If I could eat like this every night, I think I might. Indonesian cuisine has everything I love in food: fresh, crisp vegetables, color, heat, spice and just the right amount of sweetness combined to produce a satisfying yet light meal. Plus, regardless of the presentation, everything always looks spectacular. And, there's nothing fussy about the preparation. A little chopping, a little mashing/grinding with a mortar and pestle, a quick stir fry or simmer and you've got yourself a beautiful meal.
the Javanese being the predominate ethnic group.
Equally diverse, Indonesia's cuisine varies greatly by region and cultural traditions and influence. India, the Middle East, China and Europe as well as the Dutch who colonized the archipelago have all contributed their culinary traditions to this beautiful country. It is customary for Indonesians to eat holding a spoon in their right hand and a fork in the left, or to use their hands. Chopsticks are mostly used in food stalls or in regions influenced by Chinese cuisine.
|Terung Lodeh - Shrimp and Eggplant Soup|
- 1/2 lb. fresh shrimp (shelled and deveined)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil for sauteeing
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 fresh red chilies, seeded and chopped
- 2 Saun salam (Indonesian bay leaves - omit if you can't find them as there's no good substitute)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- Cut shrimp into small pieces
- Heat oil in large saucepan and fry onion, garlic and chilies until soft and golden
- Add tomato and daun salam leaves and fry for 5 minutes, mashing the tomato into pulp.
- Add stock, bring to boil.
- Add eggplant to pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until just tender.
- Add shrimp - but do not over cook.
- Add coconut milk, sugar and salt and stir while heating through.
Udang Pedas - Spicy Shrimp and Green Beans (Adapted from Asian On Line Recipes)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3/4 cup medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
- 1 bunch Chinese or domestic chives
- 1/2 pound green beans
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
Spices - (ground)
- Handful dried red chilies
- 1 tomato
- 5 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat oil and saute ground spices.
- Add chives and green beans.
- Add shrimp, taking care not to over cook.
- Add lime juice before removing from heat.
- Serve hot with noodles or curry.
Final Assessment: Killer