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My housemate got a new heavy bottomed grill pan that weigh 1,000 kg, (well, not really). It look awesome, so I can’t wait to test the pan. I had 1/2 block of tofu in the fridge, so I decided to make tofu satay. Most recipe required marinating the tofu for at least 2 hrs. I just couldn’t be bothered to marinate, so I just make up the recipe myself. This recipe is so so simple, no marinating required (Life’s too short to marinate anyway). The smell of smoky caramelized kecap manis when I grilled these skewers were divine! The slightly charred bits was the best part of the tofu. On the side, I made some Suhana’s acar timun (pickled cucumber and carrot relish), as this is the ‘proper’ side dish for Indonesian  satay.I should’ve left the relish to sit for a few hours in the fridge to let the flavour develop, but, again, no time for that!

ingredients :

  • 250 g firm tofu (half a block), diced ~2cm
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis + 1 tbsp vegeteble oil (you can marinate the tofu in this mixture)
  • thin bamboo skewers

satay sauce :

  • 125 ml coconut milk (1 small can)
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp kecap manis
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, stir fry the tofu around 2-3 min or until you sure they can hold their shape on grilling process, set aside to cool in a plate.

meanwhile, heat the grill pan

heat coconut milk and peanut butter in a small pot, mix, add soy sauce and kecap manis, stir thoroughly until slightly thicken and glossy, turn off the heat, add the sesame oil, taste ~yummm~ (try to resist the urge to eat them while waiting for the grilled tofu!)

thread the tofu cubes to the skewer 3-4 cubes per skewer, (I cut the skewer in half to fit the grill pan), brush the tofu skewers with kecap manis + veg oil mixture, and grill them, cook one side for 1 – 2 min, brush with some more sauce while grilling.

grill until the kecap manis caramelized and slightly charred.

serve with stemed jasmine rice and the relish.

drizzle,- or blob- (if the sauce is really thick) the satay sauce on top of the skewers.


Last weekend, I went to festival Indonesia. It was held at fed square, thus, no entry fee.. 🙂 It lasted for 2 days, saturday and sunday.

I watched some dance performances..

festival dance


pencak silat performance (Indonesian martial arts)…

festival dance2

but, I smelled something g..o…o…d…., of course…food stands!!!

festval stand2some of the most popular stands were not vegetarian friendly, but you can find at least 1 vegetarian friendly on the menu. there’s 1 vegetarian food stand called primasoy

festival standthis stall were selling my favourite munchies, tempe crisps..yummmm…

festival tempepaper-thin tempe, dipped in rice flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, and kaffir lime leaves, and then deep fried. soooooo crunchy..  I can eat this all day..

I also bought some Indonesian sweets :

tape panggang (grilled fermented cassava)

festival tapethe rumour is, due to the alcohol generated from the fermentation process, you can get drunk if you eat too many of these. But I’m sure it’s very unlikely, you need to eat bucketloads of this to reach the adequate alcohol level 🙂

unfortunately, I didn’t know what these babies were..but, theyre soooooooo yummm..

festival dessertthe green one was sooo creamy and custard-y, i could taste pandan and coconut milk, the pyramid shaped one was made of gelatinous rice, sweetened with (maybe) palm sugar syrup. The square one was dry, kinda like shortbread, with lots of coconut, and dusted with sugar (the sugar melted on the way home).

I love festival.. next stop, vegan day festival 🙂




tempe close up

I don’t know why they spell tempe as “tempeh” here, from where I come,  its always spells tempe.

Well, anyway, it doesn’t really matter, they’re both the same thing. Cooking tempe could be quite tricky, cause it’s got a really strong taste. But, the strong taste will gone if it’s cooked thoroughly. I personally like my tempe to be quite crispy and thin. I dont have any specific recipe for this, it’s really easy, adjustable, and forgiving recipe.

ingredients :

  • 1 block tempe
  • kecap manis
  • vegetarian oyster sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 red chilli, sliced
  • garlic, chopped
  • 1 – 2 tbs lemon juice / tamarind juice

preheat the oven, and then sliced tempe thinly, and cut into small pieces (0.5 x 2 cm)

spread on baking sheet, spray with oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 10 – 15 min until the tempe dry

however, don’t leave the tempe on its own, it will burn easily, you should check to make sure they’re cooked evenly, it’s done when it looks golden brown

heat oil in a pan, fry the chilli, and garlic for 30 sec, add the baked tempe, stir, add the oyster sauce and kecap manis, season with salt and pepper if  you feel like it

cook for another 20 – 30 sec, or until it’s caramelized, just before you turn off the heat, squeeze a wedge of lemon, and stir thoroughly

serve with rice and stir fry vegies  (in this pic, I serve it with brown rice, scrambled egg, stir fried chinese green, green beans, spring onion, capsicum, onion, and red chilli)

tempe rice

hmmm.. it may not be the most photogenic dish on earth, but the photo doesn’t do justice..
This dish is my favourite indonesian dish, a comfort food – on fire.. However, the original recipe calls for deep frying the eggplant, which I’m not really keen on doing it, so I just bake it in the oven.
Lebanese eggplant is the best type for this dish, it doesnt have as much water as the large eggplant. But if you couldn’t find lebanese eggplant, salt the sliced eggplant first, and place it in colander, let it stand for 30 min – 1hr, until you can see water drips from it.

So, I did several version of this dish, and this recipe is my 4th or 5th take, and I believe I have perfected it each time… 🙂 (at least for me..)

ingredients :

4 lebanese eggplants, sliced (any long thin eggplants will do)
1 – 2 tsp olive oil
2 bay leaves (dried is okay if you couldnt find the fresh leaves)
chilli paste :
2 large tomato
2 large red chilli
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 cm ginger / galangal root
salt and pepper to taste

sliced the eggplants in slightly angled-long slices (5 cm)
spray or brush with olive oil on each side, season with salt and pepper
baked in 180 c oven for 30 – 40 min
make a cross with sharp knife on the bottom of the tomato, put the tomatoes in a bowl and pour boilong water from the kettle over the tomatoes, let it stand for 30 sec, and then peel the skin of
process the chilli paste ingredients in the food processor
take the eggplant out of the oven, it shoud be cooked thoroughly
heat oil in the heavy bottom pan with lid, sautee the chilli paste for 10 min, or until it reduced and thicken
add the eggplants and bay leaves, stir until the eggplant chunks are well coated
put the lid on, and cook on low to medium (if you’re in a hurry) heat for 20 – min
take the lid off, mush some of the eggplants (optional)
serve with steamed jasmine rice
enjoy 🙂

oh yeah, in this picture, you can see chunks of onion, this is because it’s an old photo, as i said before, I did several trials on this recipe, and found that processing the onion together with the chilli worked better.