Thursday, February 22, 2007

Steamed Chicken With Scallions

Since most of you are not cooking for a very large family, I give you this smaller portion recipe so that it will be just enough for a family of 4. Usually Chinese family always serve their family with at least 4 different type of dishes at home.

2 chicken legs
5 scallions
1 fresh chili pepper

(1) 1 Tbs cooking wine, 1/2 Tbs salt
(2) 1 Tbs oil, 1 Tbs sesame oil

  1. Rinse chicken legs, pat dry, coat with seasoning (1) and sit for 10 minutes. Steam in a rice cooker with 1 1/2 Cup water in steamer.
  2. Remove chicken legs, let cool, chop into pieces and arrange on a serving plate. Shred scallions and chili pepper, soak in water for 5 minutes, then place on chicken.
  3. Heat seasoning (2) , then drizzle over the scallions and chili pepper. Ready to serve.
-- Soak the shredded scallions and chili pepper in water to remove any unpleasant sharp flavors. They will also curl quite attractively in water. --

-- You can also made a dip that can go with this dish. I like to shred 3 Tbs of young ginger and chopped 2 Tbs of scallions. Place them in a heat proof bowl, then I pour 5 Tbs of a very hot oil in them. Add 1 tsp of salt also. I know some restaurant also add MSG into this dip. --

NOTE: If you like to see more pictures of the food that I ate during Chinese New Year you can click here.

Pork With Preserved Mustard Greens

600 gr ( 1 1/3 lbs ) pork belly
80 gr ( 2 3/4 oz ) preserved mustard greens
3 1/2 Tbs crystal sugar

2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs cooking wine

  1. Wash the pork and marinate in seasonings for 5 minutes. Deep-fry pork until color changes to golden brown. Deep-dry skin side down. Oil should only cover the skin and fat. Do not fry the lean pork. Remove from oil, soak in ice water.
  2. Remove the pork from ice water, cut into 1.5 cm x 9 cm ( 1/2" x 3 1/2" ) pieces. Brush the surface with the marinade. Wash and minced the preserved mustard greens.
  3. Arrange the pork neatly in a bowl, spread the preserved mustard greens on top. Sprinkle with crystal sugar, cover the bowl with cellophane paper, and steam for 3 hrs. Remove the paper and invert the bowl on a serving plate.
-- The quality of preserved mustard greens varies. If the preserved mustard greens are too salty, wash and soak in water to reduce the saltiness. --

NOTE: If you like to see more pictures of the food that I ate during Chinese New Year, you can click here.

Braised Shin Of Beef

2 Shin
2 Spring onion
5 slices of ginger
1 red chili
a dash of sesame oil

  1. 1 spring onion, 2 slices of ginger, 1 Tbs wine, 1 packet of spice ( for stewing meat ).
  2. 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup wine, 4 cups beef stock, 2 Tbs. vinegar, 2 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp pepper.
  1. Clean shin and boil with enough water ( cover shin ) together with seasoning (1) for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Remove roots of spring onion. Clean, Slit red chili from the centre and cut into long strips.
  3. Brown spring onion, ginger and chili in 2 Tbs oil until fragrant. Add into cooked shin. Simmer until gravy almost dry. Pour sesame oil over. Cool before serve.
NOTE: If you like to see more picture of the food that I ate during Chinese New Year, you can click on here.

Steamed Prawns With Garlic Sauce

8 prawns
3 Tbs minced garlic
3 Tbs chopped green onion
1 Tbs minced red chili

1/3 tsp salt
1/2 Tbs wine
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs oil
ground white pepper

  1. Trim the prawns and split from the back to make the prawn lie flat. Arrange on a platter. Sprinkle salt , garlic juice ( mix 3 Tbs water with 3 Tbs minced garlic ), and wine over the top.
  2. Steam the prawns over high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the prawns. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and pepper. Heat 1 Tbs oil, pour the soy sauce and water in, pour over the prawns. Spoon the sauce several times over the prawns before serving.
NOTE: If you like to see more pictures of the food that I ate during Chinese New Year, you can click here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Teppanyaki !!

My dear husband, R loves to eat teppanyaki. Because of him, I tried my first teppanyaki at Benihana Restaurant in Portland, Oregon where we used to live. Where we got married and where KK was born.

I fall in love with teppanyaki too ....

Is not only the food taste better when they are so freshly cook, but it's the whole private show that you see when the chef cook your dinner in front of you! And Benihana is really putting on a good show everytime you eat there. Those Teppanyaki chefs is like kungfu master!!!!

Well... now that we are here, I asked my father where can we go to eat teppanyaki and after he asked some friends, the answer is Imari Japanese Restaurant at JW Marriot Surabaya Hotel.

To make it easier, we both chose 2 menu sets. I forgot the name of the set, but mine is the expensive one. And it taste so good!!!

We really like it there. The service is good, the food is great. And the chef told us that on Sunday they also offer an all-you-can-eat buffet and we will be able to eat teppanyaki too.

The different between Benihana chefs and the teppanyaki chef at JW Marriot Hotel, the Benihana chefs really put on a better show at cooking your meal, but to be honest, for the taste, I think the Imari Japanese restaurant in JW Marriot is better.

