Showing posts with label indonesian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indonesian. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine Expands Menu with Hokkienese Food and More

When Little London Fish and Chips first converted into Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine, they were only serving a small menu of Kalimantan style Indonesian and Chinese Indonesian food. Now, they've expanded the menu considerably, and I am most excited for the Hokkianese noodles on the first page.

My dad grew up in Medan, where the largest Chinese population are Hokkianese, and they are very proud of their food. Their noodles, especially. When my aunt has a layover in LA coming from Indonesia, she would ask for kwetiauw (large, flat noodles like the ones used in the Thai Pad See Ew). Never mind that she was just in Indonesia, that's still what she wants to eat! I'm partial to Kwetiauw Sirem, where the noodles are topped with a type of gravy, and Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine has it! 

What I had to get: Mi Karet Hokkian
Borneo serves a thick, curly, chewy style of noodles called "Mi Karet' which literally means "rubber noodle."
The only times I've had this style of noodle is at a Hokkianese hole in the wall in Jakarta. Borneo serves this noodle in a few different preparations, but of course I have to get the Hokkian style, topped with char siu, chicken and mushroom, egg, etc. The other preparations include Hakka style mi karet, which has different toppings. 

The noodles are served with a small bowl of chicken broth on the side, which you can add to your noodle to your own taste. The mi karet here was quite good, pretty close to what I had in Jakarta! Many complained that the food here tasted just like Chinese food. Well, don't get the Mi Hokkian, then, because it is Chinese food. But if you don't mind that, this is a great bowl of noodles!

If you want something more Southeast Asian on the new menu, they are also serving Borneo style laksa, a spicy curry noodle soup. We tried the laksa with shrimp:
The broth was spicy and packs a lot of flavor! This style is pretty close to the Singaporean laksa (although the noodle type and what they put in the soup differs) and may be one of the best versions in town.

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine
19 S Garfield Ave
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-4477
Little London Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shaved Snow at Salju Dessert

There aren't too many Indonesian establishments around LA, so I can't help be excited when I hear about one. Wandering Chopsticks told me there was a new Indonesian dessert store in Alhambra. How did she know it was Indonesian? She saw the name was "Salju Desserts" and googled the word. Yep, salju means snow in Indonesian, so as you can probably guess, it's a shaved snow (and ice) store!

Matcha Shaved Snow

The difference between a shaved snow and ice is that shaved snow is made with a block of ice that contains condensed milk in it. At Salju, the snow is also flavored. One order is $5.50 for shaved snow (choose from taro, green tea, mango, and other flavors) and three toppings (choices include jackfruit, red beans, grass jelly, mochi bits, nuts, and other fruits). It's automatically topped with more condensed milk.
Matcha Snow
The "snow" itself already has green tea flavor

The shaved snow I think is still not as good as Class 302 as the one here is still shaved with a normal ice shaver (Class 302 uses a special one that shaves them into wide ribbons and gives it an even better texture). Still, Rowland Heights is quite far for many of us and Salju Dessert is a pretty good alternative that also offers more flavors and topping options than Class 302. Plus, I have to support my fellow Indonesians!

Salju Dessert
Salju Dessert
35 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 289-3578
Salju Dessert on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kalimantan (Borneo) Food at Little London Cafe (Alhambra, CA)

As an Indonesian food blogger, I try to make my way to all the Indonesian restaurants in town, albeit slowly. When Wandering Chopsticks told me about the Kalimantan (the Indonesian word for Borneo) menu at Little London Cafe in Alhambra (formerly, and pretty much still is, a fish and chips place), I was pretty excited since Kalimantan food is a hard find. The LA Times beat me to the punch, but I feel that there is still some explaining I can do about the food here.

#1: Nasi Campur Kalimantan ($7.25) / Kalimantan Mixed Rice
babi merah panggang, ayam goreng bumbu, sosis babi, telur rasa, timun
(roast pork/char siu, fried marinated chicken, pork sausage, marinated egg, cucumber)

Nasi Campur Kalimantan
Do those like char siu and chinese sausage to you? Many of the people I knew who had come here said the food was just like Chinese food. Well, that's because it is. There is a big population of Chinese people in Indonesia, and Kalimantan in particular has a big Teochew population (Teochew people come from the eastern region of Guangdong).

The key here is the gravy that's soaking the rice and the amazing fried chicken. I should have gotten the half chicken,but luckily the fried chicken here is as ubiquitous as rice. In fact, it ended up being in all three dishes we ordered. No complaint, though, the chicken was juicy, the skin just the right combination of crispy and fatty.

