Tempe Penyet (Smashed Tempeh With Sambal)

FOR THE TEMPEH:
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
16 ounces/455 grams tempeh, cut into 1/4 inch-by-2 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed

FOR THE SAMBAL:
1/4 cup canola oil
4 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
7 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
10 long, red, medium-spicy chiles (such as serrano, red finger or cayenne), deseeded and sliced
7 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

FOR SERVING:
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (preferably from makrut lime, calamansi or Key lime), plus lime wedges for serving
1 to 2 tablespoons kecap manis (see Tip)
Steamed jasmine rice
1/2 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced

Marinate the tempeh: In a large bowl or resealable freezer bag, combine the garlic, coriander and 1 teaspoon salt with 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Add the tempeh and massage the marinade into all the pieces. Set aside while you make the sambal.

Prepare the sambal: Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the tomatoes, shallots, chiles and garlic. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring the ingredients every so often. When the shallots begin to brown slightly after 10 to 15 minutes, reduce the heat to medium as the sambal continues to caramelize. Cook the sambal, stirring often, until it has caramelized and reduced and the tomatoes have softened, with a few crispy, browned bits, around 5 minutes. The sambal should not be burned, however, so regulate the heat as needed. Remove from the heat and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. (This makes about 1 1/2 cups, and will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.)

While the sambal cooks, pan-fry the tempeh: Carefully remove the tempeh from the marinade and set it in a colander to drain excess liquid. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large nonstick skillet over high. When the oil is shimmering, but not smoking, add the tempeh to the pan in a single layer using tongs. Be careful, as the oil will spit because of the water in the marinade. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy all over. You may need to fry in batches, adding extra oil as needed. Transfer the tempeh to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

To serve, transfer the sambal to serving plates. Lay the tempeh on top of the sambal. Using a pestle, rolling pin or wooden spoon, gently flatten each piece of tempeh, massaging it into the sambal. The idea is to gently create small cracks and crevices where the tempeh meets the sambal so they can combine, rather than completely destroying the tempeh. Squeeze lime juice over the tempeh pieces, then drizzle kecap manis on top. Serve with steamed white rice, slices of cucumber and extra wedges of lime.

Herbed Tomato Salad With Tamarind-Maple Dressing

FOR THE SALAD:
2 pounds mixed tomatoes, such as cherry, heirloom, Sungold or beefsteak
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
12 perilla, shiso or mint leaves, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely sliced

FOR THE FRIED SHALLOTS:
3/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
4 shallots, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
Sea salt

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt

Start the salad: Cut the tomatoes into different shapes — this creates different textures and visual interest — and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink to drain as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.

Prepare the fried shallots: Add the oil and shallots to a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the shallots with a fork to separate the rings. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the shallots are light golden brown, watching them closely, as they will brown quickly toward the end of their cooking. (Don’t let the shallots brown too much, as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.)

Remove the shallots to the strainer to drain, then transfer them to the paper towels. Season with salt and allow to cool. Reserve the oil. Shallots can be fried 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients.

Assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes, two-thirds of the herbs and scallions, and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. To finish, top with the remaining dressing, a drizzle of the shallot cooking oil and the rest of the herbs and scallions, then finally with the fried shallots. (Reserve remaining shallot oil for other uses, like vinaigrettes, stir-fries and soups.)

Indonesian Grilled Sambal Chicken

2 – 2 1/2 lbs Chicken (boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger
1/4 cup sriracha sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid Amino
1/4 cup Sambal Olek ( garlic chili paste) plus 1 -2 tablespoons more for extra spicy.
8–10 Pre-soaked Skewers (optional)

Garnish Options: crushed roasted Peanuts, fresh mint leaves, sliced scallions

Serve with Thai Crunch Salad or Asian Slaw.

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces (to skewer) or leave whole and place them in a gallon zip lock bag or bowl.

Place the rest of the ingredients, except Sambal Oelek (or red chili paste) in a blender, and blend until smooth. Stir in the Sambal Oelek chili paste, to combine. Pour marinade over the chicken and marinate for 15 minutes or overnight.
Pre-heat the grill to med-high.

