Category Archives: Indo Food

Cooking and Eating in Indonesia

Silver Linings

I am one lucky little duck. So many wonderful things have happened this week that I am very grateful for. Like inbali.org published another one of my articles yesterday.

I can’t wait for you all to read it. It was lots of fun to write, especially when I made reference to my own personal experiences and memories. Below is a screenshot of a snippet of the article but if you wish to read more head on over to inbali.org.

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As of last Saturday I also arrived back on Australian soil and was welcomed home by this sweet surprise from my Mum and younger brother, Phil (aka Philby).

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The treats were definitely scattered around my room, I even found a chocolate bar hidden among my shoes.
My Mums partner cooked a roast lamb for tea that night (thanks Bill it was bloody delicious!) and my Mum and I caught up over a bottle of wine.

For those of you who have been following this blog for a while now , you will already know that my partner, Isan and our puppy, Kawan are still in Bali. Both are waiting on visa’s and paperwork to be approved so that we can start a life together in Australia. The time apart for the next few months will be hard but the silver lining is I am surrounded by my family again in the warmest community in Australia. Here is the proof,

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Treats brought round by my neighbours to welcome me home.

I hope to use this time to myself to re-access certain areas of my life and plan for the new future ahead and to oh…… hopefully make time for more blogging.

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I cooked a cake in a rice cooker

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Did you know that a rice cooker made this dense, moist, morish carrot and coconut cake seen above? Damn straight it did and the recipe was actually meant for the oven. You can just about cook any simple flour, milk, eggs cake that you want in a rice cooker. So far I have made a upside down apple cake, a coffee cake and now I have made this delicious carrot and coconut cake.

And to test it out even more I twerked the recipe to include ingredients that were more commonly used in an Indonesian kitchen. Just like this little sweety.

gula-jawa.jpgThis is gula Jawa or gula merah or probably what you know it as, palm sugar. This type of sugar is made from extracting the sap of the palm tree and boiling it down to produce a syrup that is sweet and nutty. It is famous within Indonesian cooking, sweet or savoury and it is also less refined than granulated sugar therefore it is healthier for you.

I got the recipe for the cake from here. I just did a quick pinterest search for a carrot and coconut cake but I switched the pineapple with a mashed banana. Follow the recipe as it states and at the end you can add the cream cheese if you wish. It’s a little on the expensive side here so I gave it a miss but the cake was still yummy all the same.

The difference when cooking a cake in a rice cooker is you must butter the inside of the rice cooker and pour the mix in like the picture below.

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Place the lid down and turn it on to cook. Now you will need to listen out for when the cooker clicks over to warm. Leave it for 10 mins and then press cook again. Repeat this for a total of 3-4 times until you can stick a skewer in the cake and it comes out clean. Pull the inside of the rice cooker out and leave to cool for a few minutes. Flip it over gently and your cake should pop out. If it wont budge use a rubber spatula to nudge it a little.

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You will notice the cake will have a lot of craters all over it from the steam used to cook within the rice cooker. This does not affect it any way but rather makes for a more dense and moist cake. I bet you a rice cooker would be able to cook some rich, fudgy chocolate brownies better than any oven.

So what do you all think? Will you try to cook a cake in a rice cooker too? If so please let me know how you go. Honestly this was the best cooking discovery I have ever made either here in Indonesia or back in Australia. Western style cakes are expensive here and being able to enjoy something that reminds me of home (my Mum is a big cake baker) puts a smile on my dial.

By the way I just had to share this picture of Kawan eyeing off the cake. In this picture you can also see the ingeniousness of my cake display. Its just like the way they do in Padang restaurants.

-Simone xo

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Go Bananas for Pisang Goreng

