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Dry Spiced Tofu and Seaweed Cold Appetizer (涼伴豆干海帶)

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Don’t know why I have been craving for this Bean Curd and Seaweed  Cold Appetizer, maybe because we haven’t got a chance to go the local Chinese restaurant that we usually have this lately. Also recently I read a forwarded email talking about a man having some cancerous disease and then he started to eat seaweed after an advise from a physician. After couple years later, the cancerous symptoms were completely gone. I know, why do I really believe, it’s a forwarded email.

However I have done some research on seaweeds. They are nutritious with high in fiber, calcium, magnesium and iodine. But always be safe not to consume too much of one food, we should always keep our diet balance with a wide variety.

This dish is really easy, just have to do some cutting. Plus the weather is so hot during the summer, I don’t cook a lot.

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Sambal Telur (Sambal Egg)

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Nasi Lemak or Coconut Milk Rice wrapped in banana leaf is an all time Malaysian favorite dish. The traditional Nasi Lemak basically comes with a handful of fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, cucumbers and Sambal Egg. The dish sounds really simple, but we could just gobble down and be satisfied with a plain Nasi Lemak and lots of Sambal. Yes, the key ingredient to one great Nasi Lemak is of course the Sambal.

Sambal or Grounded Red Chili is one of the important components in traditional Malay cooking. The basic ingredient is just the fresh red chilies, then you start adding a little bit here and there of garlic, shallot, ginger, tamarind or others for a more robust flavored  Sambal. Once you do a couple of try outs in making your own Sambal, you can always prepare a full list of scrumptious Sambal dishes, such as Sambal Okra, Sambal Sotong, Sambal Asparagus with Shrimp, Vegetable Curry and etc.

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Mexican Salsa & Guacamole with Tortilla Chips

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Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Hope all of you had an amazing weekend full of fun, laughter and most importantly great food. We went to the London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Arizona for a weekend getaway.  It was way too hot there, 100 degrees F and above. We were just like the roasted pigs in the hot oven, hot and heat steaming. However the best thing was just to stay in the water with a beer on hand, that felt so good. There were many families and friends out in the lake with boat party and barbecue all day long. Since we didn’t prepare for barbecue, we managed to go some food and hang out in the park by the lake in the evening waiting for the fireworks. Overall it was a good trip, it would be perfect if it was not that hot.  :P

I made some Salsa & Guacamole dip for Tortilla chips last weekend for a hot summer Sunday afternoon. It is always popular snack to munch on for any parties especially for hot days like these. It is really an easy recipe, no cooking is needed which is good, just some chopping and mixing to do. I usually serve it with Mexican Tortilla chips, but we bought a big bag of Five Grain Tortilla chips from Costco to tryout, it is thicker with grains, still taste good with the dips. This is definitely a great snack to prepare for barbecue, pool party, or even for the coming World Cup final this weekend. We are really excited and looking forward to it.

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Salt & Pepper Oyster Mushroom (椒鹽豪菇)

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A friend of mine who is a vegetarian asked me to prepare some vegetarian dishes sometime in our post. I remembered one time we went to this local vegetarian restaurant and she introduced many good vegetarian dishes. They definitely didn’t taste like the “real deals” but I enjoyed them very much. One dish I like the best was the “Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushroom”. The dish is an imitation of the Salt & Pepper Chicken, but instead of using chicken, the mushroom was used as an substitution and it is so good.

This was my first time of making this scrumptious vegetarian dish and apparently I need more practice and time to master it. I over-fried the basil leaves twice and finally I got it right.  Do not use too high heat or it will burn the basil leaves. However I would need her advises in mastering this dish. For my friend and all my vegetarian friends, this dish is specially dedicated to you all.

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Crab Rangoon (炸蟹角)

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I must say Crab Rangoon (炸蟹角) is a Chinese fusion appetizer introduced to the American Chinese cuisine. Yes, Americans love Chinese food too, but not all of the traditional Chinese food. Therefore a lot of Chinese food in the States are modified to catered based on the Americans’ taste. Crab Rangoon is one of them. I never had these before in Malaysia until I came to the United States. I was studying in Lincoln, Nebraska and there are two or three traditional Chinese restaurants I can recall, the rest are American Chinese restaurants such as Panda Express, Pick Up Stix, or other local ones like Golden Wok and China Wok. So I was able to try these delicacies in these Americanized restaurants.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually think the Crab Rangoon is a break through from the traditional Chinese cuisine in adapting to the American culture. The Crab Rangoon is filled with cream cheese (I like mostly anything with cheese), imitation crab meats or canned crab meats, scallions, garlic or other seasonings. They are wrapped with wonton egg wrappers or egg roll wrappers and deep fried until golden.  Here in the States, some restaurants serve the Crab Rangoon with sweet and sour plum sauce or mustard for dipping. I just like mine plain and simple.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more