Speak pipe


Indonesian Food History and recipies

On Aug 29 .2007 I and Samy went to Bintan an Island in Indonesia.The trip took 50 min by hydroplane from Singapore. We stayed at http://www.perfectescapes.com/Luxury_Hotel-PID1250-Bintan_Island_-Bintan_Lagoon_Resort-67901.html

Indonesia, the fifth largest country in the world, an archipelago consisting of 18,000 islands, spanning one-eighth of the globe and occupied by 250 ethnic groups. Here tremendous ethnic diversity coupled with wave upon wave of cultural influence adds up to a world of pleasure for the culinary adventurer. Indonesia's indigenous techniques and ingredients merge with influences from India, the Middle East, China and Europe. And then there are the New World products brought by Spanish and Portuguese traders long before the Dutch colonized the islands.
Most restaurants abroad and English-language cookbooks focus on the foods of Java and Sumatra with tastes of tourist-haven Bali. But the cuisines on these islands alone provide us with plenty of opportunity to keep our taste buds happy and our tongues tingling or dancing as the locals say.
Rice is Indonesia's main staple except in Maluku (the Moluccas) and Irian Jaya (Indonesian New Guinea) where sago palm flour, sweet potatoes and cassava reign supreme. As in the rest of Southeast Asia, other dishes are eaten in extremely small quantities. Meat, fish and vegetables are condiments designed to flavor the staple. Sauces such as fiery sambals lend added character. Westerners, accustomed to eating much larger portions of meat and fish, find much of Indonesian food scorchingly hot.
Natural resources include rich volcanic soils and endless coastlines as the islands arc through both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Although some coastal areas are fished out(my friend Samy and I went fishing off Bintan Island in July 2007 and all we caught was a palm size fish) fresh water possibilities include lakes, rivers, ponds,aquaculture and flooded rice paddies. Not surprisingly, fish and crustaceans, fresh and dried, play a major role in the Indonesian diet.
Flavorings indigenous to the islands establish strong family ties between Indonesian food and that of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Coconut milk, or santen, plays a critical role here as well as in Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines. Indonesia shares the flavors of galangal, kaffir lime leaf and pandan with Thailand. Lemon grass and dried shrimp appear in the Philippines and Thailand both. Shrimp paste permeates the flavors of all three and Vietnam as well. Meanwhile delicious fruits and vegetables are common to the entire region.
But Indonesia's culinary ties are closest to those Southeast Asian countries strongly influenced by India. In fact, if there are ancient Buddhist or Hindu sites to be found on a country's soil, you can almost bet its cuisine will include ingredients such as cumin, coriander, ginger, and/or caraway. And you will find curries -- highly spiced sauces often diluted with coconut milk and served with bite-sized bits of meat, fish and vegetables to enliven the blandness of rice.
Arab traders ultimately converted Java from Hinduism to Islam and exercised their culinary influence as well. Kebabs, marinated meat cubes threaded on skewers, were reinterpreted to become satay. Dill and fennel entered the repertoire of spices. Today Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Not surprisingly, goat and lamb are important meats, while pork is forbidden. It is eaten only in Hindu Bali and within the Chinese community.
Chinese merchants and traders meanwhile added their own indispensable contributions to the cookpot. Indonesian food would be unrecognizable without the wok, stir-frying, the soybean and noodles which thread their way throughout the cuisine in countless ways. Among their many vegetables, the Chinese brought mustard greens, mung beans, daikon radish and Chinese cabbage.
The Dutch, attracted by the nutmeg and cloves of Maluku, waged wars over the Spice Islands and ultimately colonized the entire archipelago. Colonization caused much suffering, but added the finishing touch when it came to flavors. Chili peppers from Mexico added their unmistakable sting. Peanuts from the Americas provided sauces for satay and gado-gado a sa;ad made from marinated vegetables. Cassava from the Caribbean and sweet potatoes from South America furnished Maluku and Irian Jaya with their staples.
In this exotic world, Dutch colonizers sought the flavors of home. They imported cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, string beans, potatoes and corn, adding to the already vast array of vegetables. They also created an entertainment institution designed to present scores of different dishes at a single sitting. Rijsttafels might contain up to a hundred different dishes. Servants stood behind the chair of each guest ready to provide soothing morsels when necessary to cool a burning palate.
Indonesian cooks adopted new tools, techniques and ingredients and indigenized them -- some of the nearly beyond recognition. Ingenious home cooks used new techniques and forged ingredients unique to Indonesia.
Today soybeans provide not just nutritious beans for cooking on their own, soy sauce, tofu and sprouts, but tempeh, toasted soybean cakes fashionable in Western health food circles. Chinese soy sauce plays a role similar to fish sauce in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. But Indonesians enrich it by the addition of sugar, star anise, salam leaf and galangal to become kecap manis or sweet soy sauce, a key ingredient and a dynamite addition to any cook's pantry. (Pronounce that "ketchup." It's the Indonesian origin of the English word.)
Not surprisingly, Indonesia has created a mix of flavors which exerts its own influence abroad. Satay has crept up the Malay Peninsula to become one of Bangkok's favorite street foods. Indonesian food plays a major role in the melange of cuisines found in Singapore. After years of colonial intimacy, the Dutch are avid fans and some of the best Indonesian restaurants abroad can be found in the Netherlands.
Certain ingredients unique to Indonesian cuisine such as kemiri, a thickening agent, and salam leaf may be marketed under English names as candlenut and Indian bay leaf. Pandan leaf is occasionally used in Thai cooking and may be found in stores catering to Thai customers.
http://www.indonesia/ ok.com/recipes.htm
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/ethnic/indonesian/sambal-balado.html Crunchy Beef

