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Claypot Garlic Shrimp with Vermicelli

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Previously Patrick cooked the Steamed Shrimp with Minced Garlic, this dish is always a hot favorite among our friends. Especially when it is cooked with garlic and wine, made it extremely fragrant. One of our friends, Sit Yee suggested that we can even put some vermicelli or Tang Hoon (冬粉) underneath the garlic shrimp, the vermicelli will soak up the sweet broth from the fresh shrimp. That sounds like a delicious dish, thus I’ve decided to give it a try.

I suggest to use whole shrimp / prawn with shell and head on. This will give the broth a much sweeter taste. However this time I only used shelled shrimps without the heads, because I have bought the shrimps before I thought of making this dish. The broth was awesome with the fragrant Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (紹興酒) and absorbing the sweetness from the fresh shrimp. Plus the aromatic fried garlic gave it a distinct taste too.

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Pan-fried Char Siu / Char Siew (煎叉燒)

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In Malaysia, Char Siu (or Char Siew), as known as Chinese-flavored barbecued meat (typically pork), can be found in most Chinese roasted meat (shao la, 燒腊) stalls along with other roasted meats like duck, chicken and pork. Normally, these mouthwatering roasted meats are displayed in front of the stalls’ window to attract the customers and it is always hard to prevent myself from not buying some when I see them especially the char siu, my big time favorite.

In Los Angeles, it is not too hard to spot on a siu mei (燒味) eatery, which specializes in meat dishes like char siu, soy sauce chicken, roasted duck, white cut chicken, roasted pork etc . There are few good ones around. Therefore I never think of cooking the char siu because I can just grab it easily and I always assume it is too complicated to be made. Char siu literally means “fork roast”. The pork meat is being skewered with long fork and placed in a covered oven or over a grill fire to be roasted. Pork belly is the usually best to used for making char siu because it is much more tenderness and juicy.

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Curry Vegetable / Sayur Lodeh (素菜咖哩)

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We always cook Curry Chicken and never really try on Curry Vegetable. I guess it is more troublesome by just to prepare different types of vegetables, rinse, cut and pre-cook in order to make the dish. However I’ve decided to give it a try as a challenge and great to consume more vegetables too.

Below is just a simple guideline on the types of vegetables to be prepared for this dish. You can always opt in or out on the varieties based on your preference. The most important is actually to make the ground spice from scratch and to adjust the right taste during cooking. You need to adjust the seasoning when cooking. This is a Malay style Curry Vegetable or so called Sayur Lodeh, Curry Vegetable Stew.  Since this was my first time of making the Curry Vegetable, I gave it 3.5 out of 5 difficulty level. If you think this is too complicated, you can always use the easy ready made vegetable/ chicken curry paste available in the Asian market. Next time I will try it out for a simpler and quicker version.

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Marble Cake

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Nothing much… I baked this Marble Cake a couple weeks back on a nice and cozy Sunday afternoon. I was thinking to pick up my baking tools again and to prepare a decent sweet dessert for the lay back afternoon. Browsing over a couple of cake varieties and finally I decided to make the Marble Cake with the ingredients available on hand.

I referred to Martha Steward’s Marble Cake Recipe but did some modifications. I cut down the sugar because cake recipes always called for too much sugar. Also I used Ghirardeli 60% dark chocolate morsels mixed with some cocoa powder for the cocoa batter. Do make sure to cool the melted chocolate chips before mixing it into the batter to prevent from cooked.

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Bitter Melon and Pork Stew (苦瓜燜豬肉)

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Not everyone likes the bitter melon (苦瓜). It is a bitter fruit that I used to loathe in childhood. Seriously, I would skip having it every time when it was served in any dishes. My taste buds changed when I grew up. The pork and bitter melon stew is now one of my favorite family dishes, which I missed dearly.

Chinese loves to use the bitter melon in cooking for its bitter flavor such as stir-fries and sours. As for this time, I’ve used it to prepare the “pork and bitter melon stew” to gratify my craving. Nothing fancy is needed else than the ground bean sauce which you are able to get it easily in most Asian food markets. Good thing about this dish is the bitter melon doesn’t taste so bitter after it has been cooked.

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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