food in the tropics

Holland’s experiencing tropical heat at the moment, indoors the temp can reach up to 30ºC! Times like this I remember a bit too clearly how life in Bandung-Jakarta used to be :). The heat here is dryer though, which means my face does not change into an oil factory, but it also means that the thoat can get really dry – especially in the night time. Or maybe it’s just my cold. Yes, my COLD. This super-charged virus inside my body does not show any signs of leaving, I’ve been down with flu every other month since January!!

Anyway, I was talking about the heat, not the cold! The heat wave is quite nice for a change, though I’m glad this weekend it’s going to cool down to the acceptable 20-25ºC range again. That’s our definition of a nice summer, as I’ve mentioned earlier last year when I talked about Dutch Heat – yes, that’s clickable, just as the pictures are 🙂

Well, when it’s the air is this dry and hot, it’s actually quite difficult to work up an appetite. Which is a blessing in disguise I suppose :P. If I’m not too lazy to cook, then usually I’d try to create something green and fresh for my taste buds.

Asperges_1 This crunchy Balsamic Asparagus is a perfect example of simple but refreshing food – just wash n trim the asparagus, pop it in the oven for 20 minutes, make a sauce from 50gr butter+2 tbs soy sauce+2 tsp balsamic vinegar, brush all over the asparagus and return to oven for another 5 minute…you can even wrap bacon strips around the asparagus when the carnivore inside of you screams for meat – prior to baking of course, it’ll be cruncy n crisp out of the oven, so cut down the amount of butter for the sauce.

Dsc05956_3 Another dish I love is this warm Teriyaki Salad – I just buy a pack of agurola (rucola) salad mix, slice in some tomato and toss it with a bit of vinaigrette dressing. If its too leafy to eat for dinner alone, just make teriyaki stirfry to go with it. Get the teriyaki sauce from an Asian supermarket to marinade the meat in it has mirin – at least – in it, so soysauce + sugar doesn’t really subsitute the taste – though it could be used in emergency :P. Add sliced onions in the stir fry and toss in some chickpeas for the last touch before you serve it.

Stirfry This one is fresh from the wok: Snowpeas and Shrimp Stirfry. Again, it’s really easy, just sauteé garlic and shallots, add the shirmp, when it’s pink add the snowpeas. I use oyster sauce to add a bit of zing, then sprinkle in a bit of sugar, salt ‘n pepper to taste. It’s also nice to add slices of chilli and serve it over warm jasmine rice… side note: It’s REALLY difficult to find fresh shrimp here in Holland :(. For some reason (higiene I suppose), the fresh shrimps are partially cooked before they are brought to land. NOTHING beats fresh shrimp, how COULD they?? >_< I have to go all the way to Den Haag if I want to get big fresh shrimps from the market..

Sayurasem And last, Sayur Asem Jakarta. This one’s a bit more difficult to make, but sometimes I reeeaaalllyyyy have cravings for it :P. The one on the picture isn’t complete, I just raided my fridge to see what I had, was missing the long beans, corn, daun melinjo, but I had all the necessary ingredients so i just made it. I’ll post the recipe for the Sayur Asem later, got several things to do and the clock is ticking!!

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~ by Anita Fei on June 12, 2006.

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