat noodle, spaghetti and angle hair.

5. I enjoy my breakfast very much when hubby cooks me a not-so- healthy Ramly burger with fried egg and bake bean.

6. On my working days, I used to take my lunch at mom's place. *Wink Wink*

7. I started to prepare dinner at home pretty cosistently on every working day for almost 10 months. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spicy Prawn Noodle @ Teow Chew Meng

Just after the Hari Raya Haji holiday, the UL auditor came again to spot-audit our products. He comes on quarterly basis. I'm the one who's in charge to host the auditor. This round I just brought him to dine in somewhere near our company. We went to Teow Chew Ming at Sunway Tunas. Instead of ordering the normal food that I used to have like Mee Suah Tao and Tom Yam noodle, I opt for their spicy prawn noodle. I really crave for prawns at that moments. I love big prawns, very very much. :P

My prawn noodle took longer time to serve compared to his seafood bee hoon soup and our side dishes green apple tofu salad. Initially I thought the spicy prawn noodle was the one like Penang Hokkien mee, but I was wrong. It's the spicy & sourish prawn noodle like what I cooked previously. I was impressed with the 3 large prawns + 1 gigantic prawn. Yuhoo! It perfectly fulfilled my requirement. The gravy is absolutely thick with tomato puree. I managed to taste the 3S- sweet, sour and spicy! It's a very appetizing noodle stuff. The super big plate of prawn noodles came with a generous serving of yellow noodles, lots of tomato slices, some lettuce besides the prawns. Most importantly, the prawns were very fresh with sweet & tender meat. Finishing up the prawns was my target rather than to complete the whole plate of noodles. For your info, yellow noodles has never been my favorite.

Wonder why I ate prawn noodles at Teow Chew Ming rather than the famous Mee Udang stall at Teluk Kumbar? Hah, for a cozy environment and a convenient trip, I guess. Although a plate of spicy prawn noodle cost for RM15, but the prawns alone worth that price.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Restoran Macinta Hai Lam

Last weekend, as usual , FIL brought us for a simple dinner before we headed back to Penang. He drove us to hunt for home cooked style "Chu Char" 煮炒. He is a thrifty man, so he always emphasize for average quality and reasonable price food when dining out.

This time we went to Macinta Hai Lam which is located at the row of shop houses directly next to the Billion Super Market. This restaurant serve halal food, and that's the reason why you can see lots of Muslim customers. I noticed those Indians and Muslims are really fond of Chinese food. Some of them ordered Chinese dishes to eat with rice, and some of them ordered Western food (chicken chop) & local delights (fried rice or noodle).

We ordered fish curry. The whole medium size black pomfret was served with lady's fingers. The curry is type of soury curry with lots of grounded shallots. Hence, the gravy is thick. It goes well with rice. The serving was huge for 3 of us.

The mixed vegetables with fishballs, prawns and chicken fillet. It is just a normal dish.

Home style fried chicken with prawn crackers. The chicken pieces were well-marinated, and perfectly deep fried, and it was not oily. However, the prawn crackers were really below average, cuz some of them not very crispy.

Well, with the price of RM27, average quality food and large servings, we really can't criticize much. It's hard to find such cheap food in Penang. Agree?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meat Ball Spaghetti Bolognese

This is what I cooked for lunch in line with our "no rice" Sunday. It's nothing new, but it still remains as our favorite dish since I started to cook. :) I used too add different ingredients to it. For example, potato, fresh brown mushroom or white button mushroom. But today, I just stick to the original taste as I don't have any fresh mushroom in the fridge. Also, I back to Maggie premix sauce rather than Prego, cuz I found that it is thicker. one suggestion from hubby that may be I should try to cook seafood spaghetti next time. Ok, provided he sponsors fresh raw seafood then. Haha...

Meat Ball Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 2


200 gm of egg spaghetti
200gm minced pork meat (you can use either beef, pork or chicken)
1 teaspoon of salt
a small bowl of Canola oil & some extra virginn olive oil

A) Marinate ingredients:

2 tablespoon of light soy sauce
2 tablespoon of chopped shallots
1 egg
Dash of white pepper

B) Sauce

1 packet of Maggie bolognese sauce mix.
Remark: the sauce mix is the serving for 4 person. However, I find it just enough for 2, as I like more sauce.
1 1/2 cup of water
half onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp light soy sauce


1. Marinate minced pork with A). Let it stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Heat some Canola oil in a wok. Scoop minced pork into balls using a teaspoon and fry in the wok. Keep the fire to medium.

