Monday, 10 May 2010

Real Friends or Friends with Benefits?

Since graduating, I found that I only have a handful of friends that I am in touch with. Maybe life has changed when friends got jobs, got married, have kids. Can't expect to see your friends everyday. But then you have friends that you can always count on, are more quality, than quantity.

For me, I am very fortunate Ms Fantaghiro loves coming over. We now diversify our activities...not just hanging out and eat and b***h but we do other stuff together like cooking, exercising, etc. She is one of the longest surviving friend that I have since Matrix days way back in 1996. Oh, and La Signora, too. Though now we have a more cyber friendship since she has moved to Tanah Kangaroo.

But I also have friends at work. Its normal for everybody to have friends at work. But real friends for me transcends the working time. When you work together on projects, have a better understanding of each other, not having to tread carefully with the colleague, then you start being more than just work colleagues. But its taken a step higher when you start spending time after work, to do stuff other than work. You start to be friends, confidante, etc. Maybe berangan together looking for new businesses ideas with Aza De Kaza or holidaying together - which was my first experience going overseas with friends from work.

But I do have suppliers and past clients as friends. We are more like activities buddies - we go to spa, salsa classes, new dining experience. A conflict of interest? Maybe...if the other party does have a vested interest by befriending me, like hoping to be awarded a contract or a job just because of the friendship. But to me work is work, eventhough we are friends. Must follow the criteria just like other suppliers does, and the rest is based on merit -if the company is good enough to be appointed. Thank God that I do not yet experienced my arms twisted to appoint a certain company because pressures of friendship. God help me I become objective when that happens.

Oh, and I do pay for my own spa treatments, thank you very much.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Nasi Kerabu - Resipi Kerabu Jantung

Nasi kerabu - Kerabu Jantung
(Ingredients in pic is incomplete coz I forgot to put the fish & kelapa)

One of the weekends, I tried my hand on making nasi kerabu. Not really difficult but need some prep work. Recipe courtesy of Kerabu Jantung.

You may ask what's the difference between the nasi kerabu that you always bought in pasar malam with this nasi kerabu recipe. And, no, its not because of the bluish color of the rice. That effect can be made by adding pucuk mengkudu to the rice that you are cooking. The anwser lies in the yellowish kuah lemak. This kuah lemak is something as it adds flavour to the nasi kerabu. Possibly because of the budu in the kuah lemak :p

Again, it is easy enough to make but a lot of prep work. Here's the recipe:

Kuah Lemak:
250 gms santan
1 btg serai
2 asam keping
dash of cuka/squeeze of lemon/limau
1 tbsp budu or as u like it
(boil everything together)

Daging Salai
Marinade beef with onion, garlic, ginger & bit of soy sauce
(Grill till well done and slice thinly for serving)

Chili sauce:
5 chilies
(blend chillies than add vinegar and water to taste)

4 ikan kembung
3 asam keping
(boil the fish till its cooked, then deboned and fry without oil till it becomes very dry like fish floss)

Young coconut flesh - grated
(fry without oil till it becomes brown and crispy)

Long beans
Bean sprouts
Daun selom*
White Cabbage*
Kacang botol*
(whatever ulam or veggie you fancy - in my case the ones *)

* In a plate combine all the ingredients plus keropok keping, and enjoy!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


I have been drooling over this dish ever since I saw it in one of the Korean dramas and later with my mum watching the Discovery Channel about Korea. Apparently bibimbap is a popular Korean dish which literally means "mixed rice" and in the old days it was the dish for the Emperors and also for ceremonies. But now it has become a common and popular dish, besides kimchi.

So last night decided to make this for my buka puasa as I thought about it for the better part of the afternoon (!). Saw the recipe here , and here, got the basic idea about bibimbap and improvised on the ingredients. Main ingredients are: rice, beef, and different types of veggies. Its best to have 3-4 types of veggies. I had bean sprouts, carrots, white button mushroom and kangkung in my kitchen. Korean food is all about health, color of food and presentation. It does reminds me of nasi goreng and nasi kerabu, because you have a rice dish filled with veggies like nasi kerabu, yet the all the ingredients are cooked but the rice. Tastes like nasi goreng too.

Here's my version of bibimbap and how to prepare it in a hurry (I did it within 30 minutes for break of fast):

1. Cook the rice with beef stock, let it be moist or slightly lembek;
2. Cook all the vegies seperately with oil, garlic and salt to taste;
3. Beef bulgogi - my corrupted recipe is to season the beef with minced onion and garlic, dark soy sauce, stir fry it;
3. Red pepper paste or gochujang - since I didn't have this, then I just fry my cili boh with some oil and put some seasoning in - like sambal olek;
4. One egg, cook over easy;
5, Assamble the bibimbap - rice first, then arrange all the vegies and meat around the rice. Koreans have a specific way to arrange the vegies so that you have all the colors in order. Then top of with the over easy egg. One tbsp of sambal on top of the egg.
6. Mix eveything in the pot. Eat and Enjoy!

