Let me introduce myself to anyone who accidentally passing through my blog. I'm esti and currently live in Bandung West Java Indonesia. Bandung in particular is well-known for good food and shopping paradise. I'm not really a shopaholic myself, but good food surely pleases me. This is exactly why i made this blog, not only to post good food I had but also to post some stuff i made myself, although you need to lower your expectation as I'm neither Martha Stewart nor a real chef. I just like to try recipes once in a while :) I also add a 'lil more than just food to the blog so that it will also include book and travel as well. Hope it will be useful :)
Happy 21st day of Ramadhan. Yes, for muslims all over the world we are all doing fasting for 30 days in this holy month of Ramadhan. And how time flies! It feels like yesterday was the first day of Ramadhan and now 21st already. May the Almighty bless our Ramadhan this year, accept our good deeds, and make it possible for us to experience the next year Ramadhan, inshaaAllah.
During Ramadhan, usually most houses will cook something rather special for iftar or breakfasting, as this holy month also consider special. And being far from home, I do miss all my mom’s food. But at the same time, being a wife also make me have to think of what kind of special food I need to serve my husband during Ramadhan. I’m a rookie on egyptian food (I consider 2 years being a rookie because I dont have that much vocabulary yet on egyptian food & I’m not egyptian), best I can do is to make something nostalgic for him, something that came from his mom’s recipe that will remind him of home as well (we both live far from our contry), It may not be a sophisticated dish or a complicated one ,but at least it hits the purpose.
So today, I decided to make a bechamel pasta after I peeked on the kitchen fridge to see what we have. This is actually a simple yet tasty dish to make if you have people come to your house. It doesn’t take long time to stay in the kitchen as well if you are fasting. here is the recipe.
150 gr of penne pasta (cook for 7-10 minutes on boiling salty water)
2 tbsp of oil/butter/samna
2 cups of flour
2.5 cups of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Mince Meat Mix:
2 tbsp of oil/ butter/samna
100 gr of mince meat
1 small tin of tomato paste
1 tsp of oregano/zaatar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cup of water
HOW TO MAKE:
Mince Meat Mix:
1. Heat oil/butter/samba on a pan and put onion until fragrance. Add mince meat and cook until changing color.
2. Add tomato paste and mix well, than add one cup of water.
3. Seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano/zaatar. Mix it well until the water amount reduce. As for me, i like to add more water to it so the meat will be more moist and the seasoning well absorbed. So if you like you can add another cup of water and mix it well until the water reduce again.
1. Heat oil/butter/samna in a pan, and than add flour gradually and mix it well. Add milk one cup at a time and stir well. The sauce needs to be liquid, not thick and sticky. Or whisk flour in cold milk until all dissolve, add the mix gradually to the heated oil.
1. Pre heat oven 175 C / 347 F
2. Grease oven dish with a little bit of oil. Spread half of the cooked pasta on the bottom, add half of mince meat mix and cover with half of bechamel sauce. Repeat the process. Put another half of pasta, another half of mince meat and another half of bechamel sauce. Last bechamel sauce needs to cover the whole surface.
3. You can add any spread cheese on top as an option (parmesan, mozarella, chedar, rumi cheese, etc). As i dont have cheese at the moment, i skip this option.
4. Bake in oven for about 1 hour until firm and the surface become golden brown color.
Ok so the big news is that I am finally married. Another big news is that I am married to an Egyptian which leads to another not so big news, that I got to learn how to at least cook some basic Egyptian food. One of the common dish serves in most household is called Mahsy, seasoned rice stuffed in cabage, grape leaves or other vegetables like cucumber and paprika. It is not as hard as it may seem, however it needs some effort to roll it one by one. But hey, the taste is worth the effort. So here goes the recipe from a friend married to Egyptian as well, and successfully tested by her Egyptian mother in law 😀
What You Need:
300 gr rice (wash and soak in the water for 2-3 hours. The longer the better)
300 gr mince beef
2 medium cabbage
1 big onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 pcs big tomatoes, in a blender with half blender size water (add 2 table spoon of tomato paste if you like)
1 tea spoon bhaharat (recipe below)
1 table spoon dried/fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste
butter to sautee
1/4 cup black peppercorn
1/8 cup coriander seeds
1/8 cup cinnamon bark
1/8 cup cloves
1/8 cumin seeds
1 table spoon cardamom seeds
1/8 cup ground nutmeg
1/4 cup ground paprika (for more spicy flavor can be replaced with chili powder)
(mix all ingredients in a food processor, blend well and make powder. Put it in an airtight container/jar. Can be store up until 6 months.)
How To Make Mahsy:
cut cabbage in the middle to spread it into sheets. Boiled for half cooked so it will be easy to rolled.
sautee garlic with melted butter until you can smell the aroma
add onion until withered and than add minced beef
add 3/4 part of tomato juice into sautee pan.
after the minced beef cooked, add bhaharat, salt, pepper, half part of mint leaves and cook until the water ran out.
mix minced meet with soaked rice, add another half part of mint leaves (add more salt, pepper and bhaharat if desired)
Put mince beef rice in to the half boiled cabbage and roll one by one (one tea spoon mince beef rice per sheet).
Arrange cabbage roll in an aluminum plate. Add the rest of tomato juice into the plate, make sure the rolls all soaked. Cook with high heat at first, after the juice boiled turn into medium heat so that the rice cooked evenly.
After the juice ran out, put aluminum plate in the oven. Bake in 180 degree celcius upper heat until it became brownish. Serve while it is hot.
Today’s recipe is just a classic sweet… doesn’t really need a rocket scientist to make apple pie, i know. Easy but never a let down. So here’s the recipe. Oh and by the way, by far this pie pastry recipe is the best one I have ever tried. I got it from my Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible.
These are what you need
150gr unsalted butter
250gr flour, sifted
1 pinch of salt
100gr icing sugar
1/4 tsp natural vanilla extract
This is how:
1. Rub the unsalted butter into the shifted flour, salt, icing sugar, and vanilla extract with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Blend in the egg and roughly mix to combine.
2. Press the crumbs into a ball then, on a lightly work surface, use the heel of the hand to push bits of dough away from you, smearing them across the work surface to blend the butter and flour. Work quickly, repeat if necessary. Form into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Butter a 24cm tart tin. Dust the work surface with flour . Roll iut the dough to a thickness of 3mm, to form a circle about 30cm in diameter. Line the tin with he dough. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
4. Cut out a 35cm round baking of parchment and place it in the dough lined tin. Fill with baking beans. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly colored then remove the parchment and the beans. Lower the oven temperature to 160C (320F), bake the pastry for another 10-15 minutes or until golden . Remove from the oven and set aside on a rack.
But I reduced the amount of apple into 5 apples only, I also put one tea spoon of ground cinnamon. I bake the pie crust for 10 minutes first or until lightly colored. After the parchment and the beans removed, I then put all the apple filling inside and let it in the oven for another 25-30minutes, or until the apple soft.
These are what you need
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4-6 Granny Smith apple
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
This is how:
1. In a pan, melt the butter. Put flour into melted butter to form a paste, stir well. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar and bring to boil. Add ground cinnamon and stir well. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Put apple filling into half ready pie crust. Let it in the oven for another 25-30minutes, or until the apple soft.
Have a try! It’s easy and quick and taste really good 🙂
Treats everyone with this delicious Roasted ribs with honey. Really easy to make although it is a slow cook kind of food.
800 gr beef ribs
3 clove garlic, minced.
½ onion, minced.
2 cm ginger, crushed
3 tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon sweet soy sauce
½ teaspoon savory soy sauce (or you can replace it with salt)
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
½ teaspoon white sugar
2 liter water
Sauté garlic, onion and ginger until you smell the aroma. Add ribs, stir until changing color.
Add honey, sweet soy sauce, savory soy sauce (or salt), nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until the ribs marinated.
Add water into several batches. Cook until all the herbs fully absorbed.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius until cooked.
Sebetulnya motivasi awal bikin iga bakar itu adalah karena sekarang banyak bermunculan restoran iga bakar tapi somehow buat saya porsinya nggak bikin puas. hehee… jadi kalo bikin sendiri kan lebih puas. Ternyata gampang kok meskipun memang agak makan waktu buatnya. Resep ini kalo nggak salah dapetnya dari majalah Femina, tapi kalo salah ya berarti saya lupa waktu itu nyontek resep dari mana karena catetan resep yang berantakan di buku mini saya :p
800 gr iga sapi
3 siung bawang putih, cincang
1/2 siung bawang bombay, cincang
2 cm jahe, dipeprek
3 sdm madu
1/2 sdm kecap manis
1/2 sdt kecap asin (atau bisa diganti dengan garam)
1/2 sdm saus tiram
1/2 sdt bubuk pala
1/2 sdt gula pasir
2 liter air
Tumis bawang putih, bawang bombay dan jahe hingga tercium aroma wanginya. Masukan iga sapi hingga berubah warna.
