Shrimp (or Scallop) and Asparagus Sambal

12 oz. asparagus
4 oz. scallops or medium-size shrimps
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons sambal paste if you like spicy, use 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon belacan breaks into small bits
2 tablespoons oil

Sambal (Chili Paste) Recipe:
20 dried chilies seeded and soaked to soften
10 fresh red chilies seeded and sliced
8 shallots peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons cooking oil

Rinse the asparagus with water. Chop off 1 inch to 1.5 inches off the stems (depending on the toughness of the stems) and slice the stems into half. Cut the rest of the asparagus into 2-inch lengths. Set aside.

Heat up the wok with oil. Add the sambal (recipe below) and belacan. Stir well until you start smelling the pungent aroma of belacan. Add in scallops/shrimps and do a quick stir and then follow by the asparagus. Add fish sauce, sugar, and continue to stir fry until asparagus is cooked through (don’t overcook it). Dish out and serve hot.

Sambal (Chili Paste) Recipe:
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the sambal ingredients or use a mini food processor to blend well. Heat up a wok with oil. As soon as the oil is heated, transfer the sambal paste into the wok and stir-fry continuously for a few minutes or until you smell the heat from the sambal or the oil separates from the sambal. Dish out and set aside. Refrigerated for future use.

Recipe Notes
Traditionally, sambal is prepared fresh–or bought ready made from the wet market in Malaysia. It’s then used immediately to cook the dish. In the US, I always make my sambal into a chili paste so I can keep it in the refrigerator and use it on the go. I also use more dried chilies to make the sambal paste lasts longer in the refrigerator. The fresh chilies give a nice red color as dried red chilies look duller in color. I will show you the traditional way of making sambal from scratch and the proper method of making it soon!

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Malaysian Eggplant Sambal

6 oz. eggplant
1 1/2 tablespoons dried shrimps soaked in warm water and then rinsed
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons sambal paste if you like spicy, use 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon fish sauce or to taste
2 tablespoons oil

Use a mortar and pestle to pound the sambal ingredients or use a mini food processor to blend well.

Heat up a wok with oil. As soon as the oil is heated, transfer the sambal paste into the wok and stir-fry continuously for a few minutes or until you smell the heat from the sambal or the oil separates from the sambal.

Dish out and set aside. Refrigerate for future use.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Malaysian Sambal Telur

4 hard boiled eggs
2 – 3 tablespoons sambal

Cooked Sambal:
6 oz. fresh red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon toasted belacan Malaysian shrimp paste
4 oz. shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar/palm sugar or to taste
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 onion cut into rings

Prepare the sambal by grinding chilies, shallots, and toasted belacan in a mini food processor. Make sure the sambal paste is well blended and smooth.

Heat up a wok with oil and “tumis” (sauté) the sambal paste and onion rings until aromatic or when the oil separates from the sambal paste.

Add the seasonings: salt, sugar/palm sugar, and fish sauce and do a quick stir, dish out and set aside.

To make sambal telur, add 2-3 tablespoons of sambal back into the wok plus peeled hard boiled eggs. Make sure the eggs are nicely coated with the sambal. Dish out and serve hot.

Daging Masak Kicap (Malaysian Soy Sauce Beef)

8 oz beef flap meat cut into pieces
2 shallots sliced thinly (or 1/4 onion, sliced)
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons kicap/kecap manis sweet soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or to taste

Rinse the beef with water and cut it across the grain into pieces. Pat dry and set aside.

Heat up a wok with the oil. When the oil is heated, add the shallots and stir fry until aromatic or when the shallots turn light brown. Add the beef into the wok and stir for a few times. Add the sweet soy sauce and soy sauce and stir to blend well with the beef. Cook for a few minutes or until the beef is cooked through. Dish out and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
You can add a few bird’s-eye chilies or some cut red chilies if you want it spicy. You can also add a lemongrass (white-part only, pounded) to make it extra aromatic.

