Monday, November 17, 2014

Japanese Candied Sweet Potato

Autumn products are plentiful nowadays, last week I bought Aubergine for 99 Cent/kg. Considering the normal Price at € 1,99. It was such a bargain that I bought 2 KGs of it right away. I made Karniyarik (Turkish filled Aubergine) with them and serve them with pilaf Rice and tabbouleh. I'll post a recipe after this post. 

Anyway the title of this post is Japanese Candied Sweet Potato and not aubergine. So here's the intro:

the Asian Supermarket stock fresh and pretty sweet potato. Fitzie loves them so I bought tons of them right away. Now I have so many sweet potato that I'm wondering what I should do with them. Nami from Justonecookbook has such a great sweet potato recipe. It's ridiculously easy and taste so awesome that you can eat a plateful of them right away.

I won't post a recipe 'cause Nami have described them with such Details in her blog that it will such a shame to take credit of it. But here's my sweet potato.

We all love the crunchy and caramelised exterior and soft creamy interior. We finished off this plate in less than 15 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Goldener Herbst

We have such a mild autumn, glorious sunny days. I love how the German words implied how wonderful autumn can be. Goldener Herbst literally means Golden Autumn. Which sunny and dry autumn really is. Trees are colourful, golden leaves on the ground, so many autumn products to be enjoyed. We spent a lot of time outdoor nowadays, Fitzie walks now so we brought her along to pick wild chestnuts

and wild mushroom in the Wood. 

All wonderful autumn's activities that I've missed last year.

We've picked chanterelles, porcini and Bovist and cooked them in various ways.

Our favourite is definitely porcinis. Bovist is a tasteless Styropor, chanterelles have such a earthy smells and taste spicy. Whereas porcini is smooth, has a firm bite and so fleshy. If only the sell Porcinis in supermarket then we won't need to wake super early on sunday morning.

Have a great autumn you guys

Mel and Fitzie

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cherries at Obsthof Schröder

Hubby and me love cherries. Every year we waited patiently for summer and once the cherries hit the market, we drive to Altes Land - a suburb area of Hamburg, where the orchards are located. Usually we bought our cherries in a small shop called Im Apfelgarten. Last year we drive a bit farther away and found another orchard which offer cherries for picking. We were so excited and brought 6 months old Fitzie there. Fitzie just sat in her buggy and probably suffered from the heat. While we, the parents, ate and enjoyed cherries. 

This year we visit them again and Fitzie can walk around and even picked the cherries herself. She ate so much cherries that we were afraid her tummy will burst. Okay that's a joke but really her tummy was so firm and all my friends were astonish that she can eat continuously like that. 

Right the cherries, here they are; Ripe and plump, ready to be picked. 

Here's the yield of the day. We picked 12 kg of Cherries. There were five of us and we divided them equally at the end of the day. If you are curios how my foot looks like. the foot on top in a black canvas shoe is actually mine. 

The white bucket with the black cherries is the species called valeska. Very dark, very sweet and intense. 

Underneath them are Knupper Cherries which are lighter in colour, sweet with a hint of sourness, very fresh and have firm flesh. Needless to say our favourite type. Therefore four buckets full of these Cherries. 

The owner of this orchard. Herr Schröder and his family are very kind and friendly. If you visit with children, he kindly saw branches for the children so that the kiddies do not need to climb the ladder. You see, cherry trees can be quite high. And he always kindly invite his guests to snack on the cherries. He says don't just pick the cherries, you need to taste them too. And in the end, when we went out to weigh the cherries, they always give some extras, we actually picked 11,8kg but they just ignore the 800gr and ask us to pay 11kg. 

Their rustic and small shop is also so cute. They sell the freshest and most delicious apple juice ever and they also bake cakes and German sour dough bread directly in the shop in an old wood oven. You can imagine how heavenly their shop smells. They also sell jams, wines and various organic veggies from their garden. I bought a giant cucumber for 1 euro and a bucket of fresh summer potatoes for 3 euro. They are exactly my perfect family out of my childhood Enid Blyton's books. So if you are in Hamburg Area and want to find an idyllic getaway. This is the ideal place. 

Obsthof Schröder
Hinterbrack 6
21635 Jork

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lindt Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake

My dear neighbour, Ute, gave us 3 Lindt Gold Bunny this Easter. 

