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Carmel's Kitchen: Ayam Pong Teh!

A couple of weeks ago, we knew we had to stay home to prepare the home for CNY. And to make the best of the weekend for such preparations, it also means that  we should have our meals at home or else we'll end up lurking around town or chilling with a good book and coffee somewhere. Instead of western I thought why not do something Asian for a change. And so I thought why not cook Ayam Pong Teh? I remember nyonya Merryn sharing the recipe and it looked kinda easy.

So the Ayam Pong Teh journey begins...I need to shop for some of the ingredients:
• 2 Chicken Thigh
• 1 teaspoon of Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)
• 1 tablespoon Tauchu (fermented soya beans)
• 3 Shallots
• 3 cloves of Garlic
• 3 Potatoes
• Mushrooms (optional in my case as hubster wasn't much of a mushroom person)

Instructions
• Cut the chicken and potatoes. Chop shallots and garlic finely. There are a few types of tauchu in the market. So if you're the lazy one, grab the minced tauchu:P
• Heat oil in wok. When its hot fry the garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the tauchu in when the garlic and onion turn golden.
• Add in chicken and make sure its well coated with the garlic, onion and tauchu. You may add the mushrooms in now if you're using mushrooms. Mushrooms need a longer cooking time for it to be tasty  and soft.
• Add 150ml water and palm sugar. When water boils, put in the potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes or till the potatoes cook.
• Serve with a bowl of hot rice. (In my case I served hubster 2 bowls of hot rice:P)
It is a simple dish to prepare and goes real well with some sambal belacan. Since I didn't have any, I opted for seriously tongue burning Vietnamese chilly that my awesome neighbour Prudence gave me.
I paired the ayam pongteh with the lap cheong (chinese sausage) omellete, stir fried vegies and old cucumber soup.

How to cook lap cheong (Chinese sausage) omelette? Haha...simple as ABC.
Instructions:
• Slice lap cheong and mince 1 shallot
• Beat 3 eggs lightly with a dash of pepper
• Fry lap cheong and shallots till fragrant
• Pour in the eggs
• When egg is firm on the bottom, flip it over to cook the other side
Golden yellow goodness:D
I prefer to stir fry vegetables without any oyster sauce. 
Ingredients:
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 shallot
• Choice of meat or shrimps (this round I opted for lap cheong)
• Choice of vegetables (in this case I had baby spinach)

Instructions
• Chop garlic and shallots finely.
• Clean cut cut your vegetables (yes I have met people who thought that vegetables do not have to be washed!).
• Fry garlic and shallot till fragrant. Since I had some lap cheong, I added lap cheong instead of using shrimps or meat.
• Add in baby spinach and let it cook till soft.
Old cucumber soup is a simple soup that I make on a regular basis. The chinese almonds (which I normally use for tong sui) is a matter of preference. I add it in as the Chinese believe it is is good for our lungs.
Ingredients:
• 1 old cucumber
• 10 red dates
• 4 pieces of chicken rib and 2 chicken breast
• 15g of lam hang pak hang or chinese almonds
• 3 litres of water
Instructions:
• Wash chicken and all other ingredients
• Remove seed from old cucumber and cut it into wedges
• When water boils, add in all the ingredients. When the soup boils, reduce the fire and boil for anotehr 2 hours.
ALTERNATIVE Instructions: 
I met Chef Ricky of Cilantro Culinary Academy during the Samsung Kitchen Solution event that I can actually cook a good soup using the oven. So try this if you don't want to use the slow cooker or stove top or when all cooking spots are used up!
• Pour 1.5 litres of water into an oven safe pot. In this case I have my trusting Vision so that I can see what's cooking inside.
• Add all ingredients into pot.
• Cover pot.
• Cook at 180C. Soup should boil in an hour (depends on your oven)
• My soup came out perfect within 90 minutes cooking time.
• As you've only used 1.5litres of water, the soup is very thick. Add hot water and salt to taste before serving. 
So there's a simple stay at home meal for one fine Saturday while we prepared Carmel to usher in 2012's year of the dragon. The Ayam Pong Teh received hubster's approval, so I am cooking it for the 1st day of CNY lunch:D