Kari Bihun Medan – Medan Rice Noodles Curry

Kari Bihun Medan - Medan Rice Noodles Curry

The city of Medan is a great place to be for sampling good food in almost every corner of the city. My family moved to Jakarta when I was 11, and I crave the food still even now! It is true that as the years gone by, more and more restaurants with main branch in Medan are opening up and setting up shops in Jakarta, especially in North Jakarta centering around Pluit-Muara Karang-Pantai Indah Kapuk area. [Read more…]

Bandit Chicken Wings

Bandit Chicken Wings

A long long time ago, spices are rare and precious commodity, and worthy to be robbed by an infamous group of bandit. Apparently their favorite spice is cumin, and it was used to make this chicken dish, or so said the legend behind this dish anyway :) I think it is kinda fun to tell this story when people ask about the name of this dish, better than the plain ‘cumin chicken wings’, right? [Read more…]

Cantonese Braised Beef

Cantonese Braised Beef

I came from a Cantonese family, and to me, braised beef is one of our signature comfort food. This dish has meltingly tender beef and an even more heavenly taste of daikon. Believe it or not, I actually love the daikon more than the beef since they end up so juicy and very flavorful by the end of the cooking process. If somehow you are not a daikon lover, feel free to use carrots or potatoes instead. [Read more…]

Lontong Sayur – Rice Cakes with Vegetables Stew in Coconut Milk

Lontong Sayur - Rice Cakes with Vegetables Stew in Coconut Milk

Many Indonesian dishes are created to be consumed with ketupat or lontong (a.k.a. rice cakes) and lontong sayur is perhaps one of the more popular one, it even has lontong in its name! Lontong sayur is quite a versatile dish, some consider this a breakfast item, while others snack, main dish, and even showing up in festive events like wedding receptions. This is also a very easy dish to make in huge volume, since they taste good even after a couple of days in the fridge. For those who are busy and can’t cook everyday, having this stocked in the fridge along with home made ketupat will ensure a good meal in busy times. [Read more…]

Rice Cooker Ketupat – Rice Cooker Rice Cakes

Rice Cooker Ketupat - Rice Cooker Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are popular sides made of rice that often accompany Indonesian savory dishes, such as sate, gado-gado, ketoprak, lontong sayur, and many other dishes. For festive occasions, we usually have ketupat or rice cakes wrapped in woven palm leave pouches in the shape of diamond. For daily meals, lontong is more popular, which is rice cakes wrapped in banana leave pouches in the shape of a tube. Both are quite tricky to make, though there are now lontong moulds that greatly increase the chance of success in lontong making. As for ketupat, well, I won’t even bother trying, better leave them to the professionals and buy them ready made. 😀 [Read more…]

Luo Han Guo and Chrysanthemum Liang Cha – Monks’ Fruit and Chrysanthemum Tea

Luo Han Guo and Chrysanthemum Liang Cha - Monks' Fruit and Chrysanthemum Tea

I love spicy and fried food, but too much, and my throat starts to hurt. For Chinese and Indonesian, we have this concept that once this happens, we have a condition call panas dalam (Chinese: fa re qi), I guess the best translation would be too much heat. For Chinese, this means it is time to consume liang cha (or cooling tea) to eliminate excess heat from the body. 😀 [Read more…]

Tongseng Ayam – Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken Stew

Tongseng Ayam - Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken Stew

Tongseng is a stew dish with meat (typically mutton, beef, and sometimes chicken) with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), coconut milk, shredded cabbage and tomatoes. This dish originates from Surakarta, popularly known as Solo, a city steeped in history and one of the only two cities in Indonesia with surviving Javanese court (keraton).  Aside from tongseng, some of the more popular dishes from this city includes nasi liwet, nasi timlo, serabi, gudeg Solo, and kimlo. [Read more…]

Kare Ayam Jawa – Javanese Chicken Curry

Kare Ayam Jawa - Javanese Chicken Curry

Indonesia is a big country with varied dishes from each of the thousands of islands scattered in the archipelago. It seems that it will take me more than a life time to learn everything there is to learn about my own country’s cuisine. Until very recently, I didn’t even realize that for a Javanese, a kare is not the same as a kari! Apparently a kare is a very close cousin of an opor with the addition of turmeric so the dish should have a yellow color instead of white, and a kari is well, kari, and not a Javanese dish. [Read more…]

Chinese Apple Herbal Soup

Chinese Apple Herbal Soup

Do you have a favorite soup to order in a Chinese restaurant? For the longest time, my parents always get Apple Soup (蘋果湯) whenever we go to one. The restaurant version almost always have fried fish with it instead of chicken, but I never really like the fish, so I use chicken when I make the soup at home. For that matter, I am not even sure what fish they use LOL 😀 [Read more…]

Sambal Berambang Asem dan Bola Bayam – Chili and Tamarind Sambal with Spinach Balls

Sambal Berambang Asem dan Bola Bayam - Chili and Tamarind Sambal with Spinach Balls

If Lombok has sambal plecing, then Java has sambal berambang asem. They are both always paired with simply boiled greens. In the case of sambal plecing, the traditional pairing would be kankung (morning glory). For sambal berambang asem, the traditional pairing is daun ubi jalar (cassava leaves). Fresh cassava leaves are hard to find when you live outside of Indonesia, so I tend to substitute cassava leaves with spinach :) You can use any greens of your choice, like kale, or even broccoli would be good. [Read more…]