Epic Fit Meals @ Damansara Perdana

Epic Fit Meals

Epic Fit Meals sounds a lot like Epic Meal Time – the legendary YouTube sensation which later jumped into the silver screen. However, the concept between the two couldn’t be further from each other – it’s like the difference between night and day.

Epic Fit Meals Delivery

The latter celebrates excess – lots of bacon, whiskey and ridiculously large portions while the former is part of a new delivery-centric food revolution that focuses on healthy food. Epic Fit Meals is actually quite close to where I live and they also deliver to my area but I decided to drop by to meet Wick Kee, the guy behind Epic Fit Meals, when he invited me over.

Epic As Usual

Wick Kee is also from Melbourne. We actually studied in the same university, same campus – Clayton. We’ve also both stayed at the UniLodge – a popular university frat house lodging place in the middle of Melbourne CBD (although I hear it’s not so wild now). I was very intrigued when he said he’ll be bringing Melbourne style cuisine to Malaysia.

Japanese Sweet Mashed Potato

That means everything that the Australians value – low food miles, fresh produce, in-season ingredients. Even better, Epic Fit Meals is bringing Aussie style Greek food to Malaysia! I love Greek food and the suburb where I stayed (Clayton) has a high population of Greeks. I had a phase where I was eating dolmas (rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves) and sprats from a can. smirk

Cauliflower Rice

I got to know quite a few Greek friends when I was studying there and ate often at a popular Greek restaurant called Dion in Melbourne. I love Greek culture and food and I was glad that Epic Fit Meals would be bringing souvlaki and the likes to KL. I tried a cross-section of their menu, including their Epic Pesta Raya specials:

Epic Fried Chicken Schnitzel

Epic Grilled Chicken (RM 12.80 / 249 kcal)
Epic Fit Meals only use chicken breasts here and everything has the calorific count clearly stated on the menu. They have two types of chicken – grilled and “fried”. This is the former and you can opt for their (various and plentiful) sides to go with it. Prices start from RM 15.80 for the sets/combos, depending on how many sides you want.

You can choose the sauce for the chicken too! They have 7 sauces – (from mild to hot) Eziki, OZ’s Barbie-Q, Bonza Peppa, Apple Salsa, Country Gravy, Curry Grande and FIRE S.O.S. I went for Eziki (70 kcal), the sauce based on Greek tzatziki made from blending yoghurt, cucumbers, vinegar, dill and garlic.

I chose Irish Colcannon (122 kcal) and Epic’s Cauli-Rice (134 kcal) for the sides. The former is their version of the Irish dish of mashed potatoes with cabbage and leek and the latter is Epic Fit Meals’ secret low calorie and Paleo alternative to rice, made from fresh cauliflower. It’s really crunchy and yummy.

Epic Grilled Chicken

Epic “Fried” Chicken Schnitzel (RM 13.80 / 381 kcal for Classic, 403 kcal for Fire)
They don’t actually fry their chicken schnitzel – it’s all oven-baked for healthy reasons, but has the crunchy consistency and flavor you expect from classic fried chicken. Again, only chicken breasts are used. I opted for the FIRE S.O.S sauce as recommended by Wick Kee, which went very well with the “fried” chicken schnitzel.

The sides I paired with these are meant to complement the fiery sauce – Cilantro Lime Rice (217 kcal) and Mashed Sweet Potatoes (271 kcal). I thought the lime rice would be acidic but at least put out the fire but it turned out to be perfectly balanced. I love the use of Japanese sweet potatoes for the mash too, they have a lot of Paleo options.

Good Ol Breakkie Wrap

Good Ol’ Breakkie (RM 12.80 / 415 kcal)
This is Epic Fit Meals’ implementation of a breakfast wrap. It was actually the first thing I ate and I almost finished half before deciding to give more space to the other food spread out on offer. I was surprised by how fresh the ingredients tasted – it’s important to note that Epic Fit Meals only starts prep and cooking when you order. I saw this for myself, all the vegetables are chopped and everything is cooked to order.

Ayam Apple Api Pizza

3A: Apple, Ayam & Api Pizza (RM 19.80 / 545 kcal)
This is one spicy pie! It’s meant to celebrate the diversity of Malay cuisine and mashing it up with some unusual elements which goes well with the ingredients e.g. apple. I thought the result was surprisingly good. I liked the heat and the balance of the apple sauce. They also serve a Nasi Lemak Pizza (RM 19.80).

