Asia

92. Indonesia: Indonesian meatballs

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Indonesia, the worlds largest archipelago! It stretches from the southern tip of the Malay peninsula most of the way to Australia, taking in the southern half of Borneo and the Western half of New Guinea along the way. In other words HUGE!!!! A country created by volcanoes and earthquakes, the landscape is still changing every day, with a new volcano eruption almost every year, new islands spring up out the ocean. But that is not all Indonesia has to offer! Delicious food, insane golden temples, wild jungle landscape, and beaches like nowhere else in the world!

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Things you didn’t know about Indonesia

  • Of its 17,508 islands, only around 6,000 are inhabited by people.
  • Indonesia is strict when it comes to…religion. The government only recognizes six religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Confucianism – and every citizen must officially subscribe to one of those religions, regardless of what he or she may actually believe. Two individuals with different religions are not allowed to marry, unless one of them converts.
  • Indonesia was a regional superpower before it was colonized by the Dutch. The Sri Vijaya and Majapahit Empires spanned the entire Indonesian archipelago, even including the present-day Malaysia and even the southern islands of the Philippines.
  • Indonesia has a fiery side, too. The country is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is home to around 150 volcanoes. They’re mostly not a threat – and make great tourist attractions – but the country does experience around one volcanic eruption per year.

These meatballs, are out of this world delicious and definitely worth giving a try! they are spicy, but soooo good. I had them with rice but you can just aswel serve them as an appetizer or even on a sandwich 😀 the sauce is sooo creamy and spicy!

meatballs

91. South India: Egg Drop Curry

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The south of India is stunning! Cities like Kerala, Cochin, and Senai are known for their epic beaches, over abundant spices, some of the worlds richest temples. schermafbeelding-2017-01-08-om-22-42-02Things you didn’t know about South India:

  • Sree Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is known as the ‘Richest Temple in the World’ and is valued at a staggering $22.3 billion in all.
  • Unlike many North Indian states which usually see a concentration of one religion or the other; the religious demographics of South India is more balanced.
  • India is the worlds largest democracy
  • It’s illegal for foreigners to take currency (rupees) out of India
  • The world’s biggest family lives together in India: a man with 39 wives and 94 children.

This egg drop curry is so good I didn’t miss the meat and trust me I LOVVVVVEEE meat! But this I would happily have for lunch every single day!

egg-drop-curry

Ingredients: 

  • Oil – 3 tblspn
  • Cumin Seeds / Jeerakam – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 1 large chopped finely
  • Green Chillies – 2 slit
  • Tomatoes – 3 medium size pureed
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tblspn
  • Turmeric Powder / Manjal Podi – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Eggs – 2 or 4
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – 3 tblspn finely chopped
  • Water – 1.5 cup to 2 cup
Heat oil in a pan. Add in cumin seeds and let them splatter.
Add in onions and chillies cook till golden. Add in the spice powders and salt, cook for few sec.
Add in tomato puree and cook till it is dried and oil separates from it. Stir in the peas.
Add in water and sugar and bring it to a boil.
Crack open eggs in the curry. Cover and cook on a low heat for 5 mins.
Add in coriander leaves.
Serve.

90. India Goa: Prawn Vindaloo

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Goa is the smallest state in India, but I chose to write a separate piece about it anyway because it has very particular past and food culture since Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for 4 centuries, and they left certainly left their mark on the food!

Things you didn’t know about Goa:

  • Not many people know this but Goan people can apply and avail a Portuguese passport along with the Indian one.
  • Goa is the only place in India where you can hire a two wheeler taxi commonly known as “Pilots”. It’s basically a motorcycle and the driver will charge you and drop you to your destination.
  • It might be the smallest state in India but nonetheless it’s also the richest state in India
  • 26.6 percent of Goans practice Christianity and 6.8 percent practice Islam. The remaining one percent are Sikh, Buddhists and Jain.

