Tag Archives: Jasmine Rice

Sweet Indonesian Beef in a Flavorful “Dry” Sauce (Dendeng Sapi Manis)

Dendeng_Sapi_Manis1 (1 of 1)Like many Indonesian beef dishes, this calls for a lean, relatively less tender cut of meat. It is braised for quite a while until tender, and the cooking liquid has just about evaporated. In fact, the name of this recipe, Dendeng Sapi Manis translates into English as “Sweet Beef Jerky.” However, this dish is nothing like dried-out American beef jerky;  on the contrary, it’s tender and delicious. I hope you’ll try this dish!

1 lb top round beef, thinly sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Laos powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1/2 tsp terasi
1 tsp tamarind water
1 1/2 cups water
2 red Thai chilies, sliced on the diagonal

Combine meat with coriander, cumin, Laos powder, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add meat mixture and brown on all sides for 4 minutes.

Add onion and garlic, and cook for another 1 minute. Add the terasi, tamarind water and water. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid and increase heat to high. Cook until most of the sauce has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the red Thai chilies, and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

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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.

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.

Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Cashews

Cashew_Chicken1 (1 of 1)Here’s another stir-fry dish that’s delicious and quick to prepare. You can substitute the raw cashews with unsalted, ready-roasted cashews, but I prefer the wonderfully sweet and nutty flavors they take on when dry-roasting yourself (you can also deep-fry raw cashews in a bit of canola or peanut oil, which is what they do in Thailand). You can also substitute the dried Thai chilies with fresh ones, but I believe this dish is traditionally prepared with dried chilies. I really like this dish, and I hope you’ll try it too!

1/2 cup raw whole cashews
3 – 5 dried Thai chilies, slit lengthwise on one side with a sharp knife, seeds removed and chilies cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 Tbsp chicken stock
1 1/4 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp canola oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced, then cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
1 small onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
2 scallions, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces (both pale and dark green parts)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Heat a small cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and dry-roast until lightly browned, but not burnt. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Whisk together the fish sauce, oyster sauce, stock and sugar in a small bowl, then set aside.Cashew_Chicken2 (1 of 1)

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the chilies and stir-fry for one minute. Remove chilies with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-high. Add the garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Turn heat back up to high and add the chicken, stir-frying for 4 minutes.

Add the red bell pepper, carrot, onion and sauce mixture to the chicken. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cashews, chilies, scallions and white ground pepper. Season to taste with a bit more fish sauce and sugar, if necessary. Serve with steamed jasmine rice, and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serves 4.

Malaysian Lamb Curry with Cilantro and Mint

Malaysian_Lamb_Curry2 (1 of 1)I’m on a bit of a lamb kick at the moment, so I tried this very interesting Malaysian lamb dish last night. Malaysian cuisine is influenced by cuisines from around the world, but it is particularly influenced by its Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups. This dish is a delicious Malaysian spin on Indian Lamb Korma. The unique balance of spices and herbs, and the use of ghee are what make this dish! I hope you’ll try it!

2 inches (1 oz) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 – 3 red Thai chilies, seeded and minced
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 lbs boneless lamb leg, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 medium onions, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a small food processor (or mortar and pestle), grind ginger, garlic and chilies to a fine paste. Stir in the garam masala, ground coriander, cumin and turmeric.

In a medium bowl, combine the lamb cubes and the garlic mixture well, ensuring that every Malaysian_Lamb_Curry1 (1 of 1)cube is coated. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour.

Heat ghee in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sugar, and cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and lamb with its marinade. Brown the lamb, stirring for 4 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Serve over steamed jasmine rice. Garnish each serving with the chopped peanuts, cilantro and mint.

Serves 4.

Picadillo with Parsley-Herbed Rice

Picadillo1 (1 of 1)Picadillo is a flavorful, traditional dish served in Latin America. Its ingredients vary a bit from country to country, but most versions typically feature ground meat, chopped green bell peppers and onions. Mine is more of a Cuban variety, with ground beef, ground pork, peppers, onions, garlic, raisins, olives, capers and other ingredients, which provide for delicious sweet and sour flavors (“picadillo,” by the way, is derived from the Spanish picar, which means “to chop”). I hope you’ll give it a try!

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb very lean, ground beef
1 lb very lean, ground pork
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp drained capers
1/4 cup red wine

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and green bell peppers, and saute for 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, beef and pork. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes (or until meat is no longer pink), stirring constantly to break meat up.

Add the rest of the ingredients (through red wine). Turn heat to high, stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour (stirring occasionally). Season to taste with salt and pepper (I added an additional 4 tsp salt, which seemed about right).

Meanwhile, prepare the rice. For the herbed-rice, follow my recipe for steamed jasmine rice, but add 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley at the beginning.

Serve warm picadillo with the rice.

Serves 8.

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.