On Computers, Shady Deals, and Pizza

I think I may have been forced into a corner. My brother, a tech whiz, has just demanded freshly baked pizza in return for fixing my computer. My computer won’t connect to the internet, which means he pretty much has me at his mercy. When one’s computer won’t connect to the internet, that’s basically like the armageddon occurring in your lap.

He says: “I’ll fix it for you, if you make me something nice.”

Of course, I suggested chocolate cake, because I wanted to have another go at the chocolate cake recipe from a few weeks back. I like chocolate cake, I could eat chocolate cake everyday. I’m quite eager to have another go at that to try and lighten it up. But it was not to be.

“I want something savoury and nice. I heard you make pizza. Make me pepperoni pizza!”

Despite feeling slightly smug, as this is the first time someone has asked for food as payment, I sag slightly. I know that pizza takes a bit of effort because you have to make the crust (well not really, it’s actually pretty fast, but it depends what time I get home from work and takes a bit of forward planning), and also he requested that the pizza to be delivered tomorrow (which is now today).

My typical method of working myself up to cooking something even mildly difficult is to plant the idea, then dream about it for about a week, then finally get so excited/hungry that I decide I MUST HAVE IT and then spend a few hours in the kitchen, salivating over the food-in-progress. I don’t drool in my food, don’t worry, but I do eat quite a lot of raw ingredients. By this point, anticipation is hanging in the air like thick black smoke, and when the food is finally done it tastes all the more awesome, likely because I’m so overexcited about it rather than due to any real cooking skill. But, as you may have noticed by now, my unwritten weeknight dinner criteria is “lazy”, i.e.,Ā that any food produced should take less than an hour from chopping board to table. Preferably less than 20 minutes. Using fresh ingredients, if at all possible. Though frozen spinach and peas are still some of my best friends.

After clarifying that I will, in fact, not be willing to make my own pepperoni, I go back to my (borrowed) computer and look for my old pizza recipe. I wonder if, alone, I can actually pull off pizza again – I previously made it only once, when Bigfoot was with me in Singapore. Despite my obvious obsession with eating food, he’s actually better in the kitchen than I am. Difference between someone who grew up cooking, and someone who stumbled blindly into it due to greediness, I suppose. I bragged loads to my brother about said pizza last time, because he was somewhere far away and didn’t get to try any. I suspect this is payback time.

No, in all seriousness. There isn’t an excuse for bad pizza crust really. It isn’t rocket science by any means. Most people are more diligent about following recipe instructions than me, and should be able to do it. Especially if using normal flour šŸ™‚

I always used to think that pizza was like the holy grail of kitchens, the one thing that only people who can actually cook can make. Really good pizza is like a beautiful phoenix rising from the ashes of a smouldering oven. Well, I suppose I only think of it that way because I’ve burnt quite a few freezer pizzas. But it’s different with real pizza! You get so excited that there is actually going to be fresh, crispy pizza that you sit on the floor in front of the oven door while it cooks. Well, of course I don’t do that, that would just be silly. I definitely just use the timer. Definitely, certainly.

Pizza notes: GF flour in this recipe doesn’t work that well. But if you really have to use it (I had to, in this instance, because my mum’s GF), it still makes a much better GF pizza than the commercially available pizza bases, which are rock hard.

Check out my previous attempt with normal flour for crust comparison:

In the same incompetent hands, you get that nice, crisp, puffy pizza crust. No excuses.

Also, my computer isn’t fixed yet. This doesn’t seem like a deal! Hmm.

Easy Pizza that even Lea can’t mess up

Pizza base is copied exactly from Smitten Kitchen. I’m too scared to mess with bread doughs. Use your own toppings.

Pizza

Makes 2 regular sized, thin crust pizzas. I like mine quite thin and crispy though so you might get less.

1.5 cups flour
1 teasp salt
3/4 teasp active dry yeast
1/2 cup room temperature water (add 1 or 2 tablesp more if needed to bring it together)
1 tablesp olive oil, and more to grease the bowl
Cornflour + baking paper
Pizza toppings!

