Tuesday, June 30, 2009

longevity noodles for eternal youth

The Chinese believe that eating longevity noodles (commonly known as "mee sua") would prolong one's health (hence the name "longevity noodles").

Near my mother's hometown of Muar in Malaysia, there is a shop specialising in home-made longevity noodles. Whenever the opportunity arises, my family will make a detour to the shop to buy the noodles. The shop sells two types of noodles - thin and thick. The thin type of longevity noodles are slightly thicker than the regular thin longevity noodles sold in Singapore.

When Da and I went to my mother's home after work today, the lady chef was busy in the kitchen, ladling soup into bowls of longevity noodles that she had cooked.

Ah... hot soup to warm one's soul. Yummy!

My brother (LG) and his girlfriend (ZT) came back later with leftover french fries from their dinner at Carl's Jr. Even though the french fries had cooled down, they were delicious nonetheless.

Burp! Time for a hot cuppa. Would you like to have a cup of hot Chinese tea or a cup of hot green tea?

Da bought some Japanese snacks from a Sun Moon fruits stall near his office. Boy-Boy's ears perked up when he smelt the snacks.

On our way to my mother's home, Da and I had stopped by a Donut Empire outlet and bought a box of six assorted doughnuts to be shared. My mother, Da, ZT and I each ate one doughnut. LG said that he was too full to eat a doughnut. That left two doughnuts. Oops! Keep the box away from Boy-Boy!

I am going to ask my mother to share her trade secret for the longevity noodles soup as well. Do watch out for the recipe!

Monday, June 29, 2009

toufu with minced meat

When my brothers and I were growing up, my mother used to cook this signature dish of hers quite often. It is a simple dish of toufu but it is very delicious and appetising.

At the request of GP, I have asked my mother to share her trade secret, so here it is.... enjoy!


cooking oil
2 toufu (deep fried)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
300g minced pork (marinated in light sauce, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch)
6 Chinese dried mushrooms (sliced)
1 red chilli (chopped)
2 tbsp fermented bean paste ("tau chiew")
hot water
sugar (to taste)


1. Deep fry the whole toufu. Drain off the excess oil and place the toufu in a large bowl.

2. Fry the garlic in some oil until fragrant.

3. Add the minced pork, dried mushrooms and red chilli and fry until cooked.

4. Add the fermented bean paste and hot water. Add sugar to taste.

5. When the gravy has boiled, pour over the toufu.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

home-cooked soup to warm your soul

I am not much of an Asian soup lover. I prefer western soups to Asian soups. However, ET is such a good cook that the soups cooked by him are savoury and irresistible.

Da and I went to the home of the Three Musketeers for dinner last night. The "main course" comprised pig stomach soup with a lot of green leafy vegetables, enoki mushrooms, button mushrooms, meat balls and Japanese toufu served with steamed white rice. Everyone was pleasantly surprised when Supercute ate all the balance green leafy vegetables. That is the way to go, Supercute. Vegetables are good for health.

There was also a "side dish" of fried rice vermicelli (bee hoon). It was tasty and full of ingredients as well.

Pig stomach soup tends to warm up your bodies. As such, to "cool down", everyone shared a large plate of cut fruits. Nining in particular enjoyed the lychees which are currently in season.

Is there more? You bet there is!

Coffee was served with:-
(a) a lemon meringue pie; and
(b) peanut butter and oat muffins,
that I had baked yesterday morning.

After a hot cup of coffee, it was time to "cool down" again. SY and Tau Suan had made some blueberry sorbet today. I was too full to eat my share of the sorbet and hence, I ate some from Da's share. It was delicious! Do post the recipe in your blog soon, SY.

After dinner, we watched cable television. Gosh, there were several programmes dedicated to the memory of Michael Jackson who passed away suddenly on Thursday, 25 June 2009 (Singapore time - Friday morning on 26 June 2009) after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest. Da had the privilege of watching the King of Pop's concert in Singapore in 1993 and he enjoyed the concert tremendously. MJ was a very talented artiste. May he rest in peace.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wedding bells

The wedding bells tolled today for KK and HA. KK is the third brother of my friend, SC. SC and I have known each other since 1985. In fact, KK was the pianist at Da's and my church wedding and wedding dinner in 1998.

