RECIPE OF THE WEEK | Fried noodles with caramelised cabbage (Mie goreng khol)

This is a super-simple dish that we often eat at home. It’s a snack food for us, but you can jazz it up and serve it topped with Pork belly and Balinese spices or throw in some additional ingredients such as tofu, scallops, roast duck or prawns. Personally, I like it simple, and when I feel like a bowl of soft noodles with the subtle bite of chilli, this is what I make. You can use egg noodles or even ‘mie instan’ as there’s no need to be snobbish about this one. The intention is that you can sit back, relax and indulge. Finish the noodles with a drop of sesame oil, sprinkle with your favourite chopped herbs, or add a teaspoon or two of Fried Sambal for extra kick.

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  • 150 g fresh noodles
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 5 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 3 long red chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 small chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 small leeks or 1/2 large leek, finely sliced 500 g white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kecap manis
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • splash of chicken stock or water, if necessary 2 tablespoons fried shallots

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the shallots and garlic for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chillies and leek and toss for another 20 seconds. Add the cabbage, sauces and pepper and cook until the cabbage is wilted and soft. If it becomes dry, add some stock or water.

Add the noodles and toss until they are thoroughly mixed with the cabbage. You may prefer to take the wok off the heat while you do this if you are not able to work quickly. Tongs make tossing easier too. Then toss in half the fried shallots and stir-fry

Cook the noodles for another minute or two. Taste for seasonings and add salt or more sauces if needed. Serve garnished with the remaining fried shallots.

Serves 4

Discover more recipes in my book Bali: Food of My Island Home

RECIPE OF THE WEEK | Javanese tofu and scallop curry (Opor tahu dan scallops)

Opor, a dish from central Java, is usually described as a white curry. However this description does not do justice to dishes’ dreamy and alluring flavours of galangal, ginger and lemongrass combined with mild green chillies. For me, opor is the quintessential Javanese dish: subtle, creamy and aromatic. In this modern interpretation I have selected scallops to partner tofu, to create what I think it a supremely elegant curry. It’s the kind of meal to serve your girlfriends for lunch, on a day when you have plenty of time and loads to chat and giggle about – alongside free-flowing bubbly of course!

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  • 8 scallops
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp soaked in 2 tablespoons of water, strained 3 tablespoons oil
  • 100 g tofu, cut into a size to match the scallops
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and tied in knots
  • 3 salam leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
  • sea salt

SPICE PASTE

  • 3 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 long green chillies, roughly chopped 2 small green chillies, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons chopped galangal
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 5 candlenuts
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste

Mix the scallops with the tamarind water and set aside.
Pound the spice paste ingredients to a smooth paste in a mortar, or blitz in a food processor with a little water if necessary to get the mixture moving.
Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the spice paste for 30 seconds.

Add the lemongrass, salam leaves and lime leaves and fry for another 20 seconds, until glossy and fragrant. Strain the scallops and throw them into the wok. Toss them around until seared, then add the tofu and toss gently for a few more seconds. Add the coconut milk, fried shallots, palm sugar and some salt and simmer gently for a minute, until slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4

Discover more recipes in my book Bali: Food of My Island Home

RECIPE OF THE WEEK | Chargrilled squid

This is one of the many barbecued dishes that are served by the sea at Jimbaran. In what was formally a rustic coastal eating place dotted with simple grass huts, there are now hundreds of bamboo tables and chairs perched on the sand, and tonnes of seafood being served, from prawns to lobster and snapper to squid, for eager tourists. The secret at Jimbaran is cooking the seafood over coconut husks for a delectable smokiness, and the moist heat of the husks creates tender meat with glazed and burnished skin without dryness. If you are flying into Denpasar at night, the smoke from the barbecues at Jimbaran bay looks like an enormous bushfire.

Chargrilled-squid_blog

This is a simple marinade and you can add any additional herbs. A bonus is that the marinade can be prepared up to two weeks in advance and kept in the refrigerator.

MARINADE

  • 100 ml vegetable or peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1–2 tablespoons kecap manis
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, rolled into a bundle and finely shredded 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 kg squid, cleaned
Tomato Sambal (page 000) to serve lime wedges to serve

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Cut the squid into 10 cm tubes and quarter the tentacles lengthwise. Add to the marinade, coating well, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat a barbecue grill. Lift the squid out of the marinade and place on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally and basting with the marinade, until golden brown and just cooked. It should only take a few minutes.

Serve with tomato sambal and wedges of lime.

Serves 4

Discover more recipes in my book Bali: Food of My Island Home

Welcome to 2014

Welcome to the New Year!

I hope that you have all had a restful and rejuvenating holiday period.

I have spent the festive season reflecting on the hidden joys and beauty to be found on the island that I am lucky enough to call home (while also enjoying a few too many succulent sate sticks!).

With an abundance of fresh produce including glorious spices, fragrant rice, cashews and coffee, Bali truly is a foodies paradise.

This year I want to tell you more about the magic of Bali and the stories behind the ingredients in my cooking. I will be sharing stories and images from Ubud and across Bali so that you can enjoy and appreciate¬ how fresh organic produce and local ingredients make their way into my kitchens.

Seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs, aromatics and spices are the mainstay of our menu and many are purchased at the Ubud market, others with minimal food miles. Our pasta, breads and spice pastes are homemade and most of the salad greens we use are organic. We are passionate about the local food culture and only buy produce from people we like, for in Bali, it’s all about the relationships you foster with growers and producers.

At Casa Luna, we pride ourselves on our commitment to provide the freshest and safest produce available. My kitchens use these ingredients to create recipes that have been handed down through generations of my husband’s family and the family of my staff.

We believe that food should not only taste great but should be implicitly good for you.

I am passionate about sharing this knowledge and am working on a few projects to help you experience the magic of Bali, no matter where you are in the world. I will be posting my favourite recipe each week, hosting long-table lunches and dinners in Ubud and inviting you into my kitchen at The Casa Luna Cooking School.

I look forward to spending this year sharing the seduction of Bali with you, my friends around the world.

See you soon!

Janet

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