  1. Mix together flour, salt and yeast together.
  2. Pour in water and olive oil, stirring til it clumps into a ball. Use your hands if you have to, or add up to a couple more tablespoons of water.
  3. Flour a flat clean surface, and knead the dough on that until it looks like a nice smooth ball. This should be pretty quick, a minute or two. If it doesn’t work so well, cover the dough with the bowl, and go off and eat some chocolate for a couple of Ā minutes. When you get back, you and the dough will feel much better about yourselves.
  4. Oil the inside of the big bowl you used, and dump the dough back in. Spin the dough around until all sides are covered with oil (stops it sticking), and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit somewhere warm for a one or two hours. It should double in size.
  5. Put the dough back on the floured surface, and gently squish the air out. Fold into a ball (or balls, depending on how many pizzas you want), and let them sit under the upturned bowl for 20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle cornflour on a sheet of baking paper, and flatten out the pizza.
  7. Add your toppings and sauces, don’t put too many or the inside of the pizza doesn’t cook nicely!
  8. Bake for 10 minutes until the crust is a bit blistered, at the highest oven setting. I put the grill on at the top of the oven to finish it šŸ™‚

Protected: Snowdrop Bakery Mega Vanilla Butter Icing

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Sunny Orange Cake

As you may have gathered from my last post, I’m not exactly right on top of the world right now. Flu-ey, and just a bit overworked, and just a bit jetlagged, so overall I’ve been pretty grouchy for the past few days. Also whiny, evidently. But after writing yesterday’s Raita post, I decided I wanted cake.

I’m pretty stubborn, when I decide to do something I generally steamroll right ahead, knocking any other plans (or people, or ideas) to the wayside. Ā Kinder people call it determined, but let’s be honest here, I’m just plain stubborn. Like a small, female, bull.

I haven’t made cake for what feels like ages.

Also, what could be a more cheerful cake than Sicilian orange cake with vanilla icing? It was one of those spontaneous things I just decided that I wanted when I typed the words “A slice of cake and a cup of tea”.

I made a plan: go into work, work like a crazy hamster on a spinning wheel, finish a whole day’s work by 3pm, and then leave to bake my cake. Yay for plans!

It almost worked, I got out by 4, and managed to bake the cakes but not ice them by dinnertime. I left them sitting in the fridge until the next day. It’s ok, apparently that makes them easier to ice, I read somewhere. And I got to eat orange cake crumbs. And the house smelled pretty strongly of orange (so I’m told, I can’t smell anything at the moment. Don’t worry I washed my hands before baking).

On an unrelated note, I had a very nice conversation with a shorthaired jack russel terrier outside the local corner shop after buying oranges and eggs. She was walking around in circles outside the shop by herself, so I leant over to talk to her. “Hello doggy, what’re you doing here by yourself?” I said. “You shouldn’t be out here by yourself. How did you manage to get here? What are you doing?” Quite loudly and in a normal speaking voice, I should add.

I was about to ask her whether she came to buy groceries, and how she was going to carry the bags home, when I realised the owner was right behind me. He probably thought I was a nutter. I kinda am. I scuttled away after that to make cake.

This is the most orangey and moist orange cake I’ve found so far. It’s perfectly nice without the icing, I just happened to want icing too. But, I can’t give you the icing recipe because it was given to me by the very nice person who runs Snowdrop Cupcakes in Manchester – sorry!*

Caking notes: I did a gluten free version, the normal version is more spongey and lighter in texture. It’s the same recipe, I just swapped out the flour for GF flour.

More caking notes: this time I thought it was a bit sweet, and I’ll be reducing the sugar to 200g next time. Also, make sure to use sunkist oranges, the cake tastes better with a sour orange. I might also try making an orange syrup next time to add before icing, to try and sour it up even more. I’ll let you know how that goes šŸ™‚

Sicilian Orange Cake with Vanilla Icing

Taken from Gourmand, a site which sadly doesn’t seem to be on the internet anymore. I traced the recipe back from there to Almost Bourdain, which has also stopped publishing. Luckily Google had a cached copy, I thought I’d lost a yummy recipe. You can live here now Mr Cake! All credits to the Almost Bourdain blogger, but I can’t seem to link them because the website is offline. Though I did change up the recipe a bit.

250g salted butter – bring it to room temperature so you can cream easily
220g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1.5 tablesp finely grated orange zest – I measure the juice first, then take the entire orange’s worth of zest that produced that juice. So, if I used half an orange for the juice, I take the whole orange’s worth of zest. Not very scientific clearly.
250g self raising flour- I used gluten free all purpose flour and 1 teasp of baking soda, sifted
85ml freshly squeezed orange juice

Oven temperature: 170 degrees C
Makes an 8 inch cake. I made 1.5x, so had 2 smaller bar cakes. Line your tin with baking paper if using a round tin.

