Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Otak-Otak (Indonesian grilled fish cake)

*This is what happens when Ale gets a new food processor =)

**Original recipe from here

350 g mackerel fillet, no skin and bones (I used cod this time, easier to find!)
150 g tapioca starch
100 ml coconut cream (I used about 150ml canned coconut)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
pepper as you like it (I used a peppermill and basically went around the bowl a few times)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chicken stock (I used vet-tsin :p)
15 chinese chives (Matta's wasn't open, alas! And I was too lazy to walk to Chinatown so I substituted this with 2 stalks of spring onion)
Banana leaves to wrap (I bought a bag from Matta's, it was 2 very long banana leaves, and I still have a little bit left)

Peanut chilli sauce:
2 red chillies*
8 red bird's eye chillies*
*I used 12 bird's eye chillies instead
5 cloves garlic
5 candlenuts, toasted
6 tbsp peanut butter (or if you want, fry some peanuts)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
200 ml water
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp salt

For the peanut sauce:
+ Stir fry chillies and garlic til they're soft
+ Put everything in a food processor, blend until smooth

For the fish paste:
+ Put everything in a food processor except coconut milk and egg, then as it's slowly processing the fish, pour in coconut milk and egg slowly
+ Take a dollop (not more than 1 tbsp!) of the paste, put it on the banana leaves, make it elongated, and wrap LOOSELY with banana leaves** stick a toothpick at the end of the leaves to secure it
+ Bake in the oven (I used low temp) til the leaves are dry and the food starts to smell reallyyyyyy gooddd!!
+ Serve with the peanut chilli sauce, and with a big appetite!

** Basically the paste will expand as you cook them (due to the tapioca starch I presume?), I made the mistake of wrapping them too tightly (like rolling a sushi haha) and as a result the leaves cracked and the bit that's exposed dried out :( so some bits are "wrinkly" and it's supposed to be firm, nice and juicy and bouncy....

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ayam Betutu (Balinese spiced chicken wrapped in banana leaves)

One of our most favourite Balinese dishes, Ayam Betutu, or Spiced chicken wrapped in banana leaves for the unfamiliar ears, is definitely not your typical student dinner. The delicate recipe took me an hour to prepare, 24 hours to marinade, an hour in the steamer, and a final hour in the oven! But, prepared with so much passion and... dare I say perseverence(?) this dish surely will take your taste buds on a roller-coaster ride, and probably make your momma proud too.

(One thing for sure, it was a heavy-weight challenge for my poor, cheap Haden mini food chopper - it didn't survive the marathon).

Ingredients: (taken liberally from here)

1 whole chicken, cut into small pieces (16 or so)
2 lime
2 banana leaves and aluminium foil to wrap

Spices: (process the following spices in a food processor, or if you prefer... the old n trusted mortar n pestle)
4 lemongrasses, finely angle cut
16 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced (whole lime leaves are "double ended", so each of them counts as 2)
2 tsp sugar
30 shallots
1 1/2 garlic buds NOT cloves
20 bird's eye chillies (this will be relatively hot, for milder taste use 15)
2 cm ginger, finely sliced
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 cm galangal
4 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried shrimp paste/belacan/terasi
4 tbsp olive oil, add slowly to the mixture
salt as desired

1. Wash chicken throughly, pat dry, then drizzle with lime all over and rub with salt. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
2. Grind all spices in a food processor until smooth, careful not to overwork the processor or else you'll have to get a new one like me :(
3. Rub chicken with ground spices.
4. Break each banana leaf into 2, you'll be needing about 3 pieces (= 1 1/2 banana leaves).
5. Place chicken pieces in banana leaves and wrap them up, then wrap the leaves in foil. Marinade overnight.
6. Steam for an hour and then bake for a further hour at 160C.

Selamat makan!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Tempe vs. Tahu?

Well, I totally agree with mom, many tofus are of shit quality, they're too sour, even though they're still fresh, but good tofus are always NICE.... Love it. Esp, Japanese silken tofu huahhhhhhhh, ato dibikin Sapo Tofu... My favs. are: tahu bacem, tahu kipas, mabo tofu.... does tofu-fa count (-> kembang tahu) hehehe...

But anw... we can find tofus like everywhere, but TEMPE? Most people never heard of it (they don't know what they're missing!) even some Singaporeans, Malaysians, Bruneians... DOH! Even though they DO have tempe in some of their food (usually some of their fellow countrymen wud correct them, "We DO have tempe, you know like in ....").

