Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Char Siew Buns

Posted by Quinn at Monday, March 29, 2010 16 comments Links to this post


I told you we both really love buns and breads. Aaron likes savoury stuffs. I made some Char Siew and Wanton Noodle sometime back. I hate it because I can never seem to have any leftover Char Siew because no matter how much I make, they just disappear. I really hate Aaron sometimes. I told him to leave some for me to experiment with baked buns and steamed baos. But his reasoning was my cooking, they are always too yummy and he couldn't stop himself from finishing it. I hate him because he is such a sweet talker and I cannot deny the fact that I was smiling away sheepishly every time he cleans up his plate. Anyhow, I manage to make this batch of baked buns with Char Siew that I've hide from Aaron in advance.

I love Agnes Chang. Aggie calls these 'Sweet Little Roasted Meat Buns'. They are small, the usual ones you get from Dim Sum Restaurant that comes with 3 little buns in a plate. I love how faux looking these buns are. They are glazed with egg wash, sent to the oven and brushed with melted salted butter again to give it the shine. When you eat them warm, you can taste through the salted butter followed by the warm soft bread before reaching the goodness yummy and moist filling. I love the saltiness the butter gave to the bun. I think the filling would be really good for steamed baos too though I've not tried making Steamed Char Siew Baos as of now.


Sweet Little Roasted Meat Buns

(makes 4 dozens of little buns, you probably can fit 3 in your palm at one go)

Prepare a batch of basic sweet bun dough. After the first proving, divide dough into 20gm portion each and shape them into ball. Rest them, covered with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes to relax the gluten. Wrap them up with 1 tsp heaped of the Char Siew filling (recipe below) and seal tightly. Arrange them onto greased baking tray, approximately 3cm apart. Spray with water and let them rise until double in bulk in a warm spot.

Glaze with egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt) and bake in a preheated oven of 200°C for 8-10 minutes, until cooked or golden brown. Remove them from the oven and immediately brush them with melted butter to give them the shiny coating. Leave to cool or warm before serving.

Filling:

1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp choppeed shallots
300g Char Siew, diced into little cubes

Sauce: Combined in a bowl

1/2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup of water
1/2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tbsp cornflour

Heat up the oil and sautee chopped shallots until fragrant and golden brown. Pour in the sauce and stir and bring to boil until it thickens. Add in Char Siew and mix well to coat with sauce. Dish it up and cool it completely before using. I chilled mine in the fridge overnight for easy wrapping and to allow flavour to develop.

They are so good and disappear real quick when served as finger food for cocktail parties. You can also make bigger ones if you don't like making them small but I like anything in mini form, they are so cute though it did took me a while to wrap up 50 buns with a teaspoon of filling each. My fingers are aching...


And before I sign off, I'll be submitting this recipe to Yeastspotting and also, here are awards that have been given to me by Chantal of Flirting With Flour. Don't you just love blog names like that??? Thank you so much for thinking I am worth all these, I am so flattered and seriously touched. I hope you will try out the Steamed Banana Muffins asap and lemme know! And as always, I can be very disappointing sometimes, I do know if you read here, here or here.

Chantal, I think I'll make this a leaf node in the tags spanning across the blogosphere. In a quick 5 mins Google, it looks like most bloggers that I have known and those that I have not already known have already been tagged, and I'm not going to spread the contagion outside the organization further :)

Good day everyone!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poached Egg

Posted by Quinn at Wednesday, March 24, 2010 16 comments Links to this post

Poached egg. Now how more precise can the title be? We all have seen various poached eggs flooding the internet, poached egg with plastic wrap, poached egg the Julia Child's way, plain all natural poached egg with Gordon Ramsey, poaching eggs with vinegar and etc. I like the vinegar method thingy and it works but I have to admit I really dislike the aftertaste it gives my egg, especially when I'm just eating it over buttered toast with salt and pepper. I wouldn't mind vinegar-ed egg if I'm eating say Benedicts or having a vinegar-ed egg floating in my creamy soup. And that cannot be white vinegar (Ewww.....), it's gotta be either red or white wine vinegar. Just love those stuffs in my salads!

