Perkedel Kentang (Indonesian Potato Fritters

1 lb of potato (peeled and diced into 1/3 inch square)
4 oz of ground pork/chicken
1 tbsp of corn starch
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 egg beaten
Cooking oil for frying

Deep fry the diced potato until cooked but not too brown or it will be hard to mash. Place them in a large mixing bowl and mashed with fork while still hot because it’s easier to do so
Add pork and the rest of the ingredients, except for oil and stir to mix everything.

Wet your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Form the mixture into balls, then flatten with your palm to about 1 inch thickness.

Preheat a oil enough to deep-fry the perkedel. When the oil is hot enough, lower the heat to medium so the perkedel won’t get burn outside but with pork still uncooked inside. Deep fry until golden brown, it shouldn’t take long, about 1 minute on each side or so. Keep your eyes on them as they may brown faster if your perkedel is smaller in size. Place on absorbent paper towel and serve warm or room temperature on its own or with other dish.

Soto Ayam Medan (Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk)

4-5 chicken thighs (skin removed)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 block chicken bouillon
1 cup of coconut cream (you can replace with whole cow’s milk, but I don’t recommend using low fat or fat-free)
Salt and Sugar to taste

2 Roma Tomatoes seeded and chopped
Small bunch of Chinese celery leaves (chopped)
2 hard-boiled eggs quartered
1/3 cup crispy fried shallots
Kecap manis for drizzling

4 cloves of garlic
7 shallots
4 candlenuts omit if you don’t have any
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups Beansprouts (blanched)
2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of chopped ginger

4 bay leaves
3 Kaffir lime leaves
4 cardamom pods
3 cloves
1 stalk lemongrass bruised with heavy object

50 gr long green chili or use serrano peppers
1/4 tsp salt

Perkedel kentang (potato fritters)

Put all ingredients you need to grind in a food processor except for turmeric powder. Process into a paste and then add the turmeric powder. That way you won’t stain your food processor bowl.

Boil the chili in a boiling water until soft, about 5 minutes. Discard water and process into a smooth paste or roughly chopped if you prefer. Add in salt to taste. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Put in chicken pieces and lower the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Save the liquid and shred the meat when cool enough to handle.

In a meantime, heat up some oil in a large pot and stir-fry the paste you prepared earlier, cardamom, cloves, and lemongrass until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Put in bay Leaves and kaffir lime leaves and continue stir-frying for few minutes until fragrant.

Pour in the liquid from cooking the chicken and chicken broth and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Strain off the liquid and discard the solids. Add in coconut cream and let it heated through but do not let it boil. Have a taste and season with more salt and pinch of sugar to your taste. It should be savory

When ready to serve, portion the shredded chicken meat, bean sprouts, diced tomatoes, in a individual serving bowl. Ladle the hot soup over. Garnish with celery leaves, crispy shallots, hard-boiled eggs. Serve with rice, chili sauce, and perkedel.

Mee Goreng

1 lb fresh or dried egg noodles, instant noodles, or ramen noodles
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 leek (cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly )
3-4 whole green/red bird’s eye chili (stems removed)
8 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and quartered). You can use grape tomatoes too (halved)

5 Tbsp kecap manis
1/4 cup soy sauce and more to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

5 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6 candlenuts/kemiri or sub with macademia nuts

Fried shallots crisp

If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan with oil. Add in the paste you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add green chili (if using) and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and saute until they cook through, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for another 30 seconds minute.

Add the noodles in follow by the sweet soy sauce. Mix well to make sure the noodles pick up the color of the sweet soy sauce, add more if needed. Add soy sauce for saltiness (to your taste) and pepper. Continue to stir and make sure everything is well mixed and turn off the heat.

Garnish with a deep-fried shallots crisp and serve immediately

Pressure Cooker Nasi Gurih (Coconut Milk Rice)

400 gr Jasmine rice
400 ml coconut milk 500 ml if cooking on stove-top
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 duan salam leaves (4 if you use dried leaves)

Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water is clear. Drain off water completely. Use a strainer to make sure you completely remove all water.

