Moving House + free badge

After spending quite a lot of time trying to find web hostings, going through literally hundreds of  web layouts and templates – some cute sexy ones from WordPress, definitely, I’m settled with one that I really liked.  With some tweakings here and there and voila! …..  I managed to recreate a wordpress magazine-style theme with yummy splash of colors that represents beautifully the feelings of Cooking Etcetera.


So come and check out my new home address at   www. You are welcome to leave me some thoughts and  feedbacks about my new home. How’s the color, the layout, navigation wise – is it easy to get around and find things, etc.

Leave your comments there and I will pick two lucky winners to get my free personalized badges (one badge for each).  The badge may be placed on your sidebar – to promote your own blog/website, promote your event/contest, or do whatever you want with it.

On Hiatus

Cooking Etcetera will be on hiatus for several weeks – possibly longer, while I’m away to New Zealand preparing for the birth of our firstborn due in April 18th.

On the same breath, I’ve been working on a more fresh & chic web design for a couple of weeks. So be prepared for the new fresh look of Cooking Etcetera which will be released in the next couple of weeks.  You’re welcome to come back and check again 😀

Sate Lilit Bali


I am so delighted to be invited by Bee from Rasa Malaysia to be a guest blogger on her website featuring Indonesian cuisine.  After a few short discussions, back and forth emails with a foodie blogfriend, Pepy from Indonesia-Eats, we agree to come up with a different concept featuring varieties of a particular dish that’s popular in Indonesia & Asia. So, this would be quite fun to do.

More posting in English, please click here

Indonesia is believed to be the Home of Sate.  Ini katanya Wiki loh, saya taunya kalo di Indonesia sate itu variasinya banyak banget, sampai-sampai beberapa jenis malah saya belum pernah denger sama sekali apalagi nyobain.

Kalo di mainland dan Inner Mongolia sini, jenis satenya simpel tapi macemnya buanyaaaakkk…..  apa juga dibikin sate loh. Dari jenis yang umum spt daging sapi, ayam, babi, kambing, bebek, cumi, ikan, sampai yang khusus jeroan aja, sate lidah bebek, sate jantung bebek, sate usus…..  bumbu dippingnya simple, cuma chili oil, sedikit jinten & szechuan pepper yang bunder-bunder kecil spt merica tapi bisa bikin lidah senut-senut.
More about chinese street food bisa dilihat  DISINI dan   DISINI

Sate is actually claimed as  Indonesian’s national dish,
which reputation can only be matched by “Soto”- Indonesian fragrant soup
( ini sih kata saya…..  😀 )


(Balinese Minced Seafood Sate)

Bali is known as the island of a thousand temple, I think it should be credited for the island of fragrant spices.

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Recipe Sate Lilit Bali

* 250 gr shrimp – clean, deveined
* 250 gr mackerel – or any firm white flesh fillet
* 50 gr dessicated coconut
* 6 pcs kaffir lime leaves – thinly sliced
* 2 tbs sugar  – can use any sugar, but coconut sugar is better
* red capsicum – tiny cubes for sprinkles
* bamboo skewers or fresh lemon grass may be used

Processed Ingredients:
* 8 pcs shallots
* 2 pcs garlic
* 2 cm galangal or blue ginger
* 2 cm kencur or lesser galangal
* 1 tsp coriander seeds
* 1 cm fresh turmeric
Mince all ingredients until they turn into a smooth paste. DO NOT FRY

Cooking Directions:
1.) Mix both fish & shrimp in food processor until smooth.
Mix in dessicated coconut. Add 3 tbs of thick coconut milk
2.) Add processed ingredients, mix well. Add salt & sugar to taste
3.) If the mixture is still too dry, you may add 1 egg white and a bit of olive oil
4.) Shape the mixture on sate sticks/lemongrass stalk, flatten slightly
5.) Charcoal grill sate until light brown and cooked through

* This article is a collaboration between Cooking Etcetera, Indonesia-Eats and  Rasa Malaysia

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Menu Juara: Soto Tangkar Betawi

Also known as Indonesian Beef Ribs Soup. A specialty from Jakarta, the city where I was born and grew up in.  But what does “soto” means?  Have a look ~ here ~ from my previous posting.  Soto Betawi has become a regular menu that keeps popping up every two weeks or so.  The reason is because I like it better than the chicken version and Michael would never say no this this.

