Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vegetable Curry Recipe (Sayur Kare Recipe)

Vegetable Curry Recipe (Sayur Kare Recipe)
3 tablespoons oil
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (use only the bottom white tender part)
200g offal, cooked until tender, cut into pieces
1 liter stock
250g potatoes, peeled, cut into 4-6 pieces
150g carrots, halved
100g french beans
500cc coconut milk from 1 coconut
5 cabbage leaves, cut into 2 cm squares
25g glass noodles, cut into 10cm lengths, soaked in water until tender, drained

Spices (ground):
3 candlenuts, roasted
2 teaspoons galangal, minced
2 teaspoons coriander, roasted
2 teaspoons tamarind
½ teaspoon pepper, roasted
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chopped turmeric
8 shallots
salt and sugar

Sauté the ground spices, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass until fragrant. Add offal and stir. Then add the stock, and simmer over low heat. Add the potatoes, carrots and french beans. When they are half-cooked, add coconut milk and bring to the boil. Finally, add cabbage and glass noodles.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mushrooms and Chicken in Banana Leaf Recipe (Pepes Ayam Jamur Recipe)

Mushrooms and Chicken in Banana Leaf Recipe (Pepes Ayam Jamur Recipe)
500 g chicken thighs, boned and cut into 1.5cm cubes
125 g shiitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, stems removed and diced
2 eggs, well beaten
60 ml coconut cream
50 g scallions, finely sliced
a pinch of salt or to taste
a pinch of freshly crushed white peppercorns or to taste
8 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leaves)
8 banana leaf wrappers, each about 25 x 18 cm (10 x 7 in)

Spice paste:
30 g garlic, peeled and sliced
50 g shallots, peeled and sliced
25 g ginger, peeled and sliced
40 g red chilies, halved, seeded and sliced
25 g candlenuts, roasted and crushed
a pinch of salt or to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oiL

Prepare spice paste. Combine all ingredients, except oil, in a stone mortar or blender (processor) and grind until very fine. Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add spice paste and sauté over medium heat until fragrant, then remove from heat and leave to cool to room temperature. Combine all remaining ingredients, except salam and banana leaves, in a large bowl and mix until chicken and mushrooms are well coated. Soften each banana leaf wrapper by either holding it over a gas flame or soaking in boiling water for 3 seconds. Place a salam leaf at the centre of a banana leaf wrapper and top with 2 tablespoons chicken and mushroom mixture. Take one long edge of the wrapper and fold it in towards the center to cover the ingredients, then roll up tightly. Secure open ends with bamboo skewers or cocktail sticks. Repeat until ingredients are used up. Steam parcels for 4 minutes, then charcoal or oven-grill for 3 minutes using very low heat. Turn parcels over at least once. Serve as desired.

Mutton Dry Curry Recipe

Mutton Dry Curry Recipe
500g mutton, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 dried chili, seeds removed and soaked in water to soften
8 shallots
400g grated coconut, toasted until lightly brown
3 cups (675ml) coconut milk
4 tablespoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 stalk lemongrass, root end and leaves removed, bruised
1 teaspoon chopped galangal (lengkuas)
2 kaffir lime leaves (limau purut)
1 turmeric leaf (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Grind the dried chilies, shallots, and grated coconut in a food processor to make a smooth paste. Combine this paste, the coconut milk, and all the other ingredients (except the meat) in a pot. Bring to a boil and then add the meat. Cook uncovered, simmering until the meat is tender (about 2 hours). Stir regularly to prevent sticking or burning and add half a cup of water if it becomes too dry. The finished dish should not be soupy but have a thick gravy. If you have used the lemongrass stem, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric leaves, remove them before serving. You can, of course, include them in your presentation, but they should not be eaten.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bergedel Recipe (Potato and Fish Cakes Recipe)

Bergedel Recipe (Potato and Fish Cakes Recipe)
750 g potatoes
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon ground garlic
250 g flaked cooked fish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 eggs, beaten to blend
oil for deep-frying

Cook potatoes in boiling water for 16 to 20 minutes (or microwave on High) until soft. Drain very well and peel, then mash fine. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat and fry onion and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Mix with mash, fish, pepper, salt and cloves until well blended. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. With well-floured hands, roll egg-sized balls of mash into flat patties. Dust each bergedel lightly with flour, then coat well with the beaten egg and slip into the hot oil. Deep-fry in batches, for 3 to 5 minutes per batch, turning once, until golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper and serve hot.

Note: You can use any white fish - even drained canned water-packed tuna, in a pinch.

Beef Braised in Coconut Milk Recipe (Indonesian Rendang Sapi Recipe)

Beef Braised in Coconut Milk Recipe (Indonesian Rendang Sapi Recipe)
800 g beef shoulder or neck
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.625 liters (6½ cups) coconut milk
2 stalks lemon grass, bruised (use only the bottom tender inner part)
1 turmeric leaf, torn and knotted
3 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
salt to taste

Spice paste:
60 g shallots, peeled and sliced
40 g garlic, peeled and sliced
100 g red chilies, halved, seeded and sliced
35 g turmeric, peeled and sliced
35 g galangal, peeled and sliced
35 g ginger, peeled and sliced
35 g candlenuts, roasted and crushed
¾ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

Cut cleaned beef into 2.5-cm (1-inch) cubes, then set aside. Prepare spice paste. Combine all ingredients in a stone mortar or blender (processor) and grind coarsely. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan, add spice paste and sauté over medium heat until fragrant and color changes. Add coconut milk, lemon grass and turmeric and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to the boil. Add beef cubes and return to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated. Stir frequently. Season to taste with salt and remove from heat when dish appears dry and oily.

Note: Replace coconut milk with beef or chicken stock or even yoghurt if you prefer a dish that is less rich. If using stock, simmer until meat is nearly cooked, then add 85 ml coconut cream.

Dried Spiced Beef Recipe (Dendeng Balado Recipe)

Dried Spiced Beef Recipe (Dendeng Balado Recipe)
500g beef, fat and sinew removed, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons lime juice
8 tablespoons oil
6 shallots, finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves
15 red chilies, coarsely ground, or halved
1 teaspoon salt

Knead beef with 1-2 tablespoons lime juice, and let it stand for 10 minutes. Spread in a baking pan and dry in the sun until nearly crisp, or bake in an oven with low heat until the juices are absorbed. Heat oil and fry beef until cooked. Drain and set aside. Sauté shallots until golden brown, then add kaffir lime leaves and chilies. When the chilies are cooked, add remaining lime juice and salt. Then toss in beef and stir well.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gai Yang Recipe (Chicken with Lemongrass Recipe)

Gai Yang Recipe (Chicken with Lemongrass Recipe)
8 chicken legs or thighs

For the marinade:
10 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks lemongrass, white part only, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh calamansi juice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) coconut milk
1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make marinade: In a mortar, combine garlic and lemongrass and pound to a coarse paste with a pestle. Or, thinly slice, then chop together to a coarse paste with a cleaver or chef's knife. Stir in all remaining marinade ingredients. Arrange chicken legs in one layer in a shallow dish. Pour over the marinade, and gently shake chicken to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight, turning pieces several times. If refrigerated, let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Light a fire in a charcoal grill. Wipe marinade from chicken and grill, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides and juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, cook chicken pieces under a broiler (grill). Lay chicken about 10 inches (25 cm) from the flame and cook, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides and juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 20-30 minutes.

Note: Traditionally, this dish is made with whole spatchcock chickens that have been butterflied, by splitting down the backbone and flattening. Broil (grill), skin-side down, for 10-15 minutes, then turn and broil, skin-side up, for 10 minutes. After cooking, cut chicken with a cleaver, through the bones, into smaller pieces. You may also use chicken halves.