Grilling Fish Techniques and Recipies

6 tips for turning out moist, tasty fillets
If you have shied away from grilling fish, now is the time to put the fear aside.Here are six great grilling tips for fish:Trust your eyes Fish are done when the flesh becomes opaque but is still moist,Too often, people mistake that moistness for raw wetness, and keep fish on the heat too long. Residual heat will continue cooking fish a minute or two after you remove it from the grill.If you think the fish is ready, cut into it at the thickest point. Salmon will have lost its orange gloss and be pink but moist-looking. Tuna can be cooked rare (dark pink, almost red in the center, with just a seared outside), medium rare (a thick band of pink in the center) or medium (slightly pink). Scrod or other white, flaky fish will be opaque white, slightly moist-looking and flake easily in largish pieces. If overcooked, flesh will be dry and crumbly.
Know your grill
Gas grills provide more even heat, fewer "hot spots."Charcoal grills' heat can be erratic, but experience and observing the cooking process, moving the fish around on the grill to cook evenly, can solve that problem.
Invest in useful gadgets
Grill woks (which have sloping sides) and flat grill plates, both of which are perforated, provide a more stable surface than a regular wire grill. Hinged, or clamshell, grill baskets hold flaky fish firmly and allow it to be turned without danger of the flesh flaking apart.
Baskets hold several rows of shrimp or scallops securely, and allow turning many pieces of fish all at once, with a long, cool handle, rather than one at a time over the hot fire.
Keep it clean
Keep all grilling surfaces scrupulously clean with a wire brush and a grill scraper. Clean grilling surfaces, and spray with non-stick cooking oil before adding fish, to prevent sticking and breaking apart of flesh.
Enhance flavor
Experiment with marinades to boost flavor before grilling. Keep in mind that long marinating of meat will tenderize tough cuts, but you marinate fish only to enhance flavor. If you marinate fish all day in a soy-based marinade, all you will taste is salt. If you let fish sit in a citrus marinade for a couple of hours, you get ceviche. Fish is spongy and absorbs flavors easily."Limit time in soy marinades to one to three hours and citrus marinades to 30 to 45 minutes. Often, all you need to do is brush fish with a flavored oil.
Experiment with flavored butters, mayonnaises, sauces and salsas as a flavor garnish after fish is grilled:Herbed butters are very easy to whip together and last indefinitely in the freezer, to be pulled out at the last minute. Summer fruit salsas require some time to peel and dice but otherwise are easy to concoct.
Know your fish to know how to grill it
Oily fish: bluefish, mackerel. Flesh is dense and takes well to high-heat grilling. But flavor is strong and texture is firm. Citrus marinades work well to offset strong taste and soften texture. Oily fish go off quickly, so freshness is a must.
Firm fish: salmon, tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi, tilapia. Easiest to grill for the novice, especially tuna steaks because doneness can be controlled by observing change in interior color, much like beef. Skin-on salmon is also good, because the flesh holds together well.Flaky-fleshed fish: cod, scrod, halibut. Best to grill on a grill plate, or in a clamshell basket, which holds flesh together and is easy to flip. Covering grill with foil and poking holes will help make a firmer surface but will reduce the smoky flavor of charcoal reaching the fish.
Shellfish: scallops, shrimp. Both cook quickly. Shrimp changes color as it cooks, indicating doneness, and takes well to marinades and sauces. Scallops should be "dry" scallops, not treated with preservatives such as tripolyphosphates, which leach the sweet taste out and prevents scallops from browning. Dry scallops brown attractively on the grill and are easy to visually judge doneness.

Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas
2 teaspoons olive oil2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced3 green onions, finely sliced1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removedSalt and pepper, to taste4 (10-inch) flour tortillas1 cup roasted tomatoes4 ounces shredded cheeseFresh basil, choppedTo roast tomatoes: Cut out cores, but leave skins on. Cut tomatoes into wedges, coat generously with olive oil and garlic. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning blend, and roast in 400-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until soft, wrinkled and collapsed-looking. About 8 tomatoes are needed.To make shrimp tortillas: Heat olive oil in skillet and saute garlic and green onions over medium-high heat until softened, 2 or 3 minutes. Set aside. Brush shrimp with olive oil mixture and grill in a grill basket, grill wok or on double skewers until cooked through, about 1 minute each side. Add to the skillet with onion mixture and toss. Add salt and pepper, to taste.Heat tortillas briefly on the grill to soften. Divide the grilled shrimp among the tortillas, top evenly with roasted tomatoes, shredded cheese and chopped basil. Fold in half, pressing edges to seal. Place on hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes to melt cheese and brown the tortillas. Cut each quesadilla into 2 pieces and serve immediately.Makes 8 servings.
Approximate values per serving: 191 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 86 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 260 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 24 percent of calories from fat.
Grilled Salmon With Tropical Salsa
Salmon1 side of fresh salmon, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds 1/4 cup olive oil3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed or very finely minced 1/4 cup maple syrupSalsa1 mango, peeled and cubed1 papaya, peeled and cubed1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and dicedJuice of 1 lemon 1/2 cantaloupe, seeds removed and chopped1 ripe tomato, seeds removed and chopped1 small sweet yellow or red onion2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other fruit liqueur2 tablespoons chopped mint2 tablespoons chopped basil1 pint fresh strawberriesTo make salsa: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except strawberries. Chill until time to serve. When ready to serve, slice strawberries and add to mixture. To cook the salmon: Brush the grill grate with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray; heat grill to high.Combine olive oil and garlic. Brush salmon generously with oil and garlic mixture. Place salmon, flesh-side down, directly on the grill. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes and turn. After turning, brush salmon with maple syrup. Continue cooking on skin side until done - time will vary with thickness of fish. Fish is done when flesh is opaque but still moist. Finish salmon with final glaze of maple syrup. Serve garnished with tropical salsa.Makes 6 servings.
Approximate values per serving: 496 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 118 mg cholesterol, 35 g carbohydrates, 47 g protein, 164 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 31 percent of calories from fat.
Grilled Tuna With Wasabi-Lime Soy Vinaigrette
4 yellowfin tuna steaks, sushi grade4 tablespoons light soy sauceSalt and pepper, to tasteVinaigrette3 tablespoons light soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste or horseradish1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice1 tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) 1/4 cup vegetable oilSalad1 pound baby greens or mesclunBean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts for garnishCover the tuna steaks with soy sauce and let stand until ready to cook, but no longer than 1 hour.Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Taste, adjust seasonings and set aside. Season tuna steaks with freshly ground pepper and salt.Heat grill to high heat. Cook tuna quickly so the outside browns and the inside remains a reddish-pink - about 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on thickness of tuna. Transfer tuna to cutting board and slice thinly.Divide the greens among four plates. Arrange sliced tuna in a fan pattern over the greens and drizzle with wasabi-lime vinaigrette. Garnish with sprouts.Makes 4 servings.
Approximate values per serving: 343 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 77 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,128 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 39 percent of calories from fat.

