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Archive for the ‘gluten free’ Category

Mahatma Gandhi once quoted “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” How true this saying is as our own health lies within our own control. No matter how much materialism one would pursue, without proper health nothing could be accomplished well, physically and mentally. That’s how bad it was for me during the last three quarters of 2014, going through bouts of stress related illness, rather than maintaining a healthier lifestyle. This year, to usher in the Wooden Green Goat for this coming Chinese New Year, it’s all about organic and earthly diets that I have to take heed. Coincidentally, Idealite – Malaysia’s First Wholesome Dining Place had come out with meatless, gluten-free, MSG-free, lactose-free, etc healthy menu for me to kick start a brand new 2015. Let’s start by “Lou Sang”, an age-old custom steeped in ancient Chinese tradition and culture, to wish for “upward” health, wealth, luck and happiness in abundance during this coming Chinese New Year.

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Idealite has a few package options for this Chinese New Year with 2 packages (RM488 and RM688) for a table of 10 pax and 2 set meals (RM128.88 & RM168.88) for 3-4 pax. You can click on the poster below for a clearer view of the dishes served.


For the abovementioned packages and set meals, each table with be given a complimentary plate of Lou Sang worth RM48.88 and RM28.88 respectively. Instead of the commercialized Lou Sang with dried and pickled items, all ingredients in Idealite’s Lou Sang are fresh produce such as cucumber, pumpkin, carrot, beetroot, red cabbages, jicama, lettuce, tomatoes, mint leaves, pomelo, Mandarin oranges, ginger flower, cashew nuts, seaweed & spring roll crackers and topped with their homemade special sauce. The whole combination was superb.

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To start off the meal, we had the RM488 full course package and a few other notable options from the RM688 package. The starter was the Smooth & Happy Appetizer which consisted of 4 dishes such as the Harmony & Peace Scallops (Eryngii Mushroom), Pattaya Salad (Sea Bird Nest), Happy Mutton (Monkey Head/Hericium Mushroom) and Dumplings.

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Next on the menu was the Nourishing Soup filled with different varieties of mushrooms, some wolfberries, infused with a light herbal flavored soup base and thickened with some egg white. This was one of my favorite dishes in the menu. However, it would be better if the kitchen were to use wet bean curd to keep the dish as vegan as possible.

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The Hong Kong originated Treasure Pot (commonly known as Poon Choi or Phen Cai) was a hit amongst us. If you are a fan of all the different varieties of mushrooms, you would surely love the rich yet earthly flavors from the treasure pot. The dish has about 15 types of ingredients and would be sufficient for me to get my appetite growing.

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The Wealth & Prosperity Taro Fish was one unique dish that I fell in love with. The painstaking hours of combining mashed taro with oat milk and skillfully shaped the concoction into the shape of a fish is worth mentioning here. With a light drizzle of hot oil to make the outer crust crispy while maintaining the moist within, the “fish” combined with a somewhat spicy sweet sauce complemented each other well. The only setback was that the “fish” was too big and very filling. I won’t mind if the kitchen could come out with some stuffing for the “fish” in near future.

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We were also served with the Fortune Claypot Rice. This dish may not look that impressive but it was filled with flavors. It had a light hint of herb flavors, lots of fresh ingredients with some crispy “salted fish”. The whole concoction was not as “sinful” as the name since it did not contain any meat at all.

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Lastly, it was the Fruitful Year, a dessert of the day. We had a nicely simmered snow fungus in a naturally jujubes sweetened soup with added wolfberries.

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We also did try out two items from the RM688 package. The first one was the Ideal Fo Tiao Qiang, an aromatic yet nourishing soup to rejuvenate your body against lethargy and other sickness. The two main herbs found here consisted of ginseng and dang gui which have been traditionally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to maintain the well being of the consumer.

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We also tried out the Auspicious Golden Crispy Salmon which was actually made from a combination of carrots and oat milk. this was served with their homemade condiment of a white sauce.

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Overall, you can be assured that the dishes served here are extremely healthy for the palate of all diners. Compared to when Idealite first started in Penang with only a few selection of dishes, the restaurant now had evolved into a wholesome dining place to be loved by many, whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or a meat eater. Once awhile it’s great to get some detox over here, not solely from the vegetables and fiber served but also to strengthen your digestive systems from their homemade enzyme which can be found in some of their dishes.

