Is that quote sounds familiar? If that’s true, then I think I’m far from sexy because my kitchen is not messy, hahahaha……………
No, I think it means that it’s okay to have a messy kitchen because mom is a super busy person. The most important thing is to serve food on the table right on time before the children get hungry and throw (seems like) unending tantrum. One of my friend also let her kitchen in a big mess when she has to take care of her two sick children. She will clean up everything only when the children are already sleep in peace.
For me, as long as the kitchen is clean than it’s okay to have it untidy sometimes. That will prove that my kitchen is a real kitchen and I really use it to cook. It’s not just a kitchen like in the magazines or IKEA catalog or celebrity kitchens that often showed on TV. This is where I produce real, good, and healthy food everyday.
For me, I don’t like my kitchen to get messy. That is why I always use so many paper towels to clean up during my cooking process and after I finish cooking, plus wipe it with wet cloth every two days and wash it thoroughly (including scrubbing) every week. I have to clean the kitchen after cooking because I don’t like dirty and untidy kitchen whenever I walk to the kitchen, especially when I am about to start cooking again. Plus, it will be very difficult to clean once the kitchen gets too dirty.
Well, I will not be talking about sexy women anymore because I’m not an expert in that, but I think in order to stay sexy we have to eat good and healthy food. My family is not a vegetarian, but we avoid eating certain meat because of health reason, although sometimes during the holiday I really don’t care and let us eat everything that we want. As I am getting older, I also realize that it’s very easy to gain weight but very difficult to lose weight…………plus in the uncertain weather like this (sometimes it’s very hot then suddenly heavy rain comes in half an hour followed by the scorching sun again), I do think we must have a balance diet and eat fruits and vegetables a lot more than usual.
Daddy and I are big fans of salad, and we were so glad when we found this salad dressing in NTUC Fair Price Supermarket (my friend said it was already available but we never really searched for it).It’s the Roasted Sesame Salad Dressing (based on Japanese recipe). The one that we bought in supermarket has a slightly different taste than the one I tried in my friend’s house (she bought it originally from Japan), but this one is also good for our taste. I suppose it should be healthier than using mayonnaise plus thousand island in our salad (I think………..). We like it so much and already made bowls of salad with this dressing.
Speaking of Japanese food, isn’t this dish look delicious?It was the Unagi Set that daddy had when he was on one of his business trip to Japan, and he sent me those pictures which made me really really want to try. It looks sooo delucious…………but yet very expensive…………..maybe when we finally go to Japan we will just order one set for the three of us, hahaha…………
One of the effect of my addiction to “The Return Of Superman” was that my curiosity on Japanese Strawberry. Looking at how the children munching on strawberries in that reality show in almost every episode that I’ve watched had making me craving for strawberries too. The strawberries that I found in Indonesia or Singapore were all sour and I’ve never tested a really sweet strawberry, so I sent daddy on a mission to buy me a box of strawberry in the supermarket on his visit to Japan……….Well, he didn’t find any, but instead he went home with these…………..:I loved it! The red bean mochi was good and the strawberries were huge and although not as sweet as I expected them to be, they were still better than any strawberries that I’ve ever eaten.
Another dish that I started to like is Japanese ramen. When I was still living in Jakarta, I’ve tried ramen in some famous restaurants that my friends recommended, but never liked the taste (including the gyoza). In here, I think (in my taste) the ramen and gyoza both have different taste and I started to like both of them. My favorite is of course the spicy ramen (because I can not imagine eating noodle without chili…………).
Besides those sumptuous dishes and snacks, there is one more thing that originally came from Japan that we sometimes do in our house……….well, it doesn’t relate to this post but I accidentally found these pictures and suddenly thought that it will be cute to add in my post: Ok, enough about Japanese food as it makes me hungry although I just finished my lunch…………..now talking about healthy living doesn’t mean we only eat low carb food or do not eat fried food. I still cook noodles, pasta, fried food, etc, but I always try to make sure that we also have enough veggie inside.
For instance, we love baked spaghetti so much. It’s one of our favorite food (but it takes a lot of time to make it because my boy likes to eat it with my home made croutons and I always make fresh bread from scratch with my bread machine). Instead of using red meat aka. beef, I use chicken and add carrot, peas, and mushroom. In the picture below it didn’t have mushroom because I forgot to buy mushroom and I was too lazy to walk 30 minutes from home to the market and go back home again just for a packet of $1 mushroom. So I had no mushroom, but I had broccoli………so broccoli it was…………..I am also a big fan of fried food, such as fried tempeh, tofu, corn fritters, vegetables fritters, etc………..while my son is a big fan of fried dumplings. To make them healthier, I sometimes do not use chicken or pork but white fish as tenggiri or batang flesh. Then add with grated carrot, minced dried mushroom, lots and lost of minced salary, and add with minced fresh garlic. Delicious and full of nutrients inside…………… I will close this post by sharing one of our family favorite food, this is not something Japanese……….but very Javanese.
Daddy most favorite food is soto ayam (Indonesia traditional chicken soup). The boy didn’t really like it previously, but since I cook this very often, he is now liking this dish also. I like to cook this also because my son can eats lots of bean sprouts in this dish (he usually didn’t like this veggie).
It is one of our comforting food too, with lots of spices inside, vegetables, chicken, and hot chicken broth, topped with condiments such as fried shallot and poya, this dish is very famous in Indonesia. Different provinces in Indonesia have their own authentic recipes and using different kinds of meat, spices, and condiments. My favorite so far are Soto Kudus (because I’m from Central Java), Soto Ambengan (because my husband comes from East Java), Soto Padang (one of my best friend is from Padang and she introduced me to this dish and it was just simply delicious), and Soto Banjar (I’ve visited this place before and fell in love with this dish immediately). I like Soto Betawi because I lived in Jakarta for sooo many years, but for healthy reason (because it’s using coconut milk), I haven’t eaten this for many years.