I ran out of some ingredients & spices a few weeks ago. Little things like lemon grass, fresh galangal and frozen kaffir lime leaves. Of course you can substitute them with powdered ones if that’s the only option, but you know already, nothing beats the real thing. Even from the moment I started mixing the ingredients, I can tell whether the soto is going to have the correct taste or not from the scent of the cooked ingredients.  Powdered or packaged ingredients usually have a slightly “off’ chemically taste to it – well, only a few very good brands like Munik, tastes almost like the real thing.

This weekend, a friend brought me a new supply of these ingredients from Shanghai. Whoa my gosh! That gift equals with a pouch of gold nuggets to me. No kidding, where can you get these stuff in the middle of a grassland? So here I am, cooking away my favorite recipes once again….

Recipe for Soto Tangkar Betawi
(or Batavian Beef Ribs Soup)  you can have a look  HERE


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My coffee affair: Macademia Brownies


As featured in  TastespottingFoodgawker

I’m going to stick to the recipe I know works, the one I got from Bakerzin’s Dessert Book by Daniel Tay, founder of Bakerzin. Those brownies are so heavenly moist, chocolatey, perfect sweetness and keeps well in the fridge. I still have a bag of fresh macademia nuts bought from the market a few days ago, sprinkles of chopped macademia creates a whole new flavours with touch of nuttiness to this perfect chocolatey bites.

Perfect for my morning coffee and afternoon tea!

Reposting recipe

* 325 gr all purpose flour
* 5 gr baking powder
* 150 gr cocoa powder (I use Droste & Van Houten)
* 225 gr cream cheese
* 860 gr sugar (a bit too sweet for me, I use 660 gr only)
* 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
* 10 gr salt
* 450 gr unsalted butter (softened)
* 400 gr eggs
* 300 gr chopped macademia
* butter for greasing


Cooking Direction:
1.) Preheat oven 180C or 350F
2.) Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa powder into a bowl
3.) Separately mix sugar & butter till fluffy, then add
vanilla essence, salt & cream cheese till well blended
4.) Fold eggs into cream cheese mixture, then gradually
fold in flour mixture. Add chopped macademia nuts
5.) Lightly grease the pan you’re going to use
Level the batter and bake for 20-25 mnts
(for shallow square pan I use baking sheets)
6.) Unmould & cool brownie. Top with warm chocolate melt
and sprinkles of chopped macademia


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** Recipe Source: Just Desserts by Daniel Tay

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New Year Celebration, Nuts & Breads


Last chinese new year we managed to get away to Beijing. Unfortunately this year, Mike had to stay babysitting the hotel, as he sent all of the managers to take a few days leave. The city’s life is practically put on hold. Everywhere is so quiet, shops are all closed for more than a week (some would stay close for 2-3 weeks even), the hotel’s occupancy dropped significantly during these days. Food is getting scarce – *lucky that we live in a hotel where getting food is not really a problem* – unless one stocks up well prior to the celebration. The shopping frenzy happened 3 days before the celebration. Food stalls, street vendors, supermarkets were all packed with thousands of people and everything would be sold out instantly.

I’m not sure if I want to go out for the next coming few days, partially because of the weather that stay below minus two digits everyday, the other reason is that there isn’t much to do and see out there.

A few days ago, I experimented on the no-knead bread recipe. Thanks to Dita for her inspiring photo that makes me drool,  I peeked the recipe from Steamy Kitchen.  It’s amazing how one’s palate can change completely during pregnancy. I used to be more of a savoury person, but now I drool over things that’s super sweet, gooey, sticky caramelly with sprinkles of chopped nuts. A few months ago, I thought pickled cornichons was food from heaven. I must’ve gone mad!!!


No-knead Sticky Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
Click here for recipe
Modification: We’re not a big fan of walnut,
so we use pecans instead. The filling is made without nutmeg &
black pepper (yuck!) I added chopped brazilian nuts & dates.
Double yums!!!

