Thursday, April 28, 2016

Just a little Spice bebeh

Let me tell you a little story, no it's not a terribly long one, just a little one, promise...  it's about food, oooo my favourite topic!  Ok ok quick background, I grew up in  and around Hong Kong, as my step dad was a Chef in the hotel industry, and because of this we moved around a lot.  I learned to eat all sorts of strange and wonderful types of food.  So once in a while I get a bit nostalgic and want some of the more exotic stuff that I enjoyed in the Orient, and one of those little mouthwatering morsels are century eggs with pickled ginger,
in case you've not seen it, here's a pic.  Now I know it looks like a 'goth egg!', but it's actually quite delicious.
Also known as preserved egg,
They are made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls for several weeks to several months.
As an hors d'oeuvre, the Cantonese wrap chunks of this egg in pickled ginger

Finding the century eggs here in Kuala Lumpur is easy enough.  Most supermarkets sell them as well as the wet market, but finding the pickled ginger... well that's how this journey begins!  Talk about a needle in a haystack.  I searched most the main stores for pickled ginger, and couldn't find any.  I was really stumped, we use pickled ginger for a lot of our food, well this one in particular : 

Pickled ginger otherwise known as Sushi Gari
Off I went to the Japanese grocers.  They did have some kind of pink ginger pickle but I couldn't read the ingredients (obviously I can't  read and write Japanese! but I can curse, long story,  but that's beside the point!). 
I mentioned this to my girlfriend, well when I say mentioned what I really meant was to grumble and moan about the lack of pickled ginger.  My galpal said, "Daph, most people either buy from a friend or make it at home".  Well talk about a light bulb moment!   I decided to make a batch for myself. 

First, I researched the best type of pickling ingredients and started off with normal ginger root. When you pickle old ginger root its very yellow and is pretty hot! yawsaahh, old ginger root,  Next, I wanted a crunch but a light delicate ginger heat, so I  tried fresh young root ginger, it turned out pink!

Fresh younger ginger from the markets

Then I tested it on my friends and family, hey that's what they're for!,  and the feedback was good, so much so that my little Faerie Lisa suggested I retail it along with my signature chilli sauce I make which includes these ingredients :

Fire Engine Red Chillies

Garlic bursting with flavour

Taking my own advise, I've started a small home business retailing these  home made condiments, yes I've got a label too thanks to OXOLOCO. It was an exciting process, including sourcing all the materials!
Many thanks to OXOLOCO for designing my label.

I've now rolled out my first batch of both and taking orders! Both condiments contain no colouring or preservatives, the ginger naturally turns blush pink in the pickling marinade.  You can pop your orders on e mail,  that's, or pm me on Facebook!

My ©Cha Cha Chili Sauce ready to be labelled

©Tickled Pink Ginger anyone? 
I can't wait for my labels to be ready, they're in print as we speak.  It feels very satisfying because whatever the outcome, this venture fulfills two things, a creative outlet that allows me to utilise my home again as a workspace, and to make good quality products that everyone can enjoy.
Cheers and have a lovely week ahead! 

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