I ate crickets at Wahaca! | London

Happy New Year!! Oh yes, I know it is a month late but there is a very good reason. I have been really busy preparing for my product launch. What products and when? Well, I shall keep you curious for now but I promise to tell closer to launch.

The last few months have been tremendously exciting and tiring for me since I can only work on this project in between slots of spare time after work and on weekends. My hobby of salsa-ing my evenings away has been history for now but hey, I’m sure I will be back on the dance floor soon. Well, at least I hope. And between my multi-tasking, I do let lose for a few hours once in a while to spend some quality time with P and with some friends.



The cricket!!

One of my first few meals back in London this 2015 was CRICKET!! Yes, I mean the ugly looking black insect that makes weird noises. It still creeps me out looking at pictures of cricket! We must have been possessed ordering it at all. Well, I only made it to try one fried baby cricket that was served with lots of baked cheese. So it was not like they were crickets on sticks. Actually, if you did not know that was cricket, it could have been any crispy thing! Lucky P finished off the rest. I was actually well surprised. He thought there wasn't enough insects on the plate! Aiks!! Wahaca serves crickets!! So if you are feeling adventurous for some crispy insects, Wahaca is the place to be.

Luckily, Wahaca has much more to offer other than crickets. As usual, food and service here is wonderful. We had double portions of plantain taco,  slow-cooked pork burrito, Chapulines fundido (the cricket dish with salsa and melted cheese), and the Rajas Taco with blue corn tortillas. All was good except the cricket toppings.

If you are a curious soul, there is no harm trying. It isn’t all that bad. 



Wahaca

Multiple location

Wahaca on Urbanspoon

Pork Chop with Cumin & Coriander




From Tom Kerridge’s Barnsley Chop to my adapted version of Pork Chop. For those of you who like me did not know what Barnsley Chop is, it is as its name suggest, originates from Barnsley. It is a double sided lamb chop cut right across the loin as explained on this website. As much as I wanted to make Barnsley Chop the way Tom does it, I was only able to get the Pork Chop where I was. I must say, it tastes just as good. I even served it with some spicy couscous, salad and orange pork sauce. It was quick and tasty. Believe or not, I made that on a weekday after work.

This is a book I know that will be well used. I will probably make more recipes from this book during my two weeks off work for Christmas and New Year.

Happy Holidays, to all of you! I shall see you in the new year. 



If you have not bought his book yet and would like to make this yummy Barnsley Chop, there's brief recipe here.



Cup Julienne (Pie Tee)


Traditionally, this recipe is to make Pie Tee (top hats). The ingredients usually calls for Yam bean but I have altered the recipe with ingredients that are easily available in the supermarket here. So yam bean has been substituted with swede. Of course, you can use the original ingredient of Yam bean if you can get it at your nearest supermarket.

Photo via Hanamemories

The traditional case can be easily bought in Malaysia but there isn't any available here so instead of making the traditional cups from scratch which I deem tedious, I have created an alternative way of making a cup / top hat to stuff the fillings. Wonton skin was used and it only takes a couple of minutes to make it so nothing as complicated as making mixture and deep frying each and every case.



Cup Julienne / Pie Tee Recipe

serves 6

Ingredients:



  • Vegetable oil
  • 20 wonton skin / wrapper
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 300g yam bean / jicamma (julienne) *I used swede
  • 2 large carrots (julienne)
  • 1/2 caup water
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce to taste
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • spring onion (thinly sliced)
  • fried shallots


Methods:


1.  Preheat oven at 180oC. Brush some oil on a mini cupcake tray. Place a square piece of wonton skin. wrapper in each cupcake mould. Brush with more oil over the wanton skin so it takes the shape of the cup. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for a few minutes until golden brown. Repeat. Be careful not to bake for too long as it turns golden really quickly. When the cups are ready, remove the wonton skin cups and place on a wire rack to cool.

2.  Heat some oil on the wok and sauté garlic, then add yam bean and carrots, and fry for 1 minute. Add water and cook until water is reduced and absorbed. Then add soy sauce to taste. Cook until moisture is reduced so it will not make the casing soggy when assembled.

3.  Scoop a spoonful of cooked yam bean and carrots into the baked wonton skin cup. Make sure to squeeze out any moisture if any. Serve with some sprinkling of spring onions and fried shallots.


Tips:

  • Yam bean / jicama is a little difficult to get in London so if you are unable to get it near you, substitute with swede. It tastes as good.
  • Wonton skin can also be substituted with filo pastry. 
    

Beef Rendang

A French man once asked me where I was from. I told him I'm Malaysian. One of the first things he told me was that he had one of the best Malaysian food in Australia called Beef Rendang! I wasn't sure how to react to that; surprised for knowing Beef Rendang as a delicious Malaysian dish, or that the best Rendang he had was in Australia. We became good friends since then and I am still amused by that comment till this day. I've a feeling we're good friends because of this rendang.

So here's the Rendang Recipe that I like. It does take quite a few hours and patience to make this dish but it is well worth your time. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If you would like to learn more about Rendang and its origins, here's an explanation on Wikipedia.

Beef rendang served with rice


Beef Rendang

recipe from No Recipe
serves 5

Ingredients:


For spice paste:
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5 cm fresh ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 4 large cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 200g shallots (4 large shallots roughly chopped)
  • 3 tbs chilli pepper flakes (or to taste)

For the beef:
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 900g casserole / braising beef (chuck/blade), cut into large cubes
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only, smashed)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2.5 cm galangal (sliced)
  • 1 can quality coconut milk
  • 1 tbs palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Methods:

Please refer to the original site I got the recipe from, for the methods. Marc explains it really well with pictures to help you along the way.
 


100 years of Rememberance Day

Remembering those who gave their lives

For those of you who did not manage to see the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red art installation at the Tower of London to mark 100 years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War, here are some pictures I've taken on the weekend.

This powerful art installation is created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and Olivier award winner stage designer Tom Piper to commemorate the service men who were killed in World War I. The installation consists of 888,246 hand made poppies representing each British military who died during the war. The installation was officially opened on the 5th of August. The poppies were first installed on 17th July and was continually planted until 11th November on Armistice Day.

On our way towards Tower of London, we made a detour for a walk in the city

At Leadenhall Market



Then we stopped at Hung Drawn and Quartered Pub for a pint. Or in my case, half.

"To be hanged, drawn and quartered (sometimes rendered hung, drawn and quartered) was from 1351 the penalty in England for men guilty of high treason, although its use is first recorded during the reign of King Henry III and that of his successor, Edward I. The convicted were fastened to a wooden hurdle which was dragged by horse to the place of execution. Once there, they were ritually hanged (almost to the point of death),emasculateddisembowelledbeheaded and quartered (chopped into four pieces). As a warning against further dissent, these remains were often displayed at prominent places, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were burnt at the stake." via Princeton.edu










Installation of the Poppies



Making of the Poppies