Friday, January 23, 2015

Sabah Kampung Beef Noodles (Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap) @ Kota Damansara

Ngiu Chap from Sabah Kampung Beef Noodles @ Kota Damansara

If you've been to Kota Kinabalu, you might have had a taste of one of the local favourites before: ngiu chap. Essentially it is a bowl of hearty beef broth with noodles with beef stew, beef tripe, all things beef lah.

We were introduced to this hearty bowl several years ago during one of our many trips to Sabah, and love every mouthful of it. Problem was, we don't have it back in KL. So when I first heard of this place in Damansara Perdana, I consulted a friend living at that area, this which he replied it was only so-so by his standard. Instead, he advised me to go to Kota Damansara to get my fix of ngiu chap.

The location of Sabah Kampung Beef Noodles is not hard to find. It's currently occupying a corner shop lot right opposite PappaRich, easy enough to find. Parking might prove to be more a headache, as Kota Damansara is a crowded area, so be prepared walk a bit. I was around that area on fine Sunday to see my optician, so I suggested to hubby to try this ngiu chap place.
This huge bowl of ngiu chap from Sabah Kampung Beef Noodles (Kah Hiang Ngiu Chap) cost RM13.90, and you get a generous bowl of awesomeness. Pick your noodle of choice (lai fun, yellow noodles, kuey teow, mihun), and patiently wait for your bowl to come to you. Generous portions of beef stew, beef tripe, beef slices and some beef balls make this hearty bowl of goodness. The beef broth is flavourful (we didn't feel very thirsty after eating it, so it's a good sign the restaurant probably didn't load on MSG so much), and the beef stew was tender to the bite. And to be honest, I couldn't finish the noodles, I think I left half a portion of noodles in my bowl after eating all that meat!

They also have an option of the same item without the noodles, but that will set you back RM 16.90. How come, you ask? This is because the soup version comes with 11 different beef items, where else this bowl of ngiu chap only had 4 items in it (beef stew, beef tripe, beef slices and beef balls). I prefer the beef balls from Soong Kee SS2, it's much springier than the ones at Sabah Kampung.

So, if you're craving for some good ol' ngiu chap, look no further, now you can get it right here in Petaling Jaya. Don't forget to try the ngiu chap with their Kah Hiong chilli paste, it's really spicy! And I was told Sabah Kampung has a branch in Puchong too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Beef Stroganoff

What makes a hearty meal? Some beef stroganoff and white rice of course! Original recipe here.

Beef strips (you can use any cut)
4 Tbsp butter, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced.
1 lb. sliced mushrooms (I used qhite button mushrooms)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or you can substitute in more beef broth)
1.5 cups beef broth (I used half a beef cube stock)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
(optional garnish) chopped fresh parsley

Melt some butter on hot skillet, and sear the beef strips until half done, set aside. In the same skillet, add more butter and add the onions. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until all is cooked. Add the white wine and let it simmer for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the beef broth, flour and Worcestershire until smooth. Pour the broth into the skillet and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the Greek yogurt until combined, and add back the beef strips. Simmer for a few more minutes and season with salt and ground black pepper. Garnish with some chopped parsley leaves.

If you won't want to use Greek yogurt, substitute it with cooking cream.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Swedish Meatballs

Ah, the joys of cooking. Labouring over the kitchen counter and sweating your glands out to prepare sumptuous meals for your love ones. Nothing beats preparing some home cook meals and seeing the happy faces stuffing their faces and giving you the thumbs up for the glorious spread you have prepared.

OK I let my imagination run a little, as you can clearly tell. I don't cook for large groups (doubt I can handle it), plus with only the both of us in the house, it makes trying out new recipes a lot more fun, as I have a willing guinea pig.

This is my take on IKEA's Swedish meatballs. The recipe makes a large batch of over 40 meatballs, so I split them into 3 batches (eat one batch, freeze the other 2 batches for next time). I got the recipe from here.

3 ounces fresh white bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, minced or grated, divided into two portions (you will cook half and the half remains raw)
1 pound 4 ounces ground beef chuck
12 ounces ground pork
4 teaspoons (18 grams) salt, plus more for seasoning (this is your own judgement, I had reduced the amount by half)
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Olive oil for light frying

Meatball sauce ingredients:
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock or beef broth (I used half a beef cube stock)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

In a medium bowl, combine the milk and white bread and let it soak for about 10mins. Meanwhile, heat up a skillet or pan and melt 2 tbps of butter on it. Add half of the minced onion and cook until they are golden and tender. In a deep bowl, combine the beef, pork patty, cooked onions, raw onions, eggs, white pepper, and allspice and using your clean hands, mix everything up thoroughly (or you could use a mixer to help you mix).

Once you have the patty ready, line a piece of baking sheet or aluminum foil over a rack. Using your hands, take a tablespoon of meat mixture and roll them into a balls, about the size of golf balls. Prepare a small bowl of water, as you will need a bit of water to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hand.

Pre-heat the oven at 100°C. While the oven is pre-heating, pre-heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat, and lower the meatballs into the oil to fry, turning them to brown all over (about 2 minutes). Transfer the meatballs into the oven to keep warm (that's why you pre-heat the oven at 100°C).

In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium-high heat until it's foamy. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking until the raw flour smell is gone. Whisk in the beef broth and let it simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the soya sauce and apple cider vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Now let me tell you that this sauce recipe is clear-ish, and not the brown sauce you find in IKEA. To add the brown colour to the sauce, you can add a dash of thick soy sauce or some Worchestershire sauce.

Serve the meatballs with some chopped parsley for garnishing, with the sauce in a separate bowl. You can add lingonberry on the side or any jam you like.

I've also discovered that the longer you cook the roux, the colour will change from pale yellow to the shade of coffee with cream.

White roux - cook and butter and flour for a few  minutes until the raw flour smell is gone
Blond roux - same cooking method as white roux, but cooked for a minute or two longer to get a darker colour
Brown roux - the darkest of roux, this is cooked for the longest amount of time until you achieve a coffee-with-milk shade. Best to cook this under low heat to prevent burning.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Tofu

In case you're wondering about my obsession with bacon, no it's not an obsession. It's just that each time we replenish our bacon stock, we buy 1KG and then split the strips into several packets (between 4 to 6 strips, depending on the size) and store them in the freezer. One packet is one serving, which makes it easier for us to thaw the strips for meals.

This is one recipe I picked up while vacationing in Japan this year. Full of protein and taste absolutely delicious (it's bacon, come on). Get the more solid tofu makes that don't break so easily. The Japanese TV programme actually used smaller cuts of tofu, so they had actually wrapped the whole tofu up within the bacon itself. I had cut the tofu into thicker strips.

Japanese tofu (get the harder kind, they don't break so easily)
Bacon strips
Toasted white sesame seeds for garnishing

Cut the tofu into 1.5cm strips. Pat dry the tofu with some kitchen towels to absorb the excess water. Leave the tofu on kitchen towels for at least 30mins, to less water the tofu has the easier it is to handle it. 

Wrap them up with bacon strips and fry them in a bit of oil to brown the bacon. You can also cut the tofu up into smaller cubes and wrap the bacon all round to get a little bacon ball. Use medium heat to cook the bacon, that way they don't get charred too fast. You want the bacon to be cooked and crispy, not charred. Sprinkle some sesame seed on top and serve.