Braised Eggplants with Mince Meat Sauce

Braised Eggplants with Mince Meat Sauce

In this simple recipe, the eggplants will become super tender and absorb all the flavor of the sauce by the end of the cooking process. Although a kilogram of eggplants sound like a lot, it actually isn’t since they do shrink quite a bit. I use the Chinese variety for the eggplant, which is longer and slenderer compared to U.S. eggplants, but if you cannot find the Chinese variety, feel free to use U.S. eggplant. [Read more…]

Soto Tangkar Betawi – Betawi Beef Ribs Soup

Soto Tangkar Betawi - Betawi Beef Ribs Soup

Soto tangkar is another soto from Betawi. Tangkar means beef ribs in Betawi language, and hence soto tangkar always uses beef ribs as its main ingredient. Back in the old colonial days, whenever a party was held by the Dutch, a whole cow would be cut and some of the lesser choice cuts would be distributed to the locals, and the ribs were such cuts. Over time, the locals developed soto tangkar to utilize the leftover ribs. [Read more…]

Simple Braised Tofu

Simple Braised Tofu

I love tofu dishes, especially simple one like this where with just a handful of pantry ingredients, I can whip out a very satisfying meal. I choose to use firm or extra firm tofu and do the pan frying myself to get a golden brown skin tofu, but you can also buy tofu that are already fried to skip the pan frying step. If you choose to use the pre-fried tofu, remember to soak the tofu pieces in hot boiling water first to remove excess oil. [Read more…]

Sop Iga Bakar – Grilled Ribs Soup

Sop Iga Bakar - Grilled Ribs Soup

Iga (beef ribs) are gaining popularity in Indonesian cuisine. It has been cropping up in almost every restaurant’s menu in the past decade. There are all sort of dishes with iga, from nasi goreng (fried rice), penyet (grilled and mixed with chili relish), to sop (soup) dishes. This time, I am going to make a really simple but delicious soup with ribs. [Read more…]

Woku Ikan Kakap – Manado Spicy Basil Red Snapper

Woku Ikan Kakap - Manado Spicy Basil Red Snapper

Manado is home to fiery dishes, and this woku is no exception. I actually chickened out on the chilies and use only two bird eye chilies, and even that after I removed the seeds. If I were to order this dish in a restaurant, I think I won’t even be able to handle this without risking hospitalization. Taste wise, a woku is a very aromatic and fragrant dish, the spiciness does get balanced out with the freshness of the dish. Although red snapper is kinda traditional, you can use other firm white fish of your choice, and you can even cook the fish whole too if your wok/pan is big enough to hold that. [Read more…]

Kolak – Plantain, Cassava, and Sweet Potato in Coconut Milk

Kolak - Plantain, Cassava, and Sweet Potato in Coconut Milk

Kolak is an Indonesian dessert made with coconut milk, palm sugar, and scented with pandan leaves. Popular ingredients in a kolak are plantain (either pisang tanduk or pisang kepok is fine), cassava, sweet potato, pumpkin, kabocha, jackfruit, atap seeds (toddy palm seeds), and sago (tapioca pearls). This dessert is widely consumed throughout the years, and especially popular during the holy month of Ramadan to break the fast. Jackfruit and atap seeds do not need to be cooked, so if you are using any of the two, add them to the pot only at the very end of the cooking time. [Read more…]

Soto Padang – Padang Beef Soup

Soto Padang - Padang Beef Soup

Most Indonesian live within walking distance to a Padang restaurant no matter where we live in the nation, so even for a non Padang descent like me, most will be very familiar with the dishes.  As with many other cuisines, Padang has its own distinct soto (soup dish), which is just as refreshing and as delicious as many others throughout the nation. Soto Padang is always served with perkedel kentang (potato fritters), so if you are in the mood to prepare soto Padang at home, it will be a great idea to also set aside the time to prepare some perkedel[Read more…]

Sambal Lado Mudo – Green Chili and Tomato Relish

Sambal Lado Mudo - Green Chili and Tomato Relish

Sambal lado mudo, or more popularly known as sambal cabe ijo, is definitely the most famous chili relish from Padang cuisine. It may look like a pure green mess, but once you taste it, messy or not, you’ll want to have it with every meal. If you order a rice meal in any Padang restaurant, this sambal is almost always guaranteed to be included in your meal, and most are generous enough to give more if you ask. For those who don’t have easy access to Padang restaurant, here is my simple recipe to recreate sambal lado mudo at home. [Read more…]

Crab, Corn, and Asparagus Egg Drop Soup

Crab, Corn, and Asparagus Egg Drop Soup

This egg drop soup is commonly prepared for special occasions and is especially popular during Chinese New Year. For those who still consume shark fin (please don’t though), this is where shark fins are added to make shark fin soup. When my Grandma was still around, she would add a whole shot of X.O. cognac in the finished soup instead of Shaoxing, so if you have a bottle around and have no idea when you are going to finish it, give it a try. [Read more…]

Ayam Prune Pedas – Braised Spicy Chicken with Prunes

Ayam Prune Pedas - Braised Spicy Chicken with Prunes

For Indonesian like myself, I consider Malaysian ayam prune pedas as having a similar characteristic to Indonesian semur. Both dishes use copious amount of soy sauce – we use sweet soy sauce, while Malaysian use dark soy sauce with palm sugar, or gula melaka as it is popularly known in Malaysia – and both dishes use a lot of spice. All I can say is that if you love Indonesian semur, there is no way you won’t love this dish. [Read more…]