Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Bean Cake Fritters - Tempe Mendoan
It's the dreaded time of the year....when I have to do my work performance appraisal. Don't get me wrong. I am pretty happy with my performance. What I hate is tracing and putting everything I did on paper. Man! That was one heck of a tedious job....but I was glad I did. I was amazed by how muchhh I've done...and I found things I can do to improve.
It got my thinking about my food related performance. It's been a little over a year since I started cooking regularly in Hong Kong plus a few months of blogging. Let's see how well I perform based on my key performance indicators (which I've briefly discussed in this post) hehehe:
1. My fear of baking
It's been kinda cured. Although I've been doing just simple, basic baked goods, but I bake. In fact, I think I've been using my oven wayyyy too frequently...my air con could not handle the heat of summer + the heat from my oven and decided to go on strike by leaking in more than 3 places lol
Customer feedback: there were hits and misses
Challenges: my stubborness and my lack of measuring devices made me could not follow recipes exactly...and naturally, my modifications do not always bring better results :p
Action plan: procure a measuring device of some sort and do more baking until hits get greater than misses ^_^...and I promise not to always do banana, no matter how much I am in love with it. Try other things for supermarket's sake!
2. My Fear of Cooking from Scratch
Be it Indonesian food or other country's food, I learnt bit by bit not to always use spice packets, and I had a lot of fun grinding spices using my wooden stick (I long for a traditional Indonesian stone spice grinder aka cobek + ulekan...or a food processor! ^_^)
Customer feedback: sous chef can't really differentiate the quality difference between things made from scratch of spice packets. Is this a clue for me to simply don't bother? Hehe
Action plan: The heck with customer feedback! I want to be able to say proudly that I made something from scratch!
3. Complacency and Boringity
OK. There were certain all time favorite items that I've done repeatedly, such as beef & veggie in soy sauce or banana muffins (haha!). But throughout the year I've tried hard to bring variations to the table...and see how my customer think.
Customer feedback: sous chef has the memory of...(I know elephants have excellent memory, who is the most forgetful creature then?)...well, something that forgets as soon as, if not before it finishes a meal hehe. So, sous chef won't remember the thing he eats yesterday, let alone last week LOL. This is a double edged sword. The benefit is...I could repeat a dish as often as I want, and I realised the disadvantage when I asked "What do you think is my best dish so far?" (SC's brain went to panic mode "OMG! Shit! This is a trick question! A wrong answer and I should say goodbye to home cooked dinners!")...and SC always replied with whichever dish I just cooked previously. It means, no matter how fabulous I cooked a dish, SC won't even remember sob sob. Hmm, anyway, I think I can live with that :)
Action plan: Continue trying to cook more variety of food and I found that this food blog is the best way to refresh SC's memory hehe
Here's one of my latest attempt of my favorite Indonesian snack...
Tempe Mendoan - Bean Cake Fritters
The Bean Cake
- 1 pack of tempe (bean cake), sliced to 3-5 mm thick pieces, marinate with salt and pepper
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 1 egg, beaten
- a spring of chives or spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground corriander
- a dash of nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- a dash of pepper
- a pinch of baking powder
- couple tablespoon of coconut milk
- sweet soy sauce (the dominant element)
- light Soy sauce
- chopped red chilli
- chopped shallot
- a dash of vinegar
or you can eat it with chilli sauce or Indonesian sambal or do what the Indonesians do and just bite some small green chilli along with the bean cake fritters (warning: those are HOT!)
Mix batter ingredients well, heat up some oil for pan frying. Dip bean cake pieces into batter and fry on medium heat until golden brown. Serve with the dip and iced sweet jasmine tea.
Let me see how many times I can get away from repeating this dish before sous chef noticed hehe