Runny Cashew Chicken over Rice

Just a casual lunch among studying for PhD comprehensive exam. This fresh, made-to-portion, warm cashew chicken running down my rice really boosted my mood.

Garlic, green onions, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken, vinegar, brown sugar, Sichuan peppercorn, dried chili, sesame oil, sesame seed, salt, black pepper.

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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)

Home Style Egg Benedict

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 English muffin
  • 1 slice of Canadian ham
  • 1 egg

Hollandaise sauce

  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup of butter

STEPS

  1. Make the sauce by heating the butter until bubbly, put the remaining ingredients in a blender, turn it on low speed and pouring the hot butter gradually.
  2. Pouch the egg by pouring the egg from a small bowl into a simmering pot of water (stirred without toucing the egg), cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Stack and enjoy!

Home-fermented Indonesian fried Tempe / Tempeh

This is the mos beautiful thing I’ve ever made so far.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of dry soybean
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp of vinnegar
  • 1 pinch of Tempe starter (“ragi tempe” on eBay)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt
  • Sweet soy sauce

EQUIPMENTS

  • Large pot or sauce pan
  • Strainer
  • Kitchen towel
  • Plastic bag (punctured every 1/2 inch)
  • Frying pan

STEPS

  1. Soak soybean in a pot with 3 times amount of water overnight
  2. Crush soybean with hand until it splits and the skin floats
  3. Remove as much skin as possible
  4. Boil in 2 times amount of water for 1 hour
  5. Drain and spread the beans on kitchen towel and dry it until it’s dry to touch
  6. Remove it into a dry bowl, add vinnegar and mix well
  7. Add tempe starter and wix well
  8. Scoop the beans into plastic bag, making about 1 inch thick
  9. Put it on rack with good air circulation. Keep it in warm room temperature (~75 F or 26-30 degree Celsius).
  10. It’s done when it’s solid white, to stop the fermentation put it in the fridge (stop it as soon as you see some black spots)
  11. Cut and fry in oil until golden brown, sprinkle with salt and enjoy with sweet soy sauce.

Quick Agedashi Tofu

One of my favorite hi-protein, low-carb and low-fat dishes here!

INGREDIENTS

  • Soft / silky tofu
  • Corn / potato starch
  • Frying oil
  • Chopped green onions
  • Katsuoboshi (shaved dried fish)
  • Soy sauce
  • Mirin

STEPS

  1. Heat oil until 350 F at least half of the height of the tofu
  2. Cut tofu into 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch pieces
  3. Cover in corn or potato starch
  4. Fry until lightly golden
  5. Heat up 1:1.25 mirin:soy sauce, just bring to boil and done
  6. Garnish with katsuoboshi and green onions

My First Xiao Long Bao – Ribeye & NY Strip Steak Leftovers

These are what my ribeye and new york strip steaks turned out to be! Yes, I did not eat most of the fat of the steak and put the cuts aside to use later. I’m happy that the good steaks turned into good exploding balls for breakfast, nothing is wasted.

INGREDIENTS

  • Leftover meat cuts
  • 1 stalk green onion, julienned
  • 1 thumb ginger, peeled, julienned
  • Water
  • 1 small package of gelatin
  • 1 cup flour
  • hot water
  • 2 tbsp oil

STEPS

  1. Boil the leftovers with the green onion and ginger, wait until the flavors are out, add salt or soy sauce to taste
  2. Reduce until about 1 cup
  3. Add the gelatin while it’s hot, remove it to a flat container and keep it in the fridge until solid (about 3 hours)
  4. Make the skin by stirring the remaining ingredients until mixed evenly. Add more hot water until it forms a dough
  5. Knead dough until smooth and bounces back, divide into thumb-size cuts
  6. Make the cuts into balls, and flatten as thin as possible but with thicker (around 2 mm) center
  7. Mince the hardened soup and tuck it inside the skin (google or YouTube the technique)
  8. Steam for about 6 minutes
  9. After it cools down, put the whole thing in your mouth and let it explodes
  10. BAM

What Makes Italian Marinara Pasta Italian (+Recipe)

3 years ago, I followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe of marinara spaghetti and it turned out aweful. After trying many italian restaurants in the following years, I realized that the key is the raw ingredients and in the details. Using ingredients in Indonesia made a totally different combination of flavors. Here are what I conclude so far:

  1. San marzano tomato (or similar taste): tomato plays a dominant taste in pasta, which without sweet and rich tomato our pasta could be bland.
  2. Good olive oil. As fresh as possible for its distinct flavor.
  3. Some umami. Anchovies or cut of meat/fat seared in oil in the beginning.
  4. Not-crispy garlic. It’s probably different with some asian recipes that is built on minced garlic that is cooked until crispy. The garlic usually subtle without having its raw taste.
  5. Al dente pasta. Drained and put rightaway into the sauce pan, allowing it to absorb and “carry” the sauce. It’s okay to have some pasta water getting in, the starch in it will help emulsifying the sauce.
  6. Seasoned with parmeggiano regiano (or similar types of cheese). It is actually the main source of saltiness with its natural umami and tangy flavors.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Anchovies
  • 1.5 cup peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 basil leaves, minced
  • Pasta, just cooked to al dente
  • Parmeggiano reggiano

STEPS

  1. Leave pasta being cooked
  2. Heat oil, add anchovies until sizzling, then garlic until cooked
  3. Add oregano, tomatoes, and basil leaves
  4. Transfer pasta into the sauce
  5. Top with parmeggiano reggiano

Om Juhaerdi’s Crepe Honed

Still one of my favorite recipes even among Parisienne versions. The recipe is from my uncle’s French friend, and it’s now my 2nd year honing it. Nonetheless, there’s a saying”the recipe is not the recipe.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup milk
  • 0.5-0.75 cup water
  • 0.5 stick melted butter

STEPS

  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth
  2. Pan it round as thin and even as possible

FINALLY!!! My ultimate (no-oven) ugly pizza! (Ugly pizza is the most beautiful pizza)

Ugly pizza is the best pizza!: charred, uneven, very artisanal, homemade, handmade. Thanks to Kenji Lopez’s article in Serious Eats, I finally nailed it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 g Typo 00 flour
  • 3.5 g yeast
  • 165 ml warm water (110 F)
  • A pinch of salt
  • San Marzano canned peeled tomato
  • Mozarella
  • Parmeggiano reggiano
  • Olive oil
  • Basil leaves

STEPS

  1. Mix yeast in warm water
  2. Mix flour with a pinch of salt
  3. Mix yeast misture into the flour, stir with spoon and knead it until forming a smooth ball
  4. Cover with wet kitchen towel and let it rise overnight
  5. Make the dough flat , put it on cast iron pan
  6. Add the toppings: a thin layer of tomato sauce, mozarellla, parmeggiano reggiano, olive oil, a pinch of salt
  7. Put it just under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until charred
  8. Remove the pizza onto a plate
  9. Heat the cast iron pan on high heat until smoking
  10. Put the pizza back and wait until charred
  11. Top with basil leaves
  12. BAM!

Perfect Bleu Ribeye Steak

It was the time to put all the sciences together! Thanks to The Food Lab Book that provided most the insights.

INGREDIENTS

  1. A fresh thick cut of steak (1 inch minimum to prevent over-crusting)
  2. Sea salt
  3. Freshly ground blackpepper
  4. Herbs of your choice
  5. Garlic, crushed
  6. Frying oil
  7. Butter

STEPS

  1. Salt your steak a day before or right before searing, anything in between would bring the juice out due to osmosis
  2. Sous vide in your choice of doneness time and temperature (mine was 122 F for 1:45) – you can make your own DIY with ziplock bag, thermometer, and a pan filled with water on stove top or in a beer box.
  3. Heat an oiled cast iron pan on high, until starts smoking.
  4. Pat your steak surface with paper towel, so it will crisp easily.
  5. Put the seasoned side of the steak on the pan for 1 minute or until crust is dark and shiny, season the other side.
  6. Flip the steak and wait for 1 minute. Add butter, garlic, and herbs. Give the steak a baste.
  7. Remove the steak off the pan on to a plate. Let it rest for 5 minute so the juice goes back into the meat tissues.
  8. Cut the meat against the grains, watch how the inside turns red slowly.
  9. Dispense the meat juice and butter liquid from the pan for the sauce.
  10. BAM