Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Soto Betawi

I must admitt, I have less knowledge about soto. This dish is very popular in Indonesia. Almost each province or even state, have their special kind of soto. So hereby, I'm trying to introduce you to all the soto that I have tried. I'm trying to mastering in this field :D Hopefully it will help to introduce the variety of our cuisine, in this special case is : Soto. Soto is often considered as national dish and a comfort food. It served from every street corners until fine dining restaurants and luxurious hotels. It is actually contained broth, meat and vegetable. Best eaten when warm.

Today,  I am going to share the recipe for delicious soto. Soto Betawi, originally from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Its authenticity is actually the use of coconut milk, beef offal and potato cubes. But my hubby and I doesn't consume beef offal, so we use shank beef for this recipe.


Ingredients :
- 500gr shank beef, cut in cubes appx 3x3cm
- 2 potatoes, cut in cubes 
- 2 L water
- 500 ml thick coconut milk
- 3 lemon grass
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 cm galangal
- 6 keffir lime leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt
- pepper
- ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

Grind the following into spice paste:
- 12 shallots
- 6 garlic
- 1,5cm turmeric
- 2cm ginger
- 3 red chilies
- 6 candle nut
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Accompaniments :
- 2 scallion, thinly slice
- 2 tomato, remove the seed, cut into small pieces
- fried shallots
- melinjo cracker
- sambal rebus

Directions :
1. In a soup pot, bring to the boil water and beef, once its boiled, use small heat and let simmer for 1 hour or until the beef fork-tender. If you want to go the fastest way, use pressure cooker. 
2. Saute the spice paste with galangal, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves and lemongrass until fragrant. Add to soup pot.
3. Add in the coconut milk, continuous stirring needed. 
4. Add the potato cubes, and let simmer for another 30-40 minutes.
5. Serve soto betawi in a bowl. Garnish with sliced scallion, tomato, fried shallots, kaffir lime and melinjo crackers.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Moist Chocolate Banana Muffin

Quick post! 

This oooh so good muffin is actually quite the same with my previous Banana Muffin with lemon glaze, I only add chocolate powder and choco chips to the batter, the result is ......cannot stop chewing the muffin. They are chocolatey, moist and simply scrumptious.

Here is the recipe :
6 medium size banana, mashed (appx 2 cups)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar

2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate powder

1/2 cup choco chips

How to :  
Heat your oven, 180 Celsius degree 

Mix together flour, chocolate powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside

Mix mashed banana and sugar, add oil, egg and some of the choco chips. (i'm using 3/4 of total amount of the choco chips, the 1/4 is use for sprinkle) Mix untill well combined.

Shift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix until just combined. Do not overmix or your muffin will be tough!

Pour the batter into muffin cups until almost full (appx 3/4 full), sprinkle some choco chips. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick insterted comes out clean.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Braised Chicken Wrapped in Steamed Buns

In my home, I strictly forbid my children to watch tv. There are specific schedule they must obey. Call me mean, I don't mind cos I'm doing it for their own good. So, in order to give them good examples, we, my husband and I rarely watch tv. We pay the cable tv for the cheapest package, not much channel included. I didn't even bother to browse what channels available, as I don't really have much time to sit down and watching tv. Busy buzzling like a bee the whole day. When nite comes, I am wearing out. So I fell asleep almost every time my children sleeps. 

That night, after my afternoon celebes coffee (support local coffee!), I feel so bright. Cannot keep my eyes close. Strange. So I decided to....watch tv! haha. Browse each channel and realized that my favorite channel was included. The show was Easy Chinese, don't remember the host name (sorry). The show was almost half part when I went watching. It was quite interesting, though. Too bad I didn't wrote it downed, so, what I make here was a duplicate that might be not too similar to the one I watched. However, the taste if surprisingly good. It is like a chinese style chicken burger. Even my picky eater son loves it! The next day, my eldest wants to bring that braised chicken for school. Happy mommy! He ate it with rice, not the mantou.

I believe you all now what mantou is, right? Mantou is often referred as Chinese steamed bun. The texture is soft and fluffy when warm. It gets a little tougher on room temperature. When I was a kid, I usually enjoy the chocolate mantou. Sometimes I dipped it in sweet condensed milk. Yummmmm. But for this recipe, you need the white classic mantou / the original. It slightly sweet actually, but it paired perfectly with the braised chicken I made. 

