Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cooking With Tea

2 weeks ago I went to my cooking class again to learn how to cook using tea. This class is a difficult one to try again at home because of the main ingredient. Tea. Problem is the tea that the teacher used are all mixed mostly by him because he own a tea store in Bali. He does supply Ranch 99 with his tea and but unless you can get your hand on them, how can you even try his recipes? Lucky me that I can off course but I know most of you who read this do not leave any where near Indonesia. The teacher also gave us some alternative teas but I don't think they can give the same result. That's why I won't even try to write the recipes here. But I would like to share my photos with you. Maybe you can search for similar recipes over the internet.

The first picture on top are 3 of the teas that he used to cook today. The top one is the fruit tea for the salad, the pale color one is ginger tea, and the last one is Fire tea ( I think they consist of black pepper, coriander seeds, and cumin ).

Today class is the most quiet time. I did not hear any people gossips, too many phone calls made using cellphones, rude remark regarding my size ( read last entry )

I wonder if that's because the chef today is a good looking one? HE does have a stronger personality. Since he is still very young, and he came from Bali maybe made him a bit more unique. He is tall, have a strong face feature, have an earing on one of his ear, wearing funky 3/4 jeans to teach below his chef's white top, and colorful surfing shoes ... Anyway, what ever the reason, those talkative female students, young and old seems to pay him extra respect and attention. Hmmm ....

The advantage that I get from this is this is the first class that I have not been rudely tell to shut up when I only want to help, no body tells me that I am big, and for the first time ... Thank God... I can hear what the teacher is saying even though he doesn't have to speak too loud on the microphone so he can hear himself talking over the chattering of his students.

Alright, so here are the photos and the name of the food/drink.

Pic: Exotic Fruit Salad with Fruit Paradise Dressing

Pic: Ginger Tea Oxtail Soup

Pic: Ginger Tea Chicken Thigh Salad with Green Tea Salad Dressing

Pic: Green Tea Ice Drink

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Singapore Chili Crab

Eating crabs have been my family favorite food since I was small. I still remember when I was younger ( ehm! ), eating lunch with my parents were always a noisy time because they always like to ask me about what I did at school and what my naughty friends have been up to that day. So we always talk non stop while we eat our lunch. Almost that is, except when there were crabs on the table ... then all conversation just stopped and all you can hear was us, busily cracking the shells of our crabs with our tools.

Back then, all we can eat is the local crabs and they are soooo tinyyy!!! About the same size as blue crab. But now is different. Every time I went to the nearest supermarket to where I live, "Sinar Supermarket". I always saw Maluku crabs. Maluku is an Island far from Java, my island. These Maluku crabs are categorized into 3 different sizes. S, M, and L. I gave you an example: since I am planning to cook Singapore Chili Crab, my recipe ask for 1.5 kg of crabs ( total weight ). When I asked for Large Maluku crab, I need to buy 2 crabs and they cost me about Rp. 140,000 or US $ 14. But when I asked for Medium Maluku Crab, I need to buy 3 crabs, and they cost about Rp. 100,000 or US $ 10. Okay since I don't feel like spending too much, I bought the medium Maluku crabs.

Cooking the crabs using my original recipe that I have is really a hazzle according to my lazy standard. I need to deep-fried the crabs first before I can cook them in the sauce. As you know, deep-frying the crabs will make them splatter like crazy. So this is what I do. I gave them to the cook at home to fried, so I don't have to deal with the splatters. She told me later that she use a giant lid as a shield ... hahaha ...

Now I just need to made the sauce. Again, the recipe use so many ingredients I think. So here is a shorter version of my recipe for you to try. You won't need a "shield" to cook this crabs.

Singapore Chili Crab

Makes 2-4 servings

2 Fresh whole crabs
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Peanut oil
1 md Onion, finely chopped
5 Tbs Ginger, grated
4 Cloves, grated
5 Red chilies, finely chopped
2 Cups Ketchup
1 Cup Water
2 Tbs Soy sauce
2 Tbs Sweet chili sauce
1 Tbs Rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs Softened brown sugar

Wash the crabs well and scrub the shell.

Using a large cleaver, cut the crabs in half and rinse well under cold water, carefully removing the yellow gills or spongy parts. With the flat side of the cleaver, crack the legs and larger front claws. (This is to makes eating crab easier.)

Lightly and carefully coat the shells with a little flour.

Heat about 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large wok and cook two crab halves at a time. Using a metal utensil, carefully turn and hold the crab in the hot oil until the shell just turns red. Repeat with the remaining crab halves.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and cook the onion, ginger, garlic and chili for 5 minutes over medium heat and stirring regularly.

Add the ketchup, water, soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar and sugar. Bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes.

Return the crab to the wok and simmer, turning carefully in the sauce for 10 minutes or until the crab meat turns white. Do not overcook.

Serve with steamed rice.

NOTE: In my original recipe, I have to add 1 whole egg, whisk it first, then mixed it with the crab while they are still cooking. Then I turn off the fire and serve it.

Amazingly, I also found out that every year there is an annual festival called "Singapore Chili Crab Festival" on 5th and 6th August this year in London. And in 2005, I found that they also had a festival for this dish in New York. It's called with the same name.

It was a quiet dinner that night in my home. You can only hear "crack....crack...snap...yum! "

On different day. My BF and her husband "H" invited us to this tiny little restaurant in Surabaya China town area. The Restaurant name is "Kwang Tung" and here is the information:

Kwang Tung
Jl. Waspada No. 28
(031) 352 - 1988
(031) 352 - 5709
* Delivery Service is Available *

We ordered noodles, fried rice with crab meat ( I love it! ), crab cooked on top of noodles, and steam crab with salty and sour dip on the side ( A must! ).

Pic: Steam Crab with a dip

Pic: Noodles cooked with crab on top