Tag: cookbook recipe

Francis Kuijk’s pandan fudge

Francis Kuijk has a well-known and beloved face in the Dutch food scene since she made it to the season 4 finale of Heel Holland Bakt (Dutch Bake Off). She has large online following, makes regular TV appearances and has released four cookbooks in the Netherlands up to date.

Her new book, Manis (Indonesian for ‘sweet’), is coming out this week and I had the pleasure of having a look before it hit stores. Like me, Francis is of Dutch-Indonesian descent so after her tomes on the foundations of Indisch and Indonesian cooking it was time for a book on Indisch and Indonesian sweets and baking.

Pandan all the things!

Manis offers a nice combination of nostalgic Indisch and Indonesian recipes alongside more modern concoctions that Francis came up with herself. Though her editor told her that maybe that was enough pandan for one book, personally I can never get enough pandan so I was quite happy to see so much of it (and gula djawa) in one book.

If you don’t know what pandan is, it’s often called ‘the vanilla of South East Asia’ but I never know if this is because it is so widely used or because people need to come up with useless comparisons. Flavorwise, except for the subtlety, it is nothing like vanilla in my opinion. All you need to know is that pandan is good, makes everything sweet more delicious and that it turns everything green (including my nose when I was making this fudge).

While we can now get fresh or frozen pandan in Europe, I remember the first pandan I ever had coming from Indonesian pandan chiffon cake mixes my grandmother brought over in the 90’s. This is probably why I prefer artificial pandan over ‘real’ pandan which is too mild for my tastes. I recommend the Koepoe Kopoe brand of pandan paste. I’ve tried those extracts in small brown bottles but suffer from a bitter note that is really gross and drowns out subtle pandan. Furthermore, as Francis points out in her book, extract ads more liquid to your bakes, which tends to cause problems.

Oh fudge

The recipes I was most eager to cook were the pandan and gula djawa fudge (Javanese palm sugar,  my other favorite Indonesian sweet ingredient – more on that that some other time) as they seemed the easiest to tackle. I’d wanted to combine them with one a swirl to the other, but as I’m a shit baker and they are made with two different techniques, Francis warned against it. I got the ingredients for both though, so I guess I’ll be eating fudge for the next month or so.

If you want to make pandan fudge yourself just follow the recipe below, for the gula djawa fudge I’m afraid you’re going to have to hope Francis will one day share it in English, or get the book and figure out the translations for yourself.

Other recipes that caught my eye are rose syrup marshmallows, kue putu mayang (fresh made noodles in a gula djawa sauce), rotikukus vanila cokelat (this is a steamed Indonesian cake I used to get for all my birthdays but I have yet to replicate my grandmother’s recipe) and brownies with a kue lapis crumble (hello?!).

Manis is unfortunately only available in Dutch right now, if you’re looking for an Indonesian cookbook recommendation Sri Owen’s Indonesian Food (UK) or The Indonesian Kitchen (US) is your best bet in English.

A wall made with green pandan fudge pieces in stacks of seven and rows of three, on a green marble and plain green backdrop.

Francis Kuijk's recipe for Pandan Fudge

Dorothy Porker
Make a sweet, soft and delicious venture into pandan with this super easy pandan fudge recipe from Francis Kuijk's Indische sweets andb baking book Manis.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting time 1 d
Course Birthdays, Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine Dutch Indonesian, Indisch, Indonesian

Equipment

  • Baking tray the lower wider kind, that you'd use for brownies
  • parchment or baking paper
  • heavy bottomed large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fridge
  • trivets

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 c - 170 g unsalted butter roomtemperature + extra for greasing, see note in recipe and below
  • 2 c - 500 g white caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt leave this out if you only have salted butter
  • 2/3 c - 150 ml unsweetened evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp pandan aroma I prefer Koepoe Koepoe paste, see blogpost above
  • 7 oz - 200 g white marshmallows see note
  • 8.5 oz - 240 g white chocolate callets, but you can also just coarsely chop up a bar