Tambahakan madu, kecap manis, kecap asin atau garam, pala bubuk, garam dan merica. Aduk sampai semua iga terbumbui dengan rata.
Masukan air kedalam panci berisi iga dalam beberapa tahap. Masak hingga seluruh bumbu dan air diserap oleh iga sapi.
Panggang dalam oven selama kurang lebih 15 menit pada suhu 160 derajat celcius hingga iga matang.
Finally back to the Kitchen again! Not that i never visited my kitchen at home, because i did and still do, i’m just too lazy to take picture of food i made Lol… too many things to do :p but anyway i’m back now and i’m so in the mood for something sweet. So here it is, chocolate fudge cake with pistachio custard from my old-never-opened-recipe-book :p
Things you need:
90 gr butter
90 gr dark chocolate
4 eggs separated
220 gr (1 cup) caster sugar
60 ml strong black coffee
60 gr ground hazelnut (or basically any other nuts you have, I use almond. Or you can also remove the nuts)
60 gr flour
4 egg yolks, beaten
75gr caster sugar
250 ml milk
80 gr chopped pistachio nuts
1. Place butter and chocolate in a bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water, cook. Stirring until chocolate and butter melt and mixture is combined. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool slightly
2. Place egg yolks and ½ cup caster sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Fold coffee, hazelnut and chocolate mixture into egg yolk mixture. Sift together flour and cocoa powder then fold into mixture.
3. Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating well after each addition until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Spoon into a greased and lined deep 22 cm flat tin and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Stand in tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To make custard, place egg yolks, sugar and milk in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in nuts and set aside to cool. Serve with cake.
Akhirnya! Kembali ke dapur lagi! Nggak berarti saya nggak pernah masuk dapur dirumah lho ya! Saya tetep masak tapi beneran males foto-foto makanan hahaha…. kebanyakan yang harus dikerjain :p but i’m baaack! Dan mood nya lagi kena banget sama yang manis-manis. Jadi aja bikin chocolate fudge cake pake saus pistachio custard dari buku resep lama yang nggak pernah dibuka-buka :p
90 gr mentega
90 gr dark chocolate
4 butir telur, pisahkan putih dan kuningnya
220 gr (1 cup) gula bubuk/tepung
60 ml kopi
60 gr hazelnut bubuk (bisa diganti dengan kacang lain sesuai selera atau tanpa kacang jika alergi)
60 gr tepung terigu
45 gr bubuk kokoa
4 butir kuning telur, kocok
75 gr gula bubuk
250 ml susu
80 gr potongan kacang pistachio
1. Simpan mentega dan coklat di dalam mangkuk tahan panas dan letakkan mangkuk diatas panci berisi air mendidih diatas api kecil. aduk coklat dan mentega sampai tercampur. Pindahkan mangkuk dari panci dan sisihkan.
2. Simpan kuning telur dan ½ gula bubuk ke dalam wadah dan kocok hingga ringan dan halus. Masukan kopi, hazelnut dan campuran coklat kedalam adonan kuning telur. Saring tepung dan kokoa bubuk ke dalam adonan.
3. Simpan telur didalam mangkuk dan kocok sampai mengembang. Perlahan masukan sisa gula dan kembali dikocok hingga kaku. Masukan kocokan putih telur kedalam adonan coklat dan tuang ke Loyang diameter 22 cm (atau loyang bentuk apapun sesuai selera) dan panggang selama 30 menit atau hingga adonan matang. Biarkan selama 5 menit sebelum loyang dibalikkan.
4. Untuk Custard, kuning telur, gula dan susu dimasukan kedalam mangkuk anti panas dan aduk hingga rata. Simpan mangkuk diatas panci dengan air mendidih berapi kecil, aduk terus menerus hingga adonan mengental. Angkat, masukan kacang dan sisihkan hingga dingin. Sajikan dengan kue.
This is something from the culinary festival the other day… I tried to imitate one of chef Chris Salans’ Recipe, the Ginger flower (or locally known as Kecombrang) sorbet. I remembered the first time i tasted this dessert with a friend, we were like looking at each other and exchanged the wow look. This sorbet is really refreshing. We were two broken hearts and went home so happy! LOL. Here’s the recipe.
Recipe in English
What you need
350 ml water
125 gr sugar
100 ml glucose (sugar paste)
150 ml unsweetened yoghurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ sheets gelatin (but bear in mind that sheet gelatin is not halal, use halal powder gelatin. I use about ½ to 1 tbsp powder gelatin.)
