Where did I go wrong?…

I did exactly what I did when I was in the U.K. in 1994 and it turned out just right then…and everybody enjoyed it a lot and wanted the recipe but this time, something went wrong. It was not like what it should be.

By special request, I decided to cook some masak hitam so that I could share it in my blog. I did not have most things in the U.K. and it did not help one bit that garlic was 20p a bulb (around 70sen at the time) and so was one dried chilli at the Chinese shop in Plymouth. So I just used some shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 1

…and I did not have a mortar and pestle then, so I had to chop everything until they were really very fine. Here, of course, I was able to just pound everything into pulp…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 2

I also pounded the raisins and used them to marinate the chicken, together with some soy sauce…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 3

I think I did have some of these spices then in the U.K. and I did not forget to include them this time too…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 4

After frying the pounded ingredients in some oil till brown, I added the spices and then, the chicken (with the raisins and soy sauce). Then I added a bit of water to simmer and cook the chicken…and finally, I added a bit of coconut milk and let it continue to simmer. I know people add kerisik (dry-fried grated coconut) at this stage Β but we usually do not as we do not like the smell, something like coconut oil. After the gravy had thickened, I served the masak hitam chicken in a plate…

STP's masak hitam

But it was not black!

Now, where exactly did I go wrong? Everytime my missus cooked it using the Lisa Brand “premix”, it was black…but this one wasn’t. Maybe it was because I had used mushroom soy instead of thick dark soy sauce…or maybe I had added a bit too much coconut milk. Perhaps I should chop everything by hand? It tasted o.k. though…so we finished it all up in one sitting.

Probably I should try again another day and see if it will be any better… SIGH!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

30 thoughts on “Where did I go wrong?…”

  1. Wow not bad uncle… not bad at all. As long as its delicious then can d la.

    Sigh… It’s not the same. With all the ingredients, it can’t possible by not nice…but it’s not hitam.

  2. oh gosh… they are dark enough for me.. why need it to be so black? Too much dark sauce makes the dish turn bitter… this is a new dish to me.. with santan some more? Must be very sweet too.. maybe it was bec of the santan that made is less darker in colour? Anyway, just wallop la!! LOL…

    Not really sweet…with the soy sauce and the raisins will counter its saltiness, goo balance… In fact, the one at my regular kampung stall is usually salty…too salty. would have to dilute, add water. Yup, maybe it was the santan… 😦

  3. doesnt matter if it’s black or not, but with those marinates ingredient, its enuff to make me drool!! raisins maken it sweeter isnt it?? :))))

    Yup…so it’s sweet and salty…and fragrant with all the ingredients. πŸ˜‰

  4. I think kicap pekat would make it black. Yours look more like masak coklat… if there’s ever such a thing. hehe. But as long as it tastes good, who cares. haha.

    Never mind. Will try again. Use beef next time. I prefer masak hitam with beef instead of chicken…

  5. u should use the thick dark soy sauce. mushroom soy sauce would give u the saltiness but not the black colour. πŸ™‚

    I guess so…and I suspect they use a lot – that’s why theirs is always a bit too salty.

  6. Ohhh… not enuff dark soya sauce kot? I wonder… If I can replace raisin with a bit of red wine? Ooooo… mampus… the masak hitam will spoil liao. Hahahahah!

    Then you might as well cook soy sauce chicken – Chinese style. Fry chicken with sliced ginger and add soy sauce and wine…and a bit of sugar and simmer till chicken is cooked and gravy is thick. Missus will add potatoes too…and maybe pepper as well. Nice also! Different recipe – not the same taste…

  7. Well, personally think it looks good in brown too… anyway looking forward for your ‘black’ version!^-^

    Have a nice day!
    p/s: No worries, most important is the taste… must be great!

    Looked nice, tasted nice…just that it wasn’t hitam! 😦

  8. Looks good though! Maybe u shld use the thick dark soya sauce instead.
    So long as taste nice, will be fine πŸ™‚

    Will try that next time… 😦

  9. I always use ADABI kicap manis and of course lots of pounded black raisins…never use coconut milk in Masek Hitam… n kerisik is only used in Rendang.

    Oh? Is that so? I can’t remember where I originally learnt to cook masak hitam…but in the UK, I added santan and also kerisik. No kerisik there, had to dry fry canned grated coconut… But it tasted like those brown coconut sweets we used to eat when small…and the smell was like coconut oil, so when I cooked that again, I left out the kerisik… I think there should be a bit of lengkuas too?

  10. Perhaps your missus added that special something that she didn’t tell you? :p

    She used the “pre-mix” from the shops…but “kay liao” – added extra onions, chillies and what not. I don’t remember her cooking masak hitam without the “pre-mix”. These days, she doesn’t seem to like masak hitam anymore… Dunno why, so don’t expect her to cook that anymore lah. 😦

  11. If it is tasty, then u have succeed, no need to have the same colour lah.

    But the name is masak hitam mah… Like masak merah – must be red, not orange. LOL!!! πŸ˜‰

  12. Goes to prove cooking is sometime more art than science aka non-reproducible.

    Cooking is definitely an art – culinary arts…but then again, in school, it is part of what is called “Home Science”… So confusing! LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  13. Oh..the chicken look good. Maybe you use chicken instead of beef, that’s why the color look not so dark?

    Like cantonese, when they want the dish look a bit darker color, they will use kicap pekat. Mushroom soy not dark enough, my mum also bought me one bottle of mushrook soy. Here cannot find mushroom soy!
    HAHAHHAHAHAHA

    Yup…the Malay places, they all use beef…….What??? No mushroom soy there? Aiyor…normally I prefer mushroom soy, except that my masak hitam ended up not really hitam. 😦 Ha…can bring you a bottle or two if I go to KL then. Wah! So many things to bring liao! Hahahahaha!!!!

    1. Psst, Cikgu… dun forget my kompiah ah. LOL.

      Ok…ok… Maybe I get your address and send poslaju to you… Can tahan a few days – just put in the oven toaster to toast it a bit. πŸ˜‰

      1. You’re kidding! Kompiah can tahan for a few days? o.O

        Can. Like bread… But only nice when fresh and better still, when piping hot form the oven.

  14. as long as it tasted yummy, it is ok le. Look not important right?

    Maybe you should use dark soy sauce?

    Ya…will try next time…and try with beef! Hope to make it really very hitam! LOL!!! πŸ˜‰

  15. No idea…maybe Cleff would know especially with her negro chic experience.

    Hahahahaha!!! That one burnt lah! Masak hangus, not masak hitam! Muahahahahaha!!!πŸ˜€

  16. color doesnt matter bro…the matter is the taste…as long taste yummy…i think everyone will love the dish … maybe u can change the dish name only…u r a good cook!

    LOL!!! Call it masak coklat or masak perang? 😦 Not really…I just cook some simple stuff…mostly. Basically very lazy. Hehehehehe!!!

  17. usually my mum and my grandma cook with beef. arrgh…. now i’m craving for masak hitam beef.

    Hah! You can’t get this over there – Sarawak specialty! Ya, the Malay shops and stalls all use beef…but once I had a party catered by the hospital canteen operator and they cooked masak hitam prawns – also very nice.

  18. I will call my mum for the recipe. hihihihihihi… my mum did once when she was in KL last time. hihihihi

    Try this: http://resepijefbuj.blogspot.com/2010/04/daging-masak-hitam-sri-rejang.html
    I should have googled for the recipe first. Now I know what went wrong – must use thick dark sauce and more raisins – 1 cup…I only used a handful and no santan or kerisik, as Pollie said. Then it should be really black. All the other ingredients, I guess we can adapt here and there.

  19. Aw, at least it tasted ok. It doesn’t look that bad actually. It looks pretty good in fact !! πŸ™‚

    Ya…it’s ok…just not the same. But I’ve googled to find the recipe…and will definitely try again soon.

  20. erm.. as long as it tastes ok, black or not not too bad lah kan? next time hope u’ll get the blackness right πŸ˜€

    Ya…got the recipe now…so next time, should be more successful…..hopefully.

  21. Looks like I should give it a try here too in Scotland πŸ˜€ May not be authentic but I’m sure will all be finished too πŸ˜€ Well, your dish is dark enough for me. Wonder how dark you want. Looks like you have to get the thickest, darkest soya sauce to help…haha

    Ya…found the recipe already. The chef says Cap Unta (Camel Brand) – I think I’ve seen that in the shops…and not coconut milk plus a lot more raisins. I think it would be quite black then… Will try again soon, using beef…

  22. Wow so many ingredients use to marinate the chicken…Sigh..now only i realized the price of garlic now is so expensive…

    That’s what I heard the other day – 50 sen a bulb. No garlic, they say…due to the floods and other natural disasters in China. Rm10.00 a kg… I bought 1 kg yesterday to keep. I think I use garlic a lot more than shallots.

  23. A shopkeeper suggested using “Camel” brand kicap manis to achieve the colour. You have most of the ingredients in (and more than needed in my opinion, especially those spices but it will enrich the flavour of the dish, so doesn’t hurt either haha). And on top on what you have used, I would add in some lemon grass and gingers.

    My mistake was adding the santan – no santan in masak hitam.

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