Some recipes have 50 ingredients in them. Each. (!?)

Most recipes featured are recipes made by our grandmothers, mothers and cooks in our family. I have to admit that they are not the easiest thing to cook, most of the time they just don’t seem to worth the time and effort spent. Especially when I have people breathing down my neck telling me “you HAVE to do this if you want to cook that” . Certain ingredients have to be bought in certain market, no other place sell the same thing they do. That ingredients could just be egg. And I am sure all eggs taste the same .. Hey, I am a novice.

I am in the middle of going through all the difficult recipes, and later I will try to develop new ways to cook those dishes. Cooking and eating is an absolute personal’s choice. Free of preaching. I can tell you how a dish is supposed to taste like and how it is enjoyed in our family. But if it is not the way you like it, or not the way it is prepared in yours, it is cool.

Your recipes are a lot of work. There are many cooking process that can be done differently. You must have a lot of help while cooking!

As I mentioned before, most of the recipes are written as the way we do it around here. We live in a place where domestic help is available. That alone would have explained the laborious cooking process. And yes, I do have a lot of help while cooking. Sometimes I don’t have to do the dishes and when I take pictures, I have someone helping me setting up and everything. I am lucky, I guess. It doesn’t change my passion for cooking though. Cultures are a big influence in eating habit and cooking process.

Why on earth do you use sugar in your cooking?

That is just the way we cook around here. A lot of sugar involved. I honestly don’t know why, but I suspect that is because we don’t use stock (chicken, vegetable nor beef) in our cooking, and the other only way to introduce a hint of sweetness is to add a pinch of sugar.

Deep-frying is not a healthy way of cooking meals. Don’t you know that?

Believe me, I know that. However, this blog is dedicated in preserving the old ways of preparing Indonesian food and Chinese food originates from this country. Since that is how most of the dish is prepared, that’s the way I do it. Nevertheless, I am constantly looking for ways to cook delicious and authentic Indonesian food without deep-frying and it is no easy task. When I come across a healthier way to cook something, I will post or revise my old posts. And yes, I receive some nasty comments of how unhealthy I cook, but different cultures do cook differently. We just have to accept that.

Your recipes have different standard of measurement. That’s not nice!

Writing recipes is an art that we (food bloggers) continually improve on as we go. I did use cups in my older posts, but I don’t think that it is a good way to do it. These days, when I write and record recipes from my mother (or any other people), I always measure them using an electric scale. Again, different people have different methodology in writing recipes and cooking. I like mine to be exact and I don’t like guessing work. I need an exact weight of any ingredients I am using. Yeah, I am a pain and I got a disease. I feel like strangling someone when I talk to them and they tell me that their cooking is all guesswork.

So the measurement used in this blog will be in grams (for liquid and solid) and tablespoon and teaspoon.

I see different people’s hands in your step-by-step shots. Who are they?

Some are my mother’s, my aunties’, our housekeepers’, my brother’s, my other half’s. I am still figuring a way to include my own hands in them. But for now, I have decided that I can only do that when I grow an extra pair.


What camera are you using?

I am using my good-ol Nikon N80. It is a very old one, but I have an excellent lens, a Nikkor 105mm/f2.8. It is a beautiful lens and that’s what I am using for almost all of my shots.

Any special lighting equipment?

Nah. I shoot next to my bedroom window.


No photoshopping skill whatsoever. I use Adobe Lightroom in editing.


If you think you have products or services that would like to be advertised here and related to South East Asian cooking, please contact me at jun@indochinekitchen.com