“Special Post” Penang, I Dream of Mum’s Cooking

Travel and Food – makes a great combination. And, Penang is well known for that. Almost everyone in Penang eat out. They seldom cook. Why should they? Eating places are littered almost in every streets and corners – from street hawker stalls to “kopitiam” (Penang style coffee shops) to restaurants. Some older generation still cook and shop at wet market. Some have “Ah Sum” (servant) who specialise in cooking for the family.

Back in Penang, my mum still cook for the family – my sister, and my brother and his daughter who occasionally drops in for either lunch or dinner. Mum has always cooked for the family since she married dad. She is a traditional housewife. Every time I went home to visit her, she will cooked at least one meal for me. Her cooking is simple and modest. And, yet very tasty and healthy. She works with only one sauce pan and one portable gas burner. Her kitchen is tiny. It takes someone with years of experience in a domestic kitchen to be able to execute such beautiful heartwarming dishes for the family.

In my recent trip home to Penang, I had the pleasure of standing next to mum. Chatting with her while she was cooking the dishes. There was no sense of rush, stress or panic in mum’s cooking. It was calm and gentle – just like her. I could not believe she is able to cook in such small kitchen with a bench space of 2 feet wide by 1 feet deep, 1 saucepan and 1 burner. I told her that I can’t cook in that condition and remain calm like her. It was truly amazing to watch her cook.

Mum prepared and cooked us four dishes – her signature dish “Ayam Goreng” (fried chicken), Stuffed Tomato Omelette, Stir Fry Cauliflower and Celery with Fresh Market Prawns and Teochew Style Steamed Pomfret.

Ayam Goreng

Teochew Style Steamed Pomfret

Stir Fry Cauliflower, Celery with Fresh Market Prawns

Stuffed Tomato Omelette

9 responses to ““Special Post” Penang, I Dream of Mum’s Cooking

  1. Oh Victor – the Ayam Goreng looks sooo good. Mary and I really must go to Penang. Your mother is very talented. I can see where you get it from !

  2. Victor – Nothing like mommy cooking for sure. That chicken dish makes my mouth watery.

  3. Once again Victor, it’s wonerful reading about your adventures, especially watching your mum cooking. What is the omelette stuffed with?

  4. That Ayam Goreng sure looks good…… How long did it takes your mum to cook those four dishes with just one burner?

  5. Seeharhed – mum’s ayam goreng is the best. Whenever she has siblings visiting from overseas or interstate, there is only one request – and, that is her ayam goreng. Oh, and during Chinese New Year – her Poh Piah (fresh spring roll).

    Rita – the omelette actually sits on top of the ingredients, stir fried separately – diced onions, diced potato, sweet corns, peas, carrots and minced pork. She then poured the sauce on top. So when you dip the spoon into the omelette, the sauce will flow through the omelette into the “little treasure” inside.

    Poay – I think it took only an hour for mum to cook everything. I suppose it is possible – all portions are small. Also, she prepared all ingredients first and set aside. She knows what to cook first. Then, reheat the ones she cooked earlier in gentle low heat to slightly warm the dish, before serving. Amazing huh!

  6. Hi, I’m a new visitor to your site. I must tell you the first dish Ayam Goreng looks so delicious! I must find the recipe for that. Anyhow, Happy New Year!

  7. I’m enjoying reading ur article, nice post, Happy New Year 2010, cheers

  8. Hiland – thanks and welcome. There are many variations of Ayam Goreng. Google search and you will find a few. Happy New Year to you too. Cheers!

    Hi Traveller – thank you. Glad you like the post. Happy New Year to you too.

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