Fitzie loved to play with them, there're bells which chimed prettily and she loved to threw them onto the floor and picked them again. Surprisingly those bunnies are really robust. She played with them for three months until last Saturday. One of them broke. I thought, now it's the time to bake a cake with it. I've been saving the dark chocolate for this: 

Lindt Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake

200 gr high quality dark Chocolate (2 Lindt Easter Bunny 60% Dark Chocolate)
125 gr butter 
125 gr sugar 
2 Tsp almond flour (fine grounded almond)
6 eggs separated
Fresh strawberries and icing sugar for decoration 

Melt dark chocolate with butter in a double boiler. If you dare, heat them in the microwave or directly in the pot. I love to multi-task so it's easier for me to slowly melt them on top of hot water.  

Heat your oven to 190°C and butter a baking form. 

Boil water in a kettle and pour them into a baking sheet. Heat the water in the ofen. It's for a French baking method called Bain Marie. 

While waiting the chocolate and butter melts to cool off. Beat egg white till soft peaks form.

Once the chocolate and butter cools off, mixed in sugar, almond flour and egg yolks.

Gently fold in the egg white meringue to the chocolate mixture in three separate steps. 

Transfer the batter to the buttered form and bake bain marie for 40 minutes. You will see the cake rises.

After the cake is done, don't take them out directly but wait till it cools off a bit then take them out of the oven. Direct temperature change shocks the cake and will make them shrink. In the end the cake will shrink a bit too. But it will still have some volume. 

Decorate with strawberries and icing sugar.

The cake is dense with chocolate flavour, soft and fluffy. Hubby complained that the structure is almost similar to mousse au chocolat and he prefered cake which has more structure. But hey it's souffle cake. It should be creamy and fluffy. I love it the way it is. If not for the calories I'll eat half of the cake in one eating. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

French toast topped with strawberry and vanilla sauce

We picked strawberries last weekend. It was so much fun, we were so full after that and went home with almost 3 kg of strawberries. I made jars of jam out of it and eat the rest of it just like that. Nothing beats fresh strawberries directly out of the farm. Well maybe fresh cherries but it's stuff for next week. 

Anyway for breakfast I made this, French toast topped with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of vanilla sauce

French Toast

Slices of old bread, I had Ciabatta so I used them
1 egg
a splash of milk
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs butter
Vanilla sauce (My favourite is Matilde but this time I was testing the one from zum Dorfkrug, very yummy too) 

Beat egg, add in milk and sugar.
Soak slices of bread into the custard
Heat a pan and melt the butter, put in the mushy bread and pan fry them into golden brown.
Put half of strawberries on top and drizzle with vanilla sauce

Oh and that's Donald Duck Frühstücksbrett, which I bought at Butler's. I just love it, makes me smile every morning 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Guacomole and Caipirinha for World Cup Brazil

It's World Cup Time and we diligently watch each and every German match. For the Germany vs USA game last Wednesday I made this: Guacomole with nachos and Caipirinha


2 ripe Hess avocado
1 small shallot
3 cherry tomatoes
1 lime
a sprinkle of dried chili flakes
sugar and salt to taste

Mashed the avocado
Cut the shallot, cherry tomatoes and mixed in to the mashed avocado
Season with salt, sugar and lime juice 


1 lime, quartered
2 Tbs brown cane sugar
4 ml Cachaca
Lots of iced

Put in sugar and quartered lime into a Caipirinha glass and crash them with Caipirinha stock
Fill the glass with ice
Measure 4 ml Cachaca and pour it into the glass
Wait till the ice melt a bit but not to much and start to sip

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Simple penne aglio e olio for lunch

Fitzie is now one and half year old. How time flies, I can still remember the day she was born and how small I thought she was. Now she's almost walking and loves to eat so much that I need to control her portion. Otherwise she will eat eat and eat. 

Nowadays when I cook, I try to plan food that Fitzie can eat along with me too, preferably something she can grab herself so I don't need to feed her. It's not so easy to find such meal but here is one which is perfect for both of us. Penne Aglio e Olio for her and Penne Aglio e Olio con Pepperoncino for me. Honestly I just drizzle my home made chili oil on top of the pasta and that's all. 

