Of all the more common ingredients used in Chinese cooking, I like fish maw best. In soups, steamed or stir fried, it titillates my appetite no end. By itself, it is almost tasteless but cook it with other ingredients and it is just heavenly. I like its sponginess which is slightly firm when chewed. Fish maw is the air bladder of large fishes. It is deep fried to puff it up to several times from its initial size. Before cooking, I deep fry it again to expand its size even more, soak it in water and then squeeze out the excess oil that was absorbed.
I cooked fish maw soup today together with cabbage, carrots, sengkuang, gingko nuts, Shiitake mushrooms and straw mushrooms. As I had not anticipated that I would cook this soup, no soup stock ingredients were bought. One teaspoon of Knorr ikan bilis seasoning powder was added instead for taste. The soup was left to simmer for forty five minutes. The lack of soup stock probably made the soup taste bland. Soy sauce was added to make it tastier. Also, I did not add meat balls. Meat balls are usually pork, prawns and water chestnut minced together. For dinner, the soup was simmered for another twenty minutes. It tasted sweet and nice. I guess it would have tasted nice even without soup stock if I had simmered it longer.
Photo courtesy of Marita Paige
Today is also a memorable day for me. Marita Paige and her Mom baked a cake in Mum’s memory and for me. It was an Orange Cake. Mum used to like baking butter cake and sometimes added orange juice for flavour. I am sure she would have loved this cake. I have only gotten to know Marita recently. She had read my blog and she said it made her cry. We began to chat and she said she would bake a cake for me and in the memory of Mum. Thank you Marita and her Mom for such a beautiful thought. I truly appreciate the effort.