Skewer chicken (or leave whole)

Pour the leftover marinade into a small pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer on low for 5-10 mins, until thickened and reduced. You will use it to baste the chicken.
Place chicken on a hot, preheated, greased grill. Cover. Cook 5 minutes or longer until deep grill marks appear. Turn over, baste, cover. Once you’ve got a good sear on both sides, and both sides are basted, turn heat to low, or move to upper rack and continue cooking through ( or finish in 375 oven).

Serve with Thai Crunch Salad, or the Asian Slaw garnish with fresh mint, scallions and crushed roasted peanuts, or try this Peanut Chili Crunch (Seroendeng)!

Notes:

Of course, you can use chicken breast, just cook a little less so it doesn’t get overcooked or dry.

Grilled Tofu

1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, sliced crosswise into eight equal slices (about 1/2-inch thick)
2 tablespoons safflower or canola oil, plus more for greasing grates
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped scallions

Arrange sliced tofu in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate. Press top with more paper towels to remove excess water. Arrange tofu in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, or any shallow dish that can hold the tofu in one layer.
In a small saucepan, combine oil, garlic and ginger over medium; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, pepper and 1/4 cup water, and cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, about 2 minutes.

Pour hot marinade over tofu. Gently turn tofu slices to evenly coat, then cover dish tightly with plastic wrap to seal in heat. Refrigerate for 6 hours (or up to 8 hours), flipping tofu slices halfway through.

Heat grill to medium and grease grates well (or heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium and lightly grease). Grill tofu over direct heat until golden and caramelized, about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, transfer marinade to a small saucepan over medium and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in scallions.

Transfer tofu to a serving plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve warm.

Air Fryer Beef Satay

1 pound beef flank steak sliced thinly into long strips
2 tablespoons Oil
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Minced Ginger
1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 tablespoon Sugar Or Other Sweetener Equivalent
1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 cup chopped cilantro divided
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Place beef strips into a large bowl or a ziplock bag.

Add oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, Sriracha, coriander, and 1/4 cup cilantro to the beef and mix well. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Using a set of tongs, place the beef strips in the air fryer basket, laying them side by side and minimizing overlap.

Leave behind as much of the marinade as you can and discard this marinade.

Set your air fryer to 400F for 8 minutes, flipping once halfway.

Remove the meat to a serving tray, top with remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and the chopped roasted peanuts.

Serve with Peanut Sauce.

Jamu (Balinese Turmeric-Ginger Juice)

1 cup cleaned and chopped fresh turmeric
1/2 cup cleaned and chopped fresh ginger
4 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, from 2-3 limes

Blend the turmeric and ginger: Into a blender add the turmeric, ginger, and water. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan set over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers for about 15 minutes

Add lime juice and honey: Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the honey and lime juice. Stir to combine.

Strain and refrigerate the mixture: Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Then pour the strained mixture into a glass bottle or jar and refrigerate until chilled.

Enjoy this drink warm, at room temperature or cold. You can adjust the drink by adding additional still or tonic water. Serve with or without ice.

Coconut Rice (Savory or Sweet)

1 cup long-grain white rice, such as jasmine
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 scant tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup water

Rinse the rice a few times, until the water that drains away runs almost completely clear.

Put in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat with coconut milk, water, sugar and salt. When the liquid comes up to a boil, give it a good stir, scraping the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low.

Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Mix gently with a flexible rubber spatula. Taste, season with salt and serve.

This becomes a meal if you serve it with a fried egg, finely sliced pickled chiles with a little of the pickling liquid and some crushed peanuts. And if you wanted to turn it into dessert, serving it with ripe fruit like cut mango on top, you could stick to the recipe below, but bump the sugar up to 2 tablespoons.

Mee Goreng

500 gr Yellow egg noodles
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, or use homemade chili paste
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Aromatics to grind/chop in food processor:
4 shallots – or use 1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic – finedly minced
5 candlenuts – optional (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. Use 1/2 lbs (250 gr) dry noodles and it will give you close to 500 grams of cooked noodles.

