Durians. Stinky fruit. One time I saw an episode of Fear Factor where he contestants had to choose between eating insects and durian. They chose the insects.
My relatives have a durian tree in the backyard. They got really ripe, so we had to open and eat them before the ants got through the cracks.
Shaun’s Chicken Rice.
Uncle Chiu’s Otak-otak.
MY thosai masala.
Uncle Chiu’s roti chanai (he eats a lot).
Aunty Mary’s Char Kuay Teow.
Aunty Mary’s Laksa.
Pearl made udon noodles from scratch for dinner. (Using the recipe and technique taught to her by her Japanese host family.) The ratio is 1 : 1.5 : 2.5 (water: plain flour : bread flour). Sift the two flours together, make a well then pour the water in. Slowly mix the flour in. KNEAD FOR YOUR LIFE.
Place the dough into a plastic bag. Put the plastic bag into another plastic bag. Put it into another bag. Place on floor. STAMP FOREVER UNTIL SOFT.
Roll out the dough fold the edges over in thirds then cut strips of noodles. Unfurl them.
Last minute mushroom additions.
Boil for 6 minutes. Not raw, but still chewy.
Mirin and soy based soup. (Don’t drink it, just dunk your ingredients to soak.)
Our gorgeous spread.
Dry, shredded seaweed. Soaked in soup, it turns into soft, heavenly floss.
Pickled, or preserved turnip. A common ingredient in vegetarian sushi rolls (in stick form) it’s sweet, with concentrated juice. It’s firm, with a flavour that’s not too pervasive.
Foreground: spring onion. Background: corriander (which my family hates).
Inari strips (fried tofu skins soaked in a mirin and soy sauce mixture).
Steamed shiitake and enoki mushrooms.
Chef Pearl dishing out the noodles.
My oh-so-delicious bowl of sugary-salty goodness.
Dessert: vanilla macademia gelato.
More dessert: chocolate hazelnut gelato.
And we go full circle. Plane on my way home to Gold Coast, Australia.
More burnt than Day 1.
The first 3 hours were constant turbulence. I’m terrified of flying, so when it got really bad, I started crying and having a panic attack. The lovely New Zealand couple next to me helped calm me down with jokes and stories of their travels. Thank you so, so much.
But when morning came, I was relieved. Stable flying and such a beautiful morning sky.
I photographed my pancakes this time!
As always, more grateful for the coffee than the pancakes.
The ice and condensation on the windows turned into rainbow moons through camera my lens.
When we landed, I couldn’t find my eye mask. So I took a photo under my seat to find it.
So that’s it. The end of my travels. But it’s only the beginning of 2013.
For everybody who has followed my journey, thank you, and I hope it inspires you to travel and try new foods.
I’ll soon be back to my usual rhetoric of posting recipes – with added flavours, inspired by my travels.