All posts filed under: Brunei

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Monday Meal Review: Brunei

Thanks Brunei. You have lovely curries, interesting rice, and tasty vegetables. However, you have the most impossible dessert. I am both amazed and impressed that there are people who are able to make Getuk Lindri properly. I wish I was one of them. My family, while they appreciated my effort, barely took a nibble-taste and left the rest for the birds. Come to think of it, do birds eat yucca? Hmm. Thank goodness I redeemed myself with Sayur Lodeh and Lontong. Together, these two dishes make dinner a special occasion, like eating out, but better – because we were at home. Shrimp and Vegetable Curry (Sayur Lodeh) [Recipe] What I liked most about this dish: Rich, creamy curry made with coconut milk is my absolute favorite way to enjoy coconut (although I do love me some Spiked Coconut Water on a wicked hot day). Sayur Lodeh also has the benefit of being incredibly versatile. Any number of vegetables can be mixed in – why not try eggplant or loofah? A nice vegetarian option would be …

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Yucca/Cassava Balls | Getuk Lindri

Makes two dozen Mildly sweet, bite-sized balls of mashed, sweetened cassava (yucca). This unusual treat is a big hit in Brunei. Read on to learn my struggles with this dessert. My first epic fail. Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar 1/8 cup water 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 pound cassava root, peeled, rough fibers removed, and cubed 1/4 tsp salt red & green food coloring Method: 1. Peel and cube cassava (yucca). Steam for 30 minutes or until cooked. 2. Add sugar, water, and vanilla extract to a small saucepan. Heat over low until sugar dissolves. This is unbleached organic sugar, which is why it looks a little darker. Vanilla extract is possibly the best thing in the whole wide world. Don’t forget that bit of salt. 3. Now, let the games begin. I fought and fought to get my cassava (yucca) smooth, creamy, and without fibers. The battle ended with a food mill, but I’m not sure, even then, that I got everything out. I may have stomped my feet around and yelled a few times. …

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Shrimp and Vegetable Curry | Sayur Lodeh

Serves 4 This yellow, mild curry is a great way to mix up monotonous meal plans. A little spice and creamy coconut milk do the trick for a show-stoppingly good meal. Ingredients: Rempah Curry Spice Mix 1 can coconut milk 1/2 cup water 1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced 3 cups mushrooms, sliced 3 cups long beans or green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces 2 carrots, sliced 16 shrimp vegetable oil Method: 1. Add rempah to hot vegetable oil in a large pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly browned. Add one beautiful, thick can of coconut milk. And a little water to thin things out. 2. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your veggies. First the cabbage. Cabbage is so underrated. Then the mushrooms. If you don’t love them like I do, add something you love. Or just leave them out. Mmm, into the pan. I like to pretend the mushrooms have to to be in the dish, so my husband has to eat …

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Curry Spice Mix | Rempah

Makes enough for about 2 curries (more if you like them mild) Rempah, a common curry blend in Brunei, will infuse your meal with the most haunting flavors of garlic, ginger, lemongrass… spicy chili pwder and golden turmeric. The entire kitchen smells like paradise when you cook with Rempah. PS. You can use this in our recipe for Sayur Lodeh. Ingredients: 1/8 cup cashews 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground coriander 1 Tbsp belachan or anchovy paste 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh lemongrass 1″ fresh ginger, chopped 1 Tbsp vegetable oil Method: 1. Add all ingredients to a small food processor. The fresh lemongrass is actually from my garden! It looks like a giant piece of overgrown grass, but with the most incredible, lemony-spring scent. Clip the lemongrass as close to the ground as you can. Here’s what not to do: The bottom ends have all sorts of tasty goodness that gets infused into the curry, when it cooks. Don’t forget the bechalon/anchovy paste. It …

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The Durians of Brunei (with polls)

I don’t think I told you. Keith’s been out of town all week so my mom’s been helping me and Ava pass the time. An extended pajama party, really. We’ve been to the water park, played with dollies, cooked, cleaned, torn apart my closets and made mounds of donations. We’ve been really busy and had tons of fun, but today I’m just counting the hours until I see my sweetie. He’ll be home at five. Tick. Tick. Tick. Is it five yet? What are you counting down to? Help pass a little time with these fun facts (and poll) from Brunei. Happy Friday! Brunei Fun Facts: Brunei is in both the northern and western hemispheres. I guess that technically makes Brunei a country with “food around the world” within its own borders. Relative humidity is high throughout the year, averaging 93%. That’s so humid, it might as well rain! Food is passed and eaten with the right hand only. The left hand is considered unclean. One exception – when holding a heavy plate with the …

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Rice in Banana Leaves (Lontong)

The people of Brunei are brilliant. I’ve got proof – the lontong. This compact, slightly perfumed packet of white rice, stuffed inside a banana leaf, is portable, sliceable, flavorful, and affordable. Oh, and cutting the rice logs up into neat coins makes for easy portion control. Well. Ok. I’ll be honest. The coins just make it easier to pop a hundred million of them into my mouth. Yum. Lontong represents everything I love about food around the world. While we share similar staples – rice, potato, pasta, beans – it is the seasoning and the preparation which gives each country a unique spin. In the case of lontong, banana leaves infuse long grain rice with an earthy, grassy flavor. The result is mild “other-worldliness” – and insane, instantaneous addiction. I totally get why lontong is adored throughout Indonesia. Kids will love the novelty of this savory treat with curry and soups. Serve at room temperature or chilled.   Ingredients: 2 cups white long grain rice 4 cups water (or 2 cups water and 2 cups …

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Menu: Brunei

Way up north, in Boston, my mother devours this blog. My biggest fan, she not only tells everyone she meets about the blog, she literally saves each post to her computer “just in case” (even though I tell her the server backs it up). That’s some serious love. This week, she is in Tulsa for a visit. She will finally get a chance to climb out from behind the computer and devour the food. And she’ll see the love and craziness that goes into each posting (is there any other way to do things than with love and craziness?). Thank you, Brunei, for feeding my mother during her stay. Shrimp and Vegetable Curry (Sayur Lodeh) [Recipe] Long beans, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and shrimp simmered in rich coconut milk curry seasoned with rempah. Curry Spice Mix (Rempah) [Recipe] A hot and savory blend of garlic, onion, ginger, lemon grass, chili powder, turmeric, coriander, and belachan/anchovy paste. Add this blend to curry dishes to taste. Rice Cooked in Banana Leaves (Lontong) [Recipe] Cooked rice is stacked in …

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About the Food of Brunei

Something is fishy in  Brunei, and I like it! With miles of coastline, fish and seafood (such as shrimp and squid) make regular appearances at the dinner table. Even if you’re not eating fish, your meal may include belachan, or shrimp paste. The tiny country of Brunei (about the size of Delaware) boasts rain forests, low-lying plains, and oceanfront vistas. Sweet tropical fruits (such as mango, membangan,  papaya, watermelon, durian, kembayau, Brunei cherry, and rambutan – like lychee) are beloved throughout Brunei. The food blends local flavors with Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian cuisines. Typical of the region, most meals are served with either rice or noodles and seasoning is usually hot. In fact, curries are the norm. For example, Sayur Lodeh (recipe), vegetable curry, is a lovely blend of cabbage, long beans, and other vegetables, simmered in creamy coconut milk and spicy rempah (a popular seasoning blend – recipe). Shrimp, fish, or tofu can be added for protein. Yes, please! For chicken lovers, satay is a popular skewered preparation available with dipping sauces. You may have had …

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