It’s not hard to find Idealite at it’s located just two shop houses away from Hotel Waterfall (Little Cottage 2) and next to Double Dragon Inn Restaurant along Jalan Gottlieb. Parking spaces could be rather limited during weekends especially when Little Cottage 2 is having their weekend buffet.

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Address: 27C Jalan Gottlieb, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 3650
Business Hours: 8.00am-8.00pm (Closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.430574, 100.299698

Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)



Posted by crizlai On January - 16 - 2014

On and off, it’s great to stay away from all the rich fatty food and go for a total meatless meal to detoxify the body. Penang may be the food paradise of this region. However, most Penangites are also health conscious in general with more and more healthy cuisine outlets opening up to jump onto the healthy lifestyle trend. One of the latest around town would be the Coya Healthy Cuisine (Vegetarian House). Now, let’s understand a bit more on the differences between vegans and vegetarians. Vegans would eliminate all animal products from their diet which is inclusive of eggs and dairy products. They would also avoid any products made from animals. In general, those following a vegan lifestyle would avoid any products made from animals. On the other hand, we have the Vegetarians who would not consume any meat, fish or poultry but some tend to consume dairy products and eggs. We have the Lacto-Vegetarians whom would consume dairy products but not eggs, the Ovo-Vegetarians whom would consume eggs but not dairy products and the Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians whom would consume both eggs and dairy products. At Coya Healthy Cuisine, they would serve Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian dishes minus the usages of garlic, any bulb or leafy onions or gluten.

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The restaurant would serve ala carte dishes as well as set meals for some of the dishes. Here’s how the set meal would look like with a main dishes, a bowl of white rice/noodles, 2 side dishes of the day, one dessert and one glass of traditional drink. There’s also the option of additional RM1.00 to exchange the white rice/noodles with brown rice for any of the meal.

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One of their signature dishes would be the Hakka Style Smoked Pork Belly (客家燜腩肉 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set). You would be surprised at how real those pieces of pork belly were with the “fatty” layers. Those layers of “fat” were actually natural konjac flour (konnyaku/蒟蒻) while the “meaty” parts were actually soybean protein with added starch, grain spices, salt, etc. These pork belly pieces together with some Shitake mushrooms had been braised with soy sauce and spices to create that ideal earthly flavored pork belly stew which would be best taken with a hot bowl of steamed rice.

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For those who love the taste of ginger and sesame oil, the Salted Vampire (Ginger with Salted Fish/ 姜絲炒咸鱼 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set) would also be nice with a hot bowl of steamed rice. Those little pieces of soy protein made “salted fish” combined with lots of julienned young ginger in soy based gravy with distinctive usage of sesame oil, can be real appetizing, though it might be a bit salty if taken by itself.

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You can also try out their healthier version of Minced Meat Rice (素肉醬飯 – RM7.90 for ala-carte/RM12.90 for set). This dish has a bowl of hot steamed rice topped with protein rich “soya meat” cooked with their special sauce and garnished with a variety of fresh vegetables.

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Alternatively, you can also opt for their handmade noodles – Xiang Chun Mee (香椿面 – RM7.90 for ala-carte/RM12.90 for set). It had a rather earthly and powdery textured noodles stir with some dark soy sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil, topped with some vegetables and soya protein made “barbeque pork (char siew)”.

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I got curious when I spotted there was the Lion Heads (獅子頭 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set) in the menu. Lion Head or Lion’s Head as it’s normally known as originated from eastern China. It’s basically big “pork meatballs” cooked in many different styles. At Coya, the “meatballs” were stewed with napa cabbages (大白菜) in a flavorful soup stock made with napa cabbages, some salt and sugar to taste. Miraculously, those impromptu pepped up “meatballs” were delicious. Each deep fried “meatballs” contained frying flour, mashed bean curd, mushroom stems and soy protein. Since the usage of onions is prohibited in their cooking, the “meatballs” though delicious tend to lack a bit of sweetness. It would be great if some finely chopped water chestnuts or jicama be added in for that extra sweetness and crunch.

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One unique soup you should take note of is the Night Blooming Cereus Herbal Soup (霸王花炖湯 – RM12.90 for ala-carte/RM18.90 for set). Scientifically known as Epiphyllum or with a common name of Queen of the Night/Dragon Flower, this Dragon Fruit like cactus plant would bloom flowers only at night. According to the Chinese belief, it also symbolizes great fortune. With the right concoction of ingredients, the tasty soup would be great to strengthen the lungs against flu related symptoms. However, this soup is not advisable to be consumed by those with hypertension. This soup had some bean curds, bean curd sticks, Chinese almond and wolfberries.

