Tag Archives: Beans

Steamed Chicken with Salted Soy Beans Recipe

Steaming chicken or fish with a simple salted soy beans sauce (Indonesian: tauco) is a healthy way to prepare a quick dish for lunch or dinner. Salted soy beans can be found in many Asian grocery store. My favorite salted soy beans is the one from Yeos, a Malaysian brand, which happens to be very similar to the ones I grow up eating in Indonesia. There will be slight different in taste if you choose other brands of salted soy beans, feel free to experiment to find out which one you like best.

Steamed Chicken with Salted Soy Beans

If you opt to use chicken meat, I suggest a mixture of skinless boneless breast and thigh, or 100% thigh meat if you don’t mind the slightly higher calories. A pure 100% breast meat is still good, just not as juicy. You can also use white fish fillet slices (again, make it bite sizes) such as tilapia, rock fish, or red snapper, but be sure to reduce steaming time to 5 minutes since fish cooks much faster than chicken.

Steamed Chicken with Salted Soy Beans

Steamed Chicken with Salted Soy Beans

I love this dish so much and since my parents are still here in the States, I made two batches back to back! They are staying with my younger brother so I am packing one batch for them to enjoy 🙂

Steamed Chicken with Salted Soy Beans

Steamed Chicken with Salted Soy Beans

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Sambal Tauco Labu Siam – Chayote in Spicy Fermented Soy Beans Recipe

Have you ever tried chayote before? You can find this beloved squash in many traditional Indonesian dishes. Today I will introduce you to sambal tauco labu siam, a spicy vegetable (and vegetarian) stew dish. This is usually a side dish for many Indonesian rice dishes, such as nasi rames, nasi liwet, e.t.c. But you can always prepare this as one of your many sides to create an Indonesian feast.

Labu Siam – Chayote

How to handle chayote (labu siam)

This is a quick guide to handle chayote. Prior to cooking, we peel the skin, and remove the seed from the chayote. You can cut it into chunks, wedges, thin slices, julien, etc. The simplest way Indonesian enjoy chayote is to cut into big chunks/wedges, and steam until soft, and enjoy with other vegetables in a lalapan. Note that if you handle chayote bare-handed, your fingers and palms might be covered with a thin film that makes your skin tight. I usually just wash it away with soap under warm/slightly hot water. But you can always wear a pair of gloves to avoid this problem in the first place.

Sambal Tauco Labu Siam - Chayote in Spicy Fermented Soy Beans

Sambal Tauco Labu Siam – Chayote in Spicy Fermented Soy Beans

Tauco (fermented/salted soy beans)

The second important ingredient to prepare this dish is of course tauco (fermented/salted soy beans). In my experience, even a tiny Mom-and-Pop Asian grocery store carries them. And there are quite a bit of varieties too, from the still solid beans, to a mix of solid and ground beans, to a totally ground version. Preferabbly you choose the ones where the beans are still solid, but if all you see are the ground variety, they are also okay. If your neighborhood store doesn’t carry them, you can also buy it online from Amazon. I like the ones from Yeo’s and Dragonfly.

Sambal Tauco Labu Siam - Chayote in Spicy Fermented Soy Beans

Sambal Tauco Labu Siam – Chayote in Spicy Fermented Soy Beans

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Steamed Spare Ribs Black Beans Recipe

Do you have favorite dishes that you must order whenever you go for a Chinese dim sum? For us, steamed spare ribs with black beans is definitely one of our must-haves. Though lately, we have been ordering this less and less because of how easy it is to actually prepare this dish at home. These spare ribs are so delicious and ridiculously easy you will want to make them, again and again, to serve with steamed white rice.

To prepare Chinese steamed spare ribs with black beans, you will need marinated spare ribs, chopped red and green chilies, Chinese fermented black beans, and corn starch slurry.

