Fried fennel

I bought some fennel with the intent of making a fennel and blood orange salad, but decided to try something new instead. This dish is a bit like eating fried onions, but with a mild anise flavour.

fried fennel

fried fennel

Fried fennel
Adapted from a recipe by French Food at Home with Laura Calder

Ingredients
A fennel bulb
salt and pepper
At least 2 tbsp of olive oil

Directions
Clean and trim the fennel bulb. Cut into slices approximately 1/2 centimetre thick. If you slice the fennel horizontally starting at the tip or the end, the pieces will separate a bit like onion rings. If you cut it length-wise they will hold together more like oval slices.

Season the sliced fennel with salt and pepper. Heat your olive oil in a pan and fry both sides of each fennel piece until the fennel is tender and starts to caramelize. They take longer to cook than onions, so be patient.

Cooking on the go in Malaysia

During our visit to Balik Pulau in search of durian, my father dragged me over to this cart and insisted I take some photos and record a video of the hawker at work. I’m not posting the video — mostly because the audio that comes with it consists of my father poking me and asking over and over if I’m doing it properly and me protesting back that yes I was taping it and if he’d stop poking me the camera wouldn’t shake. I am posting a photograph though, because the scene was actually quite interesting.

The hawker is frying noodles on the side of the road. I love the image of her cart because it’s on wheels and at the same time practically contains a whole kitchen, complete with a wok and fire. Yes, real fire. When she turned the crank (visible over by her apron), it manually spun a metal fan, which in turn fanned the flames and increased the heat.

I can’t comment on the food however, as we didn’t buy any of it. I did feel a bit guilty that I took photos and videos of her without purchasing something, but we had a van full of people wondering why on Earth the two of us were staring at some lady frying noodles when we were all supposed to be in the van and travelling back to Georgetown. Van full of angry people > my guilt.

Hawker frying noodles

Hawker frying noodles