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The term Vindaloo, derivative of the Portuguese “vinho de alho” (wine with garlic) was first brought to Goa by the Portuguese some 400 years ago. The original traditional Portuguese dish was made with pork preserved in red wine or red wine vinegar,chili pepper, and stewed with garlic. The Goans modified it by adding plenty of spices. You can make this with chicken or lamb or pork.

I’ve had vindaloo curry before, but this one is soooo good, the spice hits just the right spot! This recipe is one the greats people so pleas please please try to make it!!! Again if you have all the dry spices it’s soooo cheap!

Prawn Vindaloo

Ingredients:

  • Dry red chillies(or fresh) ,6 – 8
  • Black mustard seeds 1tbsp
  • White vinegar 1/2 cup (about 100 ml)
  • Prawns
  • Onions ,2 diced and pureed
  • Ginger paste 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • Brown sugar 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon powder ½ tsp
  • Cardamom powder ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder ½ tsp
  • Oil 4 tbsp
  • Salt,to taste
  1. Soak mustard seeds and chillies in vinegar for about 2-4 hours (preferably overnight) and grind to a coarse paste.
  2. Marinate the prawns with the vinegar mixture, ginger-garlic paste and the ground spices,
  3. Heat oil in a large wok, add onion puree and sauté well. Add the prawns pieces and mix well till meat appears sealed and glossy.
  4. Take shrimp out, do they don’t overcook
  5. Add ½ cup water, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes so the sauce is reduced Stir occasionally. Add the prawns back in.
  6. Add brown sugar and salt to taste. Serve hot with rice.

75. Georgia: Kharcho

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I am soo sorry, I have been incredibly busy with work in the restaurant, my social life, school! Really it’s been crazy these past few months, but I promise i’m going to try to work more on this project folks.

Is Georgia part of Europe or Asia. Honestly no one knows, so strange. We all know it’s close to Russia and that it used be part of the communist Sovjet Union. But what do we really know about Georgia. (for the people who haven’t realized I’m talking about Georgia the Country not the state.) There is actually quite a lot of debate over exactly what continent Georgia is on, and exactly where Europe is located.  Most people have think that there is a geographic place where Europe ends and Asia begins, but where exactly that is is open to debate.The general consensus seems to be that the divider between Europe and Asia is the Urals–but they don’t reach far enough South to be helpful with determining Georgia’s location.  Geographically, the Caucasus mountains are the Southern border of Europe–in fact, the highest point in Europe is Mt. Elbrus which is right next to Georgia.  This division very helpfully puts PART of Georgia in Europe.  Georgia is not a very big country, so dividing it between two continents seems very silly! As you can see I really made a study of it and tried to find a correct answer, but there is none! So WHERE does Europe END and where begins Asia???? Of there is anyone who knows this please let me know in the comments because I am very confused!

Things you didn’t know about Georgia:

  • Abkhazia. This former province declared itself independent after a bloody war. Since the war the are trying to re-establish the country’s former reputation of being a holiday destination. The rest of the world still considers Abkhazia as part of Georgia not as an independent state.
  • Russian dictator Josef Stalin was born in the tiny village of Gori in Georgia. He is still considered a hero in Gori. There is a Stalin museum and on their website it says. Stalin the greatest politician of the 20th century.
  • Security guards in clubs have guns. So please don’t pick a fight with them
  •  Spoken Georgian is like no other language you are likely to hear. It belongs to its own ancient linguistic group unlike any other language spoken outside the region. It includes rare sounds that many visitors may never have heard before. Georgian has its own 33-letter alphabet thought to be based on the sort of Aramaic spoken in the time of Jesus.
  • A guest is a gift from God, goes the saying in Georgia. So foreign visitors are plied with food and drink – an enjoyable experience, if not always good for the waistline.

You say this Georgian delicacy is the Balkan version of a risotto. It’s a little more rustic, and the spices are completely different but the rice is cooked the same way.

