My grandma has been preparing this dish for most praying occasions since ages ago, such as the decease anniversary of our ancestors, or CNY eve. There is never a change to the cooking method. Nevertheless, all of us do like it though. During the younger days, having a prawn dish is always a luxury. Kids like us would be so excited when there was a prawns dish. Complaining about the repeated cooking method never cross our mind as we could not even wait to finish the hot and spicy prawns after prayers.
Beware that the chilli sauce used is different from the ordinary chilli sauce, but something like the one shown in the photo above. You can sauce it in local hypermarket or grocery shop.
Japanese Tofu is always linked with the sizzling hot plate tofu, where the sliced tofu pieces are deed fried. For healthier choice and less demanding cooking, I very much prefer this version which I found from Sonia. The filling prepared for this is very much similar to steamed dumpling (siew mai). My family commented that it tastes better than siew mai, perhaps the soft texture of Japanese egg tofu taste better than the wontan skin.
This is a simple dish to prepare. The only step that requires more attention is the stuffing of the tofu as you need to make a small whole on the sliced tofu pieces gentle before you stuff the filling on it. You need not concern about the roundness of the shape, as it would all be covered up.
I came to know about this dish in my Hat Yai Trip last year. It is really tasty and goes well with rice. For someone who likes minced meat and chilli, a humble dish like this is always good enough.
I searched for the recipe from a Thai dishes blog. It is really simple to prepare. If you are not a fussy person, all you need to fry another sunny egg, and a complete meal could be served. I usually prepare this for this during working week day. It is still a good option compared to eating out.
The only trouble to prepare this dish is to source for the Basil Leaves (九层塔). This spice is not commonly available as curry leaves or lime leaves. I hardly see it in hyper market. You can find them in the local market but it certainly depends on your luck, as it may not available on daily basis. Basil leaves are more common in Northern states like Kedah and Penang due to the Thai influence to the local cuisine.
The good news it is easy to plant. Basil leaves could be used to lots of other dishes. If you are fond of the taste, it is certainly no harm trying to plant a pot like what I have done. I tried with the basil I bought from the market, it survived and grow. 🙂
Like any other man, my hubby is most afraid of trouble. He has repeated countless times about cooking simple dishes when we are eating at home. But, it is never the case when I am preparing Hainanese Chicken Rice. There is only one thing he would say, “Can you cook more rice, darling?”.
If you ever heard of “Never judge a book by its cover”, I feel it would be “never judge a dish by its photo” in this case. I have a lot to catch up for my photography skill. Please bear with me for now. This cuisine is not only the favourite of my hubby, but my entire family. I wish you would not be discouraged from trying just because of the lousy photo.
Nonetheless, please do not let the lengthy directions below put you off from trying. The compliments you would get from the people you serve this to would make up the efforts. My nephew told me once that he has never tested better chicken rice then this.
I had started to research for CNY dishes weeks before the most celebrated annual event in my family. It was indeed a pleasant surprise to have found Sonia post of Deep Fried Prawns with Salted Eggs. My family is always found of salted egg (whichever way it is cook), so it is “risk-free” to prepare this for them.
As expected, It was really well received by my family when I served this to them during the 2nd day of the Dragon year and I wish you would like it too.
A big thanks to Sonia for sharing.
Water chestnuts is always known for its cooling factor and crunch. It is often used in Chinese dishes. Because of its crispness, it adds much value to spring rolls, fried wonton, steamed dumplings (siew mai) and etc.
I like to prepare this water chestnut sweet soup especially during the hot spell. It is really cooling and best served after chilling it in fridge.