My Hobby – Cooking (Today’s recipe: chicken broccoli stir fry)

When I’m not writing or doing drama-related stuff, I cook. Here’s one I did yesterday.: chicken broccoli stir fry. Super easy. Super delicious and very nutritious! Skip the Chinese take-out and try this. It doesn’t take long to prepare. Here are the ingredients:p_20190104_163940

Listed from left to right: green onions, chopped garlic (4 cloves), chopped ginger (1 inch), 1 medium chopped onion, 1 chopped chili pepper, 1 med head broccoli. In the bottles: sesame oil, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and go ahead and add some soy sauce.

You’ll also need a pound of thinly sliced chicken breast.



Large wok: add sesame oil and all chopped vegetables. Let stir-fry on high heat for a minute or so. Add broccoli. It will start to steam and turn dark green.

Once mainly cooked, push to side, add more oil to empty side of pan and add half chicken. Stir fry to mainly cooked, push to side with vegetables and cook other half of chicken.  (That’s what is happening in the photo above.)

Now for the sauces: splash in some soy sauce, a couple table spoons of chili sauce (I use an Indonesian variety, but something like Siracha would work as well) and about 1/4 cup of oyster sauce. (if you want to thin out sauce, add a little chicken broth)

Stir fry on high heat until well mixed. Remove from heat. Add green onions and lightly stir. Serve over white rice. (I like Thai rice, personally.)

Enjoy! It’s super delicious and very easy. Here’s my meal from yesterday.


All right, now back to book editing.


Perhaps the Best Beef Dish in the World.

The Minangkabau are a people group from the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. And man, do they know beef! They make, perhaps, the best beef dish in the world: beef rendang.


Here in Penang, near my house, there’s a small lunch stand called Nasi Padang. Nasi means rice. Padang is a town in West Sumatra. Okay, you know where I’m going with this? This is real Minangkabau beef rendang, and it is absolutely out of this world. It’s expensive. Each piece is RM3 which is about 75 US cents. Okay, so I lied. It’s actually expensive for here, but it would be dirt cheap in a mall food court in America. It would also be the best tasting dish in any food court in North America.

First, let me explain that dish above. Top right is a tasty combination of Indian-spiced cabbage and bean sprouts. They’re terrific. Very top left is a wonderful egg omelet and botton left is the sauce to a great sweet-spicy chicken which is covering the rice. All of it is fantastic, but the true hero of this plate is center-bottom. That’s the three pieces of beef smothered in the most flavourful sauce you will ever taste.

For real beef rendang, they start with a plethora of spices and coconut and grind it all with a pestal and mortar. Liquid, oil, and other delightful items are added to the beef, and it’s slow-cooked for hours until all the liquid evaporates, and you are left with an extremely intense coconut and lemongrass flavor. I can’t properly describe it, because it simply explodes in your mouth. There’s nothing like it, and it coats the fall-to-pieces slow-cooked beef to create a perfect combination of bite and flavor. Oh my goodness! It’s tremendous.

There are many types of beef rendang. All of them good. There are many Malay-Indian restaurants and shops in Penang which make beef rendang. Most of them are liquidy and seems more like a curry. They still taste good, don’t get me wrong. But the original, the Minangkabau beef rendang is the standard. Maybe the world standard for a beef dish.

I love it so much. If you ever get a chance, do not miss it.



I’m Posting this for Myself (Malaysian Food)

Self. Remember these 7 delicious dishes after I leave Malaysia. Here is how I can make them!  Don’t forget. That’s why I put it on my block. Do a simple search to find them and your mouth will be happy once you leave Malaysia.

Don’t forget to try these! Stop eating greasy hamburgers and remember the flavor you once knew. Now. Do it.

7 Typical Malaysian Dishes You Should Learn to Cook.

7 typical Malaysian dishes you should know how to cook

Analysis: This is an excellent list and love every single one of them. The one which has grown on me the most is Nasi Lemak. I could never stomach anchovies until I came to Malaysia. When added as a crunchy snack on top of the fragrant coconut rice, it’s wonderful. Mix a little curry in there as well and oh my!