Gai Phad King Recipe (Chicken with Ginger Recipe)

Gai Phad King Recipe (Chicken with Ginger Recipe)
1 cup (2 oz/60 g) cloud or tree ear mushrooms (black or white fungus)
¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
12 oz (375 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 cup (4 oz/125 g) loosely packed, julienned fresh ginger, preferably young ginger
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon soybean paste
2 fresh long red chlies, cut into large pieces
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) chicken broth or water
8 scallions (green onions), white part only, chopped

If using dried mushrooms, soak in water for 10 minutes; drain. Use scissors to trim hard core, then cut mushrooms into pieces. Heat oil in a wok or large, heavy frying pan over high heat and fry garlic just until it starts to brown. Immediately add onion and chicken, and stir-fry until meat is opaque on all sides, about two minutes. Add ginger and mushrooms, then fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and soybean paste. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chilies and broth or water, bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in scallions. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Note: If cloud or tree ear mushrooms are unavailable, substitute an equal quantity of straw mushrooms or standard mushrooms.

Duck Red Curry Recipe (Kaeng Phet Pet Yang Recipe)

Duck Red Curry Recipe (Kaeng Phet Pet Yang Recipe)
1 roasted duck, de-boned and cut into 1" squares
2 cups coconut milk
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons red curry paste (pls. refer More Thailand Recipes below)
2 medium tomatoes, halved or 10 cherry tomatoes
½ cup sweet basil leaves (horapha)
4 kaffir lime leaves, halved
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water (or chicken stock)

Put vegetable oil into wok over medium heat and add the red curry paste, stir well, add 1 cup coconut milk and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the duck and stir well. Next, add the remaining coconut milk, water, tomatoes, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, salt, fish sauce and sweet basil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until duck absorbs curry flavor. Serve with steamed hot fragrant rice.

Curried Prawns Recipe (Kaeng Ka-ri Kung Recipe)

Curried Prawns Recipe (Kaeng Ka-ri Kung Recipe)
600g prawns, shelled and de-veined
2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon yellow curry paste (Nam Phrik Kaeng - refer More Thailand recipes)
2 fresh chilies, de-seeded and sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Put ½ cup of coconut milk into a wok or pan, bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the curry paste, stir well, and simmer for 10 minutes. Then, add the fish sauce, sugar, salt and remaining coconut milk and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring regularly. Finally, put in the chilies, tomatoes and prawns, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Serve with steamed hot fragrant rice.

Crispy Candied Noodles Recipe (Mi Krop Recipe)

Crispy Candied Noodles Recipe (Mi Krop Recipe)
150g thin rice noodles
¼ cup finely chopped fresh shrimps
¼ cup finely chopped pork
1 cake yellow bean curd, cut into matchstick-size pieces and fried crisp
1 tablespoon chopped garlic and shallot
1 tablespoon fermented soybeans
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
4 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground dried chilies
50g bean sprouts
3 Chinese chives (gao choy)
1 fresh red chili, thinly sliced
1 coriander plant
2 pickled garlic bulbs, thinly sliced
3 cups cooking oil

If the noodles are very fine, fry in oil until crisp and golden brown, then drain. If the noodles are thick, soak 15 minutes in water, drain well and then fry a few at a time. Heat ¼ cup oil in a frying pan. Fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant, then add the pork and shrimp, seasoning with fermented soybeans, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and dried chilies. When thick, add the lime juice. Mix and season to obtain a sweet, sour and salty flavor. Reduce the heat, add the noodles and continue stirring in the sauce until they stick together; then add the bean curd; mix and spoon onto plates. Sprinkle with the pickled garlic, finely sliced kaffir lime rind, coriander, and chili. Place bean sprouts and Chinese chives along the sides of the plates.

Coconut Milk Chicken Soup Recipe (Tom Kha Kai Recipe)

Coconut Milk Chicken Soup Recipe (Tom Kha Kai Recipe)
3½ cups coconut milk
450g chicken (skinned, de-boned and diced)
200g fresh mushrooms, halved
20g fresh galangal, sliced
20g fresh lemon grass, cut into 1" lengths
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
2-3 fresh chilies, halved
⅓ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped coriander greens
1 tablespoon roasted chili sauce (nam phrik phao - refer more Thailand Recipes)

Put coconut milk into a medium-sized pot, add 1 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, add the galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the chicken, salt, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice, cook until the chicken is done. Then, add the mushrooms and remove from heat. To serve: Put 1 tablespoon of roasted chili sauce in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Pour in the boiling soup.

Egg Rolls Recipe (Po-Pia Thot Recipe)

Egg Rolls Recipe (Po-Pia Thot Recipe)
1 pack egg-roll sheets
225g ground pork
80g crab meat
1 egg
80g mungbean noodles
½ cup shredded carrot
½ cup shredded cabbage
5-6 dried ear mushrooms, chopped (soaked in hot water)
½ tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 cups cooking oil
Paste made by mixing 2 tablespoons wheat flour in ¼ cup water and stirring over low heat.

Ingredients for egg roll sauce:
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon chili, well pounded
2 teaspoons tapioca flour mixed in 2 tablespoons water

Soak the noodles until soft, then cut into short lengths. Mix pork, egg, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, pepper and light soy sauce together then add the noodles and mix well. Fry the garlic in 3 tablespoons oil and then add the pork and noodle mixture. Fry until fairly dry, then set aside to cool. Place a teaspoonful of the filling on an egg roll sheet, fold the sheet over the filling, fold about half a turn, fold in the ends to close them; then, roll up tightly, sealing the sheet closed with the paste. Deep fry in plenty of oil over low heat until crisp and golden brown. Serve with sauce, sliced cucumber, and sweet basil leaves. To prepare sauce, mix the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and chili; heat to boiling, add a little of the flour water, boil a short time, then remove from heat.

Garlic Prawns Recipe (Kung Kra Thiam Recipe)

Garlic Prawns Recipe (Kung Kra Thiam Recipe)
8-12 jumbo prawns, shelled and de-veined
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped coriander root
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stalk chopped scallions
1 tablespoon chopped or minced ginger

In a wok or big frying pan, heat the oil over high heat. Fry the garlic, coriander root, pepper, sugar, fish sauce and prawns, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and remove from heat. Serve.

Fried Rice Stick Noodles (Pad Thai) Recipe

Fried Rice Stick Noodles (Pad Thai) Recipe
400 g dried rice stick noodles, soaked in warm water to soften, drained
6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and minced
3 - 4 shallots, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon crushed dried chili flakes
200 g lean pork or chicken, shredded
250 g small or medium shrimps, peeled and de-veined
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 eggs
1 tablespoon calamansi juice
1 tablespoon sugar
100 g bean sprouts, straggly tails removed
60 ml vegetable oil

4 tablespoons coarsely crushed unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon dried shrimps, toasted over low heat 4-5 minutes, processed to a powder
1 scallion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaf
2 calamansi, halved
100 g bean sprouts, straggly tails removed

crushed dried chili flakes
simple Thai fish sauce and chili dip

Heat the oil in a wok, add the garlic, shallots and chili and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the pork or chicken and stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the shrimps and stir-fry just until they are just cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Splash over the fish sauce, stir, then add the eggs, stirring briefly to break up the yolks. Leave for a few seconds until the egg starts to set, then mix it with the pork and shrimps.

Push the cooked ingredients up the sides of the wok and put in the drained noodles in the center. Leave them for a few seconds, then toss to mix well. Add the calamansi juice and sugar and give a quick stir. Put in the bean sprouts and stir-fry for just 30 seconds, mixing well. Transfer immediately to a large serving dish or four individual dishes. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts, shrimp powder, scallion and coriander (cilantro) sprigs. Arrange the bean sprouts and lime pieces around the edge of the noodles and serve together with chili flakes and simple Thai Fish Sauce and Chili Dip.

Note: You could reduce the amount of pork or chicken to 125 g and add 1 firm bean curd (about 125 g); cut the bean curd in ½-inch dice and add as soon as the shrimps have started to turn pink.

Stewed Beef Recipe (Neua Tun Recipe)

Stewed Beef Recipe (Neua Tun Recipe)
450g beef shank
10 cups water
1 cm length of cinnamon, broken into small pieces
½ inch length of galangal
3 coriander roots
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf (krawan leaf)
2 celery plants
180g lettuce, swamp cabbage, or bean sprouts
2 tablespoons fried garlic
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

Wash the meat, cut into 1 inch cubes, place in pot. Add the water, cinnamon, galangal, coriander roots, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and bay leaf. Heat to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer until the meat is tender. (If using an ordinary pot, this will be 3-4 hours. With a pressure cooker use only 2 cups of water and cook for 25 minutes, then remove from heat, allow to cool, open lid and add 3 cups boiled water. Season to taste and bring to a boil once again). Blanch the vegetables, cut into 1 inch pieces and place on the bottom of the serving bowl. Pour the stewed beef on top of the vegetables, sprinkle with coarsely cut fresh coriander, celery, fried garlic and ground pepper. Serve with steamed rice or noodles.

