Ah, nothing beats a hearty portion of comforting dishes and drinks to while away the gloomy weather. From the nurturing sensation of tea to the quintessential noodle soup, the Manual Jakarta team opts for something quick and easy for you to try and whip out yourselves. Grab a blankie, get cosy, and enjoy!
Kalguksu Noodles by Cindy Julia Tobing
It started when my Korean neighbour sent over a bowl of kalguksu noodles because they had an extra pot. I didn’t expect anything out of it, because as a noodle-head, I believe anything associated with noodles is a great dish. I also romanticise the heck out of food and weather pairing, like having a searing bowl of noodles on a rainy day has the power to instantly lift one’s mood—and hey, it does every time.
Upon trying it for the first time, the feeling wasn’t overwhelming. The taste hit just the right spot for me to savour all the flavours; the broth is mild with a little hint of spice, while the noodles are light to slurp. The addition of carrots, zucchini and prawns also instantly give off a refreshing kick. Though kalguksu is unique for its handmade noodles, store-bought ones are fine and the condiments are probably already stocked in your kitchen. So, trust my non-talented cooking hands that this is a rather easy and fast dish for anyone to whip up—and a fulfilling one at that!
- Ottogi Gukgsu Somyeon noodles
- 100 g/ zucchini, julienned
- 50 g/ carrot, julienned
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ¼ tablespoon Ottogi black pepper powder
- ½ tablespoon of Dashida Instant Beef Stock
- Prawns (optional)
- Put water to boil. Add in carrots, zucchini, garlic and cook until slightly softened (about 2 minutes)
- At the same time, prepare a separate pot to boil the noodles. Then drain and rinse with cold water.
- To season the broth, add Dashida, salt and pepper powder into the mix.
- Add the prawns (optional) and boil until they’re cooked (2 minutes)
- Then add the noodles into the broth, boil and stir for one minute.
Rose Tea Latte by Alyza Bachmid
I always spray a floral fragrance whenever I feel unmotivated and tired, as I believe the scent can lift up the surrounding energy. Every few months, I also like to pick up bouquets for my room with the likes of rose, jasmine, and tuberose. Since then, my fondness for flowers has shifted from purely enjoying their aesthetic to finding out about their health benefits; for example, rose water is known to have calming and hydrating properties for the skin and is safe to drink!
All this research led to me a recipe that combines rose water, black tea and milk, a heavenly combination of pleasant fragrant that has become my go-to drink on rainy days. I also sprinkle chopped rose petals as a garnish, and sometimes even drink it all together. This rose tea latte gives off a calming and comforting sensation without compromising its health benefits and perked with lots of room for personalisation: use a rose tea bag to substitute the rose water, add a jelly topping or even boba pearl, add honey or agave syrup if you prefer it sweet. Served hot or cold, the taste will still be pleasant.
- 1 cup (240ml) water
- 1 black tea bag
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- 1 tsp rose water
- ⅓ cup (80ml) milk (plant-based milk is a good option)
- Put water to boil. Switch off the heat, add the teabag, and let it steep for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Remove the teabag. Stir in the honey and rose water. Pour into a cup.
- Foam the milk using a milk frother. Add the milk to the tea and put rose petals as garnish. Et voila, have yourself a pretty rose tea latte!
Flower Tea with Goji Berry and Red Date by Julius Kensan
My family is a big tea drinker and swear by TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Since I was young, I can always look forward to my mother passing me a cup of tea after a meal. There’s always a practical reason behind every cup – tea to combat the hot weather, tea to fight the cold, tea for indigestion and tea to support growth, you name it. Admittedly, I wasn’t a hundred per cent sold on its supposed benefits. Still, I chugged them down anyway (You don’t say no to tiger mom).
It wasn’t until much older that I came around to enjoying tea drinking for pleasure, especially flower tea during rainy weather. This recipe, of course, can be enjoyed all year round. Sometimes, I switch between chrysanthemum or rosebud depending on the availability, but I always keep it simple with three ingredients, with red dates and goji berry being the permanent fixtures and a preferred rainy day playlist on loop in the background.
- 1 tablespoon of flower tea (Rosebud is used for this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon of goji berry
- 1 red date
- Rock sugar (optional)
- Wash the goji berry and remove the seed from the red date.
- Add rosebud, goji berry and red date into a medium-sized teapot.
- Pour hot water (around 80 degrees Celcius, just shy of boiling) into the teapot.
- Let it steep for a couple of minutes.
- Add rock sugar if you prefer your tea to be sweet.
Hot Chocolate by Elizabeth Sihombing
Thanks to this story I read a while ago, I realised that hot chocolate the drink is simple, but hot chocolate the concept is more. It’s like an apology without actually saying the words and the comfort you need when you feel bone-tired. It’s your sweet treat on a busy day and an all-rounder beverage perfect for both cloudy and sunny weather. Hot chocolate is joy personified. And joy is not without effort, so why would you not give your best care to a drink as simple as this?
This recipe is pretty easy and uses household ingredients anyone will have around, but the best part is after the base, you can dress it up however you like. For instance, when I want to feel fancy, I make some homemade marshmallows to top it off or when I want to feel bougie, I slip in a little Baileys to spice it up. I’m starting to recognise that effort in even the smallest things will bring joy to my life, so when the day becomes grey (in both colour or mood), I can always head to the kitchen for 10 minutes and whip up some joy.
- 2 tablespoons of 100% cocoa powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Optional: Marshmallows as a topping
- In a medium saucepan, mix in the milk, cocoa powder, sugar and salt over medium heat until the mixture is dissolved.
- Lower temperature to low heat and add in the vanilla extract. Stir until everything is combined.
- Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy.
- Add a handful of marshmallows as a topping (Optional)
Oat Milk Turmeric Latte by Hilda Raina
As someone who gets cold easily, I was never a big fan of the rainy season. But I admit, the drop in temperature comes with its own set of perks: undisturbed deep slumbers against heavy rain and endless mugs of steaming drinks remain two of my personal favourites.
Studying abroad in London where it was almost always cold (for me anyway), I quickly learned homemade remedies to combat, or rather equip me for the frequent mood swings of the weather. This turmeric latte is creamy, warming, and easily adaptable to your liking. Amp up on the honey or cinnamon for a sweeter taste. I personally like mine with a tad bit more ginger.
- 2 cups oat milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- Pinch of grated ginger
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 tsp honey or sweetener of choice
- In a small saucepan, whisk oat milk, turmeric, ginger, black pepper and bring it to a simmer.
- Add cinnamon stick, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain and serve warm. Add honey or sweetener of choice to taste.