Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cooking For The Girlfriend

To be honest, it was meant more for the girlfriend's mom, not the girlfriend haha!

There was one time I saw a quote from somewhere about, though I'm not that sure how true is the quote. The saying is about "char hor fun" (炒河粉) and it apparently originated from Penang. It says that if you are still a single and one of the way to win the heart of your girlfriend is to seek out the best char hor fun in town and bring your girlfriend there as often as you can. If you feel like taking a step further by trying to win the hearts of your future parents-in-laws, you will be smart enough to ta pao (take-back) for them too.

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The ingredients used for the wat tan hor.

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Part-time chef in action haha!

Instead of ta pao-ing char hor fun for Michelle's mom, I thought why not if I cook the dish for her instead. Despite having cooked this dish several times already in Japan, most of the time using alternative ingredients, I still have yet to try cooking this dish back home and it was my first attempt to prepare this dish.

Michelle and I went to the market earlier that morning to get some of the ingredients for the wat tan hor we were cooking for lunch. At the market, one of the vegetable seller saw me picking some green mustard leaves and she randomly said to me, "Wah boy, buying vegetables ar?" in Mandarin. Maybe it was quite uncommon for a guy, especially a gigantic guy to go to the market and get some vege; that is why she tried to flirt with me tease me haha!

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The gravy was almost done, the final step is to add in the beaten eggs.

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The final result of the wat tan hor.

I know the final result doesn't look as appetising as it was supposed to be because the egg looked unlike what it was supposed to look like. However, Michelle's mom said it was okay. So I suppose it was a pass for me? So, if you are still a bachelor, perhaps you might wnana try cooking this dish for your girlfriend and while you are at it, why not make some extras for your future parents-in-law too.

Although there are many variations to this ubiquitous dish, char hor fun is traditionally a Chinese dish. It is known as char hor fun in Penang, which is fried with a little dark gravy. In Kuala Lumpur, you would usually find the Cantonese-style "wat tan hor" (滑蛋河) that is completely immersed in clear, egg-starch gravy, hence the words "wat tan", which literally means "smooth eggs" in Cantonese. Another difference you can find is the thickness of the hor fun (koey teow), in which the Penang version uses thicker hor fun, while the KL version use thin hor fun.

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The girlfriend squeezing the blended pandan leaves into the bowl.

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The aroma of the pandan juice was just too nice.

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This is when a minor tragedy occurred - adding the whole bowl of pandan juice into the jelly mixture.

While I was busy preparing our lunch, Michelle was making something for dessert - pandan-favoured jelly, made of fresh pandan leaves. Based on her personal experiences making this jelly using frozen pandan leaves in New Zealand, too much of pandan leaves will make the jelly tastes slightly bitter. However, it was too late by the time she added the whole bowl of freshly blended pandan juice into the pot haha!

Making jelly actually has some history between the two of us because the last time I cooked (ayam masak merah) in Michelle's house, it was roughly two years ago. That time, while I was cooking the chicken, we made jelly together too; rose flavour, back then. And that was how our story of me-hiding-behind-the-sofa happened haha!

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The pandan-flavoured jelly, after being refrigerated for a few hours. It smells and tastes like Nyonya kuih that uses pandan haha!

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Sea-shell-shaped jelly with some canned fruits in the middle. Simply awesome.

Though they were just a simple dish and desert, the feeling to be able to cook together was just simply sweet and surprisingly romantic, in some ways.

6 comments:

Tempus said...

behind-the-sofa hor??? haha I never will take wat tan hor man.. got into emergency ward because of it, almost died XD Wantanhorophobic XD

eh what recipe ur girl used for pandan jello la... my sis made but always lack of some taste cause the whole pandan overwhelmed di

calvin said...

@ tempus:
yes, behind the sofa. it was something kinda funny actually :P

lol! you sound like you are really phobia of wat tan hor! i wonder what happened back then. you had food poisoning?

the girlfriend said it's a family secret recipe haha!

Tempus said...

UGH family secret recipe pulak tu.. nvm i'll wait for it the next time you two invite me to your house for what ever reasons. XD Yea food poisoning in the primary school kantin~ 30 mins later to the hospital and I am goner XD

calvin said...

@ tempus:
haha! nah, nothing to do with family secret. i was just pulling your leg. it's just about determining the amount of water you use when cooking the jelly, depending on how hard you want your jelly to be ; )

that doesn't sound like a memorable experience from your school canteen at all >.<

sakura said...

wah, so sweet :)
so, u passed with flying colours eh? good for u, hehe..

calvin said...

@ sakura:
hmmm, i think so xD
her mom said it was okay, so i suppose i pass? haha!