I remember asking my ex-boyfriend who was going on a trip to Amsterdam to find tempe, and I specifically told him where to get it from: Chinatown, even through some LJ user I found out where chinatown in Amsterdam is (near sth sth train station etc. etc.) and guess what? He didn't listen obviously, he just got the bit about "tempe" and went to every single DUTCH shop, patisseries, bakeries, etc... Then he texted, "Couldn't find your tempe hun" and I told him to go to Chinatown, and DOH there were plenty. He got me 2 blocks. I was estatic!!!

And when I went home this Easter I brought back one block of tempe too... but somehow they don't taste that nice, a bit sour, or perhaps they've gone BADDD? from the 13++ hours of travelling? Oh dear...

Best tempe experience... at Loro Djonggrang, a cross between Indon restaurant and an art gallery, ordered this "home-made" tempe which was recommended by the waiting staff, and boy oh boy was it good!!! It was just the juiciest tempe, you could really taste the soya beans.... the grains... it was rich in flavour, and although it was cooked with batter (sort of tempe mendoan style) the flav. of the batter didn't superimposed the natural fresh taste of FRESH HOMEMADE TEMPE, haha... seriously...

And it was also helped with fantastic presentation, and I really shud've taken more pics of the tempe hehehhee...

Got this tempe vs. tahu joke from some random googling:

Takkala temperatur terik terbakar terus, tukang tempe tetap tabah,

"Tempe-tempe", teriaknya. Ternyata teriakan tukang tempe tadi terdengar

tukang tahu, terpaksa teriakannya tambah tinggi, "Tahu-tahu-tahu!"

"Tempenya terbaik, tempenya terenak, tempenya terkenal!!", timpal

tukang tempe. Tukang tahu tidak terima,"Tempenya tengik, tempenya

tawar,tempenya terjelek!"

Tukang tempe tertegun, terhenyak, "Teplakkk...!" tamparannya tepat

terkena tukang tahu. Tapi tukang tahu tidak terkalahkan, tendangannya

tepat terkena tulang tungkai tukang tempe.

Tukang tempe terjengkang tumbang! Tapi terus tegak, tatapannya

terhunus tajam terhadap tukang tahu. Tetapi, tukang tahu tidak

terpengaruh tatapan tajam tukang tempe tersebut, "Tidak takut!!!"

tantang tukang tahu.

Tidak ternyana tangan tukang tempe terkepal, tinjunya terarah, terus

tonjokkannya tepat terkena tukang tahu, tak terelakkan! Tujuh

tempat terkena tinjunya, tonjokan terakhir tepat terkena telak.

Tukang tahu terjerembab. "Tolong... tolong... tolong...!", teriaknya

terdengar tinggi. Tetapi tanpa tunda tempo, tukang tempe teruskan

teriakannya, "Tempe... tempe.... tempe...!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Golden Squash Soup

Okay, I promised you all, that this will be the last recipe entry for this weekend ;) Basically, after cooking curries for 2 straight nights, I feel kinda guilty and wanted to redeem myself, by cooking something healthy =) Found this great website which promotes healthy eating and as a side to the Thai green curry, I also cooked this golden squash soup ;)

I didn't use many of the spices mentioned in the original recipe, I found that the squash (labu kuning in Indonesia?) was naturally sweet.

So my version of the golden squash soup:

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (the squash was really hard to peel, what an exercise! My friend mocked that it's "healthy" because of the exercise we do when peeling and cutting the fruit!)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
200 g coconut milk (from can)

- Saute onion and garlic, then add the broth and the squash pieces. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes until the squash is soft (and I mean, soft! Semi pulpy)

- Leave it to cool for around 5 mins

- Place some of the squash and broth into a blender, add a little bit of coconut milk and blend until smooth. Repeat til you've blended all the squash and broth in the pan.

- Bring back to a stove to reheat, and garnish with a sprig of mint/cilantro/coriander leaf.


This soup is an excellent source of Vit A, C, manganate, and also a good source of fiber (one serving of it gives 20% of DV).

Kari Kapitan (Captain's Curry)

The Thai green curry was my 2nd attempt of making curry from scratch. The first one was this, Kari Kapitan (Captain's Curry), a Malaysian kinda curry that my friend's mom cooked when I stayed over in London. When I made it, it was a lil bit too spicy for my tongue, so in this recipe the amount of chillies have been reduced, and I substitute it with tomatoes, to give the same red colour.

