October 13, 2009

Belacan Fried Chicken Wings

Belacan are fermented shrimp ubiquitous to Southeast Asian cooking. I've actually never eaten belacan fried chicken before, not even when I was in Malaysia. Saw them while food shopping the other day in an Asian supermarket. Though I'd picked up a few packets of "Belacan Chicken Powder" so I can try it on some frozen wings I have in my freezer. These wings are good as party food, appetizer or entree. You can also use chicken thighs, drumsticks, breast meat or even small chicken pieces. This is an easy recipe, the hardest part is to restrain yourself from finishing all those wings!

If you don't have a supermarket that sells Southeast Asian food products, you can try to buy them online. The product I use is "Hup Loong Belacan Chicken Powder".

4lbs. chicken wings
1 packet Hup Loong Belacan Chicken Powder (90g)
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix wings and seasoning. Marinate for an hour. Deep fry until golden brown. Serve immediately!

October 11, 2009

Kuih Bakar (Kuih Kemboja)

Sorry for not posting for a while. I haven't been cooking but been busy preparing for graduate school.

Kuih Bakar is kinda like a baked custard. It's not a "cake" in the sense that vanilla cake is, nor is it a custard like what flan is. One of the most popular "kuih" from Malaysia, Kuih Bakar is a dessert eaten throughout the day. Try a piece for breakfast! Kuih Bakar is also known as Kuih Kemboja, possibly due to the traditional mold used to make this kuih looks like a flower. Kemboja is the Malay word for Plumeria.

I used black sesame seeds in this recipe for the color contrast, although you can always use the regular white sesame seeds. Pandan leaves are sold frozen in Asian supermarkets. Also known as "screwpine" leave, it is the vanilla essence of Southeast Asian cooking.

11/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 cup pandan juice (10 pandan leaves + 1 cup water in food processor, strained)
4 large eggs
2 tablespoon melted butter
sesame seeds for garnishing

Add all ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a bowl. Mix well. Preheat oven to 325 °F.

Grease a baking pan. Pour mixture into the pan and sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the batter. Bake for about an hour or until cooked. Insert skewer in the middle, if it comes out clean then it's cooked. You also want the top to be slightly browned.

Let it cool before cutting into squares. Eat your heart out!