The recipe is actually so simple and since I'm not Italian, I don't think I'm even suited to write this, But hey, I think my Penne tastas delicious. 

Penne Aglio e Olio

1/2 Package of Barilla Penne Rigate (around 200 gr)
Generous amount of Olive oil
3 cloves of Garlic
1 Cup of grated Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano
Chili oil (for my version of Penne Aglio e Olio con Peperoncino)
Basil for garnishing

Heat up a pan and drizzle generous amount of very good olive oil. I don't have Italian EVOO so I used the one I brought from Graz, South France, which "gasps" shouldn't actually be heated up. But hey since I'm not Italian I think this will do. 

Put in minced garlic and slowly heat the oil and garlic till the garlic started to color. Transfer to a big bowl.

Cook Penne according to the package instruction. I used Barilla, cause my Italian neigbhour in Berlin, Lara, swore on Barilla. She never bought anything else. So I follow her suit and only buy Barilla. Back to Penne cooking, It says 11 minutes but Fitzie was eating this penne with me so I added extra 2 minutes so that Fitzie could bite her pasta easily. 

After the penne is done, work quickly, drain them and transfer them to the bowl with garlic oil, throw in the grated grana padano and pecorino romano. Let the heat of the penne melt the cheese and quickly toss them to incorporate all components. Lightly salt the finished pasta. 

Dish up, garnish with some basil, Fitzie can eat her pasta now and for me some extra chili oil for heat

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Persian Kubideh at Padideh

Let me present my new favourite Persian Restaurant in Hamburg ..... *drum rolls* Padideh in Eilbek. We just found this one coincidentally, we drove around that area and saw Persian Restaurant. Hubby and me thought let's give them a try. So we went in. The restaurant is spacious and clean. We take a peek at the menu. Yes! our favourite lamb kebab Kubideh is on the menu. And we ordered them right away. 

First we were served some appetizers. Flat bread with crumbly cheese, some herbs (parsley and mint), sad looking radish and sweet crunchy onion. 

Here is how they are assembled. Take one piece of the flat bread, cut some of the cheese put some herb and roll them. Fresh and cheesy. We always save the herb for later use. Because we like to combine the lamb with parsley and mint so we never eat much of the appetizers

Then here comes the main dish. The Kebab Kubideh. Whenever we eat Persian food, this is the only dish we ordered. Mainly because this reminds us of our student time in Berlin. We used to eat at El-Reda and their famous kebab kubideh for €3,50 was one of our fondest memories of Berlin. 

So for the sake of our remembrance we always order kebab kubideh. Lamb Kubideh in papideh is surely not €3,50 but still very cheap for Hamburg's standard. €7,00 and you get two lamb skewers, one tomato, appetizer and heap of rice. 

Of course the only way to enjoy the rice is to put tab of butter on top of it and let it melt it by the heat of the rice. The basmati rice is airy and fluffy, combined with the melted butter. I think I can simply eat the rice as it is. 

But no! look at those juicy lamb, how can I say no to this. Mix mix with some of the drippings and charcoaled tomato. This dish is just so purrfeeectt. We were transferred back to our student time. Summer night eating this similar dish in front of the restaurant enjoying cool summer breeze. 

And here's Fitzie enjoying her piece of flat bread. No she's not asleep she's concentrating on putting the bread into her mouth. 


Hammer Steindamm 51
Eilbek Hamburg

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Homey Japanese Meal

Whenever I'm planning a menu for my family I will plan a coordinated menu, If it's Kimchi Jigaee, I will surely buy kimchi and prepare other ban chans. If it's spaghetti then we will eat salat and open up a wine. If it's Soto ayam then I will buy kerupuk and brew some sweet jasmine tea. So it's not a surprise when I feel like Chicken Karaage I will prepare cucumber salad, Hiya Yakko and Miso Soup to complete the meal. I even bought umeboshi just so that I can put it on top of my rice. 

Here are some close upsof the meal. Chicken Karaage with lemon slice

Rice with umeboshi, 
Cold tofu with shaved bonito, grated ginger and sliced green onions as toppings.
Miso soup with tofu and green onions

Cold cucumber salad with sesame seeds. 