  1. Cream butter and sugar until very pale (4 to 5 minutes).
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent curdling.
  3. Mix in the orange zest.
  4. Throw in the rest of the flour at once, and mix well.
  5. Slowly mix in the orange juice.
  6. Bake 45-55 minutes in the oven, or until a skewer comes out clean. If it browns too fast, cover it with a bit of foil.

Edit: tried this with 200g raw sugar, still too sweet! I’ll reduce further and let you know how it goes.Ā 

* If I know you, ask me.

Raita is a Vegetable

Raita is what I make when I need a vege dish to go with my rice, and I don’t want to cook anything else. Yes, I know its a dip not a dish. No, I don’t care. I don’t care because when I have it in restaurants, I eat loads of it by itself with rice… so, I suppose that makes it a vegetable in my world.

Okay, come scold me now for my raita-mangling, I’m prepared for the onslaught!

This goes especially well with something spicy because the yoghurt and cucumber un-spicy-fies everything when your mouth has caught fire. That happens to me a lot, because I get a bit over excited with the chilli powder/dried chilli/chilli flakes/fresh chilli. I also often get it in my eyes, but it doesn’t help much for that. Don’t put raita on your face. Though people do use cucumber and yoghurt in face masks. Hm.

I suspect I’ve completely destroyed this recipe (as I seem to do with Indian recipes.. sorry). But I like it! It tasted good! So here’s the poor recipe I messed with if you want to meddle with Indian recipes too. I think I should probably call all my Indian recipes “Indian inspired” rather than “Indian”.

That’s it from me, I’m not feeling particularly inspired to write today. I suppose this is one of those posts which is more Lea-using-blog-as-recipe-binder rather than Lea-using-blog-as-excuse-to-ramble-weirdly-and-publicly. Everyone has those days right? A slice of cake and a cup of tea, and all will be well (and verbose) again. I’ll have a cup of tea now, actually.

Lea’s Mangled Raita

Taken from Niya’s World and abused. She didn’t have cucumber in it. I think it was meant to be a yoghurt dip. Oops.

1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 a tub of plain yoghurt – that’s about 200ml but a bit more or a bit less is fine
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 of a red onion – also an approximate measure, I had a big onion, if yours is small use a bit more
1/2 a teasp cumin seeds
A pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper
A little chopped fresh coriander to garnish, if you have it (I didn’t)

  1. Chop the garlic and fry it in a little oil. Cheat like me and blitz it in the microwave (on high, in a mug or a ramekin) in a little oil for about 30 seconds. If you use a mug, you had better designate a garlic-mug, because it makes the mug smell like garlic :). Leave it sizzling on the countertop, it’ll go a nice golden brown after a minute or two.
  2. Fry the cumin seeds in a little oil, until they dance and start to smell nice. No cheating with this one, because you need to watch that they don’t burn. Sorry team lazy. If I figure out how long this takes in the microwave, and at what setting, you’ll be the first to know.
  3. Chop the cucumber into little chunks. Also chop the onion.
  4. Mix the yoghurt, onion, garlic (which has cooled a bit by now), cumin seeds, salt, pepper, and coriander (if you have it). Then, pour in the cucumbers and mix some more. Tadaa! Easy veg.

Sambal Potato & Ikan Bilis, and Things that are Done during International Layovers

I feel like I’ve just done a naughty thing. Inspired by this post, I was bored during a layover while on a 30 hour plane journey (don’t ask, sometimes bad planning wins out). Everything was shut except the cosmetics store. So what did I do? I went in and picked out the yummiest sounding nail polish and whacked it on all my fingers using the tester bottle. It had cake in the name. Technically I suppose I haven’t done anything wrong, but since I had no intention to buy it I feel slightly guilty, almost as if I’ve shoplifted. Overactive conscience, can’t you go to sleep? It’s almost 3am in your time zone, all the good girls have gone to bed by now. I promptly smudged said nails by digging things out of my bag. Yes, this is me, not very patient. Or retribution in action? Perhaps I’m over-thinking this. I’ll probably do it again next time I’m in the airport in any case, so it doesn’t really matter.

On another airport related note, I really don’t understand why people queue for ages before the gate opens. I’m looking at a queue of easily 80+ people and the gate hasn’t even opened yet. I suspect they just enjoy queuing, you know how some people are. Things they appear not to enjoy include sitting on the airport floor like a hobo, judging by the looks I’ve been getting. Especially not if you’re wearing a dress. (Yes, I write to you from airports. I’m so dedicated.)

