Steamed tilapia fish Lan Je Style at your own home.

One of my favourite restaurants to go to is Lan Je for its beautifully steamed tilapias. There’s only one style of steaming but you can ask for mild, normal or spicy. Of course, I always go for spicy.

You can read about Lan Je here, here and here.

Although a new Lan Je branch has recently opened practically at my doorstep, in spirit of home cooking, I tried to replicate the dish that I love so much.

# – Steamed tilapia fish Lan Je style.

I was very pleased because, while it’s didn’t have the unmistakable taste of Lan Je, it was pretty damn close :)

For the fish preparation:

  • 2 tilapias about 200-300 grams each, cleaned and scaled
  • 2 cm of ginger, sliced
  • Enough water to cover fish in a pan/pot

For the sauce:

  • Some of water
  • 8-10cm of ginger, finely diced
  • 2 bulbs of garlic, finely diced
  • 6 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced (less if you can’t take that hot)
  • 2 tablespoons of fermented soyabean paste (taucu)
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A teaspoon of dark caramel sauce
  • A few dashes of light soya sauce

# – First, blanch the fish in boiling water with sliced ginger for about 1 minute. As you can see, I was too lazy to boil a big pot of water so I just boiled some water in a pan and flipped the fish to cook briefly on both sides :P Rock it out your way. Do not over-cook the fish, by the way. Remove the fish from water, pat to dry inside and outside then set aside.

This step is to remove the nasty smell of fish as well as bitterness that might affect the taste of the sauce when you steam a raw fish straightaway.

# – To make the sauce, fry up the minced ginger, garlic and bird’s eye chillies with a bit of oil till fragrant.

# – Add the fermented bean paste or taucu and mix till combined.

# – Next, add in some water. The fact was, I put in too much water. I would really reduce the amount of liquid in my next attempt. Depending on how deep the plates that you’re steaming your fish in, estimate the amount of water as you do not want the fish to be drowning, just resting in a shallow pool of sauce. Also, fish produces liquid as it steams, a lot of liquid. If you think you need more liquid, you can add later. Finally, I’d say…about 2 tablespoons of water will do for now ;)

Do note that in the following pictures you will notice that the sauce looked pretty liquid, but as I warned against putting in too much water, just imagine the sauce is quite dry instead :P

# – Add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

# – Followed by dark caramel sauce for colour.

# – And a dash of light soya sauce.

# – Now place the fish in its own plate and pour the sauce all over each of them. Do not worry if there’s no liquid at the bottom of your plates as depicted in the pictures, I put in too much water remember?

# – Steam for 15-20 minutes.

# – When done, garnish with spring onions and freshly cut chillies if you liked.

# – Steamed tilapia fish Lan Je Style, DONE. See how the fish are half submerged in sauce? Don’t get me wrong, the sauce tasted superb (GREAT with rice) but like I said, I’d prefer them lying on a shallow pool of sauce instead of swimming in it hahaha.

# – Flaky flesh, yums.

You can adjust the level of spiciness accordingly by controlling the amount of bird’s eye chillies that go into the making of the sauce. This recipe is quite spicy, but I can take quite hot so if you’re not sure, reduce the number of chillies to 3 or errmm…1.

So there, my first attempt in replicating a Lan Je style steamed fish. Can’t wait for my next try and hopefully it’ll be perfect then!

Salted plum pork chop recipe

This was an experiment that turned out really well. I wanted to grill some pork chops but was unsure of what to marinade the chops in. When I opened my fridge, the bottle of salted plums called out to me.

I love salted plums! I use them for this salted plum lemonade drink that is possibly one of my favourite drinks ever.

This recipe is so mind-boggling easy….all you need are 3 ingredients. YES, only THREE!

# – Salted plum pork chop.

The ingredients:

  • 2 pork chops, with rind still attached
  • 6 salted plums
  • A dash of ground black pepper

# – First, in a bowl, throw in salted plums and pork chops.

# – Squash the plums and massage the chops with the flesh for 2 minutes.

# – Then sprinkle the ground black pepper all over the pork chops. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Don’t leave them too long or you’ll end up with salted chops :P

# – Heat up a well greased griddle till when you flick a drop of water in it, you will hear it sizzle (this is a method to check that your pan is hot enough).

# – Lay the chops over the griddle for 5-8 minutes depending on how thick the chops are.

# – Then turn over the chops and cook for 5-8 minutes as well.

# – With a thong, hold up the chop sideways to cook the rind…it will transform into beautiful crackling :D

# – Salted plum pork chops, DONE!

# – Juicy, succulent pork that’s perfectly flavoured with a bit of kick and crispy crackling to boot!

You know you want to make it happen :D

Simple and delicious spinach and egg bake.

This recipe is literally hot off the oven because I’ve just had it for dinner.

Since it’s so simple to make and so tasty (there she goes tooting her own horn, again), I’ve decided to blog it right now.

The BF is away attending some geeky event after work so I was all alone at dinner time. Instead of nuking some gazillion year old frozen casserole, I thought I’d make something from scratch just to soothe my separation anxiety.

# – Simple and delicious spinach and egg bake.

And nothing makes me more happy than gooey egg yolks. You can say that the entire idea of this dinner revolved around the egg yolks.

Also, I had a huge bunch of spinach I got from Tesco for RM0.30 that I had to use up. Yeap, you heard me, 30 Malaysian ringgit cents!!!!!! I love midnight knock-downs :D

The ingredients:

  • 150 grams of spinach leaves, cleaned
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes or fresh finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • Some salt
  • Some ground black pepper
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved

# – First, pour a bit of cooking oil onto a paper towel and wipe it all over an oven safe dish. You can use butter to grease if you want…I was just too lazy to handle butter :P

# – Then, lay the spinach leaves at the bottom of the dish.

# – Season the spinach with some salt.

# – Now, crack 3 eggs over the spinach. Ideally, the yolks should not burst.

# – Sprinkle parsley flakes or fresh chopped parsley all over.

# – Pour about 3 tablespoons of whipping cream. Try to avoid splashing onto the yolks.

# – Season with ground black pepper.

# – And finish it off with a sprinkling of salt.

# – Stick the dish into a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 12-13 minutes. 15 minutes if you like the yolks to set, but seriously!??

# – While the dish is still very hot, lay the halved cherry tomatoes all over.

# – Spinach and egg bake, DONE! It was absolutely perfect with buttered toasts :D

Wilted spinach with gooey egg yolks and creamy egg whites interspersed with juicy cherry tomatoes. I don’t know how else to explain it. Absolutely blissful.

I could eat this everyday!!!!

(For the record, the BF separation anxiety thing is a joke)