I don't make my own mantou :D Store bought is way more simple for me, no hassle! But surely you can use your favorite recipe if you are diligent enough :P


- 300gr skinless boneless chicken, cut into small cubes
- 1 lime
- 2 tbs of cooking oil
- 1 tsp dried shrimp powder, pan roasted
- 4 garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cm ginger, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- water, about 70-100ml
- Salt n pepper
- sesame, about a handfull, pan roasted about 1 minute
- cilantro

Directions :
1. Rub the chicken with lime juice, let sit for at least 5 minutes. Wash clean, cut into small cubes
2. Saute the chopped garlic and ginger, add the dried shrimp powder. Keep saute-ing until fragrant.
3. Add in the chicken cubes, then add the sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, salt n pepper. Add water, and let it simmer for at least 10-15 minutes. When the sauce has absorbed, have a taste first and make correction according to your liking.
4. Turn off the heat. Serve the braised chicken in burger like mantou, topped with roasted sesame and cilantro.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pressure Cooker Chicken (Ayam Presto) and (Possibly) the Best Sambal Terasi I Have Ever Made

This dish is one of my family's favorite, I prepare it in bulk. Well, not that bulk actually. At least I use 2 chickens, so that I don't have to cook it again in such a short period of time. I usually keep some pieces of pressure cooker chicken in the refrigerator inside an airtight container, and the rest went to the freezer. Whenever I want to serve the chicken, all I need to do is thaw it, and fry. Saves time.

This spice-full chicken, is actually just a regular "ayam ungkep", so we called it in Indonesia. I cook it with pressure cooker simply because I want the meat part to be tender, easy to chew for my little ones. And right now, we are living really close to my father-in law, he is 80 years old, and cannot chew though food. For more, when you cook this chicken using pressure cooker, the spice really really infiltrated, absorbed into the deepest part. Yummmmy! Oh, btw, the chicken recipe was my mom's. She never use shallots to make this dish. And I agree with her, once I try to use shallots, it doen't taste as good. Since then, I only use garlic for boiling chickens.

I also include the recipe of how to make a super yummy sambal, the perfect pair of fried chicken! This sambal is quite similar to mashed sambal or sambal penyetan/sambal pecel lele, Central Java traditional food. Please note the secret ingredients, roasted sesame. Do not skip this, it makes the sambal has a deep nutty fragrance, and freaking delicious!

Ingredients :
- 2 chickens, cut into 6-8 pieces, according to your liking
- 1/2 tsp salt
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 lemongrass, mashed
- 2 cm galangal, remove the skin, mashed
- 2 bay leaves

Grind the following into spice paste
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of coriander seed, you can also use the ground coriander
- 4-5 cm of fresh turmeric
- 3 cm fresh ginger
- 6 candlenut
- 2 lemongrass (only the white part)
- 3-4 cm of galangal
- 1 and 1/4 tsp of salt, or adjust it according to your liking
- appx 150 ml water

psssst...this is the secret ingredients of the perfect sambal!

Chili Sauce with belacan paste
- 12 red cayenne chilies (Indonesian : cabe merah keriting)
- 6-8 bird eye chilies (Indonesian : cabe rawit merah). Be careful with this chili, it's freaking hot! *you can reverse the amount of chilies, if you are a fan of spicy hot sambal*
- 4 cloves of garlic, deep fried 
- 1 regular size tomato, remove the seed and deep fried for about 2-3 minutes
- 1 tsp of terasi/belacan, pan roasted 
- 1 tsp of sesame, pan roasted for about 1 minute
- 1 tsp of coconut sugar, or you can use just regular granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt, adjust this according to your liking. Some belacan taste more salty than the other, so add the salt in small amount first.
- 3-4 tablespoon of sizzling hot oil (use the oil that previously used for deep frying the chicken), adjust the amount of hot oil according to your taste, the more oil you use, it will get runnier.

How To :
1. Rub the pre-wash chicken with salt and lime juice, let sit for at least 5 minutes. This to remove the unpleasant smell of the chicken. 
2. Arrange the chicken in your pressure cooker, pour the spice paste, add the mashed lemongrass, bay leaves and galangal.
3. Let cook for 30 minutes, the counting starts after the pressure cooker whistling
4. After all the steam is gone, re-cook the chicken with open lid until the water evaporated.
5. Chickens are ready for deep fries.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Soto Ambengan

Another favorite menu, soto. This soto is famous not only in its origin, Surabaya, East Java. But also all over Indonesia. The difference of this soto compares to the other is, the use of koya (crushed shrimp crackers). It is really a good stuff I'm telling you. Do not skip the crushed crackers, if it is hard for you to find it in your grocery store, try to search at the nearest Asian Store in your city. They might have it.

- 1 free range chicken (Indonesian: ayam kampung), cut into 6
- 2  liter water
- 3  lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
- 10 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- Salt n pepper
- 1 tsp sugar

Grind the following into spice paste
- 12  shallots
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 candlenuts, pan roasted
- 4 cm of fresh turmeric, pan roasted
- 2 cm ginger

Koya (shrimp crackers powder), grind the following together
- 4 large shrimp crackers 
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, deep fry until crispy and golden brown
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Garnish and accompaniments
100 gram glass noodle
100 gram cabbage
100 gram bean sprout (optional)
4 hard boiled eggs
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch Chinese celery, thinly sliced
lime wedges
boiled chili sauce

1. Boil the chicken and water, simmer for at least 30-45 minute
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, until fragrant. Transfer the cooked spices into the chicken soup
3. Season the soup with salt, pepper and sugar
4. Turn off the heat, remove the chicken from the soup, tear the meat into small shreds with your hands. Set the chicken meat aside.

