3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni
Salt
6 ounces (180ml) evaporated milk
6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack

Place macaroni in a medium saucepan or skillet and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, stirring, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.

Immediately add evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.

Oi Muchim (Korean Marinated Cucumbers)

ngredients
4 Persian cucumbers (about 10 1/2 ounces; 300g), sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon (8g) coarse ground gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5g) sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce
1 medium garlic clove (5g), very finely minced or grated
3 tablespoons (45ml) toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon (10g) toasted sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, combine cucumbers, gochugaru, salt, and sugar. Using clean hands, massage cucumbers, squeezing and tossing them with seasoning, until cucumber is well-coated on all sides and begins to release liquid and color of gochugaru brightens to vibrant orange-red, about 1 minute.

Transfer cucumbers to a colander, then set colander inside bowl used to season cucumbers. Cut a round of parchment paper large enough to cover surface of cucumbers, and place over cucumbers. Then place a weight on top of parchment to press down on cucumbers (canned goods, a cast iron skillet, a mixing bowl filled with water, or a Chef’s Press all make for good weights). Set aside to drain for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and garlic. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in sesame oil until emulsified.

Once cucumbers have drained, remove weight and discard parchment paper. Using clean hands, squeeze cucumbers to get rid of excess moisture, then transfer to bowl with dressing; discard accumulated cucumber liquid. Toss cucumbers with dressing until well-coated all over, about 30 seconds. Add sesame seeds and toss to combine. Divide between small individual serving bowls and serve, or transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Nasi Lamak Medan (Coconut Milk Rice)

Coconut milk rice:
2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice – (washed several times and drained)
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
1/4 cup of water
3 pandan leaves – (screwpine leaves-knotted)
1 stalk of lemon grass – (bruised and cut into 2-inch pieces)

Sambal chili :
5 shallots – (peeled and finely chopped)
1 Tbsp of grape seeds oil or oil of your choice
1/2 tsp of dried shrimp paste – (belacan)
1 cup sambal oelek
3 Tbsp of sugar – (add more if you want a bit sweeter)

Potatoes:
3 large potatoes – (peeled and diced)
4 oz raw medium shrimp – (peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped)
1 cup of dried red chili – (soaked in warm water until soft)
5 shallots – (peeled)
Small bunch of curry leaves
2 Tbsp of sugar or more to taste
Dash of salt to taste
Oil to deep fry the potatoes
Dried anchovies and peanuts:
1 Tbsp of oil
1/2 cup medium to large high-quality dried anchovies
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
Pinch of sugar

Garnish:
1 small cucumber – (washed and thinly sliced)

Cooking the rice:

If you have a rice cooker, life couldn’t be any easier, just put everything in the rice cooker (with exception of the screwpine leaves)and press the cook button, add the screwpine leaves about 10 minutes towards the end of cooking time. My mom actually taught me this little secret so that the screwpine leaves will release the right amount of flavor.

If you don’t own one, use a dutch oven. Bring the water and coconut milk to a boil and then add the rice. Lower the heat and simmer until the rice is almost cooked. Add the screwpine leaves in and stir for a bit. Cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes until the rice is cooked through and fluffy.

Making the chili sauce:

In a saucepan, heat up some oil. Saute the shallots until soft, about 1 minute. Add in the shrimp paste and saute for another minute, add in the sambal oelek and sugar. The chili sauce will turn slightly darker when the sugar caramelized. The chili sauce should be sweet and spicy.

Potatoes:

Ground the red chili and shallots into a coarse paste. Preheat the oil in a pot. Deep fry the potatoes until they are golden brown. Set aside.

In a large skillet, preheat about 2 Tbsp of oil. Saute the chili paste for about 5 minutes. Add in the shrimp and curry leaves and cook until the shrimp turn color, about 1 minute. Add in the fry potatoes and stir to mix everything. Make sure the chili sauce coats the potatoes. Add in sugar and salt. Have a taste, it should be more at a sweet side and lightly spicy.

Dried anchovies and peanuts:

Preheat a medium size pan with cooking oil. Add in the anchovies and fry until crispy, about 1 minute or so. Add in the peanuts and cook until the peanuts are lightly brown. Add in pinch of sugar. Turn off the heat and give it a good stir to mix everything. Remove from the heat.

When ready to serve:
Portion the rice on the plate. Place the sambal telur, potatoes, sambal, and few slices of cucumber on the side of the plate. Ready to go!