Fruit Yoghurt Cup

FRUGERTii (RM 5.80 / 98 kcal)
You can also order sides a la carte. They’re RM 4.90 for regular sides and RM 5.80 for Epic sides. I asked if they have any desserts on the menu and being a health-conscious establishment, this is the only one that they had. It’s sliced local fruits (grapes, oranges, apples etc) topped with their own low-calorie yoghurt.

Cold Pressed Juices

Cold Pressed Juices (RM 7.80 – RM 8.80 / 41 kcal – 79 kcal)
I thought this was one of the best juices I’ve had in a long time. They’re cold pressed and made each morning – all remainders are thrown away at the end of the day, ensuring you have a fresh bottle of juice. I loved the carrot, apple and pear combo in Classic Trifecta (RM 7.80 / 78 kcal). I gave the Coolie Beauty (RM 7.80 / 41 kcal) which had cucumber, apple, ginger, celery, lemon to my better half to try. She liked it and the kids loved the Red Apple Honey Smoothie (RM 8.80 / 79 kcal) – a smooth concoction of apple, fresh yoghurt and wild honey.

Epic Fit Meals Malaysia

It’s a very novel concept to deliver great-tasting healthy food (which doesn’t usually go together in a sentence) at ultra-competitive prices (you can get a complete meal with sides for RM 20 or less). Delivery is free and they’ll get the food to you within 45 minutes max which means it’ll still be hot, so check out Epic Fit Meals by calling 03-77333375 if you’re looking for something different to eat. I’ll definitely order their food again when we’re not cooking or eating out. :)

Mr. Dakgalbi @ Citta Mall

MrDakgalbi Korea

It was just after work and we were at Citta Mall to grab a quick bite to eat. My better half actually wanted to eat something else but I saw an advertisement for this outlet at the escalators and we decided to check it out.

Mr Dakgalbi Citta Mall

Mr. Dakgalbi is a franchise from Korea with a pretty descriptive name – it tells you what’s on the menu, dak galbi. Dak galbi is a Korean dish from Chuncheon, Korea (just like how okonomiyaki is associated with Osaka, Japan) that involves a hot plate and chicken.

MrDakgalbi

The process of ordering at Mr. Dakgalbi is pretty simple:

  1. Wear your assigned aprons to avoid splash damage
  2. Choose one of chicken, octopus, or seafood dak galbi
  3. Choose combination of rice, ramen, cheese add-on

Mr Dakgalbi

I went for chicken since dak galbi is traditionally made with chicken. The Mr.Dakgalbi (RM 19) option is their flagship – chicken marinated in traditional Korean chilli paste, potatoes, onions, spring onions and tteok (rice cake). It’s a very common Korean ingredient, I’ve had tteokbokki while in Pusan.

MrDakgalbi Chicken

The chicken marinated in gochujang is then sliced into small pieces and fried together with the accoutrements. You don’t have to do it yourself – the staff will cook everything for you, much like Palsaik. It seems like full service Korean restaurants is very big here.

Mr Dakgalbi Rice

Next up, is choosing the carbs. I asked for rice (RM 6) and cheese (RM 6). You can also ask for ramen (RM 6) if you like. This is fried together with your chicken and then the entire thing is ready to eat!

MrDakgalbi Frying Rice

The staff will also portion your chicken into two portions just in case you want to add on, and if you don’t, your leftover rice will be made into a sort of pizza. It eats like the bottom of claypot chicken rice – the caramelized and crispy bottom is nice.

Pizza Rice

It’s pretty decent but if you don’t like gochujang or have small kids, you might want to order something else since the signature fermented Korean chilli paste can be quite spicy for sensitive palates.

Seafood Jeon

We also ordered Seafood Jeon (RM 19) – a crispy Korean style pancake. It looks nothing like what the menu promised (the picture in the menu had large octopus tentacles practically burying the jeon) and it tasted about as appealing as it looked. Dismal. action

Dak Galbi

I guess we should have stuck to ordering the namesake from Mr. Dakgalbi. Their dak galbi is alright and it can feed two people easily. You can also add rice, cheese or ramen as much as you want at a price of RM 6 per portion/plate. Thus, our dak galbi is actually RM 30 (RM 19 chicken + RM 6 rice + RM 6 cheese).

