Friday, 8 March 2013

Stir Fried Celery with Prawns


I must thank my auntie for introducing me to this wonderful vegetable. Many years ago, I visited my auntie during one of my semester breaks. My uncle very kindly fetched me from campus and I arrived at my auntie's house in time for dinner. My auntie is a fantastic cook and one of the dishes that stood out that evening was stir fried celery with prawns. It was a new vegetable to me and when I ate it, wow I really loved it! What made it even more delicious was my auntie's sambal belacan which she always pounds by hand.



Besides my auntie's cooking, one of the things I looked forwards to was sampling my cousins' heavy metal and hard rock music collection. My twin cousins were very much into AC/DC and Judas Priest, among others during that time. I also managed to watch videos of AC/DC and Def Leppard in concert.

As I mentioned in this post, my introduction to hard rock and heavy metal started when I studied in Assunta, PJ. After my SRP exams (now known as PMR), my dad was transferred to KL. To cut the long story short, I was enrolled in Assunta. I remember meeting the then principal, Sister Enda Ryan, on my first day at school. Sister Enda is a very warm and friendly Irish lady. The first thing she did was grab my exam result slip and scrutinized it intently while leaning against the office wall. "Hmmm...you have a distinction in Bahasa! (Malay Language). Clever girl!", she exclaimed. She seemed very pleased. 



I was promptly taken to class 4 Science 3. The classroom was  in a makeshift building known as The Shed (sounds like the title of a horror movie, hor?). By the way, I subsequently worked my way up to 5 Science 1. I wanted to keep the Terengganu flag flying, to impress the girls that Terengganu people had the smarts. No lah, actually it's because I have a fierce mother. She expects excellence in academia but I better not talk too much. My mother reads my blog (Hi Ma!). And guess what? My heavy metal initiation happened during bible study. Gasp! How did that happen? 

In 1982 one Pastor Gary Greenwald launched an attack on rock music and there is a recording of his lecture titled Rock A Bye Baby.  Back in Assunta, the Christian students would go for bible study when the Muslim girls were attending their Ugama Islam (Islamic Studies) class. The Catholics had their Catechism class while the "lain-lain" (others) were made to go to the field to play netball. At that time, I was one of the "lain-lain" but you would need a few horses to drag me to netball.


Serve this with sambal belacan or sambal tomato. Guarantee you will have second helpings.

So I chose to follow the faithful and took Brother Steven's class. One fateful day in 1983, we listened to Rock A Bye Baby as part of our bible study. Apparently, according to Pastor Greenwald, if you played Hotel California by the Eagles backwards, you can hear satanic messages. And Hotel California was a hotel where Anton Lavey established the Church of Satan, or so the story goes. Hmmm....And throughout the recording, a few sampling of rock and heavy metal music was played to illustrate the good pastor's point.

And there I was, this fat bespectacled and not-so-sweet 16 suddenly listening with full attention to the song clips. "Hey, this stuff is goood!", I thought to myself. I experienced an awakening and revelation of sorts. Satanic or whatever, I don't care. And that was how I became a rock and heavy metal fan.

I guess I may have mellowed with age but I still like rock music, but the more melodic kind. Not that I was ever into the ultra heavy stuff like Slipknot which scares the hell out of me. 

So you see, strange things happen in life or in a convent. I don't think Sister Enda would be pleased this time :)










Stir Fried Celery with Prawns
Recipe source : Phong Hong

Ingredients :
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 10 prawns, peeled and deveined
- 4 big cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or to taste
- Dash of pepper

Method :
- Heat oil in wok and fry prawns until cooked. Remove and set aside.
- In the same oil, fry garlic until slightly brown.
- Add celery and stir fry until celery is tender but still crunchy.
- Add fish sauce, pepper and stir briskly.
- Add prawns and serve immediately.


58 comments:

  1. Ummm...not a fan of celery. Your prawns look really fresh and big though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know lots of people who don't like celery. They don't like the smell.

