Monday, November 30, 2015

BERJAYA University College of Hospitality Launches Diploma in Heritage Cuisine

Preserving our Heritage Cuisine for a Better Future!

Malaysia, our country rich in diversity, culture and cuisine is truly a favorite country to visit in the eyes of the world. Our multi-ethnic population contributes to a luscious melting-pot of cuisine like no other. We have so much to offer in our heritage cuisine which consists of majority of Malay, Chinese and Indian as well as minority of locals. The result is a kaleidoscope of cuisine with complexity and diversity, rich in flavours and culture. Therefore it is important that our heritage cuisine be preserved and handed over through our generations to come.

BERJAYA University College of Hospitality (BERJAYA UCH), a leading premier University College in Malaysia, has recently launched their latest programme of Diploma in Heritage Cuisine offered by their School of Culinary Arts. BERJAYA UCH is the first University College approved by our Ministry of Education Malaysia to offer students the fundamentals of 13 states’ cuisines through history and cultural influences with the hopes of contributing towards the preservation of Malaysian Culinary Masterpieces. The course includes Fundamental Heritage Cuisine, Malaysian Ethnic Cuisine, Aseana Cuisine and a host of other subjects that contributes to our heritage cuisine.

The launch was held at Samplings on the Fourteen at Berjaya Time Square on 19 November 2015 with the presence of Mae Ho, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of BERJAYA Higher Education Sdn Bhd, BERJAYA UHC’s team and other distinguished guests as well as members of the media and bloggers.

“The Diploma in Heritage Cuisine is a 2-year programme that we will soon be introducing to showcase authentic Malaysian food and cooking styles. This will focus on local ingredients, spices, traditional cooking tools and equipment. BERJAYA UCH, as a niche University College, has developed this programme to create awareness on Malaysian heritage cuisine by understanding the rich history behind the dishes through theory classes and practical cooking experiences.” Mae Ho, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of BERJAYA Higher Education Sdn Bhd remarked.

“It is important that students understand the traditional cooking styles that have been passed on from one generation to another. The mixture of our locally grown aromatic herbs, spices mixed with locally made pastes and coconut milk evokes memories of our forefathers’ cooking and will be a legacy to our children. For example our rendang: with the use of different herbs and spices, cuts of meat and various cooking methods, our rendang will take the world by storm. Through this programme, we create documentation than can be handed down to our children, grandchildren and succeeding generations.
Whether its traditional cooking or re-creating dishes through modern innovation, these are our traditional culinary masterpieces, this is our heritage. When you mention Italian, French Chinese,
Japanese, Korean and Indochinese cuisines, people know about it. When it comes to our cuisine, it’s not even in the world map. Our unique Peranakan cuisine which are from Chinese migrants who settled in
Penang and Malacca and intermarrying with local Malays created the Nyonya style of cooking by blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. Therefore, DBKL’s Big Kitchen Festival 2015 is an amazing initiative to showcase our culinary masterpieces” Mae Ho added.

The event showcased a mélange of Malaysian cuisine, prepared by the BERJAYA UHC Culinary team, such as Laksam, Nyonya Popiah, Daging Opor Pahang, aneka Kuih Muih and more.

The Diploma in Heritage Cuisine is designed for students who wishes to pursue their understanding and appreciation of Malaysian Heritage Cuisines. It is a programme focus on sharpening the students’ understanding importance of heritage cuisines in our hospitality or food industry. In addition to learning about the heritage cuisines, the programme also offers fundamental modules in business and management subjects, preparing students for broader careers that might even lead them into their own extrepreneur ventures besides working in the private sectors.

It is a 2 years program plus a semester of internship where students will undergo a comprehensive and intensive hands-on training in an internship programme. There are three intakes in January, May and September. Entry requirements are SPM / O-Levels / UEC or equivalent with a minimum of three (3) credits and applicants who possess other qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Through the programme, students can exhibit effective principles in heritage cookery and application of basic modern cooking methods of heritage cuisines. Various elements of basic heritage knowledge and various cooking techniques, including an understanding of the HALAL food preparation will provide a solid platform for students in gearing up for their careers in their future.

Besides the fundamentals of heritage cuisine and business modules, students are encourage to master their communicative, leadership and teamwork skills in the working environment. Students are also offered the opportunity to continue pursuing their degree studies upon completion of Diploma in Heritage Cuisine.

As part of the requirement by the Ministry of Education, students will be required to take four (4) general subjects (Mata Pelajaran Umum):
1. Pengajian Malaysia/ Communication Malay Language 1,
2. Moral Education,
3. Thinking skills,
4. Community Services

For more information of the Diploma in Heritage Cuisine program, visit BERJAYA University College of Hospitality website or contact +603 2687 7000  and email

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Recipe: Spicy, Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce

I love a good sweet and sour pork! So much so, the dish is a constant favorite in our meals. Making a darn good sweet and sour pork requires skill and I have long admitted that the best are still the ones whipped up in commercial kitchens and restaurants because of the high heat of their industrial burners. Nevertheless, I never gave up making the dish at home. Well, my version at least.

