Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A couple of finds in Perth - Rice cakes and burnt garlic

Ok on the verge of a summer heatwave and worn out by my daily lumosity routines, all I have energy left to do is a couple of "dot points".

We recently spent a week in Perth with part of the fam, chilling, drinking, eating and generally having a bit of a relax and unwind.

We managed to scour some of the local Asian shops and found begrudgingly that the variety on offer far surpassed any of the more general Asian providores in some of Melbourne's better known ethnic enclaves.

One such place called Farmer Jacks in Girrawheen is the bizz!!! A virtual Morian mine of every conceivable FDA approved Asian ingredient on offer, (and I suspect a few of the "wink wink nudge nudge" variety behind the counter), including at least 2 shelves of Burmese fare, a rare sight down south.

But our 2 best finds were the instant Ketupat packets and tub size amounts of Balachaung.

Firstly, the Ketupat packets. How do I best describe what a Ketupat is? They are simply boiled rice cakes traditionally wrapped in palm leaf. Most south-east Asians have particularly fond memories of ketupat, especially when served as an accompaniment to Satay (this is essential in my books) or as an ingredient in Lontong - a sort of Malay vegetable Stew.

Nona's Ketupat Mini consists of individual packets of suitably portioned raw rice. You basically cook these packets in boiling water for about 40mins (no instant wonder this is) and the rice swells within the confines of the plastic casing to form the perfect-ish rice cake. Simply cut the plastic wrapping off and hey presto!

The other great find was these reasonably large tubs of Balachaung. They need to be of a decent size because I promise you Balachaung will not last long in your pantry.

Balachaung is best described as a Dried Shrimp and Garlic condiment that you can add to your curries or stir fries or to just plain old boiled rice for that matter. You can even have a Balachaung sandwich!! TDF!


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