I decided to treat myself to more elaborate vegetarian dishes for my bento today. Cooked a big pot of spicy petai, eggplant and tempeh dish last night to be eaten for the next few days. Petai, sometimes known as stinky beans or bitter beans, is popular in South East Asia for its perculiar smell, either you like it or you don’t, similar to natto in Japan or stinky tofu in Taiwan. It is very nutritious, helps in lowering blood pressure, overcome constipation, diabetes diet, cure morning sickness, etc. Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form (this definition is from Wikipedia). It is sold covered with white mould and wrapped in banana leaves. Its health benefits are equally numerous, read more about it here http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=126
I am a big fan of quinoa, so I tried making some savoury lentil quinoa patties and it turned out surprisingly good! My dad just had his heart bypass surgery, I want to create some nutritious snacks that he will like during post-op recovery period. Trying to convince him too that vegetarian diet can be equally delicious and filling as meat. Wish me luck. Moreover,Tz ♥ it too, had three in a go. One new item to add to his bento. Υ(∧ω∧)Y
1 bag of Petai 100 grams (sometimes they can be sold stay intact in long bean pods), 1 eggplant in thick slices, 1 whole tempeh cut in strips, 1 lemon grass stalk, 3 tablespoons of water, some curry leaves (optional)
Panfry the tempeh in a little oil til all sides are light golden in colour and crispy.
For the Spicy sauce (sambal sauce), use 8-10 dried chillies (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them, remove seeds to reduce spiciness if needed), 4 garlic cloves, 6 shallots, 1 tsp tamarind paste, 3 tablespoons brown sugar (add 1 more tablespoons if needed), 2 tsp of fermented tofu paste ( you can get it in chinese stores, either spicy or original), 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
Blend the chillies, garlic, shallots with a little water and salt into paste form. Heat up some oil (2 or 3 tablespoons ) into a pan til it starting smoke, pour in the blended paste and lemongrass. Stir fry til the paste releases oil at the edges, be careful not to burn it. Lower the heat a little, and add in the brown sugar, tamarind paste, fermented tofu paste, petai and water. Cook for a few minutes, the beans will soften, add in the eggplant slices, curry leaves and dark soy sauce. When the eggplant is almost cooked, add in the cooked tempeh and season with salt.
If you like it to be really spicy, do not remove the seeds from the chillies, the spiciness can be numbing, beware….;-Þ
Lentil Quinoa Patties
3/4 cup red lentil, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 mashed potato, 50 grams of chopped semi-dried tomatoes with some of its oil, 3 or 4 shredded shiso leaves, a small handful of chopped chives, 1/2 tsp to 3/4 tsp of cumin powder, 1 onion chopped, 2 to 3 tsp of white miso paste, potato flour or bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
Cover the lentil and quinoa with water and boil for 15 to 20 mins. Drain the water away, mix in the rest of the ingredients together with the cooked lentil and quinoa in a big bowl, use potato flour or breadcrumbs to bind the mix. Heat up enough canola oil or vegetable oil in the pan and form the mix into patty shapes and panfry them til golden brown on both sides.