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. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Makrönchen from Jö Makrönchen

I'm entering the prime of my life aka my thirty something birthday. We don't plan any big celebrations this year. It just with our Fitzie's sickness we just don't have so much energy to do a lot. So because it should still be a special day. I ordered a pack of petit macaroon. 

Jö Makrönchen is a mail delivering macaroon patessiere. The mini macaroon are so cute and not overly sweet. All the ingredients are nature product so no artificial coloring and long list of ingredients we don't even recognize. I chose a mix box which has everything from raspberries, caramel, lemon, vanilla, chocolate and pistachio. 

I was happy to receive this and this small box of colour really does remind me that happiness doesn't mean pomp and circumstances but means cherising every little happy thing in life. 

Happy Birthday dear Me. 

Jö Makrönchen