Sunday, October 29, 2006


This is one of my husband's favorite food to order when ever we go to eat dim-sum. It's not hard to make actually. I have many version of recipe for this dish and this one is the hardest one. I choose this recipe because I think they are going to produce the best result. I tried other version, easier one but they producing a less than satisfactory result. It's easy to see why, because this recipe really required more ingredients and not only that. When I tried easier recipes, they do required less step on how to make it but the end result always too soggy and easy to break off when you pan-fried them later. This recipe that I wrote down here will produce meatier flavour cake and it won't break when you pan-fried them later. To proof it I included my video when I pan-fried them.

When you go to eat dim-sum, usually there is lady that push a cart with hot plates on it. Once you place the order for this dish, she will pan-fried them right before she serve it to you.


2 Lb Daikon radish, grated
1 oz. dried shrimp
1 1/3 cups dried shitake
5 oz Chinese sausage ( lap cheong )
1 tbs oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tsp sugar
3 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
1 2/3 cups rice flour
oil for frying

Makes 6
  1. Place the daikon radish in a large bowl and vover with boiling water to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving any liquid, then allow the turnip to drain in a colander. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Soak the dried shrimp in boiling water for 1 hr, then drain, adding any soaking liquid to the reserved daikon radish liquid.
  3. Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes ( or until they are soft enough ), then drain, adding any soaking liquid to the reserved daikon radish liquid. Squeeze out any excess water from the mushrooms. Remove and discard them stems and finely dice the caps.
  4. Place the sausage on a plate in a steamer. Cover and steam over simmering water in a wok for 10 minutes, then finely dice it.
  5. Heat a wok over high heat, add the oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the sausage for 1 minute. Then add the shrimp and mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 mintues, or until fragrant. Add the scallions, sugar, rice wine and pepper, then add the daikon radish, cilantro and rice flour and toss to combine. Pour in 2 cups of the reserved liquid and mix well.
  6. Place the mixture in a greased and lined 10 inch square cake pan. Place the pan in a steamer. Cover and steam over simmering water in a wok for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, or until firm, replenishing with boiling water during cooking. Remove the pan and cool in a fridge overnight. Take the cake from the pan and cut into 2 inch squares that are 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Heat a wok over high heat, add 2 tbs of the oil and heat until very hot. Cook the turnip cakes in batches, adding more oil between batches if necessary, until golden and crispy.

I made some changes to this recipe base on my experience when I make this dish here are my changes:

  • I mix the 1 2/3 cups of rice flour with 2 cups of liquid first before I mix it with the meat. I found it easier to stir the batter this way.
  • I use my pain de mie pan / pullman bread pan for the mold.

Pic: When slicing this cake, make sure that you clean and oiled your knife first because they are very sticky.

Pic: I pan-fried this radish cake on my pancake griddle, I can fried a lot more in one shot to feed several hungry people!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Going To My 1st Cooking Class

As I mention on my previous entry about my research to look for where all those imported ingredients are sold, I found that this new Ranch 99 supermarket is probably the best place to shop for your groceries. Off course with the quality that they deliver, there is the price tag as well that comes with it ... But when there is no other place that carries most of the stuff here, what choice do you have right?

Beside their amazing product lines, their food quality is also first rate. Everything looks fresh and new. It will be hard to find one that is expired here if not none. Also in the morning when you arrived when they just open at 10 AM, you will be greet by all of their employees who stand and bow at you everywhere.

