The World’s Fare – 2019

Instagram Post 5/15/2019

 
If you’re a hardcore international food freak like me, you know that The World’s Fare is happening for the second year on May 18th and 19th at Citi Field in Queens. Check out their website for information and a complete rundown on the more than 100 participating vendors from as many cultures. I’ve tasted scores of wonderful dishes from dozens of these folks throughout the year at weekly events and pop-ups as well as at last year’s World’s Fare and I can attest to the fact that this is an expertly curated show. But today, I want to give a special shout-out to three vendors who not only do amazing work but are actually friends of mine IRL.

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What can I say about Moon Man’s unique Indonesian treats that I haven’t already said? A regular at the Queens International Night Market, my friend Nigel Sielegar crafts authentic delectable Indonesian desserts like coconut pancakes, cassava cake, steamed pandan cake and much more – and they taste as good as they look. Don’t miss Moon Man’s booth!
 
If you’re not from Spain, you probably think of paella as Spain’s national dish; if you do hail from Spain, you know it’s the heart and soul of Valencia. Not merely a rice dish, it requires know-how, special equipment, and the passion to do it right, and the folks from In Patella score points for all three. Specialists in authentic paella catering, this weekend they’ll reinforce their mission to dispel myths about what paella is and isn’t.
 
Dua Divas is a collaboration of two of my favorite vendors from the New York International Food Bazaar held monthly at St. James Parish House, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst: Taste of Surabaya and Pecel Ndeso. They’ll be offering nasi kuning, klepon, satay, and martabak telur. Don’t know what those are? Head over to their booth and find out! (For now, I’ll just tell you that they’re all delicious. 😉)

See you this weekend!
 
 

NY Indonesian Food Bazaar

Instagram Post 5/14/2019

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Two treats from the New York Indonesian Food Bazaar held approximately monthly at St. James Parish House, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst.
Pempek are Indonesian fish cakes (you might see empek-empek) made from ground fish (usually mackerel) and tapioca flour. This dish is pempek kulit which includes minced fish skin in the dough (kulit means skin); it’s customarily served with a spicy sweet and sour sauce and chopped cucumber for balance. Don’t let the idea of fish skin put you off – just try it!


Mie Tek-Tek – stir fried noodles with onion and egg; tek-tek is the onomatopoeic word for the sound the wok chan (spatula) makes as the chef taps it against the wok while preparing this dish. On the side, just above the spicy peppers, are krupuk, colorful deep fried crackers that provide a crispy counterpoint to the supple noodles.

The next NYIFB event will take place on June 8, but if you can’t wait until then to taste this delicious cuisine, check out Dua Divas at the World’s Fare, May 18th and 19th at Citi Field in Queens.
 
 

NY Indonesian Food Bazaar

Instagram Post 1/25/2019

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A reminder about tomorrow’s NY Indonesian Food Bazaar (Saturday, January 26) at St James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens. It feels like each time I go, there’s something different to taste – and everything I’ve tasted has been wonderful. Here are a few treats from previous monthly events.

[1] Ikan Mujair Pepes – Ikan means fish, Mujair refers to the Javanese inventor who experimented with raising freshwater tilapia, and pepes is a method of cooking that uses banana leaves to seal in flavors. This savory fish was coated with shallots, scallions, lemongrass, garlic, chili, turmeric, and candlenuts.

[2] Babi Rica, a delicious pork (babi) dish hailing from Manado, the capital city of the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi from Kantin Rica Rica’s table.

[3] One of the happiest aspects of the bazaar is the opportunity to pick and choose a bit of this and a bite of that; this plate featured fried tofu, shrimp, mussels, and jengkol, the outsized seeds of a legume tree that taste like a tender, meaty bean served over yellow rice with two spicy sambals because 🌶️ is the name of the game.

[4] My Indonesian dessert weakness from the folks at Enak Iki: Martabak Manis (manis means sweet). This kind of martabak has the texture of a soft crumpet; the mixed version (shown here) is folded around chocolate, peanuts, grated fresh cheese, and sesame seeds. So good!
 
 

The Indonesian Gastronomy Association

Instagram Post 12/12/2018

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The Indonesian Gastronomy Association (IGA) is a collective of Indonesian expats who share a passionate interest in nourishing and promoting Indonesian culture and businesses in New York City and beyond. They foster their mission through monthly events, each with its own distinct focus, the annual Independence Day celebration and an Indonesian fashion show as recent examples. Fortunately for those of us who crave the cuisine, the principal spotlight always shines on a wide assortment of small batch and homemade authentic food from a variety of regions in Indonesia. Two standouts from last weekend’s event:

[1] Delicious handmade noodles with a perfect chew and ideal thickness, spicy chicken, bouncy meatballs swimming in a light broth, crispy crunchiness on the side (and don’t forget the egg!) from Rebecca at Mamika’s Homemade Cuisine, her Indonesian catering service in NYC. @mamika.etc

[2] Bertha from IGA offered up this Bubur Kampiun, a porridge (bubur) with a base layer of rice flour pudding, topped with plantains in coconut milk, glutinous rice balls and palm sugar custard. She told me this is sometimes served as a sweet to break the Ramadan fast and sometimes simply served as breakfast. Since kampiun means champion in Indonesian, I guess this is the Breakfast of Champions!

I attend these events regularly, so expect to see more posts soon. Follow IGA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IGAUSA2018/ to learn when their next event will take place. You don’t want to miss it.
 
 

Putri Mandi

Instagram Post 10/24/2018

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As long as I’m on a sweet roll, here’s one more from the monthly NY Indonesian Food Bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens: a thick, creamy cloud of coconut pudding, not too sweet (why does everybody I know insist that’s somehow a good thing?) with a glutinous rice flour pandan-fortified spheroid floating atop.

