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Malaysian Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)

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Happy Mooncake festival to my dear friends, hope you have a nice gathering with your family. Living in the US without family, we celebrate most of the Chinese festivals with our friends. So grabbing a bite of mooncake and just hanging around friends, nothing better than just chill. Back home in Malaysia, traditionally we will light up lanterns, eat mooncake with Chinese tea, and sometimes we will do hot pot. Here we basically just have simple dinner.

Anyhow I wanted to make Chicken Rendang (Malaysian Rendang Ayam) for a long time. This week I finally did it. Rendang is a dry curry version of stew meat dish, slowly cooked in coconut milk and other spices. It is an authentic Malay cuisine, yet a very popular dish served during celebrations or special occasions. The meats are stewed for several hours depending on the meats used. Chicken or duck uses shorter time, beef needs to cook for 2 up to 4 hours.  The slow cooking process allows the meat becomes tender and absorbs all the spices and herbs. Some of the herbs used are galangal, tumeric, ginger, lemon grass and chillies.

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Stir-fried Green Bean with Chicken

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Green bean (French bean or string bean) is definitely one of my top three favorite veggies. I like the fleshiness and sweetness of it. It’s so special! A simple dish like stir-fried green bean with chicken is good enough for me to gobble 2 bowls of steamed white rice. Nothing fancy is needed for this dish. Just few simple steps will give you a simple yet appetizing dish.

Another favorite green bean dish of mine is the干煸四季豆 (literally translated as dry-stir string bean). It is essentially a popular dish to be served in most Chinese restaurants and I will order it mostly. I will post the recipe for it next time.

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Massaman Curry

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Massaman curry is believed to be one of those earliest Thai recipes of the 19th century AD. Not sure how many of you had tried this curry dish but I rarely order it (or not even once) when dining in the Thai restaurant. Most likely it seems to be an unpopular dish for me.

This coconut-based curry is usually prepared with beef, potatoes and roasted peanuts and its flavor is kind of hot and sour. You can always make this dish with your favorite meats like chicken, duck, or pork. Tofu can be used as well to make a vegetarian dish. As with most curries, you can easily pick up the Massaman curry paste at the Asian food market.

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Boiled Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

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Most of you must know that to cook a good Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南雞飯) or White Cut Chicken (白斬雞) involves a lot of work. These are the dishes that we can easily order in a Chinese restaurant but not to cook by yourself. This  is why we haven’t had a chance to make the Hainanese Chicken Rice yet. But to satisfy the craving for Chicken Rice, this is a trick that we learn to do. We only buy the chicken breast and thighs, not the whole chicken, then just steam or boil the chicken parts. Cool down in a icy bath and chop up the chicken into pieces.

You can either choose to steam the chicken or boil the chicken. The appearance might not be as nice as what you can get from the restaurant, however this is definitely an easy chicken dish that you want to learn. The most important thing is to make a dipping sauce to go with it. You can serve the chicken with chicken flavored rice or plain white rice.

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Yellow Curry

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Yellow curry is another kind of Thai curry, commonly found in the Thai restaurants in Los Angeles here. Comparing with other Thai curries, yellow curry is normally creamier and richer. This is because coconut cream is being used instead of coconut milk. However, I preferred watery curry instead of a creamy one, so I used the coconut milk this time.

Potato is a must-have ingredient to be added in the yellow curry as I heart potato for life. Who doesn’t? Other than potato, I put in okra (lady’s fingers), carrot and red chili peppers as well to give it a more colorful version.

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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