Mr Dakgalbi Us

It’s not good enough to make me want to make another trip back soon and their menu is pretty one dimensional. However, I’ll drop by if I have a dak galbi craving (or have an urge to dress up in aprons) since it’s quite close to us. The Mr. Dakgalbi restaurant in Citta Mall is very empty though – it was just the two of us inside before another couple walked in.

Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi with fried chicken drumsticks and sunny-side up egg

Mi Sedaap Ayam Goreng

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mi Sedaap since it came out. I’m not the only one either – I’ve seen many people at the hypermarket aisles grabbing packets of Mi Sedaap and/or asking their parents to get that particular brand. In fact, all my friends living in Australia wants me to bring over Mi Sedaap whenever I’m visiting down under!

Mi Goreng Ayam Krispi

I think a lot of this is due to the awesome springy noodle texture and the generous 91 gram packs. This is very unusual – in a good way. You’ll notice that no other commercial instant noodle manufacturer has such a large serving – it’s usually 79 grams or less. I can barely manage to eat 3 packets while I can easily eat 3 packets of any other manufacturer.

Mi Sedaap Flavor Sachets

The other important bit is in Mi Sedaap’s flavor sachets – there are five (5) of them in total! There’s the 3 liquid ones – chilli sauce, soy sauce and flavored oil, plus the 2 dry ones – powdered flavor and the dried onions. It’s important to mix everything except the dried onions, that one goes in last, so the crispy element is there.

Now, with the new Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi, all these wonderful characteristics are amplified!

Noodle Cake

I just tried the new Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi with fried drumstricks and it was awesome! You will need:

  • 1 packet Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi
  • 1 chicken leg, portioned
  • 1 chicken egg
  • Flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to taste

I first battered and deep fried the chicken leg and set it aside to rest. You can do this in any type of oil except EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) since the flash point of EVOO is too low for deep frying tasks like these.

Cooking Noodles

I also fried a sunny-side up egg before I set a pot to boil for the Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi.

Springy Noodles

The Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi just needed a quick 3 minutes in hot water before it’s tossed in all the flavor and oil sachets (except the special Krispi Krezz Krezz bits).

Sachet Trick

Pro tip: It’s highly important that the Krispi Krezz Krezz sachet is only opened and poured on top of the noodles after it’s tossed so that it doesn’t get soggy. It’s meant to provide a crispy contrast to the springy noodles and it’s delicious!

Tossing Noodles

I love the Krispi Krezz Krezz bits! I feel that all the other “Mi Goreng” type competitors are sorely lacking in both getting the flavor profile right and in the crispiness of the fried onions. You’ll notice that once you go Mi Sedaap, you’ll never go back coz the flavor sachets are amazing! It really makes the noodles taste like real Mi Goreng with its robust and full flavors.

Krezz Krezz Krispi Sachet

I also personally like the springy texture of Mi Sedaap’s noodles. I consume a lot of instant noodles and I can wholeheartedly endorse Mi Sedaap’s noodles as the best! Just follow the timing instructions and you’ll never get soggy or “gritty” (from uncooked flour) noodles anymore.

Krezz Krezz Krispi Bits

The latest Krispi Krezz Krezz Yang Lebih Rangup bits brings this to a whole new level! It tastes like fried chicken has been added to the noodle. I’ve always been disappointed with other manufacturers fried onions – they’re either soggy or flat, there’s completely no crunch to the fried onions, which is a very important component in Mi Goreng. The texture contrast that the crispy Krispi Krezz Krezz bits bring to the table (no pun intended) is amazing.

Eating Mi Sedaap

The new Mi Sedaap Goreng Ayam Krispi is a huge improvement that tastes like all Mi Goreng type noodles should – check it out and see what I mean. Remember to put in the Krispi Krezz Krezz bits in last, a lot of people put it in together with the rest of the ingredients prior to tossing due to laziness or ignorance and that’s wrong – it’s meant to be crispy, so think of it as a topping. :)

I heard Mi Sedaap is also giving out tickets for Hot Air Balloon rides now. Check out the Mi Sedaap Malaysia Facebook for more information, tips and recipes!