Before I started on the menu, let me tell you about my cooking class. Today teacher's name is Hendra Utomo. I am not too sure about his pedigree and his resume but I like him. He is quite knowledgable, very very polite, kind and patience with us. He always try his best to answer all of our questions. He even don't mind when some very annoying students kept making him change his recipes....yes... there is nothing wrong with your eyes. Those 2 students who never cooked at home YET, they took every cooking class they can take even when they went to Hong Kong. They told me that in the morning they only eat bread. For lunch they went out with their girlfriends to eat. Then for dinner, they ordered some food for dinner with their family. They really have nothing else to do but keep bugging the teacher. I saluted the teacher for being patience with them and even do what they asked him to do. Like for example for the apple struddle recipe, the teacher's recipe calls for using phyllo dough but yet those 2 students kept asking him to make it with the normal pastry. When he did it, they asked him again to change the recipe by adding custard to it. Then later they asked him to change the way the apple struddle-with pastry-and-custard into more Napoleon like where you baked the pastry first then you assemble it into tall layers of pastry-custard-pastry-apple filling-pastry again! And when the teacher keep explain it to them that they really need to baked the pastry first before they assemble them with the filling and the custard. Those students kept asking him if they can do it in one shot ( as if they will make it at home! ). They keep asking him until I tried to explain it to them what the teacher said ( as if all of us don't speak the same language! ). Guess what they do to me? They shushed me!!!!!

That really ...really....make me...MAD!!!! Not only I have to endure their constant chattering ( they gosip between each other and then makes many phone calls too with their cellphones! ), they asked questions about the recipe that they can just read it on the recipe paper that the teacher provide for us! And then, they dare to tell me to shut up when I just want to tell them what the teacher is telling them ???

I ignore them completely since then. No more polite chit-chat. Until they overheard my conversation with another student ( after the class ended off course ) that I cooked authentic Taiwanese food at home for my Taiwanese husband. Then all of a sudden they start talking to me asking me if they can come to my home and watch me cook!!!! Yikes!!!! They want me to give them free lesson on how to cook authentic Chinese and Taiwanese food and taste them for free too ?

I did not say anything ...

Later after the class ended, I went to shop for some Taiwanese seasoning like Soy Paste. All of a sudden, the teacher showed up next to me and followed by those 2 annoying students who keep asking him what brand of Chinese seasoning should they buy. Then they saw me with that Soy Paste bottle and they ambushed me! They both speak at the same time asking me what that is and why do I buy it, what kind of cooking will I made using that Soy Paste etc...etc...etc...

Needless to say .... I ran like hell ...

Even though I will write the recipe on my blog. I still suggest for you who live in Surabaya if you have time and money to take this class as I do. Why? Because you can learn more by being here because you can asked a lot of questions during this time. Then you can taste the food to know how they are suppose to taste. You can also taste the ingredients individually and find out what brand works the best for this recipe. Then you can also taste other food that has nothing to do with today's cooking class menu just because the store gave the teachers freedom to taste their products in the hope that the teacher can make a recipe that use that products to promote them to us. So, yeah... going to this cooking class is really fun and very educational. Just hope that you won't have to sit next to that 2 students ...

Pic: This is how the Apple Struddel suppose to look like based on the teacher's recipe. It suppose to use Phyllo dough.

Pic: This is the apple struddle that the students asked for by using the normal pastry. The filling also use custard.

Pic: These are the pastry that the teacher baked first so that he can assemble them into the kind of apple struddle that those 2 students want. Just because that is the only apple struddle that they ever eat when they went to Australia.

So here is the recipe and the pictures of my first cooking class experience. I still have 3 free classes to go to in the future.

Today's Cooking Class Menu Is :
  1. Pisang Goreng Kremes
  2. Brownies Kukus Bandung
  3. Apel Strudle

1. Pisang Goreng Kremes

I will try my best way to discribe this dish. Basically is like this: you slices a ripe banana into fan-shaped then you prepare a thin batter that later will look and taste a lot like tempura batter except a bit sweeter. Use a lot of oil in a big wok, then pour this thin batter into the not-so-hot oil. Right after you pour the batter you stir them clockwise gently ( this is the key! ). Why? Because by doing this you made them stick to each other like a spider web. As a result you get a big ( as big as the wok you use ) round tempura, while it is not crisp yet ( right after stirring ), you push it to half the side of the wok to create half circle dish. Wait a few second to make them crisp and harder a little then gently you put your banana on it ( if you do it too soon the banana will dropped through it! ). Then fold 1/3 of it's side to cover the banana and the other 1/3 of it's side on top of it too. Just try to imagine this half circle is divided into 3 imaginary section, the middle one is for banana, then you scoop the right side on top of the banana, and then scoop the left side to cover it again. Got it? No? Well...

