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