Friday, January 20, 2017

My Home Grown Kombucha Scoby 自家培育红茶菌

I am into healthy eating, consuming a variety of foods and experimenting with many types of ingredients to feel good and maintain my health.

Chanced upon this ancient Chinese beverage when I was in China, the Chinese called it the "immortal health elixir". LOL

It is the Kombucha, a naturally fermented tea containing probiotic properties and other happy bacteria that can improve our digestive tract health and help to boost our immunity system. The most important benefit of drinking kombucha is its ability to detox the body.

To make kombucha tea, I need to grow a scoby.

My home grown scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), the living home for the bacteria and yeast, will transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha that is low in calories and sugar.

This is the tea base for my Kombucha tea

Initially I felt nervous and unsure about growing bacteria and yeast at home, but after reading up on the subject and consulting a Chinese physician, I decided to try it.

Growing a successful scoby culture from scratch is an encouraging and awe-inspiring experience. Next comes the brewing of Kombucha tea.

Health benefits of Kombucha as a probiotic :

Helps treat gastrointestinal (GI) complications
Increases calcium absorption
Increases metabolism and helps weight loss
Reduces joint pain and inflammation
Helps prevent certain cancers, such as pancreatic, breast and colon cancer
Aids detoxification of the human body
Helps lower cholesterol
Helps control blood pressure





红茶菌只是一种营养饮料, 并不是包治百病的神药。

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Singapore Old School Food with Angie 与贪吃一号体验新加坡传统美食

Foodie friend Angie has been craving for the old school Hakka yong tau foo in Kai Juan Coffeeshop @ Balestier Road. One night, she messaged me to meet her for breakfast at the stall the following day.

I arrived very early for our breakfast meeting, the elderly stall owner who is in her 70s, chatted with me while I waited for Angie. Business has slowed down for this pioneer hawker as many foreign workers who used to patronise her stall have returned to their own country due to retrenchment and lack of jobs.

We were interrupted several times as her regular customers stopped by for takeaways or breakfast, some would greet her as they passed by her stall. These regulars just help themselves to the sauces and self-serve while she is busy cooking. I  noticed that she would give the men more noodles.

We had a long chat because Angie was late, I waited for an hour. I enjoy chatting with the elderly stall owner who gave me a glimpse of her life as a working mother with five children.

Because we came early, there were lots of choice ingredients to select from. We had a hearty and yummy breakfast for only S$7!    

Hakka yong tau foo 德志客家酿豆腐
Kai Juan Coffeeshop
395 Balestier Road

After our meal, we adjourned to Loy Kee Chicken Rice for teh si (tea with evaporated milk, S$1.80) while waiting for my hubby. We sat in the air-conditioned eatery for more than an hour, sipping Hainanese teh si. Hubby was only able to stay for a few minutes before he bade farewell. Naturally, Angie was not letting him off for keeping her waiting .... as usual the two started poking fun of each other. LOL

Angie and I went to Chinatown to collect her traditional Foo Chow sticky cakes (传统福州年糕). These Chinese traditional cakes with yam strips is a rare delicacy, it is the first time I am seeing one. Angie promises to let me have a taste of it later.

Angie brought me on a little tour of Keong Siak Road, pointing out the yummy food along both rows of shops. She started to crave for her coffee when we saw Tong Ah Eating House.

As it was lunch hour, the staff wanted us to sit on the sidewalk but the weather was too hot outside. We were allowed to sit in the air-con eatery only when we decided to walk out. We assured them we would just have our drinks and go. We ordered coffee, teh si and toasted bread (S$4.30). Coffee was still alright, we were disappointed with the other two items.  

342 Balestier Rd, Singapore.

As we were walking towards Chinatown Complex, we stumbled upon Kim Hock Seng Seng Kee that sells traditional barbecue bak kwa (BBQ pork slices, S$52 per kg). The humourous boss Mr Ong Geok Hoo offered us a piece of bak kwa for tasting. Angie likes this bak kwa in its original flavour.

I was browsing through the photos and news clippings on a wall in the shop when I noticed a photo of a handsome man receiving an award from then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

When I asked if the "handsome man" was the boss himself, he proudly acknowledged it and jokingly said many people comment that he looks like a certain Hong Kong movie star. We were tickled and immediately took a liking to this affable man. Angie bought some BBQ pork slices for our tasting session.