Transfer the rice to inner pot of rice cooker. Pour in coconut milk. Add the salt. Give it a stir. Add bay leaves
Press the white rice setting or whatever setting on your rice cooker. It takes about 20 minutes or less on my rice cooker to cook.

Fluff the rice with rice paddle and nasi gurih is ready to be served.

Pour coconut milk and salt to the rice cooker. Stir to mix. Sprinkle in the rice and then gently push the rice to make sure it’s covered by the liquid. I do it this way to prevent the IP from showing “burn” message later. It doesn’t always happen, but it might sometimes. Add leaves.

Close the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “rice” and it will automatically set everything else for you and it will beep when it starts cooking and when it’s done cooking. Wait 10 minutes and then unlock the lid and fluff the rice.

Pour coconut milk and salt to the rice cooker. Stir to mix. Sprinkle in the rice and then gently push the rice to make sure it’s covered by the liquid. I do it this way to prevent the IP from showing “burn” message later. It doesn’t always happen, but it might sometimes. Add leaves.

Close the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “pressure cooker” and then “high pressure”. Set the timer to 3 minutes. When it’s done cooking, wait for 10 minutes and then fully release pressure.

Unlock the lid and fluff the rice with the rice paddle.

Pour the coconut milk and salt into the pot. Bring to a boil and then stir in the rice. Return to a boil and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for the next 20 minutes
After 20 minutes, uncover the lid, fork the rice lightly from around sides of the pot, mixing in any coconut milk that has not been absorbed, and replace the lid back for 5 more minutes. Now it’s ready to be served.

Nasi Goreng Rendang

1 egg
1/2 small onion peeled and diced
2 Tbsp Bumbu Rendang leftover from rendang Padang
2 Tbsp oil from cooking the rendang
1 stalk celery cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups cooked white rice made with 2 cups of long-grain rice + 2 cups of water

Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Fresh slices of cucumber
Fresh slices of tomatoes

Preheat the non-stick skillet. Large enough to cook the fried rice later.

Add about 1 Tbsp regular cooking oil. Crack one egg in and fry to your desired doneness.

In the same pan, add the rendang oil. Let it melt. Add onion and stir fry until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the rendang paste and stir fry for another minute. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to make sure nothing got stuck there. Add celery and stir fry for another minute. We want the celery to still be crunchy.

Add the rice and continue to stir fry to make sure the rice picks up the rendang paste and the changes color to brownish yellow, another 2 minutes. Add seasonings and adjust to your liking. It should be savory and spicy.

Serve immediately as is or garnish with chopped green onions and/or crispy fried shallots (bawang goreng), few slices of cucumber, tomatoes and prawn crackers if any.

Kwe Tiau Radna (Thai Rice Noodles with Sauce)

2 lbs fresh rice noodle or Fresh noodle Sheets or 1 lb of wide dried rice noodles
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2 to 3 Tbsp minced garlic
Scant 1/2 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder , thinly sliced across the grain into 1-by 1/2-inch pieces (or substitute lean beef or boneless chicken, sliced similarly)
1 tsp sugar
1 lb of Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch wide spears and well washed (3 to 4 cups loosely packed)
1 Tbsp fermented soybean paste (dao jiao/dao jio), mashed until smooth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp rice or cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups mild chicken , beef, or pork borth or water
1 Tbsp cornstarch , dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
Generous grinding of white or black pepper

1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 to 3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 mild chile (such as Cubanelle, Hungarian wax, or banana chile), I used 10-15 bird’s eye chiles, sliced into rings)

If using fresh rice noodles, rinse under warm running water. Stack the sheets, if using, slice into 3/4-inch-wide noodles, and separate gently with your fingers; set aside. If using dried rice noodles, soaking warm water for 30 minutes to soften, then drain and set aside.

Place all the other ingredients by your counter top near the stove. Have a platter and 3 or 4 dinner plates (one per person) nearby.