The Best: In my opinion, the best dish on the list is rendang. I mean, wow! Our school cafeteria makes it from time to time and it is to die for. Yes, I said cafeteria. So flavorful! In Malay cuisine, the beef rendang is the most popular (sometimes chicken) and when the beef is tender, it’s excellent.  In Nyonya cuisine, it’s pork rendang and it’s to die for. There’s a little restaurant near my house called Nyonya Breeze that serves the most amazing pork rendang. I can’t describe it. No words.

Malaysian food is excellent. Varied. Flavorful. Fusion. Fragrant. Wonderful.

Give it a try!


Accolades for Penang: My Home

I’m not one to share a lot of articles on this blog, but this one was too good to pass up because it speaks about where I have lived for the past nine years – the Pearl of the Orient – Penang!

2014 was certainly a banner year for Penang as the articles will highlight. It won 8 different prestigious awards or accolades that should make anyone sit up and take notice. I shall highlight two of them here. First, the food. Yes, it is that good. The variety, the flavors, the uniqueness. Wow! Nyonya – Chinese Malay fusion is stunningly delicious. The street food. Noodles. Curry. The Indian. The Thai. The Malay. I could eat a different food every night and be in flavor heaven. And the price is right! A plate of the famous char koay teoh noodles will cost you about 4 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately $1.20 US)

Secondly, I will mention #6 on the list – The Hard Rock Hotel. It’s kind of like my second home in Penang. I spend a lot of time there on the lounge chairs typing away on my laptop. Great place to write. And when I get hot, I jump in the awesome pool!

Penang is one awesome place. I hope you have a chance to visit some day.

Now on to the article:

Me and Sriracha (And it has something to do with Vietnam)

I was a sriracha hot sauce fan before you! Is that what Americans are yelling these days. It seem’s that Huy Fong’s delectable hot sauce, Sriracha, named after a place in Thailand where the hot sauce originated, is the condiment of choice for America – certainly the condiment of the decade. It has it’s own line of clothing, Lay’s potato chips has Sriracha flavored snacks, and the California bottling plant is putting out an enormous amount each day while fielding lawsuits from neighbors who complain about the smell.

2014-10-18 17.24.05Here’s a bottle of the precious which my family bought for me for Father’s Day when we were in America. We hand-carried it back to Malaysia and have been making delights like these Sriracha chicken wings. The ones on the left are mango-sriracha. Yum!

2014-10-18 17.45.46

Now you might ask if I live in Malaysia – the region of the world which lives off of chili sauces – why would I have to bring back a bottle of Huy Fong’s sriracha?

Good question. There’s a simple answer: it’s better than any Malaysia or Thai chili sauce, and it has Vietnam to thank. (I know I’m stepping on a few toes here.)

When I first moved to Malaysia in 2006, I happily noticed the grocery aisles loaded with chili sauces – condiment heaven – except for one thing: they were all sweet. Really sweet. Sweet and sweeter. What’s going on? Can’t I find a non-sweet chili sauce?

When I lived in Vietnam, I became used to the myriad of chili sauces which would be made fresh daily by the many different street hawkers. I loved adding the chili to pho, or for dipping fried potato cakes in it. Subtle, spicy, tangy, delicious. Not sweet. Vietnamese chili sauce is, in my estimation, the best in the world because of that.

When I moved to America in 2004, I discovered Huy Fong’s Srirachi in an Asian grocer. I was immediately attracted to it by the Vietnamese writing on the outside. And upon first taste, I knew this was they authentic Vietnamese style chili. The owner of Huy Fong was formerly from Vietnam – of Chinese descent. He captured the essence beautifully and started selling. Look where he is today.

So now I’m a fan from afar. I’ll bring back bottles of it when I get a chance. In the meantime, America, you can be assured that you have the authentic taste – the chili sauce of chili sauces.