Thursday, October 11, 2012
Vegan MoFo - Stopover 9 - Brunei
Brunei has been the most troublesome country so far when it came to choosing something to cook, looking back now I'm not sure if I made the wisest choice. It wasn't easy to find a dish unique to Brunei as the cuisine is so heavily influenced by it's neighbouring countries of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. One dish that really jumped out at me was Roti Murtabak - spiced minced meat and onions wrapped in roti bread and fried which is usually served with pickled onions. Murtabak is also a common food in India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and some Middle Eastern countries although the ingredients vary between each country.
The recipe I referred to came with pretty vague instructions for making the roti bread. As I was making this on a weeknight and had roti that needed using up I chose to skip this step. For some strange reason I decided that I was going to use tempeh as my mince meat replacement so I prepared the tempeh by boiling small chunks with soy sauce, olive oil and water as this works so well in Isa's Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes. When the tempeh had cooled down, I cut it into tiny mince sized pieces and hoped that frying it with onions and spices would be enough to eliminate the fermented taste I find gross. The tempeh wasn't a complete success as it still had a bit of an unpleasant taste to it yet there was an even more overwhelming presence. Coriander and aniseed were some of the other spices included and I was disappointed that they were undetectable due to the cardamon which was pretty much all you could taste.
In an attempt to make the meal enjoyable, I looked up a curry dipping sauce for a Malaysian dish called Roti Canai, this condiment that was very easy to prepare pretty much saved the day. The dipping sauce was spicy enough to drown out some of the cardamon and add some additional spices. I wouldn't repeat these rotis without a lot of playing around so I haven't bothered posting my version. A lentil and mushroom filling may work better than tempeh and the cardamon definitely needs to be cut back by at least half if not a quarter.
Did you know?
Kampong Ayer which translates to Water Village was named after Venice in Italy and it is in fact the world's largest water village. It is a region in the capital of Bandar Seri Begawan which was built almost completely on wooden stilts and is connected by many bridges. Approximately 10% of Brunei's population reside there and their main mode of transportation is by water taxi.
Do you want to know where else I've been this month? Click here for the round up.