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June 2013 Archive

Indonesian Rendang

Indonesian Rendang

Rendang originated in Indonesia from the Minangkabau. The Minangkabau people hold a reputation as skilful traders who frequently travel to regions across the Indonesian archipelago. Dry rendang became a staple that kept well, and so merchants on their travels would bring it along with them, spreading the dish far and wide across the region.

It is traditionally made with beef but it can also be made with chicken, lamb, duck or vegetables, and is prepared by slow cooking in coconut milk.

Rendang contains four basic ingredients, each with its own symbolic significance. The meat symbolises revered leaders, the 'meat' of the community; coconut symbolises teachers who enrich a society; the heat of the chilli is a symbol of the religious leaders; finally, there are the spices, which symbolise the rest of society.

Popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Thailand, in addition to Indonesia, rendang hailed in at 11 in the "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods" list by a CNN International poll in September 2011. Beating donuts (14) and chocolate (25).

A mix of rich, cultural heritage and famous tropical spices has created the legendary, dish of rendang.


For more ideas with Rendang:

AHG Chicken Rengdang Samosa

AHG Spiced Beef Stir-fry

 


Singapore Laksa

Singapore Laksa

The exact origin of the name Laksa is somewhat unclear however there are many theories. Laksa in Indonesian means sepuluh ribu or "10 thousand" a reference to the vast strands of the fine vermicelli noodles in the dish. The name is believed to be of Sanskrit origin, with a particular link to Indonesia and possible roots in the ancient Majapahit era. However, others believe it is of Chinese origin, the dish having been brought in by immigrants and adapted accordingly to local tastebuds.

Singapore Laksa, commonly referred to as Curry Laksa, is generally thin vermicelli rice noodles (bee hoon) and bean sprouts topped with a sliced boiled egg, prawns or chicken, fish cake, beancurd puffs and cockles, and served in a rich coconut-based curry broth. The key ingredient giving Laksa its unique flavour and aroma is the Laksa leaf (also known as Vietnamese mint).

While true laksa contains a myriad of ingredients, the job of cooking it is made easier by purchasing Asian Home Gourmet's Singapore Laksa spice paste.

Singapore Laksa

Serves 3

•    1 packet Singapore Laksa Spice Paste
•    2 tbsp vegetable oil
•    250 g (½ lb) boneless chicken meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
•    1½ cups (330 mL) coconut milk
•    1 cup (220mL) water     
•    125 g (4 oz) rice vermicelli, egg noodles or Hokkien Noodles, cooked according to pack instructions
•    100 g (3.5 oz) bean sprouts (blanched and drained) as garnish   

1.    Heat oil in non-stick saucepan on medium heat. Add meat and Spice Paste; stir-fry for 3 minutes. 
2.    Stir in coconut milk and water,  simmer uncovered on low heat for 5 minutes.
3.    Serve piping hot over noodles.  Garnish with beansprouts and chicken strips.

Cooking tip:
(a)    Prawns may be used instead of chicken.
(b)    Thickness of the Laksa can be controlled by the amount of water used.


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Pad Thai

Pad Thai Pad Thai is generally the first dish that pops into one's mind when they are thinking of Thai Cuisine. A Pad Thai dish is the ideal blend of sweet, salty and sour. There are an infinite number of variations on this timeless tradition, but usually noodles are dressed up with bean sprouts, onion, tofu and the brilliant final touch: peanuts ground to near dust.

Believed to be of Vietnamese origins with a blend of Chinese ingredients, this dish is not only simply delicious, it holds a significant place in the history of the Thai government.

In 1938, the Thai Prime Minister, Phibun, hoped to provide opportunity of Thailand to catch up with the modern world after WWII. The key to this dream lied in the delicious noodle dish we know today as, Pad Thai. Phibun, wanted to reduce rice consumption during the war, and there were serious budget constraints at the time. He launched a massive campaign to teach the poor how to manufacture rice noodles, and how to open noodle establishments while using the dish as a tie-in to his campaign invoke national image and pride, to reinforce the economy, and to improve the diet of the nation.

Today, the dish is cooked in thousands of kitchens, shared with family and friends across the globe. There are as many ways to cook Pad Thai, and it will vary depending on location as well as creativity of the chefs. However, the basic conventional Pad Thai recipe are the ideal blend of sweet, salty and sour.


Thai Pad Thai Noodles

Serves 3

•    1 packet Thai Pad Thai Noodles SpicePaste
•    3 tbsp vegetable oil
•    250 g (½ lb) shelled prawns
•    1 egg, beaten
•    120 g (4 oz) dried rice noodles or bean vermicelli (to soften the noodles and vermicelli, follow pack instructions)
•    ¼ cup (50 g) fresh bean sprouts
•    2 tbsp crushed peanuts
•    Lime wedges and chives or spring onions, cut into 2.5 cm (1") length as garnish
•    Fish Sauce and a pinch of sugar as optional seasoning
       
1.    Heat oil in non-stick saucepan on high heat. Add prawns; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add egg and cook for 1 minute.
2.    Add noodles or vermicelli and Spice Paste, stir-fry for 3 minutes or until fairly dry.
3.    Add bean sprouts; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add peanuts and mix well. Garnish and serve hot.
           
Cooking tip: Chicken, squid and/or firm tofu may be used instead of prawns



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Indonesian Rendang

Indonesian Rendang

Rendang originated in Indonesia from the Minangkabau. It is traditionally made with beef but it can also be made with chicken, lamb, duck or vegetables, and is prepared by slow cooking in coconut milk. Rendang contains four basic ingredients, each with its own symbolic significance. A mix of rich, cultural heritage and famous tropical spices has created the legendary, dish of rendang.

» Read more

Singapore Laksa

Singapore Laksa

Singapore Laksa, commonly referred to as Curry Laksa, is generally thin vermicelli rice noodles (bee hoon) and bean sprouts topped with a sliced boiled egg, prawns or chicken, fish cake, beancurd puffs and cockles, and served in a rich coconut-based curry broth. The key ingredient giving Laksa its unique flavour and aroma is the Laksa leaf (also known as Vietnamese mint).

» Read more

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is generally the first dish that pops into one's mind when they are thinking of Thai Cuisine. A Pad Thai dish is the ideal blend of sweet, salty and sour. There are an infinite number of variations on this timeless tradition, but usually noodles are dressed up with bean sprouts, onion, tofu and the brilliant final touch: peanuts ground to near dust.

» Read more