Poaching really means cooking in water. There is no need for fat/oil/butter etc. However, many modern egg poachers actually cooks the egg by suspending it over steam. I have an egg poacher at home, it's really useful and I have to disagree with people saying buying one would have it collect dust at the back of your shelves. I use it almost every morning. In fact, my breakfast every morning must consist of eggs. Don't believe me? Click to see what I've done with eggs. In most occasion, all I really need is bread, butter, egg, salt and pepper. And because of its versatility, it can be cooked so many ways! However, now that I'm away from home, I resort to this method.

I did a tutorial on how I did my poached eggs. I like my method. You might say it's not an exact poached egg but modern egg poacher all works the same way. I'm saving you dollars here! So, here we go. I combined the pictures, save you some hassle of scrolling a gazillion times. You're very welcome! The above shot: Grab a silicone muffin cups. I got mine for AUD1 for 12pcs from Target on boxing day. Spray canola oil into the muffin liner. Obviously one muffin cup will hold just one egg. Mine's really small, I like it! Use canola oil though it's silicone. The last thing you want is to have yolks running everywhere when you're trying to flip it out onto your bread. Also, canola oil is odourless, bonus! Crack in the egg. The white floating bits you see in the last picture above, they're canola oil. Don't mind them.

Next, bread. You can choose to do it when your egg is poaching but I like doing it now. I poach my eggs pretty quickly and 3 minutes isn't enough for me to toast, butter and cut them. And I di djust that in the above picture. Notice how I cut a finger off the bread and butter all of them. I like torturing my poached egg with the finger.... I can be really mean sometimes. Before you start all that bread and butter thingy, boil water in a pan. You don't wanna get them rolling boil (see the pic). When they're boiling, turn the heat down so the water is just simmering (see pic again).

Gently lower the egg in silicone cup into the water and COVER IT (not shown in pic). Time it for exactly 3 minutes for an ultra runny yolk, 4 minutes for a yolk that hardens around the edges and 5 minutes for a perfectly cooked yolk (why bother poaching really ??? Just hard boiled them!). 3 minutes and 30 seconds is the best time. Yolks are runny, whites are perfectly set and it takes on the shape of the silicone mould so well! Fish it out with a ladle when time is up. I don't usually get water on my eggs but just in case if yours did, gently tip the silicone cup over to let the water loose or dab dry with a kitchen paper. You don't want soggy toast.


There we have it. Flip the poached egg over onto your toast and torture it with the finger. Before you do that, crack some pepper on top generously. I didn't use salt. I used a salted butter so that was good enough for me. Either you like it or not, I hope you do try it. I can easily make plenty with this method and have no cracks or failed poached eggs when I am serving an army. They look beautiful too, admit it!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Matcha Macarons with Goma Filling

Posted by Quinn at Saturday, March 20, 2010 20 comments Links to this post


Macarons are not macaroons. Macaroons are coconut mounds binded with sugar and egg whites whereas macarons are French cookies. No, I can't find the perfect thesaurus for it. To call French macarons as cookies is demeaning it. It is much more than that. 


This is my very first attempt and it'll probably be my last one.... Who would have though the exclusion of 'o' makes a hell of a difference and torture in terms of steps and precision? This batch of macarons are what I considered a success for my virgin attempt, minus the fact that I undermixed it a little, added a tad too much egg white, baked it a little too long and overfilled it a little.

I know, I know. You're probably wondering how on earth can I call these fugly looking macarons with unwanted pointy perks perfecto but they are, at least for me. The flavour was outstanding, mingled so well with the filling and what a joy it was to eat them together. And all my bakes, any one of them are all perfect to me because I thoroughly enjoy the process of making them. I love the weighing, wiping mess, getting flour all over myself and popping them into the oven.

And this batch of Matcha macarons, they're the same. I didn't get the nice shade of green I wanted because I overbaked them a little. I was all tense up with the importance of macaronage I undermixed them a little. It was only until I piped them I realise, the peaks stayed, kinda like meringue. I must have added too much egg whites....