Heat a large work over high heat. Pour in 1 1/2 Tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the wok. When very hot, toss in approximately half the noodles and stir-fry gently for about 2 minutes, pressing them against the hot pan, then turn out onto the platter and repeat with the remaining noodles, using only 1 Tbsp oil. Divide the noodles among the four dinner plates.

Wipe out the wok, then place back over high heat. Add the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp oil and, when it is hot, toss in the garlic. Stir-fry briefly until starting to turn golden, about 20 seconds, then add the pork slices and a generous pinch of the sugar. Stir-fry for about 1 minutes, or until all the meat has changed color. Toss in the sliced greens and stir-fry, pressing the vegetables against the hot sides of the wok, until they turn bright green, about 1 1/2 minutes or more (depending on the size of your wok).

Add the soybean paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and the remaining scant teaspoon sugar and stir-fry to mix, then add the broth or water and the cornstarch mixture. Stir to mix, then cover for 30 seconds to a minute, until the liquid comes to a boil. Remove the cover and simmer, stirring carefully from time to time, for another 2 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened a little and the greens are tender.

Use your spatula or a ladle to distribute the meat, greens, and gravy over the noodles. Grind pepper over generously and serve hot, with a bowl or cruet of the chile-vinegar sauce.

Put the vinegar in a small bowl and stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add the chile rings. Serve with a small spoon so guests can spoon a little onto their noodles. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, this will keep for 4 to 5 days.

Pressure Cooker Beef Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Beef Curry Noodles)

2 lbs boneless beef shank cut into 2-inch chunks
1 lb Chinese flat egg noodles reserve about a handful of it to make crispy egg noodles

1 Tbsp Madras curry powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 cup Red Curry Paste less if you don’t want it too spicy
2 cups water
2 cups canned coconut milk

3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 hard-boiled eggs halved
Crispy egg noodles
3 cups fresh mung bean sprouts briefly blanch in boiling water

Limes quartered
Fresh basil and mint leaves


Place the beef pieces along with the ingredients for red curry broth and seasonings in the inner pot of instant pot. Add water and stir to mix everything. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “pressure cooker” and then “high pressure”. Set timer to 40 minutes.

When the timer is done, wait 5 minutes and then release all the pressure. Unlock the lid. You can prepare ahead up to this point if you make it the day before. Don’t stir in the coconut milk yet until the day you plan to serve.

Keep in the refrigerator. The next day, you can heat it up, turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Have a taste and add more fish sauce and/or sugar if needed. It should be savory, spicy, with a hint of sweetness.

Meanwhile, make the optional crispy noodles: place a plate lined with several layers of paper towels by your stove. Place a large wok or heavy pot over high heat and add about 1 cup of oil, or 1/2 inch oil. When the oil is hot, drop in a strand of uncooked egg noodles to test the temperature. It should sizzle slightly as it falls to the bottom, then immediately puff and rise to the surface; adjust the heat slightly, if necessary

Toss a handful (about 1 cup) of noodles into the oil and watch as they puff up. Use a spatula or long tongs to turn them over and expose all of them to the hot oil. They will crisp up very quickly, in less than 1 minute. Lift the crisped noodles out of the oil and place on the paper towel-lined plate.

To serve, bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil over high heat. Drop in the remaining noodles, bring back to a boil, and cook until tender but not mushy, according to direction. Drain well and rinse in fresh water to get rid of extra starch and stop the cooking process.

Divide the cooked noodles among four large bowls. Portion out the mung bean sprouts. Ladle over the broth and meat. Top with halved egg, crispy noodles, crispy shallots. Serve with the remaining condiments set out in small bowls.

Do Chua (Vietnamese Picked Daikon and Carrot)

3/4 lb daikon, peeled
1/4 lb carrot, peeled
1 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
5 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup distilled vinegar

Coarsely grate the carrots and daikon into strips, or use a knife to cut into matchsticks. Sprinkle on the salt and toss to mix and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a nonreactive saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. (Don’t cook the vegetables, bathe them). Rinse the vegetables briefly with cold water, then squeeze dry and transfer to a medium bowl.

