Monthly Archives: August 2013

Chicken Simmered in a Sweet Indonesian Soy Sauce (Ayam Kecap)

Ayam_Kecap2 (1 of 1)Here’s anther Indonesian chicken dish for you to try tonight. There’s no heat in the dish, but I encourage you to serve it with a spicy Indonesian sambal on the side (here I served it with sambal petai, which I purchased at a local Asian food market). What make this dish stand out are the kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) and the nutmeg. I think this dish is so interesting — I hope you’ll try it!

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 Tbsp kecap manis
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 cup water

Rub chicken pieces with the salt.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven (with tight-fitting lid) over high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown evenly for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add the onions and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

Add the nutmeg, kecap manis and tamarind concentrate to the chicken mixture;  stir well, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, until almost dry (but not burnt!).

Add the water. Increase heat to high, stirring while bringing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for another 20 minutes. Remove lid. Increase heat to high. Cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring constantly for an additions 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened substantially. Serve over steamed coconut jasmine rice, with an Indonesian sambal (sauce) on the side.

Serves 4.

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Thai Caramelized Pork Stir-Fry (Muu Waan)

Thai_Caramelized_Pork_Stir-Fry1 (1 of 1)Here’s another simple, quick and delicious stir-fry dish. The garlic, liquids and sugar cook down into a wonderful, sweet and sticky sauce that nicely compliments the pork tenderloin. Those who enjoy Thai cuisine, but don’t like too much spice will like this recipe, as it does not have the usual red peppers in it. I hope you’ll try this dish tonight!

1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp palm sugar (or light brown sugar), packed
1 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 1.25-lb pork tenderloin, sliced lengthwise down the middle, then thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 tsp white ground pepper
3 green onions, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 additional green onion, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces for garnish
1 Tbsp fried red onions for garnish (store-bought, found in Asian markets in the Thai condiment section)

Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until very thick. Add the 3 sliced green onions and white ground pepper, and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and fried red onions.

Serves 4.

Grilled Pork Churrasco with Fresh Pineapple Salsa

Pork_Churrasco1 (1 of 1)Here’s another delicious outdoor recipe (I’m trying to get as many in as I can before our short New England summer comes to an end). Churrasco is basically grilled meat, which is popular in many South American countries, as well as some European countries. The pork tenderloin strips for this dish marinate in an herbed, smoked paprika mixture for a couple of hours, so plan ahead for this one! I’ve got to say that it’s well worth the wait — the flavors of the grilled, marinated pork combine very well with the fresh pineapple salsa. I hope you’ll try this dish!

1 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 rounded tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1-lb pork tenderloins, trimmed

3 cups peeled, cored pineapple, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (about 1/2 a large pineapple)
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 – 3 chopped, seeded jalapeño peppers
Tabasco sauce

Steamed white rice

Heat oil in a small heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the paprika and cook 5 minutes (very gently, so as not to burn the paprika) to infuse the oil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (I put it in a bowl and then into the fridge to speed up the cooling process).

Pour oil mixture into a blender. Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Blend marinade Pork_Churrasco2 (1 of 1)until herbs are finely chopped.

Cut each pork tenderloin lengthwise into 4 strips. Pound each strip in between plastic wrap to a 1/3-inch thickness. Place pork strips in a zip lock freezer bag;  pour marinade into the bag and seal. Toss the mixture well, ensuring that pork is completely coated. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours (turning occasionally).

Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by combining the pineapple chunks, yellow bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño peppers and several shakes of the tabasco sauce (to taste) in a medium bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place salsa in the refrigerator for a couple of hours while the pork marinates.

Prepare the grill. Remove pork strips from the marinade and grill about 2 minutes on each side.

Serve the pork with the pineapple salsa and steamed white rice.

Serves 4.