Anyhow, Aaron rated it 7 out of 10 in terms of looks and taste after comparing it with the many maiden attempt of other bloggers out there. I'm happy, Aaron doesn't have a sweet tooth, it gives him toothache, poor guy. But he had 3 of them, just to show his support. How can I not love him so dearly...

I initially wanted to make these for St. Pattie's Day but I procrastinated. After a quick chat with Pei-Lin, and after seeing her beautiful macarons, I was determined to make them. I couldn't wait for the grinder. I used storebought almond meal. It was a little grainy but I somewhat managed. They didn't look too bad eh? Maybe a little shabby...And the filling, either make your own black sesame paste and omit the sugar or use storebought black sesame paste and add a pinch of salt to it. I like my macarons when eaten together is not sweet and just nice. I hate the feeling of cloyingly sweet stuffs at the back of my throat, really hate it.


And because today is Macaron Day, I am so dedicating this post to Le Jour Du Macaron, belated St. Pattie's Day and to the great pal I know who bakes beautifully, cooks beautifully, writes beautifully and makes beautiful macarons, Pei-Lin!

Have a great weekend people...

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Cute 3D Chilled Corn Kuih

Posted by Quinn at Friday, March 19, 2010 10 comments Links to this post


I spent a lot of my childhood time eating kuih muih like these. Kuih is what I would term Malay cakes, usually chewy and served at room temperature. Generally steamed and colourful and mostly uses coconut milk, pandan and banana leaves. In fact, my childhood time were spent eating and playing. We never need to learn how to cook. We get our daily fix from grandma. Breakfast would be teh tarik and a selection of kuih. Kuih muih is the plural of kuih. Kinda like kuihs. Lunch would be glutinous Nasi Kunyit with Ayam Kari Kapitan. And we even have tea break because we kids just never stop eating. Tea break would be similar to breakfast except, we never seem to be eating the same type of kuih twice in a day.


Grandma likes to reminisce old times and she always start off like this with a mixture of Hokkien and Baba Malay:

You kids are all so lucky now. You all don't know how to cook and yet are able to marry good husbands with maids to spare. Back then, we weren't so lucky. Life was hard and I started following my mother around and learn how to make kuihs when I was able to hold a spoon properly. We are all human but our lives vary a great deal....

All I could conclude is if you can't cook during olden days, you don't get a good husband to marry you and you don't get a maid to serve you. Nah, I'm joking. I could sense unhappiness in her tone every time she talks like that. But I never wanna ask much, it's complicated and only known to those close to me.

Anyway, back to this kuih. This one taste like custard jagung or corn custard kuih. I always frequent night market or commonly known as pasar malam when I was in Malaysia. There is this lady, she sells only kuih talam and custard jagung and they don't come by cheap. It's RM2 for 6 small pieces. I know RM2 is cheap but trust me, many kuih stalls are a lot cheaper than hers and her kuih also comes with a not-so-environmental-friendly plastic bag that says 'kuih talam' in green. I remember it so vividly because Aaron and me love it so much, we buy half a dozen of each every week from her!

Back to this corn kuih, this is adapted from Y3K latest book, Issue 53. Couldn't resist making them because they are too cute!!! This one uses one of those Japanese toy, the one used to make hard boiled eggs. I happen to have three of these, two given by Elin and one given by Ellena because I am such a lucky blogger to have people sending me stuffs. This one takes a while to make if you have limited mould however you can of course steamed them in a 7'' round greased tray if you wish. I've also modified the steps a bit and use cream style corn instead. Have fun!


Chilled Corn Kuih
(makes 12 if you use those Japanese Mould)

15g Wheat Starch (Tang Mein Fun)
75g rice flour
23g tapioca flour
6 tbsp white sugar
1 cup coconut cream
1 small can of cream style corn (Mine was 125g, very cute small can!)

