Are you one of those people who sit in front of the television set watching cooking programmes and imagining yourself preparing the same dishes for your family? After painstakingly copying down the recipe and slogging in the hot kitchen for longer than necessary, you find that your dishes are nothing like what you saw on TV? Well, high five!
Although these days, people have it easier with the advent of YouTube and the likes, let’s admit it, the kitchen is not the place for everyone, much as we try!
A couple of days ago, I discovered a well-kept secret of preparing restaurant-standard dishes at home, without breaking a sweat. I have to say that this isn’t even something new although I believe it is possibly not available anywhere else in the country except Ipoh. This concept certainly isn’t recent. It is known as “freezer meals” in the West. I’ve heard about it but didn’t have the chance to personally try it out until this week.
However, these 24 packs of freezer meals offered by Shuang Cheng Food Trading under the brand name Hoy Seng is not your ordinary freezer meals. They are of restaurant-style Chinese cuisine, leaning towards Hakka fare, as experimented by an experienced Chinese chef. The dishes, once cooked, are vacuumed and frozen. Let me share the current menu, but do take note that the dishes are non-halal:
Shanghai Wuxi-style Pork Rib
Stewed Pork with Yam
Dongpo Braised Pork
Salted Herbal Chicken
Stewed Pork with Preserved Vegetables
Homemade Traditional Stewed Duck
Braised Pork Tendon
Chicken in Chinese Rice Wine
Fortune Pork Knuckle
Wild Boar Curry
Guangxi Stuffed Dried Bean Curd
Sweet & Sour Crispy Pork
Crispy Pork Belly
Sweet & Sour Fish
Glutinous Rice with Assorted Chinese Preserved Meat
Hakka Fried Pork
Two-in-One Fish Paste
Three-in-One Fish Paste
Authentic Fresh Fish Paste
Traditional Cuttle Fish Balls
Spices Braised Pork
Soy Sauce Virgin Chicken
Taiwanese Three-Cup Chicken
During celebrations such as Winter Solstice and Chinese New Year, there are Poon Choi and Yee Sang. The above menu is not set in stone as there will be additional items added on a regular basis.
With prices starting from just RM12 for the 2-in-1 fish paste to RM39 for the Preserved Meat Rice (Lap Mei Fun) that weighs 1.5kg and good enough for 7 pax, tell me these dishes are not giving you bang for your buck. It’s worth every Ringgit if it means spending less time in the kitchen, let alone buying food of such huge portions! Oh well, I still need to at least heat up these packs, but what’s that compared to cooking from scratch?
Luckily, preparing them is easy enough. After taking the packets out of the freezer to defrost for about six hours, follow the preparation instructions as stated at the back of each packaging. Some would require to be placed in a steamer for 15 minutes, while some only need a quick stir fry.
As the “chef” of your household, you can opt to garnish your dishes to make it more colourful, or complement them with some other side dishes. And before you think that freezer meals can’t be healthy or “sure got preservatives one”, hold your horses! Shuang Cheng Food Trading promises that only the best ingredients are used, and all of their dishes, sauces and pastes are sans preservatives.
Additionally, these freezer meals can last for some six months in the freezer and still retain their flavour, taste and meat texture. While they normally take about six hours to defrost, you can delay the process by wrapping the packet of food with newspaper, followed by plastic bag.
By the way, Shuang Cheng Food Trading just opened for business less than two months ago in Ipoh town, directly opposite the popular Sin Eng Heong kaya puff shop. The company has its own food processing centre in Menglembu which was established six years ago. All this while, the company has been selling their food products only through selected agents. Now they have their own retail outlet. Yay!
Besides freezer meals, Shuang Cheng Food Trading also sells their own range of cooking sauces and pastes. At only RM6.80 per bottle, there are tauchu, 3-special sauce, asam sauce, fermented black bean sauce, curry paste, steam fish sauce, anchovies sambal sauce, and shrimp sambal sauce.
Also, to reverse the effects of Malaysia’s notorious afternoon heat, you’ll find the bottles of herbal drinks sold at Shuang Cheng Food Trading refreshing. Another popular item is called “Fish Scale Jelly”. The name may sound gross but this is natural collagen. I need this. Daily!
Anyway, have a look at these photos enclosed and drool. But don’t worry, if I can cook them, so can you!!
Shuang Cheng Food Trading (directly opposite Sin Eng Heong)
Add: No. 57, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri (formerly Jalan Clare), 30300 Ipoh.
Tel: 012-5176957 (Mr. Bernard)
Business hours: 8am – 6pm daily
Note: View larger images by clicking on an image once this page has completely loaded. Then navigate by clicking on the right or left side of image.