Instructions
 

  • Grease your baking tray and line it with parchment. Set aside.
  • Place the 3/4 c - 170 g of butter, 2 c - 500 g of sugar, 1/4 tsp salt (if using salted butter) and 2/3 c - 150 ml of unsweetened evaporated milk in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Place on a medium low heat and allow to melt and bring to a gentle boil while stirring continously.
  • Leave to simmer at a light boil for 4 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary, and keep stirring.
  • Once the 4 minutes have passed, add 1 tsp of pandan aroma before you add 7 oz - 200 gr of white marshmallows (see note). Keep stirring until the marshmallows have dissolved completely.
  • Turn the heat down and stir in 8.5 oz - 240 g of white chocolate callets or coarsely chopped chunks, stir until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Pour your mixture out into your pre-greased and parchmented baking tray and leave to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Place in the fridge and leave to cool for at least 2 hours. I set mine on some trivets as the baking tray was still very hot and I didn't want to accidentally shatter my fridge shelves.
  • For best results, leave to cool overnight before cutting into even squares and tucking in.

Notes

  • I picked out all the white marshmallows from the bag and then used the pinks to reach 200 grams, it turned out fine.
  • The original recipe was written in grams, milliliters and teaspoons. Follow those measurements for the best results.
  • The fudge keeps for 2 weeks in an airtight container. Be sure to separate the fudge by placing layers of parchment in between each layer.
  • If well packed, you can also keep this in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • This recipe is very sweet, if I make it again I would drizzle dark chocolate over the top.
Keyword Asian sweets, fudge, pandan

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor pandan fudge uit Francis Kuijk’s Manis.

Tortas de Chilaquiles – Mexican Sandwiches

I’m a simple woman. I see chilaquiles, I have chilaquiles.

The first time I had them was at Puerto Alegre in San Francisco roughly 10 years ago. I fell in love with the dish and red mole immediately. Both of these are hard to come by here in the Netherlands so I’ve had to make due with instant sauces and Thai-Mexican mashups of my own making.

The cookbook Comida Mexicana by Rosa Cienfuegos surrounded by a few empty tomatillo husks.

Comida Mexicana – Rosa Cienfuegos

Lucky for me, GoodCook (one of my favorite Dutch cookbook publishers) were kind enough to send me a copy of their newly released a translation of Comida Mexicana (UK only) by Rosa Cienfuegos. It’s a stellar read. With amazing photography by Alicia Taylor. As well as wonderful personal story of creating a home away from home.

There’s lots of stuff I want to cook from this book, but the tortas de chilaquiles (a chilaquiles sandwich) was my number one.

A closeup of salted black totopos (fresh fried nachos made from fresh tortillas).

Sourcing Mexican ingredients

As mentioned, it can be hard to find Mexican ingredients in the Netherlands. In the past 10 years the situation has improved greatly however. So I was able to order tomatillos and jalapenos to make fresh salsa verde, as well as fresh tortillas to fry my own totopos from Westland Pepers. The tortillas are made by Tortillería Taiyara, who supplies all the best eateries and tokos in the Netherlands. You can also order your totopos ready-made from her.

A scathering of empty green tomatillo husks.

Schnitzelgate

I decided to make mine with tofu schnitzel because I am trying to cut back on meat. To make this I froze my tofu straight from the shop. Thawed it. Pressed it and then coated it in panko. You are of course free to use veal, which the original recipe calls for, or buy storebought schnitzel because why the fuck not.

A jar of salsa verde.

All this? For a sandwich?

This recipe may seem like a lot of work for a sandwich but it’s a DAMNED good sandwich and you can skip a bunch of steps by going with store-bought totopos, schnitzels and salsa verde (if you’re lucky enough to have any nearby).

A tortas de chilaquiles (chilaquiles bread roll) with chilaquiles made with black totopos, sour cream, tofu schnitzel and feta cheese.

