Tag Archives: Indonesian Food

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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Indonesian Shrimp Curry (Udang Kari)

Indonesian_Shrimp_Curry1 (1 of 1)I’m very fond of just about any dish that has lemongrass in it. The original recipe called for ground lemongrass, but I prefer the brightness of fresh lemongrass for this recipe. This Indonesian curry can be served as a main dish with steamed rice, or as one dish of a few for an Indonesian-style meal. This is an easy dish for a mid-week dinner, and it’s good so I hope you’ll try it!

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic coves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed and the lower 6 inches very finely minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sambal ulek
1/2 tsp terasi
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 lb peeled shrimp (uncooked, frozen or fresh)
1 Tbsp kecap manis
Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, cumin and sambal ulek. Saute gently for 3 minutes.

Add the terasi, salt and coconut milk to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add shrimp and simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce is quite thick. Stir in kecap manis and serve with seamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Indonesian Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Sweet Ginger Sauce (Babi Panggang)

Babi_Pangang4 (1 of 1)Here’s another one of my favorite Indonesian pork recipes (I have several favorites in this category!). This one is a roasted pork tenderloin that has been marinated in a ginger/garlic/sweet soy sauce. It is served over a bed of crisp, shredded white cabbage, with a drizzle of a unique (delicious!) ginger sauce. I hope you’ll try it!

2 tsp peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Laos powder
2 Tbsp kecap manis
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 lb (or so) pork tenderloin

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp kecap manis
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp corn flour (cornstarch)
1 inch peeled fresh ginger, cut lengthwise into very fine julienne strips (about 1/2 Tbsp)
1 tsp sambal ulek
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 head white cabbage, very thinly sliced

Babi_Pangang6 (1 of 1)Prepare the marinade by combining the first 6 ingredients (through ground black pepper) in a small bowl. Place the pork in a shallow dish and cover evenly with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or longer).

Meanwhile, prepare the ginger sauce by whisking together the next 7 ingredients (through sambal ulek) in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture. Stirring constantly, slow bring to a boil. Reduce to low and continue to cook until the sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking dish that will accommodate the pork with aluminum foil and place the pork in the dish. Cook the pork until it registers 155 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted with a thermometer in the thickest portion (about 20 minutes) — cooking the pork any longer will dry it out. Remove the pork from the oven and place on a cutting board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 10 minutes.

Slice the pork into half-inch pieces. Spread the sliced cabbage on a serving platter and place the pork slices on top. Pour sauce over the pork. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Pork Tenderloin in a Sweet Indonesian Soy Sauce

Pork_Tenderloin_in_a_Sweet_Indonesian_Soy_Sauce4 (1 of 1)This is one of my favorite Indonesian pork recipes — it smells so good as it’s cooking! I love the sweetness of the kecap manis, together with the hint of sour from the lemon juice. I’m pretty sure they’d use tamarind water instead of lemon juice in Indonesia, but I really like what the citrus does for this dish. It’s a quick and simple dish (relative to my other Indonesian recipes), and the ingredients should be easy for anyone to find. Hope you’ll give it a try!

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed, or gula jawa if you have it
3 tsp sambal ulek
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white or black ground pepper
1/2 cup kecap manis
2 cups lower sodium chicken broth
Juice of one lemon (about 2 1/2 Tbsp)

Combine the pork, onion, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sambal ulek, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir well.

Heat oil in a wok or similar pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork mixture and saute until pork is no longer pink (about 5 minutes). Add the kecap manis, chicken broth and lemon juice, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced considerably. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and sliced cucumbers and relishes.

Serves about 4.

Josh’s Risoles (Indonesian Croquettes)

Josh's Deep-Fried Creps with a White Grape Filling (1 of 1)The other night, I had some friends over for an Indonesian meal. My friend (and neighbor) Josh brought over an appetizer he made called “risoles,” which are Indonesian croquettes. Risoles are eaten as a snack food in Indonesia, and are prepared with either a sweet or savory filling. Josh’s version is savory, and he served it with a curry ketchup. Delicious! I asked him to pass along the recipe, which is as follows:

Risoles Wrapper

1 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz milk

Filling

1/4 lb ground beef or chicken
3 small potatoes, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
1 Tbsp flour, mixed with a little water
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup beef broth
1/4 tsp sugar

Dredging

1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs

Canola oil for frying

For the wrappers, combine the flour, 1 egg and salt. Gradually add milk, whisking to make a smooth texture. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Pour 2 Tbsp of the mixture into the pan, being sure to move pan until mixture is thin (as you would with crepes). Cook until edges are dry, and wrapper peels off pan easily. Set aside and repeat process for the rest of the wrappers.

For the filling, heat a wok with a bit of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute until fragrant. Add the meat and saute for a few minutes. Add carrots, pepper, salt, celery, and beef broth. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. When the carrots are half-cooked, add the potatoes and the 1 Tbsp flour/water mixture. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender and the filling has thickened. Add sugar, stir and remove from heat.

For the risoles, place some of the filling on each wrapper at the bottom, leaving a small edge at the bottom. Lift the wrapper over the top and tuck it in under the filling. Fold over the left side, and then the right side and roll up to form a tube.

For dredging, dip each risole in the beaten egg, then dip in the breadcrumbs to coat.

Deep fry the risoles in the oil until crisp and golden brown. Remove and place on paper towels. Serve with chili sauce.

Serves 4 – 6.

Southeast Asian-Style Salmon

Southeast Asian-Style Salmon3 (1 of 1)I don’t know how much salmon they eat (if any) in Southeast Asia, but Southeast Asian flavors sure go well with it! This is one of my favorite ways to make salmon, which I always have on-hand in the freezer (I like to buy the frozen, center-cut salmon filets, but it’s always a treat to prepare it fresh!). The salmon is coated in a wonderful coconut/panko/spice mixture, then pan seared. I especially like the sweetness of the sauce with this recipe, and the sour of the tamarind adds a nice balance.

Sauce

1 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup hot water
3 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 tsp brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp kecap manis
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil

Salmon

3 Tbsp panko
3 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
4 6-oz center-cut salmon filets
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp canola oil

For the sauce, heat 1 tsp canola oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, and saute 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot water, tamarind concentrate, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the kecap manis and sesame oil.

For the salmon, combine panko, coconut and turmeric in a shallow. Sprinkle the salmon with the salt, coriander and black pepper on all sides. Dredge the salmon filets in the panko mixture.

Heat 2 tsp canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon to the skillet, and cook 3 minutes. Gently turn the filets over in the skillet, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Nasi Kuning (Indonesian Yellow Rice)

Nasi_Kuning_2013_04_14Nasi kuning literally means “yellow rice” in Indonesian. On special occasions, it is served in the shape of a cone, or tumpeng, and some of my research indicates that this is a representation of the mountains of Indonesia. It has a wonderful, aromatic flavor, and I love to serve it as an accompaniment to a variety of Indonesian meals (and not just on special occasions). The method I use to make it is not completely traditional,  but I think it ends up tasting pretty authentic.

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
14 oz water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coriander
2 salam leaves
1 clove garlic, very finely grated
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp canola oil

Heat oil over medium heat. Add diced onions and saute until translucent, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Combine rice, water, salt, shredded coconut, turmeric, coriander, salam leaves, garlic and the sautéed onions  in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir well. Put the lid on and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Put the lid back on and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves about 4.