Pour over the vinegar mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon to ensure all the vegetables are well moistened. Let stand for 24 hours before serving.

It tastes best at 48 hours I think, but I find it acceptable starting at 24 hours point if you are pressed for time. They can be kept in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Acar Timun (Quick Cucumber Pickles)

2 medium size cucumber
4 tbsp hot water
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp white vinegar
3 red Thai chili cut into small pieces

Peel the cucumber and then cut into half vertically. Use a spoon with a sharp point, like grapefruit spoon for example, to scoop off the seeds. Regular spoon will work too, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have grapefruit spoon. It just makes the work a little easier.

Cut the cucumber into cubes or you can cut it into half-circle shape.

Place the hot water and sugar in a glass-jar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

Add the vinegar and chili. Add the cucumber. Close the lid of the jar and shake it. You can pickle this in a non-reactive bowl too. Whatever works for you.

Let it pickle for at least 1 hour in a refrigerator. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

Green Beans and Bean Threads

1 lb green beans trimmed both ends and remove tough fibers, cut into 2-inch sections
2 oz minced lean pork or any meat you like I used left over sausages
2 bundles of bean thread noodles/vermicelli noodles soak in cold water to let it soften and then cut into shorter pieces
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion
3 Tbsp of canola oil

1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
Salt to season
1 cup water
Dash of sesame oil

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes and quickly submerge into ice water bath. Drain and set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp of canola oil and stir fry the minced pork and use the spatula to break up the meat, toss in chopped spring onion, add dark soy sauce, salt and water. Lastly add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the vermicelli and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn up the heat to reduce the gravy if you prefer. Lastly drizzle with some sesame oil.

Note on soaking vermicelli: If you want the vermicelli to further soak up the flavors and sauce of the dish you are cooking it in, soak it in cold water. If you are not cooking it in a sauce, soak it in warm water instead to allow it to swell more before cooking.

Chili Chicken

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size
1 medium onion thinly sliced
Corn starch to coat the chicken
Salt to taste
1-2 Tbsp of sugar
Oil for deep-frying
20 shallots
1 stalk of lemongrass
2- inch piece galangal
1 tsp of shrimp paste/terasi
About 20-30 bird’s eye chili
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup of water

Put all the chili ingredients into a food processor and ground into a fine paste. The water is to get the grinding process going.

Heat up some oil in a pan, enough to cover the chicken for deep frying. Meanwhile, dredge the chicken pieces into the corn starch and fry until golden brown and set them aside.

In a separate pan, heat up about 3 Tbsp oil oil and stir fry the onion until they are soft, add in the chili paste and stir fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to your taste. Add the fried chicken pieces and toss them to make sure they are coated with the sauce and stir fry for another 1 minute and serve immediately.

Naam Tok Nuea (Isaan Grilled Beef Salad)

3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 pinch of sugar
1 tsp chili powder
5 oz (150 g) beef tenderloin
2 shallots , sliced finely lengthwise
1 spring onion , sliced finely in rings
1 stalk of lemongrass , hard bottom end cut off, outer leaves removed, white part sliced very finely in rings (optional)
1 handful of mint leaves
Toasted sticky rice/sweet rice/glutinous rice

Preheat a small to medium skillet on high heat without any oil. Once hot, put in one handful of sticky rice and use a wooden spoon to move it around and let it toast until golden brown.
You can even smell the nuttiness. Set aside to let it cool down a little bit. Put the toasted rice into a food processor and process into fine powder and let it cool and store in an air-tight container. You can do this a night before if you prefer.

Mix the lime juice with fish sauce, sugar and chili powder. Balance well; this dressing should taste spicy, sour and salty.

Grill the meat, preferably on a wood charcoal grill for that authentic flavor if you can. If not, don’t sweat it just grill it they way you normally would using outdoor grill or using grill pan. Grill it to the doneness you like.