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Another simple yet nourishing soup to have would be the Mint Leaves Egg Soup (薄荷蛋花湯 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set). Mint leaves are great alternative to treat respiratory disorders such as cold, cough and flu related headaches. The soup had some soy protein meatballs slices added in to enhance the flavor more.

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For side dishes, you should not miss out their delicious Deep Fried Mushroom (炸香菇 – RM9.90). I find this dish to be rather appetizing considering that the mushroom slices were only dried shitake mushrooms. The chef did a great job in getting the best out of the mushrooms in texture and flavors. The deep fried batter coated mushroom slices were mild crispy with some sweet and sour sauce plus a little sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds. They were awesomely addictive. 🙂

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Alternatively, there was also the Devil’s Eggs (魔鬼蛋 – RM4.90 for 3 eggs/RM7.90 for 6 eggs). The spicy curry with high hints of candlenuts, galangal and vinegar usages is from the Eurasian Kristang culinary tradition, a festive dish commonly found in Singapore and Malacca. If you need a hot and spicy punch in your palate of vegetarian dishes, this is one dish you should not miss out.

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As for beverages, there are quite a few unique concoctions such as the Olive Tea (橄欖茶 – RM3.90), Mango Lassi (芒果拉西 – RM9.90), CC Lemonade (RM9.90), Carrot Julius (RM9.90), Herbal Mint Tea (薄荷夏枯草 – RM3.90), Nangka (Jackfruit) Lassi (木波羅拉西 – RM10.90) and more. I personally like both the lassi as they have the natural sweetness from the blended fruits and just the right smoothness. On the other hand, the traditional drinks have some unique options. The Olive Tea has the flavors almost similar to dried sour plum and the Herbal Mint Tea was rather refreshing on a hot day.

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Overall, the dishes served here are more creative and flavorful than most of the healthy cuisine eateries on the market. The set meals can be real value for money. However, there are still some rooms for improvements for more options on less fried and less oily dishes. On top of that, it would be great if the restaurant could provide more spicy flavored dishes from other ethnic groups such as the Malays and Indians to pull in more diners. I guessed they might need to pick up one or two of my vegetarian dish recipes in my blog with a bit of tweaks to their liking~ 😛 Moreover, the restaurant also lacked the options for some desserts. It would be great if they have some Fruity Konnyaku Jelly or some home brewed bean soup to make the meal complete.

If you are coming from Komtar into Jalan Macalister, keep a look out for the fifth junction on your right. Turn right into Lorong Selamat. Drive on for another 400m and keep a look for the shop on your left. It’s just opposite the end of the Pangsapuri Jalan Zainal Abidin (with an open space padang) on your right nearing Jalan Burma. There would be at least 2 parking spaces in front of the premises.

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Address: 4A Lorong Selamat, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2357, 012-486 4127 (Summer)
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm (Closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.419108, 100.326188

Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)



Posted by crizlai On October - 22 - 2012

For those mushroom lovers, you are in luck today as I’m going to share a simple bean curd sheets dish with an assortment of the earthly flavored mushrooms. I call this dish DEEP FRIED BEAN CURD SHEETS WITH ASSORTED MUSHROOMS. The rich in antioxidant mushrooms are low in fat and carbohydrates plus zero cholesterol with high proteins, vitamins, minerals, water and fiber. They contain natural insulin and enzymes which break down the starch and sugar in food. So, it’s surely a healthy dish for all~ 🙂


10pcs fresh bean curd sheets (tao bor/yuba/腐皮卷 – Each piece cut into 3 pieces. Deep fry until golden brown)
1/2” young ginger (scrape off skin, julienne)
1 palm size wood ear fungus (soak, cut into bite size)
10 medium size Chinese mushrooms (soak, cut into halves)
20 straw mushrooms (cut into halves)
2 packs Shimeji mushrooms (50g x 2, cut off roots, wash well, drain dry)
1 small carrot (remove skin, cut into half and slice into 1/4” thick semi circle, blanch)
5-6 tbsp mushroom sauce/vegetarian oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1tbsp corn flour (dilute in some water)
1 cup vegetable stock
2tbsp vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Enoki mushrooms
Button mushrooms
Shao Xing wine (1 tsp)
Spring onions (cut into 1” length)

• Heat up the oil in a wok and sauté the julienned young ginger until fragrant.
• Add in the mushroom sauce and sesame oil. Stir evenly for about 1 minute.
• Add in the vegetable stock and bring to boil.
• Set fire to LOW and add in the wood ear fungus, Chinese mushrooms, straw mushrooms and Shimeji mushroom and simmer for another 5 minutes.
• Add in salt and pepper to taste plus the diluted corn flour to thicken the gravy.
• Pour in the deep fried bean curd sheets and sliced carrots. Stir evenly for about 2-3 minutes.
• Scoop out and serve with hot steaming rice.
• You might want to garnish with some spring onions to bring out the colors.