Place the shallots, garlic in food processor and finely chopped them or you can chop by hand too. If using candlenuts or macadamia nuts, processed them into a paste consistency you can use a bit of oil to get it going.

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 aromatics 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 hot water to help soften the cabbage, cover with a lid and cook for about 1 minute. 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 if you want and serve immediately.

As a vegetarian alternative, using fried tofu puffs or firm tofu in 1/2 inch chunk; 3 small bok choy, ends trimmed, chopped; 1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts; and 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges.

Nasi Goreng

4 large eggs
2 Tbsp butter – or margarine
1 tsp shrimp paste – optional
1 Tbsp chili paste – optional
3 shallots – peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups cooked white rice – it has to be at least room temperature or cold is fine too
2 cups leftover cooked meat – shredded or diced
3 Tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce/ kecap manis
1 Tbsp soy sauce – or more to taste
1/2 cup green peas – thawed if frozen
Salt to taste

Serve with:
Fresh cucumber slices
Fresh tomato slices
Prawn/ Shrimp crackers
Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng
2 stalks green onions – finely chopped
Sambal kecap pedas – optional

Make the fried eggs to your preference.

Preheat a wok or large pan. Melt the butter. Add shrimp paste (if using) and stir fry for about 1 minute.

Add shallots an chili paste (if using) and stir fry for 3 minutes.

Add meat and chili (if using). Stir to mix everything.

Add the rice, kecap manis and soy sauce, continue to stir until all the rice grains pick up the brownish color from the kecap manis. Have a taste and season with a bit of salt to your taste if needed.

Garnish with the chopped green onion, sprinkle with crispy shallots / bawang goreng. Top with fried eggs. Put few slices of cucumber and tomatoes and some prawn crackers. Serve immediately.

As a vegetarian alternative, using fried tofu puffs or firm tofu in 1/2 inch chunk; 3 small bok choy, ends trimmed, chopped; 1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts; and 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges.

Peanut Sauce

1/3 cup (86 g) Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup (62.5 g) hot water
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) White Vinegar
1 (1 ) lime, juiced
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Minced Ginger
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Garlic
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Ground Black Pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender and whirl until smooth.

Serve with vegetables, leftover cooked chicken, or as a salad dressing in your favorite salad.

Asian Peanut Chili Crunch (Seroendeng)

6–10 dried Thai red chiles, crushed (or sub 2–4 tablespoons chili flakes)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (skinless)
1/2 cup crispy shallots (available at Asian markets, or see notes)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional additions: toasted coconut, coconut or palm sugar, dried shrimp or anchovy powder, dried lemongrass or kefir lime leaf, dried mushroom powder – remember to start conservatively and add more to taste. Play around and have fun!

Remove chili stems and crumble chilies and dry fry over medium heat until toasted, about 3-4 minutes.

Place in a food processor (or chop) and pulse. Add roasted peanuts and pulse a few times. ( or chop)

Place in a bowl with the crispy shallots and salt. Feel free to embellish to your taste.

notes

To make homemade crispy shallots, heat 1 cup vegetable or peanut oil in a small saucepan.
Slice 3 shallots into thin 1/8 inch rings and cook them over medium heat for about 15 minutes lowering heat if they seem to be getting too dark.

Using a strainer over a bowl, strain well, and spread out on a paper towel-lined plate, blot, sprinkle with salt and let cool. They will crisp more as they cool. Feel free to reuse the flavorful shallot-infused oil!

You could also use dehydrated shallots with no oil.

Pressure Cooker Peanut Chicken

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes, sprinkled with pinch of salt
3 fat cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped ( or use ginger paste)
1 teaspoon oil
13 ounce can coconut milk (liquid and solids) DIVIDED, (do not use light- too watery)
3 tablespoons soy sauce (or use GF liquid amino acids)
3 tablespoons honey (or coconut sugar or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, more to taste
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste (or sriracha, or sambal olek)
—–
1/2 cup peanut butter (or sub almond butter)
optional additions : 1 tablespoon lemongrass, 4-5 kefir lime leaves

Chili Cucumber Salad

3 Turkish cucumbers, cut into ½ inch thick, diagonal half-moons
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
pinch salt and sugar (optional)
optional – basil ribbons, scallions, or cilantro

Serve over rice or a bed of spinach (either raw or wilted) or both, with the optional Chili Cucumber Salad

Sprinkle with the optional Peanut Chili Crunch, or even just roasted peanuts.

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

If using an Instant Pot, set it to the sauté function, and sauté the ginger and garlic in a teaspoon of oil for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add lemongrass if using. Stir the can of coconut milk with a fork- then and add 1 cup of the coconut milk, (you’ll add the rest after). Stir in the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, chili paste and the chicken ( optional kafir lime leaves) everything except the peanut butter in the pot, and stir. Drop the peanut butter in spoonfuls over top of the chicken (don’t stir it in).

Set to HIGH Pressure, for 8 minutes. Naturally release. See notes. (If using thigh meat pressure cook for 12 minutes.)

Once chicken is done cooking, taste a spoonful of the sauce. Adjust salt, lime, sweetness and spice level according to your taste. Stir in the remaining coconut milk if you like. Some of you will want it sweeter. I usually add more chili paste and lime. Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

(Alternately, if cooking on the stove top, cook the lightly salted chicken cubes in a dutch oven or large skillet in a little oil, until golden. Toss in the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients, all except peanut butter, stirring to combine. Cover and let simmer very gently on low heat, 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, then stir in the peanut butter. )

If the sauce seems too thin, reduce a bit using the sauté function while constantly stirring, to prevent burning the bottom. See notes.

Serve over a bed of rice or baby spinach – or both and the Chili Cucumber Salad. Top with optional Peanut Chili Crunch

To make the refreshing Chili Cucumber Salad, just place everything in a medium bowl and toss. It only takes a few minutes and you can do this while the Peanut Chicken is cooking.

notes

Stirring in the peanut butter after the chicken is cooked, or dropping it on the top of the chicken will prevent the sauce from getting too thick at the bottom of the instant pot which can cause a mild scorching. So drop it on top, or add it after you release the pressure.

The sauce will start off a bit watery, but will thicken as it cools.

This will become more and more delicious over the next couple days. When cooking chicken breast in a pressure cooker, the meat seems to “contract”. If you allow the pressure-cooked chicken time to “rest” (keeping in on the “warm” setting for a while) it will expand and absorb some of the sauce -the sauce will thicken and the chicken will relax a bit and become more tender and flavorful. That’s why dishes like this usually taste better the next day. A great one to make ahead!

If making or prepping ahead, I would just cook it ahead and refrigerate, allowing the flavors to meld.

To prep this ahead, and cook it later- blend all sauce ingredients (except peanut butter) in a blender. Pour over the raw chicken (in a ziplock bag) and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then pour it in the Instant Pot. Drop peanut butter on the top of the chicken or stir it in after it is cooked. Follow the rest of the directions above.

Chicken Breast cooking Times:
6-ounce chicken breasts- 6 minutes on high pressure for fresh ( 10 minutes on high pressure for frozen)
8 ounce chicken breasts -7 minutes on high pressure for fresh (11 minutes on high pressure for frozen)
10 ounce chicken breasts- 8 minutes on high pressure for fresh (12 minutes on high pressure for frozen)

Bali Bowls with Sheet Pan Peanut Tofu

14 ounces tofu ( non gmo, organic and sprouted if possible- our use firm or extra firm)
1 large yam or sweet potato, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
drizzle of olive oil
3/4 cup uncooked black rice ( or other rice or grain- both optional)
Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

3 thin slices ginger- cut across the grain, about the size of a quarter.
1 fat clove garlic
1/4 cup peanut butter (or sub almond butter!)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (roughly ½ an orange)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or GF Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (Note: Tamari will turn this unpleasantly dark)
3 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, agave or sugar substitute
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 –1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( or a squirt of sriracha sauce)
3/4 teaspoon salt

