Friday, December 7, 2012

Shallots and Garlic

Shallots and Garlic. In Indonesia, we may have heard a traditional folk story named before them (Bawang Merah & Bawang Putih). How come they become so famous? I may define them as staple of my cooking spices.

When I was young, I always notice that both of them were prepared in batch. Our house helper always blend them (separately) every day and keep it in containers for cooking in the next day. At home, we always keep one jar of fried shallot at home.

I remember that our family grocery shop always supply them, and in certain period close to Idul fitri or Christmas, their price will increase due to very high demand in every household.

On the earlier days of cooking, I always ask my mom about some our home simple recipes, like "How to stir fry veggies?", "How to make corned beef soup?", and "How to make omelet soup?". I notice that shallot and onion never been absent in the ingredient list. Sometimes both were used, sometimes only one of them.

peeled garlic and shallots

Then, here come the ultimate question:

"When should I use garlic and when should I use onion?"

My mom gave me the basic rule about them:
1. When you want to cook vegetables, use garlic only.
2. When you want to cook meat and egg, use shallot only.
3. When you want to cook both meat and vegetables, use both.

=D simple right?

I've tried once, stir fry veggie without garlic.. and I promise myself won't do that again.. Although I have put salt and pepper, it just doesn't taste nice at all. I think it taste better to stir fry vegetables without salt but with garlic.

I've tried making perkedel (fried mashed potato with ground beef) without beef and use fried shallot only, and it taste as close as with meat perkedel.

I've cook fried rice with minimum garlic and shallot, and it taste weirdly bland. I cannot explain why..

From those experience I begin to understand the reasons both garlic and shallots are always been prepared in our kitchen. I understand why the price may fluctuate in certain period of time. Although in actual prepared dish, we might not clearly notice the presence of garlic and shallot, I believe they play a significant rule in creating a good taste of cooking.

Me myself now:
  1. I dare not to cook without both of them, extra shallot and garlic always ready in my cooking shelf.
  2. I keep extra fried onion in fridge for last touch up of certain meal. I called it a healthy substitute of MSG.

It seems that I've started to pick my family kitchen tradition with shallot and garlic ^_^
By the way, after some search in Google, I found out that both garlic and shallot have amazing benefits for our body. Now I love them even more.

Is there Anyone want to share with me about your experience with garlic and onion? I know some of you may hate them, and some may love them as I do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chicken Veggie Soup

Soup time! It's the simplest type of meal that people can cook. Now I want to make it more complicated. Read to the end, try, and you'll know why. ^_^

Frying pan or wok
Chicken breast - 1 pc
Carrot - 1 pc
Lettuce - 1/2 pc
chopped/cliced Shallot - 3 clove
chopped/sliced Garlic - 3 Clove
Salt & pepper
Cooking Oil - 2 tsp
Chopped coriander - optional (* daun sup)
fried shallot - optional (* bawang goreng)

  1. Cut All vegetables and chicken into desirable size.
  2. Heat oil, saute garlic and shallot until change color to light yellow.
  3. Put chicken and stir until cooked, add 1 pinch of salt and stir again.
  4. Put carrot and stir until it change color into lighter yellow. Remember, smaller carrot size means lesser time to cook.
  5. Put water as many as you want and cook until it boil. Do not over flooding your pan, sice the water need space to boil as well.
  6. Mix Lettuce together with the earlier mixture until it slightly soft.
  7. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. You need to taste the saltiness of spiciness of the soup to know.
  8. Put last ingredients: coriander leaf or fried shallot.

  1. Chicken breast might be replace by other part of chicken. But you have to take note, chicken breast is healthier than other. I prefer chicken breast because it has more meat and less bones and skin (yes, i dont like skin).
  2. The purpose of sauteing meat with garlic and shallot is to enhance the soup aroma and create a firmer outer side texture of meat.
  3. Actually the easiest way to make soup is to throw all ingredients inside the boiled water, but i prefer to do this way because of the better aroma of soup and the whole cooking experience =)

Please share with me, what type of soup you normally cook?
do you saute the ingredients first or you do the steam boat type of soup? which one do you prefer?

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