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.

Sweet Vinegar Peanuts

2 C raw peanuts

Syrup
1/2 C chopped cilantro
1 tsp chopped mint leaves
6 Tbsp Chinese Black Vinegar (you can substitute with Balsamic Vinegar)
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange the peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until they are golden brown, probably about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, mine did take about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Set aside

To prepare the syrup, combine the cilantro, mint, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and sesame seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is syrupy and reduced by half, about 7 minutes or longer.

Pour the syrup over the peanuts and stir to coat evenly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pressed Rice Cakes with Chicken

2 Cups of glutinous rice
2 Cups of water
1 tsp salt
3 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Cups of shredded cooked chicken meat
3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 stalk spring onion finely chopped
Salt to taste

Saute 3 tsp of minced garlic in vegetable oil until golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Combine glutinous rice, salt, water and 1 tsp of the sauteed garlic. You can either cook your rice in a 2-quart pot for about 40 minutes until liquid is absorbed or your rice cooker. I used rice cooker ? Let them cool down after cooking.

Meanwhile, while the rice is cooking, combine the shredded chicken meat with the remaining of the sauteed garlic and 3/4 of the remaining garlic oil from no.1. Season with salt to taste. Mix well and set aside.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and brush with some of the remaining garlic oil. Sprinkle with half of the toasted sesame seeds. Spoon half of the rice into the lined pan and work with wet hands to press the rice into an even layer. If the rice is still too warmed to handle, let it cool down.

Spread the chicken mixture evenly over the rice and cover with the remaining rice. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and cover with more oiled plastic and weigh it down by placing few cans or something heavy on top of it.

Let stand for at least 20 minutes. Invert onto a cutting board, remove the plastic, and slice into 1 1/2 inch squares with a wet knife. You can slice them further diagonally to form triangles too if you want. Serve at room temperature or lightly pan-fry them until crisp

Rempeyek Kacang (Indonesian Peanut Fritters)

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups raw peanuts without skin
2 cups coconut milk if you are using canned, give it a good shake
2 1/2 oz of rice flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
Oil for deep frying
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder

INGREDIENTS TO GRIND:
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 candlenuts
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar

In a medium-size pan without oil, stir-fry the peanut on low heat for about 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Use a food processor to process the ingredients to grind into paste. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, coconut milk, and add in the paste, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Stir to mix everything. It should be somewhat a thin batter.

In a small-size (deep enough for deep-frying) pot, preheat enough oil for deep-frying. Give the batter a stir each time before you drop them into the oil. Drop a tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil and let it fry until golden brown on both sides. Work with one at a time. Remove with slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper towel to drain. Let them cool down completely before storing in air-tight container.

Perkedel Jagung (Bakwan Jadung – Indonesian Corn Fritters)

500 gr sweet corn kernels
6 oz shrimps cleaned, deveined and finely minced
80 gr rice flour
1 large egg beaten
1 tsp salt
1 Thai chili
Oil for deep-frying

AROMATICS:
2 shallots peeled
2 garlic peeled
3 Tbsp chopped Chinese celery leaves

Place 1/2 of the corn in a food processor along with the shrimp, shallots and garlic and pulse few times until finely chopped.

Mix the chopped corn mixtures along with the other half of the corn kernels, eggs, chili, celery leaves, flour, salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil for frying. Lower the heat to medium and then drop one or two spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You may want to fry one first and then taste to see if you need to add more salt (as you can’t taste the “raw” mixture) and adjust by adding more salt if needed before frying more.

You can try to use egg rings if you have some to help hold the round shape, but you really don’t have to. If you use them, fill the ring with the corn mixture and then use the back of the spoon to kinda smooth it out to make sure there’s no “hole” so your bakwan jagung won’t fall apart later. Once the fritter is golden brown at the bottom, you can remove the ring and flip to the other side and cook until golden brown.

Continue with the rest of the mixture. You can serve with any of your favorite sweet chili sauce or just eat them as is.

Green Beans and Bean Threads

1 lb green beans trimmed both ends and remove tough fibers, cut into 2-inch sections
2 oz minced lean pork or any meat you like I used left over sausages
2 bundles of bean thread noodles/vermicelli noodles soak in cold water to let it soften and then cut into shorter pieces
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion
3 Tbsp of canola oil

MARINADE:
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
Salt to season
1 cup water
Dash of sesame oil

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes and quickly submerge into ice water bath. Drain and set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp of canola oil and stir fry the minced pork and use the spatula to break up the meat, toss in chopped spring onion, add dark soy sauce, salt and water. Lastly add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the vermicelli and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn up the heat to reduce the gravy if you prefer. Lastly drizzle with some sesame oil.

Note on soaking vermicelli: If you want the vermicelli to further soak up the flavors and sauce of the dish you are cooking it in, soak it in cold water. If you are not cooking it in a sauce, soak it in warm water instead to allow it to swell more before cooking.

Chili Chicken

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size
1 medium onion thinly sliced
Corn starch to coat the chicken
Salt to taste
1-2 Tbsp of sugar
Oil for deep-frying
CHILI INGREDIENTS:
20 shallots
1 stalk of lemongrass
2- inch piece galangal
1 tsp of shrimp paste/terasi
About 20-30 bird’s eye chili
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup of water

Put all the chili ingredients into a food processor and ground into a fine paste. The water is to get the grinding process going.

Heat up some oil in a pan, enough to cover the chicken for deep frying. Meanwhile, dredge the chicken pieces into the corn starch and fry until golden brown and set them aside.

In a separate pan, heat up about 3 Tbsp oil oil and stir fry the onion until they are soft, add in the chili paste and stir fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to your taste. Add the fried chicken pieces and toss them to make sure they are coated with the sauce and stir fry for another 1 minute and serve immediately.

Naam Tok Nuea (Isaan Grilled Beef Salad)

3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 pinch of sugar
1 tsp chili powder
5 oz (150 g) beef tenderloin
2 shallots , sliced finely lengthwise
1 spring onion , sliced finely in rings
1 stalk of lemongrass , hard bottom end cut off, outer leaves removed, white part sliced very finely in rings (optional)
1 handful of mint leaves
Toasted sticky rice/sweet rice/glutinous rice

Preheat a small to medium skillet on high heat without any oil. Once hot, put in one handful of sticky rice and use a wooden spoon to move it around and let it toast until golden brown.
You can even smell the nuttiness. Set aside to let it cool down a little bit. Put the toasted rice into a food processor and process into fine powder and let it cool and store in an air-tight container. You can do this a night before if you prefer.

Mix the lime juice with fish sauce, sugar and chili powder. Balance well; this dressing should taste spicy, sour and salty.

Grill the meat, preferably on a wood charcoal grill for that authentic flavor if you can. If not, don’t sweat it just grill it they way you normally would using outdoor grill or using grill pan. Grill it to the doneness you like.

Once you finish grilling, cover with aluminum foil and let the beef rest for a while before you slice it. Slice the beef into bite-size. Don’t waste the meat juice, save as much as you can. Combine beef and juice with shallot, spring onion, lemongrass when using, and fresh herbs. Finish with dressing and toasted rice powder.

Sayur Lodeh (Indonesian Vegetables in Coconut Milk for Nasi Sayur Medan)

1 Tbsp of cooking oil
1 Tbsp galangal powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp Better-than -bouillon chicken base optional
4 cups chicken broth
2 large chayote peeled and diced into 2-inch pieces
1/2 head of cabbage roughly chopped into about 2-inch pieces
1 large carrot peeled and diced
1/2 lb green beans cut into 2-inch length
10 oz of canned baby corn drain off liquid
2 cups of coconut milk shake the can before using
Salt and sugar to taste

SPICES TO GRIND:
8 candlenuts substitute with macadamia nuts if you must
5 shallots peeled
5 cloves garlic peeled

Preheat a large pot with cooking oil. Add in the ground spices followed by galangal, turmeric powder and chicken base. Saute for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Add in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then add in all the vegetables except for baby corns. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and let the vegetables cooked until soft but not mushy.

When vegetables are cooked, add in the baby corns, coconut milk. Once you add in the coconut milk, take care not to let it boil as it will “break” the coconut and make it frothy. Cook for another 5 minutes. Have a taste and season with salt and small pinch of sugar to your taste.

Serve as part of Nasi Sayur Medan—-a multi-course meal alongside potato rendang, fried bee hoon, a protein, and spicy sambal.

Other vegetable options include jackfruit, eggplant, and tomatoes.

Lau Shu Fun Medan (Breakfast Pin Noodles with Pork)

1 lb of Lau shu fun noodle (pin noodles)
2 Tbsp of grape seeds oil or oil of your choice
3 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely minced)
1 lb of ground pork
2 Tbsp of soy sauce or more to taste
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
Dash of white Pepper
1 cup of chicken stock
2 tsp corn starch + 2 tsp water

SOUP:
4 cups chicken stock
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

GARNISHES:
3 stalks of green onion (finely chopped)
Small bunch of cilantro leaves
Crispy fried shallots

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

TO PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE:
2 Tbsp of Korean gochujang sauce/ spicy bean paste
2 Tbsp of soy sauce
2 Tbsp of brown sugar
1- inch of ginger peeled and finely minced
1 Tbsp of sesame oil
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs thinly sliced
2 Tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil
2 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
2 Tbsp of sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions thinly sliced diagonally
1 small cucumber thinly sliced diagonallyj
Bibb Lettuce

Place the first five ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix well. Pour the sauce into a large ziplock bag. Place the sliced chicken inside the bag. Push the air out and seal the bag. Kinda give it a massage motion to mix the chicken and the sauce. Place it in the refrigerator. If you want to make this in a hurry, you still need to at least give it an hour to marinade.

Preheat the cooking oil in a large skillet. Tip in the garlic and stir fry for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken in (reserve the marinade juice). Stir fry until the chicken started to brown nicely. Pour in the marinade sauce and let it boil a bit and then lower the heat and let the sauce thickened a bit. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.

ASSEMBLING:
Place about 1-2 Tbsp of chicken on the bibb lettuce accompanied by 2 slices of cucumber. Serve on its own or with rice.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Sambal Telur (Egg Sambal)

INGREDIENTS:
4 hard-boiled eggs peeled
2 Tbsp cooking oil

SAMBAL:
10 cayenne peppers more if you like it spicier
2 Thai chili more if you want spicier
7 shallots peeled
2 cloves garlic
2 large tomatoes quartered

SEASONINGS:
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp salt

AROMATICS:
3 duan salam leaves
4 kaffir lime leaves

PREPARE THE SAMBAL:
Prepare the sambal by putting the chili, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes in a food processor and grind it until smooth.

PREPARE THE EGGS:
Preheat 2 Tbsp of cooking oil in a medium-size skillet. When the oil is hot, gently place the hard-boiled eggs on the pan and let them pan-fried and use tongs to rotate the egg so the surface touches the hot oil and blistered up evenly all over. Keep the oil to saute the sambal.

COOKING THE SAMBAL:
In the same pan you use to pan-fry the egg, add the ground chili mixture, and stir fry until really fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the aromatics and seasonings and continue to saute until the sambal turns slightly darker in color (the sugar will caramelize and darken the sambal).

Have a taste. The sambal should taste more at a sweet side. Adjust by adding more salt or sugar to your liking. The sambal should be thick as liquid evaporates when you cook. If you like it runnier, just cook until the consistency you prefer. Place the eggs back into the pan and mix with sambal. Remove from the heat and serve.

This recipe uses hard-boiled eggs, but it’s not uncommon to also see people make this sambal telur using:

1. Sambal telur dadar – fried eggs are smothered in the sambal sauce.

2. Sambal telur pecah – raw eggs are poached in the sambal sauce. You need to cover the pan to help the eggs cook faster.

3. Sambal telur hancur – raw eggs are scrambled along with the sambal sauce.

Khai Look Khoey (Son-in-Law Eggs)

6 large eggs
4 Tbsp Palm sugar or brown sugar
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp seedless tamarind paste
5 Tbsp hot water
Cooking oil

GARNISHES:
2 Tbsp Crispy shallots
Small bunch of fresh coriander leaves
1 Thai red chili chopped or sliced at an angle

Let the eggs sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking. Bring a medium pot of water (enough to cover the eggs) to a rolling boil. Gently add the eggs into the pot. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with lid and let sit for about 12 minutes.

Remove from the pot and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Peel the shells off and set aside and pat dry with absorbent paper towel to prevent splattering when you pan fry later.

MAKING THE SAUCE:
Place the tamarind in a small bowl. Add in the hot water and let sit for 15 minutes. Use the back of the spoon to gently press on the tamarind paste that has softened and continue to do so until it turns into mush.

In a small saucepan, add in the softened tamarind, sugar, and fish sauce. Cook until the sauce turns into a thin syrup consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water. If it’s too thin, reduce the sauce a bit longer. Have a taste, it should be sweet, tangy, and savory.