(Serves: 5-6)

You might wonder what fresh bean curd sheets are? Here’s a photo on this wonderful ingredient.





Posted by crizlai On October - 21 - 2012

Have you ever got tired of having rice with your dishes? Maybe you could try cooking a vegetarian curry dish that would go very well with bread of any type or even wrap it in those pre-packed spring roll skins and deep fry for some great snacks. Let me share with you my simple CHICKPEAS AND SWEET POTATOES CURRY recipe today. It’s up to your own creativity whether you would love to have it as stuffed pita, vegetarian curry spring rolls, curry puff, samosa or simply dip your chapati, naan, roti canai (roti paratha) or bread in it. The options are endless.


500g sweet potatoes (remove skin & dice into 20mm cubes)
300-400g of chickpeas (steam until cooked or canned ones)
1 small carrot (remove skin & dice into 15mm cubes, blanch until cook)
2 tomatoes (remove seeds and dice)
2 stalks of curry leaves (replaceable with 3 basil leaves)
2 tsp ginger powder (replaceable with grated ones)
1 tsp chili powder (add more for a spicier version)
1 tsp turmeric powder (kunyit)
2 tsp ground cumin (jintan putih)
3 tsp ground coriander (ketumbar)
1.5 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt, sugar and pepper to taste

1 big onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
Mustard seeds
Long beans
Coconut milk
Evaporated milk

• Heat up about 2 tablespoon of oil and sauté the ginger powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, ground cumin and ground coriander until fragrant.
• Add in the curry leaves and sweet potatoes and stir fry thoroughly.
• Add in the vegetable stock and bring to boil. Once boils, switch your fire to LOW and let the potatoes simmer until tender. It would take about 20-25 minutes.
• Add in the steamed chickpeas and carrot. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
• Add salt, sugar, pepper to taste.
• Scoop out and serve with your choice of starch (rice, bread, etc).

(Serves: 4-5)




Posted by crizlai On October - 20 - 2012

Many Asians love to have some stir fried rice vermicelli as not only would the dish be cheap and good but also quite filling. It has been known as the “Poor Man’s Sharks Fin” to many. However, what I’m going to share today would be something out of this world as this dish would not be available for sale anywhere on the streets. It’s FRIED VERMICELLI WITH FERMENTED SOY BEANS AND BEAN CURDS. This dish would taste nice either hot from the wok or even cold from your chiller.


250g rice vermicelli/bee hoon (soak in water until 70% soft)
1 small carrot (remove skin & julienne)
1/2 cabbage (slice thinly)
10 Chinese mushrooms (soak & slice thinly. Retain juice. Marinated with some soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper)

Frying sauce:
2 tbsp grounded fermented black bean paste (tao cheong)
2pcs fermented red bean curd (tao joo/nam joo)
2pcs fermented bean curd in chili & sesame oil
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

Note: Smash the fermented bean curds into paste and mix the rest of ingredients above thoroughly. Lastly, add the water to make it into a sauce for frying later.

• Heat up about 2 tablespoon of oil and sauté the sliced mushrooms until fragrant. Scoop and leave aside.
• Add in another 3 tablespoons of oil and pour in the “frying sauce” combination and sauté for about 5 minutes until fragrant.
• Add in one cup of the retained mushroom juice. If not enough, you can add in some hot water to make it up to a cup. Once boils, switch your fire to LOW.
• Add in the julienned carrot and sliced cabbage and let it cook about 2 minutes.
• Add in the soaked rice vermicelli and sauteed mushrooms.
• Stir evenly until the rice vermicelli softened to the texture you prefer.
• Scoop out and serve with some vegetarian sambal belacan. If you can’t buy it, you can make some with my vegetarian sambal belacan recipe here.

Note: You can chill any remaining of the dish in your chiller. It tastes great being chilled too.

