Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Taiwanese Food Photos To Share & Recipes

Even though the main reason why we are in Taiwan is because we want to support Pastor Philip Mantofa with his crusade, Festival of God's Power. It doesn't mean this supporting team do not know how to have a great time when we are not busy with the crusade. Some of us do not join the main group partly because sometimes our responsibility force us to have a different time schedule. So when the main group had lunch first, sometimes we have not. The other reason is because me, Richard, Lely, Adrian, and Rudy do not pay to join the main group because all of us sleep at Richard's home in here. But the real reason why we don't join the main group is with Richard as the tour leader and me as the food critic, my friends knows that they are in good hands. We both know how to keep them happy with great tasting local Taiwanese food everyday!

You don't believe me?

Look at this face, is this not a happy eater? This is Rudy, our good friend who becomes a believer of how good Taiwanese food are, hahaha....

We usually do not bring them to eat in fancy looking restaurant because we understand that Indonesian taste bud tends to prefer hot, heavily spices, dripping with sauce, and fried dishes. It is easier to find food that can fit these taste on the street than if you go to fancy restaurant. So, isn't it great, not only they become happier to eat that kind of food, but these type of food usually cheaper too! Like our friend Rudy here, who always said that the food here is cheaper than in Indonesia. So I salute the Taiwanese food importer / producer. Guys, you do a great job at keeping the food prices reasonable. And for Taiwanese who always complains that food price is so high there. Listen.... they are not that high compare to some other country!

But for today, we have no choice but to eat at a local food restaurant near where the crusade will be and there is nothing better but to share great tasting food with our great hungry friends on this cold day together. Remember ....

" The beste sawce is hungre. "
... by Socrates, 1539

Pic: Melting in the mouth pork belly stew eaten with soft and fluffy buns. Heavenly!

Pic: Deep-fried Shrimp coated with mayonaise and fruits
Pic: twice cooked pork with leeks
Pic: Stir-fried Baby Oysters with Fermented Black Beans, I write the recipe for this dish at the bottom of this story.
Pic: Slow cooked fish, you can eat the whole thing, bones and all.

Pic: My husband always can not refused to order this dish. A Hakka dish. Pork intestine cooked with young finely shredded ginger and vinegar.

Stir Fried Baby Oysters with Fermented Black Beans
( makes 6 portions )

Ingredients :
600 g shelled baby oysters
150 gr leeks ( cut into large dices )

Seasoning :
20 gr whole fermented black beans
75 gr light soy sauce
4 gr salt
4 gr chicken stock powder
12 gr sugar
chopped ginger
ground white pepper
sesame oil
1 Tbs oyster sauce

  • Rinse oysters. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a little oil in wok. Add chopped ginger and whole fermented black beans. Stir-fry until fragrant. Add diced leeks and stir-fry briefly. Put in oysters and all the seasoning ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the oysters are done. Transfer to a deep plate. Serve.
Note :
This dish is a famous family dish in Fujian. The baby oysters are not scalded so as to keep their original flavor. They go well with rice and congee.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Greetings From Taipei

Finally after a confusing trip, we arrived in Taipei, my hubby hometown. We are totally dead tired because the flight that take us to Taipei depart at 1 AM. For further story on why we ended up stranded in Singapore, you can read it here....

Anyway, a brand new day is a brand new adventure, and in my case is always evolve around food.
I will stay here for 12 days so I will try my best to keep it up to date the Food Adventure news.

For today adventure, R brought me and our friends to eat at this Fish restaurant. They are located near Taipei water reservoir dam, in that dam, there are lots of fresh water fish. They catch the big one only.

When we arrived, they directly told us to pick our fish from their fish tank. Most of the fish weight about 6 kg , there are some fish that is bigger off course. Our fish weight 6 kg. Then from that one fish, the chef can create maximum 10 different type of dishes. It is based on the customer request. We do not request that many dishes though.

Here are the photos of dishes that the chefs made for us from that one fish...

Pic: Fish cooked Kung Pao style

Pic: I love this fish soup the most because the broth is very flavorful using all the bones and the head of the fish.
Pic: Stir-fried fern, yum !

Pic : Fish with mapo tofu.

Authentic Mapo Tofu

1 block bean curd ( about 1 pound )
4 baby leeks or 2 leeks
1/2 cup peanut oil
6 ounces ground beef
2 1/2 Tbs Sichuanese chili bean paste ( if you can't find it, buy Lee Kum Kee's )
1 Tbs fermented black beans
2 tsp ground Sichuanese chilies ( or you can replace it with cayenne pepper powder , but if you scared, omit this from the recipe )
1 cup everyday stock or chicken stock
1 tsp light soy sauce ( this is just a reverence )
salt to taste
4 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 6 Tbs cold water
1/2 tsp ground roasted Sichuan peppercorn (this will make it taste real authentic!)

  • Cut the bean curd into 1-inch cubes and leave to steep in very hot or gently simmering water that you have lightly salted. Slice the leeks at a steep angle into thin "horse ear" slices 1 1/2 inches long.
  • Season the wok, then add the peanut oil and heat over a high flame until smoking. Add the minced beef and stir-fry until it is crispy and a little brown, but not yet dry.
  • Turn the heat down to medium, add the chili bean paste and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until the oil is a rich red color 20-30 seconds until they are both fragrant and the chiles have added color to the oil.
  • Pour in the stock, stir well, and add the drained bean curd. Mix it in gently by pushing the back of your ladle or wok scoop gently from the edges to the center of the wok - do not stir or the bean curd may break up. Season with sugar, a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce, and salt to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the bean curd has absorbed the flavors of the sauce.
  • Add the leeks or scallions and gently stir in. When they are just cooked, add the cornstarch mixture in 2 or 3 stages, mixing well, until the sauce has thickened enough to cling glossily to the meat and bean curd. Don't add more than you need. Finally, pour everything into a deep bowl, scatter with the ground Sichuan peppercorn and serve.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Greetings From Singapore

On January 28, we were supposed to go by Cathay with a direct flight to Taiwan. But the plane that suppose to take us to Taipei was rerouted by Cathay to pick up few hundreds angry passengers from Bali because in the past 2 days the plane that suppose to bring those people to go to Hong Kong was broken. So Cathay decided to just dump us poor Surabaya passengers behind to save those Bali passengers. Most of us poor passengers has to stay in the hotel or just go home and come back to airport the next day, but after negotiating with the Cathay employees, they finally put us on a Business class ( we were upgraded from economy class ) of Singapore Airlines to Singapore, then we had to stay almost 12 hours there. After midnight Singapore Airlines would take us to Taipei.

So here we are stranded in Singapore, way outside our plan to go straight to Taipei. Since 12 hours is long enough, even thought they put us to stay in the hotel for free with free lunch and dinner, we decided to go to Orchard Road to , what else, shopped, and eat.

Richard wants to eat, ehm, what else, Hainan Chicken Rice...

So here are our photos eating a delicious Hainan Chicken Rice ... yum...