Once you finish grilling, cover with aluminum foil and let the beef rest for a while before you slice it. Slice the beef into bite-size. Don’t waste the meat juice, save as much as you can. Combine beef and juice with shallot, spring onion, lemongrass when using, and fresh herbs. Finish with dressing and toasted rice powder.

Ohn No Khao Swe (Burmese Chickpea Noodle Soup)

1 lb of fresh egg noodles, blanched in boiling water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
6 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated)
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan flour or gram flour + 1/2 cup water
6 cup chicken stock
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

4 hard-boiled eggs , peeled and sliced
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 medium onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes , quartered
1/2 cup chili flakes
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (blanch in hot water briefly if you prefer.)
12 oz (350 g) fresh egg noodles, deep-fried in oil until crispy, drained on paper towel, cooled and crumbled by hand into bite-size pieces
Fish sauce

Marinate chicken with fish sauce for at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in large pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and chili flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent chicken sticking to pot. Meanwhile, add chickpea flour to water and whisk to remove lumps.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.Stir in chickpea flour paste until the soup thickens slightly.

Arrange each garnishing item on a separate plate on the table around a central bowl of chicken and coconut chickpeas soup. To serve, take a portion of fresh noodles and a generous helping of soup, add a little of each garnishing (a dash of fish sauce if desired).

Bagan Char Kwey Tiau (Stir-fried Rice Noodles)

1 lb (450 g) fresh wide flat rice noodles / kwe tiau. If using dried, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes then discard water
2 handful of beansprouts (washed)
6 cloves of garlics (finely chopped)
4 eggs
2-3 Tbsp of soy sauce or more as needed
1 small cube of chicken bouillon
6 Tbsp of ground red chili paste
1/4 cup of canola Oil + 4 Tbsp of canola oil (Lard for best result)
3 cups of hot water

It is best to use a wok if you have one. Preheat until the wok is stonking hot and smoke started to rise. Add in 1/4 cup of oil and the flat rice noodles and stir fry for about 30 seconds, splash in 2 Tbsp of soy sauce. Dish out and set aside. You may end up with some “crust” on the wok from cooking the noodles. Scrap them off with wooden spoon.

Preheat the wok again until really really hot. Then add in about 4 Tbsp of canola oil and add in the garlic and ground red chili paste and stir-fry until fragrant, another minute.

Push it to the side of the wok, crack in 4 eggs and stir to break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 1 minute, then stir to mix everything. Add in the hot water (it’s important that it’s hot so you won’t reduce the temperature of the wok too much) and chicken bouillon and bring it to a boil for about 1-2 minutes.

Add in the rice noodles that you have stir-fried earlier, and soy sauce. Stir to mix everything, have a taste and add more soy sauce if needed.

Lastly add in the beansprouts and turn off the heat. The beansprouts should be still crunchy. The fried noodles should be red in color and a little bit saucy, but not entirely soupy. Give it a stir one more time to mix everything. Portion into individual serving plate. Serve immediately.

Khao Tom (Thai Congee)

8 oz ground pork
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
Small bunch of cilantro stems finely chopped
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp of fish sauce
1 large egg white beat until frothy

8 cups of chicken broth
1 stalk lemon grass bruised to release flavor by smashing with side of cleaver/knife
1 small slice of galangal
4 cups cooked brown rice you can use white rice if you prefer
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp of fish sauce
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Shredded left-over chicken meat optional
4 eggs room temperature before cooking

1- inch fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 handful fresh coriander leaves

soy sauce
3-4 red chilli (finely chopped

Cook the rice using rice cooker or stove-top according to the instruction on the package. Let it cool and then store in the refrigerator until ready to be used.

Prepare the meatballs by placing the pork in a large mixing bowl followed by garlic all the way to fish sauce. Mix with your clean hands and then gradually fold in the beaten egg white and mix again and start picking up the meat and throw it back into the side of the bowl and repeat this for few times. This will make the pork balls rather bouncy.

Wet your palms and start rolling the pork into balls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then drop the pork balls in there, batch by batch. They will float to the surface when they are cooked. Check to make sure they are no longer pinkish. If you make this the day before, store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat and cover and let them sit for 15 minutes. Discard water and set aside.