Anyway back to the food. No one wants to hear about airports, they’re sad places which usually mean someone is leaving. Unless you’re going on holiday, but that’s entirely different of course. In a good way. I digress.

Yes, anyway. Yet again, the attempt at this dish was the result of boredom and too much cold weather. I see certain conditions appear to make me more productive in the kitchen. Did you know that UK in the summer (where I’m going) is approximately the same temperature as Melbourne in winter? Interesting isn’t it. It’s not very nice of the Brits really. Talking about someone behind their back all the time, the way they do about the weather, is enough to make anyone pretty cranky. Forgive me, like I mentioned, it’s 3am in my head.

While trying to make a sambal potato dish, I actually made what tasted exactly like the tempeh madu recipe I was looking for a while back. To makes the switch, dry fry thin slices of tempeh until crispy, or grill them in a toaster oven, and substitute for the potato slices. I’ll probably do that next time, I like it better with tempeh. I still need to find the sambal potato dish I was looking for.

Sambal Potato & Ikan Bilis

Pinched from Love2Cook Malaysia and changed just a bit.

3 big-ish taytoes
3/4 cup ikan bilis – approximately.. a bit more, a bit less, it should be fine
1/2 a red onion – supposed to use 3 shallots. I was being cheap again and didn’t want to buy a whole bag.
3 cloves garlic
9 small dried chillies – use more for more heat, use less if your chillies are bigger, or if you want it less spicy
2 tablesp oyster sauce
3 teasp brown sugar – or you can use normal sugar, or a couple of tablespoons of honey, I didn’t have any on hand

  1. Slice your potatoes into wedges or strips. I chose strips for therapeutic reasons (no not really, I wasn’t thinking straight). You should do wedges,Ā  they’re less work to fry. Fry them in a bit of oil until they’re light brown on both sides, and set aside on some kitchen towels if you have them.
  2. Wash the ikan bilis, you don’t know where they’ve been. Fry them until they’re crispy. Use a little bit of oil, and don’t put the heat too high. Set aside with the potatoes.
  3. Using your trusty chopper, chop the garlic, onion and dried chillies. Fry them in a bit of oil until they start to brown, and your eyes sting when you stand over the pan.
  4. Add the oyster sauce and sugar. Fry a bit longer. Taste to see if you like it, adding a little more oyster sauce or sugar depending on whether you want it a bit more salty or sweet.
  5. Remove from the heat, and add the potato and ikan bilis. Mix well, but don’t be too harsh! You don’t want to mash the nice potatoes.
  6. Eat! With rice. And other dishes. You can’t just eat potato and rice for dinner, even though that was one of my favourite meals when I was little.

Why I Don’t Like Food Colouring, and Tandoori Prawn

Because it’s cheating. That was a simple answer wasn’t it? Well really, I have no problem with food colouring when food is intended to be coloured (like rainbow cake, which is awesome), but I feel that it’s somehow unfair to colour savoury food to make it more pretend-tasty than it is.

I don’t have a problem with mock-meat though. I actually quite like it. I suppose the thought process is that mock meat is a meant to be a trick rather than fresh food anyway, so anything that makes it more exciting is a plus point.

Anyway, the reason why this came up is because apparently, tandoori uses red food colouring. I did not know this. Naive me, thinking that the red comes from secret spices!

The happy ending to this story is that you don’t need to use food colouring to get the nice red colour on these tandoori prawns, you only need to add enough chilli powder. Not a problem, I like chilli powder.

What follows is a surprisingly easy recipe for a surprisingly tasty dish. Take it from someone who usually avoids tandoori in restaurants because I’ve never had one I liked – too dry every time. I only tried making this because I had something similar to tandoori chicken at Bel’s place a week or so ago. Actually it might have been tandoori, I should have asked. I didn’t think it was tandoori because it tasted too good. This didn’t taste the same (so is it tandoori? or not tandoori?), but it’s okay, as I’ve mentioned I’m not exactly the most authentic of kitchen-experimenters around here.
Tandoori Prawn

Based on Aaplemint’s recipe, with a few exclusions depending on what I had in the kitchen. Specifically, I swapped out cumin powder for cumin seeds, and didn’t use any tandoori masala (you’re supposed to use a teaspoonful).