Malaysian Coconut and Chili Bean Sprout Salad (Kerabu)

1/2 red onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
2 1/4 cups bean sprouts
1/2 red chili seeded and finely chopped
1 small handful mint leaves roughly chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons sugar
1- inch piece gingerroot peeled

To make the dressing, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar together in a large bowl. Grate the gingerroot into the bowl, discarding the fibrous bits, and mix well.

Scatter the onion over the dressing and mix well, then set aside 5 to 10 minutes. This takes the rawness out of the onion.

Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring continuously, ?30 to 40 seconds until the coconut turns a lovely golden brown. Tip it onto a plate and ?set aside.

To assemble the salad, add the red pepper, bean sprouts, red chili and mint to the ?onion mixture and toss until all the ingredients are well coated. Transfer to a serving bowl, scatter the roasted coconut over the top and serve immediately.

Asian Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Pork or Chicken)

12 oz ground pork or ground chicken
1/2- inch piece peeled ginger finely minced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes ground white pepper
Pinch of salt
Oil for pan-frying
1/2 small onion quartered

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine the ground pork or chicken with ginger, garlic, five-spice powder (if using), sesame oil, pepper and salt. Stir to combine well. Wet both hands with some water and shape into 24 meatballs. Set aside.

Heat up a wok or skillet with some oil, pan-fry the meatballs until they turn light to golden brown. Drained them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Clean the wok or skillet. Heat it up with a little bit oil. Add the onion and do a few quick stirs. Add the sweet and sour sauce and cook it until it’s thickened, then add the meatballs. Stir to coat well with the sauce. Dish out and serve immediately.

Asian Chicken Meatballs

1 lb. boneless skineless chicken thighs
1/4 small onion diced
3-4 small garlic peeled
1 egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 dashes black pepper
10 cilantro leaves roughly chopped
Mashed green peas optional
Finely diced carrots optional
3 dashes cayenne pepper
Oil for shallow frying

Blend the chicken, onion, garlic, egg white, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor until well combined.

Transfer the ground chicken out in a bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro leaves.

For kids and toddlers friendly meatballs, fold in the the mashed peas and diced carrots. Add the cayenne pepper. Stir to combine well.

Stir-Fried Chicken and Asparagus

8 oz chicken breast cut into cubes
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb asparagus bottom stems trimmed
Sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce

Mix the chicken with cornstarch. Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to combine well. Set both aside.

Heat up a skillet with the oil. Saute the garlic until aromatic. Add the chicken and stir-fry back and forth until the surface turns opaque. Add the asparagus and continue to stir-fry, for about 1 minute. Add the Sauce into the skillet. As soon as it thickens, dish out and serve immediately.

Ginger Scallion Chicken

1 chicken breast deboned, skinned and cut into thin pieces
4 stalks of scallions cut into 2-inch lengths
2 inches fresh ginger peeled and sliced into pieces
3 tablespoons cooking oil one tablespoon for marinating chicken
1/2 tablespoon of potato flour or cornstarch
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 dashes white pepper
Salt to taste

Marinate the chicken with potato flour or cornstarch and add one tablespoon of oil to seal in the juice of the chicken. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat up your wok and add the remaining cooking oil into the wok. When the wok gets very hot and begins to smoke, add in the ginger and stir for a few seconds, then add the white part of the scallions and stir a few times.

Add in the chicken and continue to stir well. Just when the chicken starts to cook through, add in the oyster sauce, sesame oil, cooking wine, white pepper, sugar, and toss the wok a few times.

Add salt to taste, if it’s not salty enough.

Add in the green part of the scallion, stir quickly and remove from heat and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Stir-Fried Chicken and Noodles

6 oz. skinless and boneless chicken thigh or leg meat cut into small pieces
10 oz. fresh egg noodles
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water

Marinade:
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
3 dashes white pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Garnishing:
Sesame seeds
Scallion sliced diagonally

Rinse the fresh egg noodles with cold water, drain the excess water and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, marinate the chicken with all the all the seasonings in the Marinade, for 15 minutes.