The night before, I took out the chicken pieces (I asked the butcher to cut 1 chicken into 16 small pieces) and marinaded it with tamarind, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

The paste:
+ 6 dried chillies, soaked, remove seeds
+ 8 red chillies
+ 2 tomatoes
+ 4 shallots
+ 1 bulb garlic
+ 2 tsp ground turmeric
+ 6 lemongrass
+ 1 piece terasi/belacan/shrimp paste

Blend them in a food processor until it becomes a paste, then fry with a little oil until fragrant.

Then, add 300 ml coconut milk, the juice of one lime, and a few slices (I used about 5) of bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium low, and add the chicken. Simmer for around 20 mins until chicken is cooked and the curry sauce has cooked well.


Ale's Thai Green Curry

Yep, it's done!!! And it was so lovely me and Arthur almost forgot to take pics of it!!!

I couldn't blend the galangal with the rest of the paste (chillies, coriander leaves, basil leaves, etc.) so I just added them later after the coconut milk!

I used 22 green bird eye chillies, and it's just nice, a bit spicy, but not too much it'll make you sweat =)

Recipe here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Thai Green Curry

Will try cooking this tomorrow, and will definitely update afterwards - my first attempt of making curries (different curries) from scratch! (Cooked "Kari Kapitan" the other day, will upload the pics later)

Pic above is taken from Delia and the recipe is compiled from various sites, notably this

The Paste:
20 whole green bird eye chillies (cabe rawit)
20 white peppercorns, ground finely (3 tsp of ground white pepper?)
1 stalk of lemon grass, chop and use only the bottom third, soaked for 30 mins with 2 tbsp of lime juice (mine actually comes from a jar, so I use 3, since it's less pungent)
7 thin slices of dried galangal or 1 tbsp chopped fresh galangal (I hope my food processor can survive the dried galangal)
2 tbsp chopped basil leaves
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp roasted ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin seeds
1 tsp coarse sea salt
4 shallots, roughly chopped (doesn't really matter since everything will go into the food processor)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp young ginger, chopped
2 tsp shrimp paste (terasi bakar or belacan)

Put everything into a food processor, and the paste should be a bit coarse. If you want, you can smoothen it out by using mortar and pestle (but that's the whole point we're using food processor isn't it? To AVOID mortar n pestle).

This can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Now is the rest of the recipe.

600 ml coconut milk (from 2 cans)
280-300 g chicken breast, cut into large cubes
1 large aubergine, cut into wedges
1 courgette, cut into wedges
200 g green beans, cut into strips
2 red onions, cut into slices
3 tbsp green curry paste (more or less, to taste)
7 kaffir lime leaves
25 g basil leaves
lime juice to taste (about the juice of 1/2 lime)
4 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp palm sugar (I'm going to substitute this with demerara sugar)
1 red chilli, cut diagonally into strips, for garnish

+ Coconut milk: put the tins upside down on a work surface, open. Separate the milky bit and the creamy bit.
+ Heat the wok on high, when it's hot pour 3/4 of the cream, stir until it's curdled.
+ Add curry paste to it, followed by the rest of the coconut milk and the kaffir lime leaves. Keep stirring so the coconut milk doesn't stick.
+ Reduce the heat to low, add fish sauce (for saltiness), sugar (for sweetness), and lime juice (for sourness).
+ Add vegetables and chicken, simmer for 20mins.
+ Add chopped red onions, cook for a couple of minutes, then add basil leaves and sliced red chillies. These are for garnish.

Done! Served with Thai jasmine rice, hmmmmmpph!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lidah Kucing (Lenguas de Gato/Cat's Tongue)

+ 150 g margarine
+ 100 g butter

leave at room temperature for a few hours to soften

+ 200 g caster sugar
+ 100 ml egg white (roughly from 3 large eggs)
+ 1 tsp vanilla essence (not too much since it's supposed to taste buttery)

+ 200 g flour
+ 50 g corn flour

mix well then sieve

1. Cream margarine, butter, and sugar until smooth\
2. Add egg white and vanilla, keep whisking
3. Add flour, mix well
4. Add dough to a pipping bag
5. Squeeze into a baking sheet, place in a preheated oven (150C) for about 10mins until golden brown


View original recipe.