(Serves: 3-4)




Posted by crizlai On October - 19 - 2012

Many Chinese restaurants would serve this ingredient in the menu but not many diners are aware of its versatility as it can be used in many ways depending on how it’s been prepared. Some would just deep fry it as a snack and serve with chili sauce. Some would use it as another ingredient in their vegetarian dishes which would consist of mainly of vegetables and mushroom. This special ingredient is fresh bean curd sheet and sometimes known as yuba. Today, I’m going to share with you how to cook VEGETARIAN SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH GINGER IN SESAME OIL. It’s so simple that you can just stir it up within minutes without any skills.


10pcs fresh bean curd sheets (tao bor/yuba/腐皮卷 – Cut into 5mm length)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
200g young ginger (scrap off skin, fine julienne)
Pinch of salt and sugar
Some pepper
Soy sauce to taste

• Heat up both the vegetable and sesame oil in a wok and sauté the julienned young ginger until fragrant.
• Add in just a light pinch of salt and sugar. Stir evenly.
• Add in the sliced fresh bean curd sheets and stir thoroughly.
• Sprinkle some grounded pepper and soy sauce to taste.
• Scoop out while straining out all the remaining oil and serve with hot steaming rice.

(Serves: 5-6)

You might wonder what fresh bean curd sheets are? Here’s a photo on this wonderful ingredient.





Posted by crizlai On October - 18 - 2012

From a Nyonya dish yesterday, let’s head on for something Indonesian today with the use of tempeh (pronounced as tem-pay). Tempeh which uses soybeans would undergo a fermentation process. The fermented soybeans would form a cake like block and normally would be wrapped in banana leaves to be sold at the wet market. Though bland in taste in raw form, this delicious staple food of the Indonesian, either as snack or used in cooking, had become the alternative ingredient for vegans as meat substitution. The best part is that you would have no cholesterol worries at all. This nutty rich flavored, chunky textured and chewy consistency tempeh has a high source of protein, dietary fiber and vitamins. So for today, it’s just a simple SPICY STIR FRY YARDLONG BEANS WITH TEMPEH recipe.


300g yardlong beans (cut into 1.5”/4cm length, blanch semi cook, drain)
20-30 pc tempeh (bite sizes)
4 tbsp olive oil/vegetable oil
2-3 tbsp vegan sambal belacan (cultured soy beans, sea salt & chili paste)
1/2 cup vegetable stock/1tbsp Vegeta with 1/2 cup hot water
Salt & sugar to taste

Note: If you can’t get vegan sambal belacan at your local vegan grocery store, you can use my recipe below.

Vegan Sambal Belacan Recipe:
12 red chilies (remove seeds)
5 bird’s eye chilies (cili padi)
2” galangal
3” lemongrass stalk (slice thinly)
2-3 Kaffir lime leaves
1 small tomato (remove skin and seeds)
1 tbsp ginger flower (bunga kantan, thinly slice)
2 tbsp miso paste/blended fermented black beans
3 tbsp toasted mushroom stems (coarsely blended/pounded)
A bit of water (for easier blending)

Preparations: Just blend all the ingredients above in a food processor. Add a light pinch of organic sugar and some sea salt to taste. Heat up 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the above until semi dry. Add in some lime juice when needed to serve with fried items.

A handful of toasted cashew nuts/peanuts
French beans (substitute)
Four angled beans (substitute)

• Heat up the olive oil in a wok and sauté the vegan sambal belacan until fragrant.
• Add in the tempeh and stir evenly.
• Add in 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and let it simmer until the gravy thickens under LOW FIRE.
• Add salt and sugar to taste.
• Add in the blanched yardlong beans (sometimes known as snake beans with a rougher surface) and stir evenly until cooked.
• Scoop out and serve with hot steaming rice.

(Serves: 3-4)




Posted by crizlai On October - 17 - 2012

Who does not like curry dishes, especially with the frequent chilly weather? As the Indian Ayurvedic medicine records had mentioned that a bit of spices in your diet occasionally would strengthen your body even more. All the spices used here have at least some medicinal properties against some ailments. Well, the statement would be quite true unless you are a person with a weak stomach issue. Since it’s still the vegetarian food period for most Chinese Buddhist, two main ingredients such as shallots and garlic have been removed from the recipe due to their beliefs. Alternatively, salted fish bones had been replaced with deep fried bean curd sticks and other seafood had been omitted. As for today, I’ll be sharing my VEGETARIAN SALTED FISH BONE CURRY recipe, a Nyonya style cuisine which we had loved for generations. As some of my friends who had tasted this dish had said, “You can’t get enough of it even though it was cooked to suit vegans.”


