Sunday, January 22, 2006

Galbi Tang Redux Indonesian Style

I was so annoyed with the Galbi Tang I made last night that I spent all night thinking up all sorts of flavour combinations. Not just for the dismal Galbi Tang but just for food in general.

I think I used to be a lot more creative and adventurous culinary-wise but in the recent years of not having a proper kitchen or kitchen equipment or time, I've pretty much fallen into the familiar and the convenient. Pushing myself to cook something I have never done before or even considered was a conscious effort. I was pretty proud of myself for making this effort and that is why it was particularly galling that the recipe was so inadequate.

I decided to "reconstitute" the Galbi Tang today for lunch. I'd reduced it a little last night to intensify the taste in order to gauge how far I could mess it. I added more water to it with the other half of the beef stock cube and chopped up the rest of the daikon radish as well as a whole carrot. I wanted to include some sweetness to the broth and to that extent, I also added a stick of cassia. I've always liked the combination of carrot and cinnamon and in fact one of my favourite soups is a carrot, cinnamon and cumin soup.

I also added more whole black peppercorns. I reckon I used about another 10. To give it a liquorice kick, I threw in a star anise. I contemplated including some cloves but then decided against it, reminding myself it was not gluhwein ...

The mixture of herbs is quite Indonesian and the soup tasted significantly better. I set the stove to low and simmered the transformed soup for almost 30 minutes to tenderise the tough beef short ribs. Tasting it in the middle of this, I realised it still did not have enough kick for me so I added a few dashes of black pepper powder.

The result is almost like a confused Sup Buntut or Indonesian style oxtail soup. I was rather happy with the final result as it is a vast improvement from the calamity of last night. Also, it started storming in mid afternoon and suddenly a hot, hearty beef soup was extremely welcomed.

But what was outstanding was right at the end of my mid-day repast. I decided to break a duck egg into a bowl and pour just the broth and the vegetables over it to coddle it. Unfortunately, the egg yolk broke and some oozed out into the soup. Tasting it, I realised to my delight that the soup had now acquired a creaminess and greater complexity yet subtlety at the same time.

Inspired by the egg drop and sharksfin soup in Chinese restaurant, I drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top. The result was a fantastic amalgamation of rich, eggy creaminess, flavourful spiced beef consomme of sorts, softly sweet vegetables and subtley impudent piquancy. This was definitely an experiment worthy repeating and made up for its woefully wanting former incarnation. I think I will call it Galbi Khanmakitbeta.

I was a happy camper again. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of this as my camera ran out of batteries. Much as I love you guys, eating comes first.

Categories - Meat Me For Dinner, Call Me Others


Blogger J said...

hi, breaking the egg in sounds like genius! am sure the soup must have tasted divine with its addition

2:43 pm  
Anonymous paz said...

I'm glad to read that you were able to "reconstitute" your meal and it tasted much better. Good for you! ;-) Now, if I only had a photo to look at. ;-)))

Paz (who's glad that she can read your updated blog and not be stuck at the Delurking post)

7:48 pm  
Blogger MM said...

Hey J, thanks so much! To be honest, I love eggs and any excuse to break you in ... LOL. It really was divine though.

Paz - blame my crappy camera. It's so old that the battery keeps dying on me. DeLurka and Dim no more!

12:34 am  

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