Kim Hock Seng (Seng Kee) 金福成切片肉干.肉丝
Address: 34 Keong Saik Road 恭锡路, Singapore 089141.

Angie recommended an old school crispy cuttlefish snack manufacturer in Chinatown Complex before we parted our ways. I went in search of it and found it in a corner of the hawker centre. It was doing a brisk business. I bought a small packet of their popular cuttlefish snack (S$9).

On the way out, I went to Pan Ji Cooked Food for its delicious traditional Chinese snack - Sar Kay Mah (sweet egg block), and found them busy making peanut puffs. I forego the vanishing traditional snack, bought some jars of peanut puffs (small jar S$18 each, large jar S$35 each) and melt-in-the-mouth tapioca coconut cookies (S$14) to support them. Business hasn't been good for this traditional snack shop, I want to show my appreciation for their dedication to keeping our traditional snacks alive.

What a day! It was an awesome day meeting and chatting with my fellow Singaporeans.

Chai Wee Cuttlefish
02-59/65 Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Blk 335 Smith Street, Singapore

Pan Ji Cooked Food 潘记刹骑马
#02-78 Block 335 Smith Street Chinatown Complex Food Centre Singapore

与贪吃一号吃吃喝喝, 介绍新加坡传统美食 ~~

1)    德志客家酿豆腐

传统的客家酿豆腐, 汤是由黄豆和江鱼仔熬成的, 很鲜甜。今天早到, 有好多配料供选择。我们两个人, 选了好多配料, 才付S$7! 阿嬷, 你赚什么喔?

早上到下午2 点, 星期一休息

2)    黎记鸡饭粥品    
       等老公的时候, 点了好喝的海南茶稀 (S$1.80)。

3)    传统福州年糕

我第一次看到这福州年糕, 有芋头丝还有花生 。。。 想吃。年糕是过年必备的年货,就算不吃,也要买一块摆在家里,图个 “好意头”。

4)    无意间发现这有40年历史的金福成切片肉干还有肉丝。风趣的老板年轻时很时髦, 长得又帅。他还说很多人说他长得像电影明星邓光荣。原味厚片猪肉干, 札实的口感吃在嘴里越嚼越香。这手工制作传统肉干的价格是每公斤52元。

5)    Chai Wee 香脆的鱿鱼干 (S$9 小的, S$18 大的 )

6)    潘记刹骑马

现在卖新年饼干, 只做一些刹骑马。我买了甜脆花生角 (S$18小罐的, S$35 大罐的) 和入口即化的万吉糕 (S$14小罐的),马来语叫Kuih Bangkit。

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tan Hock Seng 陈福成饼家 - Telok Ayer Heritage Trail

Continuing our walk on the Telok Ayer Heritage Trail, our good friend Fong WK said we must pay a visit to a traditional cake shop, Tan Hock Seng.

I have heard about this traditional Hokkien pastry cake shop which has been around for more than 80 years. It was my first time patronising it.

Mr Tan Boon Chai, the third generation owner of Tan Hock Seng, was tidying the shop by himself when we dropped in for a visit.

His grandfather started the bakery at Telok Ayer Street decades ago. Mr Tan has been baking traditional pastries at his family bakery since he finished national service at age 20.

Mr Tan makes the best beh teh sor ("horse hoof" biscuits) in Singapore! His flaky crust beh teh sor are crispy and the sticky malt filling is tasty. I couldn't stop eating once I took a bite of it.

During weekday lunch hours, there are long queues for these yummy biscuits, sold in limited quantities daily.

Browsing in this small cake shop, we found many interesting childhood snacks which brought back lots of wonderful memories. These traditional Chinese pastries are seriously at risk of extinction as many youngsters have no interest to learn the skill of making them. I should savour these traditional snacks before they become extinct in Singapore.

Tan Hock Seng @ 86 Telok Ayer Street 直落亚逸街

拥有80多年历史的的老字号 "陈福成饼家", 是新加坡传统手工制作福建糕饼厂家。

小小, 不起眼的店面摆满了各式各样的糕点和饼, 有发糕、红龟粿、绿豆糕、老嬷糕、碰饼、豆沙饼、招牌马蹄酥、胡椒饼、嘴口酥、花生糖、水糕、白糕、芝麻条等。每一包糕点,都含着古早的味道。

卖的最好的是马蹄酥, 每天限量供应。午餐时间常常大排长龙, 不早点来买, 就会卖光光。这里的豆沙饼也是超人气的。


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