Pic: The salmon is like melting in your mouth

Pic: A quartet of different tastes and textures.

Pic: Fried Rice at the end and 3 different type of dipping sauces

Pic: Sirloin Beef with lots of fried garlic. Very Yummy!

Pic: Sashimi and salad for appetizer

If you like to try to cook Teppanyaki ( I tried before! ), you can even try to cook using Benihana real own recipes. I am amazed to know that they don't mind sharing their recipes and you can get them when you click the word "Benihana" at this page. The reason is because that the recipe is really simple to follow. What makes the different is the quality of the ingredients. So yeah, you get what you pay.

JW Marriott Hotel Surabaya

* JL Embong Malang 85-89
* Surabaya, 60261 Indonesia
* Phone: 62 31 545 8888
* Fax: 62 31 546 8888
* Sales: 62 31 545 8888
* Sales fax: 62 31 550 8889
* Toll-free: 0800 1831 800

Taiwanese Deep-Fried 5 Spiced Pork Steak


4 pieces pork steak
1 stalk green onion
2 slices ginger
4 Tbs. Sweet Potato Powder
2 Tbs Flour


1/2 Tbs. Wine
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs water
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp 5-spice powder
MSG ( optional )


  1. Choose the tender part of the pork steak. Rinse and pound each slice with back of cleaver to tenderize it.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the seasonings with crushed green onion, and ginger together. Marinate pork for about 20 minutes. ( I prefer to marinate it longer! )
  3. Mix sweet potato powder and flour together; coat the pork. Deep-fry in hot oil for 2 minutes. Remove the pork. Reheat the oil, deep-fry the pork again ( about 30 seconds). Remove the pork . Drain off the oil.

There are many ways to deep-fry pork steak. This is the Taiwanese method. You may just deep-fry the pork without any coating, or coat with only flour or bread crumbs or sweet potato powder, or you may mix a flour paste to coat the pork.

If you like to eat this dish but you don't have time to cook it your self, you can go to this Taiwanese Restaurant to try it.

Jl. Raya Darmo Permai ii No. 56 / Kav 1
Surabaya, 60226, Jawa Timur
Telp: (031) 734-2320

Javanese Country Food

Since Indonesia is an achipelago country with more than 13,000 island that create many different customes, I have to specify this the title of this entry to Javanese country food. Even that maybe is still too broad. So if it's wrong, the mistake is all mine.

Because my grandma broke her hip in 3 places, my aunt ( my father little sister ) came all the way from LA to Surabaya. The good news is, my grandma recover very fast because she has no health problem at all. She is very skinny and she eat like a bird. Now, she start to gain weight because I cook for her. She loves the food I cook for her. I am not saying that I am an amazing cook, the truth is , I am a simple cook but she likes my food because they are different from what she is normally eat. She normally eats a very typical Indonesian country food and my cooking skill gives her more international flavour to her daily diet. Like fresh home-made bread in the morning, yogurt, omellet, baba au rhum cake, my ice creams, caramel flan, fish fillet with lemon-garlic-butter sauce, etc.

So what is typical Javanese country food look likes? Rice off course, with several side dish that has a lot of spices ( but it doesn't mean that they are always hot ). And sambal ( chilies dip ) and raw vegetables for dipping into the sambal. I think the word "Sambal" comes from the Indian words for "Sambar". Different taste, but the concept is the same.

Because my grandma recovery is very good, my aunt can take a deep breath once in a while from nursing her mom. They are both at my house. Today my aunt went back to LA, but my grandma is still here with us. So usually for either lunch or dinner, we like to take her to eat in the restaurant. This time, we took her to eat at Bumbu Desa Restaurant. When translated, the name of the restaurant means Country seasonings.

This is also my first time to be in this type of restaurant that according to my father, are sprouting everywhere.

First they great you with lots of fanfare, like when you go to a sushi restaurant and they always great you "moshi...moshi", well, they do something like that too here.

Pic: Food that has been fried will be brought to your table like this one.

Then there is a long table laden with food. Now, you are suppose to pick which one you want to eat, most of them need to be fried so they will fried them first and then deliver them to your table. You can bring the food that doesn't need to be fried to your own table. On different table, you can choose your own sambal, complete with the raw vegetables dip.

Pic: One example of the sambal

The vegetable dip usually consist of: cucumber, cabbage, small round eggplants, etc.

It takes some getting use to for R to try this raw vegetables dip in sambal.

For me, I love it! I love to eat the raw veggies dip in sambal and then I will eat them with fried salty fish or tofu or tempe on the side. That's the kind of food that I use to eat for breakfast and for the past 12 years I did not eat them. I found that here at my home, I prefer to eat this typical javanese country food for breakfast then the fresh bread that I made myself for my family, the home-made yogurt, pancakes, scones, the omelet, etc. Isn't that funny? Everybody else eat what I cook except me.

Pic: Those green round vegetable looks pretty and they taste bitter.

After eating at Bumbu Desa Restaurant, I have to say that I would like to go back there again. Not too soon though because most of the food there are fried.

