Lazy Man Getting Hardworking

Let me show you my dinner yesterday.

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Wow, a meal in three separate dishes (bowls) on a tray. What happened to Lazy Man?

It all started when I went into Daiso (Japanese RM 5 store, where every items are priced at RM 5) to hunt for a square 9V battery for my SmartTag. While searching for the battery which I later found out was actually right next to the cashier, I came across the Kitchenware section and noticed these ceramic bowls and food trays. Then I thought, the plates and bowls that I currently have are all rather… large, and it would be nice to have some smaller sized bowls for better portion control. So… I grabbed 3 items from here: the red bowl, the white bowl and the tray that you see above.

So, I got me’ new bowls, best to use them for the first time. And that’s how I came up with the idea of such a meal that you see above.

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The rice – I bought this at one of those zhap fan (mixed rice) stall on my way home. The auntie was less than pleased with my business. I reckon she would charge the rice cheaper if I also got some dishes, but as it is, I paid RM 1 for it.

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The dish2 heads of organic siew pak choy (bok choy), washed and teared to pieces by hand, stir fried with a handful of minced pork and a sprinkle of garlic granules, with a teaspoon of light soy sauce, a teaspoon of dark soy sauce and a teaspoon of oyster sauce. The siew pak choy was two thirds of a RM 3.99 pack, and the handful of minced pork was a quarter of a RM 10 pack, plus all these other stuff, I reckon the cost of this thing is… probably RM 5?

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The soup – I have miso paste in my fridge. This is another of my staple, I always have it. And this is great, you don’t even have to cook it. Basically just bring some water to boil, pour it into a bowl, add a blob of miso paste to it, and stir until dissolved. For a more extravagant touch, while the water is boiling, chop up some spring onion for topping. I could typically make 10 to 12 blobs from a box of RM 12 miso paste, so I guess this means my soup is RM 1.20… but then, this is a very flavorful miso soup and not those watered down sh*t that you get in the restaurants.

So, this somewhat elaborate and lavish dinner for Lazy Man costs RM 6.20 (US$ 1.40), give or take a bit.. Took me about 20 minutes to prepare and cook these. Well, 30 minutes. Gotta factor in the 10 minutes wasted for the detour to get the rice…

And this meal was rather enjoyable. I actually felt like having a nice Japanese meal with rice, miso soup and a main dish. Although the dish is rather Chinese than Japanese to be honest. I think I could do this more. But RM 1 for a bowl of rice doesn’t seem too economical. If I wanna do this more, I probably need to cook my own rice.

We shall see…

24 Comments

  1. finally I m seeing a bowl of rice here….Most of the time u only eat dishes (without the rice) so this meal is kinda…hmmm…special..haha!

    • Hahaha! Well… I do sometimes eat rice if I eat out. The thing is I don’t keep rice at home, so unless I tapao (like it is the case here), there won’t be any rice in my DIY meals.

  2. Ah, this almost looks like a bento box….the emphasis on the word “almost”! 😀 I also envy your vegetables tearing skills, like it was cut with a knife!

    Yes, you should so look into some healthy rice. You could go with Japanese rice, I’ve seen those sold in 1kg packs, so it’s very convenient and you don’t need to stock up so much. Actually boiling, or shall I say steaming rice, is very easy. Just get a small metal bowl that can fit into your small pan and put your bowl of rice directly on top of the water. It’ll just take about 15 mins for a small portion and you can have fresh cooked rice every day.

    • You’re very generous, using the word “almost”, I only dare use the word “somewhat” hahaha! 😀 … It wasn’t that hard, tearing bok choy, since it is rather crunchy, you just need to be confident with it LOL!

      I actually do know how to cook rice in a pot, and I do it quite well too. But I don’t really like to do it, because the foam forms very quickly and you have to constantly watch over it to prevent the foam from spilling over, if you know what I mean. If I am to do it, I would probably have to get me’ a new rice cooker, for I discarded the cheapo old one some time ago. 😐

      • Ah, that’s the difference of boiling and steaming rice. If you boil rice directly in a pot, you have to constantly watch over it as foam will rise and spill out. Let me teach you how to steam rice…you use a small metal bowl (since you’d probably eat a small portion of rice only) that is able to fit into a deeper saucepan. You’ll only need 1 – 2 inches of water as long your bowl can sit in it. Once the water boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot with the lid (but make sure your pot has a lid with a hole where steam can escape) and let it simmer away for 15-20 mins. You don’t need to watch over it at all as whatever spills out (if it does spill out) will flow back into the inch or two of boiling water you have. The only problem I foresee with this is that you forgot all about your rice and the water dries up, so set a timer for this if you can. Try this once and it’ll forever change the way you make rice…and this way you can make small portions of rice each time and have fresh rice all the time.

