“You have to cook with love and eat with gratitude and everything will be okay” Pearly Kee said, over lunch at the Tropical Spice Garden Penang Malaysia. We were eating the spoils of our labour, three courses we’d just cooked ourselves in the hands-on cooking school with Pearly Kee. She’s one of the regular guest chefs teaching at the Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School and also runs her cooking classes in her own home.
Fish Maw Soup is a Nonya recipe. As Pearly Kee is 5th generation Nonya I thought this would be the most appropriate of the three recipes that we learnt in the cooking school to share with you first. (Her recipes for Pineapple Fried Rice and Greens with Cardamon Salad are also published with her kind permission on Inside Cuisine.) Or check out Pearly’s twitter facebook or website for more recipes.
Fish Maw Soup
by Pearly Kee
1.5 to 2 litres water
1 to 2 chicken bones or carcass
50gm good fish maw cut into 3cm squares
150g jicama or bangkwang sliced
30g carrot slied 1/2cm thick
1 teaspoon salt
100g cabbage cut 3cm thick
Minced Prawn Ingredients:
300gm prawns, shelled and chopped finely
1 teaspoon tapioca flour
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic chopped finely
4 teaspoons oil
1 sprig coriander leaf
Fry garlic in oil and set aside in its oil.
In a bowl, work the tapioca flour and seasonings into the minced prawns. Mix in well and continue working the prawns to a paste. Set the bowl aside.
Place water in pot, add chicken bones, then bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes. (At this point you can cool the stock and strain it into another pot, if desired.) Add vegetables, then fish maw and simmer until cabbage is soft. (We covered the pot in the cooking class.) Scoop minced prawn paste into balls and drop into the boiling stock.
Serve with fried garlic (and oil) and a sprig of coriander leaf.
With thanks to Pearly Kee and Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School for permission to share the recipe.
Rebecca Varidel was a guest in Malaysia of Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines.