Bakwan (Indonesian Vegetable Fritters)
Last week, an Indonesian colleague arrived from Thailand to work with us. Before she left, we teased her to prepare something authentic in Indonesian Cuisine for an afternoon nibble. Gladly, she yielded to our request. Armed with the necessary ingredients, kitchen tools and a blazing Indonesian spirit, she quickly made our office's pantry smelling with fried, pleasantly browned, crunchy notes. The avid epicures in us were all awakened. We can no longer contain our curiosity and craving. When finally the first batch landed onto the plate, we eagerly dig into it and delightfully rests this crunchy, nicely browned vegetable fritters called Bakwan. It tastes sweet at the same time savoury. The natural sweetness of the vegetables particularly corn, carrots and spring onions lingered all through out rounded with the fried note thus, giving it a complementing savoury twist. Bakwan is a typical Indonesian fritter that can be made with shrimps or vegetables. This is a very flexible dish as you can easily twist it to any way you like. Likewise, it's very easy to prepare. If you're tired with our very own Okoy (fish or shrimp fritters) or the usual omelette, this is an unconventional Filipino option. According to our Indonesian colleague, it's normally eaten with either chili sauce, kecap manis or sambal ketchup. For us, we liked it best with spicy vinegar or "toyomansili" (soy sauce, calamansi and chili).
If you want to try it at home, these are the ingredients and the procedure to prepare it. However, the portions are not indicated because the way I saw it cooked by my colleague was a classic "a dish - a dash style of cooking", you can just play around.
What you need:
carrots, string beans, spring onions (chives), sweet corn kernels, onion, garlic, bean sprouts, eggs, all purpose flour, rice starch, water, salt, sugar and pepper to taste, vegetable oil for frying
How to make:
Prepare a batter mix by combining flour, water, eggs (beaten) and a little amount of starch in a bowl. Mix well. Adjust the amount of ingredients to achieve a not too viscous batter mix. Likewise, do not add too much water so it won't be too oily when you fry it. The more water you put into it, the higher the oil absorption will be. Add all vegetables into the batter. Fry 1 tbsp in hot oil until golden brown on both sides.