Monday Meal Review: East Timor

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One. Two. Three. Four. I counted out the meatballs, placing them around the ramen. "That's too symmetrical." Mr Picky said. I sized up my creation. "Good, good. I like symmetry. It'll work. Just wait." I swirled on a ladle of soup. The bowl looked fuller. One. Two. Three. Slices of fried tofu. My stomach rumbled. Ava bounced in her high chair, signing for food. A sprinkle of green onions. Chili sauce. Art. "Is that hot?" he asked. "As hot as you can handle!" I … [Read more...]

Recipe: Bakso Noodle Soup (Chicken Meatball Soup)

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Serves 6 When it's cold outside, gather around a steaming bowl of Bakso Noodle Soup - you'll be refreshed by the bright flavors and warmed by the chili sauce. You can bring this soup to a potluck - just keep the tofu, green onions, and chili sauce in a separate dishes for diners to garnish their own bowls. While the soup is traditionally Indonesian, it is also sold by street vendors in East Timor, a country formerly part of Indonesia.  Ingredients: 1 bok choy, rinsed and sliced 3 green … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chicken Bakso/Baso (Indonesian/Timorese Meatballs)

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Makes about 16 2" meatballs Stuck in an Italian meatball rut? I've got the answer: cozy up to Asian-style Bakso meatballs. You'll be in good company - these mild and tender meatballs are beloved street food throughout Indonesia, East Timor and other nearby islands. You'll find them bobbing in soups, or thinly sliced and tossed in noodle and rice dishes. The meatballs can be made with beef, chicken, fish or shrimp. Oh, and super thanks to you who voted on our Facebook Fan Page - your votes … [Read more...]

Recipe: Deep Fried Tofu Squares

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Serves 2-4 This crunchy, protein-rich alternative to croutons and crackers is perfect in soups and on salads. A great way to introduce tofu to someone who has never had it and particularly wonderful in our Bakso Noodle Soup. Ingredients: 1 block super firm tofu 1/3 cup rice flour (extra as needed) vegetable oil Method: Get ready for deliciousness. Preheat vegetable oil to 365F in a small, uncovered pot. Drain off a package of tofu, preferably super firm. Slice … [Read more...]

Interview: Karen Coates

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While I was once a world traveler, my life is now all about raising Miss Ava and quietly celebrating my family. Even if the travel bug has to wait a little longer, I can still get my travel fix in the kitchen or on travel web sites like Karen Coates' The Rambling Spoon. The list of reasons I love her web site is long - her writing is at once beautiful, funny, tragic, and heartwarming. And her husband, Jerry Redfern takes killer photos. Who is Karen Coates? Karen Coates has spent a dozen … [Read more...]

Recipe: Timorese Grilled Tuna Steaks with Garlic and Butter

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Serves 4 Loads of garlic, butter, and sea salt make this tuna leap for joy. Forget tuna in a can. Fresh tuna steaks are as good, if not better than salmon. Bold and intense, this recipe will transport you to the flavors of East Timor and an incredible meal, as remembered by Karen Coates of Rambling Spoon. Read Karen's story - the inspiration for our recipe. Perfect for Valentine's day, or any special occasion. Ingredients: 4 Tuna steaks 4 Tbsp butter 3 cloves garlic coarse sea … [Read more...]

Menu: East Timor (Timor-Lest)

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Far, far away is a country called East Timor.  Everything seems so different on that side of the world and yet, with hardly any exotic ingredients, we easily brought the flavors of this distant nation into our kitchen.  No specialty stores. No expensive grocery bills. Hurrah! Meanwhile, in other news, Ava has eating with a fork down pat. As in, she no longer needs our help to eat yogurt, apple sauce, or even Bakso Noodle Soup. Amazing! But... now what? How do I fill my time? Chicken Bakso … [Read more...]

About the Food of East Timor

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I love shiny new things. A pretty necklace. Babies. Entire countries. In the sparkling seas of southeast Asia, lies a rugged new country called East Timor (Timor-Lest). Since 2002 she's been like a fledgling, working through the tricky business of self-sufficiency. While times are still tough, there's beauty in watching her spread her wings, a country with possibility written all over her. The people eat what they can farm or fish. Meals are straightforward - chicken, fish, rice - Asian … [Read more...]