Tortas de chilaquiles - Chilaquiles sandwiches

Dorothy Porker
A recipe for tortas de chilaquiles (Mexican chilaquiles sandwiches) from the cookbook Comida Mexicana by Rosa Cienfuegos, made vegetarian with tofu schnitzel.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Tofu freezing, thawing and pressing time 2 d 30 mins
Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 tortas

Equipment

  • Freezer, if making your own tofu schnitzels
  • Heavy object, if making your own tofu schnitzels
  • Griddle pan, if making your own salsa
  • Blender or food processor, if making your own salsa
  • Deep fat fryer or frying pan, if making your own totopos
  • Deep plate x2, if making your own schnitzels
  • Large frying pan x2

Ingredients
  

For the salsa verde, you can also use store-bought

  • 21 oz - 600 g tomatillos fresh or canned
  • 20 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 white onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T - 15 g salt
  • 1 bunch coriander coarsely chopped

For the totopos, you can also use store-bought

  • neutral oil for deep fat frying
  • 12 fresh corn tortillas cut into 8 pieces each
  • salt to taste

For the tofu schnitzels, you can also use store-bought

  • 1 egg whisked
  • 2/3 c - 150 ml milk the heaviest milk you can get, nutmilk is fine
  • 1 T - 15 g salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pack firm or semi-firm tofu frozen in its liquid, thawed, then pressed for 30 minutes and cut into 1/2" - 1 cm slices
  • 1 c - 100 g bread crumbs I used panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) because I'm fancy, but use whatever
  • sunflower oil for shallow frying

For the tortas de chilaquiles

  • 4 c - 1 l salsa verde recipe to follow, or store-bought
  • 2 lbs - 1 kg totopos recipe to follow, or store-bought
  • 6 teleras (Mexican bread rolls) I used what the Dutch call 'an Italiaanse bol', look for something slightly firmer on the outside but soft on the inside
  • 2 T - 30 ml sour cream
  • 2 T - 30 g cojita cheese I used crumbled feta
  • 6 tofu schnitzels recipe to follow, or store-bought

Instructions
 

First, make the salsa verde

  • If you were able to source fresh tomatillos, remove the husk and wash 21 oz - 600 g of tomatillos. If using tinned tomatillos drain and pat dry.
  • Griddle them on a very hot griddle with 20 jalapenos and coarsely chopped white onion until they turn black on the outside. You can also do this directly over a hot flame if you dare.
  • Move all of the blackened tomatillos, jalapenos and onion to a blender or food processor with 1 clove of garlic, 1 T - 15 g of salt and 1 bunch of coarsely chopped coriander and blend until fine. If the sauce is too coarse add water until you get your desired consistency.

Now, make the totopos

  • Heat oil in a deep pan or in a deep fat fryer to 180° C - 360° F.
  • Fry the tortillas cut into 8 pieces in batches until crisp and starting to brown. Usually once they start floating and stop bubbling they are done.
  • Drain on some kitchen towel and season with salt.

Next, make the tofu schnitzels

  • Mix the whisked egg with 2/3 c - 150 ml of milk, 1 T - 15 g of salt and freshly ground pepper in a deep plate. Place in the slices of tofu and leave to soak for 3 minutes.
  • Place 1 c of bread crumbs in another deep plate and heat a decent layer of sunflower oil in a large frying pan.
  • Coat the tofu slices in breadcrumbs and fry until golden and crisp. This should take 5 minutes per side or so.

Now, make the chilaquiles

  • Heat almost all of the 4 c - 1 l of salsa verde in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the totopos and a cup of water, stir and heat through for 5 minutes or so. If you like your chilaquiles a little crispier, I'd skip the water and the 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.

Tortas de chilaquiles, ASSEMBLE

  • Cut your teleras or whatever bread rolls you're using in half, top with a scoop of the cooked chilaquiles, the sour cream, cojita or feta, tofu (or other) schnitzel and a little bit of uncooked salsa verde and dig in.

Notes

  • Obviously these tortas do not keep and should be eaten straight away.
  • The salsa verde will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge and are great for dipping chips or having on any number of tacos.
  • Totopos will keep for about a week in a cookie tin.
Keyword chilaquiles, Mexican food, sandwiches, tortas

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor tortas de chilaquiles, Mexicaanse broodjes chilaquiles.

