Martabak Manis – Indonesian Sweet Thick Pancake



This is one of the things I absolutely have to eat whenever I get to go back to Indonesia. Martabak Manis a.k.a Terang Bulan (how it is called by people from Makassar and Surabaya). Last week, I was craving for this and when I told my husband that I was going to try making this, his face lighted up in a second. So, that makes me even more excited!

So… The battle of Martabak Manis VS Myself = 4 – 1 🙂

Yes, that’s correct. I’ve tried making this FIVE times already now. All with different recipes.
– The first trial: it ended up tasted and looking like a huge pancake.
– The second trial: tasted pretty good but looked AWFUL.
– The third one: looked good but doesn’t have the right texture.
– The fourth one: it was a total mess… a BIG JOKE hehehe… don’t even talk about it.
– The fifth one: i did it! yes, i finally did!

Fifth time’s a charm! 🙂 Well, It wasn’t super greasy-good like the one you can find on the streets in Indonesia, but it was okay considering my limited circumstances. My stove was the spiral electric stove that didn’t really work that great. And then the only plate that was big enough for my pan was lopsided 😦

Anyway… so the recipe below is my modification of so many recipes, after trials and errors. The key is to have a good pan, really be patience, and to watch the heat when cooking it. Here we go.

If you don’t have the original Martabak pan that can only be bought in Indonesia (as far as i know), you can use Cast-Iron pan. I got this “revelation” after thinking that both pans look so similar and equally heavy, lol!


Part #1
200 ml warm milk (not boiling)
1 pack instant dry yeast (one pack is about 7 gram)
40 gram caster sugar

Part #2
100 gram all purpose four, sifted
80 gram self-raising flour, sifted
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Part #3
3 eggs
40 gram caster sugar

Part #4 (to be added later, right before the cooking)
2 Tbs water, divided into 2 for two times cooking
½ tsp baking soda, divided into 2 for two times cooking

Toppings (as desired)
2 Tbs sugar, divided into two (for two martabaks)
Margarine (Blue Band is recommended)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sweet condensed milk
Ground peanuts
Chocolate sprinkles/meisjes
Sesame seeds

1. Mix warm milk, dry yeast, and sugar. Whisk them all together. Let it sit for 10 minutes and it will begin to bubble and foam.
2. Meanwhile, mix the sifted all purpose flour, self-raising flour, baking powder, and salt in a deep mixing bowl.
3. In a different container, whisk eggs and caster sugar.
4. When the yeast mixture has started to foam, stir it and using a mixer (low speed), slowly mix it into the flour.
5. Also slowly, mix in the egg mixture.
6. Continue to mix with low speed for 10 minutes.
7. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it sit for at least 2 hours.
8. Heat up a cast-iron pan for about 15 minutes. (This will be tricky. You’ll have to experiment with your own stove. I have electric stove and 10 level of heat. I did level 5 to heat the pan.)
9. Divide the flour mixture into 2 portions.
10. Mix one part of water and baking soda. Stir that into one part of the flour mixture.
11. Pour in the flour mixture into the pan at one time, and immediately angle it around the pan evenly to make the side crust. (see “NOTE” below if you don’t know what i’m talking about)
12. Now, turn down the heat level of your stove a little bit (I turned mine down to 4). Let it cook.
13. When you start to see holes on the Martabak’s surface, sprinkle one part of sugar (1 Tbs), and then cover the pan with lid. Turn down the heat level of your stove again a little bit (I turned mine down to 3) and let it cook.
14. When you see the sugar has starting to melt and the side crust has brown, your martabak is ready! Place it onto a cutting board.
15. Cut the martabak into two. While it’s still warm, start to add in the toppings on both halves. Begin with margarine and end with sweet condensed milk. They’re a good bonding agent 🙂
16. Put the two halves together. Smear the surface with margarine. Cut in smaller pieces for serving.
17. Do the same thing for the other halves of the flour mixture.

