It’s A Hokkien Thing

When my mom is lazy, she cooks Tua Chye Perng or Chinese green mustards rice. 大菜饭 The same vege 大菜 is used to make pickled kiam chye or salted vegetable. It was a recipe handed to her by her mother or my late grandmother. It was humble food popular with the poor people of Fujian, China. It is a cost saving meal as no separate dishes are required.

It is similar to yam, pumpkin, long bean, carrots, mushroom, potato and cabbage rice. Collectively, they are known as “kiam perng” or salty / savoury rice. 咸饭Some call it Chinese Rice Casserole when meat such as boneless chicken and sausage are used.

I used to hate tua chye when I was a kid. The mustards smelled terrible when it was cooked. Now it seems worse, I always panic thinking I smelled a whiff of leaking cooking gas. To make it more palatable, pre cooked heh bee or tiny dried shrimps, pork and sauces are added before going into the rice cooker.

Although I still dislike it, I eat it because I respect tradition and think fondly of my late granny.

#rice #tradition #fujian #hokkien

Rendang

Historically, the Minangkabau people of Sumatra were of a migrating (merantau) culture. Many left home to start new lives in other Indonesian cities, as well as at regional countries. Soon, Padang restaurants were everywhere.

But there was one problem when they wanted to take food along their long journeys through rivers and oceans. Refrigerators weren’t available in the 16th century.

So the enterprising Minangkabaus came up with Rendang, a form of drier curry meat. The special recipe used a combination of spices and cooking methods that resulted in a dish that will last when stored for weeks at room temperatures.

There are now, of course, many regional and different adaptations in both dry and wet versions. The rendang curry, be it chicken, beef or mutton, goes very well with lemang.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f13, 1/160 sec.