Bubur Ketan Hitam – Porridge

This recipe for bubur ketan hitam, Indonesian black rice pudding, comes from the award winning Dutch cookbook Indorock by rockstar food stylist Vanja van der Leeden. She created an amazing book, re-introducing the Netherlands to Indonesian food. To explain why that was necessary, I’m afraid a little history lesson is in order. Or just scroll down for the recipe.

The Dutch-East Indies

The Netherlands was a huge colonial power during what locally is still referred to as The Golden Age. One of ‘our’ territories was Indonesia, a vast archipelago of different people and cultures that were pulled together through colonial rule by the Portuguese, British and Dutch, mostly to gain dominance over the global spice trade. This dominance lasted for around 300 years.

Once the war ended Indonesia claimed independence and the Dutch were booted out. With that a lot of people of European-Indonesian descent were kicked out as well.

The Dutch had managed the colony in part by giving certain Indo-Europeans a special status, above native Indonesians. They used us (yes I am one of them) as a sort of mid level management. With all the perks of whatever being mid management entails. But also with the clear distinction that we were never going to be white, with all that that entails.

As a result of our position and attempts of some Indo-Europeans to become the new senior level managers in Indonesia after Dutch rule, Indonesians were weary off those of us who had collaborated with the Dutch and kicked us out.

Indo-Europeans

Indo-Europeans were initially born out of sex slavery and later through covert forms of sex slavery, where a housekeeper would also have to ‘keep’ her employer in other ways.

Depending on the politics of the day, children born from these arrangements (interracial marriages did occur, but were illegal or otherwise punished at various times in colonial history) would be allotted this special status (or not) and even be taken away from their Indonesian mothers once a European man finally found a wife ‘proper’ (i.e. a white one). You can get a glimpse of these practices by reading about the life of my grandfather.

Because laws and practices about Indo-Europeans changed over time, our family histories are all very different. We are often spoken of as a coherent group, but we’re really not. A lot of (unacknowledged) Indo-Europeans stayed behind, some by force, some by choice. There are even some Indo-Europeans that were never accepted by the Netherlands nor by Indonesia and are still living as stateless people in Indonesia, surviving on donations.

Sooo, what does this have to do with food?

People often think Indonesian food is popular in the Netherlands. But what is really popular here is colonial Dutch-Indonesian food (also known as ‘Indisch eten’). A mishmash of Indonesian food and Dutch ideas and adjustments of it, that were brought here after a lot of us were booted out of the country and ‘repatriated’ (though most of us had never been here before) to the Netherlands.

Often, because of the status these refugees had in the colonies, they didn’t know how to cook. Most of them had a kokkie (a cook) in Indonesia. So once they got here and wanted a taste of home, they had to make stuff up. On top of that a lot of the ingredients used in the Dutch East Indies weren’t available here, so they had to improvise even further.

Oma Pipi

I got lucky because my grandmother started cooking at a very young age. She survived the war by selling small snacks on the streets. Her parents were afraid to go outside because her father was considered a collaborator for the Dutch. But was considered too Indonesian to be interned by the Japanese (not that that would have been any better, see my grandfather’s story linked above).

After Indonesian independence, my grandparents fled to New Guinea. There my grandmother ran a catering company. Until finally, after 5 years of pleading and begging (we weren’t considered European enough to repatriate), they were allowed to flee to Holland in 1962 where both my grandparents worked in factories while my grandmother sold snacks on the side.

So: my grandmother a) knew the original recipes and b) knew how to replace ingredients she couldn’t find. Though I imagine there’s a lot of stuff she didn’t even try because ingredients weren’t available. I remember we didn’t get pandan cake until the mid 90s and it was just a ready mix for chiffon cake.

The cover of Vanja van der Leeden's Indorock

Vanja’s Indorock

To bring it back to Vanja’s amazing Indorock. The Dutch interpretation of Indonesian food had been at a standstill for decades. Fed by nostalgia for our former home, or our grandparents’ homes (as in my case), what we were eating was a maybe 30’s to 40’s Dutch colonial interpretation of Indonesian food. With the kind of tweaks a diaspora makes when ingredients are missing.