This is how martabak manis is made, directly from one street vendor in Indonesia. Some method doesn’t work for me, though, but his martabak certainly looked AWESOME 🙂
This video may help you if you don’t know what I’m talking about on step #11 🙂 (watch minute 1:24 – 1:36)


First Chinese BBQ – Shrimp Wonton Soup

Once a week, David and I go out to dine. As much as I love cooking at home, I don’t love the fact that I have to clean up my kitchen everyday. This week (particularly yesterday and today) is David’s busiest working day. So, last night we decided to dine out at one of our most favorite place to eat here.

First Chinese BBQ is one of the most authentic Chinese food you can find in Dallas. They have some different locations across the Metroplex and having dined at two of their locations I would say they deliver great meals consistently. This restaurant is definitely one of our family’s favorite! Whenever we go to FCB with a group of friends, everybody knew already what we all are going to order. We would order: Shrimp Wonton Soup, Water Spinach (Kangkung) with Garlic, Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic, Combination Soft Noodle, Seafood Hot Pot, BBQ Cha Siu Pork, BBQ Roast Pork, and BBQ Duck. Last time we went there with our friends, we also tried their Salty Fish Fried Rice and it tasted AMAZING.

Now if you haven’t drooled yet, let me introduce you to this particular delectable dish:

Sometimes it takes something so simple to take your breath away.

That simple thing is the divine Shrimp Wonton Soup. That was our dinner last night and our leftover lunch today. That would be my personal favorite dish from FCB because I’m such a seafood lover. This soup has an incredibly fresh taste. The portion of the meat inside is definitely not stingy. The shrimp is juicy and taste heavenly. I also just love the taste of the broth. It might be MSG, but it’s so good that I wouldn’t think of that when eating this. Even on the second day as leftover, I still can’t get my spoon off of this.

I’ve tried over and over again to re-create this dish at home, but I just can’t achieve the same freshness and the great taste. I gave up and thank God my husband take me to dine here once in a while 🙂

Terong Balado Istimewa | Hot & Spicy Eggplant

I’m so excited for this recipe! This is a twist on the traditional Indonesian Spicy Eggplant. Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite vegetable. If you love eggplant and if you love spicy food, bingo, this recipe is perfect for you. When you have the first bite of this dish, the juiciness and the spiciness won’t make you stop eating. I tell you, I rarely brag about my food!


3 Japanese eggplants
½ lbs ground beef
2 Tbs dried shrimp, coarsely chopped with knife or in a chopper
4 clove garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 green pepper, sliced
½ handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3-5 Thai bird eye chillies, depend on your spiciness preference
2 tsp Sambal Oelek (ground red chili paste)
1 Tbs red pepper paste/gochujang
1 tsp soysauce
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Preparing the eggplants
Cut the eggplant into 2 big slices.
Divide each slices into two thinner slices horizontally.
With the flesh facing up, line the eggplants on a tray and loosely sprinkle the eggplant flesh with salt.
Leave them for 20-30 minutes, to allow the solanine (a chemical found in the flesh) to leach out, and brush off with a damp cloth.
In a frying pan, heat 1 cup of oil to about 325 degrees F.
Cut the eggplant slices into smaller 1″ pieces.
Fry the eggplant until half cooked and drain on paper towel.

Putting it all together
In a pan, heat oil.
Stir in garlic, shallots, bird’s eye chillies, and dried shrimp.
Add in the ground beef and cook until medium rare.
Put in the red pepper paste and the Sambal Oelek.
Stir in the tomato and mix well.
Add in green pepper slices.
Finally, put in the fried eggplant and mix well.
Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
Sprinkle the basil leaves.
Serve with warm steam rice.

Ayam Bakar | Brata’s Special Grilled Chicken

I have tried a lot of chicken recipe but finally, I have my own grilled chicken recipe that I’m really satisfied with and lovin’! Whenever I make this, it always happened that I make it for a large group of friends, so I apologize that the measurement of this recipe is quite large.