Heat up a wok with 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil. When the wok is heated, add the chicken into the wok and pan-fry the chicken until slightly charred and blackened on both sides.

Remove the chicken from the wok and into a bowl. Set aside.

Clean the wok and heat it up with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in the minced garlic and stir-fry until light brown or aromatic.

Add the shredded cabbage and carrot into the wok and do a few quick stirs.

Stir in the noodles, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and water.

Continue to stir fry until the noodles are well blended with the seasonings and completely cooked through.

Dish out and transfer into two serving bowls. Top the chicken noodles with the chicken (and its juice), garnish with the sesame seeds and scallion. Serve immediately.

Ayam Pelalah (Balinese Shredded Chicken)

400 g chicken breast

Aromatic herbs:
2 salam leaves Indonesian bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves daun jeruk
2 stalks lemongrass , bruised and tie into a knot
Juice from 3 limes limau, optional

Spice paste:
10 red chilies deseeded and sliced
6 bird eye chilies sliced
10 shallots sliced
5 garlic chopped
3 cm fresh turmeric root sliced
½ teaspoon toasted shrimp paste terasi/belachan
1 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
Oil for frying
Salt and sugar to taste

Preheat the oven 180 degree Celsius. Rub the chicken breast with the olive oil or coconut oil and season with salt. Place the chicken on a baking tray and roast until done, about 40 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, combine chilies, shallots, garlic and turmeric, grind to a smooth paste. If you using a blender, make sure to add a little bit of water or cooking oil to blend the ingredients.

Heat 5 tablespoons of the cooking oil in a wok, add in the spice paste, lemongrass, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves, stir-fry until fragrant. Season with salt and sugar to taste. Add in another tablespoon of cooking oil if you want. Remove from the heat and transfer into a bowl, set aside.

Back to the chicken in the oven. When it’s done roasting, remove from the oven and let cool. Discard the skin and deboned, shred the meat into medium-thick strips. Take a spoonful of the spice paste, combine with the chicken meat with the spice paste, toss well until the chicken until the chicken is perfectly coated with the spice paste. Add another spoon of the spice paste if not well coated. Serve the remaining spice paste as a side or as sambal.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, place half of the chicken and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, repeat the same for the remaining chicken. (I did this step because I found that the shredded chicken meat was a bit wet after being mixed with the spice paste so by doing the quick stir-fry, the texture is what I wanted, a slightly dried up shredded chicken that I love. If you use charcoal to grill the chicken, coal-grill, other than oven grill/roasting, I don’t think of this step is required.)

Transfer the chicken onto a a serving plate and squeeze the juice of the lime before serving.

Recipe Notes
The limau lime (jeruk limo/nasnaran Mandarin), or jeruk sambal is used for enhancing the flavor of sambal and sauces. It’s commonly used in Balinese cooking. The fruit is small with a smooth skin surface, it releases an aromatic and citrucy smell when it’s touched and squeezed.

Malaysian Mango Chicken

8 oz skinless and boneless chicken thigh breast or leg, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 small onion quartered
1/2 small red bell pepper cut into chunks
1/2 small green bell pepper slivered into 1-inch lengths
1/2 medium ripe green mango peeled, pitted and slivered

Marinade:
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 dash of black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sauce:
2-3 tablespoons tomato puree or tomato ketchup
2 tablespoon chili sauce Lingham or Maggi
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon A1 Steak sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2-3 tablespoons mango juice pineapple juice, or water
1/2-1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar balsamic or black vinegar
sugar and salt to taste

Marinate chicken pieces with Marinade ingredients for 10 minutes.

Mix the Sauce ingredients in a bowl. Adjust sugar and other Sauce ingredients to your liking. Set sauce mixture aside.