Kering Kentang (Spiced Potatoes)

500 gr potatoes – Choose less waxy potatoes like Russet
2 Thai red chilis – seeded and cut into strips
Cooking oil – to fry potatoes

Spiced paste:
4 kaffir lime leaves – use a scissor to cut into thin strips, remove the vein in the middle
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves garlic – grated or finely minced
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 Tbsp sambal oelek – or use chili paste
2 tsp galangal powder
70 gr coconut sugar – or use dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
5 Tbsp water
2 bay leaves – or 4 dried bay leaves

To add last:
2 Tbsp Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng

Soak the potatoes:

Peel the potatoes and use a mandoline slicer if you have one to cut the potatoes into uniform size sticks. This is important and will make your life easier when you fry them. They are cooked and get crispy at the same time. You can manually cut them too, it’s more work!

Soak the potato sticks in fresh cold water for at least 2 hours (overnight is fine too) and then drain off all the water and starch that leaks out. Do not skip the soaking part.

Use an absorbent paper towel and pat the potatoes dry.

Fry the potatoes:

Preheat about 1 1/2-inches of cooking oil over high heat. When you dip a chopstick into a oil and it bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready. Or you can just put one piece of potato in there and if it bubbles and floats, the oil is ready. Lower the heat to medium.

You need to fry the potatoes in 3-4 batches. DO NOT dump all at one go. Place the first batch in and fry until the potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Remove to an absorbent paper towel. Continue frying the next batch.

Prepare the spiced paste:

Place all ingredients for the spiced paste in a bowl, except for kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves.

Preheat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a large pan/wok. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Thai chili and fry briefly, about 10 seconds or so. Add the rest of the ingredients above and bay leaves and cook until the sauce thickens to a syrup consistency.

Add the fried potatoes into the sauce and turn off the heat. Stir to make sure the sauce is coating the potatoes. Sprinkle in the bawang goreng and stir again to mix. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Notes:

Kering kentang is best served on the same day. The kering kentang will stay crispy for one whole day. The next day, they will get significantly soggy, which is normal as the moisture from the sauce continues to soften the potatoes.

It’s not uncommon to add things like: roasted peanuts, dried anchovies, fried tempeh (tempe). I highly recommend that you fry these ingredients separately and then add them in when you are about to toss the potatoes to the sauce. This helps to keep the kering kentang crispy.

Sambal Goreng Tempeh

8 oz tempeh – (cut into long and narrow strips)
1/2 tsp belacan / shrimp paste – omit for vegan version
1 Tbsp seedless tamarind paste – mixed with 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp gula jawa/ Indonesian palm sugar – roughly chopped, or you may sub with brown sugar
Salt to taste
Cooking oil – for deep-frying of pan frying

Ground ingredients:
3 shallots – (peeled and thinly sliced)
3 cloves garlic – (peeled and finely minced)
4 Fresno chili – or use 1 Tbsp chili paste
1 tsp galangal powder
1 Roma tomato – quartered

Place all the ground ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste. Set aside. Preheat about 1-inch of oil to deep fry the sliced tempeh in batches if necessary. Deep fry until they are golden brown. Drain on an absorbent paper towel and set aside. Alternatively, you can also put about 1 Tbsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet and pan fry them on 1 layer until they are crispy.

In a large skillet or wok, preheat about 2 Tbsp of oil. Add the ground ingredients and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add tamarind juice and palm sugar. Stir to mix and until the palm sugar is melted. Add the fried tempeh and stir to mix everything to make sure the sambal sauce is coating every piece of the tempeh. Have a taste and season with more salt and sugar as needed. It should be spicy, sweet, and slightly tangy.

Kering Tempeh Kacang (Sweet and Spicy Tempeh with Peanuts)

300 gr tempeh
100 gr roasted unsalted peanuts
2 Thai red chilis – seeded and cut into strips – optional
Cooking oil – to fry tempeh

Spice paste:
4 kaffir lime leaves – use scissors to cut into thin strips – remove the vein in the middle
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves garlic – grated or finely minced
1 tsp tamarind paste – or use 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sambal oelek – or use chili paste
2 tsp galangal powder
70 gr coconut sugar – or use dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
5 Tbsp water
2 bay leaves – or 4 dried bay leaves

Fry the tempeh:

Cut tempeh into long strips, about 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide. Preheat about 1-inch of cooking oil on a pan and fry the tempeh until they are dry and crispy. You can also just use about 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and shallow fry the tempeh until they are golden brown, they won’t be as crispy but less oil and still make a tasty kering tempeh.

Prepare the spiced paste:

Place all ingredients for the spiced paste in a bowl, except for oil and kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves.

Preheat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a large pan/wok. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Thai chili and fry briefly, about 10 seconds or so. Add the rest of the ingredients above and bay leaves and cook until the sauce thickens to a syrup consistency.

Put everything together:

Add the fried tempeh and roasted peanuts into the sauce and turn off the heat. Stir to make sure the sauce is coating the tempeh and peanuts. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.