Red Curry Paste Recipe

Red Curry Paste Recipe
1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
4 coriander roots, scraped and cleaned
1 x 4 cm piece galangal, finely sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, finely sliced
1 teaspoon dried prawns (shrimps), soaked in warm water
50 g smoked trout
1 tablespoon roasted shrimp paste
10 long dried chilies, seeded and soaked
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon white peppercorns, ground

Pound the onion, garlic, coriander roots and galangal in a mortar and pestle until a uniform paste. Place in a food processor. Pound the remaining ingredients except the peppercorns to a uniform paste and add to the food processor. Blend to a smooth paste. Mix through the pepper. Store in an airtight container. The paste keeps for 4 - 6 days in the refrigerator. It freezes well.

Sweet Mung Bean Soup Recipe

Sweet Mung Bean Soup Recipe
For sweet soup:
1 cup dry mung beans
½ cup lotus seeds
½ tablespoon cornstarch
5 Chinese prunes or dates, pitted and sliced
1½ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon baking soda
Sugar to taste
5 cups water

Sticky rice:
1 cup dry mung beans
2 cups glutinous rice

To make sweet soup, soak mung beans in 3 cups of water for 3 hours. Rub beans to remove hull and rinse well. Soak lotus seeds for 3 hours in hot water and baking soda. Rub lotus seeds to remove skins and rinse well. Remove the green shoots of the lotus seeds with a wooden pick. In a pot, cook lotus seeds in 2 cups of water for 1 hour. In a separate pot, combine mung beans, Chinese prunes and cornstarch with 5 cups of water. Cook for 45 minutes until soft. Add cooked lotus seeds and sugar. Cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve cold with sticky rice.

For sticky rice:
Soak mung beans in 3 cups of water for 3 hours. Rub beans to remove hull and rinse well. Steam mung beans until cooked and mash beans when cooled. Mix the mashed beans with uncooked glutinous rice and steam until rice is cooked. Cool the rice until grains do not stick to each other (this can be done by placing the rice on dish and air-dried). Serve cooled with the cold sweet soup.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ikan Bumbu Bali Recipe (Balinese Spicy Fish Recipe)

Ikan Bumbu Bali Recipe (Balinese Spicy Fish Recipe)
500g pomfret/Spanish mackerel/snapper/milkfish, cut into 3-4 pieces
1 lime, extract juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 stalks lemon grass, bruised (use only the bottom white tender part)
1 teaspoon tamarind juice
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce

Spices (ground):
6 red chilies, seeded
5 shallots
2 cloves garlic
3 candlenuts
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Rub fish with lime juice and salt and let it stand for 20 minutes. Wash and drain. Heat oil and deep-fry fish until golden brown. Drain and set aside. Heat 3 tablespoons oil and sauté ground spices until fragrant, then add lemon grass, tamarind juice and sweet soy sauce. When the sauce has thickened, spread it over deep-fried fish.

Sop Buntut Recipe (Oxtail Soup)

Sop Buntut Recipe (Oxtail Recipe)
1kg oxtail/beef tail, cut into serving pieces
½ tablespoon chopped ginger
½ nutmeg, bruised
1 scallion, cut into 2-3 pieces
1 tablespoon margarine
200g carrots, cut into 3cm pieces, then halved or quartered
250g potatoes, cut into 4-6 pieces

Ground Spices:
6 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon peppercorns

Fried shallots
chopped Chinese parsley
melinjo nut crackers

Put oxtail in a pan with 2 liters water and bring to the boil. Carefully scoop off and discard the scum floating on the surface. Discard the stock and replace with 2 liters clean water. Add chopped ginger, nutmeg and scallion. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat until tender. Remove the tail, reserving 1½ liters stock. Bring the stock to the boil, then add oxtail. Heat margarine and fry ground spices until fragrant. Add to the boiling stock, then add carrots and potatoes. Bring to the boil until the ingredients are thoroughly cooked. Garnish with fried shallots, scallions, Chinese parsley and melinjo nut crackers. Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dashimaki Tamago Recipe (Japanese Rolled Omelet Recipe)

dashimaki tamago recipe
5 eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dashi
2 teaspoons Japanese soy sauce
vegetable oil for cooking
parsley sprigs for garnish

Beat eggs until well mixed. Dissolve sugar and salt in the dashi, stir in soy sauce, then mix with beaten eggs. Heat omelet pan and grease with a few drops of oil. Pour in a third of the egg mixture and tilt pan so it covers entire surface. Cook on low heat (omelet must not brown) until it is set, then roll the omelet away from you. When omelet is completely rolled up, lightly grease pan again, slide omelet towards you and grease that part of the pan where omelet was. Pour in half the remaining mixture and lift the egg roll so the uncooked egg can cover the base of pan. Cook as before and roll again, this time rolling the first omelet within the second one. Repeat as before, using the remaining beaten egg. Turn the omelet on to a sudare (bamboo mat) or a clean cloth and roll the omelet firmly. Leave it for 10 minutes, then remove mat and cut the rolled egg into thick slices. Serve garnished with parsley.

Bihun Goreng Recipe (Fried Vermicelli)

Bihun Goreng Recipe (Fried Vermicelli)
250g dried vermicelli
5 tablespoons oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250g chicken, finely sliced
200g shrimps, shelled and de-veined
100g carrots, thinly sliced
125cc stock/water
3 cabbage leaves, cut into ½ cm pieces
150g Chinese cabbage, cut into 3 cm pieces
50g snow peas, cut the ends
2 scallions, cut into 3 cm pieces
2 sprigs Chinese parsley, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 tablespoons salty soy sauce
4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Blanch the dried vermicelli with hot water until tender. Drain, then set aside. Sauté garlic in oil until golden brown, then add chicken, shrimps and carrots. Stir until the shrimps change color. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Add vegetables, soy sauces, pepper, salt and vermicelli. Mix well until the stock is completely absorbed. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fried shallots.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Soto Ayam Recipe (Chicken Noodle Soup)

soto ayam recipe
1¼ lb (600 g) chicken pieces with the bone still in (preferably thigh)
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
½ to 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder, optional
1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves, edges torn
2 small waxy potatoes, boiled, peeled and thickly sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved lengthways
1½ cups (120 g) bean sprouts
7 oz (200 g) fine dried rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water to soften
3 tablespoons Crisp-fried shallots
2 tablespoons finely minced Chinese celery leaf or coriander
1 large lime, quartered

Seasoning paste:
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted
4 candlenuts, minced
6 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 thin slice ginger, minced
½ inch (1 cm) fresh turmeric, minced or ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

Put the chicken, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer gently until the chicken is soft. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and remove the flesh from the bones, shredding it finely by hand. Set aside. Reserve the chicken stock. Prepare Seasoning Paste by processing pepper and coriander to a powder in a spice grinder. Add remaining ingredients and process to a smooth paste, adding a little of the oil if needed to keep the mixture turning. Heat the oil in a saucepan with a heavy base, then add the Seasoning Paste and stir-fry over low-medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved chicken stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves, then bring gently to the boil, stirring. Taste and add a little chicken stock powder if desired. Simmer with the pan uncovered for 5 minutes. To serve, divide the noodles, potato, egg, bean sprouts, and chicken between four large noodle bowls. Add hot stock to each, then garnish with crisp-fried shallots and celery leaf. Serve with a lime wedge and, if preferred, a chili sambal.

