Left-over delicacy, the sky is my limit

Aside

Since I was a little girl, my parents always tell me and my brother a story about DEWI SRI (or Sri the Goddess).

They said that I shall never throw away any left over rice. I must finnish every grain of rice in my plate, or else, Dewi Sri will zap her anger at me. My mom never really explained what kind of zapping Dewi Sri will do to me, and how much grain of rice being thrown away before she began to unleash the anger. I was just a 4 year old kid, I didn’t questioned it and just scraping the plate incase I miss a grain or two.

Why a goddess become angry to a child whom didn’t finish her meal, you might ask. Well, Dewi Sri is the Goddess for farming, specially rice farmers. So symbolized the fertile soil, luscious green paddy and good harvest. The legend said that she didn’t like when human take rice grains for granted. Hence the threatening story being told as part of typical parenting for most Javanese family.

Until my adult years, the mind set of never throw away rice become part of my life style. And the rule even spreading to any kind of food, all eatable stuff must never being thrown away for nothing. That’s why, when you come to my house and open my fridge, there are plastic clips and containers with left overs.

I always looking for inspiration how to use the left overs, so I can eat them and the others too. I don’t want to eat bad meal just because my left overs are over stocked. I usually force my self to cook anything new or buy take outs, until the left overs’ pile diminish.

I have a rocky road tract record with my left overs delicacy. Some of them were just unsalvageable and couldn’t do anything more to it. The other few were eatable in borderline between mediocre to strange yet familiar. My left over rice soup with eggs and anything available. Some times, I just plain ignorance and put left over steamed rice in an open bowl inside the refrigerator.

And I forget about it for almost a week. Then when I’m in the good mood to re organize my fridge and found a hard-sharp irregular object of a -once before- blob of fluffy rice. It was as hard as my plastic knife. I scratched my teflon pan with it several times before. I couldn’t make fried rice from it, oil just make it gets even harder.

So, I pretend the over saved left over rice were just dried pasta and treat them the same too. Then I making my self a hearty soup from them, very similar if me make noodle soup or macaroni soup. It tasted quite the same too. Well, at least my husband willing to eat them a spoonful or two. He is a big fan of chicken noodle soup.

On a fewer occasion I hit the mark and score some goals with the left overs. Remember my baked spring rolls? Yes, that was a left-over delicacy too. They were dynamite!

I’m sharing some of the better looking leftover delicacy I had made and photographed.

Oseng oseng pasta dan sayur

Dried fussily, left over wood ear mushroom, bean sprout, smoked beef and egg stir fry. Chili sambal as condiment.

Garlic-chili fried rice: behind the scene

Breakfast with Garlic-chili fried rice from the left over night before

When angry, I made this hellish fried rice with assorted chilies

When angry, I made this hellish fried rice with assorted chilies

Mayang style garlic-chili fried rice: Steamy, spicy, extra crunchy.

Successful make over, from cold plain last night rice to smoking hot (literally) fried rice

I have a bunch of faded coriander leaves; I used them to add extra umph on my batter for fried tempe

I have a bunch of faded coriander leaves; I used them to add extra umph on my batter for fried tempe

I had left over blanched broccoli and had enough with cold salad thing; so I made clear broth for a broccoli soup

I had left over blanched broccoli and had enough with cold salad thing; so I made clear broth for a broccoli soup

Left over Tape (fermented cassava) become cassava cake with raisin, no extra sugar needed

Left over Tape (fermented cassava) become cassava cake with raisin, no extra sugar needed

This was years ago, I found a half of gummy bears small package and decide to make jelly with it. It didn't taste very good, the bears released bitterness when hot jelly mixture drowned them.

This was years ago, I found a half of gummy bears small package and decide to make jelly with it. It didn’t taste very good, the bears released bitterness when hot jelly mixture drowned them.

This was also years ago, but I still making the same stuff todays. I use any root veggies and hard fruits scatter around the fridge, julienne them and make savory and spicy fritters.

This was also years ago, but I still making the same stuff todays. I use any root veggies and hard fruits scatter around the fridge, julienne them and make savory and spicy fritters.

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

Cooking while sleeping, use the leftovers

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Although my spirit are high welcoming this year’s Ramadhan, me being my self, rolling back to my nature self. Only in two days!

Either I got up too early or too late, I just loosing power to cook something complicated. Besides, I had a huge pile of cold rice leftovers from the last 2 days my husband didn’t eat at home. I have to use that as soon as possible, or I’ll get headache seeing it in my fridge all the time.

Well the fool proof cooking while sleeping, or just feeling really really want to crawl back to my soft and smooth bed with warm fluffy blanket on cold room, are fried rice. My version of spicy and sweet fried rice. It’s a one pot wonder with just about everything I can find at my fridge. Either just eggs and rice, or chicken and anchovies, or bean sprout and eggs and mushroom. Anything is acceptable. So, this was how I did.

Garlic-chilli fried rice: behind the scene

Garlic-chili fried rice: behind the scene

Garlic-chili fried rice: Sahur day two (and three)

Garlic-chili fried rice: Sahur day two (and three)

Mayang style garlic-chili fried rice: Steamy, spicy, extra crunchy.

Another version of my fried rice: extra garlic, extra chili

The tale from people of the street-breakfast

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Food street vendors are most common in Asia. They prepare their stall since the earliest morning to greet their commoners and provide warm hardy meal of the day.
Like any other honorable profession, these street vendors also have speciality. The breakfast-specific meal vendors usually rise at the dawn and finished the service just before lunch. Most of the vendors only sell one kind of dish or maybe a very short list of menu.
Oh, note that the street-breakfast goers usually a bit fanatic to their favorite stall. And the vendor let these exciting customer pick, prepare and modify their food freely based on the sense of familiarity.

Enjoy some of the pictures from around the world of street style breakfast.

Korean Pancake Breakfast by jgamboa
Korean Pancake Breakfast, a photo by jgamboa on Flickr.

Sarapan Bubur Ayam

Kolkata Breakfast

sarapan nasi jamblang yang terkenal itu

sarapan

Mie ayam in Java - Indonesia