Quick Dressings for Vegetables, Salads, Meat, or Fish: Southeast Asian

Simple Thai:
2 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce
Small pinch ground white pepper

Spicy Thai:
8 teaspoons finely minced garlic (about 8 medium cloves)
4 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh juice from about 4 limes
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
1 teaspoon chili flakes

Another Spicy Thai:
1/2 cup water boiled with 1/2 cup sugar (use to taste; you will not need all)
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 fresh hot red or green pepper, preferably Thai, deseeded and thinly sliced

Thai Coconut Curry:
6 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon grated fresh peeled ginger

Thai Chili Vinegar:
1 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon red medium-sized thai chilies
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon white sugar

Sweet and Tangy Thai:
10-15 dried whole red hot chillies
4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white vinegar
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
3 or more tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to desired sweetness
A few cilantro leaves and/or a 1-inch section of green onion, chopped (optional)

Thai Tamarind:
(Bring to a boil, then simmer until sugars dissolve)
1/4 lb palm sugar, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
1 oz seedless tamarind pulp (paste)
1 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Thai Yellow Bean:
2 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
Scant tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon Thai yellow bean sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Thai Citrus Dressing:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced serrano or jalapeno
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Thai Gremolata:
2 small shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, minced
Zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup minced cilantro, packed

Vietnamese Chili Garlic:
(use raw, or simmer for five minutes)
6 ounces hot chiles (e.g., cayenne, Fresnos, habanero, jalapeno, long, serrano, Thai, or a combination of them), stemmed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Vietnamese Nuoc Cham:
3 tablespoons lime juice (1 fat, thin skin lime)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
Optional additions:
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 or 2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced or 1 teaspoon homemade chili garlic sauce or store bought (tuong ot toi)

Vietnamese Ginger Lime:
Chubby 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 or 3 limes)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce

Vietnamese Tomato Chili:
(Warm through, purée, then strain)
1 large clove garlic
1 medium (3 to 4 ounc) Roma tomato, chopped
6 ounces Fresno or other kinds of moderately-hot chiles
Brimming 1?2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar, preferably organic
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

Vietnamese Orange Almond:
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon honey or coconut nectar
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

Hmong Chili Peanut:
2 T fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp MSG, optional
1-2 fresh red chile peppers, minced
1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts
1 small tomato, chopped (or 6 cherry tomatoes or 15 grape tomatoes)u
2 T chopped raw peanuts
1 T peanut butter

Cambodian:
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 red hot peppers, chopped
3 teaspoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, squeezed
7 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons water

Isaan:
1/2 tbsp chili flakes
1 Tbsp roasted rice
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 finely chopped coriander stalks (with leaf)
2 teaspoons of palm sugar

Nyonya:
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sacue
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 red holland chili,thinly sliced on the diagonal.

Hainanese:
2-inch chubby section ginger (about 2 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3 tablespoon chicken stock

Singapore Sweet Soy:
1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 -1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha

Singapore Chili:
2 or 3 large red chiles, such as Fresno, cayenne, or long chile, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 hot Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chicken broth

Indonesian Sos Chili Padi:
5-10 small red or green Thai chilies, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

Indonesian Soy Lime:
3 red Holland chilies, stemmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon lime juice

Indonesian Lemongrass Shallot:
1 meaty stalk of fresh lemongrass
2 fresh red Holland chiles or other fresh long or short hot red chiles, such as Fresno or Thai, stemmed and very finely chopped (for a milder sambal, seed the chiles)
2 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped (about 1 ounce total)
3 teaspoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Javanese:
(Combine and saute in peanut oil)
5 shallots (about 3 3/4 ounces/110 grams total), coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
12 fresh red Holland chiles or other fresh long, red chiles such as Fresno or cayenne, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon palm sugar, thinly sliced, or dark brown sugar (for a slightly sweeter sambal, increase the sugar by 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Mee Goreng:
3 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon sesame or shallot oil
1-2 teaspoons chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Chili Ginger Sambal:
12 red serrano chiles, trimmed and blanched 1 minute
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. peeled, chopped ginger
5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Chili Tomato Sambal:
6 hot red chilies, seeded and chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated gingerroot
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
grated peel and jice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Sweet and Sour Chili:
4 fresh Holland chilies
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon palm, cider, or rice vinegar
4 tablespoon warm water
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise

Clotilde’s Magic Sauce:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (lemon juice may be substituted, but lime is better)
2 tablespoons fish sauce, a.k.a. nuoc mam or nam pla in its respective Vietnamese and Thai incarnations (look for it at Asian markets)
Optional additions:
2 tablespoons all-natural smooth peanut butter
chili sauce, to taste
one clove garlic, finely minced or pressed

Spicy Tamarind Sauce:
3 ounces tamarind pulp (3-by-3-by-3/4- inch block) and 1-1/4 cups water, processed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sriracha, or to taste
5 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon MSG (optional)
2 teaspoons fish sauce, or to taste
4 teaspoons sugar, or to taste

Turmeric Ginger:
5 fresh turmeric fingers (about 3 ounces)
2 teaspoons minced or grated ginger (about 1 inch piece)
1 chili, such as a serrano or jalapeño, seeded and diced tiny
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 or 2 limes
Good olive oil, if needed
Sugar, if needed

Basil Peanut:
3 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch green onions (green parts only), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce or 1 tsp. anchovy paste
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
3 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil

Coriander Peanut:
2 cups coarsely chopped coriander leaves and stems (about 1 large bunch)
3 to 5 green cayenne chiles, or substitute serrano chiles, seeded
2 tablespoons boiled skinned peanuts (see Glossary), or substitute unsalted roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
About 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
About 1/4 teaspoon salt

Crispy Coconut:
(Toss together and dry roast)
10 oz grated white coconut
2 duan salam leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
1- inch galangal (bruised)
1 Tbsp sugar
Paste of 2 shallots, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and 1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds

Lime Sauce:
2 garlic cloves
4 green chilies, seeded
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
juice of 1 lime

Ginger Scallion:
one bunch scallions
one knob fresh ginger, about 2 1/2 ounces
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored vegetable oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Scallion Ginger:
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup neutral oil, like canola or grape seed
1/4 cup trimmed scallions, white and green parts combined, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons good soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Ginger Coconut:
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp garlic oil
1 seeded and minced Serrano pepper
1 thinly sliced scallion
1 tbsp thinly sliced mint
2-3 tbsp of grated ginger
1/4 tsp salt
dash of red pepper

Spicy Lemon Coconut:
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 medium jalapeno (or serrano) chile, deseeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced (~8 scallions)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (full fat)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

Sate Lilit Bali (Minced Meat Satay on Lemongrass Skewers)

1/2 lbs minced duck or chicken meat
2 cups grated unsweetened coconut
2 oz gula jawa / Indonesian palm sugar (finely chopped)
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cooking oil (and extra for brushing)
About 10 stalks of lemongrass or 20 bamboo skewers

Ground spices:
5 shallots (peeled)
7 cloves garlic (peeled)
1- inch galangal (peeled)
1- inch kencur/Kaempferia galanga (peeled) or substitute with 1/2 galangal and 1/2 ginger if you must
2- inch turmeric (peeled)
2 tsp coriander seeds
5 candlenuts/kemiri sub with macadamia nuts or omit if you must
1 tsp shrimp paste/ belacan
4 kaffir lime leaves Cut off the tough vein in the middle
1/2 lemongrass stalk cut into 1-inch piece
2 cloves
5 Thai red chilis remove stems (optional)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Sauce:
4-5 red chili (seeded and finely chopped)
1/4 cup kecap manis / Indonesian sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup fried shallot crisps/ bawang goreng

Place all the ground spices ingredients in a food processor and process into a paste. Add a bit of water to help it going
If you use bamboo skewers, soak the bamboo skewers in water for few minutes. If you use lemongrass as skewers, cut the stalks into half and get rid of extra layers if necessary.

Preheat 3 Tbsp of oil in a wok or skillet. Add in the ground spices and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the wok or skillet and let it cool down completely.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the meat with the spice paste above, coconut, palm sugar, and salt. They should come together nicely without falling apart.

With clean hands, scoop up about 2-3 Tbsp of the meat mixture and mold it onto the bamboo or lemongrass skewers. Repeat until you are done with the meat and skewers.

Preheat the grill. Brush the sate with a bit of oil and grill the sate until cooked and golden brown all over. You can also use grill pan for this purpose. Serve with the sauce.

