Welcome to my world!

The reflections and comments of a resident in Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

How to cook nasi goreng

I was in the Thai food shop on Albert Road one day when this lady asked the shopkeeper whether she has any packet spice for nasi goreng. The shopkeeper and her mother broke out into a conference in Thai, the upshot being that they had no idea what nasi goreng was.

Nasi goreng is not a Thai dish and that was partly why the shopkeeper had no idea. It is an Indonesian dish and it is so easy to make that I wanted to teach the lady there and then how to cook it.

A few weeks have passed by and I'm still thinking about this poor woman looking for the nasi goreng. Here's the recipe and if you heard of anyone mentioning this recipe, point her or him to this blog!

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian for fried rice)

A bowl of cooked rice
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a handful of peas, fresh, frozen or tinned
some diced carrots
some sliced shallots
1 clove of garlic, chopped
an egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

If you have a wok, it's great, if not a wide based frying pan is fine to do this.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and fry the shallots and garlic, add the carrots and peas and stir fry until cooked (around 5-7 minutes). Then add the rice, soy sauce and tomato ketchup and mix well. Stir fry and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove the rice, and heat another tablespoon of oil and fry the egg. Add on top of the rice and serve.

You can also add prawns or chicken pieces to the dish.

If you have some prawn crackers, they are the perfect accompaniment to the fried rice. Make sure you also add a dollop of chilli sauce on the side for lip-smacking spiciness.

Silahkan makan!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Perfect summer rolls

For years I have adored the Vietnamese rice paper rolls, but I thought I could only get them at Vietnamese restaurants. I first tasted this in America, where Vietnamese restaurants were the closest I could get to authentic Asian food.

Trying to find something that my gluten-intolerant friend could eat, I searched and found the recipe for the rolls, which many call 'summer rolls'. I was so amazed to find that they are very easy to make and so I thought I should share it with you because these are fun to eat as well with their dipping sauce and can be made ahead.

(Makes 8)
16 large raw, peeled prawns
1 block of rice vermicelli
4 sprigs of mint, leaves picked
4 sprigs of coriander
2 strands of chives, cut into 10cm lengths (optional)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
¼ cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks
1 soft lettuce, ½ shredded
4 tbsp salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
8 rice paper wrappers

For the dipping sauce:
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bird's eye chilli, finely sliced

Bring a pan of water to boil, add the prawns, turn down the heat and poach for two minutes until pink. Drain and cut in half.

Put the noodles in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Add ½ tsp salt, leave for about four minutes until al dente, then rinse well in cold water and drain thoroughly.

Set out all the ingredients within easy reach of a clean, dry chopping board. Half fill a bowl big enough to fit the wrappers in with cold water, and then dunk one in and keep patting until it's pliable, but not completely soft. Lay flat on the chopping board.

Arrange two crossed chives, if using, horizontally towards the bottom edge of the wrapper. Top with four prawn halves in a horizontal line, and top these with a line of herb leaves. Add a pinch of carrot and a few cucumber sticks, some of the sliced pork, then a small clump of rice vermicelli. Finish with some shredded lettuce and a line of crushed peanuts.

Bring the bottom edge of the wrapper tightly up over the filling, and then fold the sides in over it. Continue to roll up tightly and place on a plate, join-side down. Cover rolls with lettuce leaves to keep them fresh.

Once all the rolls are made, make the sauce. Whisk the sugar into the lime juice to dissolve, then add the remaining ingredients. Adjust to taste if necessary.

Now you are ready to enjoy the summer rolls.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Trio Apaches in Portsmouth Guildhall

Trio Apaches
Matthew Trusler violin, Thomas Carroll cello, Ashley Wass piano


BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in D, Op. 70 No. 1 The Ghost
MENDELSSOHN Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66  
RAVEL Piano Trio in A minor

Trio Apaches is built on the great friendship between three of the UK’s most respected soloists and colleagues: Matthew Trusler, Thomas Carroll and Ashley Wass. They collaborate under a name first used in the early 1900s by a group of ‘artistic outcasts’ including Ravel and Stravinsky.

Trio Apaches have quickly been embraced on the international concert scene and are unanimously praised for the infectious joy and virtuosity of their performances and the innovative nature of their programmes. They share a desire to focus on innovative projects and challenging cross-genre collaborations, as well as to present masterworks of the trio repertoire in unfamiliar contexts.

Date: Monday 24th April, 2017
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Portsmouth Guildhall
Tickets: £17, concession £15, available from the Portsmouth Guildhall: 0844 453 9028

For further information, please contact music@port.ac.uk or 023 9284 3023