Archive for Culinary Trip

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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Peking Cabbage Pillows

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I’m such a cabbage fan. I love it in my stir fries, stuffed, rolled, souped, ‘tongseng’ or simply served as fresh sundanese salad or ‘lalap’ dipped in fresh ground chilis. But you know what’s the best cabbage dish is? stuffed shumay with drizzles of spicy peanut sauce….  That, would take me back home instantly. Such effects food can do to people.

I was quite intrigued to experiment with Martin Yan’s version of stuffed cabbage though. After a three hour session of cooking class he hosted in Shenzhen last week, we were sent home smiling carrying two bulky cooking books he gave us. One of the recipe in his book is “Peking Cabbage Pillows” – another version of stuffed cabbage using tofu, carrots and ginger.

Although, instead of using vinegar chili dipping (chinese style) I use Indonesian spicy peanut sauce.

Verdict: Tofu can be a great subs instead of fish meat that is commonly used. It’s lighter and always works wonders when dipped in Indonesian peanut sauce.  *just a little note: Indonesian peanut sauce is less sweet and has more kicks than the Malaysian/Singaporean satay sauce.

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Recipe by Chef Martin Yan

*  2 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
*  1 large napa cabbage (green cabbage)
(at least 6-7 cabbage leaves for wrapping)
*  1/4 cup chopped carrots
*  3 cloves minced garlic
*  1 cup minced chicken/prawns (skip for vegetarian)
*  2 tbs oyster sauce
*  2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
*  1 tsp sesame oil
*  1 tsp minced ginger
*  1 tsp chopped cilantro

Yummy Peanut Sauce:
** For sauce recipe, click here

1.)  Parboil cabbage in boiling water for 2-3 mnts
Drain & rinse. Shave thick ribs at stem ends
2.)  Mash tofu in a bowl, squeeze to extract moist
3.)  Cook garlic till fragrant, add minced chicken
4.)  Add mushrooms & garlic
5.)  Add oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, carrot
6.)  Set aside, mix in mashed tofu. Add cilantro
7.)  Place 2 tbs of cooked tofu on cabbage leave
Roll the leave, tucked both sides in
8.)  Place ‘pillows’ in a steamer. Steam high for 10 mtns
Serve with dippings

Recipe from “Culinary Journey Through China” by Martin Yan

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I am submitting this posting to DMBLGIT January 2009.
For more information to participate please click ~  HERE

DMBLGIT - January 2009

Mad about Macaroons

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Totally insane, my brain stops functioning everytime I see macaroons and my mouth waters uncontrollably.

I remember seeing them for the very first time in huge clear glass jars on David’s dessert buffet table. He was the one who started this madness with the stories about macaroons in Japan. There was this high-end pastry shop in Tokyo selling only macaroons. All sorts of flavours imaginable. Very pricey. His only response, macaroons is macaroons.
If you know the cost price, you wouldn’t pay that sort of price.

Yeah well, didn’t I say “madness”?

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Grassland in Summertime

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August is the busiest month in the grassland of Inner Mongolia as there will be so many different festivals for the entire month. Most farmers will put up some extra tents or “yurt” as they call it, for the tourists. What I mean by “some” is more like a couple of hundreds or so.

July is just a perfect time, right before the domestic tourists start to flood in,  perfectly green all round  with the blossoming shrubbery.  I love exploring the wild florals that are scattered practically everywhere. All kinds of wonderful fragrances are in the air. Summer fragrance. Wild flowers. Some smell like rosemary,  other smell like lavender – now I have them both potted at the corner of in my livingroom   *hopefully they stay alive*   😦  

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 David collecting wild spring onions – with a cake fork!


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We were invited once for a dinner at a farmer’s home some time ago and I remember the wild spring onion dish. It was such a simple dish but with the taste that I apparently will never forget. The farmer’s wife proudly explained every single dish: the boiled mutton, steamed buns, some unidentified stir fried vegetables and wild spring onions which caught my curiousity instantly.  I’ve never seen ones before….   and there they were, sprouting wildly on a hill where we spread our picnic blanket.

It was amazing…  The stalks are much tougher & have a distinct sharp fragrance than the regular ones. See the purplish tinge at the bottom of their stalk? I think it’s rather appealing…..

Meanwhile, in the distant, a local villager digging into the ground pulling out roots of a particular plant with yellow flower. Collecting them for medicine, I suppose.

I love summer in the grassland. Beautiful weather and sunshine, thick cushy grass to lay down on, cool breeze… and those smells. Whoa, I would never forget those gorgeous smells….

An Afternoon Feast in Tauranga Beach

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A calm morning at the beach that we stroll on each morning

The first week of vacation we stayed at a Jan & Murry’s home in Tauranga. I had no idea the beach would be this beautiful. We get into the habit of getting up in the morning -which is a rare thing for us who are so used to getting up by 11am earliest whenever we’re on holiday – just to walk on the beach. Get up, a few sips of coffee and off we go barefoot on to the beach. It’s usualy empty anytime of the day, but morning sky on the beach is just awesome, so we don’t want to miss it.

One morning after a heavy storm the night before, the usually empty and clean beach was full of seaweeds scattered everywhere. It must’ve been quite a storm last night. Not only seaweeds, also puffed up blow fish stranded dead evey meter or so *weird*, some foreign debris, a headless penguin caught up in some plastic string, and lots blue bottle jelly fish. Yuck, better stay away from them. Those tentacles can cause serious problem.

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Pic 1: huge mussels, compared to my foot

A weird looking ball of something surrounded by seagulls, looked gooey, covered in thick barnacles. Mike said it was a floater, a buoy. I looked closer, it was covered with mussels. Still intact and alive as a few of them squirted water on me. Hehehe…  We rounded up to 4-5 kilograms of green lipped mussels from the beach. Too bad camera ran out of batt, wish I could take photos of the mussels when we picked them of the beach. Wow!!!

Called the troops to help me peel the mussels off. Jan even found two more buoys a few meters away, also full of green lipped mussels. They were quite large in size, 4 pieces of them is already a handful. Whoa, looks like we got lucky this morning. The ocean just gave us a free lunch. Oh I had sooo much fun! It took a while to scrub those barnacles off the mussels. No pain no gain. It was worth it. Those mussels were just beautiful & juicy cooked in white wine, garlic and sprinkles of chopped spring onions. Paired with Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc. Whoooo my goooshhhh, I’m in heaven!!! It was such an great experience.

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Street food of Beijing


Xiaolong Bao, sort of huge dumplings with crab roe soup inside
Originally from Jiangsu province, the largest crab – hairy crab producer
There’s a long line of people to get their hands on these dumplings.
A great snack in the chilly weather of Beijing in February



L-R steamed sea cucumber, supposedly a fine dining material. The more spikes, the higher the price
Candied fruit, so typical Beijing. Can’t find these cuties anywhere else. My favorite, the strawberries!
Stuffed pineapples and deep fried cruncy star fish. Anyone?



Silk worm cocoons, hot and steamy sweets
…..and scorpions on a skewer. Whoa gosh!



Beautiful looking crabs, crunchy star fish, grilled eel in sweet soy
marinate and sea urchins. They take the thorns off and deep fry them in  batter.
Nope, I didn’t try this one. But the grilled eel is so good!



Baked oysters, anyone? Check out the size of those yummies! WOW!!!
Sprinkled with chopped garlic, butter & spring onions



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