Bowl Veggie Options:

1–2 cups shredded cabbage (or use a mandolin)
1–2 cups shredded carrots
1–2 cups shredded beets
1 cup sliced snap peas
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes ( or watermelon radishes)
1 avocado
fresh sunflower sprouts

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Blot dry, then cut the tofu into 2 inch squares or 2-3 inch long strips ( that are ¾ inch thick). Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Cut the yam into 3/4 inch cubes and place on the other side of the sheet pan ( or another pan). Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss and spread out.

Make the peanut sauce, placing every thing in a blender, and blend until smooth. Reserve ½ of the peanut sauce for the bowls. Use the remaing to coat the tofu. Pour over tofu and brush tops and sides and lather them up. I like to leave a very generous amount on the top of each piece. Place in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes.

Cook the rice like you would pasta – using this basmati rice method . See notes.

Prep all your veggies. And FYI, these are just options for you, feel free to use what you like, adding or subtracting from the list.

When the tofu is caramelized and the sweet potatoes are fork tender, assemble your bowls.

Drizzle with the remaining peanut sauce. Or place the peanut sauce in a little dish on each bowl.

Notes:

This would be a delicious meal prep option for healthy lunches. Totally fine served cold!
Boil rice in 6 cups lightly salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let stand in strainer for five minutes. Fluff with fork. See Basmati Rice method – very similar to cooking pasta.

Nasi Goreng

For the Spice Paste:
2 small shallots (2 ounces; 55g), roughly chopped
3 medium cloves garlic
1 large fresh green chili, such as Fresno or Holland, stemmed and seeded, or 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, such as Huy Fong (see note)
1/2 teaspoon terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste), optional (see note)

For the Nasi Goreng:
4 cups cold cooked jasmine rice (21 ounces; 600g) or other medium- to long-grain rice (see note)
2 tablespoons (30ml) neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons (30ml) kecap manis (see note), plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoons (10ml) soy sauce
Kosher salt
Ground white pepper

To Serve:
2 fried eggs, cooked sunny-side up or over easy
Sliced cucumbers (optional)
Sliced tomatoes (optional)
Fried shallots (optional)

For the Spice Paste: Add half the shallots to a mortar and grind with the pestle until a coarse purée forms. Add remaining shallots, followed by garlic, chili, and terasi (if using), grinding with the pestle until each ingredient is mostly incorporated before adding the next. The final paste should resemble thick oatmeal in texture. Alternatively, combine all spice paste ingredients in a small food processor and process until they form a paste.

For the Nasi Goreng: If using day-old rice, transfer rice to a bowl and break rice up with your hands into individual grains.

Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add spice paste and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the wok or pan to prevent the paste from burning, until a pungent smell permeates your kitchen and the paste turns a few shades darker, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium at any time if the paste appears to be browning too quickly.

Add rice to the wok and stir to coat with the spice paste. Add kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir and cook until rice is evenly colored and hot throughout. Season with salt and white pepper.

Divide rice between two plates and top each plate of rice with a fried egg. Garnish with cucumber and tomato slices and shower with fried shallots, if you like. Serve immediately with kecap manis alongside for drizzling.

Balinese Pork Satay (Sate Babi) With Sweet Soy Glaze and Peanut Sauce

For the Spice Paste:
One (1-inch) knob fresh turmeric, peeled (about 10g), or 1 teaspoon (4g) ground turmeric
2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, outer layers and root removed, thinly sliced (about 80g)
8 medium cloves garlic, sliced (about 60g)
2 small shallots, sliced (about 75g)
3 whole dried pasilla or guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped (about 40g)
2 tablespoons (about 30g) palm sugar or brown sugar
2 teaspoons (about 6g) whole coriander seed
1 tablespoon (about 9g) whole white peppercorns
Kosher salt
2 pounds (1kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