Vanja traveled through Indonesia as it is now and brings its current flavors to us. Adding in some of her own ideas and preferences. In Indorock she highlights the many chefs, restaurants and people she met during her travels. She finishes off with small but crucial touches like explaining the difference between ‘Indisch’ and Indonesian. And using current Indonesian spelling for foods, rather than Dutch colonial spelling that is more commonly used here.

Bubur ketan hitam is just one of over a 130 exciting and inspiring recipes, that are all super fresh and light compared to the stodgy cooking of 40’s colonial Indonesia. At the moment Indorock is only available in Dutch and German, but hopefully it gets picked up internationally soon as well.

Indorock by Vanja van der Leeden, Coconut&Sambal by Lara Lee and De Bijbel van de Indonesische Keuken by Maureen Tan

Want to know more about Indonesia?

As you may have noticed I’m not just into food but also very interested in Dutch Indonesian (post)colonial history. I think being a child of refugees. Growing up in what is essentially lost (colonial) culture for the first 20 years of my life have really informed the rest of my well… life.

It always surprises me how little people speak and know about Indonesia globally because it is the 4th most populous country in the world. It’s also one of the largest countries in the world.*

  • P.A. Toer‘s The Buru Quartet, this is a long read but it gives a fictionalized history of Indonesia from the butt end of the colonial period until a little after Indonesian independence and gives you a really great insight into Indonesian history. I cannot recommend it enough (and I recommend it always)
  • The Interpreter from Java by Alfred Birney, a critical history (which is too often read as a personal history) of postcolonial life in The Netherlands
  • Indonesia Etc. from Elizabeth Pisani, a sort of travelogue through Indonesia as it is now and a great explanation of how complex a nation Indonesia is (though I found some of it a bit Eurocentric)
  • Sri Owen‘s Indonesian Food, Sri is the Grande Dame of Indonesian cooking and while I don’t have her book yet she is the Grande Dame for a reason
  • For Coconut&Sambal by Lara Lee worked with Sri Owen among others, and her book is hopefully the first in a long line of new Indonesian cookbooks available in English
  • De Njai by Reggie Baay explains the history of Indo-Europeans and the njai, our fore mothers, in great and painful detail. Unfortunately it’s only available in Dutch right now
  • De Bijbel van de Indonesische Keuken by Maureen Tan is unfortunately only available in Dutch for now, but in this book Maureen organised a huge amount of Indonesian dishes by island and region, using local batiks for specific recipes, making this one of the most complete books on Indonesian cooking you will probably find

There are many more interesting books, so if you want even more I suggest you get to Googling.

* For the record: I have yet to visit Indonesia. As a teenager I hated the question if I’d ever been ‘back’. And later I hated the idea of going ‘back’ to a place that really doesn’t exist anymore. Indonesia is not the country my grandparents left behind and I do not feel a special connection to Indonesia as such. I am well aware I’d be a tourist. Now I would love to visit, but finding the time and funds (and now  corona) means I’ll probably be a while. 

Now, for that recipe…

A black plate with black rice pudding and white coconut milk with a skull shaped teaspoon and a lime leaf, with fried sweet potato chips and a halved lime on the side

Bubur ketan hitam - Indonesian black rice porridge from Indorock

Dorothy Porker
Bubur ketan hitam is an Indonesian black glutenous rice porridge served as breakfast or as an afternoon pick me up. It's quite heavy, but in smaller portions it also makes for a nice dessert.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Soak (overnight) 8 hrs
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 2 - 4 people

Equipment

  • Large pot x 3
  • Small saucepan
  • Pan for shallow frying
  • Slotted spoon
  • Paper towels

Ingredients
  

For the rice

  • 7 oz - 200 gr black glutinous rice
  • 6 makrut lime leaves
  • 0.5" - 2 cm ginger peeled
  • 2.5 oz - 75 gr gula jawa this is Javanese palm sugar, accept no substitute!
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr salt

For the pandan coconut milk

  • 13.5 oz - 400 ml coconut milk look for coconut milk with low water content, it's often marked by stores as coconut milk for desserts
  • 1/4 t - pinch salt
  • 2 large pandan leaves tied into a knot, OR
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr pandan paste be sure to get paste, pandan essence is gross

For the sweet potato chips

  • 6.5 oz - 200 ml water
  • 6.5 oz - 200 gr plain sugar
  • 1/2 sweet potato cut into thin slices
  • sunflower oil for frying

To serve

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 handful pistachios unsalted, roughly crushed

Instructions
 

The night before (or 8 hrs ahead of time)

  • Wash 7 oz - 200 gr of black glutenous rice and soak it in at least double the amount of water overnight.

