Friday, February 18, 2011

Tahu Sumbat Ikan

I love to eat "tahu sumbat" during ramadhan, eaten with "kuah kacang" (peanut sauce) or chilly sauce, though my favourite is "kuah kacang". Up north, my family seems to eat a lot of things with "kuah kacang". We eat "cucur udang" (prawn fritters) with "kuah kacang" instead of chilly sauce. But I think in KL, almost everybody serves tahu sumbat and cucur udang with chilly sauce...

Anyway I first ate "tahu sumbat ikan" (I think it was ikan) at an Indonesian friend's house in Amsterdam. Unfortunately dear friend S, didn't know how to make it, she just ordered from her fellow Indonesian friends :D A single triangle piece of tahu costs 1 euro, I thought it was a bit expensive. I ordered 20 pieces once, but after that I decided to make it on my own. Dear friend S told me that I could try using frozen fish paste from Oriental Supermarket, and that she thought people put in salt and maybe a bit of flour.

I experimented a few times, initially I didn't steam the tahu, but I had to fry a bit longer to make sure the paste was cooked. I prefer my tahu lightly fried, so I decided to steam it first. I started adding more ingredients inside. Sometimes I use shredded carrot and also spring onion and parsley leave (chopped). Basically I put those 3 vegetables and of course salt, pepper and garlic(sometimes). Now I use cod fillet instead of the frozen fish paste, it is fresh and taste better (I read that some people use "ikan kembung" back home). The whole family loves it :D

I made this tahu twice last week. Once for the lunch at my friend's house on Saturday and the second time on Tuesday for friends visit.

Ingredients :-

A piece of cod fillet (mix or blend{dry})
Parsley - chopped
Spring onion - chopped
Salt and white and black pepper
2 big pieces of tahu (in Malaysia you need about 10 pieces)
1 egg - beaten lightly for frying
wheat flour

How to make :

  • Cut the big tahu into 5 equal pieces and then cut diagonally into triangles. So, with the 2 big tahu, you will get 20 triangle pieces.
  • Using a small knife, take out the inside of the tahu carefully, creating a pocket. Do not throw the inside, keep them in another bowl and mash finely. Do the same for all of the pieces.
  • Mix the mashed inside tahu with fish and the other ingredients above. You may add a bit of flour if you want (I didn't)
  • Stuff the filling mixture inside the posket
  • Steam for 5 minutes
  • Roll in the beaten egg, then roll in the flour
  • Fry until lightly golden
  • Serve hot with your favourite kuah kacang or chilly sauce

Ready to steam

We sometimes eat with this "ketjap sambal"... found it at the Oriental Supermarket.

Ready to eat...

Also made the vege ones on Tuesday :D

Since the tahu here is so big, it doesn't look so nice when you cut, fry and later stuff it with vegetables. Sometimes the tahu is so soft it is difficult to stuff with the fish mixture, but then the softer the tahu, the better the taste !!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Old Sweet Town of Zoetermeer

The city of Zoetermeer (means Sweet Lake) is located about 9 km away from our house. We go there every Saturday because DS is learning and trying to get his Diploma B swimming certificate at a local pool. Last week, after swimming lesson, both of us, DS and I eargerly took a little walk in search of the elusive poffertjes pan (you may read the story of poffertjes here and here). I had identified where to get the pan and had a rough idea of the location of the shop. So long as we walked straight, we would find it.

It was a beautiful day albeit a bit windy. We took the route alongside of the canal, walking slowly taking our own sweet time. And what a pleasant surprise that greeted us that day.

Wilhelmina Park - a lovely scene on the way to the old town.

The Oude Kerk (The Old Church)

The other view of the church

As soon as I saw the old church and read the year stated on it, I realised that we had actually ended up in the old town of Zoetermeer, a place that I never realised existed before !!! The church was built in 1642.

