Friday, July 23, 2010

Whale Tale, Book, Movie.

whale1 Did you hear the incredible story about the 40 ft. whale which jumped out of the water and landed on the deck of a sailing boat? It happened off Cape Town and although the whale thrashed around a bit and did a fair amount of damage to the boat, apparently neither the whale nor the humans were hurt. The whale was seen swimming around afterwards. There is one picture of the whale jumping but not of the whale actually on top of the boat. If you want to read the article click here and there is a link to pictures. I totally believe the story because sea critters do jump, we have had fish jump into our boat in North Carolina, quite a lot of them into several boats in company. So why not whales? Bit of a shock to have such a large creature land on your boat though. D'you notice the figure on the mainsail? Its what Simon Templar, alias The Saint, used to leave behind when he had been somewhere.

I have just finished The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey, one of her Hundred Kingdoms books in which she takes fairy stories and twists them around somewhat with the help of the local Godmother or Godmothers. They are fun reads these books, and I can highly recommend them if you like some light reading with magic all around. I have enjoyed every one of them I have read so far.

Its summertime so there is not much on TV; who said there was much on in the winter either! However, I watched The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning for about the 5th time. The film is loaded with other well known names such as Michael J. Fox and Martin Sheen just to name a couple. Its a lovely romantic story with political overtones and it is one of my favourites. The basic story is: the widowed President falls for a Lobbyist but, of course, they both have different political agendas.

I love Asian noodle dishes; I have now started getting the newsletter from BBC Food so when I saw this today I thought aha that would a recipe I would enjoy. Matt isn’t so keen on this kind of thing so I guess I will be making it just for me.

Malaysian-spiced noodles with tofu

Simon Rimmer – BBC Food

Serves 4.


For the spice paste
25g/1oz fresh ginger, peeled
2 lemongrass stalks
3 red chillies
3 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
For the sauce
400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
250ml/9fl oz vegetable stock
For the noodles
vegetable oil, for deep-frying, plus 1 tbsp for frying
150g/5oz fresh tofu, cut to 2.5cm/1in squares, dried on kitchen paper
20 oyster mushrooms, finely sliced
8 sugar snap peas or mange tout, blanched, cut in half lengthways
400g/14oz ready-made udon noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
To serve
fresh coriander leaves
lime wedges
crushed peanuts

Preparation method

  1. For the spice paste, place all of the spice paste ingredients, except the vegetable oil, into a food processor and blend to a pulp.

  2. With the motor still running, gradually add the oil and continue to blend until you get a loose paste (you may not need to use all the oil).

  3. For the sauce, place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spice paste and fry gently for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further five minutes.

  5. For the noodles, half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with vegetable oil and heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  6. Add the tofu cubes and deep-fry for 2-3 minutes, until crisp and golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper.

  7. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of oil in a clean frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oyster mushrooms and fry for three minutes, or until softened.

  8. Add the mushrooms to the sauce.

  9. Add the asparagus, deep-fried tofu and udon noodles to the sauce and stir well to combine.

  10. To serve, spoon to the curry into serving bowls and garnish each with fresh coriander leaves, lime wedges and crushed peanuts, to taste.

Have a great day



  1. Malaysian food is very nice. So is Singaporean. I always say that Malaysian and Singaporean food are Chinese food with a university education.

    The whale video has gone round the world. It must have been a frightening experience for those on the boat.

  2. I don't know a lot about Malaysian or Singaporean food. This looked very good.

    What an experience having a whale drop in for a visit.