Monthly Archives: April 2013

Lemper Ayam

Sticky Rice with chicken filling , called as Lemper Ayam is a traditional snack in Indonesia . I remember me and my mom walked to the market and stopped by after grocery shopping to buy this snack . This was her favorite , wasn’t so much for me . She really liked this , it was all wrapped up in green banana leaves . I never wondered how they made this .. i never thought i would have to try to make it myself . But living oversea pushed you to do things that you never thought you’d do . Even my mom never made lemper ayam herself , she always bought it .. why did we have to make them , when they’re available basically everyday every time you go to the market ?

Having said that , it takes time to make lemper ayam , but i believe if you make the filling ahead of time , you can save a lot of time . And cut down the total time .

For Chicken Fillings : 

About 4 pieces of boneless skinless chicken thigh / tenders

1/2 of small onion , or if you have shallot , you can use about 2 large shallots

6-8 garlic cloves

salt , pepper , 2 bay leaves , 1 stalk of lemon grass , smashed , white part only

2 tbsp. of ground coriander

1/4 cup of toasted almond or if you have 3 candlenut

300 ml of coconut milk

1. Boil the chicken until it’s done , then remove from the pot , let it cool and shred the chicken . Set aside .

2. Make a paste from the onion , garlic , and almond . Then saute the paste in a heated skillet with oil , add bay leaves and lemon grass and coriander .

3. Add the chicken , stir until it’s mixed , add coconut milk . Bring to boil then simmer until the chicken dry .

For sticky rice : 

500 grams of sticky rice soaked for 2 hours

500 ml of coconut milk

2 bay leaves

1 stalk of lemon grass , smashed

1/2 tsp. of salt

1.After soaking for 2 hours , steam the rice for 15 minutes .

2. Boil the coconut milk with bay leaves , lemon grass and salt , then add in the pre-steamed sticky rice , mix until all the coconut milk has been absorbed by the rice . Takes few minutes .

3. Place the rice back into the steamer , steam for 20 minutes . Done . Let it cool

Assemble : 

Take about 2 tbsp. of rice with slightly wet hands , and then roll them into a ball , add the filling , cover up with more rice and roll them up and shape into slightly oblong shape . Wrap with banana leaves if you have , if not , wrap it with plastic wrap . Store in the fridge



Banana Bread

I made banana bread yesterday , it’s been a long time and i happened to have overripe bananas laying around on the counter . The problem with banana bread is , there are tons of recipes out there , throughout the years i’ve tried plenty recipes , sometimes i forget which one that tasted the best , and which one is the okay so so version . So going through my recipe box was tricky , i had to try to remember which one was this . But the one that i picked yesterday was the one without butter , so i considered it a little healthier version .. 😀 My husband said he’s not going to have a slice of it .. but then i said just a little slice is okay , plus i don’t even use butter , just oil to replace the butter . But i forgot to mention the part that i used 1 cup of sugar .. oops .. LOL

This is my fave version of banana bread , it is easy and moist and really delicious . Make sure you at least have 3 large over ripe bananas for this recipe . Lacking of banana can cause the bread turned out a little drier . But if you follow the recipe , it will give you a moist bread . For a healthier version to , use wheat flour for half of the recipe calls .

Direction : 

3 1/2 large over ripe bananas , mashed

1 cup of sugar

2 large eggs

1 /2 cup of vegetable oil

2 tbsp. of sour cream

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 2/3 cup of all purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 tsp. of gr.cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F , line a loaf pan with parchment paper .

2. Sift the dry ingredients together , set aside . Beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for 10 minutes .( this is when standing mixer comes in handy ) .

3. After 10 minutes , add in the vegetable oil , keep mixing , scrape off the sides . Then add the mashed bananas , sour cream and vanilla , mix well . FInally fold in the flour . Pour into the loaf pan and bake about an hour . I used 9×5 loaf pan .


Southern Fried Chicken

I don’t know why but during the end of the sermon this morning at church , just about a minute before the pastor let us all go home , suddenly i thought about fried chicken . No  , not thinking about buying fried chicken , because that’s what we usually do , i don’t cook fried chicken , i know they’re easy but i don’t , just because to me it seems pointless spending about a gallon of oil just to fry chicken , not to mention , it is unhealthy . We usually settled with oven baked fried chicken , similar but not quite the same original fried chicken .

So there i was as we walked out from the pew , i whispered to my husband ” i wanted to try to make fried chicken , you know the southern style ”

Yeah , the ones that requires , deep frying , not baking . He said ” sure ”

We stopped at grocery store , didn’t pick up anything but chicken and southern hot sauce , you know the american hot sauce that is hot ( well just warm .. mild not too hot ) and super sour , due to the vinegar content in there . Not my favorite kind of hot sauce but i deal with it since i need it for this darn chicken . So , i picked up another thing , picked up tomatoes because i wanted to make ” indonesian hot sauce with shrimp paste ” and of course we ended up picking up some other things such as milk and eggs since we ran out of it .

