Friday, September 30, 2016

Traditional Yong Tau Foo and Laksa 传统客家酿豆腐与叻沙

Sungei Road Laksa

After reading my post on Hakka yong tau foo at Balestier Road, a friend recommended his favourite traditional Hakka yong tau foo at 217 Syed Alwi Road. This famous stall not only sells yong tau foo, but they are well known for their beef balls, Hakka soon kueh and yam abacus seeds.

I have been to this stall two years ago to eat their beef ball noodles. I like their bouncy beef balls so much that I bought a packet of frozen beef balls (S$10) home.

This time I came with my hubby and foodie friend Angie in the morning. We ordered their Hakka yong tau foo soup with noodles, beef ball soup with noodles and a mixed plate of both the Hakka soon kueh and yam abacus seeds.

While waiting for our steaming hot soup, we had the Hakka soon kueh and yam abacus seeds. I dislike both snacks as their skins were too thick. I did not taste any yam in the abacus seeds.

The Hakka yong tau foo at this stall is limited, diners have little choice. My companions prefer to have a wide variety of ingredients to choose from. They are already planning to go to another popular Hakka yong tau foo stall at Jalan Berseh hawker centre next week to eat to their hearts' content  :D

The beef balls are still bouncy and yummy. Since my two companions do not eat beef, I finished all the 5 beef balls. yum yum.....

We proceeded to the Sungei Road Laksa which is a short distance from the Hakka yong tau foo stall for our second round of traditional food tasting.

This Sungei Road Laksa stall cooks their laksa gravy over a charcoal fire. A bowl of their delicious laksa used to cost S$2 only, now it costs S$3. It has more cockles and slightly more noodles.

At this stall, diners have to eat their noodles with a spoon, no chopsticks are provided.

与老公和贪吃一号安琪一起寻美食, 这次要尝尝另一家出名的传统客家酿豆腐, 赛亚威路的大埔牛肉丸(客家)酿豆腐。顺便到邻近的咖啡店吃一碗以火炭熬煮湯汁的著名结霜桥叻沙。

大埔牛肉丸(客家)酿豆腐除了客家酿豆腐, 还卖牛肉丸、客家炒算盤子和笋板。超爱❤他们的牛肉丸, 充满弹性和肉香。其他的菜。。。麻麻地 :D

著名的结霜桥叻沙起价了! 从两块钱起到$3。。。不过有给多一点点粉条和血蚶。这店不提供筷子, 只提供汤匙。为了方便食客吃叻沙, 粉条被剪短。

YMCA Silver Fiesta 2016 @Toa Payoh Hub YMCA银发乐龄2016年嘉年华活动

Experienced a fun and hilarious bus ride on the way to a morning breakfast gathering with a group of Hainanese at Kim Keat Palms. We boarded the wrong shuttle bus (number 235) and went "eat wind" (for a ride), causing us to be late for half an hour. hahaha....

On a positive note, we found some interesting places on the long ride. And to reward us for being present : good food and good company which cheered us up tremendously.

After a sumptuous breakfast, I boarded shuttle bus number 238 to Toa Payoh Central to support my Teochew sisters who were performing Teochew opera excerpts at YMCA Silver Fiesta 2016 @Toa Payoh Hub.

Before their performance commenced, I went round to mingle with our seniors and check out the activities. There were quite a number of young volunteers looking after the senior citizens and keeping them company at some activities.

This senior citizen wowed the audience with her rendition of English oldies. I was impressed with her guitar playing.

There were some game stalls and craft-making classes for participants. Some participants tried their hands at bead crafting with the help of young volunteers.

I'm pretty impressed with the art pieces made by them. They get to keep their artworks.

There was a photo booth and a long queue has formed in front of it. The seniors love to take pictures. When I pointed my camera at some of them, they gave me their most beautiful smiles.  :)

The participants were having fun and enjoying themselves. Many collected some cute prizes and door gifts. A pity I could not stay long as I had to leave for another appointment after the Teochew opera performance.