The latest food truck in KL – Amaze K

Amaze K Food Truck

I was on my way to a haircut the day before when I passed by this food truck. It was close to dinner and my better half was cooking so I didn’t want to spoil my appetite, but I was a little hungry and needed something to tide me over for a couple of hours, so I pulled over.

Halal Food Truck KL

Amaze K Cafe is actually a food truck that sells all kinds of hotdogs. It was their very first day of operations when I visited on Friday evening! I talked to the two guys running it for a while and they said they might not be located here all the time but they decided to situate themselves in front of Encorp Strand Mall for their première.

Amaze K Cafe

I asked for a recommendation and got their flagship Mushroom & Chicken Hotdog (RM 10). It’s the one that they’re most proud of and for good reason – the juicy chicken frank was large and has that “snap” to the bite that good sausages have. I was told the halal chicken hotdogs are specially made for them.

Amaze K Hotdog

They also recommended the Burritos (RM 11) for next time, which is just their chicken sausages wrapped in a commercially available tortilla wrap – no rice or beans, so it isn’t so much a burrito as a wrap. The menu items all revolves around their ½ foot chicken sausage and is either priced at RM 10 or RM 11.

Amaze K Food Truck Menu

This is their entire menu.

Hotdog Food Truck

I thought the pricing is a bit on the high side for a food truck that is basically selling hotdogs. There are Ramly burger stands around (though they only operate at night) and the shops near them includes a Korean BBQ set lunch with drinks for RM 9.90 and a RM 1.90 Chinese small bowl mixed rice shop.

Food Truck Me

There’s also Encorp Strand Mall’s own Sam’s Deli – which hits the exact target market as these guys are aiming for – halal deli items and the latter has a lot more choices. Amaze K Cafe Food Truck does a very good hotdog though – the one I had was loaded with fresh sautéed mushrooms, chicken mince sauce, and mayo and I particularly liked how the juicy mushrooms goes with the snap of the hotdog.

Mushroom Chicken Hotdog

I think they might struggle if they don’t revise their pricing, but if they do, it’ll be a welcome addition to the local food truck scene.

Amaze K Cafe Food Truck can be found in front of Encorp Strand Mall.

Cooking a 3-Course Meal with S&P Santan!

soup ceera

I was fortunate enough to be cooking a complete meal of three courses organized by S&P Santan in Sungai Buloh. The I <3 S&P Santan Cooking Workshop is helmed by Chef Andri Hadi – a very interesting character indeed!

chef andri hadi

I was teamed up with Ceera Noh and I have to admit I couldn’t ask for a better partner. She has solid, practical skills as a mom and seasoned a lot of our dishes to perfection.

team

I was more focused on plating and I tried very hard not to let her down by doing it professionally.

cutting onions

I dare say that our presentation was best – it wasn’t clownish and kid-like on one side of the spectrum it wasn’t sloppy on the other (did three plates for our main course before I was satisfied).

team awesome

The I <3 S&P Santan Cooking Workshop is actually a contest between all the participants. There were 5-6 teams of two in total. I humbly named us “Team Awesome”. smirk

Appetizer: Spinach Broccoli Coconut Soup

appetizer

The first dish that we cooked. I sliced up the broccoli florets and garlic while Ceera did the vegetable soup stock. We didn’t cook the fresh baby spinach but blended it into the soup later, as the chef did.

ceera hb

I also went up to do the Massimo Wheat Germ garlic bread.

butter garlic bread

It’s really easy, just butter one side with butter and twist it, sealing it in with another dab of butter.

spinach broccoli

I love the ease of the S&P Santan Instant Coconut Cream Powder. It comes in 50 gram packs of Original, Omega 3 and Pandan and we used the first for this. You can dilute it with 1 cup of water for heavy coconut cream or 2 cups of thin coconut cream but for this recipe, we just poured it into the saucepan and seasoned it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I really liked how versatile and convenient the product was.

cooking with ceera

We worked pretty well as a team and since I proofed myself somewhat adept (at least I didn’t burn down the kitchen) – I plated up. Our spinach broccoli coconut soup is a real French style soup – thick and hearty.

layering soup

I floated a tablespoon of S&P Santan Coconut Milk on top for contrast and flavor.

spinach broccoli soup

It received pretty good reviews from the chef and heartened, we moved on to the next dish.