1 fresh torch ginger flower, sliced thinly
Strawberry and Lime Leaf Compote
250 gr fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced into segments
2 fresh lime leaves, sliced very thinly
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp sugar
Season strawberry and lime leaf compote in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and sliced lime leaf. Cover in cling wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator from 1 hour up to a day
In a pot bring the water, liquid glucose and sugar to rapid boil. Then add in the sliced ginger flower and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the heat, cover and allow mixture to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain. Then add the pre-soaked gelatin (if you use sheet gelatin) or gelatin powder, stir well and allow to cool in a room temperature and the mixture thickens to a soft set. Whisk in the yogurt and the lemon juice (to taste depending the level of acidity you want). Mix until smooth. Churn the sorbet in an ice cream machine. When frozen, store the sorbet in plastic container and freeze for a minimum of 1 hour.
To serve, divide the marinated strawberries and their liquid between 10 pre-chilled bowls. Place 1 scoop of sorbet on top, garnish with a fresh lime leaf and serve immediately.
1. I don’t have an ice cream machine at home so to process the sorbet I did this:
In a big bowl put iced water. Put sorbet in a smaller bowl and place it above the iced water. Whisk until sorbet cold and put it in the freezer. After frozen I whisk it again the second time (without iced water bowl this time) then put it again in the freezer. Double whisking will make the texture smoother (might not be as smooth as when you use ice cream machine, but still …), while single whisking will make the texture a bit rough (because the crystallized water).
2. Ginger flower might be difficult to find outside South East Asia countries, so maybe chamomile flower or mint leaves could be the substitute although I haven’t really try it yet (will let you know once i tried).
Resep dalam bahasa Indonesia
350 ml air
125 gr gula
100 ml glukosa
150 ml yoghurt tawar
3 sdm jus lemon
1 ½ lembar gelatin (perlu diingat bahwa gelatin lembaran adalah tidak halal. Alternatifnya gunakan gelatin bubuk yang halal. Untuk resep ini saya menggunakan ½ sdm-1sdm gelatin bubuk)
1 kecombrang, potong tipis
Strawberry and lime leaf compote
250 gr strawberi segar
2 lembar daun jeruk, potong tipis
4 sdm jus lemon
4 sdm gula
Compote: siram strawberi dengan gula, jus lemon dan daun jeruk. Tutup dengan plastik pembungkus (plastic wrap) dan biarkan didalam lemari pendingin selama satu jam hingga satu hari agar meresap.
Di panci tuangkan air, glukosa dan gula lalu didihkan. Tambahkan kecombrang dan didihkan di atas api kecil selama 1 menit. Angkat, tutup panci dan biarkan selama sepuluh menit agar aroma kecombrang terserap. Kemudian saring.
Tambahkan gelatin bubuk, lalu kocok hingga tercampur rata lalu diamkan di suhu ruangan dan adonan agak mengental. Campurkan yoghurt dan jus lemon (tingkat keasaman tergantung selera). Aduk rata. Masukan sorbet ke dalam mesin pembuat es krim . saat beku, simpan sorbet di wadah plastik dan bekukan selama minimal satu jam.
Untuk penyajian, bagi rata stroberi beserta air lemon sebagai rendamannya ke sekitar sepuluh mangkuk saji. Ambil satu scoop sorbet dan simpan di atas compote. Hias dengan daun jeruk.
Tidak semua orang punya ice cream machine, termasuk saya. Jadi saya mensiasati dengan mengocok adonan sorbet menggunakan hand blender di mangkuk yang direndam air yang diisi es batu. Setelah dikocok masukan sorbet ke dalam freezer. Setelah sedikit beku, keluarkan dan kocok lagi, lalu masukan kembali ke dalam freezer. Pengocokan lebih dari satu kali akan membuat tekstur sorbet halus seperti dari ice cream machine. Pengocokan hanya sekali juga tidak masalah, tapi tekstur sorbet akan lebih kasar
It’s about time to go local! Very true indeed that we (or to minimize the conflict I might as well say, ME… lol) as Indonesian sometimes take Indonesian cuisine for granted. Although this might be the case in many places because most of the time things we get easily tend to be the things we forgotten the most. If I live abroad, I might miss Indonesian food and appreciate it at a higher level. But in my case, I can get the food I want anytime, anywhere. Why would I miss something that I can get easily every day?