PUTTING TOGETHER:
Make sure the surface of the boiled eggs are dry before you pan fry them. Preheat cooking oil in a frying pan, about 1/2-inch in height. When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium, gently place the eggs in the pan and use a slotted spoon to turn the eggs around to let them blister and turn golden brown all over. They turn brown very quickly, so watch the heat and lower it further if needed.

Remove from the pan into a paper towel. Cut into half and place on serving platter. Drizzle with tamarind sauce, crispy shallots, fresh coriander leaves, and chili. Ready to serve.

Ketoprak (Indonesian Noodle and Tofu Salad with Peanut Sauce)

INGREDIENTS:
1 block of firm tofu
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
250 gr dry rice stick noodles / bee hoon

PEANUT DRESSING:
3 cloves garlic
6 red chilis more if you like it spicier
100 gr roasted peanuts see notes
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2-inch block of tamarind paste
200 ml warm water
2-3 Thai chili more if you like it spicier

GARNISHES:
Indonesian sweet soy sauce
Fried shallots
Prawn crackers or whatever crackers you like
2 hard-boiled eggs quartered
1 large cucumber

Blanch the rice stick noodles briefly in hot water until it softens but not mushy. Drain and then refresh with cold water. Set aside. You can also blanch the raw garlic briefly if you don’t like the raw taste of it.

Peel the cucumber and then half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out. Cut into 1-inch slices.

MAKING THE PEANUT DRESSING:
Mix the tamarind paste with warm water. Once it softens, use the back of the spoon to mash the tamarind and then discard the solid. In a food processor, blend the peanuts, garlic, chilis, tamarind juice, and sugar. Process into a thick but pourable consistency. You can add a bit more water if it’s too thick. Season with salt to your taste.

PREPARING THE TOFU:
Place the block of tofu on an absorbent paper towel and then another layer of paper towel on top of the tofu. Place a heavy object like cast iron pot or pan on top of the tofu for about 15 minutes to press all the extra liquid out. Cut the tofu into 2-inch chunks. You can deep fry the tofu or pan fry it with a little bit of oil on the pan until all sides are golden brown. Set aside.

Assembling:
In a large serving plate, place the noodles, cucumber slices, bean sprouts, fried tofu, and egg pieces. Pour sauce over and garnish with fried shallots, a drizzle of kecap manis. Serve with prawn crackers.

Note: You can sub the roasted peanuts with creamy/chunky peanut butter. It’s up to you. You may need to play with the amount of liquid so that it’s thick but still somewhat pourable.

Sate Ayam Kecap (Indonesian Chicken Satay with Sweet Sauce)

1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 inch tamarind + 2 Tbsp hot water
4 cloves garlic
4 candlenuts Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp Indonesian kecap manis
1 Tbsp coriander powder
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
15-20 bamboo skewers soaked in cold water

SWEET SAUCE:
1 Tbsp of cooking oil
1 Tbsp grated garlic
2 shallots peeled and diced
2 red chilis -optional seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup of sweet soy sauce kecap manis
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch of salt

GARNISH:
Fried shallots crisp bawang goreng

PREPARING CHICKEN AND MARINATE:
Cut the chicken into roughly about 1.5 inch pieces. Place 2 inches of tamarind in a bowl and put 4 Tbsp of hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes. This will be divided for marinade and peanut sauce later. Use the back of the spoon to mash the softened tamarind and squeeze out as many liquids as possible from the tamarind. Discard the solids.

Place candlenuts and garlic in a food processor and pour half of the tamarind juice and process into a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients for marinade in a large mixing bowl and add in the paste. Add chicken pieces and toss to make sure all pieces are coated with marinade. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if you are pressed for time. You can let them marinate overnight too.

Meanwhile soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 1 hour so they don’t break easily when you grill them.

After the meat is marinated, thread the meat on each bamboo skewer.

Preheat your grill and grill the chicken until it is golden brown and cooked through and basting the meat with some cooking oil for that shine.

MAKING THE KECAP SAUCE:
Meanwhile, make the sauce by preheating a small saucepan with cooking oil. Add in garlic, chili, and shallots and saute for about 1 minute. Add in the sweet soy sauce followed by juice of 1/2 lime. Have a taste, it should be more at the sweet side, but I like to add a pinch of salt to bring out more flavor.

SERVING:
Serve with the sauce on the side or drizzle some on top. You can also sprinkle on some fried shallots crisp (bawang goreng).

