Monday, May 5, 2014

Steam Fish (Grouper) - Chinese style

I have tried many times trying to make steam fish. The last recipe I tried was just by changing the shrimp to fish from my steam shrimp recipe which tasted delicious for the shrimp by the way, but for fish it's just not tasty enough.

Even once made a very big mistake by adding lemon juice to the fish as I thought this will make it taste fresh / no fishy smell, but turns our this will make it taste bitter! Please don't use lemon / lime at all for this kind or recipe.

The video and it's recipe has teasing me since about a year ago but haven't tried it until today, and I am sooo happy with the outcome :) I just follow the way to do from this video here and the recipe but didn't use Maggi and chicken stock powder. Cooking time is only 15-20 minutes, but make sure you prepare everything in advance first. Oh... some other recipe uses rock sugar for the sauce and said that this is the secret ingredient which binds all together, so no doubt I added rock sugar to it :)

Ingredients :
600 gr Grouper, cleaned (no scales at all please)
1 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing chinese wine
salt & pepper
3 cm length of a thick ginger, 1/2 julienned and 1/2 slice (both cuts in 3 cm lenth)
2 big green onion, cut the white bottom part to 3 cm length and julienned (wash well),
cut the green part of 1 green onion in 3-4 cm length
20 gr coriander leaves (you can use the roots as well, but clean well too for steaming phase)
1 big red chili, julienned
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp sesame oil

For the sauce :
1 tbsp oil
1 big green onion, from cut the white bottom part to 4 cm length
100-200 ml chicken stock (boil : water, chicken, green onion, optional : carrot & parsley)
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing chinese wine
2 large shiitake mushroom (fresh or dry), cut 1/2 then slice
3 x 3 x 3 cm rock sugar, crush to small pieces

How to make
1. Marinate fish with salt, pepper and 1 1/2 tbsp shaoxing chinese wine
2. Prepare all the ingredients to be around you.
3. Prepare steamer till it is steaming, with medium heat (video says high heat, but not for me)
4. Follow the video : On a steam-able dish for the fish, put chopsticks across the dish and put fish on top of the chopstick, pour fish with 2 tbsp of oil, arrange the julliened cut ginger and root of the corriander on top of the fish, arrange the green part of the 1 green onion around the fish, start steaming. Steaming only takes 15 minutes.
5. While steaming starts, we start making the sauce :
Heat 1 tbsp oil in low heat sauce pan, add sliced ginger, the cut of 1 green onion and shiitake mushroom till aromatic. Add chicken stock, soy sauce, fish sauce, shaoxing chinese wine and rock sugar till it dissolves in the sauce.
6. Heat 1/4 cup of oil till it warms up in a separate pan.
7. After minutes of steaming, turn off the heat. There will be fish liquid on the bowl from the steaming process, check this liquid, if it tasted good, add to the Sauce we made, but sometimes this taste bitter if the fish was not cut in the correct way if this is the case just throw away the liquid. If you add the fish liquid, taste the sauce again and adjust the taste, make sure it won't be too salty as the fish was marinated with salt earlier.
8. Arrange the white bottom part to 3 cm length of 2 green onion & coriander leaves on top of the fish
9. Pour the 1/4 cup of warmed oil on the fish especially on the green onion, then throw away the excess oil
10. Arrange the fish on the dish you want to use, pour the sauce along with the 1 tbsp of sesame oil and garnish with the julliened chili on top of the fish.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Peanut Cookies

This is one of the easiest cookie recipe I ever tried and I usually make it at the end of the month as it doesn't cost much to make (no butter, no eggs, just perfect for excusing my diet as well). I got the recipe from here

Ingredients :
250 gr peeled ground peanut. oven toasted
250 gr flour
185 gr icing sugar
100 - 150 ml vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 tsp salt

How to Make :
- Ground the peanuts till fine (I used blender)
- Mix well the peanut with sugar
- Add vegetable oil to the mixture till it looks like paste
- Add in flour gradually, mix well
- Use any kind of mold of your choice. (I just used my hands covered with disposable plastic gloves to form a ball, as I tried using my old chocolate mold, it didn't want to come out from the mold)
- Bake at 160-180 Celsius around 35-45 minutes till dry)