For dim sum style, make sure to use a shorter spare ribs

Do you notice that Chinese style spare ribs are much shorter compared to their Western counterparts? It’s actually the same thing, but Chinese butchers usually cut the regular spare ribs into two lengthwise to create shorter ribs, which makes them much easier to handle with a pair of chopsticks. If you want your spare ribs to look exactly like the dim sum version, you will definitely want to get your butcher to chop them for you. Or, if you buy your spare ribs from a Chinese/Asian grocery store, it is very likely that they are already pre-cut for you.

Place all ingredients in a heat proof plate/bowl and steam for about 10 minutes, or until meat is opaque and fully cooked.

Place all ingredients in a heat proof plate/bowl and steam for about 10 minutes, or until meat is opaque and fully cooked.

The prep works: marinate the spare ribs and prepare the rest of the ingredients

Once you have your requisite spare ribs, you will want to marinate them with the following for at least 2 hours, though I usually let them rest overnight in the fridge.

  • Shaoxing wine
  • sesame oil
  • sugar
  • salt
  • ground white pepper, you can use black pepper too if you don’t mind the black specks in the final dish

And here are the rest of the prep works that you need to do prior to steaming:

  • chopping 1 red chili, I usually use Fresno chili for this
  • chopping 1 green chili, I usually use Jalapeno or Serrano
  • rinse and drain the fermented black beans

You should be able to find fermented black beans in any well-stocked Chinese/Asian grocery. I find that these are usually found in the dried/preserved ingredients aisle, along with dried turnips and the assortment of dried vegetables.

A bowl of Chinese steamed spare ribs with black beans.

A bowl of Chinese steamed spare ribs with black beans.

Steaming the spare ribs

There are two ways you can choose to steam your spare ribs: the dim sum style, or the normal way.

Dim sum style

You will need several small rimmed heatproof porcelain plates, like those you get from the dim sum. You then divide the spare ribs into several of these tiny plates, making sure that each plate only has one layer of ribs, or your cooking time will be off and the ribs won’t cook at the same time, then top with the chilies and fermented black beans.

Normal/simple style

Simply arrange the spare ribs in a heatproof rimmed plate/bowl, again in one layer, then top with the chilies and fermented black beans.

Once they are arranged, be sure to steam over medium heat until the meat is opaque and fully cooked. I usually need around 8-10 minutes as long as I keep the ribs in one layer. Enjoy!

A bowl of Chinese steamed spare ribs with black beans.

A bowl of Chinese steamed spare ribs with black beans.

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Bubur Kacang Hijau – Mung Beans Sweet Porridge Recipe

Ingredients to prepare bubur kacang hijau (mung beans sweet porridge): dried mung beans, dried tangerine peel, and sugar.

Bubur kacang hijau (mung beans sweet porridge) is a simple Indonesian dessert from dried mung beans, dried tangerine peel, and sugar.

Growing up, we eat this for breakfast, as well as for afternoon snack, and for supper. So Mom always makes a big batch when she cooks this porridge, and you may want to do that too since this is such an easy, healthy, and delicious way to enjoy mung beans.

What do I need to make bubur kacang hijau?

You will only need three ingredients for a super simple bubur kacang hijau: dried mung beans, dried tangerine peel, and sugar.

You can buy dried tangerine peels from a Chinese market, or simply save the peels of fresh tangerines and dry.

I usually just place the fresh peels in my fridge for several days until the peels are dried, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag and store in my freezer. They can last for years in the freezer.

For sugar, I use regular granulated sugar, but you can use brown sugar, coconut palm sugar, or rock sugar.

Bubur kacang hijau - mung beans sweet porridge.

Bubur kacang hijau – mung beans sweet porridge.

How do I cook bubur kacang hijau?

Bubur kacang hijau is one of the simplest dish to prepare, even a newbie cook will be able to pull this off without a hitch.

First, wash and drain the dried mung beans to remove any dirt.

Next, place mung beans, dried tangerine peel, and water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans burst and are soft and tender. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

And finally, add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Turn off the heat. Serve the porridge hot.

Bubur kacang hijau - mung beans sweet porridge.