Here is the recipe:

Batter "A" :
20 gr tapioca flour
450 ml water

Batter "B" :
18 gr rice flour
70 gr tapioca flour
12 gr sugar
1/4 Tbs salt
A dash of Vanilla powder
200 ml water

1 egg yolk

few riped banana sliced into fan shaped each
Oil for frying

Shredded cheddar, shaved chocolate, sugar powder, sliced strawberries ( optional )


  1. Cooked batter "A" until they look like a glue
  2. Mean while, heat the oil with medium heat
  3. Mix the ingredients from "B", then add only 2 Tbs of "A". Mix them well.
  4. Now is the time to add the egg yolk and mixed it well too.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the oil. Stir the batter clockwise gently few times and then wait for few seconds.
  6. Push the batter into half the pan to make a half circle.
  7. Wait until the batter is half cooked but not crisp yet. Then it's time to add the banana in the middle of that half circle batter.
  8. Fold both sides of the half circle to enveloped the banana.
  9. Fried it until light golden color or until crisp enough.
  10. You can put some shredded cheddar and sprinkle some chocolate shaving on top of it or just dust the top with sugar powder.
NOTE: To make a beautiful "Pisang Goreng Kremes", patience is the virtue. One step at a time and wait for a short time in between step.

Pic: Fold both side of the half circle on top of the banana

Pic: Sliced the banana into fan shaped

2. Brownie Kukus Bandung ( Bandung's Steamed Brownie )

Use square cake pan the size of 20 x 20 x 10 cm for this recipe.

"A" ingredients:
4 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
300 gr sugar
25 gr emulsifier ( SP )
1 tsp vanilla essence / rhum baker
1/4 tsp salt

"B" ingredients":
175 gr butter
100 gr melted chocolate block
1/2 Tbs rhum pasta/baker
1 Tbs chocolate pasta

"C" ingredients:
185 gr all purpose flour
15 gr milk powder
2,5 gr baking powder
40 gr cacao

"D" ingredients"
50 gr butter
100 gr cream cheese
100 gr dark chocolate, melted

Ingredients for topping:
50 gr butter
100 gr shredded cheese ( cheddar )

  1. Prepare the steamer first
  2. Melt the butter, dark chocoate, rhum pasta, chocolate pasta until the chocolate melted but not boiling. -- this is from "B" ingredients.
  3. On a bowl of mixer, mixed eggs, sugar, cake emulsifier, salt ( from ingredients "A") until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix and sieve ingredients "C" .
  5. Mixed "C" to "A" first before you mixed them with "B".
  6. Divide the batter into 2 parts.
  7. Buttered the cake pan well before you pour half of the batter in it. Then cover the batter with parchment paper that has already been buttered too. Steam it for 25 minutes.
  8. Melt the butter, chocolate and cream cheese but don't let it boiled or you have to start with new ingredients again. Then put this into pipping bag and start squeezing the filling on top of the steamed brownie. Make sure that you gave at least 2 cm space all around the edges because if you pipped the filling until the edge, it will melt and your brownie will stuck to the pan and look ugly!
  9. Then put the other half of the brownie batter into another pipping bag and spread it to cover everything. You should start pipping it from the edge ( the opposite from the filling ) This way the brownie batter will envelop the filling and make your cake look neat and it will be easy to take it out from the cake pan. Steam it for 25 minutes.
  10. When it's done, spread the brownie with butter and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Pic: The teacher spread some butter on top of the "Brownie Kukus Bandung"

Here are extra video clips for making Apple Struddel both by using Phyllo dough and normal pastry :

Monday, October 23, 2006

Candied Cassava ( Montad Chuame )

On my previous entry about Thai influence on Surabaya's restaurants. I just renewing my love of eating Thai's candied cassava dessert. Since it was not easy to find this dessert in US and Canada, I almost forgot about how good they taste ...well...until my best friend "W" treat me for a nice dinner in a new restaurant, I think the name of the restaurant is Golden Rama.