See... I told you it's really easy and won't cost much and it tasted yummy for me and hubby to spend our weekend while watching TV :)

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

These cookies are just too delicious, if I don't remind hubby or myself, these little things will vanish in just 1 night (as I usually bake in the afternoon). I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients :
1/2 cup (113,5 gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese (85 gr), at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (1 box of collata chocolate chips)
1 cup Oreo cookies crumbs (from 1 packet of Oreo & grind them using blender till smooth)

How to Make :
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
- In a mixing bowl, mix together butter and cream cheese with a medium speed mixer until smooth
- Add sugar & vanilla extract to the cream mix
- Add flour gradually on a low speed mixer until all mixes well, turn off the mixer
- Add in mini chocolate chip with a rubber spatula. This is the cookies mix.
- Place the Oreo in a soup bowl.
- Scoop the cookies mix and shape it to about 1 - 2 inch balls (I shaped it with my hand using disposable plastic gloves), then roll it in the cookie crumb bowl. Place the cookie on the prepared baking sheet. When you have made half of the cookies mix, preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Finish shaping all the cookie mix
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until edges are golden & tops are slightly puffed
- Cool on the pan for 2 minutes before transfer to cookie wire rack to cool completely as it will still be soft. Sore in airtight container.

These cookies are just pure YUM, it still has the soft taste of cheesecake since it's not dry at all and the Oreo crumbs just hit it right to add the taste. 

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


For New Year's eve I have thought to make BBQ for all of us at home, my plan was to make BBQ : fish, rib, shrimp, yakitori chicken and plecing kangkung. But afterwards I canceled the rib since it would be too much for us to finish in 1 night.

For the fish & plecing kangkung I used the recipe I posted before, but for the sambal of the plecing kangkung I doubled the recipe since hubby requested extra sambal please :)
The shrimp was ok but way too spicy for me, though I have add tomato ketchup and sweet soy sauce to the marinate recipe. I was trying to make the shrimp in BBQ Jimbaran style, but it came out sooo different :(

The yakitori came out really good... I love it, so I just have to post it here :)

There are some notes I read which I followed : use thigh fillet as it will taste much better (this is sooo true) and instead of using sugar, use molasses or honey to avoid the meat to harden. (I used honey since I don't have molasses).
The recipe I made was inspired from here.

Ingredients :
- 5 Chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2,5 - 3 cm squares (remove the skin from 3 fillets, keep the skin for the 2 fillets)
- 4 green onions, use the white bottom only, cut into 2,5 - 3 cm length
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sake
- 12-15 wooden skewer

Sauce ingredients :
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dashi stock (I made it from 3 sheets of 3x3 kombu, 1/4 loose cup of katsuoboshi (dried bonito flakes) and 1 dried shiitake mushroom, boil with 200 cc of water till it boils)
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 tsp solution of cornstarch with water
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp sesame
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder

How to make :
- Marinate the chicken well with the 1 tbsp of : garlic powder, sake, and mirin, set aside
- Soak the skewers in cold water for 15 minutes, drain (to avoid it getting burned)
- Skewer the chicken & green onion (I used 2 green onion cuts for each skewer), set aside.
- For the sauce : boil : soy sauce, dashi stock, mirin, sake & honey in a pan over medium heat till it boils, add the mixture of cornstarch and water, let it boil more until thickened slightly (make sure not too thick)
- After Sauce is done, divide in 2 bowl :
- For the 1st bowl : add 1 tsp of sesame, set aside this will be the dipping sauce
- For the 2nd bowl : add sesame oil, garlic powder & sesame, this is for the basting sauce
- BBQ the chicken skewer and brush the basting sauce over it for around 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Honey Pork Belly

This is one of the easiest meal I have cooked, and tasted good.
I found this recipe here while browsing for recipes I wanted to cook for Christmas / New Year.

