Frozen pre-seared Sous Vide steak

This must be a world’s first, combining the techniques of frozen seared steak with Sous Vide!

Frozen slab of NZ ribeye just out of the fridge
Frozen slab of NZ ribeye just out of the fridge

Continue reading Frozen pre-seared Sous Vide steak

Kitchen Hack: Frozen seared steak

Chanced upon this article and decided to give it a try. The recipe calls for freezing the steak and searing the steak while it is in the frozen state. I think this is especially appropriate in my case, because the steak i used is frozen steak to begin with!

The recipe suggests using a heavy bottomed pot (a pressure cooker would be appropriate) to press the piece of steak down while searing to get an even sear. I was lazy and didn’t try, but anyway, what i think i would do the next time is to apply the torch to char the steak. Searing really doesn’t give the steak enough boost in taste. Continue reading Kitchen Hack: Frozen seared steak

Marinated Sous Vide Steak

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This would be my third attempt at torch charred Sous Vide steak, and i definitely got better results – better charring (smells nice) and medium rare (still slightly more done than i hoped for). This was achieved by cooking at 51°C for 40 minutes and torching at full blast. I also did marination to see if the flavour would be improved. I think marination probably always improves the flavour, but this boils down to personal preference. Next round, i’ll try cooking at 49°C for 35 minutes.

Sous Vide Steak – Circulator vs Crock Pot

I finally got around to making Sous Vide steak. The first and most important lesson learned is that recipes can’t help you much. They really serve only as a guide and you have to learn by experience. Both times i tried making Sous Vide steak, they ended up being overcooked. Continue reading Sous Vide Steak – Circulator vs Crock Pot

4 things i love about Indonesian food

1. Beef

Indonesians don’t need to use Wagyu beef, or Angus beef, or any specific breed whatsoever to serve you a nice beef dish. I suspect you can just hand them any beef, any cut, and they can make it taste good. Indonesians are experts at marinating beef. You will not be able to find any beef that has a hint of raw odour. There are many different types of beef dishes in Indonesia, but the most popular ones are probably Dendeng (jerky), Iga (ribs) and Buntut (oxtail). I think Indonesian Beef Oxtail, whether Sop Buntut (soup) or Buntut Goreng (fried) are hard to beat – the best in the world!

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Buntut Goreng from Dapur Dahapati, Bandung
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Awesome Sop Buntut, also from Dapur Dahapati

2. Grilled food

Bakar or grilling is the mainstay of Indonesian cuisine. Fish, chicken and duck are the most popular grilled dishes. It takes some skill to grill to perfection – evenly and slightly charred but not burnt, and Indonesians have no lack of such skill. Equally important for grilled meat is the marinade, and Indonesians do this really well. The taste is not like the Indonesian food found in Singapore that is typically singularly sweet. It has the right and rich blend of sweet and saltiness.

Gurame Bakar
Gurame Bakar

3. Sambal

Sambal is an Indonesian creation, so naturally they make the best sambal. The sambal is usually good enough to even eat on its own, since, anyway, it will mask the taste of whatever you’re eating.

Various sambal and sauces
Various sambal and sauces

4. Bubur Sumsum

Bubur sumsum is a soft paste made of rice flour. It was love at first bite and i found myself wanting more of this smooth, fragrant and slightly salty tasting paste. It resembles the Chwee Kueh from Singapore, except that it is thinner and salty. It is usually taken together with other items, as in the case of Bubur Madura (pictured below), and it has the effect of balancing the sweet taste of the other items. Indonesian Cendol is made in a similar way – slightly salty, which, in my opinion, enhances the overall taste.

Bubur Sumsum is the white colour paste at the 3 o'clock position
Bubur Sumsum is the white colour paste at the 3 o’clock position

Osaka, Nara, Himeji

This post is more than one week overdue. So I found out that in practice it’s difficult to blog while traveling. Anyway, if Osaka is in your travel itinerary, you might want to visit Nara and Himeji as well since they are only about an hour away from Osaka.

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The Osaka castle is a popular attraction. You will probably see bus loads of tourists there like I did. I took some photos and went off.

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If you go to the Nanba area (I stayed there), then you should make it a point to try the Rikuro cheesecake, which was awesome moist and fluffy. They always sell it fresh off the oven and it sets you back by only 648 yen which is unbelievable value for money.

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Many travelers from Singapore visit Taiwan and Hong Kong for their night markets, but have you wondered where the Taiwanese and Hong Kongers go? That’s right, it’s Japan. The Dotonbori is simply the best night shopping district I have been, with never ending lit covered streets, each with a different design. It is bound to impress.

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Various cuts of the Matsusaka beer are labeled in English when served

The food i was most keen on trying in Japan is beef, and the best beef in Japan is none other than the Matsusaka. Through Tripadvisor i found this restaurant in Osaka that offers a decent price for sampling Matsusaka beef – Yakiniku M. You do have to make advance reservations, make sure you do that way before your trip to avoid disappointment. I can say this was an eye (or rather tongue) opening experience.

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Grilling in progress
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The main attraction in Nara is the close encounter with deers
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Nara Park is quite nice – probably man-made, yet looks so natural
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Deer chewing on a map from the back pocket of a visitor
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The Himeji Castle is quite a sight to behold

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Japanese castles are not large in size and do not have intricate details, both for the exterior and interior, as compared to European castles. Still, the architecture is nothing short of beautiful.