TEMPE in SPICY COCONUT GRAVY

LODEH fin 1

Hi, Readers!

I have this craving for spicy veggie dish, Indonesian style. I want a dish that can supply me a good intake of veggies but also protein, so naturally I go for a dish that uses Tempe.

Tempe is originally from Indonesia, and it is very very healthy too. A lot of recipes required to deep fry the tempe, but I try to keep the healthy food…healthy. That’s why I go for LODEH, which basically mixed vegetables in coconut gravy.

So here we go:

  • Tempe; cut into rectangular
  • Long bean; cut
  • Aubergene; cut widthwise
  • Bean sprout
  • 4cm ginger; cut
  • 4cm galangal; cut
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 100ml coconut milk, mixed with water
  • Tomato; optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 chilli padi
  • Oil

Paste:

  • Dry shrimp; soaked
  • 10 shallots
  • 4 garlic
  • 4 candle nuts
  • 10 red chillies
  • 4 chilli padi

lodeh ing

Methods:

  1. Heat the oil in the pan. Shallow fry the shrimp until golden. Set aside.
  2. Make the paste, including the shrimp.
  3. Using the same pan and oil, cook the mix paste until fragrant.
  4. Add in the bay leaves, ginger, and galangal.
  5. Add in the long bean first, and add in a little bit of water.
  6. Add the rest of the veggies, except the tomatoes. Cook them until a little bit soft.
  7. Add in the coconut milk, water, and palm sugar.
  8. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add in the chilli padi.
  9. Optional, you can have the tomatoes add in just right before serving. They have to be fresh, otherwise it will ruin the texture of the gravy.
  10. Serve!

CHICKEN IN SPICY RED SAUCE

ayam masak merah fin 1

Hi, Readers!

This time I am going to post a classic Malaysian dish called AYAM MASAK MERAH. I believe there are many versions of how to make one, but for this dish I was inspired by a Malaysian food blogger Ana Suzana. Why this one? Because this recipe is from her father who is a famous cook from his village, and this is his signature dish. Now I am hooked when I read signature family dish and kampong (village) style; all screams authenticity.

There are several items that I have to substitute, which I will put under the ingredients.

I have to say, this dish is absolute gorgeous. Very tasty and lightly creamed.  You really have to at least give it a try; the ingredients are quite easy to get so there is no excuse not to! *wink*.

So here we go:

ayam masak merah ing

  • 1 whole chicken; cut into 12 pieces. Remove skin.
  • 3 tomatoes; cut into wedges
  • 5 red chillies; thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves; thinly sliced
  • 1 onion; slivered
  • 2 cm ginger; sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon; substitute for 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • Salt & turmeric
  • Oil
  • 60ml coconut milk
  • Water 300ml
  • Sugar (optional)

Paste:

  • 5 red chillies; substitute for dry chillies
  • 1 tomato; substitute for tomato sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 8 shallots
  • 2 cm ginger

Methods:

  1. Massage the salt & turmeric into the chicken. Then shallow fry the chicken, until almost golden in color. Set aside.
  2. Using the same pan and oil; fry the paste until fragrant.
  3. Add in the sliced ingredients and the cinnamon & star anise.
  4. Add in the water & coconut milk.
  5. Add the chicken back in. And cook in slow heat until the liquid reduced.
  6. Add in the tomatoes.
  7. Salt & Pepper to taste; and sugar if you prefer this dish to be a little bit sweet.
  8. Serve!

SUPER FRESH TOMATO SALSA

tomato-salsa-fin

Hi, Readers!

Let’s kick the new year with some healthy food, shall we? I made this SUPER FRESH TOMATO SALSA a couple of days ago, but then I haven’t had the chance to post it.

I had the privilege to spend 1 full year during my high school in Las Cruces, New Mexico. One thing that I loved most while I was there was the Mexican food! I believe it has influenced me so much in the way I eat. I love love love Salsa, Guacamole, Enchilada, Taco, Tamales, you name it!

One thing I enjoy the most from salsa is…..you eat a whole lot and you won’t feel guilty afterwards. After all they are made from all the healthy ingredients. And what I love about it is that…it is sooo simple, and many times I wonder why I don’t make this a lot more frequent.

Maybe not many of you know, but tomato and chili originally came from South America. So It is only natural that they probably have a good recipe using those ingredients, and we definitely can learn something.

This is my intake for the MILD salsa, you can definitely play out with the level of heat. Tomato and salt are best friend forever, if you know what I mean. Add chilli, scallion, cilantro, garlic, and lime, well you have a party in your mouth –  BOMB!