The other dishes are more decidedly Indonesian rather than Chinese.

#3: Nasi Melayu Kal-Bar
($6.99) / West Kalimantan Malay Rice (Kal-Bar is shorthand for Kalimantan Barat, i.e. West Kalimantan)
Ayam goreng, telur gulai, ikan kacang, timun
(fried chicken, curried egg, peanuts and anchovies in sambal, cucumber - and it's not listed but there's obviously tofu, too)
I ended up enjoying the cut-up pieces of chicken in #1 better because the skin was fattier, but this was a great dish to order. More chicken, and the anchovies and peanuts in sambal is always a great accompaniment for rice. The "curried egg" was actually the same as the marinated egg in the other dish.

They ran out of the beef soup so we got the Soto Ayam Pot ($6.99) / Chicken Soup
nasi, ayam goreng bumbu, tomat, kol, daun bawang, bawang goreng, kerupuk
(rice, fried marinated chicken, cabbage, green onions, fried shallots, shrimp crackers)
Soto Ayam Pot
Soto is chicken soup made with various spices (the yellow color of the soup comes from turmeric). The fried chicken appears here again. No complaint, still, but they sure do maximize the use of their ingredients and it seems a bit silly to dump fried chicken in a soup but at least the marinade adds a nice flavor. The soto is pretty similar to what I get in my hometown in Java except for the tomatoes. They do a pretty good version here, though I miss the stronger flavors of Soto Ambengan.

Crysanthemum Tea
Tea with whole crysanthemum leaves
The menu here is pretty small, but a good Indonesian restaurant is always a welcome addition. Their rujak kalimantan (fruit and vegetable salad with peanut sauce) is supposed to be authentic and rare in this part of the world, but unfortunately they ran out when I was there, as was the beef soup, but they were getting hit by the post-LA Times crowd. I plan on coming back when the crowd settles and try the other items. Or at least have more fried chicken.

Little London Cafe
19 S Garfield Ave
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-4477
Little London Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Nasi Bungkus Roundup: 5 Banana-leaf Wraps, 60 miles.

It all started with a line in Jonathan Gold's LA Weekly article on Indo Cafe. In the last paragraph, he wrote:

But you could probably scour every Indonesian restaurant in California without finding another nasi bungkus, a sort of TV dinner of sautéed green beans, beef rend[a]ng and curried chicken wrapped with rice and a fiery green chile paste inside a banana leaf. (The leaf’s green fragrance works its way into the rice even in the few minutes it will be in front of you in the restaurant but is heaven itself unwrapped for lunch the next day.)
A marvelous description, to be sure, yet that opening line bugged me. I remembered Linda Burum's LA Times article about that same dish - at Java Spice in Rowland Heights. Granted theirs is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. But what about the restaurant just across the street from Indo Cafe, Simpang Asia? I was pretty sure they had nasi bungkus.

In the end, I decided to do a round-up. Yep, a nasi bungkus round-up. Because if you do scour - forget California, let's just focus on LA County - you can find other nasi bungkus.

First thing's first. What in the world is nasi bungkus?
The name itself just translates to "wrapped rice" and the dish is just that. Rice wrapped in banana leaf along with whatever lauk - meat, vegetables, or other accompaniments you'd want to put in. It really refers more to the packaging and a way of getting some food to-go than what is inside and is as ubiquitous in Indonesia as bento boxes are in Japan.
While the idea was that the banana leaf (natural and ubiquitous) will hold the oil, moisutre, and sauces in, it certainly didn't hurt that its fragrances seeps into the warm rice.

These days and in LA in particular though, certain staple items are expected to be found inside. An egg. Some beef rendang. Some sort of chicken, and of course some sort of vegetable medley.

I started my acquisitions with the easiest and closest:

Simpang Asia
10433 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

I ordered a nasi bungkus to go (because that's what nasi bungkus was meant to be in the first place). They wrapped the rice and further put it in a styrofoam box - a little redundant? - with a side of shrimp chips.
In this nasi bungkus ($6.99) they put white rice, chicken, beef rendang, vegetable curry (lodeh), potatoes with chicken gizzard, Balinese egg.
Their chicken was surprisingly tender, but unfortunately the rendang wasn't as tender as it could've been. My favorite part was the morsels of delicious chicken gizzard chunks. The lodeh was also flavorful without being too spicy. Since lodeh is a coconut-based vegetable curry, it adds a richness to the dish and the part of the rice that has soaked up this curry sauce was incredibly delicious. The rice itself is for the most part fragrant after having been wrapped inside the banana leaf.

