Don’t miss the King while you’re in Medan

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Who’s the King?

I don’t mean the royal. I mean the King of fruit, Durian.

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The King of Medan; Durian Medan

I know that Durian is an acquired taste. Even the mighty Andrew Zimmern felt weak in the knee facing this amazing fruit. But if never tried it, how you know you don’t like it? Don’t judge food from it smell. Hey, if this javanese girl can take the smell of blue cheese and grew to like it, you can do the same with Durian.

Durian Medan will not be the same like those jumbo fruit on steroid stuff you might find at Singapore or Bangkok. Most of Durian Medan came from the forest, or forest like farm. It flesh won’t be as thick as Singaporean or Bangkok’s but the taste ….oooh…. so good. It got more depth, layers of different sweetness and texture.

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These ones were on the bittery sweet side because it contain more alcohol in the fruit.

The most famous durian eating joint in Medan will be Ucok Durian. I personally won’t recommend this place for you if you came alone without the locals, because they unfortunately less friendly. I prefer to look for other Durian joints, that you can see a mountain pile of durians but less customer.

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If you saw a huge pile like this, that means you have lots of option to choose from. So anywhere in Medan with mountains of thorny balls, you’ll be fine.

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These were my favorite, so buttery with mild sweetness.

Why is that? Because most of Durian Medan are great, you won’t be difficult to eat deliciously. But you can have more attentive vendors that spent time to explain things for you, ask your preference of the fruit (mild sweet, very sweet or bitter sweet), provide you with water to wash your hands and other tiny extra services that you most likely won’t get it at the popular joint. Besides, you will be eating it on the spot. If the vendors gave you the bad fruit, ask them to replace that for you. Or if you don’t like the taste, not to your preference, ask them to replace it. Remember, only pay for the fruits you agreed on and eating. Don’t pay for the bad stuff. Whenever I come to Medan, I just stop by to any Durian joint crack one or two for my self, and I never disappointed.

Dude, please try some when you come to Medan. If you like it, that’s great! You’ve experienced one of the most intoxicating beauty of fruits in the world from my perspective. But if you didn’t like it, well at least you know for sure.

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My mom just can’t wait me to take more pictures.

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Oooh, she’s loving it. Don’t worry about funny face or a bit mess, every good food always like that.

It’s time for award again and NRJS is nominated!

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Hey guys, it’s the appreciation time again! Acknowledge blog or blogs that inspire us in different ways

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Badge

It’s an honor for No Recipe Just Story to be nominated by other respectful blogger.

Please support NRJS and other inspiring blogs by following these rules:

1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Share 7 random things about yourself.
4 Select 15 blogs for the award.
5 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

I want show my gratitude to Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy for nominating my blog to this award.

Mama Miyuki, “the woman behind the gun” of this exciting food blog wants to share Indonesian food recipes in the most easy breezy way. She also spread her knowledge and experience to recipes from all over the world. The one that I appreciate the most from her is how she makes each recipe so simple to comprehend even for a recipe phobia like me. The Ingredients Index credit for better understanding for the recipes. Check out her blogs and discover the simplest way to prepare you yummiest meal.

I want you to get to know me better, so here’s 7 random things about me:

1. I have soft spot for cheap street food, specially that reminds me to my childhood days of hawkering.

2. Currently I’m crazy with this concoction:  my cold brewed Sidikalang mud coffee +  a lot of sweetened condensed milk with +  ice cubes.

3. I sweat profusely when following recipes while cooking in the kitchen, specially the one with multi steps.

4. I like taking pictures of food with my standard Canon EOS 550D or iPhone.

5. I hate when people didn’t turn off their flash light while taking picture of food in restaurants, so annoying.

6. I gained wight a lot since I started this blog.

7. I really want to start my own online store that sells unique, authentic and organic Indonesia’s delicacy.

My pick on very inspiring blogs are:

1. Epicurina

Bayu Amus, share similar vision with me, which is spreading Indonesian cuisine worldwide. Epicurina not only delivers authentic recipes, also some of the cultural values from the ingredients or the food. That makes me love this blog so much. Bayu’s ability to narrate and building ambiance through his writing is very addictive.

2. Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy

She embodied simplicity without breaking (or broke some of  :p ) the cooking rules to create awesome dish.

3. Majalah Arkeologi Indonesia

I know this blog is in bahasa, but I like cultural history. This blog posts some of the most interesting findings of Indonesia’s culture through archeological findings, including how our ancestors cooks and eats.

4. The Gastronomy Aficionado

This bilingual food blog offers food or restaurant reviews with strong journalism flavor and all the current news updates of the culinary world.

5.  A Cook Not Mad

This blog captured harmonious blend of foodie and photographer in a cup of partnership. They travel around the world revealing the culinary world and immortalized the experience through photos.

6. Blue Kitchen

Terry Boyd’s stories intrigued me more than his recipes. He has splash of romanticism, facts, culture, clear opinion and intelligent sense of humor displayed all around his posts. That’s all it takes to make me adore this blog.