Semur Ayam Recipe (Spiced Chicken Stew with Potatoes)

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800 g chicken thighs (legs), boned
3 tablespoons vegetable oil and enough for deep-frying
20 g garlic, peeled and sliced
30 g shallots, peeled and sliced
20 g galangal (laos), peeled, sliced and bruised
500 ml chicken stock
200 g potatoes, peeled, sliced and deep-fried until golden
a pinch of salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste

3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
2 tablespoons salty soy sauce (kecap masin)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Crisp-fried shallots
Lime wedges
Finely chopped kaffir lime leaves

Cut chicken thigh meat into 2.5cm cubes. Set aside. Heat sufficient oil for deep-frying chicken to 180 degrees Celsius, then fry for 1 minute. Remove and place on a wire rack to drain. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan. Add garlic, shallots and galangal. Sauté over medium heat until fragrant. Add all seasoning ingredients and continue to sauté until solid ingredients are evenly coated and glazed. Add stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, then add chicken and return to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously, until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from sauce and keep warm, then reduce sauce to a syrupy consistency. Mix in fried potatoes and chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dish out, garnish as desired and serve.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dan-Dan Noodles Recipe

Dan-Dan Noodles Recipe
3 tablespoons sesame paste
a pinch of sugar
½ teaspoon vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
7 tablespoons stock or water
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon ground garlic
a pinch of Szechwan pepper powder
2 stalks scallions, chopped
150g dried noodles

Place sesame paste, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, stock or water in a bowl in the order listed, stirring continuously until mixture is smooth. Boil enough water to cook the noodles. When cooked divide into two portions and place in separate bowls. Pour the stock mixture and add chili oil, ground garlic, Szechwan pepper powder and chopped scallions to each portion, mix and serve.

Peking Duck Recipe

Peking Duck Recipe
One 7-pound duck, freshly killed preferred, including head, wings, and feet
¼ cup salt
1 quart boiling water, to scald duck

For the coating:
3 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons Chinese white rice vinegar or distilled vinegar
3 tablespoons maltose or honey
12 Peking Duck Pancakes

For the sauce:
⅓ cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Shao-Hsing wine or sherry
6 scallions, white parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces, edges cut to make fringes

Special equipment:
1 air pump
1 chopstick, cut to 7-inch length

Oven: Preheat to 450°F
Prepare the duck. Clean, remove all membranes and fat, and rinse inside and outside with cold running water. Sprinkle the outside of the duck with salt and rub in well. Rinse all salt off. Allow the water to drain. Tie off the neck of the duck with string and insert the nozzle of the air pump into the neck opening. Inflate with the pump until the skin separates from the flesh. Remove the pump nozzle. With a cleaver, remove the first 2 joints of each of the duck's wings and feet. Insert the 7-inch chopstick under the wings through the back to lift them away from the body. To scald the duck, holding the duck with one hand, use the other hand to ladle 4 cups boiling water onto the skin. The entire outside must be scalded. It is advisable to hang the duck on a hook over a sink to ease this step. The skin will darken and tighten when scalded. Allow 30 minutes for the skin to dry. (On humid days this may take longer). To coat the duck, in a wok mix together 3 cups boiling water, the vinegar, and the maltose, and bring to a boil. Ladle the coating mixture over the hanging duck, making certain the skin is coated completely and thoroughly. Allow 10 to 12 hours of drying time. (You may use a fan blowing air onto the duck to reduce the drying time by half). As the duck dries, make the pancakes. To roast the duck, heat the oven to 450°F for 30 minutes. Place a large roasting pan containing at least 1½ inches of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Place the duck directly on the oven rack over the roasting pan, not in the roasting pan. The pan serves only to catch the fat drippings as the duck roasts. Roast the duck, breast side down, for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 425°F. Turn the duck over and allow the other side to roast 10 minutes. If the duck begins to burn, reduce the temperature to 400°F. Allow the duck to roast evenly for 35 to 45 minutes, turning frequently to ensure the head and tail do not burn. The duck is ready when the skin is a deep brown color and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 7 minutes. Combine the sauce ingredients, except for the scallions, in a small bowl and set aside. To serve, make certain the pancakes are hot and ready for serving. Slice the duck skin carefully away from the meat in irregular scallops about 2½ inches long. Serve the duck skin slices in pancakes. Brush each pancake with 1½ teaspoons of the sauce mixture with a fringed scallion brush. Then lay the brush down, cover with 2 slices of skin, and wrap by overlapping the pancakes over the skin, then folding up one end. Serve.

Tea-Smoked Duck Recipe

Tea-Smoked Duck Recipe
One 2.7kg duck
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

5 tablespoons salt
2 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed
Two ¼-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
3 Sichuan peppercorns
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise

For smoking the duck:
Vegetable oil
Aluminum foil, for lining the wok
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup oolong tea leaves
¼ cup long-grain rice
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise

Dipping sauce:
½ cup hoisin sauce
1½ teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon dark sesame oil

For serving the duck:
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into very thin strips about 1½ inches long
4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into very thin strips about 1½ inches long
20 small Chinese pancakes

To marinate the duck: At least 1 day before serving the duck, cut off and discard the excess fat. Cut off and discard the neck and the tips of the wings. Discard the gizzards. Bring 800ml of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the salt, scallions, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and star anise and return to a boil. Pour the marinade into a non-reactive container that is large enough to hold the duck, and let it cool to room temperature. Add the duck to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the duck after 12 hours. (The duck can also be marinated in a jumbo self-sealing plastic bag set in a large bowl). Drain the duck from the marinade and place it on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Position a large electric fan 18 inches from the rack and train the fan on the duck. (If using a smaller fan, position it 12 inches from the rack). Let the duck stand in front of the fan until the skin is dry, about 2 hours. Next, smoke the duck: Using a paper towel, lightly oil the inside of a wok with vegetable oil. Line the interior of the wok with aluminum foil and lightly oil the foil. Mix the sugar, tea leaves, rice, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and star anise in the wok. Place a round rack over the mixture. Arrange the duck on the rack, breast side up. Set the wok over high heat and cover it. When smoke emerges, after about 1 minute, lower the heat to medium-high and continue smoking for 20 minutes. You should see a wisp of smoke emerging from the wok during this time, so adjust the heat as needed to keep the smoke visible. When done, the duck should be a burnished dark gold or light brown, not pale nor golden brown. While the duck is smoking, fill the bottom half of an Asian-style steamer with about 4 inches of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. You will need a heatproof bowl that will hold the duck and fit in the upper part of the steamer. Transfer the duck to the bowl, place it in the upper part of the steamer, cover and steam for 45 minutes to an hour. Transfer the duck to a colander to drain. (The duck can be prepared to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before deep-frying. Otherwise, if the duck is ice-cold, it will make the oil bubble furiously). Heat a large wok over high heat. Add enough oil to come about 1½ inches up the sides of the wok, and heat it to 180°C. Gently lower the duck into the wok. Using a metal scoop, bathe the top of the duck with oil as it fries. Fry until it is golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer the duck to a colander to drain. To make the dipping sauce, mix the hoisin sauce, rice wine, vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside. Place the cucumber and scallions strips on a serving platter. Reheat the water in the steamer (or, if making it the next day, refill a clean steamer) and bring to a boil. Place the pancakes on a plate that will fit in the top of the steamer, and steam, covered, until they are hot, about 2 minutes. (The pancakes can also be heated, separated with paper towels, in a microwave oven on high power for about 30 seconds). Place the duck on a cutting board. Using a cleaver or heavy knife, cut off the legs and wings and transfer them to the serving platter. Cut the duck in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 8 pieces. Remove the meat from the bone. Serve immediately. To eat, put a teaspoon of the dipping sauce on a pancake, then a piece of boneless duck and some cucumber and scallions; then roll up the pancake.

Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe
16 medium shrimps, shelled and de-veined
1 tablespoon egg white, beaten

For the sauce:
2½ teaspoons preserved horse beans with chili or chili sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar or black vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
⅛ teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns, crushed
3 cups peanut oil
½ cup fresh peanuts, skins removed
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small knob ginger, peeled and sliced
2 dried red chilies, wash but do not soak and cut into half
½ cup white parts of scallions, chopped in diagonal 1/2-in pieces)
1 big onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 teaspoon cornstarch mix with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Place the shrimp in a bowl, add the egg white, mix well, and reserve. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and reserve. Heat a wok or frying pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add the peanut oil and heat to 180°C. Add the peanuts and fry for 1½ to 2 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Turn off the heat, remove with a Chinese strainer, and drain. Transfer the oil to a bowl. Return 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok. Heat the wok over high heat for 20 seconds and add the dried chilies, ginger and garlic. Stir and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the scallions and onion, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimps and stir well to mix. Cook for 1½ minutes. Make a well in the mixture, stir the sauce mixture, pour in, mix well, and cook for 45 seconds, until very hot. Add the peanuts and cornstarch mixture and stir to combine and sauce slightly thicken. Turn off the heat and add the sesame oil, transfer to a heated platter, and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Teppanyaki (Japanese Meat and Seafood on the Griddle Recipe)

Teppanyaki Recipe
500 g (1 lb) fillet or other tender steak
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
8 large prawns (shrimps)
1 dozen fresh oysters
1 large green capsicum
1 small aubergine
vegetable oil for cooking

Dipping sauce:
½ cup Japanese soy sauce
¼ cup mirin or dry sherry
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

Slice beef very thinly. Crush garlic with sugar and mix with ginger and soy sauce. Marinate meat in the mixture for 30 minutes. Shell and de-vein prawns. Drain oysters. Cut capsicum into strips, discarding seeds and center membrane. Cut aubergine into thin round slices. Heat griddle or individual steak platters and grease lightly with oil. Cook aubergine and capsicum first as they require longer cooking. Add slices of beef, prawns and oysters as required, cooking only just until done. Do not overcook. Dip in sauce and eat with hot white rice.

Sauce: Combine soy, mirin, sugar and ginger, stirring to dissolve sugar. Divide among individual sauce bowls.

Opor Ayam (Chicken in Spiced Coconut Sauce Recipe)

Opor Ayam Recipe
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
600 g chicken thighs, boned and cut into 2.5cm cubes
150 ml chicken stock
2 stalks lemon grass, bruised
2 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leaves)
125 ml coconut cream
Salt to taste
Ground white pepper to taste
Lime (calamansi) juice

Spiced paste:
1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro) seeds, roasted
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon white peppercorns
25 g candlenuts, roasted and crushed
30 g galangal (laos), peeled and sliced
60 g shallots, peeled and sliced
30 g garlic, peeled and sliced
15 g palm sugar, chopped

Prepare spice paste. Combine coriander, cumin and white peppercorns in a stone mortar or a blender (processor) and grind until very fine, then add all remaining ingredients and grind into a fine paste. Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add spice paste and sauté until fragrant. Add chicken cubes and continue to sauté until they are evenly coated with spice paste and their color has changed. Add stock, lemon grass and salam leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes. Add coconut cream, return to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes more or until sauce thickens and chicken is tender.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add a generous squeeze of lime juice before serving. Should sauce thicken too much during cooking, add splashes of stock to thin it down.

Lontong (Compressed Rice Cake Recipe)

Lontong Recipe
30 g (1 oz) ginger, peeled, sliced and bruised
50 g (2 oz) shallots, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 screwpine (pandan) leaf
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (use only the bottom tender inner part)
300 g glutinous rice, washed and drained
600 ml (2½ cups) coconut milk
a pinch of salt
banana leaves for wrapping

Grind ginger and shallots finely. Heat oil and sauté above with screwpine leaf and lemon grass until fragrant, then add rice and sauté until evenly coated. Add coconut milk and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove and cool completely. Divide rice into desired serving portions and wrap in banana leaf - roll up tightly to form a sausage shape, then secure with skewers or string. Steam for 30 minutes or until cooked.

Ketoprak (Vermicelli with Peanut Sauce Recipe)

Ketoprak Recipe
8 pieces bean curd (5 x 5cm)
sweet soy sauce to taste
2 whole lontong, 20 x 3cm, sliced round (refer More Indonesian Recipes below)
100g dried vermicelli, blanched, drained
150g bean sprouts, tailed, blanched, drained
fried shallots
Chinese parsley, chopped
100g tapioca crackers/melinjo nut crackers

Spices (ground):
3 cloves garlic
5 bird's eye chilies
2 red chilies
50g peanuts, roasted/fried
1-2 teaspoons vinegar
50cc water

Fry bean curd until golden brown, then drain and chop finely. Mix ground spices and add sweet soy sauce. To serve, arrange lontong (rice dumplings), vermicelli, bean curd, bean sprouts, fried shallots and Chinese parsley on a serving dish. Pour the peanut sauce over and sprinkle with more fried shallots and tapioca crackers or melinjo nut crackers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nasi Langgi (Steamed Rice in Spiced Coconut Milk Recipe)

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500g rice
450cc coconut milk from ½ coconut
3cm galangal
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed (use only the bottom white tender part)
1 teaspoon coriander, roasted
½ teaspoon salt

Spices (ground):
2 cloves garlic
6 shallots
1 teaspoon coriander, roasted

Wash rice and steam for 25 minutes until half-cooked. Bring to the boil coconut milk with ground spices, galangal, lemon grass and salt. Add the half-cooked rice to the coconut milk and cook until the milk is completely absorbed. Steam until cooked. Put other dishes on top of the rice or surrounding it. Serve on a plate of banana leaf.

Pepes Ikan (Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf Recipe)

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4 fish fillets or whole fish, each about 350 g
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water or chicken stock
80 g scallions, sliced
1 turmeric leaf, sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
10 g lemon basil, sliced
Salt to taste
4 banana leaves, each 25 x 30 cm (10 x 12 in)

Salt to taste
Freshly crushed white pepper to taste
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Spice paste:
50 g shallots, peeled and sliced
10 g bird's eye chilies, sliced
15 g ginger, peeled and sliced
50 g candlenuts, crushed
10 g turmeric, peeled and sliced
2 stalks lemon grass, bruised and finely sliced

If using whole fish, gut and clean thoroughly, then use a sharp knife to make 4 slits on both sides of fish. Rub fish all over, including slits if using whole fish, with seasoning ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare spice paste. Combine all ingredients in a stone mortar or blender (processor) and grind into a fine paste. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add spice paste and sauté over low heat until fragrant, adding stock or water to prevent sticking. Add all remaining ingredients, except salt and banana leaves. Sauté for 1 minute or until well mixed. Remove from heat and leave to cool to room temperature, then season to taste with salt. Place 1 rounded (heaped) tablespoon spice mixture on the center of each banana leaf. Place fish on top and cover fish with more spice paste. Wrap fish tightly in banana leaf and secure with skewers or kitchen string. Steam parcels for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through, then serve as desired.

Sambel Bajak (Fried Chili Sambal Recipe)

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6 large fresh red chilies, roughly chopped
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
8 kemiri nuts, finely grated
3 tablespoons peanut oil
½ teaspoon laos powder
1 tablespoon dried shrimp paste (trasi)
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons tamarind liquid
2 tablespoons palm sugar or substitute

Blend chilies, onion and garlic to a pulp. If blender is small, blend in small portions. It might be necessary to stop and start the motor several times to draw the onions and chilies down on to the blades. When everything has been blended smoothly, heat the oil in a small frying pan or a saucepan and fry the blended mixture over low heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until well cooked but not brown. Add kemiri nuts, laos, trasi and salt. Crush the trasi against the side of the pan and fry, stirring, until mixture is well blended. Add tamarind liquid and sugar, stir and simmer until well fried and reddish-brown in color and the oil separates from the mixture. Cool. This sambal is not served hot from the fire.

Note: If electric blender is not available, seed the chilies and chop very finely. Peel and chop onion finely, crush garlic with salt, then proceed as above.

Gulai Cumi-Cumi (Squid Curry Recipe)

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500 g (1 lb) fresh squid, remove head and ink sac
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon dried shrimp paste (trasi)
1¾ cups coconut milk
4 kemiri nuts or brazil nuts, grated
1 stalk lemon grass, finely sliced or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon palm sugar or substitute
4 tablespoons tamarind liquid or lemon juice to taste

Wash well inside and out of squid and rub away spotted skin from body. Cut each squid in halves lengthways, then into bite-size pieces. Put all other ingredients except sugar and tamarind or lemon juice into a saucepan and bring to simmering point, stirring. Allow to simmer over low heat, uncovered, until thickened. Stir occasionally. Add squid, simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Add sugar and tamarind or lemon juice, taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.