Sleepy town

The town was quiet, not many people around considering it was 1.30 p.m on a Saturday afternoon. The shops were quite picturesque because of the old buildings. We easily found our shop and quickly made our purchase. Then we continued with our little sight-seeing and went to the back of the town. It was a mistake actually, we should have bought the cast iron pan on the way back towards the new city centre (the bigger and newer side of the city) and not beforehand. The small pan weighed considerably in my hands. On the back lane of the town, there were neat houses overlooking canal and the Wilhelmina Park. In the distance we could see an old windmill. I would have gone and checked the mill, but my extra burden made me delay it for another day :D

If you look carefully, you will see the old windmill at the background.

The old windmill "De Hoop" or The Hope built in 1897 - picture frm Mr Google

Since the wind was getting stronger and my burden was getting heavier by the minute, we walked back to the other side towards the new city centre.

Stadsmuseum (City Museum)

On the way to the new city centre, we found this Stadsmuseum which was built around 1870. I believe it was an old house and later converted to a museum. We didn't go in for the obvious reasons :D

On the opposite of the Stadsmuseum, there was an old farm house "De Vlaming" which was built in 1850.

The still in use old farm was surrounded by newer modern houses. Behind it I could see Grote Dobbe (Lake Dobbe) which devides the old medieval town from the new city centre.

The funny thing is the streets after the farm and the museum were named after places in London, such as Oxfordstraat, Londenstraat and a few others. Obviously these are later street additions around the old place.

Back at home and much later, a search on the internet reveals the following :

Zoetermeer was a small village in the 10th century and home to farmers and fishermen. In the 13th century a village centre was formed which still exists as the historic Dorpsstraat - ie the old town where I purchased my heavy cast iron poffertjes pan. Until 17th century there was a lake called Zoetermeer. A reminder of the lake is "the Noord Aa" at the northern edge of the city, an artificial lake created when there was a necessity for sand for building material and development. The real growth of the city only started in 1966 when there was an urgent need for houses around The Hague. From then on they started building new quarters around the old village centre and Zoetermeer began to grow and becomes the third largest population center in South Holland province after Rotterdam and The Hague.

We shall definitely be visiting the medieval village centre again, to see the windmill, the Grote Dobbe and the Stadsmuseum. Apart from this old attractions, there are also the indoor ski slope Snoworld and go-karts and laser game centres to entice those who are interested. Now, had I not been obsessed with finding the pan, I would probably never find out about the historic medieval village of Zoetermeer !!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No, It's Not The Moon........

Yesterday morning's bright, clear and blue sky did not last for long. By 11 a.m, the sky had turned grey and cloudy and I couldn't see the sun anymore. What a pity....


No, it's not the moon... but the sun at 11 a.m. yesterday morning. But I suppose it is still beautiful in its own way...

Anyway... let's forget the sun and the moon for now otherwise we would turn cuckoo as the cats down under. Let's see this fish below...


What kind of fish is it? Anybody knows? Is it mackerel? Tamban? No one knows ??? No wonder no one knows... because it is NOT a fish !!!! If you want to know what they are... please go to Lazy Report from East (LRfE), because that is where I got the picture from. LRfE is a new blog from Komichan, a friend that I got to know when I was in Amstelveen.

Welcome to the blogger's world Komichan...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sunrise This Morning....

Sunrise on Wednesday 9 February 2011
At 7.59 a.m.

At 8.00 a.m

At 8.01 a.m.
Beauty is everywhere. . . . Di sebalik kecacatan yang disebabkan oleh manusia itu, masih ada kecantikan yang tersembunyi. . . .

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tulip Yang Merajuk...

Spring has always been the much awaited season after the cold, grey and barrenness of winter. It is my and everybody's favourite time of the year. Suddenly you start seeing bright, wonderful colours everywhere, beginning with the crocus, white, purple, lilac and yellow appearing in between the green grass on the fields. Then you see other spring flowers, daffodils, amaryllis, cherry blossom, hyacinth, tulips and many others. Every house in our neighbourhood would have something or some kind of these beautiful and colourful flowers, except us....