Next was the restaurant across the street that J Gold had visited:

Indo Cafe
10430 National Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034-4664

Indo Cafe's nasi bungkus contained white rice, beef rendang, green beans, hard boiled egg, chicken curry, tofu/tempeh curry.
This was served with a dollop of green chile, which is traditionally from the Padang region in Sumatra. The rice did receive some fragrance from the banana leaf, but it wasn't as moist as Simpang Asia's. The beef rendang was more tender, however, and more than makes up for it. Surprisingly, my favorite part of the dish was the curried tofu and tempeh. The tempeh here was one of the better ones in the city, chewier and not as dry as others.

Java Spice
1743 Fullerton Road
Rowland Heights, CA 91748-2614
Java Spice on Urbanspoon

At one point I managed to enlist Wandering Chopsticks and Sinosoul and dragged them all the way to Rowland Heights for the LA Times-mentioned nasi bungkus at Java Spice.

Since it received such a great write-up and is only available on the weekends, Java Spice was packed on a Saturday night and service was painfully slow.

All that aside, let's focus on the dish we came for.
Inside: rice, marinated fried chicken (ayam kalasan), tofu, tempeh, telur kecap (egg boiled in soy sauce), and of course, beef rendang, jackfruit curry.
The rice was particularly fragrant and brought this dish to a whole new level. It was much more fragrant and rich I was suspecting that it might've been coconut rice, but it might've just been the results of the curry and sauces seeping through. The ayam kalasan was disappointing as it was too sweet, a little tough and didn't really go with the rest of the dish (so I thought - chicken curry in my nasi bungkus please). Putting the chicken aside, everything else was great. The rendang was very tender and so was the jackfruit curry - usually a rare sight unless you're eating nasi gudeg.

They also serve this with a side of green chili, which was also particularly good. Sinosoul had to ask for more chili even if he had to face the possibility of them spitting in it (we've been giving them a hard time for their service ...)

I thought I was almost done but just to check I called other Indonesian places that I knew and found yet another one that serves nasi bungkus!

Sate House
812 Nogales Avenue
Walnut, CA 91789-4170
Sate House on Urbanspoon

Like Java Spice, the nasi bungkus at Sate House is also only available on Saturdays and Sundays. I had to make this trek twice because the first Saturday I went they had already run out. I was on a mission, however, and thus made the 23 mile drive again the next weekend.

A little different this time. The beef rendang was there, with fried chicken and egg, but the green beans with tofu and tempeh were not curried but just boiled, and the whole thing was topped with some stir fried vermicelli.
I'm sure you all understand why everything is piled on top of the rice right? So that their sauces and juices will trickle down and douse the rice moist with spicy, flavorful sauce ...
Probably the least spicy of the five, I enjoyed this one quite a bit with the fork-tender beef and moist and tender chicken. The vermicelli was quite a nice touch as well, adding another dimension of texture.

I saved the furthest restaurant for last but finally made my way down to the 562 area, Bellflower.

Toko Rame
17155 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706
Toko Rame on Urbanspoon
Toko Rame in Los Angeles

The nasi bungkus from Toko Rame had gotten a write-up a few years ago from Elmo Monster, a fellow foodblogger from Indonesia whom I unfortunately have not met.

Upon picking up my order I immediately thought "Wow, this is the heaviest one yet!" and upon opening it and seeing the red pile of rice, thought "Uh oh, this is gonna be the spiciest one .."
White rice topped with egg balado, beef rendang, fried chicken drumstick, lodeh (vegetable curry)
nasibungkus (1)
I sat a big bottle of water next to me and I was ready. Some people complain that the beef rendang found in this part of the world is just not as spicy as back home. Well, Toko Rame's is still not as spicy but it sure does pack a heat. The beef was earthy and tender, the chicken a little dry but had a nice turmeric flavor. The boiled cabbage on top was contrastingly unspiced which helped me tone down the spiciness but on the other hand could be detracting.

Toko Rame already mixed the rice with the chili paste for you, you see, instead of putting a dollop in a corner. The end result is an amazingly spicy and flavorful rice that you won't be able to stop eating even after you've finished all the meat and vegetables. If you can't, don't worry, just rewrap the rice for the next day... back in the banana leaf, of course.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Offaly Indonesian: Brains, Lungs, and Feet

It all started with Sinosoul's comment on my IndoKitchen post. "Where are the brains?" he asked, so I shot him a quick email. I know just the place for Indonesian cow brains.

