Soto Padang; a bowl of warmth for lazy Sunday morning

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Weekend is finally come again!

After grueling week, one thing that will make my weekend morning perfect is a bowl of Soto Padang (Padangnese style beefy soup).

If you look at the bowl, it would seem humble, like nothing special. But one bowl of good Soto Padang will cost approximately three bowl of mediocre ones. For the common, this dish seemed unworthy the extra cash, since the fillings are the same: sliced aged beef (dendeng kering), glass noodles, potato fritter, spring onion, celery leaves and sambal.

The secret of Soto Padang is in the broth. Like Anthony Bourdain always said, the broth will make or brake soupy dish. The layered flavor of saltiness, umami, beefy and mild spices are so different between the great bowl and the regular ones.

Don’t believe me? Go  and find the nearest Soto Padang restaurant, or visit my family’s favorite by H. St. Mangkuto at Pasar Baru area in Jakarta. When you got your bowl, don’t winch on the small size bowl because you will eat them with a plate of rice. First thing to do is slurping the broth only with your eyes closed before adding anything to it.

Same bowl different taste

If you buy Soto Padang anywhere in Indonesia, this is the normal serving size and style. Relatively smaller bowl compared to other Soto dish. But somehow always this is the correct portion for such an intense soup.

What's in it?

See what I meant? Anywhere you go for Soto Padang, the filling always similar. Sliced beef, glass noodles and sliced potato fritatas.

This is how we eat it

This is how we eat it, add sambal and plain rice. That’s why, the test will be the first slurp of naked broth.

Extra crunch

Extra crunch can’t be bad, right? Keripik balado (spicy cassava chips), Emping or any tipe of rice crackers usually lying around the table. Or ask for Keripik Paru (beef’s lung sliced and processed then deep fried to crispy) for bold flavor.

Sweet tooth?

If you still got enough space in the gut, don’t miss traditional rice flour based cakes. Crave healer for the sweet tooth.

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

I’m having affairs …

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… with bunch of noodles with kicking broth on a bowl. Served hot or cold, I adore them all.

I can’t denied my asian blood, we do love our noodles in a bowl. Asian culture heritage created recipes that make them tasty and irresistible in most diverse ways of cooking.

Soba in fish stock and sweet tofu, my favorite so far

Soba in hot fish stock and sweet tofu. So simple, but my favorite so far.

Iconic Medan style noodle and (fried) dumplings (filled with shrimp)

Iconic Medan-style glazed noodle (in secret mix of thick sauce) and (fried shrimp) dumplings with very light broth

My mom's best's glass noodles and beef's marrow infused broth with meat balls

My mom’s best’s glass noodles and beef’s bone marrow infused broth with meat balls

Remember my spin on rendang? Its egg noodles with strong beefy broth and toasted coconut sprinkles

Remember my spin on rendang? Its egg noodles with strong beefy broth and toasted coconut sprinkles

Three days later, the strong beefy broth sucked into long macaroni pasta

Three days later, reusing the beefy broth to cook dried long macaroni. the “sauce” now within the pasta

A bowl of hot soba with vegetable fritters and mystery but delicious broth

A bowl of soba with vegetable fritters and mystery but delicious hot broth

glass noodles in fish stock and fish dumplings. we called this Tek Wan

Glass noodles in warm fish stock with ear mushroom and fish dumplings. We called this Tek Wan.

Vietnamese Beef Pho, with assorted rice noodles and clear broth

Vietnamese Beef Pho, with assorted rice noodles and clear broth

Another version of Medan style chicken noodles. The noodles were hidden under generous toppings (fried dumplings, hard boiled egg in soy sauce, meat balls, greens and the shredded chicken)

Another version of Medan style chicken noodles. The noodles were hidden under generous toppings (fried dumplings, hard boiled egg in soy sauce, meat balls, greens and the shredded chicken)

 

Soba served in cold soy and sesame sauce. A little bit off taste for me, at first. But when I added lime juice and pepper flakes, I had rainbow in my mouth.

Soba served in cold soy sauce with soft boiled egg; shrimp, green chilies and egg plant tempuras. A little bit off taste for me, at first. But when I added lime juice and pepper flakes, I had rainbow in my mouth.

Another bowl of beef pho. Take a look at that glorious fatty meat!

Another bowl of beef pho. Take a look at that glorious fatty meat!

 

Udon in clear hot broth and nori at Dotonbori alley, Osaka. Insanely simple but the taste was mind blowing.

Udon in clear hot broth and nori at Dotonbori alley, Osaka. Insanely simple but the taste was mind blowing.

Soba in hot beef stock

Soba in hot beef stock

I thought it would be disgusting; plain soba in hot broth and fried tempura batter sinked into the broth. I missed my train because I just had to have a second bowl!

I thought it would be disgusting; plain soba in hot broth and fried tempura batter sinked into the broth. I missed my train because I just had to have a second bowl!

 

Udon, served cold with shaved radish, spring onions and lime juice. I only add a touch of soy sauce, and ate it with egg plant tempura.

Udon, served cold with shaved radish, spring onions and lime juice. I only add a touch of soy sauce, and ate it with egg plant tempura.