Tasked with a challenge to try out the new Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce, I decided to give my favorite dish a new makeover. I am always game for spicy food. In fact, my heat tolerance is quite high and I do admit to loving Szechuan tongue-numbing food too. When I tasted Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce, it was a big hit of heat even with a little taste. Said to be 300% hotter than its original Lingham’s Chili Sauce, this one is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Using the ripest and spiciest birds eye chilies together with its original and naturel ingredients, Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce stirs up your heat sense like no other. Not just all heat, the Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce also has a good note of sweetness and is just as flavoursome as the original sauce.

For my version, I am calling it the Spicy, Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce. I love meatballs and always have minced meat ready in my freezer. And so I decided to make my version with meatballs instead of the cubed pork. Feel free to substitute to other minced meat if you do not like pork. The recipe is pretty simple as one mixed up the minced meat and seasoning, shaped into balls and fried. Then cut up all the vegetables and fruit and mix all the sauce ingredients together. Heat up the work on medium to high heat, add in all the meatballs, vegetables, fruits and sauce ingredients. Stir fry till it comes to a boil and turn off heat to serve.

Yes, it’s not rocket-science so it’s really doable in your kitchen. Instead of ketchup, I also use plum sauce as I love the flavour and it goes so well with Lingham’s Chili Sauce. The Worcestershire sauce gave the dish an umami note. The meatballs were nicely moist and tender. The dish had a good balance of sweet and sour and I really enjoy how the Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce gave this dish a good kick of heat, making it even more appetizing with steamed rice.

Try this recipe and leave me a comment to let me know your feedback. Have fun & enjoy the dish…

Spicy, Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili

300gm        Minced Pork
2 Tbsp         Light Soy Sauce
1 Tsp           Five Spice Powder
1 Tbsp         Cornstarch
1 Tsp           Sesame Oil
Pinch of Salt & Pepper to season
5 small        Cherry Tomatoes (sliced half)
1 small        Japanese Cucumber (cut into wedges)
3 small        Red Onions (or 1 large cut into wedges)
100gm        pineapple (tin or fresh – cubed)
1 small        Green Bell Pepper (cut into wedges)
1 Tbsp         Cooking Oil + Extra Cooking Oil for deep frying

Sauce Ingredients
1 Tbsp         Lingham’s Extra Hot Chili Sauce (adjust heat level to your preference)
5 Tbsp         Plum Sauce
1 Tbsp         Worcestershire Sauce
5 Tbsp         Water
2 Tbsp         Syrup (from canned Pineapple or add 1 tsp sugar)

Mix minced pork, light soy sauce, five spice powder, cornstarch, sesame oil, and pinch of salt & pepper together.
Knead the minced pork and take the whole mince to throw it in the mixing bowl for 5 minutes till the mince developed a sticky texture for a bouncy meatball texture.
Shape the minced pork into balls and set aside.

Cut all the tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, bell pepper and pineapple.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together and adjust the flavour to your liking. Set aside.

Heat up cooking oil in small pot till hot and deep fry the meatballs till cook and lightly dark and crispy.
Use a new pan, add the 1 tbsp cooking oil on medium heat and add in the red onions to saute.
Add in the bell pepper, followed by the pineapple, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Add in the fried meatballs and stir fry all together till well mixed.
Add in mixed sauce to the ingredients and stir fry till mixed and boiled, then turn off the heat.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Extra notes and tips
  • Adjust the Lingham Extra Hot Chili Sauce to your heat level or use the Original Lingham’s Chili Sauce for a milder heat.
  • Substitute minced pork for minced chicken or beef.
  • Substitute pineapple for lychees for sweetness and less tangy flavour.
  • Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the finished dish for extra toasty and nutty note.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jing Thai Restaurant @ Jalan PSK 1, Seri Kembangan

Scrumptious Thai Dishes with Bold Flavours!

Food hunting is always fun! Despite it being hidden in Seri Kembangan, we managed to locate Jing Thai through waze one early Sunday evening. The restaurant has been operating for 8 years and we met up with the new owner Brandon who had just took over Jing Thai Restaurant 10 months ago. Jing Thai is set in a rustic no frill ambiance. There are plenty of parking available and the restaurant is very spacious to accommodate large parties.

Set against the background of a forest, Jing Thai offers a large alfresco dining area as well as aircon dining room. In the evening, it is great to dine under the stars as there is often a cool breeze around the open air restaurant. Tiny lights strung all over the restaurant also added a glittery charm to the ambiance. One can see some of the kitchen actions in all the open kitchen and bar surrounding the dining area too.

