When we were having church's potluck lunch last week, people on my table discussed about food that they had when they grew up. That conversation reminded me of a brown square notebook of mine that was my sisters. That notebook was given by her boyfriend, and she dumped that book when she broke up with that first sweetheart of hers. Even after she torn down many pages, that notebook was still considerably thick.
Years after that time, grandma got stroke. The effect for having right-side stroke was she could barely talk and walk, although her brain was still sharp. She got various treatments, such as acupuncture, daily modern medicine, and physiotherapy. Then, miracle happened. She was totally healed. During that time, whenever I came home from my college town, I liked to sit on floor in front of her like what I did since I was little, then I asked her to tell me how to cook her regular cookings. I jotted down what she told me on that brown-square notebook. Unfortunately I haven't gotten most of her recipe. Not long after she recovered, came the second stroke then the third, and she never be able to speak what she thought and never got her full health back.
After that lunch time, I went upstair to find my brown-square notebook. Flipping through that book, I saw a fish recipe, written with Indonesian old spelling (that's how grandma wrote) called Tjoan-tjoan. There's no measurement on the recipe. She never needed one.
Ingredient: 1 medium Milk fish (grandma said sea fish (ikan laut) 2 garlic, minced
5 garlic, chopped
5 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cm ginger
Sweet soy sauce
Soy bean paste
4 tomatoes, cubed
Marinate fish with minced garlic and salt. Deep fry. I baked the fish 30 minutes 350'F instead of fried it.
Stir fry garlic and shallot until soft. Add in ginger, soy bean paste and 1/4 cup water. After water drains out, put more water. Due to my mom, this will reduce the striking smell of the soy bean paste.
Add in sweet soy sauce and salt. Add fish to the pan. Simmer until fish is well coated with the spice. Add tomatoes to the pan.
For me, a student with tight budget, seafood that restaurants sell is way overprice. I've ordered it several times when I was deeply craving eating sea creatures, yet it was mostly disappointed. When I ordered that, I was imagining crisp and juicy fish with rich flavor. What came on my table was mostly either breaded deep fried fish or buttery fish drizzled with lemon juice. I was once satisfied with fish I ordered. That was from a real fancy French restaurant in my town that cost a fortune. Everything there is costly but my department paid for it. If...and only if there's restaurant sells fish taste as good as that of in Asia with affordable price
Last week, as part of holiday feast series, I cooked baked salmon and roasted vegetable for first time. Several times hubby commented that we shouldn't spend money buying seafood from restaurant since cooking it by ourself tastes much better. I agree...if I have time to do so
Soy Salmon Adapted from foodnetwork
Ingredients: 1 salmon fillets cut to four
Marinade sauce: 1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 stalk fresh green onion, chopped
Combine marinade sauce ingredients. Place salmon steaks in a flat glass dish. Pour marinade over fish. Let stand for no less than 1 hour in refrigerator, tightly covered. Place in a baking dish and bake 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. Baste twice during this time. Take the fish out from the oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Turn oven to broil, put the fish back in the oven for 5 minutes or until brown.
Living in archipelago country makes my family seafood eaters. However, part of my family can stand fishy smell from it. Well, our level of fishy may be different than most of my friends here in the U.S. For my oldest and my brother-in-law fish that's not fried nor baked is considered too fishy. While mom and older sister like to give comment, "it's good but not fishy enough". This pindang serani was one of grandma's cooking that my oldest sister will not touch. Her husband will hide it even, so it won't ruin his appetite.
Hubby and I like this cooking much. The original recipe calls for boiling the fish then put all the ingredients in one pot, but this time I tried to bake it instead. I think I like it better that way.
Ingredients: 1 Tilapia/Milk fish/fish with similar size, cut to 6 portion
5 chopped shallots
3 chopped garlic
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 bay leaves
1 crushed lemon grass
5 chooped chilli pepper (optional)
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
Dissolve turmeric powder in the water. Mix in the rest of ingredient except the fish. In a pan, arrange fish, pour turmeric mixture. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in 350'F oven until cooked (about 45 minutes).