Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cooking at the Park Royal in Penang, Malaysia

Our lovely resort hotel, the Park Royal in the popular Batu Ferringhi Beach area, offers cooking demonstrations three times a week as part of their daily activities. It was perfect – lay around the pool most of the day and then head to the restaurant where Chef Teng and his staff put on culinary demonstrations. Asia cooking day featured Char Koay Teow, the signature dish of Penang. It is served at all meals.

Penang Char Koay Teow
150 gm of flat noodles
5 gm garlic peeled, chopped
35 ml cooking oil
30 gm prawns, shelled and cleaned
20 gm squid, cleaned with ink sac removed, cut into strips
10 gm chili paste
30 ml Koay Teow Sauce
20 gm bean sprouts, cleaned
10 gm chives, diced
1 egg

Heat cooking oil in the wok, sauté garlic until lightly browned. Add in prawns and squid. Saute for a few minutes, add in chili paste, bean sprouts, and flat noodles. Add Koay Teow Sauce and fry for 2-3 minutes. Lastly add egg and chives. Stir.

Koay Teow Sauce (make and save)
500 ml light soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp fish gravy
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce

Whisk all ingredients together.

The Malay cooking demonstration showed how to make Roti Jala, a crepe-like bread made jala-style by being drizzled on the pan to make a net-like bread. Making it perfect is not as easy as it looks. Roti is usually served with curry.

Roti Jala (Net Bread)
1 kg all purpose flour - sieved
2 gm turmeric powder
5 gm salt
30 ml corn oil
3 chicken eggs
730 ml coconut milk
1.5 lt water
In a big bowl mix all ingredients except the oil, mix well until no lumps, sieve if necessary. Should look like pancake batter. Add in ½ tbs oil and set aside. Heat pan to medium heat. Grease. Using a mold or sieve let the batter flow through the holes. Hold close to pan making circular motion. Keep it moving but not too fast. Don’t let it brown too much. After the top is set, fold into a triangle shape. Serve with chicken curry. Chicken curry package mix can be purchased at the airport.

One day the Chinese cooking demonstration was on how to make sweet and sour fish.

Sweet and Sour Fish (or chicken or pork)
1 kg fish thinly sliced on the diagonal (chicken or pork)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp sesame oil
½ cup flower
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup cooking oil
50 gm red chili, seeded and diced
50 gram tomatoes, seed and diced
150 grams cucumber, seed and diced
(onions and green peppers can also be added as desired)
1 tbs corn starch

For sauce:
20 gm sugar, castor
30 gm white vinegar
100 gm tomato ketchup or sauce
100 gm chili sauce
80 gm plum sauce
Salt to taste
Mix all sauce ingredients and set aside. Season fish with salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Combine flour, baking powder, and egg, stir until batter is free of lumps. Dip fish in batter into batter. Deep coated fish in hot oil until golden brown. Put aside. Drain excess oil from pan. Saute all vegetables for 1 minute. Pour in sauce and bring to a boil add corn starch to thicken then toss in fish. Serve with rice.
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