All posts filed under: East Timor (Timor-Lest)


Monday Meal Review: East Timor

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 replied. “Seems a crime to eat it,” he said, taking a bite. Chicken Bakso (Chicken Meatballs) [Recipe] What I liked best about this dish: One taste and I knew – I could eat these meatballs on an upset stomach. The flavor is relatively plain (like chicken, in chicken noodle soup), with just a hint of fried garlic and shallot to give a bit of a toasty, roasty flavor. While they would be great in any sort of soup, Mr. Picky already requested them in a meatball sub. Hold the marinara, please. …

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Chicken Meatball Soup | Bakso Noodle Soup

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 onions, sliced thinly 1 center section of celery – where it is 1/2 leaves and 1/2 ribs – sliced thinly 1 quart chicken stock 6 cups water (or stock) 1/8 cup soy sauce (more to taste) salt Additional soup components (all to taste): Chicken bakso meatballs cooked ramen noodles chili sauce green onions Deep-fried tofu Method: Let’s get a kaleidescope of green in our diets. Our doctors would be proud. Rinse and trim the produce… Then slice and toss in a large pot.  First the bok …

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Indonesian and Timorese Meatballs | Chicken Bakso / Baso

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 decided we should try bakso made with chicken. The mild chicken flavor is perked up with a dose of sautéed garlic and shallots. They are great in Bakso Noodle Soup and can be frozen for other uses. Ingredients: 1 lb ground chicken 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 shallot, minced 1/4 cup tapioca flour 1/2 cup crushed ice 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper Method: Gather the shallot and garlic. If you don’t have shallot you could use a little red onion. Chop the shallot and crush the garlic. Cook …

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Deep Fried Tofu Squares

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 into even cubes. I like to see how perfect I can get the cubes. We used to get tested on things like that at the Culinary Institute of America. If you like plain tofu go ahead -sneak one … you’ll still have a lot left. Next, make it snow: cover in rice flour (or you can dip them into the flour, on a plate). Either way, all six sides of the cubes should be covered with rice flour. Drop them into the oil, taking care not to crowd them. When they are done they’ll be tan and …

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The (delicious) life of an Asian correspondant – Karen Coates

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 years covering food, environment and social issues across Asia for publications around the world. She is a 2010-2011 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition, she is a correspondent for Archaeology magazine, and she writes a Food Culture column for The Faster Times. Karen was Gourmet’s Asia correspondent until the magazine closed in 2009. She is author of Cambodia Now: Life in the Wake of War and co-author of Pacific Lady: The First Woman to …

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Timorese Grilled Tuna Steaks with Garlic and Butter

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 salt Method: Timorese Grilled Tuna Steaks are perfect for special occasions and as easy to make for 1 as for 100. In my humble opinion, however, two is ideal – after all, Valentine’s day is just around the corner. Gather your ingredients. Only four are required (the sea salt is not pictured)! I love the simplicity. Crush the garlic over softened butter… Breathe in deeply. Smile. Give the mixture a stir until the garlic is thoroughly combined… At this point you have two options. 1) Smear the mixture on a tuna …

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Menu: East Timor (Timor-Lest)

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 (Chicken Meatballs) [Recipe] Seasoned with sautéed shallots and garlic, these mild chicken meatballs add oomph and variety to standard chicken soup or pasta. Deep-fried Tofu [Recipe] Extra-firm tofu dredged in rice flour and deep fried until a crunchy outer skin forms. Provides much needed texture in soups and on salads. Bakso Noodle Soup [Recipe] This famous soup is popular in East Timor and Indonesia. Our version is layered with ramen noodles, bok choy, celery leaves, chicken Bakso, and deep-fried tofu. Finish it of with a blast of …

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About the Food of East Timor

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 with a splash of Portuguese influence. The fantastic author, Karen Coates (former travel correspondent for Gourmet) writes about her voyage to East Timor: No matter how the day passes, dinner will hold its own. Pay a fisherman $10; get the whole damn 8-foot tuna (or snapper or other catch of the day) grilled with garlic, butter and salt over a beachside flame [Recipe]. Incredible. I can’t imagine anything better. If you’re still hungry after eating an 8-foot tuna, take a stroll and risk temptation. Karen tells me that vendors are happy to ladle bowls of bakso noodle …

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