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This recipe serves 6-8 people

Ingredients: 1 1⁄2lbs boneless lean beef, 8 cups beef stock, 3 tablespoons  butter, 2 onions, finely chopped, 1 tablespoon  flour, 3 tablespoons  tomato paste, 1 can tomatoes, seeded and chopped,  1⁄4cup  rice, 1⁄2teaspoon  dried tarragon, 1⁄4teaspoon  dried mint, 1 1⁄2teaspoons  sweet Hungarian paprika, 1⁄2teaspoon hot pepper flakes, 1⁄2teaspoon  ground coriander, 1⁄4teaspoon  ground fenugreek, 2 teaspoons  tamarind paste, diluted in hot stock (can substitute 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice), 3 cloves  garlic, pressed or minced, 1⁄4cup  walnut pieces, crushed, salt, 1⁄4cup chopped fresh herb (any mixture of tarragon, cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, or dill)

  1. Bring the meat, in one big piece, to a boil in the stock.
  2. Skim off the foam as necessary.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 1½ hours.
  4. Remove and reserve the meat.
  5. When the meat has been cooking for an hour or so, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and stir in the onions.
  6. Fry for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and colored.
  7. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
  8. Add 1/2 cup stock and stir until smooth.
  9. Stir in the tomato paste and the tomatoes.
  10. Whisk in the rest of the stock, add the rice, and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  11. Add all the rest of the ingredients, except for the fresh herbs, and simmer them until the rice is tender–another 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. At this point, you can cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  13. When ready to serve, remove the soup from the heat, stir in the meat pieces and the 1/4 cup of fresh chopped herbs, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  14. Stir in the remaining herbs and ladle into bowls.
  15. Serve with hearty bread and butter

 

 

57. East Timor: Caril Dos Pescadores

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Welcome letter E! The continents of Asia and Oceania are the home of thousands of some of the most amazing species on earth. Here between these two continents there is an island where this couldn’t be more evident ‘East Timor’. Living it’s first few ages of independence this small territory is located on the far east of southern Asia between Indonesia and Australia, it is the home of an ancient civilization. They are descendents from Malaysian, Polynesian and Papuan people. They have strong believes that everything is connected to the nature in some way. The land changes from high tropical forests to savannah or to the incredible pristine beaches on the coast.

Schermafbeelding 2015-05-26 om 14.41.10Things you didn’t know about East Timor:

  • Over 16 different languages and more then 30 dialects are spoken in East Timor, a lot of them have a strong Portuguese influence.
  • There is a legend among people from East Timor that only a man with a bad soul will get eaten or bitten by a crocodile. This why most people aren’t terrified of crocodiles.
  • There are a least 9 bird (probably more) species that are exclusive to the island.
  • There are places in the mountains where scientists have never been. And it is almost certain that when scientists start researching there new species will be found.
  • During the ice age the islands stayed separated from the Asian continent, so there were nog big animals like tigers or elephants. Only the ones man brought for farming can be found on the island.

This is soon good the sweet and sourness of the tamarind is really good!

Ingredients: 6 spoons of tamarind paste, 1 liter coconut milk, 500 grams of shrimp, 1 onion, 1 dl oil, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, tiny bit of saffron

  1. Heat the finely chopped onion in pan with some olive oil until it’s a little brown.
  2. After adding tamarind sauce, coconut milk mixed where the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  4. Join the peeled shrimp, but his head, and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and serve with white rice

43. China part 4: Beijing: Peking Duck Breast with Clementine & Spices

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Aaaah the capital of China, Beijing oh noo wait,… Peking? In fact they are both the same thing. But why does this city have 2 names? Here’s the thing, the Chinese government gets quite cross about English-speakers using the name Peking for their capital city, insisting on the more modern transliteration Beijing. Since Mandarin is the first language in China (Beijing is Mandarin) and Cantonese is the only the second language in China (Peking is Beijing in Cantonese). So both 100% correct and everyone will exactly know what you mean, but you’d better use Beijing.

