Thursday, March 22, 2007

Teng Zhai Chok @ home

"Teng Zhai Chok" is literally translated as "floating boat porridge" and this dish is so named because there used to be people who lived on boats and who would cook this porridge by putting all the ingredients they had with them into this porridge. This dish has gradually evolved and the ingredients in the porridge is now pretty varied depending on dialect and custom and the produce available at the neighbourhood market.

DM (which stands for Dear Mom, for those who don't kn0w) cooked Teng Zhai Chok for dinner last night. A labour of love, as DM had to soak the rice grains, the day before and cook the porridge (and dried scallop too I think) on slow fire until the grains are all broken down and one gets a thick rice gruel the consistency of glue.

Then DM adds cuttlefish, braised peanuts, fish, chicken, firm tofu, preserved spicy sze chuan vegetables (also known as za choi) (all our family favourites) and carefully cooks this delicious concoction until it is infused with all the flavours of the ingredients.

The fun part is when one gets to add a variety of condiments that DM lays out on the table: fragrant sesame oil, light soya sauce, parsley, spring onion, fish or chicken or pork floss, crispy white bait and a spicy pork bean paste.

As for me, I added crunchy chicken floss, crispy white bait and a dollop of the pork bean paste. Aaaahh.

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