Ingredients :
- 200 gr pork belly
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 1,5 tbsp honey
- 1,5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 cloves garlic - minced / garlic press
- blanched Japanese spinach (we call it bayam Jepang here)
- rice

How to make :
- Depending on the pork belly cut you get, but the dimension should be around 6-8 mm thick, with around 4x5 cm wide
- In a frying pan, heat oil, when it's hot put in the garlic, until golden than add pork belly till it is cooked (brown color) - leave it in the frying pan
- Set aside the oil from frying pan & wipe off the excess oil of the pork belly with kitchen tissue
- Turn heat back on to medium heat and add the honey, soy sauce & oyster sauce till it glaze the meat nicely, try not to burn the sauce.
- Arrange rice in a bowl at the bottom, blanched Japanese spinach above the the rice and the pork belly slices on top and I sprinkled sesame seed on it.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Crazy for Ikan Bakar & Plecing Kangkung

Me and hubby lately, umm... well maybe it's just me, I have been crazy for fish, whether it being fried or BBQed (bakar). Lately I just love the ayam-ayam fish being fried and eating it with Manadonese sambal dabu-dabu, it's just delicious and fresh (plus it's quite cheap compared to the other sea fishes). But when BBQ-ing it I was a bit disappointed, the meat was too thin and the seasoning flavor was not what I had expected. 
The BBQ fish I made tasted too rich, the recipe I used was using coconut milk.
The aim I was looking for was the taste of ikan bakar which I ate years ago with my family at Muara Karang, simple yet yummy.

So, the only thing I had to do was searching at google, when I searched for "Ikan bakar bumbu kuning" mostly showing the recipe with the coconut milk which I tried earlier.
Finally I tried searching just for Ikan bakar at Youtube and I found my inspiration by these inspiring young chefs at with a hint help of recipe from my mom's recipe book :) And after being seduced by this fresh medium sized ikan Kuwe at a nearby supermarket which I just have to buy, it just made me have to try the recipe.

As for the Plecing kangkung, the decision to make this was just made on the spot, after 2 hours at the book store for the idea and a last minute recipe browsing. It was soooooo delicious :)

All I can say is I am really happy with how these 2 dishes came out... YUM!!!

Sorry this recipe is not in detail really precise measurement, as it was just made based on how it tasted. So please taste the seasoning flavor first and add to your liking :)

Ikan Bakar

1 Medium Sized Ikan Kuwe (or any kind of fish to your liking, but my advise is to use fish which has medium thick meat, not too thin nor too thick), cleaned
1-2 Lime

Fish Marinate :
5 Garlic cloves (5 siung bawang putih)
7 Shallots (bawang merah)
Ginger (jahe)
Galanga (lengkuas / laos)
Lemongrass (Sereh)
Coriander seeds (ketumbar)
Turmeric (kunyit)
Salt (garam)
Sugar (gula)
Oil to blend (minyak untuk campuran blender)
Oil to saute (minyak untuk menumis)

Smeared on sauce while BBQ-ing :
2 large Garlic cloves (2 siung besar bawang putih),
0,5 tsp Black pepper (merica hitam)
3 tbsp Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
2 tbsp Margarine / oil (margarin / minyak)

How to make :
- Pour lime juice on the cleaned fish evenly
- Blender until fine all the fish marinate ingredients except for the sugar and oil to saute
- Saute the blended ingredients with oil to saute and add sugar to taste
- Marinate the fish with the sauted marinate ingredients for at least 1 hour, set aside
- Mix all smearing sauce ingredients
- BBQ the fish while smearing the smeared on sauce on both sides of the fish plentiful  and evenly till it is cooked.