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Add in the lemon grass and galangal and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the cooked brown rice and simmer briefly. Adjust taste by seasoning with soy sauce, fish sauce, and white pepper
Discard the lemon grass and galangal pieces.

Prepare four serving bowls. Gently crack one egg in the bowl and some shredded chicken meat (if using). Laddle the hot rice soup over each bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onion, and ginger. Serve immediately with a small dish of chilies doused in soy sauce.

Semur Daging (Javanese Beef Stew)

1 lb of beef for stew
4 medium-size potatoes
1/4 cup of butter
4 shallots thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
4 bay leaves
4 Tbsp sweet soy sauce
4 cups of water
2 large carrots peeled and cut into big chunks
2 large tomatoes quartered
Salt to taste
Cellophane noodles – optional

Fried shallot crisp
Small bunch Chinese celery leaves finely chopped
Sweet soy sauce for drizzling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cut the potatoes into large cubes. Soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes. Drain off the water and pat them dry. Drizzle with cooking oil and season with a bit of salt and use your hands to toss and make sure potatoes are coated with oil and salt. Place on a aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown and cooked through.

In a meantime, melt some butter in a pot and add in shallots, garlic, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the beef and 4 Tbsp of sweet soy sauce to the pot and let them brown a little bit for about 10 minutes. Pour in the water and bring to a boil and lower the heat and slowly simmer for about 1 hour until the meat is tender. Add in the carrots and tomatoes after 30 minutes of cooking and add the fried potatoes in 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Gently stir everything to mix. Have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be slightly sweet from the sweet soy sauce.

If using cellophane noodles, blanch the cellophane noodles in boiling water, it just take few seconds to soften. Portion into individual bowl and portion out the beef and potatoes over each bowl. Laddle the hot broth over the noodles. Garnish with fried shallot crisp and celery leaves. Drizzle with some kecap manis and you are good to go. Or just serve this with rice on the side.

Traditionally, this dish used deep-fried potatoes. You can deep fry the potatoes or just add the potatoes and carrots in 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Roasting or deep-frying the potatoes first sure makes it taste even better.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

5 egg yolks from large eggs about 50 gr each
20 gr sugar
3 Tbsp cooking oil
100 gr cake flour sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
100 ml coconut milk use the canned version
2 tsp pandan extract

5 egg whites from large eggs room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
60 gr sugar

Separate the egg yolks from the white and let them sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature. The meringue whips better at room temperature.

Whisk the egg with sugar and cooking oil, then add coconut milk and pandan extract. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the cake flour, salt, and baking powder.

Gradually add the cake flour to the egg batter while mixing. Mix until smooth and no lumps. Strain the batter if necessary to get rid of any lumps.

Preheat your oven to 330 F. Place the oven rack 3rd from the top.

Place the egg whites in a clean bowl. You will have trouble whipping your meringue if there’s trace of grease in your utensils or bowls. Beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy, add cream of tartar and whip until it turns whitish. Gradually add the sugar as you beat. I beat them for around 4-5 minutes until you get a stiff peak. You will know you get to the stiff peak when you hold your whisk up and your meringue holds its shape.

Gently fold in 1/4 of the meringue into the thick batter. Using a rubber spatula, swipe from the side and gently fold over to mix and then continue. Repeat this motion several rounds. Continue on with second 1/4 of the meringue again to mix. Continue to do this until you are done with the meringue and the batter and meringue are nicely mixed.

DO NOT grease your chiffon pan. The cake needs to cling to the pan to rise. Give the pan a strong tap on the side for a few times before pouring in the batter to remove any air bubbles. Pour the batter in. Smooth the batter with rubber spatula. Give the pan a tap again to remove any bubbles or you can use toothpicks to do so.

Pop into the oven and let it bake at 330 F for 45-50 minutes. DO NOT open your oven door at least for the first 30 minutes of baking or you will deflate the cake.

Don’t be alarm if your cake has some cracks on top. What you are looking at will become the bottom of your cake. I find that baking at this temperature in my oven prevents the cake from cracking.

