Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tau Eu Kay

Tau Eu Kay (Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken)
Food Diary (October 06, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with plums, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Dinner: Wholemeal sourdough toast, beetroot and apple salad

Recently the lovely Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover presented me with some gifts, including a book called “nonya flavours: A complete guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine.” The book contains over 150 authentic nonya recipes. I don’t know if I will be able to make all the recipes but I thought a good place to start would be one of the easiest recipes.

The recipe for Tau Eu Kay (Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken) looks really basic and simple but the outcome is really really delicious. I have eaten and also cooked something similar many times but the non-nonya version which had little or no sugar. Perhaps the version I had was from mainland China and the nonya’s added sugar.

This dish is eaten with rice. I don’t think nonya’s eat it with pasta like I did. Sonia probably now regrets gifting me this book. In my defense I ran out of rice, I would have preferred rice. The recipe is available here.

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Mango Cake

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Source: Care2
Eating whole natural foods is usually recommended. However there are a few whole natural foods to watch out for.

Milk: Milk one of the most common allergens. Furthermore an estimated 70 percent of people worldwide are lactose intolerant. Nonorganic milk may also contain hormone, pesticide, and antibiotic residues, which can contribute to all sorts of health problems.

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is rich in purines, a substance that occurs naturally in a number of animal and plant foods. Normally, our bodies convert purines into uric acid, which is then eliminated through the kidneys. However, some people have difficulty processing the uric acid. This buildup can cause uric acid crystals to form in the connective tissues and/or in the joints, triggering pain, inflammation, and gout. In addition, an excess accumulation of uric acid can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Foods high in purines don’t necessarily cause gout on their own, but numerous studies point to purine-rich diets, particularly when combined with high levels of protein, as a significant contributing factor in causing flare-ups.

Eggs: Along with milk, eggs are on the list of the top eight food allergens. In Chinese medicine, eggs are thought to contribute to excess mucus in some people, which, according to Paul Pitchford, author of Healing With Whole Foods, can lead to gall bladder obstruction and impaired liver function. Indeed, research indicates that eggs may worsen gallbladder disease. A study published in the February 2009 edition of Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association, found an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes among men and women who ate eggs daily.

Nightshades: Nightshades are a plant family that includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, hot peppers, and sweet bell peppers. Spices and condiments derived from these foods, including cayenne, paprika, and Tabasco sauce, also fall into the nightshade family. Nightshades can aggravate joint inflammation, so many health professionals tell patients with all types of arthritis to steer clear of these foods, although it seems that only certain people are sensitive. Nightshades contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine, which is normally destroyed in the intestines. Solanine irritates the gastrointestinal tract and can also cause diarrhea, headache, and vomiting.

Wheat: Wheat also makes it on the list of top eight allergenic foods. Wheat contains several types of protein, including gluten. Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is fairly common. Whole wheat also contains oxalates, substances which occur naturally in plants and people. But when oxalates reach high levels in the body, they can crystallize and contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

Grapefruit: Compounds found in grapefruit and grapefruit juice in particular block an enzyme that helps the body metabolize and regulate certain common drugs. This can cause these drugs to stay in your system longer, lingering in your intestines and liver and even boosting the level of the drug in your body to dangerous levels. Many drugs can be affected by grapefruit or grapefruit juice, from certain allergy medications and cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to medications used to treat depression, migraines, high blood pressure, HIV, and more. Grapefruit juice has also been linked to an increased risk of developing kidney stones — and in some people, grapefruit and other citrus fruits can trigger joint inflammation, aggravating arthritis.

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  1. That looks really good! That Nyonya restaurant could be happening some time soon. I've never used sugar in my tau eu kays or tau eu baks before. Probably because I use a lot more of the sweet dark soy. A small tip which you would probably know already ... put the dish overnight in the fridge. By the next day, the gravy would have thickened and the layer of fat on the top can easily be scraped off. Nyonyas don't believe in eating healthy.
    I thought capsicums (bell peppers) have some substance called capsaicin that's supposed to relieve pain and inflammation? I must have got my information wrong all this time ... there goes the Ajvar!

  2. why i have to regret giving you this book? since you have nicely done this dish, hehehe..also you are lucky and picked to own this book..I bet eaten with pasta also good, glad that you like this book.

  3. My husband would adore that cake as he loves mangoes and jelly! :)

  4. Mr. Three-Cookies, what an irresistibly-looking dish! I am very glad you have started to use you cookery book (I was very impatient!). Your chicken looks a bit like a dish I have made this week for the first time and which was so luscious and incredibly simple I decided to post soon. I am relieved the details of the recipe are different... However, expect to see this dish also one day on my blog ;-)
    Grapefruit point reminds me of a night when I invited several people for the first time and (as I always do) asked before if they had any allergies, food dislikes etc.. Luckily they didn't have any (the type of guests I find easiest). When they came I made a cocktail with grapefruit syrup in it. When one of my guests felt it she said she had a transplanted kidney and grapefruit is the only food in the world she can't have with her medicine. (Luckily I had lots of other alcohol options ;-) )

  5. I love the sound of that sweet salty sticky sauce! I'm betting it would be perfect to flavor up some tofu!

  6. Mary: thank you

    ping: Yes it could be soon but I will keep it a secret. I am now testing recipes, one down, few more to go. Thanks for the tip. That info on capsicum is a bit conflicting, I guess there are pros and cons to consuming it and its bad only for certain humans with some conditions – not sure. If I was in KL, I would encourage you to stop consuming Ajvar so I could have it all:) Not being greedy, just watching out for your health!

    Sonia: I was kidding:) It was great with pasta but I imagine it would be greater with rice!

    Lorraine: it’s a great combo

    Sissi: now I am curious to know more about the dish you made. I shall wait patiently. I didn’t realize grapefruit was so different from other similar fruits. And your guest felt it so soon. I will remember this information. Its good your guests were in safe hands with an abundance of alternatives.

    Joanne: it would be perfect to flavor up some tofu, even better if there are bits of chicken in it:)

  7. Love the chicken, nice coating of dark brown caramelized color.

  8. If I was not a vegetarian...I would want to eat it...I like the look and sound of this sauce...I might make this sauce with portabello mushrooms or even tufu....yummy looking

  9. What a wonderful gift, I'm sure there's some great recipes in that book. I'd never heard of Tau Eu Kay before, so thanks for clearing that up. :) This is my kind of chicken.

  10. Your glaze on the sweet soy chicken looks heavenly!

  11. The chicken looks awesome but now I am confused. We have a restaurant in my city called Nonya but it is Indonesians food, similarities?

  12. Ohhh this chicken looks sooo good! You ate with pasta but I'd need like extra rice to enjoy this delicious meal.

  13. That cake is full of colours, its an eye candy

  14. Parsley sage: yes nightshades made it on the list unfortunately

    Nava: Thank you

    Shilpa: I can imagine the sauce going very well with mushroom and tofu but chicken is needed to make the sauce since the collagen etc helps flavour and thicken the sauce

    Caroline: there are many great recipes, but some require 'exotic' ingredients

    yummychunklet: thank you

    Cheap ethnic eatz: Nonya food is fusion and there are probably (most likely!) elements of Indonesian cuisine.

    Nami: wish I had rice also with it, this dish is suited to rice

    angsarap: eye candy indeed