Entrée: Baked Cajun Chicken Wings

entree

This is something that both of us knew how to do and the chef did a demonstration while asking us to work at the same speed – no problems there.

fritter batter

We shared an oven with another group of two girls and thus we put in our chicken together. There is a great irony somewhere here.

cajun chicken

I carefully arranged my chicken wings so that the tips were facing *outside* on the baking tray. This is done so that the heat of the convection oven won’t burn the meat.

perfect wings

Unfortunately, we didn’t know that the oven hasn’t been pre-heated and when the chef came over to everyone’s station to look at their chicken, ours was the very best in the entire class. It’s browned to perfection!

cooking ceera

We made the Coconut Pandan Cheese Sauce with Blue Key Superfine Flour, S&P Pandan Santan Coconut Cream Powder and 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese. Both Ceera and I tasted the sauce and it was good – I made sure that sufficient time has passed so that any raw flour has been “cooked out”.

coconut milk cheese

I plated the chicken in a smear of the coconut pandan cheese sauce and stood two chicken wings up, supported by each other.

same oven

…and when it came judging time, it turns out that our chicken was raw. -_-

chef andri

It needed 3 more minutes in the oven due to the lack of pre-heating (we both thought the other team had done it).

judging

Oh well.

cajun chicken wings

Here’s our dish!

Dessert: Cavendish Coconut Fritters

dessert

I learned a very nifty trick during the I Love S&P Santan Cooking Workshop. Banana fritters tastes a lot better if you dip it alternately into batter and desiccated coconut. We used 1 cup of S&P Santan Sejati Desiccated Coconut and 1 cup Blue Key Superfine Flour for the dry coating. The desiccated coconut really comes in handy as it has a longer shelf life and comes in a convenient pack.

bananas

We actually learned from the previous mistake and made sure to make two batches. I sliced up one banana for the first test batch while Ceera did the second batch.

coating fritters

Our Cavendish Coconut Fritters were deep fried for 2 minutes in boiling hot oil before we plated up in front of the judge.

deep fryers

I did the plating and I had planned to do a quenelle of vanilla ice cream to show off my skills.

banana fritters

Unfortunately, the ice cream was way too solid and despite heating two ceramic Chinese soup spoons on the burner, I could barely make a passable quenelle. I’m glad I did it though, no one else did and I saw from the blank looks that not many knew what a quenelle is either (except for the chef, of course).

hot spoon

I also finished with a flair with some toasted desiccated coconut and a smear of caramel and passed it to the judge. We were the first team to finish.

quenelle

Although we didn’t win anything (the winner was a female duo from Weibo) it was fun to cook with someone with a Malay heritage and a practical background as opposed to my more recent and modern interpretation of cuisine. Ceera was the one who seasoned and tasted everything and I felt bad that we didn’t win.

cavendish fritters

Nevertheless, it was a fun morning and afternoon learning about the various uses of S&P Santan products. Coconut oil and milk is a source of healthy HDL cholesterol and has numerous health benefits. This is something that Australians and people from the United States are finding out and they’re using more coconut milk in their cooking. The S&P Santan products are easy to use and cater for health conscious consumers as they do not contain artificial preservatives and flavorings.

fritters

It’s a very trendy ingredient and I have a whole range of S&P Santan products at home now. I’ll share more when I cook soon!

keep calm

Do you have your own recipes using S&P Santan coconut milk? Share your recipes at the S&P Industries Facebook page and win more than RM 1,900 worth of prizes!

spinach soup

Thanks to S&P Santan and Chef Andri Hadi for a great time! A big thank you to FFM Marketing for providing the superb venue – I loved the clean and well-equipped kitchen islands. It’s open for rental too – contact marketing@ffmb.com.my or 03-61457888 for enquiries.

spinach leaves

Props to Denise and Michele for their tireless photography and cheers to my team-mate Ceera Noh for being awesome! :)

Bert’s Jr. Gourmet Burgers @ Kota Damansara

berts jr

Bert’s Jr. Gourmet Burgers is just a stone throw away from where I live but I’ve never eaten there, despite going to a lot of different places during the “burger craze”. We were craving burgers over the long weekend and since a lot of shops weren’t open, we decided to eat here. The different thing about Bert’s Junior is that they *don’t* serve pork – so don’t expect a nice juicy oink patty coz they’re a halal outlet.