PhotobucketNo-knead Gruyere Cheese Rolls
to view recipe click here
This is another modification I made, just by replacing the filling
with crushed garlic, sprinkles of oregano, sprinkles of basil,
grated vintage cheese and Gruyere cheese

All of the nuts I bought from the local market next door, literally, it’s a small alley located next to our place. On regular days this market is so full of vendors selling every unimaginable things. One day I spotted a guy walking around in the market with a live bull tied around the neck, he was selling it for the meat. Great little place to walk around and find little surprises. I bought a bag of fresh brazil nuts, macademia, pecans and roasted almonds  (about 500 gram each)  for 75 Yuan only – that would be about US$11 total.


From almonds, macademia, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds,
chestnuts, brazilian nuts, pistachios….
and some unidentified nuts. Take your pick!


Warm chestnuts is a beautiful snack in wintertime
This cost about 5 Yuan/bag – less than a dollar

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Tongseng Kambing

As featured in  Tastespotting Foodgawker

Remember in my previous posting when I briefly introduced   “Soto” –  one of the many special soup dishes in Indonesia, which is interestingly enough, served as  main dish accompanied by steamed rice or noodles. Unlike in the western cuisine where soup is served as an appetizer. One of the special characteristics of Indonesian soup is the generous usage of fragrant ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, roasted coriander seeds and galangal – resulting in that special flavours which characterize these “soto”

Soto or Indonesian soup is something you would find sold on street corners & open market vendors. Yups, it’s a street food, quite a famous one. Different provinces in Indonesia has its own distinct flavours.  There’re so  many varieties of  ‘soto’ dish to a point that you could probably make a one month menu from different type of soto. Just kidding! But really, it’s THAT many….

Note on the special ingredients e.g.  kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, Indonesian soy sauce.  Most of these ingredients are becoming easier to find in the local asian stores or china town in your country, well I am sure it’s much more easier to find these things over there compared to where I live now in Inner Mongolia.


or  Indonesian Lamb Cabbage Soup
*  1 kg of lamb – I added a few pcss of lamb ribs for the flavours
*  1 liter coconut milk (canned or packaged is just fine)
*  1/2 cabbage – roughly chopped
*  4  pcs whole cloves
*  2 pcs red tomatoes, chopped
*  1 stalk of lemon grass – bruised
*  2 cm galangal
*  4 pcs kaffir lime leaves
*  6 pods of cardamoms
*  3 cm cinnamon stick
*  10 pcs red (or bird eye’s) chilies, sliced

Processed (paste) Ingredients:
*  8 pcs shallots
*  6 pcs garlic
*  2 cm fresh garlic
*  5 pcs candlenuts – flame roasted would taste better
*  1/2 tsp  coriander seeds – toasted would taste better
*  1/2 tsp cumin powder

** Optional:  2 tbs of Bumbu Cik Oneh – for a better kick!
untuk yang baru aja dapet stok bumbu dari Pasar Majestik… whoo hooo!

Cooking Directions:
1.)  In a pressure cook, boil lamb in 1 ltr water until tender enough
2.)  Stir fry processed ingredients until fragrant. Add lemon grass
3.)  Mix in the cooked ingredients into lamb pot, add the rest of  ingredients
4.)  Let it cook for a while,  stir in  coconut milk.
5.)  Add chopped cabbage, tomatoes & chilies. Let it cooked through
6.) Ready to serve with warm steamed rice on the side
and sprinkles of fried shallots (bawang goreng)

Note for my fellow SLFers:
Setelah berkali-kali bereksperimen dengan sup & soto shot yang kadang2 anglenya suka rada impossible karena bentuk mangkuk yang kurang ideal, akhirnya ketemu juga dengan  angle yang cukup memuaskan *imho*  Mangkuk yang dipakai kali ini cukup lebar mulutnya & tidak terlalu dalam, hingga isi si soto bisa terlihat, nggak tenggelam dalam kuahnya.  Warna mangkuk juga sengaja dicari yang cheerful untuk menunjang warna soto/sup yang memang cenderung kelihatan ‘dull’ saat  difoto…..  😀

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