3. Remove fried meat balls and set aside.

4. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 minutes (refer to instruction on the packing) and drain.

5. Heat 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a wok. Fry sliced onion and chopped garlic until fragrant.

6. Pour in water, and add the Maggie mix. Stir and bring to boil.

7. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.

8. On a plate, add cooked spaghetti, and put few meat balls on top.

9. Scoop the sauce and pour on top of the spaghetti.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spicy Fried Yam Cake

I'm sure many of you have tried fried koay kak, fried sago kuih, and even fried radish cake in the way like fried koay teow. But how about fried yam cake? Followed by my previous post on pan-fried yam cake, 2 days ago I found myself a bit adventurous to make a different attempt. I tried to cook my yam cake similar to fried koay kak. Sound interesting? :P

Spicy Fried Yam Cake:
Serves 2


1 big plate of yam cake, cut into small cube, pan-fried till crispy
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp of dried shrimps, soaked, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp chopped preserved radish (chai poh, the salty type)
2 handful of bean sprouts
1 stalk of spring onions ( only the green part), cut into 2" length
2 Omega-3 eggs
Canola oil to cook


1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp of chili paste


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the eggs. Scramble the egg till cooked. Remove and set aside.

2. Heat 3 tbsp of oil, add chopped garlic and fry until fragrant.

3. Add the chai poh and dried shrimps and saute until fragrant. Add chili paste until mix well.

4. Add in the pan-fried yam cake, dark soya sauce and light soy sauce.

5. When well mixed, return the pre-fried eggs to combine.

6. Add in the bean sprout and spring onions. Continue stir fry.

7. Dish out and serve hot.

How does it taste:

The pan-fried yam cake cubes is more solid and firm compared to normal koay kak. However, you can taste the natural sweetness of the yam. If you like yam, I'm sure you will like this. All the ingredients combined very well. Unlike steamed koay kak (just consist of flour, tasteless), the original steamed yam cake already contained dried shrimp, shallots and yam cubes, seasoned with sea salt and pepper. So, overall the fried yam cake is more flavorful. If you pay attention, dried shrimps and preserved radish were added to further enhance the flavor. You'll taste the fragrant in every mounthful. We love it! :) I'm happy it turned out fine.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tao Cuisine And Lounge @ Auto-City

Recently, hubby & I dining out less frequent as we previously did. Besides the economic reasons, I'm opting for more healthy home cooked meal. I'm currently in the progress of touching up some precious knowledge in nutrition. :) I found it very interesting.

Ok, back to the topic. This is another back-dated post, which was pending since last August. We dropped by Tao for an enjoyable dinner on our way back from SP. We didn't call for reservation, but we were lucky to get a table on the crowded Saturday night.

Tao is a place serving Japanese food buffet style, where you pay a fee to taste all the food that the menu's got to offer. There's no limit to the number of orders that you make. The only limiting factor is the time. :)

Mitoyaki Scallop. We love this very very much. The sweet, sour & slightly spicy sauce is really appetizing. We couldn't stop ourselves to place 2nd and 3rd order. :)

Tako Sunomono. Squid is always my favorite whenever visiting a Japanese restaurant.

Abalone slices in Mayonese.Taste is so so, not sure why they put the colorful bits there.

Teppan Smoked Duck Breast.

Grilled Salmon. Taste good but real small portion. If you are a fish eater you'd like to order more of these.

Golden Fried Dumplings. Nothing special on this.

Kushiyaki...some sort like seafood satay.

Miso Soup, I was wondering why hubby want opt for this. ?? :P Simple miso soup with Japanese taufu and some vege. Taste more like ajinomoto soup.

Tofu...deep fried tofu, but very smooth inside.

Taiwanese Mantis Prawn. It looks so so only, but it's a great finger food.

Tempura Shrimp & Vege. Hubby will not miss to opt for tempura. His favorite dish.

Unlimited order for the first hour. If you still not full, you can go for sushi and fruits.
Buffet dinner for 2 cost at RM110.40, inclusive of 10% service charge and 5% government tax. A little too expensive huh?


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