berts jr gourmet burgers

I am wary of places like this, since some Muslims mistake myoglobin in cooked meat (the juices in a steak when it’s not rested properly) for blood, and since since blood is prohibited, a lot of halal steak houses and burger joints have very little in the way of customization – the meat is only served well-done e.g. you can’t order a blue steak or have it medium rare.

berts junior

Thus, I steered clear of the steak offerings (Bert’s Jr offers that on their menu too) and went in for the burgers. I asked for a recommendation and got Dark Vader (char-broiled mozzarella infused Australian beef patty topped with beef bologna cold cut, cheddar cheese, shiitake mushroom, green leaves, peeled tomato, caramelized onions) and Baa Baa Black Sheep.

dark vader

Bert Junior has burgers available in both small (100 gram) and regular (200 gram) patty sizes and I went for the larger one for my order. My better half went for a chicken burger since she doesn’t really like beef (Dark Vader) or lamb (Baa Baa Black Sheep). The burgers can also be made into a meal for RM 5 more – affording you a drink and a side (curly fries, French fries or croquette with coleslaw). It’s cheaper than most premium burger outlets in town.

Baa Baa Black Sheep (RM 21.90)
Char-broiled mozzarella infused Australian lamb patty topped with chicken mushroom, cold cut, cheddar cheese, Shiitake mushroom, pineapple, green leaves, onion & tomato salsa

baa baa sheep

I honestly can’t say I enjoyed my burger. I thought the combination of the lamb patty with the tomato salsa (which tasted more like a poorly executed Marinara sauce) was strange – it seems like the ultra strong tomato salsa is meant to cover the gamey taste of the lamb. I like the taste of lamb so I didn’t enjoy the overwhelming taste of tomatoes, which was ALL I could taste after a while.

lamb burger

I did like my side of croquette and coleslaw though – the latter was very refreshing. This is the most ordered item, according to the waitress.

Hot Chick (RM 19.90)
Grilled chicken thigh marinated with black pepper sauce topped with chicken mushroom, cold cut and cheddar cheese, egg, green leaves, peeled tomato, caramelized onions

hot chick

My dear went for the chicken option and she commented that the chicken thigh was rather dry. She did finish her burger though, but we couldn’t make a dent in the curly fries. I had a bite and thought it was mediocre but I do like the incorporation of a cold cut from the deli in their burgers.

berts jr us

I felt that our trip to Bert’s Jr. Gourmet Burgers was rather disappointing. The burgers we ordered were really underwhelming compared to other burger joints in town. However, the service was friendly and efficient and they also have a steamed cheeseburger on their menu, which I am keen to try next time.

black sheep

Bert’s Jr Gourmet Burgers
Jalan PJU 5/3, Dataran Sunway,
Kota Damansara

Molecular Gastronomy Experiments: Silkie Black Chicken “Soup” Jelly

black chicken jelly

Black chicken soup gellification. Yeah, this is a solid jelly black chicken “soup” I made for my dear! There’s nothing that sounds more appealing than suspending the beautiful black meat of the Silkie chicken in a jelly with wolfberries, dried scallops and other ingredients usually used in cooking this Chinese soup.

hb ling sick

I came across this idea when my better half had a sore throat and didn’t want to eat any solid food. It’s known as a curative food in traditional Chinese medicine.

silkie chicken

I’ll make her Silkie black chicken soup, with a twist! It’ll be *entirely suspended in clear agar* so you can see the distinctive black meat and black bones of the Silkie chicken!

silkie chicken jelly

You will need:

  • 1 whole black chicken
  • Goji berries
  • Dried scallops
  • Chinese dates
  • Agar or gelatin

silkie chicken flesh

I bought one of the small Silkie chickens you can find in wet markets here. This is the famous black chicken (which is entirely black – bones, flesh, organs) that’s commonly sold here for soup although it can be cooked like a regular chicken. I know of other black chicken breeds out there – a USD 2,500 per chicken Ayam Cemani made the headlines last year, but the ones we get are Silkies (which has contrasting white feathers when alive).

silkie black chicken

You need to portion the chicken by cutting it up as you normally would – there’s eight edible portions (2 x drums, thighs, wings, breasts) plus the carcass. I wrote a guide on how to French cut a chicken last time for a poached chicken with beetroot and nectarine dish I made but you can cut this anyway you want since it’s going into a soup.