Prepare your steamer and grease the moulds. Bring 200ml water to boil and add a pinch of salt to it. While that is on the stove, mix all the ingredients above in a large bowl and whisk to combine very well. When boiling, add the combined flour mixture into the pot and whisk well to combine. Use medium low heat and alternate between a silicone spatula and a silicone whisk, whisking and scraping the sides and bottom every now and then. When it is thickened, remove it from the heat. Working in batches, scoop 1 tbsp of batter into each cavity (that makes it 2 tbsp per mould to make a 3D car, fish etc.). Steam it unclipped over high heat for 10mins. When time is up, quickly clip them together and put it in the freezer. Repeat with remaining batter until done.


Serve well chilled.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Raising a Toast

Posted by Quinn at Monday, March 15, 2010 10 comments Links to this post

Thank you everyone. Here I am raising a toast to all of you who deserve it! Thank you for all the support all along. Thank you for being with me. Thank you for all of you who made my day with the cheerful comments and funny emails. I know I sound like an Oscar winner but you all mean a lot to me.


To those of you who made it to the food bloggers meet-up, CHEERS! My sincere apology for having this come up so late when everyone's thank you posts are up. Please forgive me for not visiting your blogs enough, don't talk about replying comments and emails and replying to questions/comments on my blog, I've done all that now and got myself organized and all settled now. So, sorry once again for the delay.

In a sequence that first came to my mind:

To Joslynn@A Nyonya's Kitchen who brought us the lovely flower (was it Daisy? I'm bad with flower names!), CHEERS! Thank you so much. Haven't gotten one from Aaron even for Valentine's for years so you really made my day!

To Joslynn@A Nyonya's Kitchen who bought me this lovely tissue box cover, CHEERS! I really hope you like the Chai. I have sent you an email on how to make your own Chai. My favourite recipe modified over years, it's thick and full of flavour, I'm sure you'll like it!

To Sonia@NasiLemakLover who gave me my most treasured gift of dried Bunga Telang, CHEERS! Just so you know, I have successfully smuggled it into Adelaide declaring it as potpourri. If I ever make pulut tai tai, you'll always come to my mind. Love you!

To Joslynn@A Nyonya'sKitchen who so willingly shared with me a packet of the Klang Bah Kuet Teh given by Sonia@NasiLemakLover, CHEERS to both of you! Joslynn knows how a packet of Bah Kuet Teh mixture like that meant for people living abroad. No Sonia, you are alright to make us chose between Bunga Telang or Bah Kuet Teh, I'll pick Bunga Telang anytime!

To Elin@Elinluv's Tidbits Corner who got each and every one of us a set of egg mould (you know, the Japanese toy), CHEERS! I have come up with other ways of using the mould to make fancy stuffs other than eggs, will share if I ever make them! Thank you once again! And I must be thinking of Aaron when I was smiling, we are very attached and tend to miss each other a lot, I hope you didn't find that too mushy since you asked in your post, haha! Did I mention Joanna is such a smart and clever girl, saw her results, freakishly smart and outstanding!

To Gertrude@MyKitchenSnippets, Joslynn@A Nyonya'sKitchen and Reese@ReeseKitchen, thank you for making me feel young and alive, love the Angpao, CHEERS! Love your company Gertrude, you're warm and nice and all. I know all of you are good people really.

To BeeBee@HoneyBeeSweets, CHEERS! What a bravo to flew all the way in from Singapore just to be with us. Really appreciate your attendance. And no, you are not the last person to blog about the meet-up, I am! So, you're fine darling.

To Pei Lin@Dodol&Mochi, Tracie@BitterSweetFlavours and SweeSan@TheSweetSpot, CHEERS! However, I really gotta say this to myself, shame on me! I felt so bad throughout the meet-up that I came empty handed when we called off the cookie swap. My bad for being so not thoughtful. Oh well, I guess the more reason for us to meet up again in future so I could make it up to all of you.

And Pei Lin, you really do take beautiful pictures, you have that style, flare and everything like a professional photographer. Tracie, you are such a sweet, pretty darling. The youngest one too, enjoyed your free coffee? Haha! Come to Australia, it'll be fun! Swee San, though I've only come to known you through Pei Lin, I felt you are very nice, no need to mention talented. It's displayed through your blog, I'm missing a lot before I came across your blog. Wonderful work!