So without further ado, here we go:

tomato-salsa-ing

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 green chillies, chopped
  • scallion, sliced thinly
  • cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 garlic, grated
  • Salt, this is important, because tomato love salt!

Methods:

What are you talking about, JUST MIXED THEM!

Enjoy it with grilled chicken, fried rice, or just with chips!

GREEN CHILLI CHICKEN FRIED RICE

green-chilli-chicken-fried-rice-fin-2

Hi, Readers!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It has been a while since my last post. There were so much festivities and I had not had the chance to cook and write. Since the middle of December 2016, I had work deadline that I had to catch, then I had to go to Singapore to accompany my Dad….then Christmas came….then New Year….da da da….you know how it goes.

During the festivities you would eat a lot of things that you would not normally eat, and you promised yourself not to keep doing so….it is equally hard to go back to your GOOD habits prior to the holiday season. Including…..cooking healthy for one! So I had to remind myself, once I get into the motion of cooking again, everything will be easy breezy. First step is the most important.

Actually, I told myself to start eating less (bad) carb. period. But then, I had this leftover rice and I did not have the heart to throw it away. So for today, I let myself to eat white rice. :p lol. I present you a humble GREEN CHILLI CHICKEN FRIED RICE.

Here we go:

green-chilli-chicken-fried-rice-ing

  • Overnight rice
  • Skinless & boneless chicken, cubed
  • Handful of green chillies; deseed and roughly cut
  • 1 Onion, slivered
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 lemongrass; white parts only, bruised and thinly sliced
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves; torn
  • Kecap Manis
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil

Methods:

  1. Heat the pan, and add oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic.
  3. Add chillies, lemongrass & kaffir lime leaves; cook until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken; cook until the pink color is gone.
  5. Make room in the pan. Add in the beaten eggs. Scrambled it.
  6. Once the egg is cooked; mixed it all in. Including the rice.
  7. Add Kecap manis, Salt, and Pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot!

 

ROSEMARY CHICKEN BRAISED in SWEET SOY SAUCE

rosemary-soy-chicken-fin-1

Hi, Readers!

Rosemary…not a typical herb for Indonesian dish. I have used it before, maybe once, but it was in mixed with many other herbs that I was not even sure what rosemary smelled or tasted like; today I am going to focus on this particular herb.

Rosemary isn’t it a sweet name. Legends say that it means rose from the sea, another says it means Rose of the Virgin Mary. One way or another, it has a great smell! Woody and minty, LOVE! I might even use it as part of my aromatherapy ingredients, aside using it for cooking.

I have watched many Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay cooking shows to know that rosemary is great when paired with chicken. So today I am going to do just so! Inspired by Indonesian dish called Ayam Kecap (chicken braised in sweet soy sauce), I add the rosemary and omit the nutmeg. I think shaoxing or any cooking alcohol would be a great addition of depth, however I do not do that for this dish.

Here we go:

rosemary-soy-chicken-ing

 

  • 1 whole Chicken; cut into 12 pieces. Skin out bone in
  • 1 or 2 potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, cut into slivers
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 scallion, cut diagonally
  • 5-6 stalks of rosemary
  • 4 chillies padi; 1 sliced thinly, 3 whole
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp blackpepper
  • 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 cup of water
  • cooking alcohol (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Methods:

  1. Heat the pan and add oil.
  2. Shallow fry the chicken until slightly golden brown on both sides. Add in the rosemary at this stage.
  3. Remove the chicken and rosemary, leave the oil and fat rendered from the chicken.
  4. Cook the onion, garlic, and sliced chili until fragrant.
  5. Add back in the chicken and rosemary.
  6. Add kecap manis and water. Cover and cook with low heat until the liquid reduced and desired thickness is reached.
  7. Add in the sliced scallion and blackpepper. Cook briefly.
  8. Salt to taste, and SERVE!

 

 

SNOWPEAS, CARROT, & MUSHROOM EASY CHINESE STIR FRY

fin1

Hi, Readers!

Busy busy busy…..such a busy day, which is a good thing. 😉

Unlike my previous posts, today’s dish is all about veggies. We all know we need our good doze of healthiness that can only come from them. So today I am going to show you my Chinese easy stir fry; the combination of the vegetables may varies according to your liking. My usual rule of thumbs are these: love the texture, love the taste, and love the colors.

So here we go:

ing

  • A handful of snowpeas
  • A handful of carrots; sliced diagonally
  • A handful of button mushroom, halved or quartered
  • Scallion, sliced diagonally
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp of oil
  • 2 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of shaoxing
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch; dilute it with water
  • water as needed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Methods:

  1. Heat the wok, and add oil.
  2. Cook the garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add in the carrots.
  4. Add in the snow peas.
  5. Add in the mushrooms.
  6. Add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing.
  7. Add in the diluted cornstarch.
  8. Add in the scallions, cook very briefly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. SERVE!