As KK and HA are both Catholics, the wedding mass was held at the Chapel in the Church of the Holy Trinity today. As usual, the DRSS Choir (oops... minus the "R", who is the bridegroom today) was roped in to do wedding planner duty today. We were not activated to sing at the wedding today because the wedding couple had arranged for the choir from the St. Bernadette's Church to sing at the wedding.

What then were the wedding planners' roles?

(a) SC - operations manager, reader (for the second reading) and ang pow (that is, red packet) distributor (SC's mother told us that if our ang pows were not large enough, to claim the difference from SC... *grin*... I replied that we shall "send our invoice" to SC)

(b) SL - bridesmaid

(c) WC (SC's husband) - photographer

(d) DL (SL's boyfriend) - videographer

(e) me - lector and unofficial photographer (er... actually, I was taking the photographs for my blog but I am more than happy to share the photographs with the wedding couple)

As Da had to work today, WC and SC gave me a lift this morning to the home of SC's mother. When we arrived, SC's mother showed her usual hospitality and gave us food to eat. Yummy!

As the time drew near for the wedding mass to start, the groom put on his coat.

The make-up artist did last-minute touch-ups for the bride's make-up.

Off we went to the wedding. It was held at the Holy Trinity Chapel.

SC's nephews were the helpers at the reception table. Their role was to request the guests to write some well-wishes in the book, collect a copy of the wedding booklet and to take a mask if they were not feeling well (in view of the recent H1N1 outbreak). I teased SC and asked her where the health declaration forms were.

The Priest who celebrated the wedding mass was humorous. He gave several tips for a successful marriage, often causing the congregation to break out into laughter. At the end, he said to forget all that he had said and only remember 4 sets of words:-
(a) I was wrong
(b) I am sorry
(c) Please forgive me
(d) I love you

After a beautiful wedding mass, it was time for the reception. One of the wedding couple's friends had baked a lovely two-tier wedding cake for the couple.

The food was catered from Nonya Manis Catering and it was delicious.

Hi KK and HA, on the occasion of your wedding, I wish you every blessings. May the favour of the Lord be upon your marriage always.

Friday, June 26, 2009

tom yam bee hoon (rice vermicelli)

This is my mother's recipe for tom yam rice vermicelli. When she fried these noodles on 24 June 2009, she did not have time to do some grocery shopping. As such, she made do with whatever ingredients she had in the larder and refrigerator. The ingredients in this recipe are as per what my mother cooked on that day. Do check out the tip at the end of this post for variations of the tom yam rice vermicelli.


cooking oil
4 to 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
300g to 400g lean pork (sliced and marinated with light sauce, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch)
12 dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked and sliced)
1 can button mushrooms (sliced)
4 tbsp tom yam paste
2 bowls hot water
sugar (to taste)
1 packet rice vermicelli (washed and drained - do not soak)
chilli dried prawns (for garnishing)


1. Fry the garlic in some oil until fragrant.

2. Add the pork, Chinese mushrooms and button mushrooms and fry until cooked.

3. Add the tom yam paste and hot water and stir well. Add sugar to taste.

4. Add the rice vermicelli and mix with the ingredients using large chopsticks.

5. Serve onto plates and garnish with chilli dried prawns.


Usually, when Tuayi and my mother fry tom yam rice vermicelli, they would add a lot of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, green leafy vegetables. The inclusion of vegetables makes the dish sweeter. Tuayi is a vegetarian and hence, she would omit the pork and the dried prawns.

Hi Tuayi and Ma - any other tips to add?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A little jaunt

I took a day off from work today to spend the day with my mother.

I drove to my mother's home in the morning and we went to our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong for brunch.

As my brother's girlfriend (ZT) had to work the night shift today, we ordered a packed meal (comprising rice with cuttlefish, tou fu and sliced pork) for her lunch. While ZT ate her lunch, my mother and I freshened up for the next part of our outing.

Gosh, the sun was very hot today! We had to carry an umbrella each as we walked from my mother's home to the bus stop.

Just as we were approaching the bus stop, we missed the bus. Not to worry, another bus will be here soon.

When SBS Bus No. 7 arrived, we boarded the bus and sat down to enjoy the air-conditioning comfort. We were headed for Orchard Road, the shopping belt of Singapore.