      Delete
  2. good morning! so early~ today i am second.
    hahaha, i am your faithful reader oh!!!
    Yummy,Yummy.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my friend! I must say good afternoon to you hah! hah!

      Delete
  3. anak2 i tak suka celery... sebenarnya i pun kurang suka.. tp kerana celery byk khasiatnya.. I 'sukakan' juga.. hihi...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Budak-budak memang tak suka sayur ni mungkin disebabkan baunya. MaDiHaA paksa makan ye? Hee..hee...Macam makan ubat :)

      Delete
    2. Yes phong.. Same goes to my husband... Dia pn mkn bila tau celery bgus utk turunkn tekanan darah.. Kalau tak.. Dia mmg anti dgn syr brbau mcm celery n daun sup ni..
      Ehh.. My daughter pn sek d assunta juga.. Tp hanya d primary.. Scndary smbg bljr d sek lain...

      Delete
  4. Celery is one of my favorite, I usually have it in either stir fry and blend it for juice. Celery is good for those with high blood pressure. I just love the aroma in this vegetable and the crunch in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, I also love it in chicken soup. It is very flavourful!

      Delete
  5. So smart, a simple dish to go with your tomato sambal, yum yum! In the past, I had some celery with empty stomach, ended up nearly fainted. I think it will lower the blood sugar, so must eat with rice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, wah it really lowers blood sugar? Then should be good for people who are diabetic. Sometimes I also have it raw with sambal belacan.

      Delete
  6. that is stir fry prawns with some celery! U da heavy metal diehard? Sepultura ok ka? haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, itu Sepultura too ganas for me hee..hee...

      Delete
  7. Hi Phong Hong, this is one of my favourite vegetable. I just love the crunchiness of this vege if not over fried with lots of garlic and fish sauce to taste. Wow, yours is more tempting with the big prawns. Me too from the Convent where all [except Muslims] must go for Bible class. I liked going to the school Chapel eventhough I'm not a Catholic or Christian cos' it is one of the cooliest place in school, hehehe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimmy, we go to bible class for all the wrong reasons hee..hee....

      Delete
  8. Hi PH! Thanks for the continuation of the story of your growing up years and heavy metal music... I really enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy your recipe!

    We were all young once and let me tell you a little story of mine too... I was like a rocker and had straight long hair down to the waist when I was in Uni... and people in the hostel called me "Wind in his hair" (The red indian in the movie Dances with Wolves)... Until I met my girlfriend (my wife now) and I had it cut the day before she brought me home to meet her parents... and yes, I still have the bunch of hair with me kept in a box... :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alvin, your comment sure puts a smile on my face! Seriously, your hair was down to your waist! I used to like guys with long hair and my mum joked that I should bring them for haircut before meeting my dad. But no worries because the love of my life cuts his hair very short (used to have long hair in his early days, though). Too short in fact, I always tell him don't cut so short! But he doesn't listen of course. So you love your hair so much you refuse to throw them away :) Well, thank you for sharing that snippet of your younger days. I was much amused and entertained!

      Delete
    2. Ya... those were the days... days of being wild! :D

      Delete
  9. Thats a very flavorful dish Phong

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vimitha, it is full of flavours and had lots of crunch!

      Delete
  10. Wow.... Click looks very refreshing n delicious...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Now this is a great idea for dinner tonite! I'm a huge fan of celery but not my kids. Love this easy yet delicious recipe . Can I replace the prawns with pork or chicken? I'm allergic to seafood! Sad huh?!! How I wish I can eat prawns & especially crabs again ! YUM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure you can replace with pork and chicken! Hope you enjoy your celery, Kit!

      Delete
  12. Hi Phong Hong, I enjoy reading your tales too, kinda bizarre that u first got a taste of heavy metal music in a bible class ;P I like this dish too, often cook it at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I went to bible study for all the wrong reasons hah! hah!

      Delete
  13. I love celeries...more into juices. This style of stir fries can make me eat more and more rice ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sri, I haven't tried it in juice. I hear that it is good with green apples.

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. Thank you, PT! It is good for blood pressure control.