For the Glaze:
1 cup kecap manis (8 ounces; 240ml)
1/4 cup sugar (about 2 ounces; 50g), plus more if needed
One (2-inch) knob ginger, roughly chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped

For the Dipping Sauce:
10 ounces roasted peanuts (285g; about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 ounce (30g) tamarind pulp, soaked and strained (see note), or 2 teaspoons (10ml) tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon (15ml) kecap manis or fish sauce
Water, as necessary
Sugar, to taste

For the Spice Paste: Combine turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, chilies, sugar, coriander, white peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons (8g) kosher salt using a mortar and pestle, working in batches if necessary. Pound into a fine paste. (For an easier method, pound with the mortar and pestle until a rough paste is formed, then transfer to a food processor to reduce to a fine paste. I do not recommend using the food processor alone if you want maximum flavor.) Divide mixture into thirds.

Combine pork and one-third of spice paste in a large bowl and toss with your hands until all of pork is thoroughly coated in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to overnight. Thread pork onto skewers. To do this efficiently, cut an onion or potato in half and place it on your cutting board. Place a piece of pork on top of it and push through it with the skewer. Repeat until each skewer has about 6 inches of pork threaded onto it. Pork should be pushed together quite tightly. Discard onion half (or grill it) after use. Keep pork skewers refrigerated until ready to cook.

For the Glaze: Meanwhile, combine kecap manis, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in one-third of spice paste and adjust seasoning with more sugar as necessary. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Leftover glaze can be stored indefinitely in a covered container in the refrigerator.

For the Dipping Sauce: Pound peanuts with the mortar and pestle until reduced to a rough powder. Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add remaining third of spice paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peanuts, tamarind juice, remaining oil, kecap manis or fish sauce, and 1/2 cup (120ml) water. Stir to combine. Once liquid comes to a simmer and turns creamy, adjust consistency with more water as necessary to produce a creamy sauce that just barely flows. Season to taste with a little sugar if desired. Leftover sauce can be stored for several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator.

To Cook: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Working in batches as necessary, place pork directly over hot side of grill. Immediately start fanning coals or flames with a large piece of cardboard or with the hose of a Shop-Vac to prevent flare-ups. Cook, fanning constantly and turning pork occasionally, until pork is cooked through and browned on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer pork to cooler side of grill and brush on all sides with glaze. Return to hot side of grill and cook, turning, just until glaze starts to bubble and get sticky, about 45 seconds. Transfer skewers to a serving platter and repeat until all pork is cooked.

Brush pork with another layer of glaze just before serving and serve with peanut sauce on the side or spooned on top.

Laksa Ayam Betawi (Jakarta Coconut Chicken Soup)

800 gr chicken breast fillet – about 28 oz, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups coconut milk

Ingredients to grind:
30 gr dried shrimp – soak in warm water until soft
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 inch fresh ginger
1 Tbsp sambal oelek – or more if you want it spicier. You can also use this chili paste

Spices and herbs:
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp galangal powder
1 stalk lemongrass
2 bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves

Seasonings:
2 tsp salt – or more to taste
1 tsp sugar – or more to taste
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Choice of noodles: (choose one)
Rice noodles – (bihun) prepare according to directions on the package
mungbean thread noodles – (soun) prepare according to directions on the package

Serve with:
200 gr mungbean sprouts (tauge) – blanched in hot water
2 hard-boiled eggs – cut into quarters
Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng
Emping crackers
Limes

Garnishes:
1 stalk green onion – finely chopped
Fresh mints and/or basil leaves

Place all ingredients to grind in a food processor and process into a paste. Add the cooking oil to help it going.

Preheat a large heavy-bottom pot. Add cooking oil (if you haven’t added it when you grind the ingredients above). Add the ground ingredients and stir fry until they smell really good, about 3 minutes or so.

Add the chicken pieces followed by turmeric, coriander, galangal powder, and seasonings. Stir to mix everything and cook until the chicken just turn opaque and add chicken broth, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Then stir in the coconut milk. Have a taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Serving:
Portion the cooked noodles into individual serving bowl. Portion out some chicken pieces. and beansprouts. Ladle the hot soup over.