Sinosoul and his lady, Wandering Chopsticks, Kung Food Panda, and Food Marathon joined me at Raso Minang, a food court outpost in the Hong Kong Plaza all the way in West Covina.
Raso Minang is the only place in the area I know of that specializes in this regional cusine from Padang in West Sumatra. Padang food is typically known for its spicy dishes (although here it is of course - to the dismay of some - toned down some). Padang food is also usually cooked at the beginning of the day, and left out in small portions on display so that the customers can grab and pay for what they want. Raso Minang being at a food court though, does it the typical food court way. Cooked items are on the display case and you order a "combo" served with rice and cucumber:
1 item $ 6.99
2 items $ 8.50
3 items $ 9.75

I got a typical Indonesian dessert drink while waiting, Es Doger ($3.50)
It is typically shaved ice with condensed milk, syrup, cassava, and coconut but here the ice and syrup has been blended into a smoothie.
Raso Minang also sells whole coconut (in the shell).

What we all came for: Beef Brain Curry (Gulai Otak)
Pieces of beef brain in flavorful yellow curry. This dish is full of spice but not spicy, the curry is rich and creamy from the coconut milk, and the brain ... well, think sweetbreads. Did I think of mad cow when I was eating this? Of course. But that won't hit til years from now :P

The other items we got was the Beef Rendang (left) and Beef Feet Curry (Gulai tunjang).
These are both spicier than the brain curry, although not as spicy as Food Marathon wanted it to be :P I quite like the rendang here, it's pretty tender and spicy and doused in curry as it should be.

I also got a side order of one of my favorite Indonesian dishes: pempek (fish cakes with vinegar sauce)
This is quite a good rendition of pempek, with chewy and flavorful fish cake with crispy fried skin. A hit with the table and perhaps the best version I've found in LA to date.

West Covina is pretty far, so I wouldn't come here often, but if you're looking for good Padang food in the LA area, or have been dying to try brain curry, well now you know where to go!

Raso Minang
989 S Glendora Ave #15
West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 939-3333
Raso Minang on Urbanspoon
Raso Minang in Los Angeles

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In Search of a Taste of Home: IndoKitchen

Indonesian cuisine in Los Angeles is not as common as Thai or Vietnamese, but as a student living in LA indefinitely, I still have to try some good representation of my country's cuisine. I've tried out the Indonesian restaurants on the westside through downtown, and also Pondok Kaki Lima at Duarte Inn, but there are still a few restaurants in the SGV I have yet tried.

So, to celebrate my exam passing a couple months ago, I had a pre-party dinner with Wandering Chopsticks, Kung Food Panda, and an old classmate, at Indo Kitchen in Alhambra.

I like avocado smoothies with chocolate syrup which is a typical Indonesian dessert, so of course I got one here - I'm celebrating after all.
Unfortunately the one here is not so great. It tasted like the avocado was not fresh, and the shake had a bitter aftertaste. I didn't manage more than a few sips.

As a starter I ordered the Ketoprak, which is a Javanese dish typically consisting of tofu, vermicelli, bean sprouts, etc, in peanut sauce.
A pretty good rendition, albeit it doesn't have all of the usual ingredients.

We also got one of my favorite dishes from childhood - goat Tongseng.
We usually make tongseng from leftover goat curry by adding vegetables (mainly cabbage) and then eat this the next day. Tongseng is usually not as spicy. The tongseng here is pretty good. The goat is a bit gamey (which I like) and tender, the flavors and spices are right on.

We also got their special fried chicken (I don't know why I neglected to take a photo of this!) which were also pretty good and flavorful.

Of course, we also got some rendang for Kung Food Panda who was new to Indonesian food. Rendang - braised beef curry, is a safe dish that people usually recommend to the newbies.
The rendang here is not bad, but could be better. Normally you would use smaller chunks of meat such that the result is more tender, easily cut with just the tip of your fork. Since Indo Kitchen uses bigger chunks, the meat is not as tender as it could be, and the sauce doesn't seep through into the meat completely. Still a pretty good dish - the meat is not tough and the sauce is flavorful - but could be made much better with just one simple change.

Overall a pretty good Indonesian restaurant, and I think the conclusion is mostly the same as the other Indonesian restaurants in Los Angeles. Indonesian cuisine spans thousands of islands with different cultures - and food cultures. It's impossible for one kitchen to get them all right, so at each place, order wisely and you'll be satisfied.