Beijng

Here are some things you didn’t know about Beijing:

  • If you’re offered a gift, refuse to take it! At least a couple of times. Why? Because it’s considered polite in China. It shows humility and being grateful. Also, refuse compliments – always! Don’t even say, “Thank you” You just end up looking vain.

  • Beijing is the oldest City in the World – Before you discount this fact, here me out…The Peking Man lived in Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District about 230,000-250,000 years ago. This makes it the city with the oldest remains of human habitation.
  • The Asian girl approaching you with a camera wants to take her picture with you. They call this “making hello”. This is not a scam. Caucasians and other non-Orientals are still uncommon enough in most Beijing neighborhoods that the locals are curious.

Last Chinese recipe people!!! This is a fancy one. Since duck breast is pretty expensive. But the rest of the ingredients are quite cheap. Still it isn’t a really complicated recipe! Something to impress your parents, boyfriend, girlfriend, crush and friends 😉

Clementine peking duckbreast

Ingredients: 2 duck breasts, 5 clementines, 1 tbsp. wine vinegar, 3 tbsp. honey, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 anise stars, 3 black peppercorns

Slightly cut the duck breasts skin side with a sharp knife, without cutting the meat.

Place the duck breasts, skin underneath in a cold pan and place over medium heat.

Cook until the excess fat have melted (if needed discard fat during cooking) and the skin is golden brown and crispy.

Turn the duck breasts and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Keep warm.

Press 4 clementines, get the zest of the fifth and then peel it and separate the wedges.

Deglaze the pan with clementine juice, add the vinegar and spices, clementine wedges and honey. Simmer over low heat until reduces by half, the sauce should not boil.

Serve the meat sliced and topped with the sauce and clementine wedges.

 

42. China Part 3: Shanghai: Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs

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Shanghai is most eastern and also biggest (25 million, and yes you read that right) and richest city in China.  The funniest part is that Shanghai we know today didn’t exist 25 years ago it was just farmland! It just sort of magically appeared over the course of just a few years. Is Shanghai done growing? NO I don’t think it is ever done and it is changing and growing so ridiculously fast. Is there anything left of the old Shanghai? Luckily yes! Shouning Road is a great example, the old China, walk down the street look in any direction and there is something to eat.

Shanghai

Things you didn’t know about Shanghai:

  • When you get out of the elevator in the Shanghai Municipal Marriage Service Center to get married, the first thing you see is a sign with three arrows that says “Marriage (Turn Right),” “Adoption (Turn Left),” and “Divorce (Straight Ahead).”
  • Internet rumors once raged that Shanghai’s public toilets brought in more than €10 million a year.
  • The total area of Shanghai was 636 square kilometers in 1949. It is now 6,340 square kilomenters.
  • Each weekend, hundreds of Shanghai parents come to the People’s Square marriage market to look for suitable mates for their children.
  • Locals in Shanghai tend to drink everything warm or at room temperature, including water and beer. If you want either served cold, you’ll need to ask for it that way.

So my brother adored these ribs so much that he asked me the next day already when we were going to eat them again! This is what you would call MANFOOD, delicious, rich, greasy. YUM! This might be my best dish yet!

Sticky Ribs

Ingredients: 2 lbs pork ribs (raw unmarinated), 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, divided, 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine, divided, 3 tablespoons oil, divided, 8 thin slices of ginger, 4 scallions (white parts only), chopped, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dark Chinese vinegar, 2 cups water, toasted sesame seeds

Clean the ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Marinate the ribs with 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a flat bottomed pan over medium heat and brown the ribs on all sides. Set aside on a plate.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in a clean wok over medium heat, and cook the ginger and scallions until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Take them out of the wok and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil, and with the wok on low heat, add the sugar. Stir and let it melt. Add the ribs and coat them with the melted sugar. Turn off the heat.

Add the second tablespoon of shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, vinegar, water, and the cooked ginger and scallion. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 30 minutes, if there’s still too much liquid in the pot, take off the lid and turn up the heat, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened and the ribs are coated and sticky.

It’s best to serve these ribs at room temperature. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if desired.