Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tukang Cakwe (You Tiao/ Chinese fried bread stick)

Here in Indonesia, You Tiao (油条) - Chinese fried bread stick/crullers, is more known as Cakwe. We eat it normally with congee for breakfast or deep it into sweet sour chili sauce as snack.

I remember when I was in China, everytime I ordered cakwe for my breakfast, it's always served with soy bean milk.
The cakwe dough is made from flour, water, alum and salt.

Deep fried.

As you can see, a cakwe/you tiao is two long fried bread stick together. It's interesting to learn the story behind of it from my favorite book "Origins of Chinese Food Culture".

According to this book, during the Song dynasty, there's a famous and well respected General named Yue Fei. He fought and won against the invader - Jin Dynasty.

But then, in year 1142, the unfair Prime Minister Qin Hui together with his wife Wang Shi, executed Yue Fei without any reason.

The people of Song Dynasty got so angry but they couldn't do anything thus to relieve the anger, a baker made a bread resembles 2 people's shapes that represents Qin Hui and his wife, then deep fried in hot oil.
In the beginning, this fried bread was names as "fried Hui" but later on after Qin Hui passed away, the named changed to "yàu ja gwái" (油炸鬼), which means "oil-fried ghost".
Anyway, these days, the name of this bread has been simplified to "You Tiao" (油条), it means "oil strips".

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Warung Jawa Timur (East Java small restaurant)

I'm a bit confused on how to translate the meaning of "Warung" because it can represent to a little shop, a small outdoor restaurant, a cafe, or a stall/booth and usually it's a business place owned by a family.

Thus, I translate "Warung Jawa Timur" as East Java small restaurant since it's a small restaurant that provides East Java food and owned by a family :)

This small restaurant is my mom and her best friend's favorite place. They usually eat here for breakfast in the weekend, after they go to the famous Indonesian biggest cut-flowers market in Rawa Belong area in West Jakarta.

Ready food to serve.

This is the ingredients of Pecel which is similiar to Gado-gado and Lotek (Indonesian salad with peanut sauce dressing), it consists of beansprouts, morning glory and long beans.
Pecel is served on top of rice (Indonesian word for rice is nasi) that's why it's called as Nasi Pecel :)Beside the pecel, below are the other food assortment in this small restaurant:

Telur Balado
(Hard boiled eggs being deep fried then simmered in a sauce made from red chili, tomatoes, and garlic)
Tahu goreng
(Tofu being battered and deep fried)

Tempe Goreng (fried soybean cake) and
Bakwan Goreng
(Vegetable fritters)Tahu Bacem
(sweet marinated tofu)
(Roasted grated coconut)
(The authentic rendang is beef cooked with coconut milk and red chili plus other spices, but this rendang isn't cook with coconut milk, I guess this is the East Java style of rendang).
(Fried cow's lung)

Ikan Pesmol
(Fried fish with turmeric, candle nut, red chili and bird eye's chili)
(Sweet marinated fried beef)
Ayam Goreng
(Fried chicken)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Asinan (Indonesian version of pickles)

For us - Indonesian, eating asinan (pickes) during a hot sunny day can be really refreshing :)

There are actually several kind of asinan but in this cart below is asinan from Bogor (Bogor is a city near Jakarta). Asinan buah (fruit pickles) and asinan sayur (vegetables pickles) are the 2 types of Asinan Bogor.


A close up pic of the cart

Inside the cart

Top: Pineapple, Mango (mangga), Water Apple (jambu air), Ambarella (kedondong) and Jicama (bangkuang)
Bottom: Lettuce, Cucumber, shredded Carrot, yellow Tofu, Pickled Chinese Mustard Greens (gai choy), Coleslaw, Beansprout

The vendor is preparing the ingredients for Asinan in a plastic bag.

A close up of the vegetable pickles

Vegetable pickles.

Fruit pickles

Left: fried peanuts
Middle: the sauce in the bottle (made from water, vinegar, sugar, red chili)
Right: chili sauce

Crackers made from tapioca flour.

I love dipping these crackers into the Asinan sauce.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Rolls)

This morning, I received an email from my friend. She asked whether my mom can make Pao de Queijo - famous Brazilian cheese rolls. Her daughter is going to give a presentation about Brazil in her class next week and she need to bring something related to Brazil which is a traditional Brazilian food.

My friend even provided the "Pao de Queijo" recipe from "" site as below:

* 2 cups whole milk
* 8 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 4 1/4 cups tapioca (cassava) flour
* 4 eggs
* 2 cups grated farmer's cheese, or any firm, fresh cows milk cheese
* 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
* salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix milk, salt, vegetable oil and butter in a pot, and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove from heat.
3. Stir tapioca flour into the milk and butter mixture.
4. Stir in the eggs and the cheese, and mix well.
5. Let mixture cool for 15-30 minutes, so that it will be easier to handle.
6. With floured (tapioca flour) hands, shape the dough into golf ball size balls (about 50 gram portions) and place them on a baking sheet.
7. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are puffed up and are golden. They will rise slowly and puff up mostly in the last 5 or 10 minutes.
8. Serve warm.

Makes about 15 rolls

Mom and I decided that we'd give a try first today. Well, this is the result :)

They supposedly should puffed up but I'm not sure why these rolls didn't.

Anyway, besides of the nice texture - crusty on the outside but chewy and gooey on the inside, it tasted quite interesting for me ;)

Updated: 6 March 2010

Yay!!! I finally made a much better Pao de Queijo. What a big difference, hehehe...
Thank you to Everything4sweets for sharing her nice recipe :)

150 gr tapioca flour
90 gr milk
35 gr melted butter or oil
50 gr parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 gr salt

the same as the above recipe.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tukang Tahu (Tofu man)

Usually, once a week in the morning, a man with his motorcycle will stop by in front of my house to sell tofu.

It's just so nice to have fresh and warm tofu, unwrap from a wet cloth that can be eaten directly without cooking it first. Just give a pinch of salt and it's already perfect as a morning snack ;)

A piece of tofu costs Rp. 3.000 (30 US cents)
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