I guess fried chicken must be very popular in the southern state , since i found lots of recipes online that said ” southern fried chicken ” Is there any difference between southern and northern fried chicken ? Heck .. i don’t know .. how could fried chicken be any different anyway from different location .. they’re all chicken , being deep fried !

Anyway , this is easy recipe ( i got it from the southern cooking queen with a little modification ) , a little mess if you don’t have deep fryer . I happen to have one , and only used it once years ago .. and with this chicken earlier that i made , that would be 2 times in the past so many years that i put my deep fryer to a good use LOL .. They’re delicious , very crunchy , and just fried chicken .. and for me .. no fried chicken will taste delicious without any hot sauce .. So of course i had my indonesian hot sauce served with this fried chicken 😀 ( i even use hot sauce with KFC or Popeye’s chicken too ! )

Direction  : 

About 4 lbs of chicken thighs ( or whole chicken , cut in pieces .. i like using dark meat )

3 eggs

1/3 cup of water

3/4 cup of hot sauce ( i used texas pete )

black pepper and salt

2 cups of all purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder

1 tsp. of salt

1 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika

Garlic powder

1. Heat up oil in a big pot or deep fryer , to 350 F , fill it up half way , enough to submerge the chicken , you want to deep fry the chicken .

2. Place the chicken in a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt , garlic powder and black pepper , both sides . Set aside .

3 . Beat the eggs with water and hot sauce until it’s bright orange color shows up . Set aside .

4 . Mix the flour with baking powder and smoked paprika and salt . Set aside .

5 . Dip the chicken into the egg hot sauce mixture , then dredge the chicken on the flour until it’s all coated , drop them carefully into hot oil , cook for about 13-14 minutes for dark meat and 10 minutes for white meat .

6 . Once it’s done , take it out and place it on a paper towel lined plate to soak up the excess oil . Serve

southern fried chicken




Thai Sticky Rice minus Mango

I love thai sticky rice , near the town where i live there is this thai restaurant that we occasionally go to . Me and my friends like to have lunch over there too , their price was very reasonable and they have a very yummy curry . But what i like the most was their dessert , thai sticky rice . I figured it shouldn’t be too hard to make , and so i googled it and i was right , it was super easy . As long as you have the sticky rice , and coconut milk , whether you have mango or not , it’s not a big deal , at least to me 😀

Direction : 

About 1 1/2 cup of sweet sticky rice ( get it from asian market , regular grocery store sometimes don’t carry them and if they do , they tend to cost more )

2 cups of water

1 1/2 cup of coconut milk

1 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp. of salt

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1 tbsp. of sugar

pinch of salt

1. Soak the rice about 20 minutes before you cook it .

2. When you’re ready , cook the rice with 2 cups of water , bring to boil , then simmer about 15 minutes and cover , until all water is absorbed .

3 . While the rice is simmering , cook the coconut milk with 1 cup of sugar and salt , bring to boil until sugar melted , turn the heat off and set aside .

4 . Once the rice is done , add the rice into the coconut milk mixture . Stir well , let it cool for at least an hour . You can taste it like this too and they’re super yummy already .

5. Make the sauce , mix coconut milk , sugar and salt ,warm it up and use it when the rice is ready to be served . Add mango if you prefer .

Sweet Red Bean Paste

When you go asian bakery , chances are you will find items with sweet red beans fillings . Growing up in southeast asia , i found one dessert with beans , but not red beans , so this is all new to me also . I thought red beans are only for main dish , who would have thought it’s also for dessert , esp. it’s very famous in asian bakery .

I decided to put my red azuki beans to a good use over the weekend , i thought it’s not going to be hard to make . I soaked the beans overnight . I tried cooking it without soaking overnight , not a good idea . Took forever and still some of them are hard to chew after cooking hours on the stove . So by soaking it overnight i hoped that it wouldn’t take me too long to cook them . I was right , the next morning the beans are growing bigger LOL .. And i started cooking them , to my surprised it’s a lot quicker that i thought it would be .

1 lb of red azuki beans

water to soak overnight , and enough water to cook the next day

vanilla extract



I really don’t measure it , i just eyeball it and try it as i cook .

Soak the beans overnight , the next day , drain the water and place the beans in a cooking pot , cover with enough water . Bring to boil , then simmer and cover with lid askew for about an hour , maybe less . Once the beans is soft ( easily mashed with fork or spoon ) , then it’s done . If you still have lots of water then drain the beans ( reserve a little bit of the water ) . Transfer the beans into food processor , then pulse and add little bit of water , maybe start with 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup , make sure you don’t put too much , it’ll be too runny . We just need to add water so that the food processor will be able to grind it and make it into a paste .Once it’s smooth , transfer back to the pot , add the sugar , start with 1/2 cup and add more if you need . Along with the vanilla and pinch of salt . Turn the stove on , and keep stirring until the sugar melted and the paste dries a little bit . Store in the fridge up to a week .

red bean paste

This was my experiment with the bread , using bean paste as its filling , it is good , except next time i need to be less stingy using the paste as its filling 🙂 Would have been so much better if i had put more !

red bean paste bread

Shrimp Creole

I like shrimp , i think they’re one of the healthy food that is packed with protein yet you don’t have to spend so much time in cooking them . In fact the longer time you spend cooking the shrimp , the chewy they get and in result , it’s not really that yummy . But cooking them quick is the key and i need this kind of meal once in a while .

