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
Performance overview
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
Performance overview:
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
Performance overview:
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
The Batter
- 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
The Dip
- 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


Jagungmanis said...

drimu gelem resep soto bajar koleksiku?
jane resepe sembarang sih.
tapi nek koe gelem ngko tak kirim ng imil.
oia, aku duwe award kanggo drimu kae...

Jin Hooi said...

Haha, my darling hubby is exactly the same as your SC.. the only difference is my hubby will always say pan fried steak is my best dish!!! sob sob... no matter how great i cook a Asian dish.

Laura Paterson said...

Excellent work Rita - give yourself a payrise ;)

Those fritters sound tasty... bean cake is a new ingredient to me

ps. Memory of an elephant?!

daphne said...

SC is a lucky guy who gets to have so much variety of your cooking!!!!

And give me one of those right now. I'm so craving for salty and tasty stuff and that looks perfect to me. Not sure about sous chef but it will be quite hard for me to be sick of these anytime soon!

Pam said...

The fritters look and sound really delicious. The dip sounds fantastic.

CECIL said...

Love tempe!!! Waduh, harus digoreng kah? Got to get me some tempe next time I go Asian grocery store.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

LOL. You are too funny and I love your blog. Great to hear that it has improved your cooking. ;)

These fritters are intriguing. I don't think I've seen them anywhere before.

test it comm said...

Those look good! I like all of those chopped red chilies in the dip.

Unknown said...

thanks for the comments guys...

hi kittie, what's the exact opposite of "memory of an elephant?"

i hope you could all try tempe some day...take a look around if you're visiting asian grocery stores nearest to you ^_^

it's fan-bloody-tastic!

Dragon said...

I give your performance and A++! Oh and you can have a 50% raise too. :)

Anonymous said...

I cannot find any boringity in what you cook Rita. :-) hehe. And by the way, that's the first time i read a recipe with tempeh in it that sounds actually good. There's is hope!

Mama Mia said...

yes I tend to often cook with pre-packaged spices... and yes, hubby never notices the difference when I make things from scratch or not. but your bean cake fritters look wonderful! your performance is an A+++!!!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Tempe fritters must be good! I have yet to try tempe yet. :P

Babe_KL said...

i loved tempe but this is my first to see a tempe fritter, very tempted to try but i hate deep frying :( can send some over or not? :P

btw, give yrself a big pat on yr back, i think you did a great job in the cooking dept ;-)

A.G said...

walah ono tempe mendoan.. kanan kiri mostingin tempe jd pgn dweh...
bakul tempe mendoan majapahit :(( aYem kaming :((

Anonymous said...

doyannnnn, tapi disini tempe susah Rit...:((((

Lia said...

ya ampunnnnnnnnn tempeeeeeeeeeee pengen je :((

es tehmu menggoda banget siyyyyyyy disini panas cocok deh

Lidia Sianturi said...

itu es teh ya Rit? wah gawe ngiler wae kuwi es tehe...

Beachlover said...

I like tempe..I think the last time I had tempe was in Bali.you sop hard working make your own tempe,jus buy lor!hehehe!!

Anonymous said...

haha, your appraisal is sooo funny! As a reader of your blog (and hence also a customer, in a way), I would like to feedback too and give u a distinction for your blog performance hehehe :D