Posted on | June 19, 2014
The crisp, translucent crackers called krupuk are found in every Indonesian and Malaysian kitchen – and in other Southeast Asian pantries as well. Although many different varieties exist – fish (krupuk palembang), tapioca (krupuk miller), malingo nut (emping malinjo) – krupuk udang, made from shrimp, are the most common. They come in the form of brittle disks in various colors, and they puff into tasty, featherlight wafers when deep-fried. Most are only as large as a potato chip and are used as garnishes or snacks, bu tothers expand to the size of a dinner plate.
I was once in Kukup, a small fishing village built on stilts in Johor, Malaysia, where the locals made their own dough for krupuk. It was a very dense mixture, which they shaped into logs and then cut crosswise into thin slices. They spread the slices over a bamboo mat and left them under the hot tropical sun until they were bone dry. Nowadays, alas, very few people make their own dough. Instead the dried chips are bought at the store and fried up at home.
Posted on | June 5, 2014
Braised Soy Mushrooms
125 9/4 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
750 ml / 1.5 pints / 3 cups hot water
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp peanut oil
Wash mushrooms well in cold water. Put in a bowl, pour hot water over and soak for 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut off stems. Squeeze water from caps, and reserve.
To the reserved liquid, add some of the water in which the mushrooms were soaked, enough to make 2 cups. Add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and stir to dissolve sugar.
Heat peanut oil in a wok and try mushrooms over a high heat, stirring and turning, pressing them against the wok with the frying spoon, until the undersides are browned.
Add liquid mixture, reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all the liquid IS absorbed and the mushrooms take on a shiny appearance. Stir occcasionally towards end of cooking time. Serve hot or cold Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
Posted on | May 28, 2014
Oyster mushroom: (Pleurotus ostreatus). Also know as tree oyster mushroom and abalone mushroom, this white to grey to pink salmon coloured, fan-shaped fungus is claimed to taste faintly of the sea, hence its name. Some might argue that the name has more to do with appearance than taste or, perhaps, to suggest that they would be even nicer prepared with oyster sauce. Grown, like the shiitake mushroom, on dead trees. In my experience, pale salmon-pink oyster mushrooms don’t keep as well as the common grey or white ones.Next Page »