To make the rice porridge

  • Add 4 c - 1 liter of water to the glutenous rice and the water you used to soak it in overnight. Add 6 lime leaves, grate 05" - 2 cm of ginger into the pan and mix it into the rice.
  • Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Stir in 2.5 oz - 75 gr of gula djawa and 1/2 t - 2.5 gr of salt and leave to simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Your rice should now have reached a porridgy consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the pandan coconut milk - make this while the rice is cooking

  • While the rice is cooking, slowly heat 13.5 oz - 400 ml coconut milk in a saucepan with 1/4 t - pinch salt and 2 large pandan leaves tied into knots or 1/2 t - 2.5 gr of pandan paste.
  • Allow the flavors to slowly combine for around 10 minutes before removing the pan from the heat.

To make sweet potato chips - make this while the rice and coconut milk are cooking

  • Bring 6.5 oz - 200 ml water to the boil with 6.5 oz - 200 ml of plain sugar.
  • One the sugar water mixture has come to the boil, briefly cook the thin slices of sweet potato in the sugar water - 5 minutes or so. Remove and pat dry.
  • Now heat some sunflower oil in a pan to 360° F - 180° C. You can test whether the oil is the right heat by throwing in one potato slice. If the oil comes to a ferocious bubble immediately, you're ready to fry.
  • Fry the sweetened sweet potato slices to a crisp and leave them to cool on some paper towels.

To serve

  • Squeeze some lime juice into the rice porridge to bring up the flavor, or serve lime wedges on the side so people can adjust according to their own taste.
  • Depending on how many people you're serving and how hungry you are, divide the rice porridge across 2 - 4 plates, with some of the coconut milk, a handful of sweet potato chips and toss some roughly crushed unsalted pistachios on top.

Notes

I don't like reheated porridge, but maybe you do. I'm sure the sauce and porridge will keep for a day.
I recommend frying up a whole sweet potato because odds are you'll eat half of the sweet potato chips before you're ready to serve.
Keyword black pudding, breakfast, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, indorock, porridge, vanja van der leeden

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar bubur ketan hitam, Indonesische rijstepap op vettesletten.nl.

Lady & Pups’ Curry Risotto

Affiliate banner explaining there is an affiliate link for Bookshop.org, an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores, in this article.Mandy from Lady and Pups has been one of my biggest flavor inspirations for years. I think we share a penchant for flavors that pack a punch and innovations that some might consider sacrilegious.

She is also a pioneer in the moody style of food photography I thought I’d end up doing before I turned into a brightly colored butterball. So when her book The Art of Escapism Cooking came out last year, I just had to have it.

A picture of Mandy from Lady and Pups hiding behind a copy of her book The Art of Escapism Cooking

Where Mandy and I drift apart is that I tend to like short cuts where she appears to be a gluton for punishment. The chapter Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself thus rang the most true to me, and this kare (Japanese curry brick) risotto was the first recipe I cooked from Escapism.

What are Japanese curry bricks?

Now you can make your own curry bricks, but Japanese food tends to be high quality at all levels. And making life harder for yourself is so not the point of this dish. So get yourself some bricks.

Because I get greedy when I go to my bigger Asian supermarket, I got a few brands. My favorite was the Kokumaro-brand. The hot version isn’t that hot, and it has a nice creamy edge to it that I get off on.

An example of a Japanese curry brick box by the brand Kokumaro

All the brands I got were hot. Some packed too much of a punch for me, were too salty or too bland. Do with that information what you will. I’d recommend trying a bunch if you can afford to. If not, go with Kokumaro and blame me (no refunds tho).

How do you eat Japanse curry risotto?

This is a very filling main course and it really doesn’t need anything else.

I added frozen peas to mine for some greens. Broccoli would probably also work. But I like all green veggies.

