Thursday, July 29, 2010

Botok Jagung--Corn and Tempeh steamed in banana leaves

One of the things about traveling is that you don't have much opportunity to cook.  As much as I enjoy going out to eat Indonesian food while in Indonesia, there are times I'd like to be able to cook something.  I did make some pizza for my nieces--baked in a stove top oven using Kraft processed cheddar and lop xiong--which turned out better than I expected, but for the most part we've been eating out.

My wife's favorite aunt (and mine on her side of the family) is a great cook.  She is also a very kind woman who has always made me feel very welcome in the family.  When we were here three years ago she made this dish for me and it blew me away.  Like many Indonesian dishes, it is relatively simple but also complex in its flavors.  It requires fresh ingredients and some effort in preparation, but is certainly worth it.  It is Indonesian home cooking at its finest.

I'll have to wait until I get back to the States to write the exact quantity of the ingredients. Corn, shallots, red chilies, green chilies, dried shrimp, coconut milk, over ripe tempe, salt, sugar, and a little water are mixed  into a somewhat liquid paste,  ladled into banana leaves that are folded into a packet and then steamed.  The steamed packets taste like slightly funky, spicy fresh corn tamales.

One ingredient you might have trouble finding outside of Indonesia is overripe tempe (tempe busuk). If you make your own, following this recipe, just let it ripen a little before refrigerating.

The slideshow gives a pretty good idea of how to make this dish until I get around to posting a recipe.

Get the flash player here:

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