Monday, January 5, 2009

CSA week five - Oseng oseng hijau and sayur lodeh

OK, I admit that last post was pretty lame. If I didn't have to correct the record on sautéing callaloo I wouldn't have posted it at all. To make up for that I'm going to give you a bonus recipe in this post. I made a couple of recipes from central Java tonight and, while you've got everything you need for the sautéed lettuce, you're unlikely to have the ingredients I used in the eggplant stew. I had to mail order them in. I'll append a recipe for semur terong--steamed eggplant in dark sauce--that I like. The only unusual ingredient in that is sweet soy sauce. That you can find locally or you can fake it by using regular soy sauce and a little dark brown sugar. If you're interested in those other ingredients, I talk a bit about them in this post.

Let's start with the sayur lodeh. It's got lots of ingredients but it's really easy. I put:
1 red sweet pepper, cubed
1/4 cup onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 salam leaf
1 piece of laos
1/4 teaspoon Chinese shrimp paste
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 kemiri nut, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
into my dutch oven, brought it to a boil, turned down the heat to medium and cooked it all for five minutes.
Then I added
1 cup coconut milk
1 pound eggplant, cut in 1 inch cubes.
I brought it back to a boil and simmered uncovered for ten minutes, stirring frequently until the eggplant was soft but not falling apart. And that was it.

My cookbook, The Indonesian Kitchen, says you can substitute 2 cups of string beans and 1 cup of cabbage for the eggplant, but I really like the way the eggplant has absorbed the spiced coconut broth. It would probably cling to the cabbage, but it would run right off of the beans. If I were making it with the alternative vegetables I think I'd fish them out and then reduce the broth to a saucier consistency.

The Oseng oseng hijau has an odd ingredient list that avoids the typical Javanese flavors:
2 Tablespoons onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
1 head lettuce, torn or cut into coarse chunks. The Indonesian Kitchen suggests Boston or Romaine lettuce but I used the komatsuna.

1. Melt the butter in a wok or large pan over medium heat. When the butter has stopped sizzling add the onion and garlic. (I accidentally browned the butter. Whoops!)

2. Fry the onion and garlic in the butter for three minutes. Add the salt, pepper and water, cook for a minute and add the lettuce.

3. Turn the heat up to high and stir fry the lettuce for three more minutes until the lettuce is wilted but retains some texture.

The komatsuna works nicely here because you get two textures with the wilted leaves and firmer stems. The buttery lettuce is not bad just like that, but I thought the dish woke up when I added a little bit of sweet soy sauce. Clearly there's no real reason to stick with Indonesian condiments here but you'll probably want to add a shot of something.

And here's the Steamed Eggplant in Dark Sauce

1 pound eggplant, cut horizontally in 1/2 inch thick slices
1 egg, beaten with 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup thin-sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sweet soy sauce

1. Steam the eggplant slices in a Chinese-style steamer for five minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

2. Dip the eggplant in the egg and fry in 4 Tablespoons of oil for two minutes or until light brown on both sides. Set aside.

3. Fry the onion and garlic in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil for two minutes. Add the stock, salt, sugar, nutmeg, pepper and sweet soy sauce. Cook for three minutes. Return the eggplant and cook, basting for two minutes.

It's been a while since I've made this but I recall liking how the nutmeg combined with the sweet soy sauce and how the resulting flavor complimented the eggplant.


Sandrine said...

I made a light gratin with my chard. That's how we traditionnaly eat it in France. However, one bunch is barely enough for that. I got two as I exchanged it for the carambola which I don't care for.

billjac said...

Lentil soup is another traditional chard preparation that I've been leaning towards, but I like the sound of a gratin. What sort of cheese would you suggest?

Jennifer said...

I'm definitely going to try the Eggplant recipe. Sounds interesting and eggplant, to me is always so challenging. If sweet soy sauce is the same as Ketjap Manis, I recommend using equal parts molasses and regular soy to approximate flavor.

billjac said...

Yep, ketjap or kecap manis is the same stuff. I think molasses would give a bitter undertone that's not there in kecap manis but it shouldn't be too far off. You're welcome to do a guest post here if you want to share how it turns out when you make it.

obat pembesar payudara herbal said...

wah mantap gan..