If you have to eat this as a side I would cook whatever greens you are having separately and serve it with chicken or pork schnitzel for Tonkatsu (Japanese schnitzel) vibes and use the recipe below to serve two.

Some things to look out for

I thought I’d get smart and fancy with this recipe and not read the instructions properly, so the first time I made it with arborio rice in my Instant Pot. This was a bad idea.

Curry bricks are an instant cooking solution and don’t need a lot of time to thicken (or burn). Use leftover rice from the day before (or: make sure you have leftover rice at hand).

I have on occasion been out of ginger and curry powder to add and didn’t miss these. I did try and make this without any of Mandy’s additions to the bricks at some point and that was very meh, so please don’t omit too much. Though I also didn’t miss the Parm on days where I’d run out.

What I did miss is this recipe on days where I didn’t have any curry bricks. The egg yolk really is a must-have finishing touch. So on to the recipe.

You can buy Mandy Lee’s The Art of Escapism cooking here if you’re in the US or here if you’re in the UK.

A blue background with a white plate with a black circle on top. On the plate to the right front there is a small brown and wood patterned dish with some grated Parmesan inside. To the back and left on the plate is an oval black bowl, filled with dark yellow brown rice dotted with peas, topped with a golden egg yolk. A wedge of parmesan has been set on it's backend to the right backend of the plate.

Curry Risotto from The Art of Escapism Cooking

Dorothy Porker
A quick and easy hearty and aggressive risotto made with Japanese curry bricks and some extra veg from The Art of Escapism Cooking by Lady and Pups.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main course
Cuisine Fusion, Italian, Japanese
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Grater

Ingredients
  

  • 1 c - 250 ml chicken stock
  • 3 T - 45 ml milk most variaties work - more as needed
  • 1 1/3 T - 30 gr Japanese curry bricks whichever brand you like, can find or afford
  • 2 T - 30 gr caramelized onion powder I buy ready-made caramelized onions and grind them up with my pestle and mortar
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 t - 3 gr ginger grated
  • 2 t - 12 gr unsweetened cocoa powder yes really
  • 2 t - 12 gr curry powder
  • 1/2 t - 3 gr Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t - 3 gr honey
  • 1 1/4 c 160 gr rice pre-cooked, leftover is fine
  • 1 egg yolk you can freeze the whites for up to one year
  • Parmesan grated, to serve
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 c - 125 gr peas fresh or frozen, optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine everything 1 c - 250 ml chicken stock, 3 T - 45 ml milk, 1 1/3 T - 30 gr curry brick, 1 T - 15 gr caramelized onion powder, clove of garlic, 1/2 t - 3 gr of ginger, mustard, honey and the 2 tsp - 12 gr of cacao and curry powder in a heavy based saucepan until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Bring to a simmer and stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Add 1 1/4 c - 160 gr rice and 1 c - 125 gr peas and warm through. Adjust thickness with milk if so desired.
  • Serve with 1 raw egg yolk on top and lots of the grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

Notes

Lady and Pups' curry risotto keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge and can best be reheated by coating it in breadcrumbs and shallow frying it.
Keyword comfort food, cookbook recipe, Italian food, Japanese curry, Japanese food, Lady and Pups, The Art of Escapism Cooking

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor Japanse curry risotto van Lady&Pups.

Affiliate banner explaining there is an affiliate link for Bookshop.org, an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores, in this article.

Banana Green Curry Cake

My sister-in-law (not by law but let’s not get into the details here) gave me her copy of Christina Tosi’s All About Cake. As happens to all of us, she got it out of excitement for Tosi but then found she didn’t have the time to actually bake from it.

A guy with ME written above his head, looking at a girl with "A NEW COOKBOOK" written across her and then his angry girlfriend with "THE BOOKS I ALREADY OWN" written across her

While I side-eyed all the cookbooks (and books-books) I have that I haven’t cooked from yet, I promised I’d bake from this book. Since it is my goal to bake more this year and since I love Tosi this shouldn’t a problem (remind me of this later).

We’ve got the funk: green curry in cake? Hell yeah!

