Pearly Kee, an author of a Nyonya Cook Book: "A Nyonya Inheritance" and a host of home cooking class at Tropical Spice Garden, is a very passionate lady and keen in sharing her knowledge and to promote Nyonya cuisine to her friends and guests from all over the world.
"Nyonya Food is dying as no one is passing down the "secrets" of cooking, many people remember how delicious the food is but not able to replicate the dishes in an authentic way"- Pearly Kee.
In hopes of the younger generation to be able to learn and to preserve the recipes, Pearly has decided to share all of her recipes collected for the past few decades to the public. She will be conducting cooking classes on a weekly basis, more information can be found here. It was my honor to be invited to a home-cooked dinner prepared by Pearly last week. Pearly will be having home-cooked Nyonya dinner on a monthly basis and the public is more than welcome to join the monthly event at the cost of Rm 50/ pax; more information on the menu can be found at her website. Pearly will be sharing her wonderful stories and reminiscing moments of her younger days to her guests. She even shared some of the table manners/ dining etiquette by the Nyonyas with us that evening.
Pearly Kee, holding her cookbook published in early January this year (2013), you can find the book (35 selected recipes out of her 200+ recipes) at some major hotels in Penang, do hop on to her Facebook and ask for more details if you are interested in getting yourself a copy.
Mango Salad with some Deep Fried Crackers, a very unique crunchy-crispy combination, well balanced, not too sweet nor sour, just perfect for me, although it would be better if extra chilies can be added. It tasted something similar to the Thai Mango Salad. A very appetizing starter for us to start the meal.
We also get to sample this hearty Achat Awak (Mixed Vegetable Achar), it has quite an amount of ingredients added, namely Carrots, Cabbage, Pineapples, Long Beans etc. A very hearty dish and in fact, I would prefer more peanuts to be added for the nutty texture.
Roti Jala (a fish-net-like bread), Nasi Kunyit (Turmeric Rice) and Kari Kay (Curry Chicken with Potatoes). I certainly enjoyed the Roti Jala a lot as well as the Curry Chicken and the well cooked potatoes but the Nasi Kunyit was slightly harden and too dry to my liking, probably due to the time taken to take the photos, it should be ideal if were to be consumed hot.
Char Chap Chye (Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables with Glass Noodles). I must say that I absolutely love this dish, especially the idea of adding glass noodles into this dish to have all the flavors soaked and absorbed by the glass noodles. The dish goes well with rice.
Steamed Egg in Minced Pork appeared to be slightly overcooked and for every single cup of the egg, it has Salted Egg Yolk hidden inside where it creates a very unique flavor and texture when combining together with the minced meat.
The meal ended with some of the Nyonya Kuihs, and Pearly's home cooked Gandum (Wheat Pearl Porridge) which was perfect, not too sweet with a hint of saltiness. A very fantastic dessert to end the meal.
Pearly was kind enough to have a very refreshing drink prepared for every single guest. It was Dragon Fruit Juice mixed with Sprite and have some Basil Seeds added.
An array of spices was being displayed on the dining table and every single one of them was introduced by Pearly as well as the characteristics and the properties of the spices.
A big Thank You to Pearly for the invitation.
For more information, kindly check out these websites:
Pearly Home-cooks Facebook Profile