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Friday, 30 January 2015

FRYING ARROWHEAD CHIPS (NGA KOO) FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year is just about 2 weeks from now and I was reminded of this when my sister gave me a bag of arrowheads (nga ku in Cantonese) last week. My sister and I have been frying our own nga ku chips for the third and fourth year now. Both our families love munching on nga ku chips. Since we consume a lot, it is more economical to fry the chips ourselves.

When my boys were younger, I used to bake and buy cookies for Chinese New Year and Christmas celebration. I no longer bake cookies now because nobody eats them. Now nga ku chips is the most important snack for this festive season.

Last Tuesday, I dropped by at the supermarket and saw the arrowheads selling at MYR 3.88 per kilo. Since it was near dinner time, I saw only one lady choosing from the huge pile of arrowheads. That was the best time to buy my arrowheads without the big crowd. I took my time to choose the arrowheads without having to compete with the other customers. Somehow, competing with other customers is one area I am not good at.

I got so carried away that I didn't realized I have bought almost 10 kg of nga ku! Anyway, I was happy with what I have bought. Being a once a year thing, I spend 2 nights frying my nga ku chips.

This afternoon I was in a mall in Kamunting and I saw that nga ku was also sold there. At the place where the nga ku was placed, there was a chart with pictures showing the steps to prepare and fry nga ku. Now all customers will know how to fry and be able to enjoy nga ku chips, whether they are celebrating the festive season or not.
Day 1 - This was the first batch of arrowheads to be fried. I remembered the first time I bought arrowheads of frying, I didn't know that I must choose the arrowheads with the shoot intact. They are for holding when slicing the arrowheads. That was lesson number 1 that I have learnt from experience.

The arrowheads have been peeled, leaving the shoots of nga ku intact.

Heating up the oil in the frying pan (kuali) for frying. The fire must not be too high and the oil must be of right temperature for frying. To test whether the oil is ready for frying, just drop a slice of arrowhead into the oil. If the slice of arrowhead pops right up on the surface of oil and started frying/bubbling, then it is ready to fry the arrowheads slices.

While waiting for the oil to get heated up, I started slicing the arrowheads, getting them ready for frying. My arrowhead chips are without salt because we prefer the chips plain.

Fry arrowhead slices in small batches so as not to overcrowd in the frying pan. Over crowding will cause uneven frying of arrowhead chips. Fry the arrowhead chip till they are not bubbling in the oil.

When arrowhead chips are light golden, lift them up with a strainer. Let the oil dripped dry and place the chips on kitchen paper towel to absorb the oil. After the chips have cooled down, place them into containers lined with oil absorbing sheets. Allow the chips to totally cooled down before sealing the containers.

Arrowheads peeling and shoots are used for garden compost. Nothing is wasted. It took me 2 days to fry almost 10 kg of arrowheads.

I managed to get about 9 biscuit tins of fried nga ku. The nga ku on sale are placed in the plastic container with the red cover. 1 plastic container of nga ku cost MYR 12 or 13. It is so much cheaper to fry our own nga ku chips and we can munch to our satisfaction.

When you have eaten and are satisfied,

praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you.

(Deuteronomy 8:10, New International Version-NIV)

21 comments:

  1. Wow, Nancy, you have been busy and I love the look of those chips.

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    Replies
    1. Have to get my lazy bones cracking to prepare something for Chinese New Year.

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  2. You are a good cook. We do not have arrowhead dishes. Are they a kind of mushroom?

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    Replies
    1. It is a kind of root...imported from China.

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  3. Gear up for the CNY already. Fried arrowheads are very addictive snacks. Once start munching, want more & more. Usually I cook with meat as a dish.

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    Replies
    1. Even before the festive season starts, my hubby and I have finished 3 tins already..

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  4. i googled them and found they are similar to a water chestnut. i bet they make a good chip.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Tex, they do make great chip...very, very addictive.

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  5. The ready fried sold outside not cheap... I like it, but lazy to fry it, once eaten, can't stop ya...

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    Replies
    1. Not cheap at all...I have to force my lazy bones to work, want to eat must work ..ya?

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  6. Good job well done, Nancy! Happy Nga Ku Festival... hahahaa...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Claire. Happy munching...heheh

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  7. You are really diligent in frying the nga ku chips. I like that you use the peelings for garden compost. I wonder how do you handle the oil from the frying?

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    Replies
    1. Mun, I am currently pouring used oil into plastic container and leaving it for the garbage collector. I have yet to find a place that is collecting used oil for biodiesel. I would be very happy to collect and donate them if I can find one. Hope you can share if you have any suggestion what to do with used cooking oil?

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    2. I myself don't know how to dispose of used cooking oil safely so I don't cook at all. I wonder whether your garbage collector disposed of the bottle of used oil differently or just the same as other garbage - in landfills or incinerator.

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  8. Good morning dear Nancy,
    Nga ku chips looks delicious!

    Thank you so much for your kind words of comfort to all of us.
    Yes, is so very hard to lose a dear family member like our pets.
    We are lucky to have such lovely friends in our lives but it hurts so much when they have to go...
    Warm regards from Sonia and Sofia.

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    Replies
    1. You are most welcome, sonia. Do take care and may God's peace be with you and family.

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  9. Nancy,I did once before and it was quite a lot of work sweating at the stove hah..hah... Wow, you fried 9 biscuit tins of ngaku!

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    Replies
    1. I fried then 10 kg of nga ku in 2 nights. Standing and sweating over the stove...lol

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  10. finally finished frying 8kg of NK yesterday. Morning 11am standing there til 8pm. Feet also can no longer feel liao.

    Ya lor ya or...me too la...also get carry away one when choosing NK. Say wanna buy a bit la. end up buy like 10kg. Cham moe.

    You really "yau sum kei" peel one by one like that. I peel a few then straight slice into the wok coz when i see a lot of peeled NK I feel stressed to fry. When the NK frying, I would peel a few more.

    by the way, where did you buy the half moon thing to place on top of the wok? I think it's ghreat. Oil can straight drip back into the wok. wanna get one too

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    Replies
    1. I can't remember when or where I bought the half moon thing. I have for so many years, most likely from one of the cookery ware shops in Ipoh town. It is very useful.

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