Ayam Suwir Pedas Bali (Ayam Sisit Bali-Balinese Shredded Chicken)

Ingredients
300 gr cooked chicken meat shredded, or use 500 gr uncooked chicken
1 Tbsp cooking oil
100 ml coconut cream
2 Tbsp water or chicken broth from cooking the chicken

Ground spice paste:
4 Tbsp sambal oelek adjust the amount if you want it less or more spicy
4 Thai red chili remove stems
1 small red onion peeled and quartered
4 garlic peeled

Other ingredients:
1 Tbsp turmeric powder
3 Tbsp galangal powder

Herbs:
2 stalks lemongrass
5 bay leaves (daun salam)
5 kaffir-lime leaves

Seasonings:
2 Tbsp coconut sugar or to taste
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 Tbsp Tamarind juice

Prepare the spice paste:

Place red onion, garlic, and sambal oelek in a food processor and grind into a paste

Cook the spicy sambal paste:
Preheat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a wok or skillet. Add the spice paste, turmeric and galangal powder, and herbs. Stir fry until really aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add water and continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes

Add the coconut cream and stir to mix. Add the shredded chicken in and cook until the mixture is still moist but no more runny juice. Have a taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. It should be spicy, savory, a hint of tartness and sweetness.

Notes: WHAT TO SERVE WITH AYAM SUWIR PEDAS BALI

– NASI CAMPUR BALI: In Bali, ayam suwir is served with nasi campur (mixed rice). Meaning, white rice served with few other entrees such as fried chicken, hard-boiled eggs or omelet and side dishes like fresh slices of cucumber, tomatoes, Indonesian-style salad, sate lilit Bali, sate ayam kecap, crackers, etc. You don’t have to have all of those, but usually a combination of those.

– PLAIN RICE WILL DO TOO: Serve with white rice and few slices of fresh cucumber and tomatoes and trust me.

Mango Salad With Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Mango salad:
3 mangoes ripe, Alphonso recommended, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped

Mango Salad Dressing:
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed (about 2 limes)
2 tsp white sugar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil or other neutral tasting oil
Freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the Mango Salad in a large bowl. Toss to combine. *If making ahead, cover and refrigerate at this point, before adding the salad dressing.

Prepare the Mango Salad Dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well to combine. Cover and refrigerate if making ahead or use immediately by drizzling over the salad and tossing to combine.

Sambalado (Sambal Balado – Indonesian Chili Sauce)

While typical sambal is usually served as a condiment on the side, Balado is usually cooked with other food to make Sambal Terong Balado (Eggplant Balado), Telur Balado (Egg Balado), Ayam Balado (Chicken Balado), Udang Balado (Shrimp Balado), Squid Balado (Cumi Balado), Dendeng Balado (usually made with Beef), Kentang Balado (Potato Balado), etc. You get the idea! Pretty much anything!

Ingredients to grind:
100 gr shallots or purple onion
200 gr large red chili or use premade garlic sambal chili
2 cloves garlic

Other ingredients:
1 large tomato
1 Tbsp cooking oil
3 kaffir lime leaves optional
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar

Place shallots, chili (if using fresh chili), and garlic in a food processor and finely chopped them

Preheat a skillet with cooking oil. Add the ingredients you chopped above (if using premade garlic sambal chili, don’t add just yet) and stir fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the premade garlic sambal chili (if not using fresh chili) and stir fry for another minute.

Add tomato pieces and kaffir lime leaves (if using). Continue to cook until the tomatoes are wilted and softened. Squeeze in lime juice and sugar. Stir to mix. If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add them in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

TO MAKE A BALADO DISH: If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add your other cooked ingredient in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

Storage:

REFRIGERATOR: Sambal can be stored in an air-tight glass jar for up to one week in the refrigerator.

FREEZER: For longer storage, portion the sambal into smaller portion and freeze them. They can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.