Bakso Komplit (Meat Dumpling Noodle Soup Recipe)

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Cooking oil for deep-frying
1.5 liters (6 cups) Chicken or beef stock
120 g egg noodles, cooked
120 g firm bean curd, sliced

Chicken wontons:
150 g chicken meat, minced
10 g scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon potato flour
8 wonton wrappers
1 egg white, beaten

Beef dumplings:
150 g beef topside (round), minced
10 g scallions, trimmed and sliced
1 tablespoon potato flour
a pinch of ground nutmeg

Seafood dumplings:
150 g fish fillets, minced
10 g coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
a pinch of sugar

Seasoning (3 sets):
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon salty soy sauce (kecap asin)
1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
a pinch of ground white pepper
a pinch of salt

Prepare chicken wontons. Place all ingredients, except wrappers and egg white, in a bowl. Add 1 set of seasoning ingredients and mix well. Place 1 teaspoon filling onto the center of each wrapper. Lift corners and bring together over filling. Secure with egg white. Deep-fry half the chicken wontons in medium-hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain well. Prepare beef dumplings. Combine all ingredients with another set of seasoning ingredients and mix into a smooth paste. Use 2 tablespoons to shape mixture into round dumplings. Repeat with seafood mixture. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Poach remaining chicken wontons for 3 minutes, then beef and seafood dumplings separately for 2 minute each. Once last dumpling is removed, increase heat to bring stock to the boil. Meanwhile, divide noodles, bean curd, wontons and dumplings among 4 individual serving bowls, then ladle boiling stock over. Garnish, if desired, with Chinese celery leaves and fried shallots. Serve with nasi goreng sauce or sweet soy sauce on the side.

Tumis Pare (Stir-Fried Bitter Gourd Recipe)

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500g bitter gourd/momordica
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
1 salam leaf (or bay leaf as a substitute)
1 piece galangal, bruised
150g shrimps, shelled
salt and sugar

Spices (ground):
6 red chilies
1 tomato
3 candlenuts, roasted
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon dried shrimp paste
8 shallots

Cut the bitter gourd into two and scoop out the seeds. Cut into ½ cm pieces. Then squeeze the bitter gourd with 1 tablespoon salt until tender and foamy to reduce the bitter taste. Wash and drain. Heat oil and sauté ground spices, salam leaf and galangal until fragrant. Then add bitter gourd and shrimps. Pour in 100cc water and add salt and sugar. Cook until the gravy is completely absorbed.

Ayam Betutu (Grilled Chicken Recipe)

Ayam Betutu Recipe
5 tablespoons oil
100g young cassava leaves, boiled until tender, cut into serving pieces
1 chicken (weighing 1½kg)
banana leaves/aluminum foil, for wrapping

Spices (ground):
8 red chilies
5 bird's eye chilies
5 candlenuts, roasted
10 shallots
1 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon coriander, roasted
1½ tablespoons sliced lemon grass (use only the bottom white tender part)
2 teaspoons peppercorns
1 tablespoon chopped galangal
½ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
2 teaspoons chopped turmeric
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2 teaspoons chopped lesser galangal
salt and sugar to taste

Heat oil and sauté the ground spices until fragrant and dry. Set aside and allow to cool. Divide into 2 parts. Combine 1 part with cassava leaves. Stuff the mixture into the chicken and secure with toothpicks. Rub the chicken with the remaining ground spices. Wrap the chicken with banana leaves and tie with a string. Grill in the oven at medium heat (180°C) for 2-3 hours or until cooked. Remove from heat and cut before serving. Another way to cook the chicken is to steam it for about 45 minutes before grilling in the oven for an hour. Betutu is a special dish from Bali. In Bali, usually the Balinese use duck wrapped in banana leaves and wrapped again with stalks of palm leaves. The duck is then buried in the ground and covered with hot charcoal for 6-7 hours until cooked.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tahu Gimbal (Bean Curd Shrimp Fritters Recipe)

Tahu Gimbal Recipe
2 pieces large bean curd (8 x 8 x 2 cm), quartered
Oil for deep-frying
4 cabbage leaves, finely sliced

Shrimp Fritters:
100g flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, ground
¼ teaspoon pepper
100g bean sprouts, tailed
200g shrimps, discard the head
1 tablespoon chopped Chinese parsley
125cc water/thin coconut milk
Oil for deep-frying

Peanut Sauce:
2-3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
125cc water

Spices (ground):
150g peanuts, roasted and peeled
2-3 shallots
10 bird's eye chilies
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Deep-fry bean curd until golden brown, then set aside. Shrimp Fritters: Combine flour with baking soda, egg, salt, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Add bean sprouts, shrimps, Chinese parsley and coconut milk. Deep-fry 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture until golden brown. Drain and set aside. Peanut Sauce: Combine sweet soy sauce with water and ground spices. Mix thoroughly. To serve: Cut bean curd and shrimp fritters into serving pieces. Arrange on a serving plate, add sliced cabbage and pour the peanut sauce over.

Crab Curry Recipe (Gulai Kepiting)

Crab Curry Recipe
5 crabs
3 tablespoons oil
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (use only the bottom white tender part)
1 salam leaf (or bay leaf as a substitute)
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 liter coconut milk from 1 coconut
salt to taste

Spices (ground):
5 red chilies
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon chopped turmeric
2 teaspoons chopped galangal
1 teaspoon coriander, roasted
3 candlenuts, roasted
a pinch of cumin, roasted
¼ teaspoon shrimp paste
2 cloves garlic
5 shallots
1 teaspoon tamarind juice

Clean crabs and discard the shell and gills. Cut in half. Heat oil and sauté ground spices, lemon grass, salam leaf and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant. Add coconut milk and salt and bring to the boil. Toss in the crabs and simmer until cooked.

Laksa (Indonesian Rich Noodle Soup Recipe)

Laksa Recipe
200g dried vermicelli
3 tablespoons oil
2 salam leaves (or bay leaves as a substitute)
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (use only the bottom white tender part)
250g shrimps, shelled and de-veined
1½ liters coconut milk from 1 coconut
2 tablespoons shredded coconut, roasted until golden brown, pounded
200g bean sprouts, tailed, blanched, drained and set aside
1 chicken (850g), boiled and shredded
4 eggs, boiled, shelled, cut into 8 pieces
2-3 tablespoons fried shallots
50g basil leaves

Spices (ground):
1 tablespoon coriander, roasted
3 cloves garlic
7 shallots
2 teaspoons chopped galangal
2 teaspoons chopped temu mangga/temu pao or 1 teaspoon chopped turmeric
3 candlenuts, roasted
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Blanch the dried vermicelli with hot water until tender. Drain, then set aside. Heat the oil and sauté ground spices, salam leaves and lemon grass until fragrant. Add shrimps, coconut milk and pounded coconut. Bring to the boil and stir occasionally to prevent the coconut milk from curdling. Sambal: Grind 10 red chilies and 2 boiled bird's eye chilies with 1 teaspoon lime juice. To serve: Arrange vermicelli, bean sprouts, chicken and sliced eggs in a bowl. Pour hot gravy to cover these and sprinkle with fried shallots and basil. Serve with sambal. Temu mangga or temu pao gives a soft yellow color and has a delicious mango aroma. Use 1 teaspoon chopped turmeric as a substitute.

