March 24, 2022

Indonesian-style Noodles

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Gordon Ramsay's 2021 cookbook, Ramsay In 10, has a fried noodle recipe he calls Warung Style Noodles. Warung, I think, is a small neighborhood eatery in Indonesia which offers cheap yummy food. I watched an Indonesian movie on Netflix that has similar ingredients and procedure for fried rice, Nasi Goreng. I followed the rice dish from the movie and used thin precooked rice noodles instead. I have smoked pork jowl and used that in place of bacon, because fatty pork jowl is simply delicious. For Nasi Goreng, use 2 cups cooked rice that has been refrigerated, uncovered, until very dry.

Indonesian-style Noodles
2 rashers bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 well beaten egg
½ teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon ginger paste
½ teaspoon shrimp paste (belachan, optional)
1 tablespoon kecap manis plus extra for drizzling
1 cup baby bokchoy, cut into 1 inch pieces, blanched and drained
sea salt, to taste
2 - 3 ounces precooked flat rice noodles
1 tablespoon water, optional
1 cup mung bean sprouts, blanched and drained 
  • Cook bacon in a skillet or wok until fat is rendered. 
  • Add the egg and stir fry for a few seconds. 
  • Add the pastes, kecap manis, and bokchoy. 
  • Stir fry until bokchoy is fully cooked but still crunchy. Taste and add salt, if necessary. 
  • Add the noodles and stir fry until well combined and noodles are heated through. Drizzle water if mixture is too dry. Turn heat off.
  • Add mung bean sprouts and stir gently to combine.  
  • Transfer into a serving plate and drizzle top with kecap manis, if desired.
Tip: Make a garlic and ginger paste by processing equal amounts of garlic and ginger with a little distilled water or peanut oil. Keep a portion in a tiny jar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and freeze some in 1 teaspoon portions. This combination is handy for preparing Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, and other Asian dishes. 

Kecap Manis is an Indonesian condiment staple. It is sweetened soy sauce that is thick although not as thick as molasses. You can either buy from Asian grocery stores but why buy when you probably have soy sauce and brown sugar in the pantry. Just boil them until thick, et voila! homemade kecap manis. BTW, ketchup got its name from Asian kecap. 

Kecap Manis
½ cup Kikkoman soy sauce
½ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
  • Boil ingredients over medium low heat until the sauce has the consistency of maple syrup.
  • Let cool then transfer into a squeeze bottle for easier dispensing. The sauce will thicken some more as it cools. Refrigeration is not necessary.

January 3, 2022

Homemade Ube Powder

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For people obsessed with ube like myself, it gets frustrating buying ube powder that turns out to be half fake. I got a few Filipino ube powder packages from Amazon and the ube powder doesn't soften even when soaked overnight in water. The finished product tastes a bit of real ube but is grainy even after using an immersion blender. I suspect the powder has peels included to increase the weight. There is no other explanation for the bits that never soften. I used it to make ube buns.

January 2, 2022

Brown Butter Ice Cream

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I've been searching for the Filipino mantecado ice cream since forever. I can't find any from my tons of Filipino and Spanish cookbooks and online too. Mantecado ice cream was available from ice cream makers in the Philippines eons ago but they stopped making for some reason. The flavor is now being revived by a few ice cream producers and is making a comeback as Filipinos discover how good the ice cream flavor is.

December 16, 2021

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

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My son gifted us with an Instant Pot Duo Crisp 8 Quarts for Christmas. I never owned nor cooked with a pressure cooker before but of course I know there is an IP "cult" and they swear by the convenience of this kitchen appliance. I now understand why. It is versatile except maybe to make toast and bake a large cake. I've used the steamer, pressure cooker, air fryer, and sous vide. So far, they have worked very well. Boiling eggs and cooking rice are particularly great. The eggs are easier to peel with no shells stuck on the eggs. Sticky rice, sushi rice, and jasmine rice are cooked perfectly in the Instant Pot. It won't replace my gas, toaster, and microwave ovens though. 

Pressure cooked on high for 30 minutes; natural release - easy to remove skins and perfectly cooked Ube (Purple Yam) 


Baked Sweet Potatoes
25 minutes at 350 F


Air Fried Sweet Potato Chips drizzled with honey butter - crispy yummy!


Eggs

  • Eggs should be at room temperature; leave eggs on kitchen counter at least 5 hours before cooking. Add ice cubes in a bowl of cold water. Cooked eggs should be immediately plunged in iced water for 4 minutes to stop further cooking. 
  • Pour 2 cups water in inner pot. Place steamer rack with handles up, carefully put eggs in one layer. 
  • Hard - pressure cook for 4 minutes on low, release after 3 minutes
  • Semi-soft - pressure cook for 2 minutes on low, release after 2 minutes
  • Soft - pressure cook for 2 minutes on low, quick release
Air Fried Chicken
I was not too happy because the chicken didn't have the golden brown color of deep fried. The chicken were soft and moist.


Champorado


Filipino breakfast porridge made with glutinous rice cooked with cocoa powder and sugar. Serve hot with milk. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes 1 cup glutinous rice, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, sugar to taste, and 3 cups water. Natural release.

Jasmine Rice


Wash 2 cups of jasmine rice several times until water becomes clear. You can skip this but I prefer to wash rice before cooking. Drain rice and place in the pot. Add 1 and 3/4 cups water and make sure rice is evenly distributed in the pot. Pressure cook on high for 0 minute. Yes, zero minute. Turn off Keep Warm button to make sure no crust will form on the bottom of the pot. Natural release, about 20 minutes. Make sure the tiny metal button is completely down before removing lid. Immediately spoon cooked rice with a plastic spatula into a container.  

Arancini - Italian Rice Balls
Mix 1 cup risotto with grated mozzarella, finely chopped Italian parsley, and 1 egg white. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Form into 1 inch balls, dip in beaten egg yolk then roll in fine bread crumbs. Air fry at 400 F until golden brown. 


Japchae - Korean glass noodles with mixed vegetables
Semi fail because I added too much liquid but the noodles were still chewy. There's always a next time. 


Cinnamon Buns
Tiny cinnamon buns made with just a cup of flour. Not bad. At least I know I can bake bread using the air fryer function in the Instant Pot.


Verdict - Sold!!! 😘😘😘

 
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