 

 

Guess what? This time I did it! (successful attempt deconstructing rendang flavor, my way)

Mi Kuah Sapi Poyah by Mayang
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If you are regular to norecipejuststory blog, then you must know that I can’t follow recipe to cook (hence the blog’s name).

My style of cooking is to wing it. No measurements, just follow my intuition and my taste buds. Most of the time, I produce average meal that eatable and suitable for daily menu. When holiday or ceremonial day come, I’m getting nervous badly. I know, I don’t have the patience to cook a whole set of feast meal. So, I winged it and this was what I came up with.

Ied day or Lebaran in bahasa in my family and the in laws require special set of menu that become tradition every year.

My mum’s menu for Lebaran day were: Sayur Pepaya Muda Ebi (Shredded unripe papaya in spicy coconut milk soup with dried shrimp), Gulai Ayam (Chicken curry with Sundanese twist), Rendang (her version of Beef Rendang) and Sambal goreng hati – udang – petai  (Shrimp-beef liver- stinky bean stir fry in chili sauce).

While my mother in law’s menu were: Gulai itik lado mudo (Padangnese version of green duck curry: green color came from green chili paste), Tauco Udang (Shrimp and tofu in salty fermented liquid been sauce and chilies), Gulai Pepaya Muda (Julienned unripe papaya in coconut milk and turmeric soup), Rendang kering (her version of Beef Rendang).

You can click on each text to access one version of it recipe. Not our family’s recipe, just to give better description. Oh, some of the recipe in bahasa, so you can use Google translator if needed.

So, whats the common dish between two family? Yes Beef Rendang. Although my mother’s style very different than my mother in law’s, beef rendang still a crowd pleaser. That’s why, I racked my brain out to make something very simple yet with the flavor of rendang.

The final result is, I make something I called Mi Siram Sapi Poyah.

Its basically boiled noodle or any other type of long pasta ( I made mine fresh by the way), with very-very beefy broth (extra shredded beef were added in the broth); tomato, celery and lime salsa, fried tofu and spicy toasted coconut sprinkles (made from freshly shredded coconut). Also a creamy peanut based chili sambal for extra heat.

I know it may look too simple to mimic the complex beef rendang, but somehow it worked. The flavor and fragrant of rendang came from the spicy toasted coconut.

I’m adding rendang wet paste (i winged my mother recipe) and the powdered ones to a freshly shredded coconut, mix them well on a non stick pan without using oil. It takes quite some time until all the coconut absorb the paste and toasted, change color, dried out and became sprinkleable.

English: Rendang, beef cooked in spices and co...

English: Rendang, beef cooked in spices and coconut milk. 日本語: ルンダン(牛肉とスパイスをココナッツミルクで2時間煮込む) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my food critic is my husband. When he said my beefy noodle tasty and remind him with rendang, then he add more noodles to his bowl, I know I succeed this time. Ooh the sweet taste of victory…..

The unique fact is that the broth are so beefy and tasty, anyone who ate one portion keep adding more noodles to  the remains of the broth on the bottom of their bowl.

Deconstructed Rendang and Ketupat: Mi Kuah Sapi Poyah

Deconstructed Rendang and Ketupat: Mi Kuah Sapi Poyah

It tasted very beefy, light and fresh but also spicy and herby similar to rendang.

It so easy to make. I’m making this dish in my holiday menu.

Sahur: Early breakfast @ 4 AM

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Yesterday we start having our breakfast incredibly early before dawn, it called Sahur. It will be our last meal until the sunset and we break our fast for the day. Most of Indonesian family prepared for fasting month one week ahead. I’m not talking about spiritual stuff, I’m talking about food.

Yes, most of home cook in Indonesia like to stock on dish that will last long and easy to serve by reheating them. Every one in the house hold want to maximize their praying activities to God this month. Going to the market every morning or buying groceries, prepared the produce than spend more time in kitchen to cook them seems an awful lot of time to waste. I’ll share about this phenomena on another post. Now, I want to share what I experienced.

This is our first Ramadhan living on our own space. Usually I still can count on my mother or my mother in law to prepare something on the table for Sahur. Yeah, I was a bit spoiled. Now, its all on me.

Well, we survived two Sahur and not being late (at least not because of me). Yesterday suddenly I have an urge to make a good fish broth. I remembered I still got frozen fresh fish head and bones left over after filleted. Usually I don’t like keeping raw meat or fish on my fridge. Since I bought the fish alive so its incredibly fresh, I marinated all of them (in separate small plastic clips) with a lot of ginger and garlic then straight to the freezer, I feel comfortable. I don’t have any plan what to make with it when I bought the fish. I just know that I want to eat fish.

I’m sorting out my fridge seeking ideas to combine with the fish head and bones, to create tasty broth. And then I must decide what to be served with the broth. Here what I came up to:

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Kepala dan duri Gurame untuk kaldu

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Kaldu Gurame: gurihnya segar dan alami

Bakso ikan, buncis dan timun jepang

Fish ball, green beans and kiyuri in fish broth soup

Fish ball, green beans and kiyuri in fish broth soup

Broth, I still can’t understand you

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Those are among the early months I tried food styling. It is crystal clear for me now, that picturing soup and other watery meal is NOT Easy.

Which, soups are one of the food that taste amazing in spite of lacking ingredients.