Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Instant" Comfort Food

After a while, we stopped looking for excuses for dinner get togethers. No need for anyone’s birthday to be around the corner or for us to celebrate an event. No more pretending. The simple reason for us to have a dinner get together is usually a combination these two reasons, we would like to eat and someone would like to cook. So after consecutive weeks of convening at my cousin’s house for dinner, I decided it was time I put on my apron and cook up a little storm in the kitchen.

To feed my party of ten, I looked through the various cookbooks that were available to me and New Chinese Cuisine by the Tung Lok Group seemed to be calling my name. The book is a great coffee table book and for cooks of all kinds to flip to get inspiration. Of the many recipes that are in the book, I selected two for my dinner party and three others from the other books and food magazines that I possess. This was how my little dinner menu turned out:

Poached Prawns with Avocado Salsa
Chrysanthemum-styled Fish with fruit salsa
Lamb Shank with Garlic Cream Sauce
Comfort Maggie with Luncheon Meat Chips and an oozy soft boiled egg
Green Tea Ice Cream Pie

In a tongue-in-cheek manner, I decided to serve something really simple and rather kitsch in contrast to the semi-haute cuisine that I plated up for the first three courses. Serving instant noodles with some good old fried-to-a-crisp Shanghai Maling Luncheon Meat is certainly not one of the classiest things to serve at a posh dinner, but it can stir some comfort emotions. The luncheon meat is a funny thing, it is terrible food in terms of health, but it taste so good that you have to allow yourself the occasional indulgence. My friend N cooked this for me while we were experimenting in the kitchen one afternoon and I was so blown away but the simplicity and clever play of between the ketchup manis, salty meat and oozy egg yolk and I wanted to make it for everyone. This is cooking at its simplest, not much fuss and you can do it under 10 minutes.

N’s After-A-Night-Out Nosh
(Comfort Maggie with Luncheon Meat Chips and an oozy soft boiled egg)
Serves 1


1 packet of instant noodles
1 ½ tbsp ketchup manis
1 egg
4 slices luncheon meat
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Garnish: Chopped red chilies


Heat oil, when hot fry luncheon meat till they are golden brown on both sides. When that is done, fry a sunny-side up, making sure that the yolk remains runny.

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water, and when it comes to a boil, dunk instant noodles in and cook for 3 minutes and strain. Mix thoroughly with ketchup manis.

Plate up the noodles with the luncheon meat and egg, garnish with red chilies and eat.

*Alternatively: you can use soft boiled eggs like I did. To make soft boiled eggs, bring water to a boil, gently lower you eggs, cook for 4 minutes and then run it under cold water.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wahh they look and sound good!

1:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

hey, joone, I'm like totally blown away by your 1st three haute cuisine dishes, and for a home dinner party no least - Wow...

11:38 AM  
Blogger joone! said...

gwenda and cath: Thanks! *bows graciously*

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey June, I said it before and will say it again. I truly enjoyed dinner that night and had fun watching you cook up a lovely dinner for us!You're really blessed with a gift to cook!luv,nette.Ü

5:07 PM  

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