Add hard-boiled pieces, chopped green onions, bawang goreng, and fresh mint and/or basil leaves. Squeeze some lime juice over if you like. Serve immediately when it’s warm with some emping crackers if you have some.

Soto Ayam

1/2 pack rice noodles (8 oz)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3 strips
1 can coconut milk, 13.5 fl oz (400 ml)
1 can chicken broth, 14.05 oz (411 g)
1 cup water
Salt, to taste

Spice Paste:

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 piece turmeric (2-inch), peeled or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 piece galangal, peeled and sliced (2-inch)
1 piece ginger, peeled and sliced (2-inch)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Toppings:

2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups sliced cabbages, optional
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
1 stalk spring onion, cut into rounds
2 limes, cut into wedges
Fried shallot crisps

Soak the rice noodles in warm water to soften them. Set aside.
Blend the Spice Paste in a food processor. Add some water if needed.
Add the oil in a pot on medium-high heat. Add in the Spice Paste and stir with spatula back and forth until aromatic.

Add in the chicken broth, coconut milk, lemongrass and water. Bring it to a boil. Add in the chicken breast cubes. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Blanch the rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbages (if using) in another pot of boiling water. Transfer them to a bowl once they are cooked. Add the Toppings of hard-boiled eggs, spring onions and add the hot chicken broth into the bowl. Serve hot with lime wedges and shallot crisps on top of the noodles.

Nasi Lamak Medan (Coconut Milk Rice)

Coconut milk rice:
2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice – (washed several times and drained)
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
1/4 cup of water
3 pandan leaves – (screwpine leaves-knotted)
1 stalk of lemon grass – (bruised and cut into 2-inch pieces)

Sambal chili :
5 shallots – (peeled and finely chopped)
1 Tbsp of grape seeds oil or oil of your choice
1/2 tsp of dried shrimp paste – (belacan)
1 cup sambal oelek
3 Tbsp of sugar – (add more if you want a bit sweeter)

Potatoes:
3 large potatoes – (peeled and diced)
4 oz raw medium shrimp – (peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped)
1 cup of dried red chili – (soaked in warm water until soft)
5 shallots – (peeled)
Small bunch of curry leaves
2 Tbsp of sugar or more to taste
Dash of salt to taste
Oil to deep fry the potatoes
Dried anchovies and peanuts:
1 Tbsp of oil
1/2 cup medium to large high-quality dried anchovies
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
Pinch of sugar

Garnish:
1 small cucumber – (washed and thinly sliced)

Cooking the rice:

If you have a rice cooker, life couldn’t be any easier, just put everything in the rice cooker (with exception of the screwpine leaves)and press the cook button, add the screwpine leaves about 10 minutes towards the end of cooking time. My mom actually taught me this little secret so that the screwpine leaves will release the right amount of flavor.

If you don’t own one, use a dutch oven. Bring the water and coconut milk to a boil and then add the rice. Lower the heat and simmer until the rice is almost cooked. Add the screwpine leaves in and stir for a bit. Cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes until the rice is cooked through and fluffy.

Making the chili sauce:

In a saucepan, heat up some oil. Saute the shallots until soft, about 1 minute. Add in the shrimp paste and saute for another minute, add in the sambal oelek and sugar. The chili sauce will turn slightly darker when the sugar caramelized. The chili sauce should be sweet and spicy.

Potatoes:

Ground the red chili and shallots into a coarse paste. Preheat the oil in a pot. Deep fry the potatoes until they are golden brown. Set aside.

In a large skillet, preheat about 2 Tbsp of oil. Saute the chili paste for about 5 minutes. Add in the shrimp and curry leaves and cook until the shrimp turn color, about 1 minute. Add in the fry potatoes and stir to mix everything. Make sure the chili sauce coats the potatoes. Add in sugar and salt. Have a taste, it should be more at a sweet side and lightly spicy.