This time , we’re trying to make shrimp creole , i thought the taste was a little lacking , probably because i have the asian tongue that is looking for that specific blend from shrimp dish , i don’t know . In my mind , shrimp creole should taste like ” sambal goreng udang ” ( more to it , please google ) , but obviously , i shouldn’t have had expected that , because these 2 dishes are totally from different country . Anyway , with the help of essence of emeril , which actually quite widely available in store yet , it is so easy to make yourself as long as you have variety of spices ( esp. cajun , southern style ) . Super easy and quick ..that’s all i have to say .

shrimp creole

Direction : 

About 2 pounds of large shrimp , peeled and de-veined , sprinkle with essence of emeril , set aside

1 large green bell pepper , chopped

2 cups of chopped onion

3 cloves of garlic , minced

4-5 stalks of celery , chopped

4 cups of peeled and seeded roma tomatoes

Essence of emeril

2 tbsp . of flour

1 cup of water

1 bay leaf

cayenne pepper and salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet , heat up olive oil , saute the onion , for about 3 minutes , salt pepper and add cayenne . Then add celery and green pepper , and cook about 2 minutes . Add the tomatoes and garlic , and add more salt and cayenne as needed . Along with essence of emeril ( i didn’t measure , just eye ball it )

2. Then add bay leaves , and flour , cook for about 3 minutes of so keep stirring . Then add water into the skillet , it will get thick . Simmer for about 7 minutes .

3. Add the shrimp , turn the heat up and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes , until the shrimp turns orange . Don’t overcook or shrimp will get chewy . Serve with white rice and sprinkle with chopped green onion .


2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Durian Cake

Over the weekend we went to check out the other asian market in the same area where the korean market was located at .  At that asian market , i was thrilled because i found so many indonesian items , just like the store that we used to go back in Chicago , a whole aisle dedicated especially for indonesian food . Well , anyway , i also found durian , which i was really thrill to see . The last time i had durian was about 4 or 5 years ago , yes it’s been a long time .So i picked it up and bought it ..

This morning , after letting the durian thawing out for a total of 1 day , i decided it’s time to try to open it . Back when i was living in indonesia , my mom always had the durian seller to slit open the durian , that way when we got home , she didn’t have to do too much of work opening it . In fact she used to have her wooden shoe / sandal , and kinda smash it open a little .. which worked great . So it was my turn today to open a fresh durian . No we didn’t have anybody to help me to slit open the bottom end . But i learned from internet ( you can learn basically everything from it ) , and watched the video and i finally tried it . I made a slit on the bottom and then cut along the lines and voila .. it’s open and i opened the rest with my hands .

Both of my husband and my son don’t like durian , because of their pungent smell . I don’t know why they think kimchi smells better than durian , because to me , durian has sweet smell and not as pungent and stinky as durian is . I would def. take durian ten thousand times than kimchi . Don’t get me wrong , i still like kimchi .. 🙂

Anyway .. in order to get them to eat durian , i ended up making a cake out of it .. and turned out they like the cake . My husband claims that he still able to sense the after taste of the durian itself in the cake . But he can deal with it unlike the fresh fruit that he absolutely .. hate !!

These pictures kinda show you how to open up durian

Fresh Durian fruit , if you get it frozen from the store , thaw it out before trying to open it .



Find the bottom of the fruit , then make slits with a very sharp knife

durian 3


Now you see it’s almost open , use your hands to open it bigger and then you can remove all the meats from it .




durian 2


These are all the durian fruits , refrigerate , eating right away or make cake , ice cream etc .. whatever you like

durian 1

Durian Cake 

durian cake


Ingredients :

About 200 grams of mashed durian fruit , seeds removed

170 grams of unsalted butter , room temperature

170 grams of self rising flour ( for every 1 cup of flour add 1 1/4 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt )

140 grams of sugar

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a mixing bowl , beat sugar and unsalted butter until very light and fluffy a bout 5 minutes .

2. Sift the self rising flour . Set aside

3. Add in the egg yolks one by one and beat well .

4. Beat the egg whites separately , set aside .

5. Add durian meat into egg yolk mixture with sugar and butter . Beat well .

6. Add the beaten egg whites , and finally add the sifted flour and vanilla , beat well .

7. Pour the batter into 8 by 8 square pan , and bake about 40-45 minutes at 350 F on parchment paper lined pan .