Plecing Kangkung

Ingredients :
- 1 large bundle of kangkung / water spinach, washed & select the young leaves and stems
- 1 tsp salt to boil the kangkung
- 1 ltr water
- 2 cloves of roasted garlic
- 3 curly chilies (cabe keriting)
- 3 orange birds eye chilies (cabe rawit)
- 1/2 of tomato
- 1 tsp of fried terasi / belacan / shrimp paste
- 0,5 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp of oil from frying the terasi / belacan / shrimp paste
- 3 key limes (jeruk limo)
- 1,5 tbsp fried peanut for topping

How to make :
- Make sure that the chilies, garlic (before roasting), tomato are cleaned well, as this will be mostly raw
- Grind / uleg salt, roasted garlic, 2 types of chilies till medium fine
- Add tomato & terasi, grind again
- Mix the grind mixture with the oil and jeruk limo juice, now the sambal dressing is done
- Bring the water added with salt to boil, add kangkung into it. Boil for around 2-3 minutes, drain and pour 1 glass of ice/cool water on it, to make sure the color stays bright green.
- Set kangkung on a plate, pour the sambal on the middle top of the kangkung, sprinkle the fried peanuts for the topping and it's done :)

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nachos inspired from our Bali quick trip

I have tried making nachos since 15 years ago, but it was just plain simple mix of tortilla chips, baked beans and kraft processed cheddar cheese to bake in the oven. But the Beef Nachos I ordered at Nacho Mama - Nuri's Warung in Ubud opened my eyes that it could have a rich taste.

And you know what? Though it's without the beef and using ready made tortilla chips, I was happy with my nachos as well :)
Made my jalapeno pickles from scratch, which is very easy... and a simple guacamole was the only trick to make all the change to give the kick from plain simple to the yummm...

You can use with any kind of cheese you want (I just used what I have in my fridge) which gives the melting effect, I used mozzarella for that but since it doesn't give a strong taste for me, I added parmesan as well. Maybe next time I'll try to make it with nacho cheese sauce.
I hate it when my tortilla chips becomes soggy, so I used just a little of the baked bean juice in a plate which mixed with the tortilla chips and have the juice with the remaining beans in a separate little bowl

Ingredients :
- 1 bag of ready made tortilla chips (or you can use the ones that still need the baking, just cut them in bite sizes and follow the instruction for baking) - I used happy-tos
- 1 small can of baked beans - I used the ayam brand
- 85 gr mozzarella cheese - grated (for the melting cheese effect)
- 50 gr Parmesan cheese - finely grated (for the taste)
- 1 small bowl of guacamole from 1 avocado
- 1 little bowl of jalapeno pickles
- 2 plates & 1 small bowl that is oven-safe

 How to make :
- In 1st plate, pour 1/2 can of the baked beans (make sure only use a little bit of the juice to avoid the tortilla chips becomes soggy), top it off with 1/2 bag of the tortilla chips and 1/2 of the 2 cheese, mix the cheese with tortilla chips with your hand gently not to get in touch with the beans
- In 2nd plate pour the 1/2 bag of tortilla chips, sprinkle it with 1/2 of the 2 cheese, mix the cheese with tortilla chips with your hand
- In a small baking bowl pour the remaining baked beans
- Bake all 2 plates and bowl of beans around 15 minutes or until the cheese melts
- Serve it with the guacamole dip and jalapeno pickles.

 For the jalapeno pickles, as I said it is really simple to make. I found the recipe here and follow it diligently and not making any changes to it.
As for the guacamole, I just combine some recipes to make and it was really refreshing.

Ingredients :
- 15 Jalapenos, cut the stem and slice
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 jar or well closed lid storage from glass (I used closed lid pyrex bowl since I don't have a jar)

How to make :
- In a medium sauce pan combine garlic, water , vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Heat to boil and stir to dissolve sugar & salt.
- After boiling, add the sliced jalapenos, make sure it submerged
- Remove from heat and let it sit until it cool down
- Fill the jar with the jalapenos & the pickle juice.

Ingredients :
- 1 large avocado - I used local avocado we call it alpukat mentega / butter avocado
- 1 ripe tomato, diced small
- 1/2 of small onion, diced really fine
- 1 lime, juiced

How to make :
- Mash avocado till soft using potato masher :) set aside the core
- Add in tomato, onion, & lime juice, mix well in a small bowl
- Put the core in the middle top of the guacamole & cover the bowl with plastic wrap (it is said that it will keep the guacamole in the same color)
- Refrigerate and let it sit for for 1/2 hour.

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