Sunday 11 November 2012
Octopus and How to Cook Fern Shoots
It is situated on the beach adjacent to a new Harbour being built where they plan to bring in fish to transport on for the Medan market.
Next we went into the pasar, or market in Tapak Tuan to shop for fruit and vegetables. There were many things I was unfamiliar with, particularly the different types of leaves that can be stir-fried in a similar way to my favourite kankung.
I did recognize the delicious fern shoots though because we can also by them at Rusty's market in Cairns. Later on I watched Faridah cooking them and I attach the recipe below. Everybody wanted to chat and have their photo taken. Luckily my Bahasa Indonesian is improving enough to hold a simple conversation. Of course if they speak the Acehnese it's completely impossible to make out even one word. I had commented to my mother that it sounded like Cambodian and she affirmed that the Acehnese had indeed come in several migratory waves down from Cambodia.
Faridah couldn't resist a peach coloured pant and top outfit with a peterpan collar and I snaffled up transparent red (surprise, surprise I know) slendang or scarf, whilst sitting on low stools chatting with Am and her new husband, who looked to be about half her age. Faridah is also engaged to someone 19 years her junior - its considered perfectly normal here to marry a much younger man. Faridahs fiancé is not from Aceh so he doesn't speak Acehnese. He is in fact from further down south and a muslim Batak. They have to speak Bahasa Indonesian together. They met by mobile phone when Faridah dialed the wrong number and got him and they got to chatting. He has been up to visit for a few days and he stayed in the house. The village chief had to be notified because they have rather strict muslim laws about single men staying with single women. In fact one of the village chiefs was himself caught visiting a divorcee and they were made to sit all day in just their underpants in the river for everyone to see as punishment.
How To Cook Delicious Fern Shoots
Place a small piece of fresh galangal, ginger, garlic and chili into a blender and mash to a paste with some salt. Wash a nd chop the fern shoots into 1" pieces and place into a hot wok with some coconut oil. Pour the paste ontop. Add a couple of bases of lemon grass and stir round for a while. Mix in a cup of santan (preferably freshly shredded (coconut) and add some water to make a small amount of sauce. Cook for a while longer until you're sure the shoots are tender and serve - yum!