Georgetown, Penang is one of the best food destinations in Asia. The last time my mother was in Penang was on her honeymoon 37+ years ago and she STILL remembers how great the food was!
WHITE RADISH – LOR BAHT
Also known as mooli or daikon. Used in soups, stews, stir fries. Peel like a carrot and slice or chop. Look for firm and strong flesh, not soft or discoloured. Great to balance heavy, strong flavoured stews.
Recipes: Mooli in Kombu Soup, Slow-Cooked Chinese Beef Brisket and Oxtail Stew
APPLES – PING GOR
Apples are ubiquitous in all the markets and supermarkets but generally the best tasting ones come from the market. I’m no apple expert but the smaller, tight, striated ones are sweeter and better for cooking. Usually around HK$10 for 4 apples.
KUMQUATS – GUM GWUT
The kumquat is a citrus fruit, similar to a baby orange. Usually very tart, these little fruit come into season in the spring, usually around Chinese New Year. In fact they are seen as a good luck symbol of fortune at CNY, when people buy the kumquat trees to display in their home or office. Kumquats are usually preserved, candied, used in marmalade or as a salty drink concoction for sore throats.
Recipes : Preserved Kumquats in Vanilla & Rosewater
QUAIL EGGS – NGUM CHUN DAAN
(num chun darn)
Best eaten hard-boiled on its own! Delicious and often found at dry goods shops that sell noodles and eggs. Boil eggs very lightly – 2 mins is plenty. Cool in cold water and peel gently. Sprinkle with a little salt, black pepper and freshly chopped chilli.
Recipes: Quail Egg Canapes with Iberico Ham
DUCK EGGS – NGAAP DAAN
Great in baking and cooking. Larger than chicken eggs, with a stronger shell, clearer, runnier whites. The yolks are richer and more orange. They have a higher fat content and more protein. Gentle cooking is better. Great in omelets, poached or hard-boiled.
SALTED DUCK EGGS – HAAM DAAN
Salted duck eggs are made by preserving the eggs in brine or salted charcoal paste. These are a family favourite, often seen in home-cooking but slowly becoming more popular in Cantonese restaurants, where they are often used in a tempura-like batter to coat meat or vegetables. Wash the charcoal off the egg and cook inside your rice cooker with your rice (don’t break the shell, boil it whole) or drop into clear, fast soups, or break, cut up and mixed into meat cakes. They can also be steamed on their own. The yolks are very firm and orange and need to be broken up, while the whites are very salty. They add a salty, creamy, umaminess to dishes.