Anyway ... true that the food in that restaurant is great (someday I will show them to you, but that night I forgot to bring my camera ) but for me, the best part is when my bestfriend "W" ordered this Thai dessert for us to share.

Since then, I tried to find the time to go back there to eat it again but my busy schedule really did not give me chance to go back to eat there again. So I decide to search for the recipe in my recipe library. To my unpleasant surprise, none of my Thai Recipes Books has any recipe for it. Then I went to search for it in the internet. I am very surprise that there is only one person who wrote a blog about this recipe. I found it on Appon's Thai Food website.

When I saw this recipe, I was surprise at how simple it is to make it on my own. When I tried it, the recipe turn out to be really as easy and as delicious as it says. Anyone can make it for sure and they cost so much cheaper compare to how much the restaurant charges for this dish.

So here is a recipe of one of my favorite Thai dessert , courtesy from Appon's blog.

Candied Cassava ( Montad Chuame )

Just as you have candied (glaced) lemon and candied orange in the west, so we have candied cassava root in Asia. Once candied the cassava root is chewier and stickier than other candied fruit, due to its natural guminess.

Ingredients for 4 People
500 gr Cassava
300 gr Sugar
250 ml Water

Coconut milk/cream for the sauce

1. Mix sugar with water in a sauce pan, heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Peel the cassava and chop it into 4 cm pieces.
3. Add the cassava into the pan with boiling sugar and cook on a low heat until the sugar just begins to caramelize. Approximately 2 hours.
4. If the cassava has not been properly candied, add more water and continue cooking.
5. When serving, pour the coconut milk/cream on top of the candied cassava.

NOTE: Since I am too lazy to wait for 2 hrs, I use my pressure cooker and it cut down the cooking hour into half the time. I also change the type of the sugar that I use on this recipe. I think using light brown sugar add an extra flavour to this simple dish.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My First Report On Searching For Foreign Or Imported Ingredients In Surabaya

Up to this day ( October 14, 2006 ), I have spent uncountable hours dedicated solely for the purpose of finding what is available (in term of ingredients) in Surabaya grocery stores.

Let me tell you how hard I have to look, and it's been an amazing experience to me to get to know my hometown for the first time because when I left this city, I did not even know how to boil an instant noodle. Going to a grocery stores means time to re-stocking my snack pile. I never walked near the fresh produce section. Just enter and go straight to the snack, candy, sweet drink section and get out.

Now, I skip the snack area, the carbonated drink area, the candy isle and go straight to their fresh produce section and their seasoning area. That's what 12 years of living abroad do to me!!! And off course motherhood and marriage...and so on...and so on...

Here is the list of the grocery stores that I have been to:

1. Both branches of Papaya - A popular place for foreigners in Surabaya to buy their grocery. I even found the same brand of Risotto that I bought in Canada there. They carry a lot of western seasonings and Japanese. Not much on Taiwanese and just a bit more on Korean seasonings.

2. Hero Supermarket in Mayjen Sungkono - I found that their meat and seafood section is so pitiful. But surprise...surprise, when I walked out from that place, outside the entrance door, a lady is selling Rosemary plant in her garden stall ( too tiny to be called a garden store ). It cost somewhere between Rp 20,000 to Rp 30,000 per plant depending their size. At first she said that she can sell me Lavender, but after I sent my driver to buy them, I found out that they are not Lavender. I returned them back to her and she really did not know that all this time after selling so many of them to many people over the years, that she is not selling lavender! I asked for more rosemary plants in exchange with the "lavender" that I bought from her and she gladly agreed.

3. Sogo Supermarket in Tunjungan Plaza - I was disappointed that this store because they are under renovation they have to reduce the items that they usually carries. I heard from my friend's wife who is also a Taiwanese that SOGO used to have one isle just for Taiwanese food but now they are gone!!!

