Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cohabiting: Frozen lauk.

I know I'm not the most housewife-material of all, despite my goal to become one. Well, not really to become a housewife housewife, rather, to be a stay-at-home-mom with a steady income. Now how complicated is that? So much for a medical degree. 

But anyway, allow me to become a little domesticated this time.

Not sure if I've said it before, but I've been on placement in Burton for the last 6 weeks, coming back to Leicester only during the weekends. And as you can guess, I think I have completely spoilt Adam in a sense that he won't cook for himself when I'm not around. He'll opt for the take-outs and delivery instead.  And sometimes nasi with telur goreng semata.

Sedih saya mendengarnya. Tummy department doesn't sound like it's doing too well.

That's when I decided to come up with a plan - frozen meals. God bless whoever invented freezer meals. It's well known among the Westeners as their food aren't so much like ours, which have to nasi and lauk. And rasanya orang Melayu kalau masak memang terbaik, macam nak bersilat kat dapur pun ada. Living in the UK where bahan masakan Melayu can be limited, frozen lauk solves half of the problem. I'm still desperate for daun kesum to make asam pedas, though!

So last Thursday we went to Tesco for chickens, a whole lot of chicken.

This, whole lot of chicken. All 24 pieces of them, (yes I counted).

And another whole lot of bawang

Plus about half a kg of beef. The beef isn't part of the frozen meal plan, but because someone posted something about 'daging jeruk' on Facebook the other day, I thought I just had to.

It was literally this. Slices of meat layered with lime/lemon and salt prepped overnight in the fridge, and shallow fried in oil, onion and chilli the next day. I tell you, this totally feeds the kampung girl in me.

And now, skipping to random parts of the cooking process. Since I'm good at cooking and not cooking-while-snapping-momentous-pictures, you'll see only the beginning of it, as halfway through I realised that my ayam kicap was nearly burnt, and the curry paste was making a mess all around, so grabbing a DSLR was the last thing on my mind.

I decided to make 3 dishes - ayam kicap, ayam masak lemak and kari ayam. I wanted to do tomyam too, but decided against it as there's not enough pots and pans, and the freezer wouldn't take it as well.

Half-frying the chicken for ayam kicap.

Slices of meat for paprik daging - this was for actual dinner, not quite for freezing.

Adding onions before I left them a little too long and realising that it's slightly burnt.

Curry and chilli paste, a whole lot of curry paste. Lesson learnt, use less next time.

Tumis kari.

At some point my stove looked like this. My heart bloomed with pride.

And in the end the kitchen was a complete mess. 
In my ideal world, Adam would come home to wash them (I cook, he cleans), but my ideal world also consists of a perfectly clean kitchen after a successful freezer meals prep. And it helps that we have an open plan kitchen, which means the living room and kitchen continues in one open space. It would be impossible to sit and watch TV with this view on the background, nope.

The end product. The OCD in me bursts into joy!

Each container holds 2 pieces of chicken, enough for 2 meals at a time. The two containers on the right keep cili kering yang dah ditumis untuk masak lauk 'merah', like paprik and anything sambal. I know it would be more space-savvy if I use the ziplock bag, as they can be compressed, and they don't get freezer-burnt for a long time. But I'm not very keen on the idea of having to transfer them into another bowl for serving, and we're not keeping these dishes for a very long time anyway. I foresee these would be gone in a week or two - which means 2 weeks of no bersilat kat dapur, haha.

Wife job, done. And now back to the duty role of a student, phew.


Anonymous said...

then warm it up using microwave? brilliant!

Bella said...

Yup, easy peasy! The peace of mind knowing that there's 'real' food ready to be served at any time is so gratifying, ahh.

Firdaus Tajuddin said...

Hello Bella,

U penah frozen kan masak udang or sotong?
I'm going to japan for 3 weeks and plan to cook frozen foods since i cant really digest their local foods ­čśů

And how do u keep those frozen foods since u fly for almost 13-15 hours? Only in the container and zip lock plastic?

Mind sharing some tips of urs?

Thank you so mcmuch ☺️

Bella said...


I imagine seafood might lose their taste after a while, no? But kat sini seafood mahal so takpernah try pulak. Let me know if you do!

Ok I think I need to clarify I masak banyak2 & frozen kan ni tinggal kat rumah je, tak bawak balik pergi mana2. The reason I frozen kan is so that we have a quick ready meal when needed, so takde lah order delivery je. But having said that, I pernah bawak some frozen cooking (sambal berkuah) from Malaysia to UK - total journey time nearly 20hrs including transit & all. The key is good packing.

1. Make sure food is fully frozen, at leats overnight - you taknak dia tumpah/cair halfway through.

2. Pack betul2. Ideally in a zip lock, then selotape kan. YES SELOTAPE like the mummy. Then wrap dalam newspaper tebal2 and then a plastic bag. Macam bag tesco tu je. Repeat 2-3 kali. The reason letak plastik/newspaper alternately ialah just in case dia cair/tumpah, the newspaper akan absorb, and the plastic will provide some barrier, before dia tumpah to the next layer. & this also insulates the food so they stay frozen for longer.

3. Ideally use a bubble wrap at the end - again, to insulate & add another layer of protection from luggage.

4. My friend pernah guna cooler bag, it worked, tapi I can't be bothered, so maybe you want to try?

5. Only put the food stuff in luggage shortly before you leave for airport - maximise kan time makanan tu sejuk.

6. Pack your luggage betul2, make sure the bajus are separated from the food. Last thing you need is baju bau ayam sambal!

Hope this helps. :)