200g prawns – that’s about 10 or 12 depending on how big your prawns are
3 tablesp yoghurt
3 cloves of garlic
1 knob of ginger, about 1cm long and not too thick – like your little finger
Juice of a small green lime
1.5 teasp cumin seeds
2-3 teasp chilli powder – I used closer to 3 teasp
A pinch of salt

  1. De-shell and de-vein the prawns, leaving the tail on. That’s so you have aĀ convenientĀ little handle to grab the prawn with. Ā I dumped mine in icy water afterwards while doing everything else, so that they would get nice and bouncy (restaurant tips!)
  2. Grate the garlic and ginger using the small holes on the grater (the one you use for parmasan cheese). Careful of your fingers, no one likes skin in their food.
  3. Dump all the other ingredients in a bowl with the garlic and ginger. Mix mix.
  4. Put the prawns in, and let them sit in the mixture for at least 2 hours, preferably. I’ll openly admit I only marinated for about half an hour and it turned out fine, but the taste is probably better if you marinate longer.
  5. Now I don’t have a grilling pan to finish it off, and I think it’d also work on a barbeque, but if you’re like me and don’t have any of these items….turn the oven on grill setting. Put the prawns in a non-stick baking tray and place the tray right up near the grilling elements. Wait about 5 minutes, until the prawns are a bit charred, then take them out and flip them over. Put them back in so that the other side gets charred too.

The Pinnacle that is Nasi Lemak (and why you can’t climb it first time)

Moral of the story is: don’t expect to get it right the first time. Nasi lemak is HARD.

All the aunties of Malaysia, I’m sure that they’re laughing away at me for thinking I could get this iconic dish to work on my first attempt. Well, I guess I didn’t really expect it to work, I was just being optimistic. Like how, when someone asks me at 9pm how many hours of work I have left, I say 2, and I truly believe that’s the reality of the situation (it’s usually 4 hours, I generally underestimate by 2 hours).

Real proper nasi lemak makciks (aunties) train their whole lives to make nasi lemak. There are little nasi lemak schools in the kampungs (villages) where the little makciks start training at 4 years old, and a gnarly old makcik shouts at them over a loudspeaker: “Pound! Pound! Cepat cepat! (faster faster!)” That’s how a true nasi lemak is born, in the depths of a pestle and mortar. The sweet smiles of the nasi lemak makciks belie their biceps of steel. *

I used my faithful chopper, of course. Did you really expect otherwise?

Though I was at least pleased that this was recognisable as nasi lemak. Because on seeing it, people go: cucumbers, ikan bilis, red/brown stuff….Ohhh! It’s nasi lemak! Don’t ask why I went for this, I think I was bored, and also cold. Good enough reasons? Cold makes people do odd things. Yes, in my next post, I promise I won’t talk about the cold anymore. Agreed?

Advice to myself next time includes: don’t scrimp on the shallots (I was being cheap and didn’t want to buy a whole bag for 3 shallots), and add more sugar. Don’t forget the single garlic clove to be chopped into the sambal. Yes self, I know you think that one clove of garlic doesn’t really impart any garlic flavour because there isn’t enough of it, but I’m sure there is a reason behind its addition. Also don’t forget the peanuts. They’re an integral part of nasi lemak. Not clever.

More advice: try to get pandan leaves instead of giving up on the hunt so easily. Add a quarter of a chopped onion (raw, roughly chopped) into the rice before cooking. Also some whole peppercorns.

I intentionally left out the hard boiled eggs, because I don’t like them. Too bad, egg lovers of the world!

The rice turned out surprisingly well, fluffy and coconutty. Yay! And the sambal wasn’t half bad at all, considering all the forgotten ingredients šŸ™‚

Nasi Lemak, Take #1

Borrowed and lazied up from Rasa Malaysia.

Rice

1 cup of rice, rinsed
1.5 cups of water, or however much you generally use to cook your rice, then add a little bit more.
1/2 bag of instant coconut milk – the entire packet made 150ml of coconut milk total
A pinch of salt

  1. Rinse the rice as per usual.
  2. Add the water. Drop in half the bag of instant coconut milk and salt, and mix properly to ensure there aren’t any powder clumps.
  3. Cook the rice how you usually would, in a rice cooker. Mine took slightly longer than usual.

