Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nasi Kandar (Black Beef)

Upon learning that I author a food blog, people have some interesting reactions. Some (*waves at mom*) are technophobes and haven't the foggiest regarding blogs in general so the concept of a specific type of blog is quite simply beyond their reach. Others find it mildly interesting, followed by the inevitable, "Soooo, what do you blog about?" Um.. well... food. Which is usually followed by a slightly awkward silence. Clearly food is not as compelling a subject to everyone.

Others want to know "So when/why did you start?". Well, I'll have to travel back to 2006 and question my younger self (*sniff*, old age is horrible) mercilessly about her motives. Or I could just 'fess up and blame peer pressure. You see, back in the day, blogging was a novelty with the result that everyone and their aunt (my friends and TheHusband included) started a blog with wild abandon.

Most of them petered out a few months' later. Turns out, we really didn't have that much to say. Well, except for me. *ahem* So, on my 4th bloggiversary and my 200th post, what better way to celebrate than stepping back into time, say 4 years ago? 

I spent many evenings back in 2006 oiling up my wok*, chopping vegetables for stir-frying and spilling soy sauce onto the Essential Wok Cookbook, the first of many in my growing collection. I had a thing for Asian food in all its incarnations and I confess that I pilfered quite a few of the specialty sauces and ingredients that TheHusband's housemates used to stock. I was employed as a slave article clerk back then and the budget, alas, did not stretch very far.

These days my horizons have broadened and I no longer focus exclusively on Asian food (or pilfer ingredients) but I do still have a soft spot for things harking from the Far East. Like this Malaysian Black Beef. Which, let me tell you, is just the thing to serve if you are entertaining some hardcore carnivores. Those beef short-ribs become meltingly tender and they are spiced just right. Perfection sans pilfering. Because it's just not okay to pilfer anymore at close to 30, is it?

*Actually, that wasn't even mine either. I pilfered borrowed that too... Hard times I tell ya.

Nasi Kandar (Black Beef)
Adapted from Poh's Kitchen
Serves 4 - 6

2 tbsp oil
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic
2.5 cm (1 inch) fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 100ml water
1 kg (roughly 2.2 lbs) beef short ribs, cut into bitesize pieces
4 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce

1. Heat oil in large wok over medium-high heat. Add chilli flakes, garlic, ginger, mint and onions and fry for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup water and cook another 5 minutes.
2. Add beef, browning on all sides. Puree two of the tomatoes and chop the other two. Add both the pureed and chopped tomatoes to the beef, as well as the tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce and remainder of water (100ml).
3. Stir through and lower heat. Allow to simmer for 1 hour or until liquid has thickened and reduced and meat is tender

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.


Jessica on August 10, 2010 3:55 pm said...

Congrats on the 4 year anniversary, having an awesome blog, sticking it out so long and being old enough (read:make enough money) to buy your own stuff!
(and the recipe sounds divine! Will have to pilfer a wok somewhere...)

Hila on August 10, 2010 4:00 pm said...

I think I will pilfer this recipe

CONGRATSES to your blog too :)

Eliana on August 10, 2010 4:02 pm said...

Happy bloggiversary and what a great dish to celebrate with. I'm new to your blog but can't wait to delve into your next year's worth of posts.

browniegirl on August 10, 2010 4:06 pm said...

Congratulations on 4 fabulous years!!! You have a wonderful blog. This dish looks stunning. I will have to give it a go sometime...my list of must makes is growing :o) xx

nina on August 10, 2010 4:39 pm said...

4 years???Wow, that is impressive!

You have grown so much Maris, it is incredible...this dish is proof!!

Valerie Gamine on August 10, 2010 5:29 pm said...

4 years! Wow, congratulations!! Hopefully I'll be as creative after four years of food blogging too.
What a scrumptious looking dish to celebrate the milestone. :D

Marisa on August 10, 2010 5:49 pm said...

Jessica, LadyRaven, Eliana, Browniegirl, Nina & Valerie - Thanks to each and everyone of you, loyal supporters & newcomers alike! Seeing your awesome comments is what keeps me going after 4 incredible years.

Joanne on August 10, 2010 8:23 pm said...

Whoa four years is a LONG time! Congratulations chica!

I love seeing people's reactions when I tell them about the blog. It's always intriguing.

This beef looks fantastic. I want to sidle up to it and have a bit.

MaryMoh on August 10, 2010 9:49 pm said...

Wow....4 years of blogging already...amazing!!! Congrats!! That's a very beautiful dish with rice. I love it.

Chef Dennis Littley on August 11, 2010 12:34 am said...

that beef looks delicious....I gotta think that tomato paste helps out a lot.....what a great combination of ingredients!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 4 years! It really shows by how awesome your blog is. Don't worry about the age, getting older just means experience and perfection :)

Marisa on August 11, 2010 8:52 am said...

Joanne - Hahahah, you always make me laugh. The beef would be honoured to have you sidled up next to it. :-)

MaryMoh - Thank you!

Chef Dennis - The combo is really yummy, I usually miss vegetables in an all-meat dish like this, but this time I didn't!

Marisa on August 11, 2010 8:53 am said...

Chocswirl - I will be viewing myself as a quality wine from now on... ;-)

Anonymous said...

congrats on the 4 years. I am still to try cooking short ribs :0

Lori on August 11, 2010 3:01 pm said...

Congrats to you! Four years food blogging is quite an accomplishment. I had to laugh when I read about the reactions you received because the ones I experience are similar.

Love this look back into the past with a Malaysian dish. My interests in SE Asian cuisine are just beginning!

pigpigscorner on August 11, 2010 4:47 pm said...

Congrats! You have a lovely blog =) The dish looks amazing!

Marisa on August 11, 2010 5:24 pm said...

Tandy - This was my first time with short ribs too and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the tenderness of the meat.

Lori - There's such a wide variety of awesome dishes that can be labelled as "Asian", I haven't even explored a quarter of them, so, happily still lots of eating to do!

Pigpig - Thank you for stopping by!

Nate @ House of Annie on August 22, 2010 12:34 pm said...

Congratulations on your bloggerversary! 4 years is quite an accomplishment.

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