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EASTER TREATS Celebrate with baby chicks, spring lamb and hot cross buns



(MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS 850g lamb cutlets marinade 1 stalk spring onion, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons caster sugar 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped 50g ginger, peeled and sliced 60ml soy sauce 60ml mirin ½ teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Lightly pound the lamb cutlets with the back of a cleaver to tenderise the meat. In an electric blender, finely blend all the marinade ingredients except the sesame seeds. Combine the marinade, sesame seeds and lamb cutlets in a bowl. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to one day, turning the lamb pieces occasionally. To prepare sauce: In an electric

pear sauce 120g pear, peele 1 stalk spring on 2 tablespoons lig 2 tablespoons m ¾ tablespoon m 1 bird-eye chilli salt to taste

blender, blend all the ingredients until it is smooth. Season with salt according to taste. The sauce can be made one day ahead and kept refrigerated. To grill lamb: Heat up a barbecue and coat a metal grill rack with nonstick spray. Remove lamb from marinade and place on prepared grill with some marinade still clinging to the surface. You can discard the excess marinade. Grill the lamb

Taster Comments: This took a bit more work but I liked the tender texture of the lamb.” ADELINE CHONG Student

EASTER CHICKS (MAKES ABOUT 20-24 COOKIES) coconut topping 1-2 drops yellow food coloring 2-3 teaspoons water 60g desiccated coconut orange beak 70g plain fondant 1 teaspoon orange food colouring powder cookie 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 100g honey 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 Grade A egg zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional) 220g plain flour, sifted 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted 50 black mustard seeds Taster Comments: I had a lot of fun making these adorable cookies for Easter and kids loved them. I’ll add more flavour to it though, maybe a bit of orange zest too, as the taste can be quite light.” ADELINE CHONG, Student

To colour dessicated coconut: In a bowl, mix the yellow food coloring with water to dilute the colour. Place the dessicated coconut in another bowl. Gradually add the yellow coloured water, and slowly mix to combine with the coconut. Set aside once completed. To prepare the beak: Knead the fondant, and mix in orange food colouring until the colour is even. Pinch small pieces of fondant and shape into beaks. Set aside to dry for at least 2 hours before using. To prepare the cookie: Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter, honey and salt. Whisk in the egg, lemon zest, extract (if using). Add the sifted dry ingredients, mixing until the dough is soft and holds its shape. If the dough does not form into a ball, add a bit of flour. The dough must not be hard or the desiccated coconut will not stick. Pinch 5g of dough and roll it into a small ball to form the head. Pinch 13g of the dough and roll into a large ball to form the body. Place on lined baking sheet, and made a small indentation on the center. Place the small ball over the indentation and press a little to sure the head is firmly attached to the body. Gently roll the cookie in the coloured dessicated coconut, making sure it is fully covered. Dip the mustard seed in water and place two seeds on the head to form the eyes. Dab the fondant beak with a bit of water, and stick in the center of the head. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on the baking sheets, before removing. Store in airtight containers. — Recipe by Debbie Teoh. Photography by Kenneth Lim, Gray Studio.






ed, cored and cut into slices nion, sliced ght soy sauce mirin miso

until the meat is cooked to desired doneness, about 15 to 20 minutes per side for medium. If the lamb begins to burn, slide a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil underneath and continue to grill. Transfer the lamb to plate, cover to keep warm and rest 10 minutes. Or you can grill in the oven at 190C. Serve with the sauce on the side and cherry tomatoes. — Recipe by Debbie Teoh. Photography by Kenneth Lim, Gray Studio.


One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns, goes the nursery rhyme. This Easter weekend, pick up these spiced buns marked with a cross and stuffed with dried fruits. The traditional treat, usually sold from Good Friday onwards is best eaten piping hot with butter. The tradition of eating the yeast-raised buns is believed to hark back many centuries ago. Back in Saxon times, the buns were eaten to celebrate the goddess Eostre, said to be the origin of the word Easter. In the late sixteenth century, eating hot cross buns during Good Friday became popular. Folklore claims that a bun baked on Good Friday never spoils. In a London East End pub, known as The Widow’s Son, it is a yearly tradition since 1848 to hang up a bun as a lucky talisman. We round up a few places that serve these Easter treats. You can also hop over to Bangsar Village and Ben’s Independent Grocer in Publika, Solaris Dutamas, for hot cross buns baked fresh between 11am to 7pm from March 29 to 31.

