Saturday, October 25, 2014


Cooking your own food and eat it straight away is pure bliss. Don’t believe me? Try one of my recipes, preferably the easier ones, like the Aglio e Olio spaghetti or Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Grab a bite, and tell me if you don’t love it.

See what I’m talking about? That’s the great thing about comfort food. Done right and it will always hit the spot. Guaranteed.

This time around, it’s still Japanese, it’s still comfort food, and it’s still amazing.


To those with lazy fingers, let me help you with the googling. Okonomiyaki is basically a Japanese pancake. Well, not authentically theirs, but it’s their own take on the recipe. Instead of Butter and Maple, Okonomiyaki is served with Okonomi sauce and mayonnaise. 

Yes, it is Savory.

Okonomiyaki basically means ‘grill it as you like’. So each region throughout Japan has their version of it. Osaka people loved to add Squid or Shrimp to the mix, because their region specializes in Seafood. Hiroshima people loved to keep it heavy by adding yakisoba noodles and fried eggs into their already humongous Okonomiyaki.

Me? This is my take based on the Osaka version of the recipe. The recipe was adopted from several recipes I stumbled upon, and I tried to adjust it to Indonesian ingredients availability.

For 2 Servings, you will need:

The star of the show!

100 grams of Cake Flour. Cake flour is basically a low-protein flour.
140 ml of Dashi stock. You can substitute this with Chicken Stock
¼ tsp of Baking Powder
(optional) 1 tbsp of Nagaimo. Nagaimo is Japanese mountain Yam. It can be bought at Japanese supermarket. The sticky texture doesn’t come cheap, it costs IDR 350.000 per kilogram.
Salt to taste
200 grams of Cabbage
75 grams of Green Onion
2 Eggs
100 grams of Squid/Shrimp. You can substitute this with Chicken. Keep in mind, Chicken cook longer, so it need to be par-cooked before being added to the batter.

For Toppings
Okonomiyaki/Japanese Worcestershire sauce. Mostly known as the ‘Bulldog’ brand.
Dried Seaweed
Katsuobushi (Dried, Smoked, Skipjack Tuna). Readily available at most major supermarkets today.
Japanese Mayonnaise. Kewpie should be your choice. Japs added MSG in their Mayo and it makes a whole world of difference.


Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Get a bowl and put the Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt in. Slowly add the Dashi while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. If you’re using Nagaimo, peel the skin, and grate it. Add the gooey stuff to the mix. This will make the final product chewy in a very good way.

Baking powder
Dashi stock
It's sticky, YEW!

Step 2 – Add the Cabbage, Green Onion, Squid, and Eggs. Give it a nice stir. Not too much, just until combined. We don’t want gluten to form don’t we?

Cabbage and Green Onion
Stir to combine

Step 3 – Get a large non-stick pan, add some oil to it. Heat it up on medium. Once the pan is hot, put the mixture in. Quickly cover the pan, and let cook for about 5 minutes on medium. After that, give it a flip, and cook on Medium-Low heat for another 6-7 minutes to crisp up.

Cooking on medium
The cover will help the insides cook
Ready to flip?
Cover, yet again

Step 4 – Once crispy, take it off the heat and decorate! I usually go with Okonomiyaki Sauce, Katsuobushi, Chives, Seaweed, and Mayonnaise.

Okonomi sauce

Spread that sh*t, yeah
Kewpie Mayonnaise

Step 5 – SERVE!

You know, this might not be as authentic as it is in Japan, but it tasted pretty damn good!

You can literally put anything you want in here. For example, if you're not a fan of squid, you can add fish or shrimp. Or maybe shredded chicken? Yes, that can work too!

The thing is, Okonomiyaki is best enjoyed with family and friends. Cause it's just so damn good!

Give this thing a go!



Friday, October 17, 2014

053 - Vietnamese Spring Roll (With a Twist)

Vegetarians! Rejoice!

This week recipe can and will be one of your favorite dish to make at home. Guaranteed!
VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLL is what we’re making today!

Vietnamese version of this humble finger food is awesome in every way. We’re going to use rice paper (instead of the regular wonton paper), and fill it up with all these delicious veggies you have in your fridge! If you don’t have one, then go grab your silly ass up from the couch and go to the nearest market! 

Buy local, eat organic, because it is hell of a lot better for you!

The spring roll will be filled with lots of goodness. I’m talking about stuff like Vitamin A-rich Carrots. Then we’ll be adding a lot of crunch factor to it. Remember Peanuts? You know you love it.

The prep time for this dish is minimal, and it can be made in a blink of an eye (sadly, not literally :( )


For 1 Servings of 4 pieces, you will need;

4 x Rice Paper wraps. You can buy these at most major supermarkets, look in the Asian food section. It should be there. And no, you cannot substitute with anything else.
100 grams of Carrot. Clean and peeled
100 grams of Cucumber. Clean.
100 grams of Lettuce. Wash and clean.
30 grams of Chives. Wash and clean.
20 grams of Coriander Leaves. Wash and clean.
50 grams of Roasted Peanuts.


Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Cut all your Carrots into match sticks. The easy way to do this is to make a straight cut on one of the sides, and turn it as the base to cut the rests. When you have a square cut of Carrot, slice it about ½ cm thin, and then proceed to cut it into strips. As for the Cucumber, only use the sides, NOT the seeds. Cut it in the same fashion as the Carrots.

Cut one of the sides to turn it into the bottom part
Make even cuts on the rest of the sides, turn it into a rectangle (left side), then proceed to cut into large thin strips
Another look on how to make the thin strips
Cut the thin strips into matchsticks!

Step 2 – Wash the Chives, cut away the white parts, use the green parts only. Continue by tearing the Coriander leafs from the stalks. Don’t forget to chop the Lettuce into small pieces.


Step 3 – Get a bowl or a shallow baking pan, fill it with warm water. Get one of the Rice Paper, dip it whole briefly into the water. Remember, this thing is like sponge, even if you took it out of the water already, it still soaks up the remaining to dehydrate the whole thing. Lay it flat in the wet surface to avoid it from sticking.

Just in case you didn't notice, there is indeed water inside this baking pan
Now that's me dipping the rice paper (OBVIOUSLY, duh)
Add water to the cutting board to avoid it from sticking too much

Step 4 – Go crazy with the fillings! I like to fill it in this order; Lettuce, Carrots, Cucumber, Coriander, Chives, and Peanuts. To wrap it up; (1) Fold the left and right side inward, (2) Fold the short side and tuck it in, (3) Continue folding until it all wraps up nicely.

Cucumber + Coriander
Fold inward
Tuck the filling in

Step 5 – SERVE!

Serve this dish with a lovely Thai Sweet-Spicy Chili Sauce. The greatest carnivore will even succumb to the lovely taste of this hearty spring roll!

Give this a go, as always, this one is rather low on calorie, high in fiber and vitamins, and tasted all good.



Monday, October 13, 2014

052 - Balado Chicken / Ayam Balado

Where do you come from anyway? That’s probably the question that people ask right after they got introduced to someone. Me? I’m of Padangnese descent. But no, I did not grow up there. I grew up in Jakarta (also spent 2 years or so at SF) to a strong Padangnese food culture. Every now and then. Lying. Every DAY, there'll always be a Padangnese food at the dining table at my home. Let it be a humble Rendang, Kalio, and this dish.

Padang cuisine is filled with, well mainly 2 things. Care to guess? Yes, it is Coconut Milk and Chili. The cuisine is easily characterized with it's vibrant Red-ish color, and of course, spicy heat. 

Now, let’s have some fun cooking the famous Padangnese comfort food, 


It’s basically a deep fried chicken mixed with spicy concoction of Chili, Shallots, Salt, Sugar and Vinegar. Truth be told, nobody knows which version is authentic. But this is the version my mom taught me. And it tasted bad ass!


For 8 pieces of Chicken, you will need;

8 pieces of Chicken. I like mine with the skins off. But if you like ‘em, you can leave it anyway.
Oil for frying

For the Chicken Marinade
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 tsp of Salt

For the Chili Sauce
10 Large Red Chili.
8 Red Bird’s Eye Chili.
6 Shallots
2 tsp of Salt. Or to taste.
1 tsp of Sugar
2 tbsp of Vinegar                
3 tbsp of Oil


Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Cut your chicken into portions if you haven’t done so. Or you can always get your butcher to help you with that. Clean them under running water, pat them dry, and put in a mixing bowl. Chop the garlic finely. Spread it over the chicken along with the salt. Give them a good massage, and let them rest for about 1 hour to marinate.

Step 2 – Slice the entire Chili Sauce ingredient finely. I recommend you to grind all the ingredients inside the spice attachment of a blender. If you got food processor, that’s fine, they work just fine. Or you don’t have either but you got a mortar and pestle? Bash away my friend. Set it aside.

The lovely spice attachment!
In they go!
Blitz away!

Step 3 – By now, the chicken should have been marinated nicely, so heat a large amount of oil in a pan, set it on medium high. Once the pan is smoking hot, put the chicken in. If your chicken pieces are large, set the heat to low and let cook for about 7-10 minutes, before turning the heat back to high for another 2-3 minutes to crisp up. If your chicken pieces are small, cook it on medium high for about 5 minutes should do it. Anyway, no pictures on this one, i was too lazy to make one. HAH!

Step 4 – Heat oil in the pan, about a 2 tablespoon should do. Set the heat on medium, and cook the chili mix. Add the Salt, Sugar and Vinegar, give it a nice stir. At this point, if the mix is looking a little dry, you can add more oil in. The cooking process for the chili will took around 10-15 minutes depending on the amount of the chili. You can tell it’s done when the chili is noticeably darker from when it began, and smelling wonderful.

Canola oil
This is before
And this is afterwards (5 minutes later)

Step 5 – Mix the chicken with the chili! Now this is where the fun begins. Mix thoroughly, and..what else?

Step 6 – SERVE!

Did you notice something? Yes. This is my first Indonesian food recipe here!!!!

HAHAHAHAHA. Sorry it took me long enough to actually made one. Tell you what, this baby is not at all greasy, it has a lot (i mean, a lot, LOT) of spicy kick. I really loved to eat this with a nice serving of piping hot white rice, cucumber slices, and prawn crackers. 

It. Hits. The. SPOT!