For Recipe: I followed all the recipes from Just One Cookbook. Nami is really such a great cook and all her pictures are so pretty. So I don't think I can take the credit. So I will just redirect you to her awesome website. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lemon Grass Turmeric Chicken - Ayam Kuning

After Fitzie is born, we rarely eat out. We still do but not with the gusto that we had. One of the reason is because bringing a baby is really not easy. So I cook more and try to replicate many intricate Indonesian delicacies and I must say most of times it's a success. For a Chinese born Indonesian like me Indonesia food is like a mystery with all those tons of spices. I used to take a short cut and bought packets of instant spices and use it whenever hubby wanted his Javanese food. But now I can proudly say bye bye bumbu indofood and hello fresh spices and dishes free of benzoate. 

The reason I felt so proud about this recipe is because my mom, like me also Chinese born Indonesian, never cook this from scratch at home. Yes we have Ayam Kuning very often at home but it's because my mom always bought in the wet market and deep fried it for us. Whenever she went to the wet market she bought 10-12 pieces and keep it in the fridge. It's her emergency dish whenever she needs something to round up the dinner table. I never asked her, why she never bothered to cook it from scratch. Don't get me wrong. She's a superb cook but she specialized in South East Asian Chinese Cooking. Her dried shrimp fried rice and crabs simmered in tauco are two dishes impregnated deep inside my mind. I can describe them so precisely and vividly even after all these years. 

My take on this ayam kuning is the one without deep frying. I hate deep frying, all those mess and smell. And ayam kuning tastes good even without so why bother. But that's me, deep fry them if you want please and you will be rewarded with crispy skins. 

Lemon Grass Turmeric Chicken - Ayam Kuning

1 Whole Chicken - 1,3 kg cut them into smaller pieces
3 - 4 stalks Lemon Grass, cut them into smaller sections
Basil leaves for decorating
Vegetable oil 

Grounded Spices:
10 shallots
5 garlic
2 chilies
6 kemiri nuts
1/2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tsp vegetable oil

The processes are simple.
Ground all those spices in a food processor. When you see it has become yellow mud then it's done. I think I ground mine for 2 minutes. 

Then heat up a pan or dutch oven, pour in generous amount of vegetable oil.

Put in the lemon grass, fry them for 1 minutes or two till you smell wonderfully lemony smell in the kitchen then pour in the grounded spice and fry them for some more them time

Fry them till the spices has become darker and your kitchen smell aromatically. Then put the chicken pieces with their skin side directly on the hot pan and cover. 

Lower the heat and let it simmers. If it's too dry pour in 1 glass of water. Taste, I find 1 tsp of salt is not salty enough so most of times I add another 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of salt again. 

That's all actually. It's basically done. Simmers for some time until the oil from the chicken comes out automatically and the sauce has thickened. Serve them with steamed rice and slicec cucumber. 

If you want to do an extra work, take out the chicken and deep fry them. The sauce can be recycled by putting pieces of tofu and tempeh. Simmers the tofu and tempeh in the sauces for around 20 minutes and you can deep fry the yellowish tofu and tempeh too. Personally I don't bother, I like to drench my rice with the sauce so I never even bother to recycle them.

Happy Cooking

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happi Sushi ... Klein aber Fein

I like my food to be prepared authentically by natives. For examples, Pho by Vietnamese, Dim Sum by Hongkongnese, Xiao Long Bao by Shanghainese and of course Sushi by Japanese. That's why I detest all those weird so called sushi made by either Chinese or Vietnamese. I don't mean to be a food snob but I prefer quality than quantity. 

So I was excited and happy to know that Happi Sushi is a real Japanese Imbiss. It's pretty small and straightforward. A refrigerator on the left, few high tables and high chairs on the right, then a counter and a kitchen at the back end. The waitress and the cooks are all Japanese; you know tiny, extremely friendly with their greetings and smiles. 

Located in the heart of Hamburg, this is the place where you want to grab a quick lunch during your shopping spree. So in case you just finished shopping say in BCBG or Chanel. Take a turn around the corner and enjoy yourself a casual lunch at Happi Sushi. 

