Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spiced Fried Chicken Drumsticks

If you are not up to complex cooking after a long tiring day at work, well here's a very simple fried chicken drumsticks recipe for you. It's so simple because I use powdered spices. All you need is a teaspoon each of turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix it all evenly together on a large plate. Next, place 5 pieces of unfrozen chicken drumsticks which have been rinsed and drained off excess water onto the powdered spices and roll to coat all over. Randomly sprinkle with some tap water if necessary in order to damp the spices. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat 3/4 cup oil in a non-stick frying pan and shallow fry all sides of the drumsticks till browned and cooked.

Enjoy!...& till then,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mom's Nyonya Ikan Cili Garam (Nyonya-style Fried Fish with Chili Paste)

Preparing Nyonya food is often considered a laborious task as the cuisine is synonymous with super heady aroma and spicy blend of various spices and ingredients prepared in the most traditional way - using stone mortar and pestle (lesung) or a very thick and heavy stone slab that comes with a stone rolling pin (batu giling). This perception that many hold is, well, quite true!..that is, depending on what you cook. Not all Nyonya or Peranakan food are difficult or require a long-drawn process to prepare. There are times that I just want a quick-fix Nyonya food and ikan cili garam is definitely one of my favorites in the super easy category. Unlike the older generation of Nyonyas who were known to be real fussy cooks who swear by the use of tools like the lesung and batu giling to bring out the best of taste and fragrance from the spices or ingredients, I am just thankful to whoever that invented the electric blender!

Below is my darling late Mom's recipe. She used to cook this sometimes 2 or 3 times a week and we were so contented with just a simple dish. Hers tasted fabulous because she would tirelessly pound all the ingredients by hand using lesung or batu giling. The only complain I have when I made this sometimes was when the chilies were not spicy enough. This is where comes the addition of bird's eye chilies (cili padi). The ingredients for the paste are extremely uncomplicated - only shallots, chilies and salt. However, never underestimate how simple and few ingredients can make a dish tastes oh so delicious!

The best types of fishes for this are ikan gelama (sorry! donch know what it's called in English), pomfret, mackerel, stingray or snapper. (The fish in the pics is ikan gelama, as we call here in Malaysia).

Mom's Recipe
2 fishes (whole or slices)
1/2 cup oil

Pound/blend together:
5 shallots
6 fresh chilies
3 fresh bird's eye chilies (cili padi)
1/2 tsp salt

- Heat the 1/2 cup oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the fish till brown. Drain off the oil and place the fried fish on a serving plate.
- Using the leftover oil from frying the fish, take about 3-4 tbsp and heat it up in a frying pan/wok. Pour in the blended chili paste and saute for 12-15 minutes over medium heat. Drain the oil and dish up the chili paste and pour over the fried fish. (Note: If you believe that life should be lived well, then dribble some of those oil from saute-ing the chili onto the fish too. Yumm yummm!)