glutinous rice treats
I'm not a morning person but on this day I could have fooled you. We were up at 5:30 and out the door by 6 am ready for our wee-hours-of-the-morning market jaunt with Cok Sri (pronounced chawk sree), the Balinese woman who would be instructing us on her local cuisine today. Even the roosters aren't up yet!, I thought. Rubbing the sleep off our eyes, we stumbled over to the front desk where we were soon met by Cok Sri, who for some reason instantly brought to mind many a scary school teacher from my past.
Aside from sambal, the other dishes we learned to make were:
Ikan Pepes- Tuna wrapped in banana leaves. The chunks of tuna were coated in a paste of turmeric, galangal, shallots, garlic, lemongrass ginger and chili then wrapped in banana leaves with a daun salam (local bay leaf) leaf tucked in. (The daun salam , tree is a member of the cassia family; its leaves impart a mild spciy/woodsy flavor). The wrapped fish is then steamed then grilled on a pan.
Perkedel jagung - Indonesian corn fritters. This was hands down our favorite! They are made with shallots, nutmeg, chili and garlic and then deep fried to perfection. We were eating them hot off the fryer, and eating it like popcorn.
Ayam Goreng - Spicy fried chicken. This is her children's favorite, Cok Sri tells us, and I can understand why. The chicken is fried with garlic, chili, onions and tomatoes then glazed with kecap manis. Kecap (pronounced keh-chap; derived from the Cantonese word for sauce koe-chiap form which the word ketchup was also born) manis is sweet soy sauce infused with palm sugar which gives it it's syrupy consistency. Kecap asin on the other hand is the regular soy sauce we are familiar with.
Long beans in coconut milk - I don't know what this is called in the local dialect, but it was delicious. I've always loved local cuisine cooked with gata or coconut milk. This one was redolent with the sambal Cok Sri prepared, galangal , shallots and garlic.
Gado-gado - of course what would a Balinese or Indonesian cooking class be without this vegetable dish. Gado-gado loosely translates as "potpourri" and that it is. A potpourri of vegetables tossed with peanut sauce and topped with shrimp crackers. In it she also added pre-packed tahu (tofu) and tempeh, a staple food in these islands. Tempeh is made by fermenting half-cooked and dried soybeans with a starter yeast. It has the texture of nougat and the same nutty taste as tofu.
top row: pergedel jagung; ikan pepes; ikan pepes unwrapped
middle: veggies for the gado-gado; tahu tempeh for the gado-gado; gado-gado
bottom row: long beans with coconut milk; ayam goreng; Bali sambal
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