Dried anchovies and peanuts:

Preheat a medium size pan with cooking oil. Add in the anchovies and fry until crispy, about 1 minute or so. Add in the peanuts and cook until the peanuts are lightly brown. Add in pinch of sugar. Turn off the heat and give it a good stir to mix everything. Remove from the heat.

When ready to serve:
Portion the rice on the plate. Place the sambal telur, potatoes, sambal, and few slices of cucumber on the side of the plate. Ready to go!

Kering Kentang (Spiced Potatoes)

500 gr potatoes – Choose less waxy potatoes like Russet
2 Thai red chilis – seeded and cut into strips
Cooking oil – to fry potatoes

Spiced paste:
4 kaffir lime leaves – use a scissor to cut into thin strips, remove the vein in the middle
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves garlic – grated or finely minced
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 Tbsp sambal oelek – or use chili paste
2 tsp galangal powder
70 gr coconut sugar – or use dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
5 Tbsp water
2 bay leaves – or 4 dried bay leaves

To add last:
2 Tbsp Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng

Soak the potatoes:

Peel the potatoes and use a mandoline slicer if you have one to cut the potatoes into uniform size sticks. This is important and will make your life easier when you fry them. They are cooked and get crispy at the same time. You can manually cut them too, it’s more work!

Soak the potato sticks in fresh cold water for at least 2 hours (overnight is fine too) and then drain off all the water and starch that leaks out. Do not skip the soaking part.

Use an absorbent paper towel and pat the potatoes dry.

Fry the potatoes:

Preheat about 1 1/2-inches of cooking oil over high heat. When you dip a chopstick into a oil and it bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready. Or you can just put one piece of potato in there and if it bubbles and floats, the oil is ready. Lower the heat to medium.

You need to fry the potatoes in 3-4 batches. DO NOT dump all at one go. Place the first batch in and fry until the potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Remove to an absorbent paper towel. Continue frying the next batch.

Prepare the spiced paste:

Place all ingredients for the spiced paste in a bowl, except for kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves.

Preheat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a large pan/wok. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Thai chili and fry briefly, about 10 seconds or so. Add the rest of the ingredients above and bay leaves and cook until the sauce thickens to a syrup consistency.

Add the fried potatoes into the sauce and turn off the heat. Stir to make sure the sauce is coating the potatoes. Sprinkle in the bawang goreng and stir again to mix. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Notes:

Kering kentang is best served on the same day. The kering kentang will stay crispy for one whole day. The next day, they will get significantly soggy, which is normal as the moisture from the sauce continues to soften the potatoes.

It’s not uncommon to add things like: roasted peanuts, dried anchovies, fried tempeh (tempe). I highly recommend that you fry these ingredients separately and then add them in when you are about to toss the potatoes to the sauce. This helps to keep the kering kentang crispy.

Sambal Goreng Tempeh

8 oz tempeh – (cut into long and narrow strips)
1/2 tsp belacan / shrimp paste – omit for vegan version
1 Tbsp seedless tamarind paste – mixed with 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp gula jawa/ Indonesian palm sugar – roughly chopped, or you may sub with brown sugar
Salt to taste
Cooking oil – for deep-frying of pan frying

Ground ingredients:
3 shallots – (peeled and thinly sliced)
3 cloves garlic – (peeled and finely minced)
4 Fresno chili – or use 1 Tbsp chili paste
1 tsp galangal powder
1 Roma tomato – quartered

Place all the ground ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste. Set aside. Preheat about 1-inch of oil to deep fry the sliced tempeh in batches if necessary. Deep fry until they are golden brown. Drain on an absorbent paper towel and set aside. Alternatively, you can also put about 1 Tbsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet and pan fry them on 1 layer until they are crispy.

In a large skillet or wok, preheat about 2 Tbsp of oil. Add the ground ingredients and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add tamarind juice and palm sugar. Stir to mix and until the palm sugar is melted. Add the fried tempeh and stir to mix everything to make sure the sambal sauce is coating every piece of the tempeh. Have a taste and season with more salt and sugar as needed. It should be spicy, sweet, and slightly tangy.