今早与海南乡亲们在大巴窑7巷小贩中心一起吃早餐后, 就去大巴窑中心支持我的潮州姐妹们。她们在YMCA银发乐龄2016年嘉年华活动中, 表演了一段潮剧《穆贵英招亲》。

嘉年华现场还提供乐龄文康休闲活动, 他们可以免费参加许多趣味性游戏或学做手工, 还有礼物拿。我很高兴看到好多青年志愿者细心照顾、陪伴乐龄人士们玩游戏。大家都相处得很愉快, 玩得开心。

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Peach Gum Nourishing Beauty Tonic 桃胶糖水滋阴养顏

When I was in China six months ago, a Chinese official's wife served me a bowl of dessert that she claimed is good for my complexion. It has some gelatine-like stuff double boiled with some wolfberries, white fungus, dried longans and rock sugar. I thought it was bird's nest tonic soup but it was a vegetarian dessert.

She revealed that the gelatine-like stuff is peach gum which is an edible gum. It is a resin that is exuded from the bark of the peach tree. It comes in crystal form looking like amber crystals.

She gave me some peach gum to cook at home. I have been cooking and experimenting with it for the past two months. My son loves to drink this dessert, so I make a big pot of peach gum dessert once a week and chill it in bottles for him in the fridge. Peach gum is tasteless, so I have to pair it with various ingredients so as to come up with a refreshing and yummy taste.

Benefits of  Peach Gum :
- contains collagen for firmer skin and less wrinkles
- rejuvenates your skin
- cleanse your blood and build up your immune system, removing cholesterol and balancing the pH in the body

Peach Gum Nourishing Beauty Tonic

Ingredients :
50 g peach gum
2 litres water or red date and longan drink
rock sugar (according to your taste)
20 g white fungus (optional)
2 slices of ginger (optional)

Red date and longan drink
10 dried red dates
20 dried longans

1.   Soaked two tablespoons of peach gum in water overnight. Soak for at least 18 hours or more. It will expand to 10 times its size.

You will see impurities (small pieces of bark or specks of black stuff), just remove them and rinse the jelly-like peach gum until it is sufficiently clean. Drain the water and leave aside.

2.  Rinse dried red dates and longans before putting them into a pot and boil for 30 minutes. Filter and set aside the drink.

3.  Pour in 2 litres of water or the red date and longan drink. Add the soaked peach gum, ginger (optional) and rock sugar. Double boiled for two hours.

4.   Let it cool for a while before serving. You may leave it in the fridge for a chilled dessert.

Peach Gum Nourishing Beauty Drink

Peach Gum and Papaya Nourishing Beauty Tonic

Peach Gum and Apple Nourishing Beauty Tonic 

Nourishing peach gum dessert with red dates, longans and white fungus  

大陆朋友半年前介绍我吃桃胶。桃胶是桃树树干上分泌出来的一种胶状物质, 含有非常丰富的植物性胶原蛋白,具嫩滑肌肤及增加皮肤弹性之效,能通血脂降胆固醇。炖汤饮用更是滋阴、润喉兼养颜!

儿子很爱喝, 我每周都会煮一大锅,然后倒在瓶子里,放冰箱保存。可以放一个星期不会有问题。每次吃的时候倒出一小碗或一小杯子即可。桃胶最好不要用明火煮太久,否则会溶。特别适合炖汤,可以保存独特弹牙囗感。

中医说 : "桃胶属于凉性食物,对孕妇来说食少量桃胶是有好处的,但是桃胶具有活血功能,在孕期是绝对不能接触的。"


桃胶本身没有味道, 在烹调桃胶时, 我设法加入一些不同食材配搭, 增加味道、囗感。

Old School Breakfast @ Kai Juan Coffeshop 古早味早餐在佳园茶室

Received an early morning call from foodie friend Angie to have breakfast together. I was given a choice of Hakka yong tau foo at Balestier Road or Hainanese curry rice at Beo Crescent. I picked the former and took a bus down to the venue after calling hubby to join us.

Kai Juan Coffeeshop, this old corner coffeeshop was located on Balestier Road, along the same road as the famous Boon Tong Kee chicken rice shop.

I spoke to the coffeeshop assistant who told us that their shop has not undergone much change for the past 40 years.  

There are three food stalls in this coffeeshop. All of them have been operating for more than 20 years.   


We came specially for this Hakka yong tau foo (德志客家酿豆腐) manned by an old couple in their late 70s. The stall was started by the wife in 1976. The man was a teacher who has since retired and now helps his wife at the stall.

These pioneer generation hawkers are very hardworking, They come to work at 3 am to prepare the food and start selling at 7 am. They close at 2 pm. Wow. That is almost 12 hours of back breaking hard work for this old couple!

The couple didn't want to speak to us initially, but the wife opened up when she saw us bantering with the men from the bak kut teh stall.