black bones

Do make a nice cut for the parts you want visible in the jelly though – I used a drum in one and a wing (minus drumette) with a chicken leg in another.

chicken toenails

Silkie black chickens are always sold whole here, and undressed, so remember to take the pieces of cartilage (?) off the feet. I don’t know what they are called, so I call them chicken toenails. smirk

silkie chicken soup jelly

I put a 1 litre pot of water to the boil and added in all the goji berries, Chinese dates, dried scallops etc. You can also add ginger if you like.

silkie chicken soup

Once the water is boiling, I added in the pieces of chicken and set the timer for 30 minutes. That’s all you need for the black chicken soup – it’s ready to drink (and I did take some out so she can have the soup first).

agar gelatin

Next up, comes the fun modernist cooking bit – gellification! I used agar instead of gelatin since I wanted it to set only when it has totally cooled. I used clear agar but you can try out other colors like blue or green to play tricks with your mind while eating – it’s flavorless anyway, but I reckon clear would showcase the beautiful black chicken and bright red goji berries well.

agar

I poured the agar into the black chicken soup and carefully stirred it before portioning it out. It’s important to remember that the dates, scallops, and goji berries will set so you can actually move it around since the viscosity of the liquid has changed slightly.

black chicken soup

I arranged it so that it’ll come out in one square and one round mould.

setting chicken soup agar

…and my dear accidentally drank one of the agar-infused bowls while it was cooling coz I asked her to finish the soup. Haha! Oops! ;)

black chicken agar

No worries, I still had one and here’s how it turned out after putting it in the fridge for 2 hours to set the agar. It can be helpful if you have sore throat since a cold jelly is probably easier to eat than anything else.

jelly black chicken

I thought it was nice but I could have improved on the dish since my dear had cooked porridge so ideally my next version would look like this:

black chicken jelly draft

Yes, I drew it on a napkin.

jelly chicken soup

It’s fun to incorporate easy molecular gastronomy and modernist cooking ideas to even the most traditional dishes to spice it up! :D

Poached chicken breast with beetroot and nectarine puree

poached chicken nectarine puree

This is the best dish I’ve cooked to date! The chicken breast is really *poached* i.e. it’s cooked in ambient hot water with no direct heat for 20 minutes. I learned this technique in a MasterClass and it’s an exact replication of that dish.

poach chicken

The protein in this dish comes from the crown of chicken breast without the wishbone, which I cut from a whole chicken.

beetroot food processor

You will need:

  • Two chicken breasts
  • 1 large beetroot
  • 1 nectarine
  • Raw goat milk
  • Nuts
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic scapes

poaching chicken

It’s quite a simple dish but the trick to cooking it is the perfect poaching of the chicken. The way to do it is to season a pot of water with garlic scapes, rosemary and salt and let it boil.

garlic scapes

I used garlic scapes (also known as garlic flower) to flavor the broth coz it tastes milder than garlic. It costs a lot more though at RM 19.90 / kg.

indirect heat cooking

When the water has started boiling, take the pot off the flame/electric hob/heating element and slide in the crown of chicken breast. Set a timer for 20 minutes and put the lid back on. You do not need direct heat to cook this – just the residual heat from the boiled stock.

goat milk puree

Meanwhile, I exchanged the vegetable puree that was in the original dish with a beetroot and nectarine puree. I also used raw goat milk while processing the puree. I felt that the colors look nice, and more importantly, it tasted awesome!

beetroot nectarine puree

The sweetness of the nectarine balances out the beetroot and you get a nice red puree for plating.

poached chicken

The crown of chicken breast should be taken out right at the 20 minute point, skin removed, and sliced into the two breast meat that it contains. I further made three cuts to each chicken breast be faithful to the dish replication.

chicken breast crown

The last step is to grind up some nuts or cereal and scatter it on the top of the plated chicken. It looks beautiful (if I can say so myself) and best of all, it tastes great!

grinder nuts

I’ve never tried indirect heat cooking and got it right at the first try. The beetroot and nectarine puree is smothered over the plate before the chicken breast is plated for the dish to pop (yes, you can roll your eyes right about now smirk) but the sweet puree was so good we ate it in other dishes too, like the king grouper in fish pastry shells.

poached chicken beetroot puree

My dear better half finished her dish and it was good to be able to do a restaurant quality dish from just watching a show. Haha! I’m putting this into Best of sixthseal.com – a category which I put very few of my posts into. :D

Coca-Cola Chicken a.k.a. ho lok kai

coke chicken

I remember Coke Chicken from the early 90’s when my sister watched her TVB drama series. The characters would go to a tai pai tong (an informal hawker stall, totally different from a cha chang teng) and ask for it. It was the first time I’ve heard of chicken being cooked with Coca-Cola and wondered if it actually *tastes like Coke*.