For Lunch the offer lunch menu and I ate a very good udon soup with some sushis and very tasty salad with wafu dressing. All this costs €10.90. Perfect for a quick lunch. The udon soup is garnished with spinach, wakame, a slice of Tofu skin and some green onions. The broth is a tad too sugary sweet for me but a spoonful of shimichi helps to spice up the whole thing. The udon is chewy just the way like I like it. I have 10 pieces of sushis, the fishes are cut too thin in my opinion. But they are fresh so I approve. 

Here take a closer look at the sushi; From left top, salmon, salmon tartare, omelette, tuna, pickled cucumber, cucumber, tuna salad, cucumber again, tuna and california roll. 

Udon with spinach, wakame and tofu skin. 

Here's how the kitchen looks like. Like i said, it's tiny. As I was leaving the chef and owner, I presume, were working together with a younger man tearing iceberg salad leaves. Talking about hand made here. 

My favorite place to gawk is actually this. Their refrigerator with various sushis to take away. All of them look so good that I think I want to try everything there. They offer interesting toppings like salmon teriyaki, seared tuna, ebi fry, marinated lotus roots, salmon tartare and other stuffs that I already forgot. 

Happi Sushi

Valentinskamp 18
20354 Hamburg

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rhubarb Two Ways

It's Spring!!! I love spring, the weather is getting warmer, flowers and trees are blossoming, nature fresh products are on the market. Spring means for me rhubarb time. I was so curios about rhubarb, the first time I saw them, I was wondering, what is this bright pink stalks. I asked around to other Indonesians. No one can give an answer. A Holland friend told me to make a compote out of it. It was surely interesting. Sour, sweet and tangy. Love every bite. 

Since then, every time rhubarb season hits the market. I always buy a bunch and make compote out of. As years gone by I know that they are very tasty as marmalade too. Then rhubarb's juice hits the market. It was so tasty that I made the juice now myself.

So here are my rhubarb two ways

First is the super easy rhubarb juice. At least that's how they call it in the market. Personally I think you can call it syrup too. It's only how much sugar do you want to put. I like it sour so I never put more than 2 spoonfuls. Look at the bright salmon pink, isn't it so pretty

Rhubarb Juice:

You need:
Rhubarb - 2 stalks
Sugar - 2 Tbs
Water - 2 L 

Cut the rhubarb stalks into thin slices
Cook the rhubarb slices, water and sugar into boil
Sieve the mash 
Chill and serve the juice in a glas with sugar rind. 

If you like sweetish syrup just add syrup as much you like. 

The second goodies that I make with the rhubarb is a marmalade. Strawberry and Rhubarb marmalade to be precise.

I just love freshly made jam on buttered rolls. I think that's my favourite sweet breakfast ever. Hmm, wait, I like Croissant, Pancake and Waffles too. Okay I like sweet breakfast but .... no I actually prefer savoury breakfast. Okay I love breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and dessert too. Okay I'm just pig. BUT this jam is really really good. I can imagine it's good on linzer cookies too.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Marmalade:

You need:
Rhubarb - 500 gr
Strawberry - 500 gr
Gelierzucker - 330 gr

Clean and cut the rhubarb and strawberries

Cook strawberries, rhubarb and Gelierzucker till they are thick. Around three minutes
Fill them hot into sterilized jam glasses (Fitzie's Bottle Sterilisator comes really handy now)
Work quickly and carefully (don't burn your hand like I did) close the lid and turn all the glasses upside down to vacuumed the glasses.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The best Xiao Long Bao in town

*drums roll* let me present the best xiao long bao in town:

Neatly packed, thin dough, soupy, umami sweet and not to greasy. Exactly how I want my xiao long bao to be. Served with ubiquitous chin kiang black vinegar and sliver of gingers. They really burst with sweetness, tang from vinegar, hint of heat from the ginger and all porky pleasure possible. I enjoyed every bite of these precious. 

This little package of treasure can be found in a shabby, dirty, old, unscheinbar restaurant in Eiffestrasse. The owner and chef is a real Shanghainese and according to the rumour he used to be a chef in the mao's palace. You know mao? The most loved dictator of China. Whether the rumour is real or not. The XLB is really good as good as the one from Din Tai Fung and surely the best one I've eaten in Hamburg, maybe even in north Germany. Do tell me if there are better XLB in town!?