At the couple's stall, we saw several pieces of yong tau foo immersed in a basin of broth. Angie told us that this is the old school style of selling yong tau foo in the old days.

My hubby ordered a bowl of yong tau foo with vermicelli (dry) and requested for chilli paste to be added to it. Oh boy, the chilli paste was spicy! The meal cost only S$3 and the lady boss gave him free veggies. hehehe.....

Angie had yong tau foo soup and a bowl of noodles (dry). Her meal cost S$3.50. She couldn't help giving hubby a hard stare when he started bragging that he got his meal cheaper because of his good looks. LOL

We like the broth which tasted deliciously sweet with the flavour of fish, pork and veggies.

Angie and I ordered some dishes from Ah Hak Bak Kut Teh. Their Teochew style pork rib soup is clear, has lots of garlic and pepper in it. I ordered a bowl of pork rib soup (S$6.50) with steamed rice and a mustard green side dish (S$2). The soup was tasty but the vegetable was too salty for my taste.

 Angie chose braised pig intestines (S$6), a bowl of pork liver and kidney soup (S$6). Both Teochew men were friendly, attentive and came to top up our soup.

I ordered an iced milk tea and bought Angie a cup of coffee from the beverage stall. Angie was happy with her coffee as it was aromatic and thick. Apparently they use good quality coffee powder.

After a satisfying meal, we boarded bus number 131 to go to Middle Road.

早上, 贪吃一号安琪约了我到馬里士他路的佳园茶室吃古早味客家酿豆腐。这里的酿豆腐是泡在汤里让我们挑选的。我尝了一口汤头。。。 很赞! 他们的辣椒酱就太辣了!

摊主是70多岁的阿嫲, 她和退休教师的丈夫每天清晨3点到咖啡店制作酿豆腐, 7点开摊, 下午2点收摊。他们每天工作十多个小时, 真辛苦。他们的食物价钱不贵, 阿嬷亲手制作的客家酿豆腐很美味。

营业时间 :早上 7am 到下午 2pm

我们还叫了肉骨茶、猪肝猪肾汤、滷粉肠、搭配菜尾来吃。肉骨茶汤还不错, 不过菜尾太咸。

亚合肉骨茶是老字号, 售卖道地潮州式肉骨茶30多年了。售卖肉骨茶的两位潮州兄服务好, 很健谈, 会自动为我们加汤呢。

 营业时间 :从早上6点开到午夜2点

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cheng Tng - Teochew dessert 潮州甜品 - 清汤

The hot weather plus a heavy workload is affecting my health. The past couple of days, I am having poor digestion and a sore throat.

Looking through my cherished stash of Chinese ingredients, I decided to make a pot of cheng tng for my family. This light and refreshing Teochew dessert will cool off the body. On a hot day, a bowl of chilled cheng tng is a fabulous thirst quencher.

For my son who would only drink the sweet soup, I will keep a chilled bottle of it in the fridge.

My platter of basic ingredients (anti-clockwise) :

white fungus
dried red dates
candied winter melon strips
dried longans
rock sugar
malva nut (centre)

Boil 2 litres of water and put all these ingredients to cook for half an hour. You can either drink it warm or cold.

There is no fixed rule on what you want to put in your pot of cheng tng. You can add ingredients that you like.

Malva nut (Sterculia lychnophora Hance) is known as :
Pang da hai (胖大海) in Chinese
Pong dua hai in Teochew
kembang semangkuk in Malay
Niranjan Phal or China Phal in Hindi.

The malva nut is commonly used in Chinese medicine to clear and sooth throat. Teachers and singers who have to use their voices a lot will drink a tea make from it to preserve their voice.

Soak the nuts in water for a few hours.   
胖大海泡一下水, 遇水会膨大 

Discard the skin and seeds.

This is how the malva nut looks after it has been soaked and cleaned.
泡好, 清理过的胖大海

天气炎热, 煮点潮州甜品 - 清汤 - 给家人吃。不同地方, 不同家庭都会有自己的煮法, 都是大同小异。

我用的材料 : 银耳、 红枣、冬瓜条、薏米、桂圆肉、原黄冰糖和胖大海等。自己也可以随意添加小白西米、红薯干、莲子、龙须、百合、燕窝、白果、干柿饼等。

胖大海 (又名安南子、大海子、大洞果) - 主治清热润肺,利咽解毒,润肠通便。用于肺热声哑,干咳无痰,咽喉干痛,头痛目赤。

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