7. Chubby Hubby

Being one of the early food blogger generation make this blog can “hit the mark” over and over again, in terms of delivering recipes, recipe reviews and all those beautiful pictures.

8. Cooking et Cetera

This is a food blog that not only offers recipes, Indonesian food recipes, but outstanding food photography. Claimed as a self learner in food photography, Dhita does has great taste in capturing food as an eatable art.

9. I eat I shoot I post

A very straight forward blog about Singapore’s hawker food. Leslie Tay received many media attention and awards for his blog.

10. Indonesia Eats

This is a memoir blog from a Javanese born food photographer that lives in Canada. Besides Indonesian recipes, the author also shares mediteranian and other asian food recipes. Pretty and neat pictures are the icing on the cake.

11. Just Bento

The dedication and never short in ideas from Makiko Itoh to share her love in bento.

12. Jungle-frog Cooking

A fresh looking blog from a former nurse turn food stylist and food photographer, Simone.

13. After double shot espresso

I just like the photos arranged into a chain of stories, without too much words within.

14. Selby’s Food Corner

I really respect how Selby’s effort in translating Indonesia’s food culture into much familiar International’s food and cuisine vocabulary.

15. Anak Jajan

A living journal documented the Jajan’s family’s adventure exploring food and beverages in Jakarta’s Mall and other places in Indonesia.

Let’s participate this appreciative atmosphere, share your inspiration sources with us.

What can we made from sticky rice?

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Rice had been incorporated in whole life of Indonesian since hundred years ago. Our ancestor is part of the Austronesian culture, include all other South East Asian countries, positioned rice as integral part of their culture.

We can found different names for different part of rice crops all over Indonesia. Our culture differentiate between rice crops (bahasa: Padi), unpeeled rice grain (bahasa: Gabah), rice grain (bahasa: Beras) and steamed rice (bahasa: Nasi). Historian said those nick names reaffirmed the rice culture within society. The signs and reliefs at prehistoric temples tell the same stories too.

In terms of sticky rice, which is made from regular rice crops with different process, Indonesian add the word ‘Ketan’ to each nick name. Sticky rice grain is Beras Ketan and steamed sticky rice is Nasi Ketan. Allong the way, to shorten the conversation, we just called it Ketan.

The rice culture phrase is more than just a phrase. Indonesian loves their rice. And for hundreds of years each families, villages, provinces and islands created enormous array of food made from rice. Rice grain or the rice flour, they pound it on giant version of pestle and mortar, are very versatile. We can make them into cakes, chips, crackers, drinks, desserts and the main course.

I’m sharing some of the cakes and desserts, made from sticky rice and sticky rice flour.

sweet and sour purple sticky rice liquid porridge over the white one grilled inside a bamboo

sweet and sour purple sticky rice (chilled and fermented porridge) over the white sticky rice (steamed then grilled inside a bamboo) Best eaten together for complete experience. The purple one serve cold, and the white tubular cake serve hot fresh from the charcoal pit fire. 

Sticky rice cake in triangular shape (steamed inside banana leaf then rolled over fresh shredded coconut) with brown sugar sauce (usually infused with pandanus leaf or Jack fruit)

Sticky rice cake in triangular shape (steamed inside banana leaf then rolled over fresh shredded coconut) with brown sugar sauce (usually infused with pandanus leaf or Jack fruit)

A different type of rice cake, its savory and coconuty flavor (steamed inside specific palm leaf casing, then cooked with coconut milk)

A different type of rice cake, its savory and coconuty flavor (steamed inside specific palm leaf casing, then cooked with coconut milk)

Colorful cakes from sticky rice flour (its all steamed cakes with different fillings)

Colorful cakes from sticky rice flour (its all steamed cakes with different fillings)

Its pretty, sweet and sticky

Its pretty, sweet and sticky

What would you do with over stocked coffee and tea?

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I love to find and collect samples of coffee and tea from different regions of Indonesia. Specially the one made by home industry or small scale factory. Not the mass produced ones. Or just unique products that intrigued me.

That makes me a new kind of hoarder. I got multi jars containing coffees and teas. I don’t want to waste them, and my rate of consumption still can’t keep up with the expiration date. So, I’m thinking to use them into some other food.

One thing I’m known for is my habit for snacking. I love cookies. So, I’m thinking making my stock into cookies.

I tried to find indonesian traditional cookie recipe using coffee or tea and I can’t find them. Maybe I just didn’t search well enough or because our basic culture not very familiar with cookies type.

I looked for several coffee and tea cookies recipe, combine and modify them with my usual winged ability. And I came up with coffee cookie with espresso glaze, mocha cookies with dark chocolate, jasmine tea scented cookies with ground tea leaf glaze.

My next posts will be talking about  Sidikalang coffee, old school packed loose tea and Java chocolate that I used for these cookies.

My Jars of cookies

My Jars of cookies

Mocha cookies with dark chocolate bits

Mocha cookies with dark chocolate bits and Java dark chocolate powder

Very Deep Coffee cookies with espresso glaze. I'm using ground sidikalang coffee bean in the cookie dough.

Very Deep Coffee cookies with espresso glaze. I’m using ground sidikalang coffee bean in the cookie dough.