Smashed Cucumbers with Turmeric, Coconut, and Peanuts

4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers, or 1 small English hothouse cucumber (about 12 ounces total)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper

Smash the cucumbers with the bottom of a heavy pan, then tear into one- or two-bite pieces. Place in a medium bowl, add the lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Set aside for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour, then drain and transfer to your serving plate or bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the peanuts and cook until they turn slightly darker brown, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut, turmeric, and a generous few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the coconut is lightly toasted, just 30 seconds. Immediately pour the peanut-coconut mixture on top of the cucumbers. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Summer Mango Salad

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or regular sugar)
1 fresh red chili pepper, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3 ripe mangoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves , finely chopped
2 tablespoons shallots , fried (or French fried onion)

Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, palm sugar, chili, and salt in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and set aside.

Combine the mango and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to mix well. If you plan to serve the dish later, you should transfer everything into a sealed container and store it in the fridge, up to 1 day.

Toss in the cashews and fried shallots. Mix well.

Semur Daging Kecap (Indonesian Beef Stew – Pressure Cooker or Stove Top)

1 kg beef you can use chuck, round, rump
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Water see instruction for the amount
50 gr bean thread noodles optional

Aromatics:
8 shallots thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger

Herbs:
2 bay leaves

Seasonings:
4 Tbsp kecap manis
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp coconut sugar or more to taste
Salt to taste

Spices:
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
Vegetables (cut into large chunks if cooking with Instant Pot):
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes quartered

Garnishes:
Fried crispy shallots
Chinese celery leaves finely chopped

Grind the aromatics:

Place ingredients for aromatics in food processor and grind into fine pieces or a paste.

Cooking with pressure cooker:
Melt the butter in an inner pot of Instant Pot pressure cooker. Add in ground aromatics and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add the beef, herb, spice, and seasonings. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Pour in the 1/4 cup of water (yes, I know that sounds like not much at all). Stir to mix. Not much liquid is lost and you’ll be surprised by how much liquid you ended up with later. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is stuck there.

Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Set timer to 25 minutes and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Wait 5 minutes and then release pressure completely after that. Unlock the lid and have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be savory and slightly sweet. Proceed to serving.

Cooking on the stove:
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add in ground aromatics, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the beef and seasonings. Pour in the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and slowly simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Add the potatoes and tomatoes after 30 minutes of cooking. Gently stir everything to mix. Have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be slightly sweet from the sweet soy sauce.

When ready to serve:
If using cellophane noodles, blanch the cellophane noodles in boiling water, it just take few seconds to soften. Portion into individual bowl and portion out the beef and potatoes over each bowl. Laddle the hot broth over the noodles. Garnish with fried shallot crisp and celery leaves. Drizzle with some kecap manis and you are good to go. Or just serve this with rice on the side.

Notes:
Traditionally, we used deep-fried potatoes, you can deep fry the potatoes or you can just add the potatoes and carrots in 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Roasting or deep-frying the potatoes first sure makes it taste even better.

Mee Goreng Jawa

500 gr Yellow egg noodles you can use instant noodles, ramen noodles, angel hair pasta, spaghetti pasta
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
1 leek optional, cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly
150 gr large shrimp peeled and deveined. You can use meat like chicken, pork, beef
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup water
1 large tomato quartered and seeded

Seasonings:
3 Tbsp kecap manis
3 Tbsp soy sauce and more to taste
2 Tbsp sambal oelek optional, more if you want it spicier
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
Aromatics to grind/chop in food processor:
4 shallots
4 cloves garlic
5 candlenuts or sub with macademia nuts

Garnish:
Fried shallots crisp (bawang goreng)

If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan. Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add in shrimp or uncooked meat (like chicken for example) pieces and stir fry until the shrimp or meat is cooked through. Dish out and set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp of oil. Crack in 3 eggs. Let them cook for about 10 seconds and then scramble the eggs into large chunks. Dish out and set aside Add the rest of the cooking oil. Add in the ground shallots, garlic, and candlenuts you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks (if using) and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water to help soften the cabbage, cook for another 3 minutes. Add carrots and tomatoes and stir fry for another minute. If you are using leftover cooked meat (like shredded chicken for example), add it at this stage.

Add the noodles, shrimp, and eggs back into the wok/pan followed by seasonings. Mix well to make sure the sauce is coating the noodles and everything else add more if needed. Adjust taste by adding more kecap manis and/or soy sauce to your taste.