Once out of the oven, carefully invert the pan upside down. Your chiffon pan may have the little stands for you to invert, but I find it not high enough. I use a glass jar and set the inverted pan on top of the jar and let it cool down completely.
Please don’t be tempted to remove from the pan if it’s still warm. It takes about one to two hours to cool down completely
Once it’s cool down completely, use a spatula knife to run through the edge of the cake to help release the cake. Gently push the base of the pan down. Use the knife again to run through the top of the cake to help release it from the base of the pan.

Serundeng (Seasoned Crispy Coconut Topping)

10 oz grated white coconut
2 duan salam leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
1- inch galangal (bruised)
1 Tbsp sugar

2 shallots (peeled)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds

You can use fresh grated coconut or if you can’t find one, you can buy frozen dessicated coconut.

Mix the grated coconut with ground spices and stir to mix evenly.

Preheat a large skillet without any oil over low heat. Add in the coconut mixture, bay leaves, lime leaf, galangal and stir fry until the coconut is really dry and crispy and sprinkle in the sugar while stirring. This may take a while and remember to do this over low heat or you are risking burning the coconut before it’s dry. Once it’s completely dry, crispy, and golden brown, remove from the heat and store in air-tight container when it’s completely cool.

Pressure Cooker Ketupat and Lontong (Rice Cakes)

1 cup Jasmine rice
2 cups water

Rinse the rice in several changes of water and then completely drain off the water.

Transfer the rice to inner pot of rice cooker. Add water. I use white rice setting in my rice cooker, which takes about 20 minutes to cook.

Transfer the rice to inner pot of instant pot. Add water. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to sealing. Press pressure cooker, then high pressure. Set timer to 3 minutes. When it’s done, wait 10 minutes and then release pressure and proceed to moulding the cake.

Transfer the rice to inner pot of instant pot. Add water. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to sealing. Press RICE and the time will automatically be set. When it’s done, wait 10 minutes and then release pressure and proceed to moulding the cake.

After it’s done cooking, immediately transfer to a loaf pan or container. Use the rice paddle or the back of the spoon to spread and really push the rice down to pack it. Repeat this process until all the rice is in.

Once all the rice is in, use a parchment paper to cover the top of the rice and use your palms to gently push down all over the surface to ensure you really pack it down and to smooth the surface.

Let cool at room temperature for 3-4 hours or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Use in soups and salads, or with Lontong Sayur Medan, a multicourse meal with savory dishes such as rendang, vegetables in coconut milk, jackfruit curry, shrimp, and serundeng.

Asian Pork Meatball Noodle Soup

1 lb angel hair/spaghetti/ramen or Asian wheat noodles/udon noodles
4-5 stalks of baby bok choy
1/4 cup goji berries washed and drained

1 lb ground pork (preferably with some fat)
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 egg yolk
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

6 cups chicken broth homemade or store-bought
2 inch piece of ginger bruised with heavy object
Small pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
Red chili oil optional
Fried shallots crisp optional

4-5 Thai bird’s eye chili finely chopped
Soy sauce

Cook the noodles to al dente and then rinse with some cold water and set aside.

Blanch the baby bok choy in a boiling water for about 5 minutes and then refreshed with some cold water and set aside.

Place all the ingredients for meat balls in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything. Roll into balls. Place them into the refrigerator while you are preparing the soup base.

Place chicken broth and ginger in a medium to large pot. Bring to a boil and then let it gently simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the salt, and sugar. Have a taste, it should be savory with some tangy taste. Add the meatballs and boil until the meatballs float to the top. Add the goji berries and let them cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat.

Portion out the noodles into individual serving bowl. Portion out the meatballs and sprinkle of green onions, cilantro leaves.

Generously ladle the soup with some of the goji berries over the noodles. Drizzle with some chili oil if using.

Serve with some chili sauce on the side if you make some. Tuck in and enjoy! You can even serve with some black vinegar on the side if you like it extra tangy.