On a separate occasion, like 2 days before the blogger meet-up, I met Angie@SeaSaltWithFood. Thank you Angie for sparing precious moments from your tight schedule. Now I know a lot more about you and I know this is late, but I'm glad you had a safe trip back to Vancouver. I hope you like the antique chopsticks I got you. I bought two, one for me and one for you. I hope you'll like it. Nothing beats photography props for bloggers like us.

On another separate occasion, I finally get to meet Zurin@CherryOnACake. Zu, terima kasih. Love the Roti Jala Mould and the Fish-shaped Kuih Bangkit Mould. I hope the set of silicone kitchen tool will come in handy for you. I use it like mad since it can withstand temperature up to 200°C or more.
Oh did I mention I raised my toast just now with a glass of aspic? Probably didn't look like it but it was. I raised my toast with a glass of Rosenmuskateller Jelly. Rosenmuskateller or Moscato Rosa is beautifully stunning, though a tad drier than your usual Moscato, nonethless, equally sweet. It has a beautiful steamy rose colour, very delicate tasting and surprisingly fresh. It makes a perfect match to all desserts and dishes which incorporate fruit let it be paired or downed alone. Moscato are usually served well chilled.


Rosenmuskateller Jelly
(makes 2 elegant champagne glasses of aspic)

1 cup Rosenmuskateller or Moscato Rosa
3 tbsp castor sugar
2 tsp gelatine powder
Blueberry

Before you start doing anything, freeze 2 champagne glasses in the freezer for about 20mins or more.

Bloom the gelatine with 2.5 tbsp of cold water and let it stand for 10minutes. Measure out 1/4 cup of the Moscato into a smallish pan and add sugar to it. Whisk it over low flame until all sugar dissolved. Remove from heat and add in bloomed gelatine paste. Stir vigorously with a whisk until dissolved and place it back over a bain-marie if needed, never direct heat else the gelatine would looses its gelling property.

Cool down the gelatine mixture until it is warm to touch. Working quickly, remove the glasses from the freezer and evenly pour it into the two freezing glasses. Quickly drop in one blueberry into each glass. Top with remaining champagne into the glasses evenly.

Send it back into the freezer to set for 20minutes. Remove it and chill it in the lower compartment of the fridge for at least a night. Watch magic develop the next day. Have fun looking and staring and gazing at a bubbly glass of aspic. You drink it with a spoon!


In conjunction with this, I am thus submitting this Rosenmuskateller Jelly to this month's Monthly Mingle, themed Champagne. I modified and reduced the proportion from the existing original recipe here by Heston Blumenthal. Very simple ingredients, just a little more steps to trap more bubbles than your usual glass of champagne. Wanted to trap that little blueberry mid-air but I decided it looked better staying at the bottom. And did I mention, it was a small little blueberry but it looks huge when dropped into the glass (see below to understand). Just the effect I wanted!

Here's a not-so-bubbly toast once again to end this post, cin cin!

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Offerings to Jade Emperor

Posted by Quinn at Friday, March 05, 2010 14 comments Links to this post

I'm very much a Hokkien. On the eighth day of the Lunar calendar, we do offerings in the middle of the night to celebrate someone's birthday. His name is Thnee Kong (Hokkien), Tin Kong (Cantonese), Tian Gong (Mandarin) or Jade Emperor (plain old English). Some called him Heavenly God too. The fact is, Heavenly God is a closer resemblance of Thnee Kong if you translate it word for word from Chinese to English. Thnee Kong's Birthday falls on the ninth day of the Lunar CNY. I would like to think of this day as the Hokkien's Thanksgiving Day.

This day is so grand to us that grandma kept reminding us that Thnee Kong's Birthday is grander than the first day of Chinese New Year (CNY) where everyone usher in the Year of Tiger. Old folks can be really true sometimes. I do hear more fireworks and firecrackers on this day compared to the Eve of CNY and any other day withint the 15 days of CNY. Bright sparks and loud booms filled up the dark night and it continuously goes on all night long till approximately 4am.

