The instructions here don’t give the precise oven temperature, so you might want to check out this chart of oven temperatures.
It also doesn’t specify what kind of cheese, but I would assume it’s a hard cheese like cheddar that can be grated.
Many people have been waiting for me to put up grandmother’s baking recipes. I’ve now completed uploading the savoury recipes from the 1957 notebook, so it will be cakes and sweet stuff after this.
To start with, here are some general notes she copied into her notebook. I can imagine my grandmother carefully weighing out the 1 level cup and tablespoon measures, and noting them down to make her baking easier. I wonder if she got the idea after reading a household tip in a ladies’ magazine like McCalls? I often remember her cutting out household tips from magazines and newspapers.
1) Oven temperatures for different types of foods. Farenheit only.
2) Weight of 1 level cup in ounces. [I’m not sure what sort of cup grandmother was using, it may not have been the standard cup measure of 200ml/250ml, as I remember her often using a rice bowl or a teacup from our everyday crockery set to measure out ingredients. Incidentally, all the teacups from that set have now become small bowls as they were of such fragile porcelain that the handles broke quite easily; given that the set is more than fifty years old, and that we still use it everyday, there are many fewer pieces as compared to before!]
3) Approx no. of level tablespoonsful to 10oz.
Posted in bean sprouts (taugay), bee hoon (rice noodles), belachan, candlenut (buah keras/sak luk), chilli, coconut milk, cucumber, daun kesum (lasksa leaf), fish, galangal (nam keong/lengkuas), ginger flower, lemongrass, onion, prawn, saffron, savoury on July 2, 2007| Leave a Comment »
This laksa recipe is clearly labelled ‘laksa lemak’, to distinguish it from the completely different dish of Penang laksa. I’ve heard that every region in Malaysia has its own style of making laksa, but still, the basic difference would be whether it has coconut milk (lemak) or is the sourish, fishy version (Penang style, closer to Thai laksa).
Along with poh piah, this is one of my all-time favourite dishes. We still eat it regularly at home.
In the last ten years, my grandmother – always one to keep up with new thinking on healthy eating – replaced the high-cholesterol coconut milk with tinned evaporated milk. It works very well and you don’t actually notice the difference. However, I’ve started reading the labels on tins and found that evaporated milk has a lot of added ingredients which aren’t milk at all! In future, I’d like to try to adapt the family recipe with some other coconut milk replacement instead.
The original recipe also calls for you to make your own fishballs, but I can’t remember my family doing this; we usually just bought ready-made fishballs from the (super)market. These days I myself don’t eat ready-made fishballs or fishcakes because they tend to contain MSG and chemical preservatives.
Another interesting adaptation in my grandmother’s notes is the use of spaghetti instead of laksa noodles (1 box for 7-8 people). The original recipe calls for ‘laksa flour’ which I assume refers to flour to make the noodles, a kind of thick beehoon. As it’s not so easy to get laksa beehoon, spaghetti is the most convenient alternative with a similar shape.
‘Daum Kesum’ is also known as laksa leaf. My dad dislikes the taste of any kind of little leafy garnishings but I believe that laksa just doesn’t taste right without these leaves. ‘Saffron’ is listed here, but as I noted in another posting, I think it really refers to turmeric. You can see in the alternative ingredients/quantities list at the end, it’s called ‘kunyit’, which is turmeric. And don’t forget, ‘D. Prawns’ refers to dried prawns for pounding to make the rempah, whereas the fresh prawns are for eating whole/sliced together with the noodles.
As for the alternative list of quantities (dated 1960) at the end of the recipe, you’ll have to experiment and decide which set of quantities works best for you.
This recipe was on a slip of paper inserted inside the notebook. I would date it to the early 1980s because of (1) the ball point pen used and (2) the paper is the yellowish, coarse paper that was used for cyclostyled documents – wow, that’s something we haven’t seen since the advent of photocopying! All my lower primary school worksheets were produced by cyclostyling on this kind of paper. Grandmother never wasted any scrap of paper; she would save shopping receipts to write on the back, and cut up used paper into note-sized sheets like this. Maybe this paper was once part of something that came from my grandfather’s office :)? The marks of a rusty paperclip on the top left hand side also give this little scrap of yellowed paper its character.
I’m unfamiliar with the use of bicarbonate of soda for marinating meat, must check up on this when I get the time.
Enough of the chicken recipes, some sauces to follow now…
Here’s a popular Chinese standard :).
This was an interesting recipe to try and figure out because of all the unfamiliar names, with non-standard phonetics. They sounded like Cantonese, so I went around asking Cantonese speakers to get some answers. Once I got the English names, it was easy to check up the Chinese characters and double check the pronunciation in Cantonese and Mandarin, thanks to CantoDict.
“Loa may” = 鹵味 = lou5 mei6 [Cantonese] / lu3 wei4 [Mandarin]
My Ee Poh Peggy tells me that this basically refers to a braised dish, and this style of cooking used to be very popular in the past – there were many types of “loa may” dishes. When I visited Taiwan, I came across a lot of 鹵味 lu3 wei4 dishes, especially 鹵肉販 lu3 rou4 fan4, which is bits of soya-sauce-braised pork fat spooned over your bowl of white rice as an alternative to plain white rice to eat with various small dishes. It’s harder to find lard cubes in health-conscious Singapore these days, as compared to the 1960s.
“Yin sye mai” = jyun4 seoi1 mai5 [Cantonese] / 2 sui1 mi3[Mandarin] = coriander seed米 =
“Park-kork” = 八角 = baat3 gok3 [Cantonese] / ba1 jiao3 [Mandarin] = star anise
“Kwai phay” = 桂皮 = gwai3 pei4 [Cantonese] /gui4 pi2 [Mandarin] = cinnamon
This was the hard one, not everyone knew it and the ‘phay’ [skin] part of the phrase made us guess all sorts of other things, such as lemon peel, which didn’t sound right in the context of this recipe.