Merdeka Open House 2010: Food From Our Hearts

Merdeka Open House event is back! Organized annually on the Malaysia independence month by our dear Babe KL, I took the effort to participate in this year’s event with the theme “Food From Our Hearts” (I didn’t participate last year due to time constraint).


So, what does food from the heart means? As most people know, when it comes to cooking, we need skills, effort, ingredients, tools and also the “heart“. When cooking from the heart, the food would usually looked scrumptious and has a perfect balance of taste (saltiness, sweetness etc), smell and texture. Most of the time, mom’s cooking fulfilled every aspects as I mentioned above.

I’ve always admired my mom, as she could whip up an array of dishes easily and quickly. Her nasi lemak has been a favourite among my siblings and myself since we’re little, as well as her “ham kou” (rice cake with preserved vegetable and dried shrimp), which I’m going to write about for the Merdeka Open House event this year.

Rice Cake with Preserved Vegetable & Dried Shrimp


Guesstimate recipe:

  1. 500 – 600 grams rice flour, sifted
  2. About 1 litre water, adjust to preference
  3. 400 grams preserved vegetables (dai tau choy or choy pou), minced
  4. 400 grams dried shrimp, coarsely chopped
  5. 10 rose shallots, finely chopped
  6. 20 red chillies
  7. some bird’s eyes chillies (cili padi) – if you like it spicier
  8. juice from 10 calamansi lime
  9. salt and sugar to taste


How to do it:

  1. Mix the rice flour with water in a round metal deep dish (the upper part of the metal steamer). Adjust the flour and water amount to your peference; too much flour would yield harder cake and too much water would cause the cake mushy.
  2. Add some salt to the mixture and steam it high heat, stirring occasionally and gently to prevent the mixture for coagulating at the bottom part of the dish. Do this step until the bottom part started to set in. Cover and continue to steam over medium heat for about 30 – 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the chopped preserved vegetable, shallots and dried shrimps separately and set aside. Reserve some of the oil as well.
  4. Blend the chillies till formed a smooth paste (alternatively, pound the chillies with a pestle and mortar for a coarse chilli sauce texture). In a heat-proof bowl/pan, heat the calamansi juice. Add the chilli paste to the juice and mix well. Add sugar to taste and remove from heat. Let the chilli sauce cool.
  5. When the cake is done (test this by poking a chopstick into the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s ready), set aside to cool. Spread the shallots, dried shrimps, oil and preserved vegetables on the cake before serving. Serve with home made chilli sauce.
  6. Photobucket

    Happy Birthday, Malaysia!


13 thoughts on “Merdeka Open House 2010: Food From Our Hearts

  1. hmmm…ham koe.. yes! reminded me of my younger days too when my mum used to do that.. now she is older and poorer vision, she stops doing a lot of foodstuff, i can remember her doing the koayteow wrapped with sengkuang, puffs, steamed egg cakes…. simple stuff but they were so appetizing! unfortunately, none of my siblings are “rajin” to cook.. including me.. so i hope u will “learn” from your mum and pass on to your kids.. hahaha…

  2. @Little Inbox, oooh, I get that.
    @Babe, no laa, mom made this, I just helped out. 🙂 I don’t have steamer at home.
    @Claire, hahaha, will try to learn the simple ones.
    @J, you’re welcome!
    @PureGlutton, thank you!
    @J2kfm, yeah… the shallots, rice flour stuff. I think this is easier la, no need to add in yam.

  3. Wow, this looked so yummy and the steps quite simple. Must give this a try this coming school holidays. I am sure my family will love this too. I think some chopped spring onions and parsley leaves will brighten up the dish too.

    Good work and keep it up, Ipoh Mali Talak Sombong!

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