10 pieces chicken thighs, trim excess fat
8 cloves garlic, minced
7 candlenuts, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
1 stalk lemongrass (the white part), cut into 3″ length pieces
2 tsp ginger paste
3-5 Tbs Sambal Oelek (depend on your spiciness preference)
2 cups palm sugar (boiled with water to be made into liquid)
4 Tbs sweet soy sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
3 cups of water
salt and pepper, to taste

Basting Sauce for grilling
Leftover from the marinade sauce
3 Tbs margarine, melted
2 Tbs sweet soy sauce
1 Tbs honey (optional)

In a deep pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Put in garlic and candlenuts.
Add in bay leaves, lemongrass, and ginger paste.
Put in the chicken thigh, mix well, and cook for a few seconds.
Add in Sambal Oelek, sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, and stir well.
Mix in palm sugar liquid and water.
Cook until the chicken is well done.
Marinate overnight for best result.
Brush in the basting sauce on the chicken before grilling.
BBQ on charcoal or grill in the oven (450 degrees, 6-8 minutes on each sides) until fragrant.

Nasi Goreng ala Thai | Thai Basil Fried Rice

My husband is a HUGE fried rice eater. Fried rice is basically his comfort food. Ever since I married this guy, I’ve been experimenting on a lot of kinds of fried rice. Thai Basil Fried Rice is one of his absolute favorite. Now, I can’t really beat the fried rice on his favorite restaurant with my kitchen and cookware limitation, but at least I’m close on the taste! 🙂 When we have a house someday, we’ll definitely set up some kind of wok stove thing in our backyard 🙂

So anyway, this recipe is inspired by a few of the original Thai fried rice recipes out there, but I have a couple of different ingredient added here and there, with all due respect. I did try to cook it the “original” way but it just didn’t work out as well as this for us.


3 cups of one-day-old, cooked, cold jasmine rice
1 lbs beef ribeye, sliced thinly (or your preferred meat – I used shrimp on the picture)
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crush with mortar
3-5 Thai bird eye chillies (depend on your spiciness preference), crush with mortar
2 Tbs oyster sauce
1½ Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs Golden Mountain sauce
2 Tbsp tamarind (liquid essence from boiling approx. 1″ tamarind)
1 large egg
1 handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Put in garlic and bird eye chillies and stir.
Add in beef slices immediately and cook until medium.
Put in oyster sauce, fish sauce, Golden Mountain Sauce, tamarind essence, and sugar, and stir until well-mixed.
Turn the heat up to high.
Add in the egg, scramble a little, and leave for a bit until the egg is cooked.
Put in the bell pepper slices and stir for a few seconds.
Add in the rice and mix well for a few minutes.
Finally, put in the basil leaves and mix well.

Bakwan Jagung | Indonesian Corn Fritter

This famous Indonesian appetizer is everyone’s favorite in all kinds of gathering. In Brata’s family, we often just eat this with steam rice, making it a main entree instead of just appetizer.


432 gram (1 can) sweet kernel corn
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced
1 stalk green onion or scallion, cut thinly and minced
100 gram all purpose flour
1 large egg
1½ Tbs coriander powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a deep fryer, heat oil to about 325 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, with baking soda being the last to be stirred in.
Drop by tablespoons into hot oil.
Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden, turning once.
Drain on paper towels.

Tumis Tempe Saus Tauco | Sauteed Tempeh with Black Bean Sauce

Ever since I succeeded making my own tempeh, I just got so excited about it and make it over and over again. I have done 6 trials and 2 of them were a success. I failed 4 times, but this last time I succeeded. I’ll post about the tempeh making process sometimes. So, from that last successful attempt, I made this dish, which is basically sauteing the tempeh with Black Bean sauce.


500 gram tempeh, cut into 0.5″ dices
3 clove garlic, minced
3 clove shallots, minced
1 long red pepper, cut thinly
3 Thai bird eye chili, chopped
½ tsp ginger paste
1 tsp galangal powder (if using real galangal root, cut a 0.5″ piece and crush it)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp sweet soy sauce
3 Tbsp black bean sauce (tauco)
3 Tbsp tamarind (liquid essence from boiling approx. 1″ tamarind)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
½ tsp salt (to taste)
3 Tbsp water

In a medium heated pan, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil.
Stir in garlic and shallots until fragrant.
Add in the bird’s eye chili, ginger paste, and galangal powder, and stir until well mixed.
Add in the fish sauce, sweet soy sauce and black bean sauce.
Put in the tempeh.
Pour in the tamarind liquid and stir until well mixed.
Add salt, sugar, water, and then check for seasoning.
Serve warm with rice.

December 2018
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