Malay food history,restaurants and recipies

Malay cuisine is an amalgam of traditional dishes from Penisular Malaysia, with strong influences from places like Sumatra and Java. Rice is the staple food, balancing the spicy cuisine of this region. Pork is not used due to religious reasons.
Coconut is an important ingredient. The flesh grated and squeezes to make the coconut milk which is used in gravies as well as cakes, drinks and desserts. The freshly grated coconut is also sprinkled over many cakes. Another vital ingredient is pungent dried shrimp paste (belancan) often combined with pounded fish chillies to make the universally popular sambal belacan. Varying amounts of chillis are used in most Malay food. Fragant herbs like the kaffir lime leaf and lemon grass, shallots and garlic, rhizomes such as ginger and galanagal, and gried spices including coriander and cumin are all skilfully blended.

Satay is the best known Malay dish- skewers of succulent pieces of seasoned mutton, beef or chicken, cooked over a charcoal flame. They are often eated with Satay sauce ( rich coconut sauce thick with ground peanuts sliced cucumber), sliced cucumber and onions and chunks of compressed rice.
Many Malay food outlets offer Nasi Padang, a range of spicy meat, fish, poultry and vegetable dishes which originated in the padang district of West Sumatra. Another local Malay favourite, based on a Javanese dish, is Soto Ayam, spiced chicken stock served with chicken, beansprouts and either potato croquette or compressed rice. Beef Rendang, chunks of geef cooked with lashings of coconut milk, spices and herds, is a perennial favourite. Malay desserts and cakes, generally rich incoconut milk, are great for those with a sweetooth.

Restaurants in Kuala Lampur that I have eaten in
Both offer excellent Malay buffet(Beef Rendang is a must try) and an excellent cultural shows
Sea View restaurant-Port Dickinson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Dickson an excellent meal of New England lobster served with green onions and lobster and the best seafood rice I have ever eaten.
Al Diafah Restaurant Middle Eastern
43-1 and 45-1 Jalan Radin AnumSeri Petaling Kuala Lumpur Tel No: 03 - 9059 6237
On a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Samy has decided to check out the Middle Eastern restaurant in Sri Petaling called Al Diafah,he has previously eaten there and has given the place a high marks. the restaurant is owned by Saudi father and son teamThe place is enormous and looks like inside emir's palace, basically they took over two shophouses and renovated all three floors. The ground floor is where the date and baklava shop is while the first floor is the restaurant. Although it seems to be a strange place to have a Middle Eastern restaurant, it seems their location was chosen because there is an International School nearby which is frequented by Middle Eastern expatriates.
Mendy Lamb and Rice, the dish we wanted to try out was simply delicious. It reminds me of version of Nasi Briyani but it's ten times nicer since their rice is so fluffy, fragrant and buttery without it being oily. The lamb pieces are cooked in the rice are so tender that the meat tears away easily. If you don't like lamb, they also do a chicken version on the menu.
The Hummus (made from chickpeas) is a favorite of mine which is a must order with their pita bread. The Baba Ghanoush wasn't too bad either
We also tried their mixed grill - lamb,chicken kebabs which were nice.

Their desserts are limited to a creme caramel and their fruit salad. The creme caramel is pretty good - not to sweet which is how I like it. They also serve hot date juice.

http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blss89.htm Malay Oxtail Soup
http://www.indiasnacks.com/recipe/518/Malay-Curry.php Malay Curry