Garnish with bawang goreng and serve immediately

Shrimp and Dragon Fruit Salad (with Variations)

1 dragon fruit, any varieties will work
8 Large shrimp unpeeled, deveined
3 cups Spring salad mix

Sesame plum dressing:
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp water
Fresh herbs and aromatics:
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/4 red onions peeled and thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the dragon fruit in half and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into large cubes. Set aside and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare other things.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Steam the shrimp with the shells on, on high heat for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Peel off the skin after they have cooled down a little bit. Steaming the shrimp with the shells on is to prevent the shrimp from curling. It’s really just for presentation and makes the shrimp looks bigger.

Assembling the salad:
Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.

Add sliced red onions.

Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Add the cooked shrimp.

Add dragon fruit pieces.

Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad

Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Add some roasted peanuts.

Give the salad a gentle toss to mix everything.

Serve immediately.

Notes: This salad is highly customizable. You can change up the dressing, the toppings, the type of greens and veggies you want on the salad, the protein. Here are some suggestions:

Protein: Leftover chicken meat, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, seared scallop, seared ahi tuna.
Topping: Avocado cubes, tortilla strips, crispy chow mein noodle strips, wonton strips.
Dressing: Any vinaigrette dressing, sweet balsamic vinegar.

Pineapple Fried Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lb (225 g) ground chicken (or ground turkey)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
3 cups cooked rice, overnight rice works best, separated by hand (*Footnote)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mixed veggies (snow peas, carrots, and/or corn)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup roasted cashews
1 lime , cut into wedges
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (Optional)

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a wok, or a carbon steel skillet) until hot. Add the eggs. Let cook without touching, until the bottom is set. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate the eggs into small bits. Once the egg is just cooked (it’s OK if some parts are still a bit runny), transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the ground chicken. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate it into small bits. Cook until the chicken turns mostly white.

Add the rice. Stir and chop to further separate it into single grains. Cook until the rice is heated up, 2 to 3 minutes. If you’re using a wok or a carbon steel skillet, the rice might stick to the pan. You can add a bit more oil and use your spatula to release the rice.

Add the soy sauce and curry powder. Stir to mix well.

Add the pineapple, bell pepper, frozen veggies, green onions, and sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add back the scrambled eggs and cashews and toss again. Carefully taste the rice. Sprinkle more salt and stir to mix well, if needed. Transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as a main dish or side dish.

Fried Chili Paste

10 dried red chilies
3 red chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
5 shallots (peeled)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Break dried chilies in half and squeeze out the seeds. Soak in hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Drain.

Blend dried chilies, red chilies, and shallots with ¼ cup (60ml) water until smooth.

Heat vegetable oil in a medium size saucepan over low heat. Add blended chili paste, salt, and sugar. Stir continuously until chili paste darkens and oil separates. This will take about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove and store in a jar.

Sambal Udang (Shrimp Sambal)

4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb shrimps / prawns (peeled and deveined) (450g)
6 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
30 g asam jawa / tamarind paste ** (rinsed)

Spice Paste
6 red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces)
8 dried chilies
6 shallots or 1 medium onion (peeled and cut into small pieces)
2 stalks lemongrass (sliced bottom third into rings)
1 inch lengkuas (peeled and sliced)
3 cloves garlic (peeled)
6 buah keras (candlenut) or macadamias
3/4 inch cube belacan (toasted)

Blend all spice paste ingredients with ? cup (80ml) water until smooth.

Place asam jawa in a small metal strainer over a bowl. Pour 1 cup (240ml) hot water over asam jawa. Stir and press down asam jawa with a spoon to dissolve.

In a medium sized pot, heat vegetable oil. Add ground spice paste and kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant.

Pour strained tamarind juice into the pot. Stir to combine. Place lid on the pot and allow sauce to come to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the lid. Add shrimps (prawns), sugar, and salt. Stir to get all ingredients well mixed.

Place lid back onto the pot and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.

Turn off stove. Dish into a serving bowl.

Stir-Fried Mee Tai Mak (Pin Noodles with Shrimp and Pork)

1 lb mee thai mak noodle/ Vietnamese Ban Bot Loc noodles
3 Tbsp cooking oil
8 oz large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 oz minced pork marinade with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, pinch of sugar
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
3 to 4 small bunches of yu choy/A choy/Choy Sum trim large stalks into smaller pieces

SEASONINGS:
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

GARNISHES
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Fried shallots crisp optional

The noodles are hard when it is cold or refrigerated but will soften when heated. Briefly blanch the noodles in a boiling water for about 1 minute or you can just microwave them for 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

Heat up the wok/skillet with oil. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink and cooked through. Dish out. Add garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds. Add the minced pork and stir fry and kinda break them apart and cook until they just turn color, about 2 minutes.