Indo Kitchen
5 N 4th St
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-1676
Indo Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Indo Kitchen in Los Angeles

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 23: Caltech International Food Fair!

This Thursday there will be an International Food Fair at Caltech (Pasadena) !! Since I'm a part of the Indonesian Student club, I thought I should promote our event, which is open to the public! Here are the deets:

Thursday, April 23 | 4:30 - 6:00 PM | Avery Courtyard | Tickets $3

Join us for a taste of the world from 4:30 - 5:30 PM! For just $3, sample foods from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Romania, Thailand, and Turkey. After eating, stay to see traditional dances, hear exotic instruments, and view colorful fashions from around the world. Culture Show is free, beginning at 5:30 PM. Food and performances provided by Caltech student clubs.

And, most importantly, the map!

The entrance is closest to Del Mar Ave and Chester, and you will also be able to see the fair if you're driving on Holliston.

The Indonesian club will be serving kue lapis and beef rendang. See you there!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Craving Otak Otak in Westwood

I've had a lifelong affair with otak otak. Otak otak is spiced fish cake, steamed and grilled in banana leaves, and eaten (usually) with slightly spicy peanut sauce.

My favorite otak otaks are the ones from Jakarta, and when my relatives come visit, I always ask them to bring me some, and an otak otak fest would proceed for 2 days!
But now that I"m stuck in LA ... well, one of the best options seem to be Ramayani in Westwood.

The dishes at Ramayani can be hits and misses, but this seems to be the case at all Indonesian restaurants. The 'sop buntut' here is not bad. My gotta-have dish is naturally the otak otak:At $7.50 for 10 pieces, these aren't cheap compared to back home (but what is?). The otak otaks though has the right consistency and texture, and *almost* the right flavor. More spice, grill it some more, and we'll be set. The peanut sauce is the problem here. Not spicy enough, not even peanut-y enough, this one actually tastes like it was partly made with peanut butter - a common practice here in the U.S.

With all that said, these are pretty tasty things and I urge you all to try them here at Ramayani.
They can't compare to the ones back home, but what's an Indonesian girl stuck in LA to do?
They're still really good and definitely worth a try!

1777 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 477-3315

Ramayani Westwood on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Newly Revived Pondok Kaki Lima in Duarte

Pondok Kaki Lima in Duarte Inn was close to being a mecca of Indonesian food - then it got shut down by the local authorities. After negotiation with the city, they finally managed to get back up on their feet and reopened in January 2009.

The Indonesian food fair is held behind the Duarte Inn every Saturday afternoon.

A bit of background, Pondok Kaki Lima literally means Five Feet Hut (Pondok=hut, kaki=feet, lima=five), but don't let that confuse you. Pondok kaki lima is the phrase we use to call street food vendors.

So, as you can expect here, tents of street vendors occupy the lot in Duarte Inn, sellling food items from satays, rendang, to drinks and desserts.

I've been wanting to hit this place again since its reopening and finally had my chance when Wandering Chopsticks said that she was free. Off we go!

Right in the same complex there is an Indonesian restaurant also an Indonesian grocery store - so in case you found yourself there when the PKL is not operating, you can still get your indonesian fix. The Indonesian restaurant is a bit misleadingly named Chicky BBQ & Grill. I have yet to try it but it is apparently one of LA&OC Foodie's favorite lunch spots.

The more common options here involve getting a rice plate with three or so items. We got a plate of nasi kuning (literally, 'yellow rice') which is turmeric rice, with rendang (slow cooked beef in coconut milk and spices), tendons, and sayur lodeh (vegetables in coconut milk curry).
As you see, almost everything involves coconut milk (aka kentan). We love our coconut milk!
The rendang here is pretty good. Rendang is supposed to be slow-cooked and thus should be very tender. Many places are lazy and just cook it with spices or ready-made seasoning that results in tough beef cubes. Not here. The rendang was tender and spicy.

The turmeric rice was fragrant. I liked the lodeh, although WC did not. Maybe it's an acquired taste? I thought it was a pretty good, albeit milder, rendition of Indonesian lodeh.

