Living in a different country can open you up to different cultures and experiences. Most importantly for me, it opens up a new arena of different ingredients that translates into new dishes to sample. However, at the end of the day, there is no place like home, and home means the food that I grew up with.
Spending the latter days of my teenage years and early twenties in New Zealand was a blessing in disguise. Although it was difficult finding authentic food resembling that of those I had left behind, being such a melting pot of cultures, it wasn't too difficult to find ingredients to adapt recipes to those that I missed. Coming to Queensland, it was even easier to put together Malaysian dishes, with temperatures and weather conditions similar to those back in Malaysia, allowing us to grow ingredients such as pandan in our backyard.
As you can gather, my passion for cooking started at a very young age, and while I absolutely enjoyed eating all the food from the hawker stalls, there was always a part of me observing the little tricks of the trade so that I could recreate these later down the track.
This Chicken Chop recipe is no ordinary Chicken Chop. This is a version resembling the famous Penang Bee Hooi Chicken Chop. Due to my frequent visit to this kopi-tiam (literal translation coffee shop), I have learned a few tricks on a few of their dishes, including this one. Even though our family no longer resides in Penang, I think it is so important for my children to know their culture and the foods that I grew up enjoying. And to be honest, I hear no complaints from them as they enjoy the local food with enthusiasm.