Oh my, what can I say about fried rice? I can’t remember any point in my life when I was devoid of it! One of my go-to meals to whip up in the kitchen, fried rice is a fantastic way to use leftover plain rice…
A little known fact about my local tastebud inclinations is that I have always loved me a good Kam Heong dish. Like Malaysian Butter Sauce, Kam Heong is also a sauce unique to Malaysia, an explosive amalgamation of ingredients from Indian, Malay and Chinese culinary…
I’ve been a proponent of the term, “Do what you love, love what you do” for some years. I’ve been blessed with an education in Communications that was generic enough to allow me to explore so many kinds of work – in radio, writing and…
I’m Davina Goh, a performer and plant-based lifestyle advocate.
I’m based in Malaysia, and “Apa Khabar?” means “How are you?” in Bahasa. Welcome to my page!
I had previously been using social media to post pictures of the food I was making. My friends, excited about my creations, began to bug me to get a blog going. So here it is, finally! This is my space to share recipes, green living tips, and places to find great plant-based food in the Klang Valley, where I live, and aim to expand this to other countries I get to travel to.
It is a huge aspiration of mine to create a happier, healthier Malaysia through a plant-based lifestyle. If you would like to be a part of this movement together, drop me a line! I’d love to explore ideas with you.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy my website! It is a pleasure and honor to share my passion with you.
A little known fact about my local tastebud inclinations is that I have always loved me a good Kam Heong dish. Like Malaysian Butter Sauce, Kam Heong is also a sauce unique to Malaysia, an explosive amalgamation of ingredients from Indian, Malay and Chinese culinary styles.
Directly translated from a Cantonese as ‘Golden and Aromatic’, this sauce is a chunky, amalgamation of lemongrass, candlenuts, curry powder, curry leaves and bird’s eye chili. Seriously, whoever first came up with this combination deserves a Nobel Prize. It was a must-order whenever the family headed out for a weekend dinner ‘tai chow’ style at the neighborhood coffee shop. (This style typically has elements of red tablecloth, Chinese-style dishes cooked in a large wok with a large fire and in an excessively casual presentation served with fluffy white rice, and everyone’s cutlery being given in a large bowl filled with boiling hot water for sanitation’s sake.)
For Kam Heong, the most common meat it is cooked with is chicken and local clams. The thing that makes traditional Kam Heong not vegan is the dried shrimp that lends a chewiness and umami element to this dry-style sauce. I’ve replaced shrimp with simple textured soy protein (TSP), also known as textured vegetable protein (TSP). You can easily find this via online shopping channels. It’s better to choose a chunky variety, the one typically used to make vegan bolognese. If only have access to the smaller pebble-type of textured soy protein, this would work too, but you may have to be careful about burning it during the cooking texture because of its smaller surface area.
The one thing you may notice is that this is a dry sauce. I feel that the dryness varies from restaurant to restaurant. I’ve made it drier than what one may expect so that it keeps better in the fridge if you’re storing it. Mine has lasted close to a month! You can use it right away after cooking it, and add splashes of water or diluted cornstarch slurry as you go along if you would like to get a little bit of gravy going on. You can do the same when you take it straight out of the fridge.
All the photos here show what it looks like without including bird’s eye chili, because I personally don’t take so much spicy food. But to be honest, it is quite a standout component of this sauce, so I’d definitely encourage you to put the chili in if the both of you have a good history together.
You can cook it as a stir fry with your favourite mushroom, vegetable or beans. And if you’re up for adding this sauce to firm tofu, I’ve also added a great method of preparing tofu so that it soaks up the sauce much better than normal tofu.
Freezing it not once but TWICE before cooking results in a spongier, ‘meatier’ tofu that some people say reminds them of the mouthfeel of chicken. I personally don’t detect this chickenness at all, but I do agree that it has a LOT of bite and is a fun way to add extra texture to your meal.
I hope you enjoy this complexly tasteful sauce and tofu combo together with your loved ones. My Mum approves of it, and I hope yours does too!
With its exciting combination of textures and flavours, this uniquely Malaysian sauce will create unforgettable stir-fries.
By: Davina Da Vegan
12 cm lemongrass stalk
1 cm ginger stem
1/2 medium sized red onion (about 75g)
5-6 cloves garlic
2-3 birds eye chili (optional)
1/4 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
1/4 cup curry leaves, loosely packed
2 tbsp curry powder
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
Step 1Boil candlenuts in a small pot of water for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 2As you wait for the candlenuts to boil, finely slice and dice lemongrass, ginger, onion, garlic and bird’s eye chili.
Step 3Place all these ingredients into a mini food processor or food chopper, add candlenuts, and blend until it it becomes a well-combined mixture.
Step 4Heat up oil in a frying pan until very hot.
Step 5Very quickly drop the curry leaves and step back! The leaves will fry and crackle, and oil will spatter. Use an oil spatter guard to protect yourself if you have one. Once the splattering subsides and the leaves start to turn transclucent, remove leaves from pan and leave aside. They need only a few seconds in the pan to cook.
Step 6With the same oil in the pan, now put in the Textured Vegetable Protein and cook for 20-30 seconds. The oil will foam up
Step 7 this is normal.
Step 8Turn off heat. Remove TVP from pan and transfer to a plate lined with a serviette or disposable kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
Step 9For the remaining oil in the pan, filter it by carefully pouring it through a metal sieve into a small bowl, return oil to the pan, and heat up again.
Step 10Add in the blended mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ends of onion and garlic start to brown slightly.
Step 11Toss in curry powder, stir in and fry mixture for 20-30 seconds.
Step 12Stir in slurry sauce until it becomes it thickens and a chunky paste Is created. Turn off heat promptly.
Step 13Stir in leaves and TVP until well combined.
Step 14Allow to cool and transfer to a far to store in the fridge, or use immediately in Kam Heong Tofu ‘Chicken’ Recipe.
This ingenious way of preparing tofu adds extra sponginess, texture and bite, and readily soaks up the complex flavours of Kam Heong Sauce.
By: Davina Da Vegan
400g block/s firm tofu
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 batch of Kam Heong Sauce
A few sprigs of spring onion (Optional)
1 large red chili (Optional)
Step 1Remove tofu from its original packaging, transfer to an airtight plastic container and freeze in the fridge overnight.
Step 2The following day, remove tofu from freezer, and allow to fully thaw on kitchen counter or a warm, sunny place. The larger your tofu blocks, the longer it will take to thaw.
Step 3Press tofu firmly against a large, sturdy chopping board, and hold both over kitchen sink. With your palm, gently press out as much liquid as possible from tofu, allowing water to drip into sink.
Step 4Return tofu to plastic container and freeze again overnight.
Step 5The following day, repeat thawing and pressing steps. Now either store tofu in fridge until cooking time, or use immediately.
Step 6If using immediately, heat oil up in a shallow pan.
Step 7Dice tofu into bite-sized pieces, and finely dice optional spring onion and red chili.
Step 8Fry tofu for 2-8 minutes, depending on how crispy you would like it to be. The shorter you fry it for, the more the tofu is able to absorb the sauce. Frying for longer creates firmer, drier mouthfeel.
Step 9Stir in Kam Heong Sauce. Add in splashes of water or cornstarch slurry if you wish to make it more ‘saucy’.
Step 10Turn off heat, transfer to serving plate, sprinkle with spring onion and chili and serve immediately with freshly cooked rice.
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