300g bean curd stick (cut into 1” length and deep fry)
20-30 tofu puff (cut in diagonal halves)
1 stalk lemongrass (wash, cut into two, roughly smashed)
20 long beans (wash, cut into 1.5”/4cm length)
100g cabbage (wash, cut into 2cm x 5cm wedges)
1 carrot (remove skin & diagonally cut into 10mm thickness)
2 tbsp chili paste (add more for extra spiciness)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5” young ginger (grated)
2 cups vegetables stock/1-2 tbsp Vegeta with 2 cups of hot water
1/2 cup thick coconut milk (you can add another 1/4 cup for a creamier version)
Salt & sugar to taste

1 long eggplant
Some mustard seeds
Some curry leaves
Pineapple slices
10 shallots and 4 cloves garlic (blended – for non-vegetarian)
Salted threadfin fish bones (tan au kiam hoo kut – cut into chunks, soak, drain & deep fry – for non-vegetarian)
Prawns and/or cockles

• Heat up about 3 tablespoons of oil and add in the grated young ginger, chili paste, curry powder, turmeric powder, smashed lemongrass and saute until fragrant.
• Add in the vegetable stock and bring to boil under MEDIUM FIRE.
• Add in 1/4 cup of coconut milk, sliced carrots, long beans and cabbage and let them simmer under LOW FIRE for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are cooked.
• Add the deep fried bean curd sticks, tofu puff, salt and sugar to taste. Let them simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
• Add in the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut milk. Bring to a quick boil and off the stove.
• Dispose the lemongrass.
• Let the cooked dish sit in the wok for 10-15 minutes to absorb more flavors before serving with hot steaming rice.

(Serves: 5-6)




Posted by crizlai On October - 16 - 2012

Here’s another simple and healthy vegetarian recipe for this season. My STIR FRY LOTUS ROOTS WITH CEREAL would surely keep you filling up that plate of rice. Lotus root is said to melt mucus accumulation in the body, especially in the respiratory system. On the other hand, cereal is a great food source for energy. As for vegan butter/margarine for this dish, it might not be easily available in some countries. Alternatively, you can replace this ingredient with olive oil or tahini but the taste might differ extensively.


1 lotus root (about a foot/30cm, remove skin and cut into 5mm thickness)
10 cili padi/5 green chilies (bird’s eye chilies – cut into small slices)
3 stalks curry leaves (wash well and pluck all the leaves)
5 tbsp vegan butter/margarine
40g/8 tbsp Cereal (Using Nestum brand here)
Salt & sugar to taste

• Heat up some oil in a wok and deep fry the cut lotus roots until cook. Scoop and drain excess oil on kitchen towel.
• Empty the wok and heat up the vegan butter/margarine under LOW FIRE until melted.
• Add in the cereal, cili padi, curry leaves and stir fry until fragrant.
• Add the deep fried lotus roots and stir thoroughly.
• Add in salt and sugar to taste.
• Serve immediately with hot steaming rice.

(Serves: 5-6)




Posted by crizlai On October - 15 - 2012

At times, I would love to have some simple stir fry greens to go with my meal. Let me share with you my STIR FRY BABY SPINACH WITH GINGER AND WOLFBERRIES recipe which is ideal for a meatless meal as well as for kids. Garlic won’t be added in as it would also suit those undergoing vegetarian diet during these few days of meatless retreat. Spinach has many healing properties and is rich in minerals and vitamins. Regular consumption would be great for the maintenance of healthy eyes, cardiovascular system and nervous system. Wolfberries on the other hand are nutrient-dense superfood which has high antioxidant contents. They are believed to enhance the immune system, improve eyesight, protect the liver and improve the blood circulation. The usage of the powerful antioxidant ginger here would also benefit the body as it enhances the body’s internal production of antioxidants. Thus, less diseases and slower aging process for the consumers.


1kg baby spinach (pluck leaves & young stems, clean & drain)
1 thumb size young ginger (finely julienne)
150g dried Chinese wolfberries/Goji berries (wash & drain)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

100g baby anchovies (deep fried)
Some sliced Shitake mushrooms

• Heat up some olive oil in a wok.
• Add in the julienned young ginger and sauté until fragrant.
• Add in the baby spinach and stir fry until almost cook.
• Add the wolfberries and stir thoroughly until the baby spinach leaves are cooked.
• Add in salt to taste.
• Serve immediately with hot steaming rice.

Note: No water is added as the baby spinach would release some juice in the process of cooking.

(Serves: 4-5)



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