        • Your advice seems good, but… it’s not necessary anymore. Sighss…. guess you can guess what I will be blogging about soon…

  3. wah, no more one pot cooks all for you but a three-bowls meal!! very balance, you’ve got rice and soup as well as veggie with meat (or rather meat with veggie).. your mom must be happy with you eating like this!! hahaha~~

  4. When I go to Daiso, I can buy more than 3 bowls! haha.. Maybe more Hello Kitty or teddy bear bowls.. I love the bowls and containers and cups section.. Too tempted hor.. Dinner looks good, especially if you use new bowls ahh, it taste extra delicious, haha.. Oh, I also tapau only the rice in chap farn stall lastime, but the boss didn’t give me black face la.. Psst: I even sapu some free soup, asked the helper to pack for me in plastic bags, haha..

    • Really? I watched in some reality shows that show American family meals, they usually serve the food in big bowls or platters too. The process seems somewhat similar, although of course the food is usually not rice, but chicken and mashed potatoes and whatnot. Only difference I think is everyone takes all their food at once before they start eating, rather than like us where we attack the dish plates bit by bit until the meal is finished. I wonder if Australia is different…

  5. Very nice presentation. Good that the food and soup is flavouful and can “chat fan”. Can change title to rajin man now. Here just buy rice alone is 1.50 for large and 1 for small portion of rice. Guess you will have to cook a lot of rice and deep freeze them if you want to continue to eating rice for dinner. No point buying the cooked rice from outside since it is so expensive and you are going to be cooking other dishes anyway.

    • Wtf… so now standard price for rice is upwards of RM 1! I thought it was the auntie overcharge me. Arhhh I wanna scold some bad words again!!

      I suppose so… time to look into healthy rice options…

  6. Detour to tapao just rice…I had no idea you could actually do that in Malaysia 😐 Cooking your own rice isn’t hard. If I want to eat rice all week for dinner, then I’ll boil a lot of that over the weekend and refrigerate. When it’s time for dinner, then just microwave and serve.

    The grey tray you bought makes your meal looks like a meal you can get at the food court 😀

    • The thing is, I am trying not to eat rice for dinner most of the time. But it is getting ridiculously expensive to go carb-less after that GST sh*t was implemented last April. My meal expenses went up close to 50%, dang!

      Hahaha, I was thinking more like canteen, with the tray. You are being too nice! 😀

      • Maybe you should try eating potatoes as a substitute for rice. Then again, I don’t remember ever recalling potatoes very being cheap in Malaysia 😐 Or pasta for that matter.

        Typical Chinese meal with three dishes. With Western cuisine or food it’s general one dish, everything lumped together on one plate…then again it also depends on what you eat.

        • Read my latest post today. I heeded your advice before you even said it. 😀

          I know in restaurants, you will get everything lumped into one plate, and sometimes nicely decorated too. I’m just wondering if that is the case when you have meals at home. Well, maybe not you, I think your parents cook Chinese food at home LOL! It is just that I see in the TV, with the Americans, when they dine at home, all the food will be in big platters, and everyone helps themselves to whatever they like. Sort of like this:
          American Thanksgiving

          It doesn’t look like us Chinese with rice and dishes, but I think the concept is quite similar.

          • When I saw the title of your blog post last night, my face instantly went like this 😀

            My parents cook Chinese food at home and each dish is separated out on their individual plates – and we grab whatever we want from the dishes. When I cook for myself, one person, it’s similar too.

            American and Western dining certainly look like the way in the photo. But maybe not so for everyday dining. I’ve come across many, many white Australians here who will go into a Chinese restaurant and order a whole plate of, say, kai lan/lemon chicken/soy fish/etc. and have that one dish all to themselves. No sharing 😀

            • Hah, I do that too, ordering one dish to go with rice, if I am dining alone that is. If I do that when dining with friends I would probably be laughed/jeered/mocked at! 😀

              But I do know what you mean about the white guys. I’ve seen it with Americans too, who come to Southeast Asia for the first time. My American counterparts who travel to Penang for work for the first time, the managers here love to bring them out for expensive Chinese dinners without realizing what a culture shock they must be in. Those that I work closely with, I will always warn them what to expect (you share dishes, and the spicy here is not the same as spicy in America) before they leave work that day.

  7. Hey, that looks pretty good! Putting your vege, soup and rice into different bowls and serving it on a tray does make it pretty special. At first, just looking at the photo, I thought it was a restaurant meal 😀 So, no more lazy man after this?

    • Still lazy man lah… I don’t think I can keep up with cosmetic efforts for very long when it comes to my meals. We’ll see… 😀

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