This post is going to induce buckets of drool. Seriously. You wouldn't stand a chance.
Since moving to Havelock, images of hokkien mee, nasi lemak, nasi kandar, and various homecooked meals have been haunting me in both waking moments and deep slumber. These cravings could have picked a better place and timing, but luck is on my side.
Home in May!
How I miss home terribly, it aches! Nothing beats that familiar comfort of stepping into a home you grew up in. The almost-deaf Pickles could sniff me even though she hasn't seen me nor could she hear me but it was almost as though someone flicked a switch on her when I arrived. She started frantically wagging her tail and scampering around the house, trying to reunite with yours truly :')
A wholly productive week back home, sorted all sorts of miscellaneous errands - was out of the house every morning by 8-9am! Of course, no neglect is given to where meals are concerned. Spoiled with choice, mum gave me the enviable task to decide what and where to eat for breakfast. Even made a collaborative effort with Tua Ee to make perut ikan!
Perut ikan literally means fish stomach. Although not used in copious amount, it is supposed to be the star of the dish. For me, I like the sharp, spicy and sour broth and its accompanying ingredients more than the fish stomach!
Tua Ee is certainly the head chef. We arrived slightly after 10am but she has already prepared the paste (possibly the most work involved) with some of the ingredients were already bubbling away.
The real challenge with perut ikan is in preparation. A mountain of gazilion different types of vegetables need to be chopped up, julienned, cleaned and washed.
The daun kaduk (a dark, heart-shaped herb-y leaf) can take a while to finsh chopping, they wilt to almost nothing so A LOT of them are needed for this dish. They are the heart and soul of the perut ikan! Well, after the perut ikan, that is.
And voila, the final product!
Looking at this photo is making my heart beat faster and me squirm uncomfortably. Hours of hard labour, more hours of magic in the making, bringing everything in the pot infused to become the best perut ikan I've ever had....
'Wet' popiah of bean sprouts, mangkuang, chopped peanuts, chilli sauce and a plethora of other ingredients that burst with flavour in your mouth. It's one of those things that you don't realise you've missed until you've bitten into it.
With a heaping of extra chilli paste, heavenly with plain steamed rice. Best eaten with hands, so you can lick them later! (And even after washing hands, the fragrance still lingers)
Another favourite of mine, stir fried lotus root, broccoli, bamboo shoots, carrots. Simple but lip-smackingly awesome.
Kopi peng, and a date with the Bionic bestie.
Cencalok pork at the unassuming little stir-fry stall in New Lane, Penang. All sorts of goodness.
Droolicious belachan chicken. Soooooo good, crispy on the outside, tender and soft on the inside. Sigh....
I don't need to tell you how good those few items were.
And a long-anticipated trip to Baling for Ji Ee's heavenly cuisine.
Kepo at the kitchen-
Sar bi hu (Three-flavored fish). Not sure why it is called this way but a generous amount of garlic and chillis accompanies a crispy-fried fish.
Pai kut ong - Ji Ee's signature dish and the awesome gravy is a heavily guarded secret!
Another signature dish - the sweet and sour fish with generous shavings of shredded cucumber, onion, red chillis and coriander.
Of course, how could we not order the prawn tomyum? Simply bursting with flavour, we kept the rest of the delicious tomyum broth and had another round of tomyum, with noodles. Yummers!
And to round it off, Pickles makes a guest appearance :)