 

BEEF BAKE PASTA CASSEROLE

beef-pasta-caserole

Hi, Readers!

So I had one of my wisdom teeth pulled last Saturday, the upper right to be exact. The process itself wasn’t too bad, just expensive lol. Well today I have to fill in the form for insurance claim; I hope everything will go smoothly. *fingers-crossed*

One of challenge of cooking at home is that you have to manage to finish all the ingredients; otherwise they do to waste and you do not want that. This challenge is even bigger when you only cook for one; yourself. Although I know dry pasta can be stored for a while, but I just have this habit not storing anything for too long. So guess what, today I am posting PASTA again.

This time I wanted easy process pasta cooking, because after the tooth operation I had to take medication that somewhat made me sleepy. So no tomato sauce from scratch this time, instead I am inspired to make a healthy version of macaroni schotel. It is a Dutch influenced dish, very popular in Indonesia. The original dish is so rich with eggs, cheese, and cream which I substitute with more veggies.

I use regular minced beef because I want to use the fat to fry everything else. This method I learn from my host mom when I was back in the states. I learn quite a few tricks from her, including how to cube onion, tomato, and everything else. Thanks Kathy! They come in handy.

Not too many Indonesians know what Garam Masala is. I believe it is Indian mixed spices. I came across this spice when I was reading Jamie’s cookbook, and came to love it. It has quiet a heat and really good paired with meat. Give it a try!

So here we go

meat-pasta-caserole-ing-copy

  • Dry Pasta
  • 350 gr of minced meat; I use regular
  • 1 onion; cut into small cubes
  • 4 garlic
  • 4 red chillies
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 red bellpepper; cut into small cubes
  • Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • Mixed cheese; I happen to have cheddar & parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Methods:

  1. Cook the pasta and drain with cold water; do not overcook it because we will bake it further.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Heat the pan and sauté the meat until brown and the fat is released.
  4. Add in the onion, garlic, and red chillies.
  5. Add in the spices; garam masala, gochujang, and ketchup.
  6. Add in the bellpepper and parsley. The colours start to turn out very nicely.
  7. Stir in the pasta. Salt to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  8. Stir in the cheese into the pasta.
  9. Prepare the casserole dish; line it with oil.
  10. Set the pasta mix into the casserole dish.
  11. On a separate bowl, mix the milk and the eggs. Salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Pour the mixture onto the pasta mix. Ideally it should cover 2/3 of the dish; but since I do not have enough mixture I only cover it midway. To avoid the pasta top becoming super dry when I bake it; I cover it with aluminium foil.
  13. Bake for about 40 minutes. Once done, set aside first to let it cool down and firm up.
  14. ….sprinkle more parmesan!

ENJOY!

Asian-Twist Shrimp Pasta

spicy-shrimp-pasta

Hi, Readers!

News from me….I am going to have one of my wisdom teeth remove this weekend, so today dish will be my last dish before the operation. *gasp*

I actually do not cook with shrimp that much, considering I have to really restrain my intake on seafood due to my cholesterol level. I was going to cook a different kind of pasta using minced meat, but then when I did my grocery, I saw a really good deal on shrimp…and just like that, I changed my mind. So when I bought it, I kept in mind not to go too crazy with the amount. Just 2 servings, that’s all.

I wanted to make light pasta dish, neither too heavy nor rich. That’s why I did not go the cheese road, instead I went with chilli and lemon/lime, a bit of Asian twist in it.

So here we go

spicy-shrimp-pasta-ing-copy

  • Handful of uncooked pasta
  • Deveined shrimp, 6-8 pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, cubed
  • Lettuce, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, or half of lemon
  • ¼ cup Shrimp broth
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar, salt, blackpepper to taste

Paste:

  • 4 garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 7 red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, I happen only to have the white parts, thinly sliced

Methods:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water with salt and a little bit of oil, until right before al dente.
  2. Heat the pan, add in oil and cook the paste until fragrant.
  3. Add in the tomatoes; cook until it releases its juice.
  4. Add in the shrimp, cook briefly.
  5. Add in the pasta and the shrimp broth. Cook until the liquid thickens.
  6. Sugar & salt to taste.
  7. Turn off the burner. Stir in the lettuce, and squeeze the lemon/ lime. Sprinkle the freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Serve immediately.

I always love bright colors in my cooking, bright red, yellow, and green. They definitely look and taste healthy. YUM!

CHICKEN, GREENS, ENOKI & RED BELLPEPPER CORN NOODLE STIR FRY

corn-noodle-fin-1

Hi, Readers!

