I confess that I have been feeling homesick lately. It's my third year I haven't been back to my home country, that means, I have been missing all of local delicacies Indonesia has got to offer. It ranges from mangoes or rambutan to gado-gado, from tofu fritters to Nasi Uduk, from fresh young coconut juice to ice kacang, and I even miss Indonesian's very own butter: Blue Band.
Even if I can make many of these delicacies I have been missing, still it is not the same as sitting down with friends by the road talking about nothing while waiting for someone to make food for us. Not that I am sure that I still can eat street food, given that my body has been accustomed to Kiwi food, but at least, I can be with good companies and practice my mother tongue.
Palembang had been my home for my high school and college years and I miss its specific food. Like this one I have made these couple of days. I ate nothing more than Model Palembang.
Model Palembang is simply fish dumplings stuffed with firm tofu and served in seafood broth with bits and pieces of little morsels.
In daily life, Palembangese often have model for breakfast as another option to the famous empek-empek. It isn't quite as filling as lontong sayur (rice cakes served with vegetable curry) as your breakfast, but it is of course on the little more soupy side.
Making model is no other simpler than using food processor. Finely minced fish fillet is what we need here. I choose to use a cube of chicken stock as to enhance the flavour of the fish dough itself, so when it is made into balls and cooked in a boiling water, they'll remain flavoursome.
The seafood stock is a simple fresh mixture of prawn heads and skins, fish bones, leeks, a head of garlic and a large brown onion, left overnight, and strained before using it to make the soup. I like making soup fresh from scratch rather than using cube stocks or powder. I have found it much more delicious than ready-made one.
Many of Indonesian traditional food use morsels as the side dish and garnish. Perhaps, you can omit them, but to me, they are as important as the main dish itself.
Here is what I do. And within this bowl, my homesickness is evaporated. For now.