As usual we’re having a hard time trying everything we’d like to in the limited time available. There’s just so much to try!
I like to make sure we try some of the more well-known dishes – such as the gado gado this week – as well as some of the lesser known, plus be a bit creative on our own. Asian guacamole anyone?
These little Indonesian potato fritters (patties) are easy to make, and are a delicious snack, starter or accompaniment to a main meal. Pieces of potato are roasted and mashed then mixed with a spice paste (that you can whip together in a few minutes in a mini food processor) and finally rolled into palm-sized patties and fried or baked. I chose to cook them in the oven. They reheat really well, either in the oven or in a pan on the stove.
Tofu with crispy fried basil and chilli sauce
We have a cookbook called World Food Cafe 2, which has vegetarian recipes from around the world. This recipe was in there, and Steve was very keen to give it a go. The tofu is fried and then topped with a chilli sauce and the basil leaves. He marinated the tofu first in some turmeric, lemon juice and light soy sauce (not part of the recipe) and then followed the recipe, more or less. It was really yummy, and crispy fried basil leaves – yum!
This classic Indonesian salad, really has no hard or fast rules except that the sauce is served warm. The salad ingredients can be whatever you like, or have available, although there are a few standard ingredients, like cabbage, carrot and bean sprouts. Really though it can be whatever you like, as far as salad ingredients go. To make it more of a meal adding some thick slices of potato, sweet potato or any other root vegetable you like makes it really filling. Plus the combination of warm and room temperature ingredients is really nice.
It’s not new, though not really very common. I had an avocado that needed to be used, so the idea of an Asian guacamole came to mind. I googled it to see if other people had tried it, and how it turned out, and there were some rave reviews. So I put my doubts aside, looked at a few different recipes combinations and set off. The main thing they had in common was the use of sesame oil and sesame seeds. I admit that I was still a bit tentative, but it was good, really good! And after sitting in the fridge for an hour or so it was even better. You want to serve this with rice crackers, or in my case as an extra topping for your gado gado.
Since Malaysia has a significant Indian population, it’s no surprise to find dishes such as dhal with a local twist. Of course Steve, being slightly mad for Indian food, was the one to jump in and make this. The dhal is traditionally served with roti canai (bread), for a simple but filling meal, which was how we ate it at first. This Malaysian dhal, is quite different in flavour to any Indian dhal I’ve ever had (and I’ve eaten a lot of dhal). I’m not sure what the ingredients were – I’m still waiting on Steve to provide me with the recipe, but I’d say it was a much stronger flavour than you usually get with the Indian versions. It was delicious on its own, but in my opinion was even better the next night served over roasted sweet potato.