Soto is very famous in Indonesia and I believe every family has its own recipe that is inherited from generation to generation. My recipe here is already a combination between Soto Semarang and Soto Ambengan because my mom taught me how to make Soto Semarang and my husband likes Soto Ambengan so much, so I combine both of them. The big differences are that Soto Semarang do not use poya and use lots of turmeric. Some things are different here and there but not that much and do not effect the whole taste. My husband was the one who introduced me to poya and I am now a big fan of poya and must have it whenever I am eating soto.
For first timer, soto might be very hard to make because of the so many ingredients being used and the very long cooking process, but for us who already make this dish for many times, it is actually very easy and we already memorize all the ingredients and cooking process.
There are many different ingredients and method of cooking soto, but this how I make it at home:
RESEP SOTO AYAM
For your info, I have ready to use shallots, garlic, and candlenuts paste in my freezer. I process them one by one in my blender and put each of them in medium jars for further use. This is how I made them: blend together shallots or garlic or candlenuts with water (not too much, just to make sure the blender will work well, because my blender cannot work without adding water), and store them in jars or plastic containers in the freezer. Indonesian food needs to use these three pastes a lot, so I make them in big batches.
- 1 whole kampong chicken, clean and cut 4
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 thumbs of ginger, cut in thinly slice
- 3 tbsp full shallot paste (about 10 shallots)
- 3 tbsp full garlic paste (about 10 shallots)
- 2 tbsp full candlenuts (about 5 candlenuts)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp dried prawn (optional)
- 1 thumb of galangal (peel and cut in big slice)
- 1 or 2 tsp of turmeric powder (if you like the soup to have more yellow color, add 2 tsp turmeric powder, but if you want the soup in light yellow color then just add 1 tsp of turmeric)
- 2 stalks of lemon grass, crush
- 15 lime leaves
- 5 salam leaves
- 2.5 L of boil water plus another 500 ml of hot water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 5 tbsp salt or to taste
- 1 tomato, cut 4
- 1 handful of celery leaves
- 1 tbsp fried shallot
- 1 tbsp poya
- 1 packet of bean sprouts, blanch or cook in boil water (can also use sliced cabbage, cook in boiling water for 1 minute)
- 100 gr rice vermicelli, pre-soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes and then to the hot water until soft
- 2 (or more) potatoes, cut 4
- 2 (or more) hard boiled eggs, peel
- Fried shallot
- Tomato, thinly sliced
- Spring onion, chopped
- Sweet soy sauce and Indonesia traditional chili
- Rice crackers or keropok
- 15 shrimps crackers, fried
- 15 minced garlic, fried until brown
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- Blend all the poya ingredients in the food processor
- Keep in a jar or plastic container in the fridge
- Heat a large pan in a medium heat
- Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- Add ginger and stir fry until fragrant
- Add basic ingredients number 4 to 10 and stir fry until really fragrant and a bit dry
- Add basic ingredients number 11 to 13 and stir fry for about 1 minute
- Add chicken, stir fry until the chicken turn color and mix well with the spices
- Mean while, prepare 3 L of hot boil water in large pot. Once it boiled, turn to low heat
- Remove everything in the pan to the pot and cook in low heat for about 3 hours (if the chicken is not tender yet, add more time to cook). If the water reduce during the cooking process, add again with hot water little by little
- 15 minutes before end of cooking process, add basic ingredients number 15 to 18
- Add potato and eggs at the same time (I do this so the potato and eggs absorb all the spices in the soup)
- Make sure the potato is cooked, then turn off the heat
- Take out the potato and eggs. Cut the potato into small cubes and cut 4 the eggs
- Cover the pot for 1 hour
- After 1 hour, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Fry the chicken until brown and shred into small pieces, or you can just shred the chicken without frying it first (healthier option)
- Set up a mesh strainer over another soup pot and strain stock from other ingredient. Bring to boil again but this time add basic ingredients number 19 to 20
How to Serve
- Put together in a bowl (for one portion): shredded chicken, bean sprouts or cabbage, rice vermicelli, potatoes, eggs, sliced tomatoes, and spring onion. The portion is up to you
- Pour the hot chicken broth into the bowl
- Add topping for better taste: fried shallot, poya, and lime juice
- Add sweet soy sauce and chili
- Serve with hot steam rice topped with fried shallot and poya and keropok. Totally delicious…..!!!
If this is too difficult, here is a short cut of how to make it in shorter time: (the taste will still be delicious and just a bit different and this is how my mom used to make it to save time). It doesn’t include frying the spices and mix the chicken with the spices at first step and skipping some ingredients too.
Short Cut Method:
- Prepare 2.5 L water in a large pot
- Add basic ingredients number 3 to 13 and turn to medium heat
- Once the water is boiled, add chicken and turn to low heat
- Check if the chicken in tender and fully cooked
- Add potatoes, eggs, and fried shallots
- Turn of the heat when potatoes are cooked
- Remove the chicken, shredded when it’s cool
- Follow the step in how to serve. Poya is optional, because only soto from East Java is using this additional ingredients
Soto can be eaten anytime, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can find many stalls selling soto everywhere in most part of Java (and maybe Indonesia too). It is a well known dish in Indonesia and one of the best traditional food from Indonesia. If you still find it too difficult to make, choose the easy way and buy soto ayam instant spices in supermarket (I can’t recommend which brand is good because I never buy any of them)……………………save time, energy, very little dish to wash, and yet you can still eat delicious food.