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May 1, 2009 06:08 PM

*May 2009* COTM Cradle of Flavor: Tempeh, Tofu, and Eggs

**May 2009 Cookbook of the Month is Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore by James Oseland.

Please post your full-length reviews of recipes here for tempeh, tofu, and egg dishes from Chapter 13, page 318 - 335. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating!

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  1. Kopi Tiam Soft-boiled eggs (telur setengah masak), Malaysia (p. 333)

    Let's say you overdid it in Rubee's liquor cabinet one night and you're not feeling your rosy best the next morning -- not me, mind you, but let's say hypothetically someone is hung over.

    It's about 2 pm and time for breakfast. Fried spicy rice? I think not.

    What one needs is soft-boiled eggs and toast. Not just any soft-boiled eggs, but eggs with a good splash of soy sauce and chopped Thai chiles w/ ground black pepper.

    I used very fresh small-production local eggs, and chopped up the chiles a bit after slicing as Oseland directs. So comforting, the chiles add a nice flavor kick, and gets you back in the land of the living. I had very large eggs and I boiled for 4 mins.

    Oseland says this simple combination of flavors is the essence of Malaysia. Hats off to them! Hey, don't they eat at home??

    6 Replies
    1. re: NYchowcook

      That is so right on as the (tactfully stated) "breakfast for those requiring a wee bit of electrolyte replacement"

      I do the same: soft boiled eggs with chilis and pepper and soy.. The electrolyte and H20 replacement comes from the soy and a flanking bowl of miso soup of large size.

      My Anglo lineage mandates the use of slices of soldiers of whole wheat toast to swipe the yolks and clean the bowls.

      1. re: NYchowcook

        Somehow, this is making me crave a Blood Mary and those eggs. If I find myself in such an...ahem...hypothetical situation, I'm going to try this cure.

        1. re: Rubee

          did you see that your liquor cabinet a.k.a. Singapore Sling ingredients is pictured in the ingredients chart by smtucker(?)

          BTW, if you're up for a bloody mary -- which I most definately was not (hypothetically speaking) -- you can make these eggs any day!

          1. re: NYchowcook

            Ha - I didn't see smtucker's he ingredients list. I did a search, but can't find it. Do you have the link?

      2. Chile omelet (Telur Dadar Pakai Cabai), Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore, p. 334

        Chile-spiked eggs as a vehicle for that delectable kecap manis!

        Add a bunch of peanut oil to pan, saute chopped chiles for a minute (I used some Thai and Anaheim, since I’m out of the called-for Holland chiles). Add eggs beaten lightly w/ salt, and cook on higher heat, spreading the eggs out so they lie flat and don’t clump. Then try to flip it over to finish cooking on other side. Good luck trying to keep in one piece! (You’ll see my first attempt was less than successful on that score.)

        The eggs came out firmer than a traditional french omelet, and I actually liked the texture. The chiles gave it a pleasant spicy heat with the flavor of peanut oil, and the sweet soy sauce makes the dish heavenly.

        I think this omelet would be a great light dinner w/ potato rendang.

        Where are the tofu/tempeh aficionados?

        1. Fried Eggs with Garlic, Shallots, Chiles, and Ginger (telur mata sapi bumbu), p. 332

          I made this for lunch this weekend, serving with steamed rice, Eggplant Pickle, and Javanese Sambal. Easy and delicious. I actually ended up making a double batch of the "topping" - sliced chiles (bell and Thai), garlic, shallots, and ginger to have for lunches this week.

          Fry an egg on the crispy side and remove. Saute above ingredients, add a little rice vinegar, and serve over the egg. Today's lunch was with some leftover steamed rice and Javanese Sambal.

          1. GARLIC MARINATED TEMPEH p. 322 which is used in
            TEMPEH SAMBAL WITH BASIL p. 324

            The fresh red Holland chile conundrum was met with hot hot red cherry peppers from my freezer. They are thick walled, so provide good substance. I essentially quartered this recipe -- I just wanted a little lunch for myself. Chile-shallot-garlic-sugar mix was too chunky out of the mini-food processor, so I beat it up a little with mortar and pestle, and added a shaving of dried shrimp paste at this stage. I shallow fried the tempeh in peanut oil (and I can't say I noticed much difference with the 15 min garlic marinade, but whatever - I don't know what it would be like if I had not done it)
            removed the tempeh to fry the ground paste. With the tablespoon of oil left in the pan, it dried up pretty quickly -- I added a splash of water two or three times, which all evaporated quickly in the very hot small cast iron sautee pan. When it looked done to me, tossed it with the already fried tempeh and jullienned basil leaves, over a little jasmine rice. YUM.

            Also, no lemon basil avail -- and my Thai basil is not a very large plant yet, so a mix of Italian basil and Thai basil. It tasted great anyway - those are Oseland's suggested substitutions.

            It was flavorful, not hot hot - but then, I took it pretty easy, only using two of the hot cherry peppers which are each about the size of a golf ball. I would absolutely make this again, esp if I ever find a lemon basil plant...

            1. Twice-Cooked Tofu with Coriander (tahu goreng bacem), p. 330

              The cooking method (simmering in a marinade until it's absorbed) made the tofu soak in so much flavor. Also, I did step one the night before, and then fried them the next day for lunch.

              Tofu is cut into triangles and then simmered in a marinade of tamarind, ground coriander, garlic, shallots, fresh galangal, sweet soy/kecap manis, palm sugar and water until evaporated. It took close to the 45 minutes the recipe calls for. I let cool and then refrigerated.

              The next day I blotted the moisture, and then crisped up in some hot oil. It made a nice simple lunch served with steamed jasmine rice and a bit of Nyonya Sambal (p. 121). This fiery sambal was good with just plain rice and the slightly sweet/soy/spiced tofu. It was so spicy, I only used a little bit mixed into the rice and eaten with the tofu.