I was there with a Shanghainese friend, Lei lei, who ordered 2 baskets of XLB for each of us, means 8 XLB per person. And 1 bowl of Shanghainese Won Ton again per person. Talking about pork overload here. The reason is she told me, these are the two best Shanghainese dishes. The rest are also tasty but we want to concentrate on the good stuff, so we only order a plate of green veggie to balance the meal. 

The won ton is filled with pork and chinese celery. Although the won ton is good but it's surely shadowed by the more wow XLB. 

Old Shanghai only serves Chinese Breakfast on Sundays starting from 11o'clock. Lei lei, the Shanghainese friends said, better to preorder the XLB since it's freshly made in the morning and the chef only made them in small batches. 

Shanghai Haus
Eiffestrasse 125
20537 Hamburg

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Visit Indonesia 2013 (Jakarta)

Jakarta, the very heart of Indonesia is the place where I grew up until I'm 15. Then comes boarding school and college here and there. But it's the place I called home and its food are still in my humble opinion the best. Ever heard of nostalgic eating? No? Okay you heard it from me. It basically means that the food we ate in our childhood are the best because food similar like smell are memories and childhood memories are etched deep inside our mind therefore the food will automatically be remembered as wonderful memories. Hey, you do know it. Remember the scene from Ratatouille, where Anton Egon being transferred to his childhood eating ratatouille. That's nostalgic eating. Okay enough of this nostalgic eating. Let me show you some of food in Jakarta. 

Let me start with breakfast. Nasi ulam, it's basically steamed rice with some light coconut milk and spices topped with dried spiced shredded coconut (serundeng) accompanied with shredded chicken, deep fried spicy peanut and heap of thai basil. There're also some soupy sauces made with soy sauce and chicken stock. But I prefer my nasi ulam dry. So that I can eat each component by itself. 

Another Betawinese speciality is nasi liwet. Here is my favourite nasi liwet from ikan bakar cianjur. It's steamed rice spiced with various herbs and topped with stir fried silver anchovies. The rice in the pot is steamed directly on fire and there're fragrant crust at the bottom of the pot. 

We eat this nasi liwet with gurame fish, pecel lele and karedok. All betawinese food. 

A famous Jakarta food chain restaurant is sate khas senayan. Like the name said it's famous for Satay. But they do have other stuffs on their menu such as tongseng, sup buntut and gurame pesmol. Surely there are better dishes like this out there but for a food chain in mall. Their Indonesian fare are exceptional. I was quite impressed. 

I've mentioned in previous post, that Jakarta is a melting pot of various ethnics. Here're some examples. My dad came from a small island in the northest part of the country. A lot of Chinese immigrants from the province Hokkien stayed in this region. Hence the languages stayed and the food are also heavily influenced by our forefathers. This curry rice is one of the best example. Red braised pork and red braised hard boiled egg together with roasted pork are put on top of steamed rice and drenched with pork curry. Kalipeng. That's how they called this dish, which basically means curry rice. Honestly it's an acquired taste. The curry which are thickened with corn starch can be considered slimy. But we grow up with it so we define it as smooth and spices up the whole dish. This is my family nostalgic eating. This is our comfort food and we can rave and rave about this dish on and on. 

This time I was lucky to be invited my aunt in-law to eat her hometown Singkawang noodle and snack called Choi pan. The noodle are richly topped with fish cake, meat balls, deep fried tofu and fish balls, pork and beef cuttle. On the side there're shredded "laos" in acid lake, which according to my aunt should be drizzled on top of the noodle. Different than all noodle that I know, it's an sour noodle. I must say it's an acquired taste, because it's porky greasy, sourish and has too much assorted toppings which imho rather than enhance the taste more like complicate the whole dish without giving this dish a main star. But like I said I don't grow up eating this dish whereas my cousins chow down this noodle in like seconds. Again remember my nostalgic eating. This is one good example. 

While the noodle doesn't impress me much, I love the choi pan to death. I think it's due to the similarity with a dish from my dad's hometown called cai bao. Anyway back to choi pan. It's steamed dumpling filled with stir fried jicamas or garlic chives. I'm an hard core garlic chives fan but I must say the jicamas one are the superior one. Combined with spicy, sweetish, sourish chili sauce, I can easily chow down a whole plate. Unfortunately this one is for all of us to share. 