The culinary festival changed my point of view. Raise hat for those chefs who prevail authentic Indonesian cuisine at a whole different level so it will (hopefully) acceptable worldwide. Truth to be told our cuisines are really rich of unique ingredients therefore it has a rich complicated unique flavor and most of the dish really needs skill to make.
This time, me and Klara (my cousin in law) decided to make Rawon an authentic dish from East Java. Rawon is basically beef stock with beef inside and other local herbs and spices, served with salted boiled duck egg, sprouts, shrimp chips, and of course sambal (home-made chili paste). How this Rawon turn into a black soup is because of this one ingredient called Keluak (the fruit of the Kepayang tree used as a spice). This is a local ingredient which is not easy to find overseas. The international chefs at the festival said that they sometimes bring Keluak abroad to make their dish (just wondering if Keluak can be classified as Indonesian “black truffle” LOL, nah I’m just joking).
Our grandmother makes the best Rawon ever! One of her secret is to taste the Keluak one by one so that every time she finds a bitter Keluak, she throws it away (tasting the Keluak one by one is not my favorite part, Lol). We asked her for the recipe and try to duplicate it 😀
Here’s the recipe
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoon coriander
1 pc turmeric
1 pc galingale
3 pcs grater galingale (locally known as Kencur)
1 small ginger
3 sticks Lemongrass
One hand full of lime leaves
2 fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon tamarind (soak tamarind in a bowl of water, we will use only the water)
1 kg Beef
1 stick Scallion
Sugar and salt to taste
1. Mashed shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, grater galingale and coriander
2. Break and taste the Keluak one by one to separate the bitter one so that it won’t damaged the whole rawon’s flavor.
3. Soak Keluak in a pan of hot water, set aside for a while then strain.
4. Mashed Keluak together with other finely ground spices above
5. Sautee all the finely ground spices until you can smell the aroma then add lemongrass, lime leaves and galingale until the flavour is out.
6. Add the meat to sauteed spices so that it will absorbed it.
7. Pour hot water into the pan (so make sure you use medium or big size pan)
8. Add tomateoes and tamarind juice
9. Add Scallion
10. bring to boiled over medium heat.
Note: Rawon best served the next day as the spices absorbed into the meat and the soup really rich of flavor (but don’t forget to heat it regularly)
Sudah saatnya beraksi lokal! Banyak orang Indonesia (termasuk saya) seringnya melihat makanan Indonesia tanpa apresiasi. Mungkin memang ini yang terjadi di banyak tempat, sesuatu yang sangat mudah kita dapatkan adalah sesuatu yang paling sering kita lupakan atau yang sering kita remehkan. Kalau saya tinggal di luar negeri untuk jangka waktu yang lama, mungkin saya akan memiliki kerinduan pada masakan Indonesia dan dari sanalah kemudian muncul penghargaan khusus pada makanan Indonesia. Tapi saya tinggal di Bandung dan saya bisa mendapatkan makanan yang saya ingin kapan saja dan dimana saja. Saya merasa tidak perlu untuk merindukan sesuatu yang bisa saya temui hampir setiap hari bukan?
Festival kuliner bertaraf internasional yang saya kunjungi beberapa waktu yang lalu mulai merubah cara pandang saya terhadap masakan lokal Indonesia. Angkat topi acung jempol buat para chef yang berusaha melestarikan makanan Indonesia pada tingkatan yang berbeda sehingga harapannya masakan lokal Indonesia dapat diterima diseluruh dunia. Masakan lokal terdiri dari banyak bahan-bahan unik yang sulit ditemukan selain di Indonesia atau di negara-negara Asia, karena itulah masakan kita memiliki rasa yang kaya, unik dan rumit serta membutuhkan keahlian untuk membuatnya.
Kali ini saya dan Klara (sepupu ipar saya) memutuskan untuk membuat Rawon masakan khas Jawa Timur. Rawon sebenarnya adalah campuran kaldu sapi, rempah-rempah dan daging sapi yang disajikan bersama telur asin rebus, kecambah, kerupuk udang dan tentu saja, sambal. Yang membuat Rawon ini berwarna hitam adalah karena sebuah bahan bernama Keluak. Keluak adalah bahan asli Indonesia yang sulit ditemui di luar negeri. Para chef internasional yang kerap membuat hidangan lokal sering membawa Keluak dari Indonesia ke luar negeri untuk masakan mereka (penasara aja apa mungkin Keluak ini diklasifikasikan sebagai “black-truffle” nya Indonesia… hahahaha).