Our first stop at Orchard Road was at the bank. Recently, Boy-Boy chewed on some currency notes that had unfortunately blown from the table to the floor. My mother painstakingly pieced together the jigsaw puzzle of torn pieces of currency notes and taped them together. One of the pieces was missing and along with it, 2 of the serial numbers on the S$10 note. We managed to change a S$10 note and a S$2 note. For the remaining S$10 note with the 2 missing serial numbers, the banker said that she would check with the monetary authority first whether it could be changed.

After we left the bank, we proceeded to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. This station is an interchange and it was so confusing as to which direction we should be headed for. Following the directional signs (which were numerous), we made our way from one end of the station to another end using the travelator (similar to what can be found at our Changi Airport).

Thereafter, we had to take an escalator down to the level below before we could board the MRT train headed in the North direction.

When we alighted at the Orchard MRT station, we walked through Wisma Atria and used the internal walkway to enter Ngee Ann City. Our destination was Takashimaya Department Store, located in Ngee Ann City. We had several Takashimaya vouchers and we wanted to use them.

In the end, we only browsed the kitchen section. There are so many types of cookware and kitchen appliances! We managed to purchase several items using the vouchers. We bought two sets of Tefal non-stick pans (each set comprised two non-stick pans and a fryer).

We also bought a digital scale using the voucher.

My mother wanted to drink iced coffee. However, the Coffee Club at Ngee Ann City and the Starbucks at Wisma Atria were both crowded. As such, we ended up at the food court in Wisma Atria where we ordered an iced coffee and a bowl of tau suan. The iced coffee was so thick that after we added more ice, we ended up with the equivalent of two portions of iced coffee. Now, that is what I call "value for money"!

Oops... look at the time! It was almost 5.30 pm! We decided to make our way back to my mother's home before we got lost in the sea of the after-office crowd.

Boy-Boy was very excited when we returned. He sniffed the Takashimaya paper bags that we were carrying and wondered what we bought.

My mother cooked some rice with fish and vegetables for Boy-Boy's dinner. Hmm... it looks delicious.

When Da joined us after work, my mother went into her "lady chef" mode and started making preparations for our dinner.

My mother's Philips sandwich maker came in handy tonight.

Would you like some luncheon meat and cheese sandwich? Or how about a chilli tuna and cheese sandwich?

As usual, Boy-Boy asked to share some of our dinner. He was miffed when we asked him to eat his own dinner instead.

Ta-da! Dinner is served. The plate in the middle at the back row contains samosas that Da and I bought from Amoy hawker centre yesterday which were heated up in the oven by my mother.

Da also had open-faced tuna and cheese sandwiches which were baked in the oven at 140 degrees for slightly less than 10 minutes.

After a satisfying dinner, it was time to sit back and relax with some black coffee (for my mother) and tea with milk (for Da and me).

We still have three S$10 Takashimaya vouchers left. Hmm... I wonder what we can buy using the vouchers?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sawatdee Kaa

Sawatdee Kaa! My mother called me this evening, informing me that she planned to fry some tom yum bee hoon (rice vermicelli) for dinner today. Yummy!

When Da and I arrived at my mother's home, the chef was in the midst of her cooking. She first fried the ingredients before adding tom yam paste, hot water and sugar (to taste). As I am not a chilli-eater, my mother did not make the dish very spicy. (Hi GP, are you taking notes? *grin*)

Boy-Boy was also in the kitchen, watching his Mama intently. He seemed to be learning the cooking ropes from her as well.

When the ingredients were cooked, my mother added the rice vermicelli and mixed them with the ingredients.

Voila! Dinner was ready to be served.

Other than my plate of noodles (which remained "unadorned"), my mother and Da liberally sprinkled chilli dried prawns over their respective plates of noodles.

After a mouth-watering dinner, it was time to "cool down"... with some sweet dragon fruit. As I watched my mother slice the dragon fruit, a thought occurred to me. I have just come across a simple recipe for durian ice cream that does not require the use of an ice cream maker. I wondered whether I could adapt the recipe to make dragon fruit ice cream.

Yawn..... after watching Jamie Oliver in "The Naked Chef" on Channel 69 (the Asian Food Channel), it was time to go home. However, before Da and I left, we packed some of the leftover tom yam rice vermicelli to bring home.

Hi Ma, dinner was delicious.

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