Thnee Kong Seh (Seh = Birthday in Hokkien) is traditionally only celebrated by the Hokkien community, However, over years, non-Hokkiens have took upon this Hokkien tradition and celebrate it too. The more the merrier, everyone pray for a better year ahead. This occurred due to the fact that some of them have noticed a steady growth in business rate and improvement in things for that particular year where they make offerings to Thnee Kong.

Lunar Calendar is a little different from the daily calendar we based on. 11pm signifies the border between the eighth day and the ninth day of Lunar CNY. So, most people would offer praying paraphernalia to Thnee Kong at 11pm on the eight day of Lunar CNY.

We bought most of the offering because everyone is so busy and occupied that we have no time to prepare things from scratch. And they don't come by cheap either. But being Hokkien and strong believer of worshiping God, my family is more than willing to splurge for this day in guarantee of good business, health and wealth blessings from Thnee Kong for the rest of the year.

Let's start off by talking about sugarcane. A pair of sugarcane is a must when celebrating Thnee Kong Seh. It will be propped up or leaned against the gate of your house. Some place it right next to the altar too. A typical version of the story from my mum and aunt, Hokkiens hide in sugarcane plantation when they were refugees, running away from bad armies. They manage to regain freedom on Thnee Kong's Birthday. Hence, they felt it was with Thnee Kong's help and protection from above that they manage to be free and safe. Thus, this explains why sugarcane plays a significant role on Thnee Kong Seh. The sugar cane head is burnt along when you burn the gold paper (Kim Jua in Hokkien) and the Thnee Kong house.

Kim Jua are very much like Origami foldings. I see gold ingots and many many interesting shape and the shapes all help promote a better burning. My dad says the Kim Jua has to be fully burnt in order from Thnee Kong to fully receive everything. My sister suggested why not burnt a long string as well. So Thnee Kong can collect all the 'money' and bundle them up easily, hehe.

The above is our series of vegan. From clockwise on starting with raw groundnuts, dried Shiitake mushrooms, raw Mee Sua bundled in red thread, rock or lump sugar, red dates or Ang Zho in Hokkien and dried beancurd sheet. The centre one is dried lily bulbs or Kim Chiam in Hokkien. It translate to Golden Needle in English.

Hard boiled red eggs and Mee Sua noodles are must have items as they are traditionally served during birthday. Grandma says Mee Sua signifies longevity and red eggs symbolizes prosperity and is auspicious looking.

The above is Thnee Kong kuih. It's actually fluffy cakes shaped in the shape of peach. We always buy half a dozen, I don't know if there's a reason for it.

Mum reached wet market at 5:30am and grab two largest pineapples she could get. It's the above. And did I mention all offerings must be placed in bowls that aren't chipped or cracked. Even the vegan series have their own bowl and are strictly used to hold vegan stuffs. It surprises mum how pineapples and a lot of other stuffs could cost during CNY. I'm not surprised though, it is CNY period that they manage to perk up their price like that.

Our tower of fruits. Bottom layer, Fuji Apple followed by large perfect sweet peaches and a bunch of grapes tops it all. It is finished off with a red ribbon to give it the auspicious look and just for colour contrast.

Our proud tower of Angkoo Kuih. Multiple colours, many shapes and varieties of filling ranging from peanut, mung bean and red bean filling. Mum always buy them this way, 10 yellow pineapple mung bean Angkoos, 10 pink red bean Angkoos, 10 orange peanut filling Angkoos and 2 orange peanut filling 'edible gold bars'.

Above: 10 Hokkien Bak Chang or glutinous rice dumplings. It's glutinous rice with black bean, a large piece of fatty Bak or meat, salted duck yolk, chestnut and a large piece of black mushrooms, efficiently folded into a conical, pyramid shape. It's yummy and I love it. I'm weird though, I eat it dipped with castor sugar. What about you? It taste great plain though. It's well marinated with lotsa stuffs. I could taste strong 5-spice powder!

Ang Kuey Neng or Red hard boiled eggs. We're supposed to just offer 13 this year, we probably eta the rest. Why 13? I don't know, it changes every year and we watch TV shows to know. Funny?

