Monday, October 31, 2011

Passing of My Beloved Papa

My Pa was hospitalised for skin treatment a few days before I left for Taiwan.  He was supposed to spend about 2 weeks in hospital. For more than a decade, I was always with him whenever he was in hospital for heart problem and other ailments.  This time, I happened to be away and I believed he wished for his other children to take care of him. He recovered from his skin problem and was about to be discharged but then he was suddenly coughing 2 days before discharge. 

I arrived home late on Sunday 23, October 2011 night because my flight was delayed for 2 and 1/2 hours.  I went to hospital the next morning to take care of him and to show him all the photos I took while in Taiwan [please refer my other blog - Cooking Pleasure - Travel & Food].  I didn't have the chance to show them to him.  He was still alert when I arrived at the hospital and only said to me "I thought I won't be able to see you again, you must come early morning tomorrow to take care of me".  I saw tears flowing down his cheek.  I know this is bad omen.  I changed his pampers and cleaned his body.  Then, he had difficulty in breathing which we thought is asthma.  The nurses attended to him and later the doctors came.  After 20 minutes, the doctor told us my Pa's heart stopped beating and has passed away [due to massive haemoptysis] after they failed to rescue him. 

He passed away very peacefully, eyes closed and mouth smiling like in deep sleep.  He was 82 years old.  My brothers and sisters were at his bedside. I am glad he waited for me and my husband to be back.  I always believed he will do that for me.  While I was away, my siblings and sisters in-law took care of him very well.  He ate the food he loves to eat during his stay in hospital. My Pa should be very happy that all his children cared for him and were at his bedside till his last moment in this world.

My Dearest Papa
Not only myself and my siblings  are glad to have him as our Pa but my Ma is also the luckiest lady to have him as a loving and caring husband for sixty [60] years.  Their marriage is through match making and yet it has lasted 6 decades.  Their marriage is a model marriage to us all as we remembered there has never been a time of misunderstanding all these years.  Even till the time before he left for the hospital, he had asked my nephews to look after my Ma.

My Pa was not only a caring, loving husband and father, he was also a 'commendable' grandfather to all his grandchildren and a great elder to all that are related to him.  One who had cared for all that came to him for help and guidance.  He had brought up his 4 young siblings, 6 children and cared for his mother and wife for more than half a century since the age of 30 when my grandfather passed away at the age of 51.  My Pa was the sole bread winner of the family.  Imagined during his younger days as the eldest child, life was so difficult especially during and after the Japanese Occupation.  He had never ever complained and always forgive other peoples misdeed throughout his life.  He led a very simple life [without smoking, gambling, drinking] and took care of other peoples' needs before his.

I thanked God for giving me a very GOOD father for more than half a century.  A father whom I would like to have for my next life and thereafter.  Long before, I have been using this song as my handphone's ringtone and here I dedicate this song to my dear Pa "DANCE WITH MY FATHER" by Luther Vandross May his soul rest in peace and the sweet memories be with us forever and ever.

Dance With My Father
[Mr Ong Kok Beng @ Ong Khit Thow]

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My Father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me
And then spin me around till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved

If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
How I'd love love love
To Dance with my father again

When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah yeah
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me

If I could steal one final glance, one final step
One final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
Cause I'd love love love to Dance with my father again

Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
And I'd hear how mama would cry for him
I'd pray for her even more than me
I'd pray for her even more than me

I know I'm praying for much too much
But could you send her the only man she loved
I know you don't do it usually, but dear Lord
She's dying to Dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep, and this is all I ever dream.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Taiwan Trip 2011

Hi, I am on holiday in Taiwan for 2 weeks.  My hubby loves food and we planned to look and eat around in the island.  Hopefully my camera is faithful enough for me to bring back the delicacies in pictures to share with all my dear readers.

My hubby will share with you our holiday travel tips and experiences in the island if you wish to travel there on your own.  Visit the for details.