4. Sinar Supermarket - I am pleasantly surprise that this old store near my home has been revamped by it's owner into a more trendy place. They carries a lot of fresh organic produce and I am absolutely happy when I found Fresh organic Dill and Mint there! They have many different types of fancy honey which absolutely thrill me. They have red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic, tahini, many shapes of pasta too. I like it that their veggies are very fresh looking, better than in Papaya. The choices of meat is also pretty good, they sell chicken skins, chicken intestine, chicken butt too if you want, hahaha. They have live fish, crabs, clams, shrimps in the water tank.

5. Sumber Rejeki
Plaza Graha Family C-43
Phone (031) 734-5558
My best friend "W" gave me the information for this store. They are a supplier to many restaurant. I bought Abalone sauce, chicken stock concentrate and beef too, the usual rice wines, and even Ching Kiang vinegar too. I also bought chicken stock in powder form that taste pretty good from Thailand. If I am not wrong they also sell a decent quality of Shitake mushroom and maybe dried red chilies.

6. A brand new grocery store just across from Surabaya International School ( my son's school in Ciputra area ). Next to Black Canyon Coffee, a franchise Thai Restaurant. It's hard to miss this store, because it's in a shape of a ship! - They carry a lot of Australian products, Korean instant noodles, and I bought Kochujang there, a Korean hot bean paste that is very important for a lot of Korean dishes. I found orzo pasta, big boxes of cereal like in the States/Canada too.

7. Makro - they sell a lot of Patin fish which is my father favorite fish for steaming.

8. Giant Superstores in Supermall - I bought fresh fish there and they offer to fry or grill them for me. In a Chinese restaurant, my father ordered a HK style steam fish using one type of fish ( Patin fish ), for 2 piece of tiny fish steak on that dish, it cost us Rp 67,000 ( $7 ), but then in here I bought the whole fish and it cost me only Rp 13,000 ( $ 1.4 ) and it's so easy to make anyway.

9. Carrefour - Not a bad place to look for meat and fish.

10. A very tiny store in Jl. Kertajaya where I bought pork intestine and other things too -- I just found out that pork here is so cheap like hell. We bought a 2 kg of intestine ( big and small intestines ), pork fat for making pork rind and pork oil, pork thigh, and total they only cost Rp 40,000 or US $ 4 !

11. Hokky -- they sell hot bean paste, hoisin sauce. I bought my Cantonese Rice wine there too and the black vinegar. Oh yes, I bought Taiwanese BBQ or Satay sauce there too, they have the normal one, the spicy one and the vegetarian one too.

12. Igor Bakery Store - I am very surprise that they sell Varlhona Cooking Chocolate there!!! I can't even find them in Vancouver. They are one of the best baking chocolate in the world! If you spent about a million Rupiah or 100 US dollars in few month, you can apply for their membership and get 10% discount. The owner of this bakery is very friendly and very kind.

13. Ranch Market 99 in Galaxy Mall - At this time, I can say that this place is THE best place to look for foreign ingredients. I keep getting a happy surprise from finding all kind of hard to get ingredients at this supermarket. Everything they do, they do it with international standard. If you come to this store when they just open, all of their employees will stand at the end of every isles and welcome you there! I can say that they almost carry everything that I need. EVERYTHING! You can buy their membership too, or if you spent more than Rp. 700,000 or US $ 70, you can get their 2 years membership for free. Then, every time you spent at least Rp. 500,000 or US $ 50, you get one free cooking class on that store. I also can say that this cooking class is great because I already went there and what makes it great is not only their teachers are good and friendly, they have unlimited budget ( in my opinion ) from the store, they can use all of those expensive imported ingredients, they can also try them so that in the future they can promote that products to their students to buy.! LOVE IT! I will post my cooking class experience on my future posting ....
For their company website, you can visit it at:

Ranch Market Mall Galaxy
Jl. Dharmahusada Indah Timur 35 -37
Phone: (031) 598-1199
Hotline: 0888-500-9336

14. Lotus at Jl. Prapanca 44-46. They supply hotels, restaurants and even offshore companies with fresh, frozen and packaged items, mostly from Australia. Their HQ is in Bali. Anyone can buy direct from them and their list of items is in the thousands. There are a lot of fresh vegetables, herbs, meats and cheeses from them. Ask them to e-mail you a list of their products. They will deliver C.O.D. The telephone number is (031) 562 1139 and e-mail: --> This information is from one of my reader, Mr.Graeme T. Steel, thank you for helping me to update my list, I hope it can be beneficial for other expatriates or someone like me who just love cooking very very much!

