Thursday, July 1, 2010

Double jeopardy for my daun kaduk and laksa leaves

With Sydney recording its coldest June morning since 1949 when temperatures dived to 4.3 degrees and the cold snap has terminally ravaged my collection of exotic tropical plants and herbs in the backyard. I begin to understand why farmers are always at the mercy of the weather. It is too late to blame myself for not bringing those precious herbs and plants (daun kaduk, turmeric, laksa leaves) indoor earlier. I have also learned, it is worth knowing a bit about how they grow and where they originally came from with their geographically origins as well as between species, so that you can extend the growing possibilities and provide adatation even where you live is outside geographical regions. It is so easy to overlook the climatic needs of these tropical plants and if you ignore its needs and not providing the conditions that suit them, you are likely to be disappointed like me.
In the meantime, I have salvaged the frost damaged daun kaduk and the laksa leaves by freezing them for future culinary use in the deep freezer.


  1. Hi Everyone,
    It is very nice to receive comments in my blog, but I have a problem in replying because they get lost in the older postings. I find it difficult to search for them once I click on the "Post Comment" button. I have saved some of the recent comments by cut & paste. E.g.
    Hello Uncle Phil,
    Thanks for all your recipes esp. the
    Bak kwa, love it.
    I am in Sydney from Ipoh, has been here for
    25 years, hope to meet you one day.

    no idea water melon rind is edible! but then again, my mom goes through great lengths to soak and cook pomelo rind (not very tasty)..

    i love your recipes! and your stories are totally old school.

    keep em coming!
    continue your story leh! ;;]

    also, can you post a recipe including how to fold those darn leaves? btw i love your recipe for teochew braised duck.. been looking for one and yours seems to be the most concise!
    Can anyone suggest what I should do?

  2. Hi, Uncle Phil, what is the scientific name for daun kaduk...many otak recipe calls for it, but i don't actually know what it looks like. Can help? Tks!

  3. Hi lady lavender,
    Daun kaduk, or wild pepper (Piper sarmentosum), is a glossy heart-shaped leaf of a creeper that is often featured in Nyonya cooking like otak otak, perut ikan and nasi ulam.
    I will post a photo when my daun kaduk plant recovers.

  4. Many thanks Uncle Phil. I am happy I haven't managed to kill my daun kesum yet. My mom has been telling me about Chut Kor...which I gather is Daun Chekur...don't know how to use pulak.
    Have been meaning to ask you re "kan sui" as I saw on yr post something about it...what is a good replacement. Most cendol recipe I see has alkali water added...would soda bicarb work you think? Many tks...
    Hope you found your friend from Klang.

  5. Hi Lady Lavender,
    I haven't found my friend from Klang yet. Hope to find him in the facebook in the near future. Haha. Yes, try bicarb and post the result.


  6. Hi,
    Anyone interested in curry leaves.. I have plenty to spare. In fact I have been trying to kill my curry tree which is sprouting babies all over! If you want some, just email me...

  7. Hi Uncle Phil,
    Anyone interested in curry leaves, I have plenty to spare. In fact I have a curry tree/s that refuses to die! And on top of it, sprouting babies all over. So any takers, just email me..