Cajun Tofu

Cajun Tofu Recipe
2 pounds firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes *
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cans cooked, peeled tomatoes
4 cans tomato sauce
1 gallon water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely sliced green onion tops
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
Diced red chiles, to taste
1 minced habañero pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic salt
3 teaspoons paprika
3 or 4 fresh bay leaves
Fresh parsley sprigs

Fry tofu in very hot olive or peanut oil until golden to seal. Pour oil from above into bottom of stock pot, adding enough to cover the bottom of the pot, if
necessary. Make a roux by adding an equal amount of flour, cooking until thickened. Add remaining ingredients except parsley. Simmer for 25 minutes.
Add drained tofu, place lid on pot and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bay leaves and let cool for 15 minutes. Reheat if
necessary and serve over steamed rice. Top with fresh parsley.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Chicken Serunding

Chicken Serunding Recipe
To pound into a paste:
8 dried chillies (soak in water)
8 shallots
4 nips garlic
1 cm ginger
1 cm galangal (lengkuas)
2 lemon grass
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cummin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 chicken
(clean and cut into 4 large pieces)
500 ml thick coconut milk
2 turmeric leaves (shredded)
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste

Boil the chicken until cooked.
Shred the chicken into pieces with your fingers. Keep aside.
Heat a wok, combine coconut milk and the pounded ingredients and leave it to simmer
Once oil surface from the gravy, add in shredded chicken, sugar, and salt.
Stir and cook until dish is really dried.
Add in turmeric leaves and dish out.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vietnamese Beef Pho 2

Vietnamese Beef Pho
Authentic South Vietnamese Style Pho. A comforting richly seasoned beef broth is ladled over rice noodles and thinly sliced beef. Add hot sauce and plum sauce to taste and top with cilantro, basil, lime juice and bean sprouts

5 pounds beef knuckle, with meat
2 pounds beef oxtail
1 white (daikon) radish, sliced
2 onions, chopped
2 ounces whole star anise pods
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 slice fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 1/2 pounds dried flat rice noodles
1/2 pound frozen beef sirloin

sriracha hot pepper sauce
hoisin sauce
thinly sliced onion
chopped fresh cilantro
bean sprouts (mung beans)
sweet Thai basil
thinly sliced green onion
limes, quartered

1. Place the beef knuckle in a very large (9 quart or more) pot. Season with salt, and fill pot with 2 gallons of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 hours.

2. Skim fat from the surface of the soup, and add the oxtail, radish and onions. Tie the anise pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and ginger in a cheesecloth or place in a spice bag; add to the soup. Stir in sugar, salt and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least 4 more hours (the longer, the better). At the end of cooking, taste, and add salt as needed. Strain broth, and return to the pot to keep at a simmer. Discard spices and bones. Reserve meat from the beef knuckle for other uses if desired.

3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Soak the rice noodles in water for about 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water until soft, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Slice the frozen beef paper thin. The meat must be thin enough to cook instantly.

4. Place some noodles into each bowl, and top with a few raw beef slices. Ladle boiling broth over the beef and noodles in the bowl. Serve with hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce on the side. Set onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, basil, green onions, and lime out at the table for individuals to add toppings to their liking.

Vietnamese Springs Roll

Vietnamese Springs Roll Recipe
1/2 (6.75 ounce) package dried rice noodles
8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
8 fresh mint leaves
8 cooked medium shrimp, sliced in half lengthwise
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
3 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl of hot water until cooked, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Fill a large bowl with hot water, and soak the rice wrapper sheets one at a time until softened, but still rather firm; about 20 seconds. Place the sheets on a large dish cloth, separate from each other. Place a mint leaf into the center of each wrapper. Place two shrimp halves over the mint leaf, top with a small handful of the noodles, and 5 to 6 bean sprouts. Season to taste with fish sauce, and garnish with cilantro leaves.

2. Roll them, burrito style, by folding the bottom of the wrapper over the filling in the center. Fold in the left and right sides, then roll the entire thing away from you tightly.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sherry Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry Recipe
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cooking sherry
2 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons curry powder
water to cover
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup coconut milk

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Coat chicken with cornstarch and place in skillet with garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Add sherry and beef bouillon and let liquid reduce a little.
2. Stir in peanut butter and curry powder and add water to cover; add ginger, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, then lastly stir in coconut milk and serve hot.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak
For the rice:
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
salt to taste
1 whole bay leaf
2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained

For the garnish:
4 eggs
1 cucumber
1 cup oil for frying
1 cup raw peanuts
1 (4 ounce) package white anchovies, washed

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chile paste
1 (4 ounce) package white anchovies, washed
salt to taste
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup tamarind juice

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together coconut milk, water, ground ginger, ginger root, salt, bay leaf, and rice. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until done.
2. Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove eggs from hot water, cool, peel and slice in half. Slice cucumber.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, heat 1 cup vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Stir in peanuts and cook briefly, until lightly browned. Remove peanuts with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to soak up excess grease. Return skillet to stove. Stir in the contents of one package anchovies; cook briefly, turning, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Discard oil. Wipe out skillet.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet. Stir in the onion, garlic, and shallots; cook until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes. Mix in the chile paste, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chile paste is too dry, add a small amount of water. Stir in remaining anchovies; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, sugar, and tamarind juice; simmer until sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
5. Serve the onion and garlic sauce over the warm rice, and top with peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumbers, and eggs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

San Diego Vegetarian Restaurant

San Diego Vegetarian Restaurant
A Friend of mine is going abroad to San Diego, CA, next week for a vacation. Before he go there, he keep asking me how he gonna find san diego restaurants with an Asian Cuisine. As a second largest city in California ang eight largest city in the United States i think he can find it easily. But i almost forgot that he's a Vegetarian. Whoops. There are so many restaurants in San Diego that serve Asian Cuisine but not that many that serve Vegetarian Cuisine.

Just as i thought before, there are so many san diego dining guide but only few who mention about Asian Vegetarian Cuisine. What people need is a guide that customizable according to the people need. I told my friend "Go to the Chinatown, you'll find what you need there", but what if he was far away from the Chinatown?it's a big city he don't want to waste that much time. Here are some Asian Restaurant that serve vegetarian cuisine :

Mandarin Dynasty
1458 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 298-8899

Vegan Zone
859 Hornblend St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 272-1913

*PS the informations brought to you by CafeSanDiego (

Thursday, February 28, 2008

How to Cook with Wine

Wine can be used as a flavoring, as in wine jellies or in soups, stews, braised foods, reductions and more to add robust interest and thickening power to recipes. These recipes use at least 1/4 cup of wine.
The first thing you can do with wine is marinating. Wine can be included in a marinade for meat, fowl or fish. Usually the wine will be mixed with other ingredients such as oil, aromatics, (garlic, ginger, onions etc.), herbs/seasonings, and/or additional flavoring agents such as Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce, citrus juices, etc. Wine can also be the sole fluid in a marinade. Coq au vin, the classic French dish of chicken braised in red wine, starts with marinating the chicken in wine overnight. You can use a wine-based marinade, (or any marinade for that matter), to make a sauce for the final dish. However, you must always bring a marinade that was in contact with raw meat to a full boil for a few minutes to ensure the demise of bacteria.

Remember, wine is acidic and acids can "cook" the flesh of seafood and break it down. For a wine based marinade, do not marinate fish more than 30 minutes and shellfish for more than 10. Moreover, do not use reactive metals, (aluminum, copper, cast iron), when marinating/cooking with wine since they can chemically react with acid. Stainless steel, enamel, glass, or anodized aluminum is the way to go.

Just like a marinade, wine can be a constituent of the fluid medium or the only fluid used in any of a variety of wet cooking methods, namely steaming, simmering, poaching, braising, and stewing. Fish, shellfish, and chicken for example, can be steamed using wine. Let's take mussels for example. Saut some onion and garlic in oil, add a cup of white wine and bring it to a simmer. Place a steamer insert into the pot and add the mussels to it. Cover and steam until the mussels open. Pour the steaming liquid, fresh parsley, salt and pepper over them and serve. Were you to place the mussels directly in the fluid, then you would be simmering them.

Poaching is basically simmering only at a lower temperature. The difference between poaching, simmering, and boiling is the temperature of the liquid. Poaching is from 160 to 185 degrees, simmering is beyond 185, and boiling is when you obviously achieve a full boil. Virtually any white fleshed, non-oily fish can be poached either in wine or a combination of wine and other fluids, such as a court-bouillon, a broth made from water, wine, vinegar and/or citrus juice, aromatics and herbs. But it must be done at the proper temperature. If you wander into the simmering range or worse yet a boil, you can obliterate the fish. Another delicious example of poaching with wine is pears poached in red wine.

Braising and stewing frequently employ wine. Braising usually involves cooking a larger piece of meat, semi submerged in fluid, at a low temperature for an extended period of time. If the meat was cut into bite sized pieces and completely submerged, then it's stewing. The aforementioned dish coq au vin is chicken braised in red wine. Or the wine can be mixed with stock as in osso buco, braised lamb shanks, or any of a number of stews.

