East Malaysia Cooking Trip – Part 1

brinjals

Hello my blogger friends, greetings from Hong Kong! For those who have been following my blog, I’ve finally settled down in this city that never sleeps. It’s been more than two months since my last post and I hope you will still get to see this in your reader or email :)

I am preparing to start cooking and baking soon but for now, I would love to share with you an amazing trip that I’ve made before my move. For this trip, I get to stay with my relative in Sarawak, East Malaysia who owns a little vegetable garden right in front of the house. Of course, you know my itchy hands wouldn’t leave those gorgeous plants alone. Hee hee!

chinese squash

These are oriental squash which are great for making clear soup with dried scallops and pork short ribs. Boil them together for an hour and all you need is just a little salt to flavor it.

be different

While most squash are long and straight, some just prefers to be different.

robot oven

dough in robot oven

I would like to introduce this powerful oven that looks more like an alien in scifi films which can pre-heat to 220C within 10minutes. The only thing to be careful is that the heating element is at the top so attention is needed to avoid the crust of my bread from getting burnt. Yes, I baked bread with it and the result is very satisfying.

foccacia

I made this foccacia bread with dried Italian herbs using that robot. It was really crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The bread was very well received and before I knew it, the pan was empty.

12 hour overnight poolish 

150g strong flour, 150g warm water, 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Mix everything together  and let it ferment overnight.

Main dough

278g strong flour, 150g warm water, 1 & 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast, dried Italian herbs, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 tablespoon olive oil, poolish

Mix everything together and work your dough till it is smooth. Let it rest for 45 mins. Stretch and fold the dough and let it rest for another 45mins. Pre-heat oven to 200C and bake for 20mins. Sprinkle with grated parmigiano if desired.

harvesting egg plant

I just can’t keep my hands off these gorgeous brinjals or long eggplants. I’m so lucky that they are at their best when I was there. Green on the inside with no seeds yet.

pasta with brinjals

With limited ingredients, I turned the brinjals into this pasta dish.

brinjals, cut into circles

red chili, chopped

1 onion, chopped

italian herbs

1 big lime juice

olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

your favorite pasta

Fry brinjals in olive oil till caramelized and set aside for later use. With the same oil, saute onions till caramelized and put in red chili, sea salt and pepper. On another burner, cook pasta to al dente and keep some pasta water. Back to the frying pan, add in lime juice and pasta water follow by a good handful of italian herbs. Put in pasta, brinjal and toss well. Serve with grated parmigiano and perhaps more chili.

It’s been a great trip. I’ll share more recipes in part 2 okay?

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46 thoughts on “East Malaysia Cooking Trip – Part 1

    • Thank you Jean. It was one of my best cooking trip ever. Hope to do it again soon. I’m well in hong kong. Just need more time to get custom to the environment….Merry Christmas!
      danny

    • Thank you Karen and Merry Christmas! I’m good in Hong Kong. Work is tough but it is a good experience. Have you tried that focaccia? I would love to hear your comments. :) …….danny

  1. Love that you’re back online Danny – you’ve certainly been missed! Looks like a fun and productive trip you took to Malaysia – so wonderful to make use of such fresh produce straight from the garden! It makes such a difference.

    • Aw….thank you Margot and Merry Christmas!!! The Malaysia trip was really fun and I can’t wait to do it again. My dream is to travel to different parts of the world and cook with their local ingredients….danny

    • Aw….thank you so much Lindy. I miss you too! Merry Christmas!!! I’ve pretty much settled in Hong Kong but will need more time to adjust to the way of living over here. It’s all Asia but still quite different in many ways compare to Singapore. Especially the diet. Luckily, there is quite a variety of my familiar ingredients available for cooking. And I am still trying to get used to cook in my one butt kitchen. Way too small…but this is Hong Kong….danny

    • Thank you Anto. Long working hours over here but it’s all good. I am doing less cooking at the moment but will never give it up. Cooking is what I live for and you are my biggest inspiration…..love, danny

    • Thank you very much and sorry for my late reply. Work is tough over here but I’m getting the hang of it. I haven’t got as much chance to cook but will certainly manage my time better to spend good moments in my very tiny kitchen over here. Merry Christmas!!! …..danny

    • Merry Christmas Dani!!! I am quite settled down in Hong Kong but will need more time to get custom to the way of living in this city. Though it is Asia, there are still many differences compare to home but I’ll work that out. And the kitchen here is way too tiny for proper cooking but that is not going to stop me from creating my dishes. How have you been doing? Hope all is well….love, danny

    • Thank you Ingrid :) Merry Christmas!!! and sorry for my very late reply. I’m good here. Work is good. Just need more time to fit into this buzzing city and get use to the not so clean air. Though work has been piling up since I started, I’ll still find time to cook and start posting again. It keeps me going. :) May you have a great New Year blessed with lots of love and joy! :) ….danny

  2. I’ve only been on Hong Kong briefly and I love it! Enjoy it there :) Thanks for bringing back memories, I lived for a few years in Brunei next to Malaysia, and my mum used to make brinjal quite a bit :) I hope all is well and you’re enjoying your new place xx

    • Merry Christmas Sofia!!! How have you been? So great to know you’ve been here in Hong Kong and Brunei! I’ve been to Brunei a few times during my army days. I’ve settled down at work but will need more time to adjust myself and fit into this city which is quite different from home….danny

  3. Danny!! Thanks so much for the wonderful run-down on your Malaysian trip! I am so envious of those fresh vegetables in your relative’s garden. Amazing. They must’ve been wonderful in that brinjal spaghetti with the fresh chilli and lime. Yum… sometimes the simplest of dishes are actually the most delicious. I can’t wait for the recipe for your foccacia either. It looks deliciously fluffy and moist on the inside. I love the way that the ‘robot’ made the crust so crisp and golden! Glad that you’ve settled well in HK now. Have been thinking of you and it’s great to hear that all is going well! :)

    • Merry Christmas Laura!!! And sorry for my very late reply. I have to say that cooking trip to Malaysia was really nice. It was also a good break for me before moving here to Hong Kong. I have settled down in my rented apartment and long working hours but will need more time to adjust myself to fit into this buzzing city and not so fresh air…but overall i’m good. I’ve just started to do some cooking and hopefully some baking too. How have you been my friend?…….danny

  4. Is that a counter-top oven? I’ve always wanted one because they seem so convenient and compact. Best of luck in HK! It’s a culinary heaven :)

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