Bubur kacang hijau – mung beans sweet porridge.

Bubur kacang hijau with coconut milk

Some people prefer bubur kacang hijau cooked in coconut milk. Naturally, the porridge will be more filling and has a higher fat content compared to the one cooked with water.

Instead of 4 cups (1000 ml) of water, use 400 ml (1 can) coconut milk + 600 ml water.

Since coconut milk can easily curdle when cooked in high heat, be vigilant to quickly reduce the heat to a simmer once it boils. Otherwise, you may notice some curdling to your coconut milk and the porridge won’t look smooth.

Other sweet porridge recipes

If you love sweet porridge like this bubur kacang hijau, you may want to also try these recipes:

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Green Beans and Ground Beef Stir Fry Recipe

Ingredients to prepare green beans and ground beef stir-fry: green beans, ground beef, onion, garlic, red chilies, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), ketchup, sugar, ground pepper, tapioca starch, and water.

Green beans and ground beef stir-fry is one of my family’s favorite dishes to enjoy green beans. This dish is really easy to prepare once you finish gathering and preparing all the ingredients. Once you start cooking, it will come together in under 15 minutes.

This dish is very forgiving with the ingredients. You can use either fresh green beans or frozen green beans, and you will end up with the same lovely dish.

You can also substitute the ground beef with ground pork, ground chicken, or ground turkey to suit your family’s preference. And if you are planning to go with a meatless dish, you can even use crumbled firm or extra-firm tofu to substitute for ground meat.

Cooking green beans and ground beef stir-fry in a wok.

Cooking green beans and ground beef stir-fry in a wok.

What are the ingredients for this green beans stir-fry dish?

The main two ingredients will be green beans and ground beef.

For the aromatics, we will need garlic, onion, and red chilies. I use regular yellow onion, but feel free to sub with red onion or even shallots. For red chilies, instead of Fresno chilies, you can use cayenne or bird-eyes for a spicier dish, or bell pepper for a super mild version.

For the sauce, we will use Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), tomato ketchup, sugar, and ground pepper.

Shaoxing wine is a Chinese cooking wine. The most suggested substitution is dry sherry, but if you stock other Asian cooking wine, such as Japanese sake, or Chinese white rice wine (mi jiu), those would actually work better.

Kecap manis is Indonesian sweet soy sauce. I find that the best substitute would be an equal mixture of soy sauce and coconut palm sugar. So 1 tbsp kecap manis = 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1/2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar.

Since this is a Chinese dish, I prefer using Chinese light soy sauce. My favorite light soy sauce is Pearl River Bridge or Kimlan. Feel free to use any soy sauce, though I highly suggest choosing a reduced-sodium option if possible.

And finally, we will need a tapioca starch slurry, which is a mixture of tapioca starch and water. We will use this to thicken the sauce at the end of our cooking time. You can also use cornstarch if you wish.

My recipe for green beans and ground beef stir-fry is enough to feed a family of four as a main dish.

My recipe for green beans and ground beef stir-fry is enough to feed a family of four as a main dish.

How to cook green beans and ground beef stir-fry

First, heat oil in a wok over medium-high and sauté garlic and onion until the onion starts to wilt. Then add red chilies and stir for 30 seconds.

Next, add ground beef and stir until the meat is no longer pink.

Then, add all the sauce ingredients (Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, kecap manis, tomato ketchup, sugar, and ground pepper), and mix well.

Next, add green beans and mix. Cover the wok with a lid, and cook until the green beans are al-dente. About 5 minutes if using fresh green beans, and about 8 minutes if using frozen green beans.

Finally, thicken the sauce by adding tapioca starch slurry and stir until the sauce is thick.

Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate to serve with some steamed white rice.

This green beans and ground beef stir-fry has a super delicious meat sauce and the green beans are cooked just until al dente for a satisfying bite into the vegetables.

This green beans and ground beef stir-fry has a super delicious meat sauce and the green beans are cooked just until al dente for a satisfying bite into the vegetables.

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