This was how I arranged the bibimbap in a bowl. It didn't look so appetizing coz this was my second helping with one scoop of rice. I was too hungry to take a picture with the first batch.

This was actually my first bowl of bibimbap with two scoops of rice. Mind you I had seconds after two hours (for sahur heh heh)...and still had left overs for tomorrow.

I have never tasted the real bibimbap in a Korean restaurant. I'm sure the taste maybe different - with the gochujang paste, sesame oil, and the sweet element in Korean food, but I'm already liking my version of bibimbap.

This post is dedicated to Ms Fantaghiro who is ever so silly whenever she hears the word bibimbap and to my mum who told me to cook the bibimbap for her.

Cat Killer

I am deeply saddened by the act of this person who commited freely that he had stomped on his cat just because the cat bit him hard when handled. As a result the cat died. May Allah bless the soul of this cat and may it not suffered till the end. And the guy wasn't feeling remorseful or guilty by his act. He even kept the ppicture of the dead cat on his phone, bleeding and all! What a bastard!

Cats are animals, and thus very instinctive. We have to be patient with cats. Especially when you just bought the cat to a new place. Its understandable when it's scared and refused to eat. Give it time, not stomp it to death. What a waste of RM1300.

I do admit I lost my temper at times with Mami the cat, when she did something wrong. But cats know when you're angry with them. They'd sulk and try to avoid you. But its a love hate relationship. They always come back to you, and you to them.

Makes me wonder what kind of a father this person would be to his children in the future.

Monday, 3 May 2010


I was in Shanghai for work last April. It was so cold - about 10 Degrees, with rain and wind blowing. Luckily, I was mostly indoors for the tradeshow, so only feel the cold while waiting for our driver to bring us around.

Shanghai is a metropolitan city. It's not the same with Beijing which is more cultural and more chistorical. I didn't see much of Shanghai due to hectic schedule. But the thing I remebered most about Shanghai is the food. seems that my entries lately is centred more around food...anyway. I managed to sample lovely Xinjiang musim cuisine which is easy to find in Shanghai. Just look for the food signage with Mosque logo and "Halal" and InsyaAllah you'll be greeted with Chinese men wearing ketayap.

The food is cheap and delicious, and most importantly, fresh. They favour beef and lamb in their dishes, and lots of spices. Its very hearty and fullfilling. We went to three different types of Xinjiang restaurant - posh steamboat restaurant, roadside shop and another posh restaurant.

Eatery 1: Xinjiang steamboat restaurant

Enjoying steamboat on a rainy night - hot soup with thinly sliced beef, a garden of vegetables - including lotus root, green veggies, mushrooms, potato, etc

Eatery 2: Roadside shop

We ordered stir fry beef with a type of long beans, then beef with potates - taste similiar like padprik but more spicy

My menu: freshly made noodles which tasted like pasta al dente with beef and with a type of long beans - whihc tasted sweet and something like asparagus. Due to language limitation, we'll never know what it is!

The propreitor of the shop with his family

Me and Siti whose living in Shanghai and spoke basic Mandarin but enough to get by with ordering food! She told me once she had tried to ask for a an extra plate from the shop and pointed to the plate in the menu and the waiter brought her a plate of dish! Talk about miscommunication...

Eatery 3: Posh restaurant

Stir fry chicken with lots of spices, one of it looks like ketumbar but has a very stinging and numbing effect to the tongue...not really pleasant but the chicken was good!

Lamb with long beans - another spicy dish but this one was overtly salty. At first we thought that the dish was intentionally salty but Siti confirmed that normally it wasn't so...

And my verdict? Eatry 2: Roadside shop - even though very humble looking but it was unpretentious with food for real people. My favourite dish of all was the freshly made noodles with toppings of beef and type of long beans/asparagus like. I think I can try to make the dish out of pasta noodles but it won't be the same as the freshly made noodles.....


* Another person from the office just resigned 24 hours. Again! What the hell is wrong with everybody, quitting their jobs is like missing school kah? The thing that pisses me off was that person had prior knowledge that the day was coming because that person was interviewed a few months ago. At least gives us a heads up lah....haiyo, mah fan lo!

* Suffered terrible jam last Saturday - I had to attend a cousin's wedding in Melaka. We departed from home at 11.30am and reached Melaka at 4pm! The jam was terribel, it was just lots of cars and everybody rush to enter the Ayer Keroh exit, whcih took us one hour to complete the last 5km to the tol Ayer Keroh. Never again travel on public holiday.

* Job interviews going on for the new office set up - 14 job positions all in all. Hope to have a really good team so that we can start fresh.

* Office renovation finally underway after the Boss signed the approval. Estimation of completion: early June. Estimation to move in: Middle - Late June.

* Currently reading " A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hoesseini. Awesome book and love the writing style, so precise and concise. Makes an easy reading but very touching at the same time. But loved his earlier book - The Kite Runner better.