Nenek saya membuat Rawon yang paling enak! Salah satu rahasianya adalah mencoba Keluak satu persatu sehingga setiap ada Keluak yang rasanya pahit langsung dibuang (dan ini bukan salah satu proses favorit saya, hahahaha). Kita sengaja minta resepnya untuk coba menduplikasi rawon paling enak buatannya!
Bawang merah 200 gr
Bawang putih 1 buletan
Ketumbar 2 sdm
Kunyit 1 batang
Kencur 3 buah
Laos 1 buah
Jahe 1 ruas
Sereh 3 batang
Daun jeruk purut satu genggam
Tomat segar 2 buah
Asem jawa 1 sdm (direndam air dan yang dipakai airnya)
Long story short, the Jakarta Culinary Festival 2012 has been giving me such a wonderful experience, enriching my food knowledge and contributed heaps of inspirations. I didn’t catch all the classes and demos as there were several events at the same time, but i guess you just can’t get all of it, can you?
So anyway, here are some of them. The masters, the inspirations, the dream catchers, the stars.
Entered the fourth day of Jakarta Culinary Festival 2012 the crowd getting thickened, not only because it was Sunday but also because it was the last day of the four days grand opening, which include series of cooking demos from many chefs. Didn’t want to miss a thing, I came early and registered for four cooking classes in a row.
The first cooking demo that day was by two Indonesian Chefs, Mr. William Wongso and Mr. Andrian Ishak, the owner of Namaaz Dining. The first mentioned is a senior chef specialized in Indonesian culinary and the second one is a young chef specialized in Molecular Gastronomy. That day the duo worked together cooked Indonesian food called Arsik Ikan, traditional cuisine from North Sumatra. Both has been discussed the dish for approximately three weeks, showed how they deliberately devised it. They cooked Arsik Ikan with different technique, at a different level yet each with unique different taste.
Like most people there, I wasn’t familiar with the dish. Might only well-known among North Sumatran and a small amount of people. Chef William Wongso also told us that the best Arsik Ikan can only be found in North Sumatra (maybe this is also why my Batak (North Sumatran) friend laughed at me when i told him that i want to make Arsik Ikan, lol).
Tasted the dish really enriched my experience on flavor. The sour from Buah Kincung and the strong spicy sensation from Andaliman, or what the Bataknese called Itir-Itir, hit right through my mouth once I bit them. What a nice surprise!
While Chef William Wongso started to cook all the herbs for the curry, Chef Andrian has been busy even before the cooking demo started. To this particular young talented chef we will put our focus on, but of course this doesn’t mean the other forgotten because Mr. William will eventually be the messenger of chef Andrian’s dish.
Chef Andrian started to explain each step to complete the dish. First he purified the fish stock by freezed a small container of stock in order to rest the other components and take only the clear part of the stock. One small container of fish stock results probably only one tablespoon of purified stock.
He also made a complicated garnish which looks like fish eggs. What interesting was that the center of this “fake” fish eggs is actually fish eggs.
The outer layer of the main dish made from fresh fish mixed with squid ink altogether with other ingredients. Normally it takes five hours in the making process to create it. This outer layer then filled with fresh fish then rolled it like making sushi. But before that, he powdered some sort of protein adhesive in order to perfectly attached the fish and the outer layer. This process takes about 24 hours. The results were amazingly beautiful, rolled fish fused with the outer layer perfectly.
For the garnish, he made fish chips. Made from fresh fish and chili puree and baked in a special oven that can reach a temperature as low as 35 degrees Celsius. As for the last process, he turned the Arsik Ikan curry that has been made previously by Chef William Wongso, into powder using liquid nitrogen in a machine that cost around Rp. 35.000.000 (USD 3500). This liquid nitrogen’s temperature is more than minus 100 degree Celsius. The aim is to give a melting powder sensation to the dish. Because after the curry become powder, it will be again meet the room temperature and melt slowly as the temperature goes higher.
What awed me the most was that this is actually an authentic Indonesian cuisine with its complexity of flavor yet served internationally. He takes our local cuisine to the next level.
Molecular gastronomy indeed covers complicated techniques, certain rare ingredients which is really expensive and can’t be purchased in a small amount of quantity, precise measurement, high creativity, long period of time in the making process, etc. I wouldn’t even complain if this kind of dish cost a fortune.
But the greatest thing from this session of cooking demo was that, ME…my friend… got a chance to try this exquisite dish! And it was truly a pleasure.