Big large prawns, prefried to give it the golden red sheen. Prawns are so expensive during CNY that we always get Aaron to buy prawns back for us from Labuan. They are humongous and really juicy and succulent. Aaron's dad bought 5kg of it for us and trim them well, place them in plastic bags, deep freeze it and wrap them in layers of newspaper. When they arrive KL, they're still frozen. Yummy, love it!!!

What's CNY without beer??? Tonnes of Carlsberg and Guinness, and lotsa red wines and Martell for the night. They really seriously finish everything, can you imagine???

Chinese Steamed Cakes, made with lotsa eggs and flour. The one in pink is Huat Kueh. It's considered large for Huat Kueh as these Huat Kueh are usually made into muffin size and stacked in a group of five when offering for prayer.

A pyramid of mandarin oranges stacked for prayer.

Two whole yellow birds. Desexed chicken, very yellow skin and very tender meat. Don't ask me how they desex it because I don't know!

Pan-fried fish and yellow noodles. Fish, prawns and crabs are a must for prayers. The long strands of yellow noodles signifies longevity.

Crabs, they are steamed instead of being bathed with hot oil. If you bath them with hot oil, they don't taste so good when they are cold, though you can fry them again but we just prefer to use less oil.

Not in the picture, a can of longan and a can of lychee in syrup. Candies and sweet stuffs are a must to sweeten things up a little. The brown round thing is Nian Gao or sticky glutinous rice. Made with glutinous rice flour and gula melaka and steamed for a long long time to achieve such appearance. Two boxes of mee sua and a packet of candy completes it all.

These offerings are then arranged in a certain order on red tables facing the main gate and the main gate will usually be wide open to allow smooth flow of all the good things. And we have a whole roasted pig on the table for that night. Meet Mr. Porky below, he sacrificed himself for Thnee Kong and is 52kg in weight. We get the last round of roasted pig which finishes at 11pm. Then we have it delivered straight to our house and pray (not hastily though!) and have it chopped up and serve our guests. It's an open house, you can gate crash my house if you want. We used to serve mee sua with red hard boled eggs and the roasted pork. Over time, we've always take away more than a dozen of plain konloh wantan mee and serve them with pork. The particular store where we bough our wantan noodle taste pretty good.

Below is Thnee Kong house revealed. It's covered with a big piece of red paper until prayer time.

I admire the old man that makes our Thnee Kong house every year. The details are just so detailed. Even the fingers of the man holding the sword is complete. We love his workmanship and has been buying Thnee Kong house from him for the past twenty years and more. Prayer started and the candles and small and big joss sticks are lit. Each family members burn incense and say only good words and ask for Thnee Kong blessing for a better year ahead.

As midnight approached, things start to get burning. Its fire everywhere. We're among the not so civilized ones that meddled with fireworks and firecrackers. Here are a few shots of them just to test my point-and-shoot and my tripod in night mode. Add-on: Not in the picture, we have 6 small little red teacups; 3 cups are filled with Chinese tea and 3 cups are filled with rice wine vinegar.

I always have problem with fireworks and the wiring from lamp post to lamp post. They make the fireworks look horrible and those shown here are a few more decent ones.

I thought the fireworks look very much like a peacock's wing all flared open to attract the peahen, don't you agree?

Check out the flowers arrangement on the praying altar now. They are different once again and those withered flowers are replaced with new, fresh ones.

As the burning end, the tribute to Thnee Kong is completed and it is our turn to celebrate and serve our distinguished guests. The prawns, the whole roasted pork and practically anything edible on the red tables are served to our guests. I did helped cook a dish or two, shall go there later. As of now, I'm glad I finally got this posted. I have a BBQ farewell party to talk about and of course not missing out the blogger meet-up which has already been blogged by many. I'm in Labuan now, a small island off Sabah coast enjoying life and much goog goodness in life.

See you all in Adelaide soon with more new posts. I hope you guys are not sick yet in hearing about me and my life and the people revolving about my life. I know I can get pretty self-centred sometimes. I felt I'm very much tweeting about my daily activities here but I did include food for drool and a short little history every now and then when I wrote this post. Recipes will be back soon, muaks! I'm off for more seafood and beers now, it's a duty-free island, yum!

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