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Jalan Jalan Jalan Jalan is about the time I have spent in Indonesia. Usually this involves me getting in to some unusual situation and then having to face the many cultural and language barriers to get out of it. Also, there are usually monkeys involved.

Passport & Plate - Housemate's Chicken Soup

Indonesia | Monday, 3 February 2014 | 5 photos


How to prepare this recipe: Do yourself a favour. Scrape the remnants of celery (leaves and all), chili, shallots, broccolini and carrot – whatever you can find from the fridge and chop them up in to little pieces – Dexter style. None of this Julienne stuff. Hack hack hack! Chop up some garlic and ginger or steal some from your housemate’s shelf in the cupboard. You can get away with this because who counts garlic cloves or ginger knobs? I know – housemates do! I take that back. Just use your mouldy pieces that you keep pushing towards the back and be quick about it before they sprout limbs and before you know it you have a ginger garlic replica of Jesus and it is more than likely that your housemates believe in not one but many gods and they will win against you in any kind of vegetable-god shadow puppet play that occurs in the kitchen while you wait for your egg to boil in a separate pot of water. Or two eggs if you like. Then hack up some chicken breast in to large pieces. (Hack hack hack!). Heat garlic and ginger in pot, add a bit of oil and salt – I use pink Himalayan salt – and the chicken. If you have Kecap Manis dress your combination in this while it cooks. If you don’t, sprinkle brown sugar on top, then add soy sauce. Add boiling water and more salt. Add more salt (can you tell I’m avoiding using stock cubes?) and add more chili or in my case I had run out of chili so I added tabasco. Prepare glass rice noodles in boiling hot water and portion some in a bowl. Peel your egg. In the case of it still being runny, squeeze it on top of your glass rice noodles. Allow time for retrieving dropped egg shell from bowl. Place a couple of cherry toms on your glass noodles and spoon mixture on top of it all in your bowl. Eat with wooden chopsticks and plastic spoon you stole from Noodle King the other day when you bought that bag of prawn chips and ate it all to yourself. Add more salt. The story behind this recipe: I was really poor after having lived in Indonesia for one year working as a volunteer in the AYAD program (Australian Youth Ambassador for Development program) and just moved back to Australia. I had just gone back to teaching at the time and after a short stint living with a friend and her mum, I found refuge in a share house. There was a Slovakian family living downstairs, Gabby, Ian and Vivien and a Nepalese guy named Will and a Thai guy named Nur living upstairs. We all became very close during our dinner times, having a few beers and sharing food from all over the world as well as co-tutoring Vivienne the daughter in the Slovakian family. We heard amazing stories from Ian about his escape from Chekoslovakia, we drank cheap beer and played scrabble or watched Australia's Got Talent on a normal evening. I created this soup one night out of leftovers in the fridge and we all loved it so much, I wrote about it on my blog: http://theliterarygangster.com/2013/05/31/housemates-chicken-soup-asian-style/. It was very important to me coming back from living overseas, to keep the multicultural wave rolling. I had moved to a semi-rural town in NSW and was worried about feeling isolated during my return to OZ. Nevertheless, all was fine with the crew.

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