Heat up a little oil in a wok, stir-fry onions, red and green bell peppers until fragrant and slightly charred. Dish up and set aside.

Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok, toss in marinated chicken pieces, mango slivers and give it a quick swirl for 1 minute or until the chicken gets a bit sticky on the wok. Cover wok and simmer on medium-high heat for another 2 minutes to draw the mango juice out.

Remove wok cover, add in the sauce mixture, stir well and bring it to a quick boil. Cover wok, turn heat to medium-low and let it simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Toss in items from step 3., stir well, salt and sugar to taste. Dish up and serve with steamed white rice.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Chicken

6 oz boneless and skinless chicken breast cut into thin pieces
2 tablespoons oil
8 oz bok choy sliced into pieces
1- inch piece ginger peeled and sliced into pieces

Marinade:
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce:
1/2 heaping tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper
1 teaspoon wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Marinate the chicken with the ingredients in Marinade for 10 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to blend well.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok until the oil becomes hot. Add the chicken and quickly stir-fry until the surface of the chicken turn opaque or white. Dish out and set aside. This step seals in the juice in the chicken so the texture is tender and vevelty smooth.

Heat up the remaining oil in the wok until hot. Add the ginger into the wok and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the chicken back into the wok and do a few quick stirs. Add in the bok choy and stir to combine well. Transfer the sauce into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the bok choy is cooked but remain crisp. Do not overcook.

Dish out and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Ayam Paprik (Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry)

2 tablespoons oil
2 garlic minced
2 tablespoons Thai roasted chili paste nam prik phao
8 oz chicken breast sliced into thin pieces
1/4 onion cut into pieces
2 oz green beans tips removed and cut into 2-inch strips
1/2 small carrot peeled and sliced
1/4 green bell pepper capsicum, deseeded and thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper or 1 red chili deseeded and thinly sliced
3 bird’s eyes chilies lightly pounded, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet soy sauce kecap manis
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce

Heat up a wok on high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic into the wok and stir-fry until aromatic, follow by the Thai roasted chili paste or nam prik pao.

Add the chicken and quickly stir fry, until the chicken is half cooked.

Add the onion, green beans, carrot, green and red bell peppers, bird’s eye chilies and stir to combine well with the chicken.

Add the sweet soy sauce and fish sauce, stir to blend well. (If you want your chicken to be a little saucy, you can add two tablespoons of water now.)

As soon as the chicken and all ingredients are cooked through, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Recipe Notes
Thai roasted chili paste or nam prik pao is a key ingredient in Thai cooking. You can purchase bottled nam prik pao from Asian supermarkets, Southeast Asian (Thai & Vietnamese) food stores, or online here.

To make it from scratch, use SheSimmer’s recipe.

There are many variations of this recipe…you can use cauliflower or broccoli instead of green beans, you can also add fresh or canned young corns. The essence of the dish is in the sauce, not the vegetables used.

Ginger Sesame Chicken

2 tablespoons sesame oil
2-3 inches knob of ginger peeled and cut into thin strips
12 oz chicken cut into pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or Chinese rice wine
1/2 cup water
3 dashes ground white pepper

Heat up a skillet or wok over high heat and add the sesame oil. When the oil is fully heated, add the ginger strips and stir fry until light brown or aromatic.

Add the chicken and stir fry for about 10-15 seconds before adding the soy sauce, wine, and ground white pepper.