We also got some pork satays from "Sate Babi Heidi" (pork satay Heidi), served with some lontong in peanut sauce. Lontong is rice cake made with tightly packed rice cooked in banana leaves and most commonly eaten with peanut sauce. When you eat sate (satays), the lontong accompaniment is a must.
The sate was tender and sweet like the chinese chashu - delicious! The lontong however, while it would otherwise be very good, was cold. Lontong is never meant to be served hot or warm - but I do believe it should be room temperature. I think they need to sit them out and defrost them a bit more :<

Duarte Inn
1200 Huntington Dr
Duarte, CA 91010
Saturdays, 10am- 2 pm

Monday, January 12, 2009

Simpang Asia to Stay Open Until Midnight, Plus 20%Off

Starting on Friday, January 16th, Simpang Asia will stay open until midnight everyday!

Also, between January 16th-31st, you can get 20% off food when you come in between 10pm-midnight :D

This is going to be awesome for my late night cravings!

Simpang Asia Groceries
10433 National Blvd #2
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pondok Kaki Lima Reopens!!!

Great news! Pondok Kaki Lima, the Indonesian Food Fair in Duarte Inn will reopen on January 17, 2009 !!!

They are going to open every Saturday start at 10:00am - 02:00pm except on January 31, 2009. On Jan 31, 2009 PKL will be at the Chinese New Year Bazaar in Hacienda Heights.

We've been waiting for this day! Can't wait to go there :D

Duarte Inn
1200 Huntington Dr
Duarte, CA 91010
10am- 2 pm

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Best (Instant) Noodles

I'm not just saying this because I'm Indonesian ... but we Indonesians make the best instant noodles out there (although no I've never tried the Japanese $3 instant noodle packages because with that kind of money I'd rather go to a food stall and eat a fresh bowl).

Indonesian's "Mi Goreng" literally means "Fried Noodles". The most common one is the one produced by the company "Indomie" :Just like the name suggests, you're supposed to be getting "fried noodles" so you're supposed to drain the water after boiling the noodles, and THEN put the sauces in and mix it. (I've given it to a friend who didn't read the instructions .... and then asked why the soup is so bland ...).

Now, my favorite way of devouring this is with one sunny side up egg:
Go get one and try it! In LA you can get one pack for about 33 cents and they sell them at 99 Ranch Market :)
It's bold in flavor and probably has a lot of sodium ... but it's good >_< !!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Caltech Int'l Food Fair 08

Just a quick post ... we've been really busy preparing for the International Food Fair at Caltech. Just this year we decided to form a formal Indonesian club at our school, and then decided to participate at the food fair also.

Since our budget was limited, we had to make a lot of the food ourselves.
I'm proud to present our "Gado Gado" ;) I think I contributed a lot to its making, so I'm really excited about it! (Although it's a bit strange to act like I was in charge when making it considering I never made it before. But it turned out well anyway!)
I guess you can say gado gado is like Indonesian salad. It may look healthy now, but you eat this with rich, creamy peanut sauce :P

We also made "Cendol" but you can barely see anything in that big pot, so I didn't take a picture.

We also had some snacks/desserts that were catered by an Indonesian lady living in LA. This here is the "bolu pandan"
The green color comes from the pandan leaves, and I'm just going to refer you guys to this wikipedia link for more info on it ;)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Indonesian Fruits 101

Manggis (mangosteen)
I'm sure a lot of you are already familiar with this recently-famous fruit that's supposed to be so high in antioxidants and are sold in the LA area for $10.99/pound or so ...
I ate tons of these while in Indonesia. What's left in this basket are only half of the original batch. And oh yes manggis have become expensive lately in Indonesia ... they're like about $3.5/kg now (about $1.80/pound). So feel free to eat 10 times more mangosteens than you would in LA. Not to mention they taste a looot better in this part of the world.

I really don't know what this is called in English. Probably the same? "Rambut" means "hair" in Indonesian, I'm sure you can see why this fruit is called that. When it's just right, the inside is oh so juicy and sweet (the juice may very well drip on your fingers as you're eating). Be careful biting it, as the outer part of the seed sometimes get stuck to the meat, and it isn't that pleasant to eat.

Again, don't know the english name, but the Latin is Annona squamosa. This fruit has lots and lots of seeds. Each white segment has its own seed. You can tell about how many will be in it from the bums on the skin outside. My cousin is too lazy to eat this because you have to continuously spit out the seeds. Fleshy and fibrous consistency. When it's ripe, the whole fruit is very tender. You can open the fruit by just gently pulling it apart.

Duku (langsat, lonsones, longkong)
This fruit has a tougher outer layer, although the flesh is actually tender and sweet (although can be sour when not ripe), easy to bite. Luckily unlike srikaya it won't splatter if you drop it on the ground. Again, each segment has a seed.

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