Indonesian “Pecel” with Homemade Bawang Goreng

Indonesian pecel is  mix of blanched/boiled/steamed vegetable with savory peanut sauce containing ground shallots, chili, palm sugar, salt, and sometimes candle nut. With the obligatory kerupuk (Indonesian cracker) and bawang goreng (fried shallots), this dish brings multiple layers of sensations – freshness of the vegetables, richness of the nutty spicy sauce, added depth of the fried shallots, and crunchiness from kerupuk.

INGREDIENTS

SAUCE

  • Peanut
  • Shallots
  • Chili
  • Candle nut
  • Palm sugar
  • Salt

VEGETABLES

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Beansprouts
  • French green bean

GRANISH

  • Shallots
  • Kerupuk

STEPS

  1. Blanch the vegetables in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until vibrant, strain
  2. Ground all the sauce ingredients and add boiling water until slightly watery
  3. Coat sliced shallots with flour, fry until golden brown
  4. Fry kerupuk until well-expanded
  5. Serve with a dash of sweet soy sauce (kecap)

My First Caviar and Surprising Best Way to Enjoy It

I don’t do my grocery this week to buy Russ & Daughter’s Paddlefish caviar. It is my first caviar and I did researches to find the best way to enjoy it. I tried it plain – salty, funky, gelly, tangy, savory, rich – I like it. I tried it David Chang’s way to, using a fried chicken – I don’t like it because both are rich though in different layers. Finally, I tried it with a bowl of white rice and fried shallots…. Don’t hate me. How could I come to this combination? I don’t know, it just came across my mind. BUT IT’S PERFECT. It’s like yin and yang. The salty and sharp caviar presents itself on top of the humble white rice. The combination of texture is also amazing: the gelly caviar slides around in your mouth while the white rice becomes a smooth base on your tongue – sometimes you get some little pops. The fried shallots (use it only a litle bit, like a piece per spoon) add a crispy texture with a light accent of its flavor, making layers of crispy-smooth-gelly texture with each’s flavors.


Fried Fresh Fish with Indonesian Dipping

My kind of comfort food!

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh fish, cleaned, scaled
  • Frying oil, I used canola
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sweet soy sauce
  • 1/2 piece Tomato, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil until 350 F
  2. Salt fish by rubbing
  3. Fry fish
  4. Dry with paper towl
  5. Sprinkle more salt to taste
  6. In a separate bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients
  7. Serve with warm white rice and basil leaves (optional)

Single-Origin Pea Berry Luwak Coffee in Indonesian-style Brunch

This is my first time trying a single-origin luwak coffee (pea berry), accompanied with some bites of fried banana/plantain like how many Indonesians have their snack or brunch time. The first time I opened the coffee container, I smelled something like no other coffee. If I’m to map the aroma, it was more like ‘scattering’. Just from its aroma you would notice there are lots of byproducts from the fermentation, making it rich and highly multi-dimensional, like a full circle. I could smell coffee’s disctinct ‘roasted’, slightly acidic and slightly bitter aroma, together with some mild and bold savoriness. There are also probably umami and kokumi that give the ‘body’, which was steeper than the deep body I tasted from the multi-origin luwak coffee I tried.

Single-origin luwak coffee is produced by processing coffee beans excreted from luwak after digestion (re: feces), which single bean type is selected before making it available to the luwak to eat.

My First DIY Sous Vide: Lamb Chop on Indonesian Lamb Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng Kambing) from Scratch

Indonesian fried rice (nasi goreng kambing) is a simple but kicking dish, commonly found in late night hawkers. It is identical with the strong essence of lamb meat combined with Indonesian spices and an accent of Indian spices. We can see a mixture of different cultures from the spices, meats, and way of cooking.

On the other hand, sous vide is a relatively new method of cooking meat under low temperature for certain amount of time. The idea is to cook the meat without tensing the meat fibers and locking the meat juice inside as much as possible.

I combined both tradition and new technique in today’s dish, making a very nice understanding of lamb flavor. You get the rice nicely flavored with the lamb meat and fat, while having the intense one from the sous vide lamb chop. You can detect the Indonesian taste from the rice perfectly combined with the juicy pink meat seared outside.

Ingredients: Lamb chops, butter, bay leaf, garlic, turmeric, chili pepper, shallots, cinnamon stick, rice, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), salt.