Since it’s my last week here in Macau, I decided to cook as much as I could before leaving. It’s a huge feat considering what I have to go through to get the food done.
First, I will walk to the bus-stop round the block and wait for bus No 3A which never seem to arrive… waiting under some trees in the hot summer month of Macau, which has an average humidity of 90%! So, I’ll be sweating non-stop and my entire body is ‘sticky’ within 5 mins of me leaving the house. It’s a pretty short journey to the market, about 3 stops away. Once I get off the bus, I still need to walk for about 10 mins to the wet market which is in Senado Square.
The market is a multi-level building organized by different food sections; making it pretty easy to navigate. They even have benches at the side on every floor and elevators! Lots of elderly people shop here. I’m always the odd one out with my crazy-coloured tees and pink flip-flops. Heh! After numerous visits, I got used to be shopping in Cantonese (eventhough I speak the language, some terms are used differently here), searching for the right vegetables, asking for the price and sealing a deal. By now, I even know which stall sells lemongrass and mint leaves. Siok sendiri, but so so proud of myself J
After I’m happily done with my purchases, I will walk back to the bus-stop and wait for bus No 3A again, which also never seem to arrive. By now, I have my sling bag in front of me, a fully-filled grocery bag on my right shoulder and a few plastic bags in hand. Not to forget that I’m also sweating profusely like a pig, waiting under the scorching heat for the bus, amidst lost tourists checking between their huge map and the bus listings and locals waiting impatiently. They are also sweaty and sticky like me. Oh, the horror!
The bus is always full when it arrives at this stop as it’s a hotspot. I squeeze in and hang on for dear life throughout the ride coz the drivers here think they’re in an F1 circuit and by now, I know which parts of the roads curve sharply so I know when to stabilize myself more. No kidding.
I get off the bus at the road in front of the apartment. Sometimes, I stop by the coffee/tea stall to buy a cold drink as a “reward”. With 2 bags hanging on my shoulder, hands filled with other bags and having worked out a sweat, I feel damn pasar. Heck, whenever nicely-dressed executives walk pass me, I actually feel a world away. Thinking too much, perhaps? At home, I’ll spend the entire afternoon in the kitchen, chopping away and cooking up a storm.
Last night, I made Penang Asam Laksa! I managed to find all the ingredients needed and made the entire meal on my own.
- Mint leaves (only 1 stall had this in the market. It was half-dying and I had to filter the leaves one by one)
- Cucumber (couldn’t find cucumber so I bought zucchini instead. Don’t laugh.)
- Cili padi
- Tuna fish (only managed to get frozen ones. Had to remove the scales on my own – I smelled like fish in the end)
- Laksa noodles (dried ones from Penang)
- Prawn paste (from Penang)
- Laksa soup base (ready-to-cook made by my cousins at talentcook)
Godsis invited her colleagues (who are Malaysians) over for dinner. They’re all from Northern Malaysia (Penang, Kedah, Perak) so everyone appreciated having home-cooked ASAM LAKSA. I mean like, dudeee! Ask any Malaysian and just the thought of it is enough to make one salivate. They arrived and saw all the ingredients spread out on the table and went “Oooo… Aaahhh… You managed to find mint leaves hereee?! Where did you get the fish? WOW! Prawn pasteee!” When they had their first spoonful, their reaction was almost orgasmic. I couldn’t stop laughing! Okay, even I smiled broadly and let out a silly giggle when I started eating mine and kept on mumbling “Wahh… ho chiak! Mmmm!”
Laksa attempt successful. Made 6 Malaysians happy. Yay!