Jing Thai’s menu is pretty worn down but offers a lot of Malaysian’s favorite Thai dishes. The restaurant also has other dishes that is not in the menu so ask for specials if you are adventurous. There are plenty of seafood dishes and BBQ dishes at Jing Thai. The restaurant offers live fishes such as Jade Perch and Tilapia as well as crab and cockles.

First up, a dish that we all enjoyed, especially me because I only like chicken feet when it’s deboned. Our Chicken Feet Salad (RM16 small / RM22 medium) looked plain but had really good flavours. Crunchy chicken feet skin was dressed with sliced onions in a spicy and tangy dressing with lots of coriander to kick start our appetite with a zing!

We also had another salad of Thai Style Abalone Salad (RM26). This one shared a similar dressing to the earlier salad but had a sweeter note.

The food here looks innocently plain but there are certainly loads of flavours in every dish. Our Cold Glass Noodle (RM13 small / RM20 medium) was studded with plenty of prawns, squid and fish. Black wood fungus added a good crunchy note to the slippery glass noodles.

Jing Thai offers the red or clear tomyams and we opted for the clear version. Our Tomyam Seafood (RM20 small / RM34 medium) fooled everyone with its non-fiery look but once we all tasted it, it was like a firework of flavours in our mouth. Super spicy in heat, this tomyam soup is quite lethal and had all of us sweating while enjoying it. I had double helpings because it was simply so shiok!!

Filled with loads of seafood and herbs, the soup very spicy with a good dose of sourness too. My kind of tomyam soup…

For greens, we had their Pucuk Paku with Sambal (RM13 small / RM18 medium). Decent, the paku vegetables sufficiently tasty and tender.

Another must-order dish would be their Thai Style Lime Steamed Tilapia (Seasonal Price). Our tilapia was beautifully fresh, sweet and firm. The lime sauce was quite lethal and deliciously piquant. Bold flavours of spicy, sour, sweet and savory really took this dish to another level of enjoyment. I find the sauce so additive, I kept on enjoying spoonful of it happily with rice. One can even have sea bass or Jade Perch prepared this way too.

We also had their Thai Style Lime Steamed Squid (Seasonal Price) prepared the same way as the fish. It was certainly beautifully executed as the squid was tender and well flavoured.

What took us by surprised was Jing Thai’s Homemade Red Curry Chicken (RM18 small / RM28 medium). The chef’s own version, the curry is very unique and is a fusioned version of Thai, Myammar, Indonesian and Nyonya all combined. It is creamy, spicy and rich with lemongrass and other spices and herbs. The boneless thigh pieces makes it easy to be savored and is perfect with steamed rice.

Another highlight of our evening was the Special Homemade Thai Style Prawn (RM35 small / RM48 medium). The robust and piquant flavours of the curry varies from the chicken one but is equally tantalizing. It is also creamy, spicy, savory and lightly tangy. The sweetness of the prawns really went well with the sauce that also has loads of spices and herbs.

Jing Thai is one of the very few restaurants that offers crabs. One of their signature way to prepare crab is the Thai Style Curry Crab (Seasonal Price). I had something similar in Bangkok and really enjoyed it. The crab is smothered in a curry and egg gravy laced with lots of aromatics. I can still taste the sweetness of the crab through the sauce. This one is finger-licking good!

Besides just the usual Thai dishes, Jing Thai offers BBQ in the menu. They offer lamb chop, fish, crab, squid and cockles grilled over hot coals and served with their house chili dipping sauce. We caught some BBQ in action and couldn’t wait to dig in.

Our BBQ Lamb Chop (Seasonal Price) was super scrumptious! Tender and juicy, the lamb pieces was also smoky, flavourful and damn shiok. It’s truly worth a few orders as one might not be enough….

The BBQ Cockles (Seasonal Price) is also damn shiok. Large cockles are well grilled and cooked to perfection. As we pried the shells open, plum cockles appeared. The cockles were still juicy and had a nice subtle smokiness to it. Dipped these in the tangy spicy sauce and enjoy the plum cockles with a different flavour to it. I would gladly head back to Jing Thai for their BBQ dishes too.

Dinner ended with a simple Coconut Pudding with Sago. Refreshing and sweet, dessert was pleasant and a lovely ending to a very spicy and shiok meal!

Lot 1397, Jalan PSK 1,
Taman Bukit Serdang,
43300 Seri Kembangan,
Tel: 011 1088 9666

Business Hours:
Lunch      11.00am to 2.30pm
Dinner     5.00pm to 11.00pm
(Open Daily except 2 days during Chinese New Year)

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