15. Ebay, yes The Ebay online auction store! I add this entry because I think for people who truly loves the taste of fresh Tahitian Vanilla beans and I doubt it if I can find it here in a good condition. Before I move back to Surabaya, I tested my favorite Tahitian Vanilla beans online supplier ( The Organic Vanilla Bean Company ) to ship my order straight to Surabaya. Indonesian customs and post office have quite a notorious reputation. So I took a risk to put a large order from this store to ship their vanilla beans to my Surabaya home's front door and they did come on time , in great condition ( just like the pictures ) and for some reason the tax is cheap too ( maybe the customs never saw fresh vanilla beans before? ) . My order is for ½ lb Tahitian Vanilla Beans Govt Cert Organic .
It cost me US $ 27.99 + 11.99 ( for shipping) and I think the tax is only for another one or 2 dollars extra ( total is about US $ 42 )and I can get my greedy hands on this half a pound of fresh, very large, plump, organic, and even goverment certified vanilla beans!!! What do I do with that many vanilla beans? I made Vanilla bean ice cream that according to my father who is a Vanilla ice cream connoisseur taste better than Haggen-daz and even Baskin Robbins. The key of my recipe is on my home-made vanilla essence ( am I crazy or what making my own Vanilla essence? ).

Pic: Look at those plump Vanilla beans!!!

16. Ban Tjie Tong - This is for you who loves to cook authentic Chinese medicine soup ( Ciak Po ) and if you want to get your hands on Szechuan peppercorns. You can buy it here but don't ask for it in it's English name, just say that you want to buy "Hua Jiao", it means peppercorns.

Toko Ban Tjie Tong
Jl Jagalan 16 Surabaya
Tel : 031-353-7559

17. CV Sinar Young - Jl Kedundoro 24-26. This store is specializing in selling baking ingredients. You can buy it prepacked or by the bulk. The only thing that I couldn't find it here is pectin, but they have a quite extensive number of products there. They carries a lot of imported stuff too such as Dutch cocoa, German milk powder, and many more. If you love baking, this store is must. This store has been opened for jeez... maybe older than my age! My real age that is ( 33), not the "forever-21-age". This store also sells a lot of baking tools, but I would rather go to other stores for more selection on baking equipments, for example like :

Toko Arlisah
Jl Urip Sumoharjo 86 Surabaya
Tel : 031-534-1656

18. PT Sarana Indoguna Lestari - huge range of food items for hotels. Will sell to private consumers. They can give you printed list of 1,000s of items. Very much like LOTUS. The contact there is Nelly. You can ask for their printed out catalog.

PT. Sarana Indoguna Lestari
Jl. May Jen Sungkono No. 150
Tel. 031-565-1210
Fax. 031-565-1209

19. Korea Mart - A very small grocery store. I found the basic ingredients for making Kimchee in this store. For example, the fermented shrimp ( saeujeot ), black beans, red chili powder, pine nuts, red chili paste ( kochujang), soy bean paste, korean fish sauce, korean soy sauce, korean corn syrup, Sweet-potato starched noodles ( dangmyeon) that they use to make Japchae, seaweed, dried fishes, dried squid, roasted corn tea, frozen thin sliced meat, and a lot other thing that I can't write them here. This store may not be complete but I guess it can supply enough stuff for the basic Korean cooking. For the fermentend shrimp ( saeujeot ) I was told by a Korean mom in my son's school that she usually buy from a Korean Church member in Surabaya that only make this once a year. She said it's better than what the Korea Mart sell. She gave me one container from her freezer for free....

Korea Mart
Kompleks Surya Inti Permata
Jl. HR Muhammad
( 031) 734-3989

So that's what I did in the past 2 month.