Kiam Chye Ark (Salted Mustard Greens and Duck Soup)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

When I was looking at recipes for itek teem, I was surprised at the number of ingredients used for the Nyonya soup.

Various Peranakan adaptations of kiam chye ark had pig's trotters, assam skin, brandy, nutmeg, and even sea cucumber.

These were on top of the kiam chye (pickled mustard greens), ark (duck), pickled plums, and tomatoes found in every recipe, Nyonya or Chinese.

It all seemed a bit over-the-top to me, adding so much stuff.

Teochew Braised Duck (潮州滷鸭)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Teochew Braised Duck (潮州滷鸭) was my mother's pièce de résistance. She always had a dark, glistening duck for the dinner table on Chinese New Year eve. It was a fantastic complement to our steamboat dinner, something that we could eat whilst the raw stuff was cooking. To us, Chinese New Year, Mum and 滷鸭 were all one and the same thing.

One day, Mum wasn't around anymore. She left us just before Christmas, and as Chinese New Year loomed, I thought we were going to have the reunion dinner without 滷鸭. But I was wrong.

My brother, the new head of the family, gallantly undertook the onerous task of braising a duck with caramel and dark soya sauce. His first attempt left much to be desired, to put it mildly. We all picked at the 滷鸭 half-heartedly. No one said anything about the tasteless duck. In fact, no one said anything at all. Everyone kept their heads down and ate in silence. Usually, we would be chattering about, oh . . . whether the fish was oversteamed by three nano-seconds or there was enough belachan in the chilli sauce. For that first reunion dinner without Mum, even my youngest nephews and nieces were quiet though they were mere toddlers at the time.

Sesame Duck

Friday, 1 January 2010

2009's gone. Just like that, phffft!

Time for some new year resolutions?

Heheh, resolutions are not for me. I never keep them, so there's no point in making any. Actually, I don't even remember what they are by February!