Sambal

1 red onion – should’ve used shallots and a quarter of an onion! Oh well. I’ll make a proper attempt someday.
1/2 cup ikan bilis – people say they’re small anchovies, but anchovies taste different. I don’t know.
7 dried chillies – mine were smallish, you can use more. Deseed them or the hotness with overpower everything else
1/2 teasp belacan
1 tablesp asam jawa / tamarind
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tablesp sugar – more to taste
A pinch of salt

  1. Rinse and fry the ikan bilis. Keep a few aside for later.
  2. Dump the belacan, half the onion, and the deseeded dried chillies into the chopper. Grind them down pretty well. If you want to be all proper, use a pestle and mortar. Probably you’re more hardcore than me.
  3. Soak the asam jawa in warm water for about 15 minutes. Mash it up good with a spoon so the water goes murky.
  4. Slice the other half of the red onion into rings.
  5. Fry the belacan paste until fragrant. Make sure to open a window!
  6. Add onion rings. Fry til soft.
  7. Add the ikan bilis (apart from the little bit you set aside). Keep frying.
  8. Add the asam jawa mixture, salt and sugar. Don’t add everything at once, keep tasting until you find a mixture you like. I followed the recipe exactly and thought that the sambal wasn’t sweet enough.
  9. Simmer on low heat until the mixture thickens.

Serve!

Cucumber
Remaining fried ikan bilis
Whole raw peanuts – Don’t forget!!
Egg
Banana leaf – hahah, yea right not in this climate

  1. Slice the cucumber, I like cucumber sticks
  2. Fry the peanuts with some salt. Don’t forget the peanuts!!
  3. Boil the egg. Cut into quarters. Don’t do it if you don’t like egg.
  4. Spread your imaginary banana leaf on a plate. Wipe it off and smooth it down, to remove imaginary dirt.
  5. Put some rice on the place. Surround the rice with a scoop of sambal, some ikan bilis, cucumber stick, and some peanuts. And a quarter of a boiled egg, or not.

* You should know better than to believe me by now. Really, I expected more of you.

Cold Weather and Asam Prawn

I don’t know what it is about cold weather, but it makes me crave local food. Really rather odd, especially seeing as I only left KL a couple of days ago, which means that the craving can’t be due to not-eating-it-since-forever. Just that I think I haven’t, because it’s cold. The mind works in mysterious ways.

So what should I do? I went back to one of my old favourites, Rasa Malaysia, and indulged in food porn for a bit. This is really one of my favourite websites for Malaysian recipes, because when I started out, everything I made from this website actually worked. Rather shockingly for me. And here we are today.

I settled on asam prawn, because it looked easy. And I’m lazy and I didn’t feel like running around to find missing ingredients from secret supermarkets (see my last adventure). It’s too cold right now for those kinds of shenanigans. Today’s weather forecast: 11 degrees C. Feels like: -12856573 degrees C. 10 points forĀ over exaggeration, I’m pretty sure everyone is sick of me complaining about the cold by now. I promise I’m not whining, I’m just telling you how I feel!

Ā 

Anyway. Onwards and upwards! Fly my little butterflied prawns! Fly! Oh you can’t? Yes, it appears I didn’t cut the butterfly deep enough. Oh well, next time.

Asam Prawns (Tamarind Prawns)

Copied from Rasa Malaysia, edited slightly.

Enough prawns to feed two – I had about 200g in the shells with heads
1.5 tablesp asam jawa / tamarind pulp
4 tablesp warm water
1.5 teasp sugar – I used brown sugar
1/4 teasp salt
3 tablesp oil

  1. Mix the asam jawa with warm water, and squish it to extract the juice. Keep going until it looks pretty murky, like the bottom of a muddy pond.
  2. Remove the head of the prawns, and butterfly by slitting them up the back with kitchen scissors. Remove the veiny looking thing that runs down the prawn’s back, which when I little I was convinced was the prawn intestine. Nice imagination huh?
    Edit: Wikipedia says I’m actually right! What a clever small disgusting child I was. No prawn poop for me!
  3. Add the salt and sugar to the asam jawa mixture.
  4. Marinate the prawns in the mixture for at least 15 minutes. I marinated slightly longer because I made this early for dinner. I was procrastinating by cooking instead of doing my work. Sighs.
  5. Heat the oil in the wok. Drop the prawns in, and cook until slightly burnt. I also fried the tamarind pulp. Serve immediately!

Side note. The Avengers = awesome. One of the best recent movies since Star Trek. Saw it yesterday. Yes yes, I’m pretty behind the times. Now, let’s forget about my nerdiness and get back to thinking about the food.

Also, here’s a picture of the Hulk. Credits to the linked source.