Push the meat to the side and break in two eggs and let them cook for about 1 minute before breaking them up lightly with a spatula.

Add the vegetables and stir fry until they are started to wilt but still has that fresh green colors.

Add the rice pin noodles and seasonings and continue to stir-fry for another minute or so until the noodles pick up the dark brown color from the seasonings. Add the shrimp back in and stir everything to mix.

Have a taste and add soy sauce if needed. Turn off heat. Garnish with some chopped green onion and fried shallots crisp and served 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.

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.

Ayam Masak Bugis (Buginese Chicken)

INGREDIENTS:
3 lbs mixture of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp of cooking oil
4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
10 small shallots peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp of shrimp paste
2 bay leaves/ daun salam
3- inch of cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar
4 cups of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups packed of baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup of sweet corn kernels if frozen, thawed

Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add in 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add in garlic and the rest of the ingredients up to nutmeg powder on the ingredient list. Stir fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add in brown sugar, vinegar, and coconut milk. Bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is roughly reduced by half. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste. It should be savory. Add in spinach leaves and sweet corn kernels. Stir to mix everything and cook just until the spinach leaves started to wilt. Remove from the heat and serve immediately or warm with plain rice.

Sate Padang (West Sumatra Beef Satay)

INGREDIENTS:
500 gr beef cut into cubes, brisket, flank, or sirloin tip steak
500 gr tongue
500 ml of water
6 Kaffir Lime leaves tear the leaves at the edges to release the flavor
1 stalk of lemon grass smashed with the back of cleaver to bruise to release the flavor
1 inch fresh galangal bruised
1 inch fresh ginger bruised
50 gr of rice flour mix with some water
Salt to taste
Bamboo skewers Soak in a water for 20-30 minutes so it won’t burn when you grill your sate

GROUND SPICES:
5-6 red ancho chili or you can use fresh long red chili
2 tsp of roasted coriander seeds/ketumbar
1 tsp of fennel seeds
5 garlic cloves peeled
5 shallots
2 inch of turmeric root
1 tsp salt

Parboil the tongue for about 15 minutes and then scrap the whitish stuff off the tongue and cut into cubes.
Place the meat and tongue in a large pot and marinade with the ground spices for 30 minutes.

Pour in the water and add the kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, and ginger. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let them cook for 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the broth. Discard all the spices and herbs. Strain the broth. Have a taste and season the broth with salt to your taste.

Thread meat and tongue pieces onto the bamboo skewers, about 3-4 pieces of meat + tongue for each skewer. Get your grill ready and brush the sate with some oil on both sides and grill until they are slightly browned but not too long so the meat won’t toughen and dried up too much.

Bring the broth back to boil. Stir the rice flour mixture again before pouring into the stock to thicken up the stock (this is important step or you will end up with lumps). Continue to stir vigorously after that until it is thick and smooth. Immediately pour the sauce over the sate and rice cakes (if using).

Sprinkle with fried shallots crisps. It is best to serve while it’s pipping hot. I served with some pork skins to scoop up that delicious sauce.

Mee Goreng

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb fresh or dried egg noodles, instant noodles, or ramen noodles
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 leek (cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly )
3-4 whole green/red bird’s eye chili (stems removed)
8 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and quartered). You can use grape tomatoes too (halved)

SEASONINGS:
5 Tbsp kecap manis
1/4 cup soy sauce and more to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

INGREDIENTS TO GRIND:
5 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6 candlenuts/kemiri or sub with macademia nuts

GARNISH:
Fried shallots crisp

If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan with oil. Add in the paste you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add green chili (if using) and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and saute until they cook through, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for another 30 seconds minute.

Add the noodles in follow by the sweet soy sauce. Mix well to make sure the noodles pick up the color of the sweet soy sauce, add more if needed. Add soy sauce for saltiness (to your taste) and pepper. Continue to stir and make sure everything is well mixed and turn off the heat.

Garnish with a deep-fried shallots crisp and serve immediately