I have not been to Hong Kong at that point so I was intrigued by the sudden explosion in the popularity of Coke Chicken since then. It’s not so popular now (can’t find it in HK) but it’s a very fast and delicious way to make chicken.

ho lok kai

This is my better half’s recipe, it’s what we cooked for dinner last night:

  • 1 can Coca-Cola
  • 2 tablespoons cooking caramel (dark soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 300 grams chicken wings and drumsticks

coke chicken recipe

I wanted the drumsticks but Coke Chicken usually refers to wings, or so the TVB series would lead me to believe.

cooking with coke

There have been claims that this does not work with Diet Coke due to the (loads) of sugar required to *caramelize* the chicken. I’ve also heard that the addition of Coca-Cola is for the bicarbonate of soda, which is an *alkaline solution* that can actually change the fibers in chicken meat. The other camp says that Coke is acidic so it’s ideal as a *marinating agent* to tenderize protein.

coke chicken reduction

I don’t know which of the above it true, or none at all. I have found no research to quantify it, just the same words passed on without references. However, this dish is a quick and delicious meal. You just heat up the Coke while the marinated chicken is fried till golden brown. The chicken is then put into the Coca-Cola until it reduces to a thick sauce.

coca cola chicken

I like the idea of it though and I’ll try it with other beverages (Bundaberg Ginger Beer, Fanta Grape, different lagers and ales etc) and see how it goes! :)

How to French Cut a whole chicken into a crown of breast (step-by-step with photos)

whole chicken

This is the first time I’ve ever cut up a whole chicken. I usually just specify the part(s) that I want from the butcher and he does the rest of the work. However, this time I needed a very specific cut – a beautiful French Cut crown of breast with the skin intact.

free range chicken

I actually saw this in a MasterClass episode and wanted to replicate the dish. It’s not a live chicken of course but it has everything still intact – head, innards etc – it hasn’t even been disemboweled. I bought this for RM 24.60 – it’s a free range chicken that goes for RM 18 / kg.

removing organs

The first step is to cut off the head, ass (Bishop’s nose) and feet so you have more room to work with.

giblets

Then, you’ll have to take the organs out of the body cavity of the chicken – just put your hand down the cloaca (chicken don’t have an anal cavity) and pull out everything you can feel. It’s connected so it’s not that hard – everything from the heart to the liver can be just extracted by just pushing your entire fist in and pulling hard to get the giblets.

pulling giblets

Think of it as the opposite of stuffing a turkey. smirk

cutting whole chicken

I put everything I’ve cut up or removed on a dinner plate for future use.

removing wishbone

The next thing is to remove the wishbone from the chicken. It’s located somewhere in the neck – there’s a small bone that can be cut out and discarded so the crown of breast will be perfect.

cutting legs

I wanted that particular cut to be heavy on the skin so that it’ll be moist so I made the incisions on the skin very close to where the drumstick ends.

crown breast skin

The next step is to twist the entire chicken leg to the opposite direction (to where the chicken would naturally stand if it’s alive) and cut out the leg at the thigh from the oyster that surround the bone.

removing legs

This will allow the skin from the thigh part to cover the entire breast.

french cut chicken

Next, I sliced off the wings and did a French style cut that exposes the bone of the mini drumstick on the wing. You don’t have to do this but it looks pretty. I didn’t do a very good job at it though since it was my first time – I cut it too high up on the joint.

removing carcass

The last bit that needs to be done is to chop off the rest of the carcass. Save this for stock!

breast crown

You’ll have a nice crown of breast with quite a lot of skin on – just the cut I wanted to have for an awesome dish I made over the weekend!

cut hand

I learned a lot about dressing chickens while doing this (and cut my hands several times too) and I’ll just buy whole undressed chickens from now on…

french cut

…so I can get the exact cut that I want! :)

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