Taiwanese Desserts

Chua Lam introduces Taiwanese desserts in Hongkong. Not all desserts have to be cold. See how Mr Chua recommends with such sincerity and authority? A far cry from the ooos and ahhhs you see from jerks like Bryan Wong.

BBQ Seafood @ Blk 212, Kovan

It’s that 24H place next to the games arcade or superbowl. This place used to be famous for auntie’s superb satay, but I think auntie has either moved out or retired. So I decided to try out the BBQ seafood. $8 for a small slice of stingray isn’t terribly expensive, but I would have preferred my stingray a bit drier or more well done. The sambal used also lacks “punch”. Maybe too little oil. Not fantastic, but I’d still recommend it. An honourable hawker.

The fried vegetables were surprisingly good even though it’s not the main performer here. Lots of garlic, very flavourful ikan bilis and I also tasted a hint of oyster sauce. Good stuff. Pretty well done.

© Chan Joon Yee

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Nasi Lemak

There are many versions of nasi lemak out there and I remember buying 30-cent nasi lemak as a child. Even today, nasi lemak is relatively economical, provided you don’t ask for expensive side dishes. I’m leaning towards the traditional nasi lemak here.

Ikan kuning. What you’re seeing here is $1.50’s worth of ikan kuning. That’s really economical. I marinated them with tumeric and salt only.

I intended to buy ready-made fried peanuts and ikan bilis here, but couldn’t find any at the minimart. So into the frying pan went some cooking oil, ikan bilis and raw peanuts. How do you tell when it’s ready? Just smell.

When it’s about ready, toss a teaspoon of sugar and lt it caramelise. This component of nasi lemak is really cheap, but it takes a bit of time to prepare.

Ikan kuning is ready. How do you tell? Well, again, you can tell from the smell, but don’t wait for the burning smell. I prefer my ikan kuning a little moist and not dry and hard like what I find in most nasi lemaks sold outside.

I also fried an egg omelette with onions and red chilli. Also sliced some cucumber.

The most important part – the rice. It’s simple. Just add coconut milk and water to rice. I’m not a fan of artificial colouring, but my son insisted on “green rice”. So just one drop of apple green colouring. Notice I have real pandan leaves inside. The green colouring is not to con anyone.

I’ve used basmati rice here. The grains were still intact after cooking. No soggy nasi lemak for me. Very strong fragrance of coconut and pandan leaves as long as you’re not too stingy with those ingredients. Rice ready. Side dishes ready. Chilli paste ready. Enjoying cooking it for your family. The ingredients may be simple, but they are quite a hassle to prepare. Not worth it if you’re cooking just for yourself.