Jasmine tea scented cookies with ground tea leaf glaze

Jasmine tea scented cookies with ground tea leaf glaze

What my mother did to prepare for Ied celebration? (Jakarta’s wet market I)

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My mother is retired from her day job as public servant now, but she still busy with religious and private practice activities as midwife.

Preparing a feast for Ied celebration need careful planning and partial execution. Usually she shops for meat and poultry a week before the D day. And then she cooked them and freeze them in packages, to capture the freshness inside them and easy to thaw in small portion when needed.

I was following one of her shopping day for poultry to the wet market near my parents house.

She chose the living chicken, then the merchant decapitate them mercifully (to comply with Halal requirement), cleaned and broke it down as ordered. Can’t be more fresh than this!

I want to share the ambiance of local traditional wet market in Indonesia looks like. Remember, this market is located at Jakarta the capitol city. So you might expect something much more rustic feeling and wet ground. Although there are nice and dry traditional market too.

morning greeting from the guava merchants (she loves  red guava!)

morning greeting from the guava merchants (she loves red guava!)

Papaya and Mellon cart stall at the gate looked ripe and delicious

Papaya and Mellon cart stall at the gate looked ripe and delicious

Entering the wet market, pay attention to the open shallow waste sewer

Entering the wet market, pay attention to the open shallow waste sewer when walking here

We choose our chicken from the cage (free range) at the poultry stall

We choose our chicken from the cage (free range) at the poultry stall

After slaughter it mercifully, the butcher cleaned and cut it as ordered

After slaughter it mercifully, the butcher cleaned and cut it as ordered

Do you have favorite holiday cookies?

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It seem too corny matching holiday with cookies? Well thats what we usually have, here in Indonesia.

A tradition that goes back several hundred years, getting the influence from the Dutch during colonial period. They introduce our native ancestors with the art of baking cookies. As Indonesian, we give it a twist and make it our own.

The next holiday is Ied Al Fitr (Idul Fitri), to celebrate our obedience in fasting for a whole month, winning our better spirit and mind. The regular cookies, a must have for every home are; Nastar, Kastengels and Putri Salju.

Nastar is basically a butter cookies with pineapple jam fillings. The true Nastar will have home made pineapple jam in excessive amount inside the cookies. The old school shape will be resembling a guava or rose apple; using cloves as the stalk buds. The newer version will be shaped like small balls or like a leaf.

Kastengel is a cheesy cookies. It must have cheese of the dough and as the toppings. Every bite you should taste the cheesiness all the way to the last bite. Some people likes their Kastengel crunchy, by adding hard cheeses like Gouda. While others likes it smooth and crumbly, by adding more butter and only use cheddar cheese. Either way, every one have their best version of kastengel.

Putri Salju can be translated as Snow White, literally. Why? Because it is a  butter cookies blanketed with powdered sugar. The cookie is the princess and the sugar resemblance the snow.  Some cooks like to add ground nut on the cookie dough, so it will taste nutty and a bit savory against all sweetness from the powdered sugar.

Those three are the Three Musketeer for a great holiday.

I’m sharing some of the activities my mom and I usually have when we make our version of those three delicacies. Oh, we add chocolate cookies to our menu too.

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My mother style of Nastar before bake. Extra butter on the dough to create soft cookie, packed with home made pineapple jam.

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We are still using old school ovens. No temperature signed, we just wing it. In the oven, the ball shaped expand into half ball shape. Not the prettiest cookies.

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Our Kastengels, finger cheese cookies with cheddar cheese. Salty soft crumbly fingers.

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Crescent is our favorite shape for Putri Salju, its also the most used shape for this typical cookies. We got fat crescents there …..

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The princess bathe in powdered sugar while still hot. After a while it becomes, a snow white. Well, a fat crescent snow white.

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My mom’s chocolate cookies in star shape. She change the shape every year. This one always have identity crisis. One year it would be coin shaped with chocolate chips, next year will be crescent, or square or star. Best eaten with vanilla ice cream, hmmm.

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My mom’s pride and joy. A row of jars filled with her cookies on Ied holiday.

Do you remember my King?

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Sorry, I’m not posting about the next king of England. Or even MJ the king of pop.

Nope, not about them.

I’m talking about Durian (again). During my fasting hours, when I supposed to boost my pray activities, somehow it took my mind back to the time when I was at Medan.

Durian Medan, is one of Indonesia’s premium quality of Durian. It has deep and sharp sweetness, without over powering acidity. It has slightly thinner flesh than Monthong from Thailand or Malaysians, but the flavor conquer them all.

Especially the original and organic Durian, fresh from the forest. Nothing, I repeat, nothing will ever taste better than wild Durian straight from the tree.

If you ever get a chance to go North Sumatera, please ask for wild Durian from the forest. You won’t regret it.

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Me and the King, happy moments. (featuring my mother in law picking more Durian for me)

Two different type of wild Durian we tasted, both of them spectacularly delicious.

My left overs after eating five heads of Durian by my self, I can’t finish the rest. We took them home and ate it after refrigerated.