I got sick again! I think it’s because the load of work and so much social activities, and my body can’t take it anymore. There are a lot of things going on…such as, I had my birthday on Nov 16th. 😀 Lots of surprises and gifts *happy* . I personally am not a big fan of birthdays or any kind of social gatherings, due to my introvert nature, but I always try to see it from another perspective….the fact that there are family and many friends that really care for me. Amongst the gifts are Yoga matt, running pants, and a scale. Hmm….really, all my friends are very supportive to get me exercise more regularly. Lol.

And there is a big event coming up next week at my work, so I have been working overtime. To be honest, it is not the overtime that bothers and tires me down, but dealing with difficult people and situation is. Oh well, I should complain no more!

So today I make another easy stir fry using corn noodle. I like corn noodle better than rice noodle because it is more forgiving to handle. It doesn’t get soggy too quickly. For the meat and veggies, and you can actually put whatever you like, just mix and match your favourite ingredients to achieve the color and texture you aim for.

The ketchup plays an important role. I watched a Jamie Oliver’s cook show on TV once, and his explanation why we use ketchup for certain dishes made a home run for me. Because ketchup has that ck..ck..ck (can’t really explain well, haha) quality. Simply put, ketchup makes us salivate, and that will enhance our taste bud.

Another ingredient that is unique to this dish is the Kalamansi lime. Even in Indonesia, I can’t always find it. I had to ask my friend that has a noodle shop to give me some. She actually has to bring them all the way from Sumatra for her shop. Kalamansi lime has the taste and smell between a lime and an orange. But if you do not have it, limes will do.

Ideally I would have use broth made from shrimp shell, but since I do not have it at the moment, I use water.
So here we go

corn-noodle-ing
• Handful of dry corn noodle. If you do not have corn noodle, rice noodle will do
• Chicken breast, cut into bite size
• 1 red bell pepper, sliced or cubed
• Handful of greens, chopped
• Handful of enoki mushroom, separated
• 2 scallions, sliced
• 2 kalamansi limes
• 4 tbsp of oil
• Salt & pepper to taste

Paste
• 6 red chillies
• 6 shallots
• 2 garlic
Sauce
• 1 tbsp of kecap manis, If you do not have kecap manis, just use soy sauce and add sugar
• 2 tbsp of oyster sauce
• 4 tbsp of ketchup
Methods:
1. Cook the noodle according to the package. Do not overcook it, because we will cook it again when we stir fry it.
2. Heat the wok and add oil. Cook the the paste until fragrant.
3. Add the meat, and cook until the pink color is gone.
4. Add the sauce.
5. Add the bell pepper and the noodles. If the noodle look dry, add the water, stir, and then cover.
6. Add the greens and enoki mushroom.
7. Add in the scallions. Cook briefly. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. And last, right before serving, squeeze in the Kalamansi limes.
ENJOY!

Save

EASY MEAT, OKRA & BELL PEPPER STIR FRY

easy-stir-fry-okra
Hello, Readers!

I have some leftover pork & beef meat from the weekend, so today I am going to make Indonesian Meat & Veg Easy Stir Fry. Really, you can mix with most veggies that you happen to have in hand. For this recipe, I mix it with Lady Fingers/ Okra and Red Bell pepper.

What makes it an Indonesian stir fry is the combination of the paste; which are shallots, garlic, dried shrimp paste, chillies, and soy sauce. If you have sweet soysauce or what we call Kecap Manis, it is even better. But for this recipe, I use a regular soy sauce and use sugar to taste.

If you never cook with dried shrimp paste, the smell might come as a shock for you. But fear not, when you cook it, it turns out to be very fragrant and flavorful. I even suggest you to turn on your exhaust fan and/or open the window. 😀

Today I use my Cell phone to take the picture, and well….they do not turn that sharp. Sorry….I will be back with my Nikon next time. 🙂

So here we go:
easy-stir-fry-okra-ing
• Handful of leftover meat
• Handful of Lady Fingers/ Okra
• 1 red bell pepper
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 4 tbsp oil
• Sugar & salt to taste; you can omit sugar if you use Kecap Manis
Paste:
• 6 shallots
• 4 garlic
• 6 red chillies
• 1 tsp dried shrimp paste
Methods:
1. Grind the paste ingredients using a pestle. But you can also just slice them thinly, which is what I do this time around.
2. Heat the wok, and add oil. Cook the paste until fragrant.
3. Add the meat.
4. Add the vegetables; for okra, cover the wok and steam cook to soften them.
5. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and salt to taste. Cook briefly.
6. Serve immediately with a bowl of rice.

YUM!

Save

Save

Save