Ciao until we meet again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vegetarian Stir Fry Turnip [Sengkuang]

Vegetarian Stir Fry Turnip [sengkuang]

My Pa was in hospital due to old age skin problems.  Since I have to take care of him, there will be no more vegetarian cooking for the time being.   My Ma will cook her own vegetarian dishes.  So here I will post all the vegetarian recipes that I have prepared so far which may be of interest to dear readers.
The non-vegetarian stir fry turnip is a popular dish among Malaysian Chinese especially the Peranakan people and sometimes a must have dish during festive season a.k.a Popiah Chai and Jiu Hu Char.
Here, I prepared this vegetarian version of Popiah Chai that is minus the non-vegetarian ingredients such as pork, shredded dried cuttlefish, crab meat or prawns etc.
1 big turnip [sengkuang] about 1.5 kg - cut very fine shreds
1 carrot - cut very fine shreds
3-4 dried mushrooms - soaked and cut fine shreds
2 piece beancurd - cut thin strips
10-12 french beans - finely sliced
50 ml oil
Salt and vegetarian msg to taste
  1. Heat oil in wok to fry beancurd.  Stir fry continously till slightly crispy.  Remove and set aside.
  2. Using the same wok and add a little more oil if necessary.  Fry mushrooms till fragrant then add in turnip and carrot.  Continue frying until the vegetables are limp and soft.  Add in salt and msg to taste.
  3. Then add in fried beancurd and french beans.  Stir fry to combine and cook till french beans are cooked.  Dish out to serve with rice or lettuce leaves and chilli sauce.
This vegetable dish can be used as fillings for vegetable Chinese paus.  Just make sure it is not too watery otherwise, it is difficult for wrapping.  

Vegetarian Fried Tofu With Tau Cheong

This dish goes well with either rice or plain porridge.  Very economical dish, only costs Ringgit 2.00.

3 piece tofu - cut 4 pieces each
2 tbsp chopped ginger [I used young ginger]
1 red chilli - chopped
1 stalk coriander leaves - chopped
2 tbsp tau cheong [preserved soya bean]
some water
enough oil to fry tofu pieces
  1. Heat oil in wok until hot, put in tofu pieces to fry till golden brown.  Fry in batches. Set aside.
  2. Remove excess oil, leave 1 tbsp in wok to saute ginger and chillies until aromatic.  Add in tau cheong and fry for a second.  The pour in some water. 
  3. When water boils, add in the fried tofu.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Add in chopped coriander.
  4. Dish out to serve.
Dish it out, dish it out tofu/paneer & bell peppers

Stir Fry Bok Choy With Mock Char Siew

A friend of mine gave me some mock char siew supposedly imported from Hongkong.  I used it to fry bok choy and also fry rice.  Very simple stir fry dish for a vegetarian meal. Just wondering how the manufacturers can produce such look alike and taste alike food product, I really do not know.  Anyway, not a problem as I do not fancy using these processed food products when preparing vegetarian dishes.
300 gm bok choy - cut 1 inch length
1 small piece mock char siew - sliced
light soy sauce to taste
1 tbsp oil
dash of pepper
  1. Heat oil in wok, saute mock char siew for a second.  Add in bok choy and stir fry on high heat for a minute.  Drizzle some light soy sauce and a dash of pepper to taste.
  2. Dish out to serve.

Stir Fry Loofah with Assorted Ingredients

A very complete vegetarian dish with at least 5 colours [white, green, yellow, red and black] of ingredients which is supposed to be good for healthy living.
300 gm loofah [kak kwa] - skinned and cut into wedges
100 gm mee kin [fresh gluten] - sliced
1 tin canned button mushrooms - halved
5 - 6 black fungus - soaked and break into smaller pieces
2 - 3 beancurd stick [tau kee] - soaked and cut 1 inch length
100 gm carrot - cut into desired shapes
10 gm tunghoon - soaked in water for 5 minutes
a few slices of ginger
2 tbsp oil
Seasoning [combine together]
2-3 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
dash of pepper
100 ml water
  1. Heat oil in wok, saute ginger till fragrant.  Add in gluten pieces, mushrooms, tau kee, carrots and black fungus.  Stir fry to mix ingredients well. 
  2. Add in seasoning.  Stir for a few seconds and add in water.  Bring to a boil till all ingredients are soft. 
  3. Then add in loofah.  Continue to fry to cook loofah until soft and add in tunghoon.  Cook till tunghoon is clear [very fast - 1 second]. Dish out to serve.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sweet and Sour Vegetarian Tau Pau