      Delete
  15. I love to cook this dish at home too and also blend the celery into juice. Even mix raw celery with cashew nuts at salad :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann, I have tried celery in salad too and I love it!

      Delete
  16. I love celery for its smell and crunchiness, your dish come with a generous bonus of nice big prawns. The era in your story sounds pretty familiar :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, you are from the 80's too? Hah! Hah! That seems like such a long time ago :)

      Delete
  17. Hi Phong Hong,
    This is one of my favourite veggies! I love cooking it with prawns too and sometimes with sotong. Very delicious! And a stick or two added to ABC soup gives a wonderful aroma and taste! I love it!
    I love your "awakening" story of your heavy and rock metal music! I was never a fan of rock metal, they are very bising to me and "tak-tentu-arah"! Hahahaha! I love watching "The Donny and Marie Show" back then, OMG, when I think about that now, I am shaking my own head! Hahaha! Those were the days! But it was fun, either sentimental, pop or rock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joyce, I loved Donny and Marie too! I would not miss any episodes, and I think I want to write a story on that too :) Yah, some rock music is very bising and tak tentu arah but the ones I listen to, ahem, are not that bad :) I also love celery in chicken soup. The flavor is really fantastic!

      Delete
  18. Hi friend,
    Wow what a healthy food and really suit my diet. Should go and buy all the ingredients
    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Azie, this celery dish is not only good for health but it is very tasty. Hope you try it!

      Delete
  19. 以前老公血压有点高时,
    我还真的常用西芹来做菜。^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sean! Yeah, take celery for blood pressure control. My mum is taking it too.

      Delete
  20. Hey, you not only can rock but you can cook too!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee..hee...thank you, Sonia! I rock in the kitchen :)

      Delete
  21. Phong Hong, I can't believe rock queen also can cook so well...hehe... And u have a supportive mum, she follows your blog too....

    I seldom fry veggie nowadays, my husband like to eat rabbit food, so I have to eat raw ...yiakkk!
    I come here to enjoy the fried celery with prawn...nice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Li Shuan, not bad hor? Hee..hee...Salad not nice meh? But it is nice to have stir fried vege too, if not the rabbit food gets boring :)

      Delete
  22. oh, i love this dish too and at times, i just cook it with dried shrimps when i got no prawns at home. Talking about hotel california, i still like listening to this song. Those days, i have friends playing guitar and they love the song so much that they keep playing it everytime i go to their house. That's actually when i get to know this song:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lena, I must try with dried shrimps. I am sure that one is very fragrant. I find Hotel California very relaxing - easy listening if you don't think about the devil :)

      Delete
  23. Oh! Phong Hong I am so surprised you can read chinese but not good in writing I supposed that is why you reply in english I am so very happy that you can still remember this dish of mine.It was a long time ago when I cook this dish for you to eat.You and the boys are in the same gang Heavy Mental

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EE, I used translator. I love all your dishes, banyak sedap!

      Delete
  24. Oh yes, anything would go great with sambal. Love this easy dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Somehow when I eat this dish, if there is no sambal belacan I feel that there is something missing.

      Delete
  25. I love recipes that has a story behind it. It truly brings back nice memories. :) I love celery myself but my kids don't really care about them. Otherwise, I might prepare this dish every week! :P What a interesting lead to became a rock music fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy, it looks like most kids don't fancy celery perhaps due to the smell. Maybe they will learn to appreciate it when they are older, hopefully :)

      Delete
  26. Never thought of frying celery with prawns... sounds like a delicious combination to try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mich, it is pretty good! I hope that you try it if you like celery.

      Delete
  27. yummy dish. Can be make into mixed vege too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, ya can also do a mixed vege and it is also very yummy if add chicken meat :)

      Delete
  28. Hi Phong Hong, yummy dish, my favorite too. It's a must have on my dinning table every week. Good for people with hypertension. I love to add this in the salad, nice and crunchy.

    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, that's good you eat celery every week. It is one of my favourites especially when cooking chicken soup. I can drink every drop of the yummy soup!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...