As someone who is more savory than sweet and a lover of funky flavors, the first thing that caught my eye was this Banana Green Curry pound cake with black pepper butter. I turned it into a Bundt cake because I don’t have a loaf pan.

The cover of All About Cake by Christina Tosi

This cake is not as funky as the name would have it. It’s more sweet with spicy undertones, which is perfect for people just getting into the funk. I might add a bit more green curry the next time I make this, because why the fuck not?

Tosi says you can toast it as well, but I found my cake was gone before I could try that.

A word on Christina Tosi recipes

Tosi’s recipes always sound very intimidating because she uses a lot of ingredients. Beyond those ingredient lists I’ve found most of her cakes are still your basic “mix your wets and dries separately, then together and then bake”-bakes. So take a deep breath, go for a shop and dig in.

A banana curry cake surrounded by Haribo candy bananas and the book All About Cake by Christina Tosi

Banana curry cake from Christina Tosi's All About Cake

Dorothy Porker
This banana green curry cake is lush and moist with a nice little kick at the end.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Birthdays, Dessert, Party snack
Cuisine American, Fusion
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Bundt or loaf shape cake pan
  • Small bowl x2
  • Fork
  • Large bowls x2
  • Whisk
  • Wire rack

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium - 280 gr ripe bananas ripe as in oozing out of their skins ripe

Wet ingredients

  • 12 T - 170 gr butter melted
  • 3/4 c - 165 gr sour cream
  • 1 T - 18 gr Thai green curry paste
  • 1/2 t - 2 gr banana extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk this is just the yolk from a large egg

Dry ingredients

  • 1 c - 200 gr sugar
  • 1 c - 135 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 c - 120 gr cake flour see instructions below if you can't find this
  • 1 1/2 T - 6 gr baking powder
  • 1 t - 6 gr baking soda
  • 1 1/4 t - 5 gr salt

For the black pepper butter, optional

  • 7 T - 95 gr butter softened
  • 3 t - 10 gr sugar
  • 1 t - 4 gr salt
  • 1 1/2 t - 3.5 gr black pepper freshly ground

Instructions
 

To make your own cake flour

  • If you cannot find American cake flour, you can make your own by blending together 1 c - 125 grams of plain flour with 1 T - 15 grams of corn flour. This makes little over 1 cup, so for this recipe you will need to make 4 batches of cake flour and you’ll be left with a little extra for another day.

To make the cake

  • Preheat your oven to roughly 350° F/ 160° C. Grease and dust whichever pan you're using for this.
  • Place 2 very ripe bananas in a small bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Now whisk together the 12 T - 170 gr of melted butter, 3/4 c - 165 gr of sour cream, 1 T - 18 gr of curry paste, 1/2 t - 2 gr of banana extract, 2 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk in a large bowl. Add the bananas and stir to combine.
  • Mix together 1 c - 200 gr of sugar, 1 c - 135 gr of all purpose and 1 c - 120 gr of cake flour with 1 1/2 tsp - 5 gr of baking powder, 1 tsp - 6 gr of baking soda and 1 1/4 tsp - 5 gr of salt in another large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir to combine. Use a whisk to break up any lumps.
  • Finally pour the combined batter into your greased and dusted cake pan. Bake the cake for 60 minutes or so, until the cake rises and puffs. Tap the top of your cake with your fingertips. If the cake bounces back firmly and the center is no longer jiggly, the cake should be done. If it does not pass this test, give it another 5 to 10 minutes and then try again.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes, before turning it over onto a wire rack and allowing it to cool completely. While you try your patience you can make the black pepper butter.

To make the black pepper butter, optional

  • Mix together 7 T - 95 gr of softened butter with 3 t - 10 gr of sugar, 1 t - 4 gr of salt and 1 1/2 t - 3.5 gr of freshly ground black pepper until airy.

Notes

The cake will keep in your fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in clingfilm for 1 week.
The black pepper butter will last for roughly 1 month in the fridge, and is a great excuse to bake a second cake.
Keyword all about cake, american cakes, christina tosi, milk bar

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar VetteSletten.nl voor Christina Tosi’s bananencake met groene curry.