Probably the most well known use of wine in cooking is to make a sauce. After roasting or sauting a protein, remove it from the pan. Place the pan over a high flame and add wine. Scrape off the flavorful brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan as the wine comes to a boil. This is what's known as deglazing. Add stock, (optional), aromatics, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer until it's reduced to at least half. Melt in some butter at the end, strain it, and pour it over your food. For a thicker sauce, you can reduce it even further or thicken it with roux, arrowroot, or cornstarch.

Bringing the wine to a boil facilitates evaporation of the alcohol, which begins to vaporize at 178 degrees. Reducing the wine by simmering continues the evaporation of the alcohol, (and water for that matter), and thus concentrates the flavor of the wine. This is precisely why the quality of the wine matters in cooking. If you concentrate an already poor tasting wine, you merely intensify its unpleasantness.

The idea that all or most of the alcohol is evaporated when reducing wine is largely apocryphal. You would actually need to simmer wine for a number of hours to approach complete vaporization of the alcohol. For example, ten minutes of simmering will only eliminate about half the alcohol.

Additional uses of wine include incorporation into a vinaigrette. Simply substitute some or all of the acid in the vinaigrette recipe with wine. Sometimes dishes are finished with a dash of wine to add a last minute touch of flavor. Often this method embraces a fortified wine such as Sherry, Port or Madeira. Fortified wines have had additional alcohol added to them and usually are sweet, (but not always), and have more intense flavors. Numerous soups, stews, casseroles, and even desserts are completed with a splash of these wonderful elixirs. I like culminating my black bean soup with a splash of dry sherry. Or you can make a sauce from fortified wines such as veal Marsala.
One of the wine instructors from my cooking school regularly proclaimed: "Wine is food." Cooking with wine is the ultimate expression of that declaration and elevates the enjoyment of wine to new heights.

Here some simple steps :

  • Unless the recipe specifically calls for it (like in a dessert), use a dry wine, not a sweet one.
  • In general, use a white wine with fish, chicken and pork dishes, and a red wine with beef, but you can certainly experiment. White wine is probably more versatile for cooking than red.
  • Add wine to dishes when you want an acidic note. A little wine in a cream sauce, for example, can temper its richness.
  • Use whatever wine you have on hand. You don't need to use the same wine in the sauce as the wine that will be served at the table. Since you're cooking the wine, grape variety isn't a big deal.
  • Pick a decent, but not stellar wine for cooking. Don't use a wine that you wouldn't want to drink and don't use a wine that you really want to drink.
  • Avoid using "cooking wine" from the supermarket; it contains added salt.

Herbs and Spices

Storage Tips:
Store spices in a cool, dark place. Humidity, light and heat will cause
herbs and spices to lose their flavor more quickly. Although the most
convenient place for your spice rack may be above your stove, moving
your spices to a different location may keep them fresh longer.

As a general rule, herbs and ground spices will retain their best flavors
for a year. Whole spices may last for 3 to 5 years. Proper storage should
result in longer freshness times.

When possible, grind whole spices in a grinder or mortar & pestle just
prior to using. Toasting whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat
before grinding will bring out even more flavor. Be careful not to burn.

Because the refrigerator is a rather humid environment, storing herbs
and spices there is not recommended. To keep larger quantities of spices
fresh, store them in the freezer in tightly sealed containers.

Usage Tips:
Use a light hand when seasoning with spices and herbs. Your goal is to
compliment your dish without crowding out the flavor of the food.
Remember, it's usually impossible to "un-spice" a dish!

For long-cooking dishes, add herbs and spices an hour or less before
serving. Cooking spices for too long may result in overly strong flavors.

Finely crush dried herbs before adding to your dish after measuring.

Do not use dried herbs in the same quantity as fresh. In most cases,
use 1/3 the amount in dried as is called for fresh.

Keep it simple. Unless the recipe specifically calls for it, don't use
more than 3 herbs and spices in any one dish. The exception to this rule
is Indian cooking, which often calls for 10 or more different spices in
one curry dish!

Black pepper, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper are excellent
"after cooking" seasonings. Allow guests to season dishes with these
spices at the table.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice have a special affinity for
sweet dishes.

If you're feeling adventuresome, try replacing herbs and spices called
for in recipes with something different! Marjoram instead of oregano,
savory instead of thyme, cilantro instead of parsley,
anise seed instead of fennel, etc.

Deep Frying Tips

Deep-Frying Tips:

  • The oil must reach a good temperature to brown the exterior of the food quickly while cooking it. That temperature is almost always between 350F and 375F degrees. To be sure the oil is right use a frying thermometer.
  • Use canola oil for frying. It is low in saturated fat, has a high burning point, and does not detract from the flavor of the food you are frying.
  • Avoid crowding food that is deep-fat-fried. The food must be surrounded by bubbling oil, and you must keep the temperature from falling too much. If you add too much food to a small amount of oil, the temperature will plummet, and the food will wind up greasy and soggy.
  • Never fill the pot more than halfway with oil; this will prevent bubbling over when the food is added.
  • Dry food well with paper towels before adding to the pot;it helps reduce splattering.

How to Pick Fresh Fish

Whenever you can, buy fresh seafood, you'll get top quality and the best taste experience. The best way to buy fish for preparation ease, is in fresh fillet or steak form. Fillets are normally bone free and steaks are usually cut into serving portion sizes making your prep time shorter. Most "light cooking recipes" call for 6-ounce raw fish fillets or steaks, which yield approximately 4 1/2-ounce cooked portions. Choose only fish of the right size for your planned meal if you can. If there are only larger fillets buy 12 or 18 once sizes etc. and cut them into 6 once portions. (Most counters will also cut them for you)

Don't buy anything more than one day or at most a couple of days old, especially if you don't plan to cook it that night. Pick fish that are blemish-free with the outside skin being neither slick nor soggy. Fresh fish should be firm and the flesh should spring back when touched. The fish should smell subtly of the water from which it came. If it has a strong "fishy" smell, it is not fresh and not for you. Ask at the counter when the fish came in.

The most economical way to purchase fish is in the whole. When you buy a whole fish, look for clear glossy eyes; shiny red gills and a firm body. Again make sure that the skin is free of any dark blemishes. The tail should not be dried out, brittle or curled. Ask the counter person to fillet and portion it for you, or wash and cook it as. Whole fish are great for BBQ or banquet affairs.

If you have a whole fish you can cook what you need and freeze the rest. Use the bones to make fish stock for soups and stews. The bones will freeze and the stock will also. Fish stock packed in plastic tubs with tight fitting lids freezes well. It's a good idea to date everything you freeze and use it as soon as you can.

No matter the form, avoid seafood that has been in a display case for extended periods, even if it is on ice. If you are unsure ask if there is more in the back. If there isn't fresh fish available buying fish that has been frozen at sea is your next best alternative.

If you buy frozen fish, when possible, purchase vacuum-packed frozen fish, and look for "once frozen" on the label. Buy individually Quick Frozen (IQF) not bulk frozen. Avoid any fish that has symptoms of freezer burn, such as brown or dry edges. If the packaging has tears, rips or is ragged looking avoid it. Defrost frozen fish in the refrigerator overnight. Don't refreeze fish you have thawed, purchase a size that can be consumed at one meal.

If you are shopping at a grocery buy fresh seafood on your way out of the store, take it directly home, and cook it within 24 hours. Take along a cooler to keep it cool going home. If it's not possible to cook it immediately warp it good and freeze it. Keep the fish as cold as possible until you are ready to cook it, store seafood in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

When shopping for fresh whole shellfish always buy live or if unavailable buy cooked products that have been canned or frozen and dated. In the case of shucked shellfish meats such as scallops buy those in a fresh state, again ask how fresh they are. Don't buy live clams and mussels that have gaping shells, they should be close or shut with a little hand pressure. Lobsters and crabs should be moving and not be sagging at the joints and tails.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thit Bo Xao Dau

Thit Bo Xao Dau
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound sirloin tips, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce

In a large mixing bowl, combine garlic, black pepper, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add beef, and mix well.
In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat for one minute. Add meat; cook and stir for about 2 minutes, or until beef begins to brown. Transfer beef to a large bowl, and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in wok. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Mix in green beans, and add broth. Cover, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beans are tender crisp. Stir in soy sauce and beef. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 or 2 minutes, or until heated through.