pisang-goreng.jpgA few weeks ago I decided it was time I learnt how to cook Indonesian food. I have ate my way through many a dish, thanks to encouragement and guidance of my fiance, Isan but I’ve never really learnt how to cook them. I can remember trying to cook Nasi goreng a few times in Australia but I only just learnt how to use a rice cooker this year. So go figure! It has been a great experience so far (luckily) with no major fails or upsets. Isan is really happy with the majority of my cooking and he even proclaimed that I make better Nasi goreng than him! As my endeavors have been more positive than negative, I have decided to make a little project out of it and write about it (among other things) on this blog. ‘The Indo Cooking Project’ will hopefully teach you all how to make delicious Indonesian food mixed with a western perspective. I will try my best to offer recipes that will give you with the same results as I would get here, cooking in my kitchen in Bali. To begin us off I’ll start with the simple treat, Pisang Goreng or Deep fried banana. I actually decided to start with this recipe as a blog I read, Backpacker Lee (find his blog here) wrote a post about the top 5 Asian street foods for Backpackers here. He proclaimed in the comments section that he was missing Pisang goreng and said he wasnt sure on how to cook it. I thought, I love Pisang Goreng too! Hey Lee I reckon I can give it a crack and then if I can do it, so can you and all of my wonderful readers out there. Here for your tummies pleasure the recipe for Pisang Goreng. The Ingredients you will need Fried-Banana-Ingredients.jpgYou will see the optional extras I have added, which I do suggest you try mixing into your batter once you have mastered the basic recipe. Instructions Prepare the batter by combining plain flour, rice flour, egg and water. I recommend using a whisk until the consistency is like this. fried-banana-batter.jpgDon’t worry if there are air bubbles, as they will create crispy, crunchy bits all over your banana after frying. Now peel and cut the bananas to you liking. If using cavendish I suggest cutting them in half and then slicing length ways- meaning you will end up with 4 pieces from 1 banana. If you got your hands on some lovely finger bananas then all you have to do is slice them in half length ways. Or do as I have done and cut the banana into three parts just stopping before the bottom. This is so that you can shape it into a fan, and its also the way those from Kalimantan prepare their pisang goreng. kalimantan-bananas.jpgDip your bananas into the batter and now your ready to fry. Do as the Indonesians do and fill a wok (no need for deep fryers here) with enough oil to cover the bananas and then add a bit more. Heat the wok to a medium heat and drop about a table spoon of batter to test the temp. If the oil starts to bubble then your good to go. Drop them slowly one at a time. They are ready once they have reached a dark golden colour. pisang-goreng.jpgPut them onto some paper towels or newspaper as I have done here and wait for them to cool for a moment. pisang-goreng01.jpgAfternoon-snack.jpgPisang goreng is best eaten warm and served along side a cup of tea or coffee. Sometimes Indonesians will serve Pisang goreng with chocolate sprinkles, cheese or even a drizzle of condensed milk. I allowed the sprinkles.

Look Ma! I got published.

Hooray!

Hooray!

A week ago something super cool happened to me, something I have been hoping for, for a long time.

I got my first freelance writing gig. Yay! My words are up in black and white for all to see on the wonderful new website www.inbali.org. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful writers who share the same love for Indonesia as I do.

So with your best napkin tired tightly around your neck and with a tummy eagerly waiting to be filled I give to you a snippet from my article titled ‘Small change treats: The Top 5 Indonesian Snacks’.

Bakso Mantap

Bakso! Bakso via Surga Kuliner. I am never patient enough to take a photo, its too yummy!

Got an attack of the munchies? Need something to accompany your beachside Bintang? Then you must try some of Indonesia’s favourite snacks, which are easily found everywhere in Bali. If you can, you must try them all, revel in the moment and then go for a 10km run. In other words, if you’re prescribing to a raw vegan diet then Indonesia’s favourite treats are your kryptonite. Otherwise, if you’re a no-holds barred, gotta try everything kinda person, then prepare the serviettes because it’s going to get messy.

To read the rest of the article click here

In the comments section of the website or even here on dontforgettherice let me know which one’s you have tried or wish to try or wish you didnt? I’d really love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

How to eat like an Indonesian

The best way to enjoy Indonesian food: with family and friends, especially on Jalan Malioboro, Jogjakarta (btw sorry for showing my feet- more on that in a later post)

The best way to enjoy Indonesian food: with family and friends, especially on Jalan Malioboro, Jogjakarta (btw sorry for showing my feet- more on that in a later post)

There is a saying in Indonesia that if you haven’t eaten rice throughout the day, then you haven’t eaten at all. Rice is the bread and butter of every Indonesians diet and this is the main reason I titled my blog ‘don’t forget the rice’. Almost every meal will be served with rice, even for breakfast and sometimes even for dessert.

There are 4 different words in Indonesian for rice but the one your probably most familiar with is Nasi. This translates into English as cooked rice. The main rice that is available on every menu is of the white variety. I mean you can even order it nicely wrapped up like a burger at McDonald’s.

How you eat your rice is up to you. Indonesians eat their meals with a spoon and a fork or with their right hand. There are lots of variables as to when it is appropriate to use either, but as a foreigner I suggest you stick with the spoon and fork method to begin with. From an outsider it might look easy eating sans utensils but it takes a lot of practice to make it look effortless and dignified.

Eating with your hand is surprisingly satisfying, especially when you have had a long day.

Eating with your hand is surprisingly satisfying, especially when you have had a long day. (p.s. First GIF I ever made…)

When eating your….say, nasi goreng (fried rice) the fork is in your left hand as you would normally and the spoon in your right as your main utensil. The spoon will play the role of knife and spoon, very versatile little fellow and he has probably played knifey-spoony before.

And if you want to impress/flatter your host and/or your Indonesian friends, once you have finished your meal place your fork and spoon as shown in the picture below.

.....................Selamat makan

…………………Selamat makan

Memories of holidays past is always about the food for me. What are your favourite Indonesian food memories? Have you ever tried Durian? I have and I didn’t like it, but Isan doesnt like vegemite so we are even.