Let's visit another ethnic group, this time it's Pontianak. It's a city in borneo island. Again the city is mostly populated by Chinese descendents. The Pontianakese are the best in making beef meat balls and Beef Kwetiau. Kwetiau is indonesian for flat rice noodles. My favourite is Kwetiau Bun Sapi, it's flat rice noodle stir fried till it got a wok hei and then drenched with eggy smooth sauce with various cuts from beef. 

Let me close this post with the best dessert ever. The king of the fruit, the famous stinky fruit durian. 

These are just a fragments of food that I ate in Jakarta. I just chose some which I think can represent what a chaos Jakarta can be. From different ethnicity to foreign influences. I haven't even started with all those mediocre Sushi, Korean wannabe, Paeudo Japanese, Singaporean Kopi Tiam or French Bakeries. I thought this time I keep it real and stay with original Indonesian food. Hope you enjoy my visit to Indonesia as much as I did back then. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Visit Indonesia 2013 (Salatiga and Central Java)

For my dearie sis wedding, we flew back home from mid November to end of December. It was a wonderful, busy and hectic holiday. First it was a visit to my in-laws small city, where we get a lot of tasty local Javanese food. Then we flew back to Jakarta, the capital, to celebrate my sis wedding, to join the wedding a wedding ceremony of a cousin and to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday. All those party and celebrations do leave their mark on my hip. Then we flew to Sydney, Australia. No wonder Fitzie, Hubby and me were all sick at the end of holiday. 

Anyway here are some pictures. First my MIL backyard, which she filled with orchirds. Salatiga, a small city in central Java is famous for its cool and clean air. It become a favourite tourist destination for the locals. I always enjoy my visit here and love to sit on the veranda to enjoy the cool evening breeze. 

Then here are some of the local foods. An Ibu (Indonesian for Lady) selling gudeg with its friends. Gudeg is stewed young jack fruit which taste sweetish. His friend are usually braised sweetish tofu, spicy stewed beef rinds, brownish hard boiled egg and some boiled cassava leaves. 

She sold all her food on the pavement in front of a small mini market: she only caters for take away and she only has whatever she brought for that day. A friendly middle age lady, we bought a lot on that day and she pleasantly whispered that she's giving us her best marinated tofu. 

We brought the Gudeg home and here how a gudeg looks like once they are assembled. From From top, brownish sweetish Gudeg, steamed white rice, some chili, marinated tofu, spicy stewed beef rind and boiled cassava. I wasn't feeling eggy that day so I didn't took the brown marinated egg. 

Indonesian is famous for their satay. Every region has its own version of satay. Hubby loves satay and in this area he swore on beef satay Suruh. Suruh is a small village near Salatiga and the owner came from this village, hence the name 

Look at those satays, the imagination of them simply makes me drool. Grilled directly on coal makes them smoky and charred but the flesh are still so juicy. Drenched with sweetish peanut sauce they are simply perfect. 

Hubby's friend is in the gastronomy business and his speciality is grilled chicken Javanese style. The grilled chicken are sweetish and spicy. He is accompanied with some raw cabbage and basil to balance out the meal. I also ordered an extra stir fried water spinach. Simply because I love water spinach and can't have enough of it. The food are very good suited for Javanese taste. The place is called Bon Rawit and I can recommend it, if you are in the area. 

Indonesian loves deep fried food. Almost everything is deep fridd. I think it has a lot to do with the humid and warm weather. Deep fried food can be stored for longer time. Here are some examples of these kind of food. First deep fried chicken and deep fried tofu and tempe. 

And here are some deep fried snacks, the famous lumpia semarang, some deep fried tofu and bakwan sayur. 

Another delish central javanese specialties is the sate buntel. It's minced lamb stuffed into its intestine and grilled to char. The first time I tried this satay, I was hooked! It's bold and spicy daring on the same time because it's sweet. It tampers the gaminess of the lamb. Combined with chilli, raw shallots and ricr. I can easily eat up two portion. 

So That's traditional Indonesian food centered on Javanese food. Next post will be about food in Jakarta, the capital. Here the food will be more influenced by different ethnics and I will chose some which I think interesting.