If you plan to go there, order the "empal". The best Empal that I have ever eaten. Also try the beef' tongue. My favorite!

Pic: I think this one is called Karedok.

For information on how to go there, this is the address:

Jl. Kartini No. 59
Surabaya, Jawa Timur
(031) 568-6425

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sunday Brunch In Shangri-La Hotel

For the past 5 - 6 months since I move back to Surabaya, I have been looking for the best way to take my husband and my son to eat in restaurant. For your information, "R" doesn't like Indonesian food, he prefer Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, French, and even Thai food. Basically anything that has nothing to do with Indonesian food or Indian food. He hates curry. Can't even stand the smell of it. My son, "KK" was raised with Gerber food, his favorite flavour were Spaghetti and macaroni and cheese. Even until now, he still loves Italian food the most. Everything else is just so-so to him he said. Now, where can a mommy took her family with this kind of taste buds to eat in Surabaya?

After some trial and error, I found the best way to please them both. The answer to this is by taking them to eat at 5 stars hotels on Sunday! Why Sunday? Because on Sunday, those 5 stars hotels always offers all-you-can-eat buffet for a pretty good price. For "KK" they even cut the price to half the price of adult. When I say a good price, I am talking around Rp. 125.000 ( more or less ) for Japanese and western food. So it's about US $ 13 for adult, and US $ 6 for a child. I think that's quite reasonable, don't you think so too?

There is something else that you need to know to see why I think that price range is reasonably low. Okay, I love to eat Prosciutto ham for example. If I buy from grocery store, for Rp. 60.000 ( US $ 6 ) I get only few slices, no more than 6 slices. But here at Portovino in Shangri-La Hotel, I can eat as much as I want too because on Sunday Brunch there, the antipasto and dessert are all-you-can-eat! With only US $ 12, I can eat as many prosciutto, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, tiramisu as much as my stomach can take and that's not including the one main course yet. And for you out there who loves to drink Martini, well... their Sunday brunch price is already include a free flow Martini!!!! You can drink as many Martini as you like!!! For me though, one is more than enough but for "R", he ordered 2, and for "K", I ordered him 3 non-alcoholic Martini ! For the main course, I ordered lasagna and it was fabulous. "R" ordered steak, and for "KK", I ordered him pizza with 6 toppings! Don't forget also that with eating buffet, the golden rule is you can eat as much as you want there, but you can't bring the left overs home.

Pic: My choices on the antipasto, they offered more choices than what's on my plate. Behind my plate is the Martini list.

Pic: 3 Different Martinis, "R", "KK"(crantini) , and mine ( honeydew)

Pic: I really loves these type of antipasto, the grilled vegetables are awesome!

Pic: As good as the main entree was that day ( lasagna with fresh tomato sauce ), I couldn't finished it.

Pic: "R" the carnivore chose this steak dish for his main entree.

At the same hotel, we also tried the Japanese buffet. Again everything here is all-you-can-eat. You can eat sashimi salmon till you drop!

Pic: Even "KK" who think Japanese food is just so-so, still able to enjoy the Japanese buffet, I think the best place to take children to eat is buffet restaurant.

Pic: I always love cold soba, and my salmon sashimi.

Pic: "KK" doesn't like cold noodle, he prefers hot tempura udon and teriyaki salmon.

From what I heard, the most popular eating spot in Shangri-La is Jamoo an all-you-can-eat Buffet Restaurant. I am not sure if they have any special price for Sunday. I took these movies on different occasion when we went there to eat. I tasted their French food and I think it taste pretty authentic. I was just thinking that it's amazing that they can make an authentic French food when the French chef just walked right by me! No wonder huh? Last time they invited Indian chef to cook authentic Indian food too. At the outside they place really big baskets brimming with Indian spices. That's when R made a sharp U-turn to go to a different restaurant since he hates Indian cuisine. But this time when we went there to eat, those big spices basket is gone and that's why R dared to enter Jamoo.

From Monday till Thursday or Friday, you can also eat all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet for only Rp. 56.000 or US $ 6. I have been there once but did not take a picture of the buffet. The only thing I can show you right now is this video clip of "KK" sang a Happy Birthday To You to his favorite aunt in the whole world, Tante Lusia, or Tante Uci for those people who are closest to her . We treated her to a nice dim sum at Shangri-La on Sunday, after the church service ended.

Video: "KK" sang a happy birthday song for aunt Lusia

If all this makes you want to go there to eat right away, give me a minute first here to tell you how to make that price go down even further!

For maybe 2 times in a year, Shangri-La hotels offer you to buy their membership for Rp. 1.300.000 / year or US $ 130. With that membership, you can get one day free to stay in their hotel, 50% off for eating there for 2 people, and other benefit. Since my church happen to be in Shangri-La hotel, I can see that we will eat Sunday brunch there a lot. With that membership card, you can imagine how much I can save when ever I eat there!!! If I can save $ 6 for each time I eat there, multiply that number with, let say, the 40 weeks that I will go to church, that will bring my total saving to US $ 240/year. Not bad huh? The next time they offer to sell their membership I will try to be the first one in line, move aside everybody!!!