This is an appetising dish with canned pineapples [can also used canned lychee, longan or mixed fruit cocktail] and tau pau.  I have forgotten to take a picture of the 'Tau Pau' which is a.k.a. vegetarian egg but is in rectangle shape.
10 pieces of tau pau - pan fried till golden brown - cut half
1 cucumber - diced or cut any desired shape
1 small green capsicum - cut diamond shape
1 small red capsicum - cut diamond shape [I used  1 red chilli]
1 canned pineapple cubes - drain and keep the syrup for sauce
Seasoning sauce [combine with canned pineapple syrup]
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp plum sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
100 ml water
1 tbsp cornflour mix with 2 tbsp water
  1. Put 1 tbsp oil in wok, saute all the cut vegetables.  Stir fry for 5 seconds and add in seasoning sauce.
  2. Bring to boil and add in pan fried tau pau [vegetarian egg].  Stir and let it cook to absorb the flavours for about a minute.
  3. Then thicken with cornflour mix.  Dish out to serve with rice.

Sesame Oil Ginger Vegetarian Egg

This dish is like the Mua Eu Khay [Sesame Oil Chicken].  For the vegetarian version, I used vegetarian egg with sesame oil and lots of ginger.   Simple yet appetising.

Pan fried vegetarian egg
10 pieces vegetarian egg - pan fried until golden brown
5 dried mushrooms - soaked and halved [can substitute with bok nee]
3 tbsp ginger - cut fine shreds
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp sesame oil
a dash cooking wine
100 ml water [tau pau will soak  up some of the gravy]    
  1. Heat sesame oil in wok, saute finely cut ginger until aromatic and slightly  crispy.  Set aside.
  2. Add in dried mushrooms fry till aromatic.  Then add in sauce ingredrients and water.
  3. Bring it to a boil for 1 - 2 minutes, then put in the fried vegetarian egg pieces.   Braised for another 5-10 minutes and add a dash cooking wine.  Dish out to serve with rice.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stir Fried Instant Noodles with Assorted Ingredients

My earlier postings on Stir Fried Noodles are 'no frills' with just the very basic ingredients.  This time, when frying  another vegetarian noodle, I added some extra ingredients like fresh gluten pieces, carrot and black fungus [boknee] for a change. 
[serves 3]
3 pieces instant noodles [no flavourings] - blanched in boiling water to loosen and drain
2 stalks bok choy - cut
2 tbsp shredded carrot
2 tbsp fresh gluten shreds
2 bok nee - soaked and cut shreds
a handful of beansprouts
2 tbsp oil
Extra ingredients - boknee, carrot, gluten shreds
2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
dash of pepper
dash of sesame oil
dash of vegetarian msg
1/2 cup water
  1. Heat oil in wok on medium heat, add in gluten shreds, carrot and bok nee to fry.  Then add in bok choy and beansprouts.  Stir fry to combine and add in blanched noodles.
  2. Turn to low fire, add in seasoning sauce. Stir to mix seasoning evenly with noodles.  Then turn to high heat.  Continue stir frying noodles and pour in water.  
  3. Cover to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Remove cover,  stir noodles until water is almost dry, off fire and dish out to serve.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegetarian Duck [Vegetarian Siew Ngoh]