THE CARPENTER’S DAUGHTER No. 46G, Jalan USJ 10/1E, Taipan Subang Jaya, Selangor Tel:03-80811218 Despite its light colour and rather unappealing appearance, these were the buns we could not stop eating. We preferred its soft texture, the generous amount of raisins and hint of the orange peel aromas. However, for those who prefer a strong spice taste, this particular bun lacks the requisite aromas. Unlike the other buns, the cross is piped across using a flour paste, which seems to break after baking. Each bun is priced at RM3.50. Pop over at noon to grab them hot from the oven.

THE BREAD SHOP 11, Jalan Setiakasih, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur Tel:03-20938734



The prettiest of the lot with its shiny golden brown surface, these buns are lightly peppered with raisins. While the buns have a harder texture, it bears a strong cinnamon taste. The buns are sold all year round from 8am onwards. Expect to fork out RM7.80 for 4 buns.

JASONS FOOD HALL Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur The bakery at the food hall, sells Artisan hot cross buns for RM3.89 per piece. Despite its shiny glaze and a piped cross, it tastes like an ordinary bun with no hint of spices nor raisins. The artisan bakers, Knead and Simple also offer a colourful Easter tea bread for RM15.89. The plaited bread is topped with a generous sprinkle of maraschino cherries, almond flakes and sultanas. However, despite its pretty appearance, the bread has a rather dense texture. Rating:


TEDBOY BAKERY 10, Jalan Telawi 4, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur Tel:03-22021312


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In terms of size, this was the smallest but it’ll appeal to those who love pillow soft bread. Each bun has a light fragrance of cinnamon and the cross is piped with puff pastry instead of icing. The bun is priced at RM1.70. Expect them fresh from the oven at noon. Pre-orders can be made, so grab a batch for the Easter festivities. The bakery cum café will also be serving a special Easter tea blend, made from lemon and chocolate pieces.

It’s all about Easter this weekend. Get into the swing of things, and pick up one of the spiced hot cross buns from the bakeries we have visited. Or just go by Bangsar Village or Publika to pick up the hot treats from Ben’s Independent Grocer. Kids will love the adorable Easter chicks, all decked up in yellow and emerging from their eggshells. We have also thrown in a grilled lamb dish, perfect for the tender spring lamb cutlets that is available in supermarkets. For eager cooks looking for a great weekend breakfast, try the delicious banana crepes. The secret to the sweet taste, is choosing the right bananas, so pick up pisang raja or berangan in the market. For diners, look towards Restaurant Chef Choi for some surprises up their sleeves, such as the deluxe Tarabagani Crab Ramen. Each bowl may set you back by RM100 but for a once in a lifetime treat, we reckon it’s worth it. If you prefer more traditional Chinese dishes, go for the cracking good Barbecued Suckling Pig with the blanket of delicious fried glutinous rice with waxed meats. If you have any queries, email me at khangyi@mmail.


Happy Easter!





In the Kitchen with Eu Hooi Khaw WE are lucky to be living in a country where so many varieties of bananas are available, and each has discernible differences in flavour and texture. My all-time favourite is the pisang raja, so called because it’s really the king among bananas with its lovely fragrance, intense sweetness and a slightly firm but soft texture. Among the better known ones are the short and plump pisang emas, notable for its thin skin and sweetness, the pisang rastali that is a bit powdery to the bite and pisang berangan, which slightly resembles pisang raja. Then there are the fat but wonderfully sweet and fragrant red bananas, which you would find in some kampung markets. I have even eaten some sweet sour bananas — which I’m told are used to feed farm animals but they are really too good for them — and another variety that has seeds in them! I would give those large pale yellow Cavendish bananas you see

in most supermarkets a miss. They pale in comparison with all the bananas I have mentioned and are quite insipid in flavour, but they’re good for the export market because they keep well. There are some 200 varieties of bananas around the world and the banana is really a very wholesome fruit. Besides being high in fibre, it is rich in potassium (to stabilise your blood pressure), calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It’s also a good source of vitamin A, B and C. It is gentle on your digestive system and protects you from ulcers. Bananas are also probably one of the cheapest fruits around. Its high-fibre content alleviates or prevents constipation and helps block the absorption of fats that elevate blood cholesterol. Alexander the Great first tasted bananas when he was on a campaign in India in 327 BC. He has been credited with bringing the bananas to the West.



AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE DINNER Dining at Restaurant Chef Choi is often an eye-opener, and so much more than just Chinese food. The management of the restaurant believes in incorporating all kinds of cuisines in its preorder menu. Don’t be surprised if dinner is Steak Florentine or Thai duck noodles, all served side by side with classic Chinese dishes like steamed fish. This definitely makes any meal here, a fun one since as one diner observed, “you can go around the world on a lazy Susan.” Hence, one rainy night we experienced a 9-course dinner with dishes from Peru, Vietnam, China and even Japan. First, it was a Peruvian-styled ceviche — raw garoupa fish slices marinated with lime juice, fish sauce and a touch of honey, to lightly “cook it”, all tossed with sliced onions and coriander leaves. Finely chopped bird-eye chillies

were added to give it an Asian kick. Needless to say, we even forgot our table manners, as after we ate the delicious fish, we poured the sauce imbibed with the sweet fish essence to our spoons and drank it. Delicious! Next, we rolled up our sleeves, and made our own Vietnamese rice paper rolls with finely cut lettuce, pickled carrots, bean sprouts and Thai basil leaves. It was great fun, grappling with the intricacies of wrapping the thin rolls and cooking the Matsuzaka beef and Iberico pork slices in the boiling fish broth. Everyone poked fun at their own creative masterpieces, but declared the rolls utterly delicious. True blue Chinese restaurants pride themselves for their soup making expertise, The Snakehead fish soup with apples scored top points for its sweet broth with none of those fishy


BANANA CREPES 100g plain flour, sifted pinch of salt 2 eggs 200ml fresh milk oil for frying 5 pisang berangan or pisang raja, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup


Place flour and salt in bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and one-third of the milk; whisk together until there is no lumps.Whisk in remaining milk to make a smooth batter. Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour. Heat a lightly oiled 18cm non-stick frying pan. Pour in about 2-3 tablespoons of batter or just enough to cover the pan. Once the crepe is almost cooked, top half of it with sliced bananas. Fold over the crepe and flip it to cook until golden brown. Remove and serve drizzled with honey or maple syrup. Note: You can also add a small pat of butter on top of the hot folded crepe before drizzling the honey.


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smells. The secret method, we discovered was to deepfry the fish first. Another bonus point, was the delicious soup ingredients served on the side — pork belly, fried snakehead fish, and red apples. The apples cooked to a soft puree paired beautifully with the pork, with flavours reminiscent of an English classic roast pork with the sweet apple sauce. The Barbecued crispy suckling pig with glutinous rice stole the show with its standout crispy skin, succulent meat and a hidden bonus of fried glutinous rice under it. The pig had been roasted on a spit for a super crackly skin. Usually, glutinous rice is served in a sticky clumpy mass but here each grain is separate and fragrant with the waxed meats. It is rather irresistible that one spoonful of the rice is never enough, even as your tummy is getting fuller with all the other dishes. Soy sauce braised chicken may sound like an easy dish to conquer, but it takes skilled hands to master the creation of smooth chicken anointed with the lightly fragrant sauce with well balanced flavours from spices such as cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg. Similarly, the ubiquitous Steamed Soon Hock fish with light soy sauce is cooked to perfection. Another noteworthy dish was the Fried shrimps with spinach. The Shanghai-inspired item

was uplifted from its simple origins, with the bouncy texture of the fresh prawns, and the sweet tasting wok-fried spinach leaves. Even in its Chinese dishes, the restaurant adds their creative touch, like the Fried shredded iberico pork with fruit sauce. No one could resist those crispy thin pork strips wok fried with the sweet tasting sauce with spring onions that it was finished within a few turns of the lazy Susan. Rounding up our worldwide trip, it was to Japan for the superb Tarabagani ramen. One can crown this delicious bowl of noodles, the title of “royal ramen” since it was served with a piece of Tarabagani or Alaskan king crab leg and costs a whopping RM100 per bowl. You slurp down the noodles, nibble on the sweet crab together with the springy Japanese fishcake or kamabuko slices, Japanese leeks or negi, and pickled bamboo shoots. Leave the sweet broth to the last, as you drink every drop. It was a wonderful dinner full of surprises. As we rub our full tummies, we wonder what else the restaurant has up their sleeves to impress and surprise us next. Restaurant Chef Choi, 159, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-21635866. The ceviche, ramen, soy sauce braised chicken and Vietnamese spring rolls are pre- order items.

Crave 29 March 2013  

Crave, The Malay Mail, Easter, Easter Chicks Cookies, Grilled Lamb Cutlets with Pear Sauce, Hot Cross Buns, Knead and Simple, Banana Crepes,...

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