Garnish and accompaniments
1. Soak the glass noodle in cold water until soften, then blanch in boiling water until fully transparent.
2. Thinly slice the cabbage to make cabbage shreds, then blanch in boiling water.
3. Wash the bean sprout, then blanch in boiling water

To serve
1. Arrange boiled glass noodle, cabbage, chicken meat, and egg in a serving bowl. Top with some soup and some koya. Garnish with sliced scallion and Chinese celery. Serve with boiled chili sauce and lime wedges.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Soto Kudus

Kudus is a small town in Central Java, Indonesia. So, soto Kudus, like any other soto with the town name after soto, came from Kudus. It is basically a Kudus style chicken clear soup. Lets just jump to the recipe, trust me, this soto is really worth the effort. Super delicious!

Adapted from Diah Didi

1 free range chicken (Indonesian: ayam kampung), cut into 4
- 2 liter water
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 lemongrass, bruised
- 3 keffir lime leaves
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp of coconut sugar (Indonesian : gula merah)

Grind the following into spice paste
- 10 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic 
- 6 candlenuts, pan roasted until a little bit brown-ish
- 1 tsp ground coriander, pan roasted (appx 1 minute)
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin, pan roasted (appx 1 minute)
- 1 cm turmeric 
- 2 cm ginger
- 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce

Garnish and accompaniments
- bean sprouts
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch Chinese celery, thinly sliced
- lime wedges
- 4 garlic, thinly sliced. Sprinkle with a little salt and then deep fried until crispy
- boiled chili sauce, made from boiled chili, a little squeeze of lemon, and water. Blend together 
- quail egg satay
- potato patty
- fried tempeh

Instructions :
1.  Boil together chicken and water, simmer for at least 30 minutes
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and sauté spice paste, bay leaves, keffir lime leaves and lemongrass until fragrant. Transfer the cooked spices into the chicken soup.
3. Season the soup with salt sugar and ground pepper. Add the sweet soy sauce.  Mix well.
4. Turn off the heat, remove the chicken from the soup, remove the bones and tear the meat into small shreds with your hands. Or else, deep fry the chicken just a few minutes then shreds. 

Garnish and accompaniments
1. Soak the bean sprouts in a boiling water about 30sec. Refresh under cold water, drain, and set aside.
2. In a different pan, boil the hard boiled quail eggs with the soto water. Add 1-2 tbsp of sweet soy sauce. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Let cool

To serve
1. Arrange boiled bean sprout, chicken meat, sliced scallion and celery in a serving bowl.Top with some soup. Garnish with sliced scallion, Chinese celery and fried garlic. Serve with boiled chili sauce, lime wedges and accompaniments. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vegetable Spring Roll (Lumpia Sayur)

I have an issue here, there are so many items queuing to be upload, while I have so little time to work on it. So, I will try to be more straight from now on, several new upload will probably photo heavy and might not have too many stories, etc.

Basically you can use lotsa ingredients for the filling. You can use chicken chunks or prawn. But this time I use only 3 simple ingredients. Stir fry daikon and carrot, plus cilantro. Simple, yet satisfying. By the way, I'm using store-bought Spring Roll wrapper, easily find at frozen food section. 

1 daikon, sorry I forgot to measure the weight. It is quite big, appx 150-200 gr, julienne cut
2 small-medium size carrot, julienne cut
4 onion, thinly slice
2 garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil
50 ml water
sweet soy sauce 2-3 tbsp
light soy sauce 1 tbsp
oyster sauce 1 tbsp
salt and pepper
some cilantro leaves, or you can substitute it with chopped fresh scallion

More cooking oil for deep frying

To seal the spring roll, mix together :
1 tsp cornstarch

How to:
1. Heat your pan/wok with cooking oil, saute the sliced onion, chopped garlic until fragrant.
2. Add the daikon n carrot, stir fry until the vegetable are soften. Add the water. 
3. Add in the sweet soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and salt pepper. Have a taste. Add in the chopped cilantro
4. Turn off the heat when the water has absorb and the vegetable texture is a bit soft. Set aside

Assembling the spring roll :

Place wrapper like diamond, on a clean and dry surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling near the corner. No more than that! Make sure the wrapper is damp, if its dry it will break. 
TIP: Less filling, the better. Overstuffed spring rolls break apart in the oil. 
Roll and then fold the sides, make sure you don't make air pocket, it will trap the oil, means you will have oily spring roll. Paint the edges with water+cornstarch
Pre-heat your pan, pour enough cooking oil for deep frying. Do not over crowd the spring roll in the pan. They wont cook evenly.
Carefully slide in the egg rolls, a few at a time, to the oil to fry. Turn the spring rolls occassionally to make it brown evenly and fry for about 3 minutes. Let cool.