Fried vegetarian duck before slicing

Very tasty, tender vegetarian duck
Ingredients for this dish is simple but the steaming is quite tedious.  I made 20 pieces in one go.  My advice is not to make too many as I have to steam them in batches.  The recipe here is only for making 4 pieces.  This dish can be prepared ahead and kept for weeks in the refrigerator before deep frying to serve.
Ingredients for vegetarian goose
1 sheet [dried beancurd sheet - used for cooking tong sui] - soak in water for 5-10 minutes and drain.
2 sheets of big size beancurd skin [foo peh]
Marinade ingredients [combine together]
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tsp castor
1/2 tsp vegetarian msg
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 cube nam yee 'tau choo' [red fermented beancurd]
a dash of pepper
110 ml water
8 satay sticks
Before steaming
After steaming for 20 minutes

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut each beancurd skin into 4 equal size pieces.
  3. Spread 1-2 tablespoon of marinade ingredients all over a sheet of beancurd skin [foo peh], place another sheet on top and spread again 1-2 tbsp marinade.  Place a piece of the soaked beancurd sheet in the centre and fold into a rectangle.  Prick the top with a satay stick so that the seasoning can seep through the holes.  Use toothpicks to pin both ends to hold the pieces in place.  Do the same for the balance ingredients.
  4. Put vegetarian goose on a lightly greased plate and steam for 20 minutes.  In between steaming, open the lid for a second and continue steaming.  Remove and leave to cool before storing.
  5. To serve, deep fry each piece till golden brown.  Cut into 2 cm slices and serve plain or with chilli sauce.

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Orange Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

    Since half of the family members are on vegetarian diet today, we had Stir Fried Flat Noodles and Yellow Noodles for lunch together with Sweet Potato Ginger Soup.
    It is simple, economical and fast to cook.  Here are the ingredients.
    Sweet Potato Soup in 50 years old bowl
    [serves 4-5]
    350 - 400 gm orange colour sweet potatoes - skinned and cut wedges
    3-4 screwpine [pandan] leaves - knotted
    1.2 litres water
    75 gm sugar
    1 knob of old ginger - lightly bruised
    1. Put all ingredients except sugar in a pot.  Boil on medium high heat until the sweet potatoes are soft and has the fragrance of ginger [about 1/2 an hour].
    2. Add sugar to taste.
    3. Off fire, serve hot or warm with Stir Fried Noodles.
    • The soup bowl is one of my grandma's collection used only during this 'Kew Ong Yeah' festival.

      Stir Fried Flat Rice and Yellow Noodles

      When we are on vegetarian diet, a simple dish always taste appetising.  This is another simple stir fried noodle using fresh noodles, the yellow noodles and koay teow [flat rice noodles].  This combination of stir fried noodle is also common in the wet market food stalls or vegetarian food stalls. Here, I added fried sweet beancurd sticks as garnish and condiment.
      [serves 3-4]
      300 gm yellow noodles
      300 gm koay teow
      2 stalks chai sim [mustard leaves]
      100 gm beansprout
      2 tbsp oil
      3 pieces sweet beancurd sticks - cut thin strips
      Sweet beancurd sticks [teik ah kee in hokkien] 
      Seasoning Sauce [mix together]
      2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
      2 tbsp light soy sauce
      1 tbsp dark soy sauce - for colour
      1 tsp sugar
      1 tsp vegetarian msg
      100 ml hot water
      1. Put enough oil in wok and add in sweet beancurd stick.  Turn on heat to medium and stir fry continuously to fry beancurd stick to golden brown [fry from cold oil to prevent beancurd sticks from being over browned before getting crispy].  Dish out on to absorbent kitchen paper.  Set aside.  Remove excess oil, leave about 2-3 tbsp in the wok to fry noodles.
      2. Reheat oil.  Add in yellow noodles and vegetables. Stir fry to mix well and add in koay teow together with seasoning ingredients.  Stir with ladle and chopstick.  Sprinkle water around the wok to cook the noodles well.
      3. Continue to fry till water has reduced and noodles are cooked.  Dish out to serve.  Garnish with fried beancurd sticks and chilli sauce/pickled green chillies.