It was spring of 2009, DS and me technically had arrived here in December 2008 whereas DH arrived a few months earlier. Even though our landlord did plant a few plants like roses, lavender and a few others in our little garden, but it didn't have these wonderful spring flowers. Roses start to flower a little late in early summer and so does lavender I think. Seeing other houses looking so nice with the flowers, DH went out and bought some tulip bulbs. Now, I did not know much about tulips or how and when to plant them. But I was sure you did not plant the bulbs in spring !!! I told DH that, in fact I said maybe we should check on the internet first. But DH being a person who has his own mind to the extend that I sometimes call him very obstinate, decided to proceed. In fact he said "Well if I plant them now, they would flower in summer". So off they went... DH and DS both buzy pottering and burying those bulbs in the garden and the bit of land in front of the house. Once in a blue moon I would coax the bulbs by watering them, hoping against all odds that they would show their tiny buds soon, even though I did not really believe that they would. Summer came and went, still no signs of any lives and it didn't look like it's going to be any, snails in the garden were abundant and I'm sure the bulbs became their supply of food for the coming winter. November came, and for some reasons we did not plant any more bulbs. I have by now checked the best time to plant the bulbs :D Humphhhh.... talk about two ignorant people !!!

Then... it was spring again, I thought we would never see the day. It had been a cold winter, snow kept falling through out January and also February. Again... our house would be the only one without spring flowers. So imagine my surprise when one day, I found these little buds peeping from the soil from the little bit of land at the front house !!! My tulips !!! you came out after all !!! I couldn't believe it.... after one year the bulbs still sprouted leaves. Of course they were not many, only a handful of them, the rest had been eaten by snails I guessed :D

Taken on 17 March 2010

I wondered whether they would all flower. A Dutch neighbour told me that the male ones will not flower. So... tulips also have males and females ?? I didn't know that.... Maybe I should check on the internet...

Taken on 24 April

There were only 4/5 flowers, but it's enough to make me amazed.... I was sure they were "merajuk" and would not come out in the first place. I read somewhere that after flowering, the bulbs had to be taken out and kept in a dry place before being replanted in the next autumn. These bulbs of ours had gone through spring, summer and winter and only sprouting a year later !!!

Taken on 27 April. The white flowers had fully bloomed.

Moral of the story is always check beforehand :D and never ever give up....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gulai Rebung Hutan Beserta Udang

What would I give right now to be able to eat sayur manis rebung hutan (wild bamboo shoot?) mixed with daun asin-asin and sweet potatoes.... aarghh.... pure bliss... I love it so much and even DS learned to love this simple kampung dish. Last summer when we were back home, I introduced him to this hard to find in KL dish and he was hooked. Whenever we had the dish, he would only eat rice with the sayur and nothing else!!! I'm happy that DS love it, it's the only vegetable that he really love with the exception of soya bean stripes!!!

Instead of the watery dish, we had to be satisfied with this.....

Gulai rebung hutan dan udang

Well, I should thank my lucky star that I found the canned bamboo a few months ago. I never realised their existence before when we were in Amsterdam. I almost jumped with glee when I accidently came across it....yuhuuu.... one of my favourite!!! Of course I had to call dear Mak asking her how to make gulai rebung (wild bamboo curry). I never cook the dish when we were back home, we only ate it when we went back north. As for DH, he had never eaten it in his life!!! He only learned to eat the dish when we married and he too love it :D

Canned wild bamboo shoot (WBS)

So last week, we had WBS curry mixed with prawn again, together with simple grilled lamb for dinner.

The uncut tips

The grilled lamb with onion and tomatoes

And for the first time, DS ate the rice with only the shoots and a little bit of gravy and nothing else, not the prawn and not even the lamb !!! He missed the watery vegetable dish so much he...he...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why We Were Late....

One fine day, on the way to school.....

Sheep... sheep... ooops... lamb.... lamb.... lamb....

They filled up both the pedestrian and the cycling path...

We had to step in between them to get through....
Marked green for shearing?

And left a lot of d*** for us to step on...

Hey.... wait for me....

These are not uncommon scenario in Holland, this was my third encounter with the furry woolies since I moved to Den Haag.