Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Savory Dried Shrimps Mint Leaves Soup

This is another of my late mom's favorite soup.  I was first introduced to this simple to prepare soup by my mom.  I used to stay in Teluk Intan and my late grandma planted a lot of mint in the backyard of our house near the Sungai Perak many years ago.  Now I am growing them myself too in pots in my small patch which I called my ' sanctuary '.

And mint dishes are often served on our dining table.  Mint leaves omelette and different soup preparation.  But the best is this savoury Dried Shrimps Mint Leaves Soup.  With added bird's eye chillies to it, the soup has some heat to it and it pleases my palate.  This soup has become my kids favorite soup too. You can have it stand alone or served as soup for noodles.  I remembered my mom used to have rice noodles ( beehoon ) with this savory soup.  

Try it and you will agree with me that it is appetizing and delicious too....something very Asian :) 

It uses just dried shrimps, shallots and chillies.  I love the heat so I used bird's eye chillies.  It is heavenly just to slurp down this savory flavored packed soup.  Perfect pairing of mint leaves with dried shrimps, shallots and chillies.  This has been my simple to make soup for the family. Homegrown mint are the best because I get to harvest them at the right time when the leaves are not too old nor young.  The fragrance from the mint is fantastic.

you can just lightly pound the dried shrimps after soaking
together with the shallots and chillies

just these ingredients and you can have the soup with either
rice or rice noodles

Savory Dried Shrimps Mint Leaves Soup
(for 2 persons)


a bunch of mint leaves - washed and drained
1/2 cup of dried shrimps - washed and soaked and lightly pounded
4 shallots - lightly pounded
2 bird's eye chillies - lightly pounded

500 - 600 ml water

salt to taste


Boil 500-600 ml water in deep pan or saucepan.  When water boils, add in the pounded ingredients (A) and continue to let it simmer under medium low heat for 20 mins until it is fragrant. Add salt to taste.  Add in the mint leaves when ready to serve so that the leaves remain green . Over cooking the leaves will not taste good and will lose its nutrients.

Serve with plain rice or rice noodles.

Enjoy !

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Petola And Meat Strips With Vermicelli

This is my late mom's signature dish . She used to cook this dish for the family when my brothers and I were young. Our childhood all time favorite dish.  She uses mutton and it was really good. My late mom cooked this dish for special occasions only as mutton were considered expensive in the 1970s. My favorite childhood dish and today I will share how I replicate the dish using pork loin instead of mutton. It tasted good too. But of course, mutton is still best in cooking this dish. 

I introduced this dish to the hubby and he took an instant like to it and I assured him that I will be cooking this very often. Hopefully , he won't get sick of it.   Seriously, no one will be bored of this dish. It is flavorful and when the fried vermicelli soaked up the gravy, each mouthful is flavors packed and will have you craving for more.  That being said, I assure you that this dish will be served on my dining table often :)

petola and meat cut into strips

the original dish uses mutton but I used pork loin instead

stir fry the meat strips and petola with garlic and chilli 
till meat is cooked through before adding
broth to it and thickens broth with thickening

deep fried vermicelli served as base
 later to be mixed together evenly

 squeeze lime juice over the stir fried petola and meat strips,

mix together evenly the fried vermicelli 
and the stir fried petola and meat strips
until the vermicelli has soak up the broth

Petola And Meat Strips With Vermicelli 


250 gm of mutton (thigh part) cut into strips * I use pork loin
(marinate with 1 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of oyster sauce , 1 tsp of cornflour for 30 mins )

1 handful of vermicelli - deep fried
oil enough for deep frying vermicelli

1 medium sized petola - peel and cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 bird eyes's chillies - sliced
1.5 cups of broth  ( chicken or vegetable )
a dash of ground white pepper
salt to taste
2 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 tsp of cornflour mix with 2 tbsp of water

1/2 lime - squeeze for juice


Heat enough oil in wok for deep frying. Once oil is hot , put in the vermicelli , the moment it fluffs out, remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain off excess oil. Once it is done, place the fried vermicelli on a deep dish and keep aside. Pour out the oil from wok leaving 2 tbsp of oil in wok.

Heat up the wok with 2 tbsp of oil, saute chopped garlic till fragrant. Add in the marinated meat strips and stir fry till cooked, add in the petola strips and continue to stir fry till petola soften. Add in broth and thickening and once the broth thickens, add in salt and white pepper.  Dish up and pour over the fried vermicelli. Add in the lime juice and mix evenly the vermicelli and the stir fried petola and meat strips .  Serve with rice.

Enjoy !

Replace Your Way to Healthier Eating

Enjoying a healthy lifestyle comes down to two essential points; How you exercise and what you eat. If you are reaping the physical rewards of regular sessions at a gym in Houston, then your physical fitness is taken care of. However, if after leaving your training you enjoy a fatty or unhealthy meal, then all that work is for naught.

Often flavor is the driving factor which leads people to veer off the healthy eating path of their lifestyle. If this is you - we have just the post you're looking for. Instead of sacrificing taste for health, follow these tips to replace unhealthy ingredients and enjoy a meal which is both healthy and tasty.

An old favorite and an extremely versatile ingredient. However, not the healthiest. The next time you are preparing a rice-based meal, replace your rice with Quinoa. Quinoa has a much higher level of protein and fiber than rice and brings a delicious flavor to any dish.

Sour Cream
Often used for its fuller taste, it's sad to say that sour cream isn't going to help you lose weight or stay fit. However, Greek Yoghurt brings with it a much higher amount of protein and a significantly lower amount of calories, making it a great alternative in any recipe.

Potato Chips
A well-known source of delicious flavor is also a well-known source of fat, oil, and carbs. Coming in to fill its place is air-popped popcorn. Not to be confused with its oil-popped cousin, air popped popcorn contains significantly less saturated fat and is available in a range of tasty flavors.

All Dressings
One to surely bring pain to the face of any taste aficionado, it's unfortunate to say that your favorite dressing is likely to be one of the least healthy ingredients in your pantry. Whatever the flavor, your best bet is going to be swapping it out for balsamic vinegar.

Balancing a healthy lifestyle is achievable, it just takes the right knowledge and determination. It's likely that your friends are also in similar situations. Share these tips with them and listen to theirs in return for even more ways to make your everyday meals healthier.
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