The second photo shows the bisected ball revealing its grated coconut/palm sugar core. The orb was hard before I warmed it up after which it surrendered into a more palatable chewiness that worked nicely with the bed of coconut fluff.

It’s called Putri Mandi which means Bathing Princess.

I didn’t ask.
 
 

Serabi vs Cucur: Battle of the Indonesian Kue

Instagram Post 10/23/2018

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So many kue, so little time, but I was determined to get to the bottom of the puzzle. On a recent visit to the monthly NY Indonesian Food Bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, I had purchased some kue (diminutive Indonesian sweets/snacks) from Pecel Ndeso’s booth, but I misidentified them in an earlier post. So I returned, and thanks to extensive discussion with the vendor and then another vendor who sold the same snack under a different name and my Indonesian friends @nigelsie (aka @hellomoonman), @fefeang (owner of the Taste of Surabaya booth at the bazaar), but especially to @erm718 for her detailed descriptions, I think I’ve got it now, to wit:

The first photo is serabi. @erm718 writes, “Serabi making is very similar to American pancake making, where the batter is spread onto a lightly oiled pan, but not flipped.” (See the browned bottom of the kue in the lower right of the photo.) “Traditionally clay pans are used for serabi, but now metal pans are also used.” Holes bubble up on top as the serabi cooks. Variations exist distinguished by the thickness of the kue and the toppings; the one in this photo, serabi basah (basah means wet), came accompanied by a bag of coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar. Thicker than a typical pancake and with a light, fluffy, almost fine-crumb cakey texture, the flavor was enhanced by the addition of a little pandan essence (that’s where the green tinge comes from). Warm, anointed by the sweet coconut milk, the taste intensified; definitely a treat.

The kue shaped like a flying saucer is cucur. @erm718 writes, “Cucur’s batter is poured into lots of hot oil and deep fried; cucur is eaten as is.” There’s a bit of a chewy quality to it, its puffy, airy interior adding to the sensory pleasure; it benefitted from a little warming as well.

Thanks for your help, Elika!

Lots more to come from the bazaar….
 
 

Acar

Instagram Post 10/22/2018

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Acar (pronounced achar, and you might see acar manis: manis = sweet), stumbled upon at the monthly NY Indonesian Food Bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, is a pickled condiment; this tangy version comes from Kantin Rica-Rica’s booth. It’s sweet and sour, spicy and bright, made from shredded cucumber, carrot, cabbage, shallot, mango, and chilies, laden with chopped peanuts, and so good you could just pour some over rice and make a meal of it. It’s found throughout Southeast Asia camouflaged in slightly differing spellings and recipes (swap in pineapple for the mango, for example). Lots of top notch good eats to be found at this warung (stall/stand); I’ll post more soon!
 
 

Pecel Ndeso’s Indonesian Kue

Instagram Post 9/29/2018

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Here’s the first in a series from another visit to the monthly NY Indonesian Food Bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens. These are kue (diminutive Indonesian sweets/snacks) from Pecel Ndeso’s booth; the disk-shaped twosome are serabi solo. There are many regional variants on serabi; most are made with rice flour but some use wheat flour, and most call for coconut milk. Green almost always implies pandan flavor, while brown indicates palm sugar. The cutaway view reveals the puffy, airy interior.

One of my all-time favorite snacks is anything that involves sticky rice pressed and sweetened with coconut milk. The Indonesian fulfillment of this wish is wajik, which I posted about on 8/16. Usually diamond-shaped (wajik is the Indonesian word that describes a diamond or rhombus shape), this sweet, green blocky rendition is infused with pandan and contains bits of jackfruit, another weakness of mine.

More to come from the bazaar….
 
 

Indonesian Independence Day Celebration

Instagram Post 8/16/2018

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Indonesian Independence Day is August 17 and you can catch the local celebration (Bazaar Kemerdekaan) Saturday the 18th on Whitney Avenue near Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens (11am-5pm). There’ll be fun and entertaining cultural activities and, of course, an assortment of delicious authentic food. I’ve posted numerous photos of Indonesian dishes lately, but not many desserts, and the cuisine has plenty of them to satisfy your sweet tooth. Three of my favorites from Masjid al-Hikmah’s approximately monthly bazaar (48-01 31st Ave, next scheduled event to be announced) are…

[1] Martabak Manis. The pancake has a radically different texture than savory martabak, more like a soft crumpet, actually. It’s folded around chocolate, peanuts, grated fresh cheese, coconut and sweetened condensed milk.
[2] Kue Singkong. These dense cassava cakes can be found steamed or baked in fanciful shapes and sizes. This one, sprinkled with coconut, obviates the need to decide between plain and chocolate.
[3] Wajik. This kue (bite-sized sweet snack) is made from glutinous sticky rice, palm sugar and coconut milk; it’s usually diamond-shaped (wajik is the Indonesian word that describes a diamond or rhombus shape). So good!
 
 

Awang Kitchen – Part 3

Instagram Post 8/15/2018

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Just one more (for the time being 😉) from Awang Kitchen, the top-notch Indonesian restaurant at 84-05 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst.

[1] Ketoprak. A vegetarian dish featuring tofu, vegetables and rice vermicelli served in peanut sauce with kerupuk (deep fried chips) on the side.
[2] Fried Cow’s Tongue in Green Chili Sauce. Exactly what it says. And don’t be squeamish – it’s spicy, delicious, and tastes better than it looks!
[3] Mie Goreng Tek-Tek. Sautéed noodles are in the spotlight here; tek-tek is the onomatopoeic word for the sound the wok chan (spatula) makes as the chef taps it against the wok while preparing this dish!
[4] Grilled Pompano, done to a turn – totally turnt and excellent!