Add the water and do a few quick stirs. Cover the skillet or wok with the lid and turn the heat to low heat and let the chicken cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the meat becomes tender. Dish out and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
If the sauce dries up, add more water and cook until the chicken becomes tender. You may use bone-in chicken legs or thighs to make this dish. Just chop the chicken to pieces.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)

3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 oz shallot or onion diced
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs cut into big pieces
3 tablespoons curry powder or Madras curry powder
2 lemongrass white parts only, cut into 4-inch strips, pounded
4 oz carrots peeled and cut into chunks
6 oz potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
1 can 14.5 oz 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

Heat a small pot on medium heat, add the oil until heated. Saute the shallot or onion until softened or aromatic before adding the chicken. Stir the chicken a few times before adding the curry powder, lemongrass, carrots and potatoes. Stir to combine well. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk, turn the heat to low. Cover the pot and let simmer and cook for about 20 – 30 mins, or until the chicken, carrots and potatoes become tender.

Add the fish sauce and sugar, stir to combine well. Serve hot with steamed rice and/or French bread.

Scallion Chicken

8 oz boneless and skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced
2 tablespoon cooking oil
3 stalks scallion cut into 2-inch strips
1/2 onion sliced
1- inch piece ginger peeled and sliced
Marinade:
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon Chinese Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
Brown Sauce:
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce for coloring purpose, optional
3 dashes ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
3 tablespoons water

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients in Marinade for 10 minutes. Mix all the ingredients in the Sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat up a wok or skillet with 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until the surface turns white (half done). Dish out and set aside.

Heat up the remaining oil and stir-fry the onion and ginger until aromatic. Add the chicken into the wok or skillet and do a few quick stirs before adding the Sauce. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is completely cooked, then add the scallions into the wok. Do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

Chicken Rendang

1 1/2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into cubes
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 lemongrass white part only, pounded and cut into strips
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
5 kaffir lime leaves bruised
5 tablespoons toasted grated coconut kerisik
1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
Salt to taste

Spice Paste:
6 shallots
1- inch piece galangal
3 stalks lemongrass white part only
4 cloves garlic
1- inch piece ginger peeled
10 dried chilies chili arbol, seeded

All all the ingredients of the Spice Paste in a food processor. Blend well.

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the Spice Paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom pods and stir-fry them until aromatic. Add the chicken and lemongrass, stir to combine well with the spices. Add the coconut milk, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the chicken is almost cooked.

Add the kaffir lime leaves, toasted coconut, stir to blend well with the chicken. Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and slowly simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the liquid has dried up. Add more sugar and salt to taste to taste. Serve immediately.

Taiwanese Chicken Stir-Fry

1 lb chicken cut into small cubes
3 tablespoon cooking oil
2 cloves garlic sliced thinly
8 slices ginger
2 scallions trim and cut into 1-1/2 inch lengths
2 red chilies seeded and finely sliced

Marinade:
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Sauce:
2 tablespoon Sichuan soy-bean paste with chili (“douban jiang”)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Marinate the Chicken cubes for 15 minutes.

Mix the Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat up a wok with 2 tablespoons cooking oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until they are 80% cooked or the surface turns white. Transfer out and set aside.

Clean the wok and add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of Oil. When the oil is fully heated, add the garlic and ginger until aromatic.

Add the Sauce and stir for a few times, adding the chicken back into the wok.

Stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the Sauce.

Add the scallion and chili, stir evenly. Dish out and serve with steam rice.

Chipotle Lime Grilled Chicken

2 – 2.5 lbs skin on chicken thighs deboned

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1 jalapeño chopped finely
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder or more to taste
5 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
Lime wedges for serving

Leave the skin on the chicken thighs but remove the bones by cutting two slits along the sides of the bone. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

In a big bowl, whisk all the Marinade ingredients until well combined. Save some of the Marinade for basting. Add chicken to the Marinade, make sure to stir and coat the chicken evenly. Marinate for at least 2 hours.

Fire up the grill, brush a little bit of the Marinade plus the garlic, cilantro and jalapeno on top of the chicken and grill them until they turn golden brown and charred on both sides. Serve immediately with some fresh lime wedges.

Recipe Notes
You may cook the chicken in an oven at 400F for about 20 minutes or until they turn golden brown and charred. You may also cook the chicken on stovetop using a regular skillet or cast-iron grilled pan.