Pressure Cooker Sambal Terong Belado (Eggplants with Sambal)

INGREDIENTS:
500 gr long purple eggplants or you can use dark purple kind

SAMBAL BALADO:
100 gr cayenne pepper see notes
8 shallots peeled
3 garlic peeled
1 large tomato quartered
1/3 cup cooking oil

AROMATICS:
3 daun salam leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves tear edges to release flavor

SEASONINGS:
1 tsp salt or more to taste
1 Tbsp sugar
1 lime

PREPARE EGGPLANTS:
Prepare a large pot of water with 1 tsp of salt in it.

Rinse the skin of the eggplants clean with water. Pat dry. Trim off the stem. Halve and then cut into about 3-inch pieces. Make sure you cut them into roughly equal in size so they cook evenly.

Place the cut eggplants into the pot of water to prevent them from turning black while you are cutting the rest of tge ingredients.

PRESSURE COOKING THE EGGPLANTS:
Pour 1 cup of water inside the inner pot of the instant pot. Arrange the eggplant in a collapsible veggie steamer that you can fit inside the inner pot. Cover the lid and turn the steam release valve to seal. Press pressure cooker, high pressure, and set timer to 15 minutes.

When the timer is up, wait 5 minutes and then release pressure completely.

PREPARE SAMBAL BALADO WHILE THE EGGPLANTS ARE COOKING:
Place all the sambal balado ingredients in a food processor. You can either roughly chop them for that rustic look or process them into finer texture. The oil will help to move things inside the food processor.

Preheat a large skillet and pour in the sambal mixture along with the aromatics. Stir fry for about 5 minutes and then add the seasonings. Keep stirring to prevent sambal from scorching. Have a taste. It should be savory, lightly sweet, with a hint of tang. Add more salt and/or sugar if needed.

PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER:
When the eggplants are done cooking, add the eggplants pieces onto the skillet and stir to mix everything. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately, with lots of rice.

RECIPE NOTES:
If you can’t find fresh cayenne pepper (cabe keriting), you can substitute with dried Chile de Arbol or Guajillo. Just soak them in water until soft and then proceed with recipe.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Sambal Lalep Terasi

6 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 Tbsp shrimp paste
120 gr Cayenne pepper (cabe keriting), stems removed
4 Thai red chili optional, stems removed
1 large tomato quartered
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp palm sugar or coconut sugar
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbsp cooking oil

Preheat cooking oil over medium heat. Add shallots, shrimp
paste, cayenne pepper, and Thai chili (if using) and stir fry until really fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes can be easily mashed. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor.

Add salt, sugar, and lime juice. Pulse a few times to give you that rustic-looking sambal or process further if you want the sambal smoother. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Fish in Ginger Sauce

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb white fish fillet : sole, swai, cod, or tilapia
2 Tbsp cooking oil

AROMATICS:
2 inch knob fresh ginger peeled
3 cloves garlic peeled

SAUCE BASE:
250 ml chicken broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water

SEASONINGS:
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt or more to taste

Place the aromatics in a food processor and finely chop them (or you can manually chop them by hands).

Cut the fish fillet into large chunks, about 2-inch pieces. Don’t cut too small or the fish will break apart easily when you cook them.

Preheat a large wok or skillet. Add cooking oil. Add ginger and garlic mixture. Stir fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock and seasonings and bring to a boil.

Add the fish fillet pieces in and let them cook until the fillet changes into opaque white color and cooked through. It shouldn’t take too long, about 2 minutes or less.

Carefully dish out the fish fillet from the stock into a serving platter.

Have a taste for the stock, add more salt if needed. Bring it to a boil and then give the cornstarch mixture a stir and pour in. Continue to stir until the stock is thickened.

Gently add the fish fillet pieces back. Gently stir to let the fillet pieces coated in the sauce. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle with chopped green onion. Serve immediately.

Rojak Buah

2 to 3 cups of the following fruits: cucumber, jicama, pineapple, underripe mango and papaya, tart apples like Granny Smith, peeled and seeded where necessary and cut into bite-sized pieces

Optional add-ins: A handful of baby spinach or bean sprouts and pieces of fried firm tofu

SAUCE
2 to 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoon coconut sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted ground peanuts

In a large bowl, add hoisin sauce, lime juice, coconut sugar, chili powder, sesame seeds, and half of the ground peanuts. Mix well to combine into a sauce. Then add the fruits and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of the ground peanuts and serve.

Malaysian Tofu Salad with Peanut Sauce

PEANUT SAUCE
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemongrass, white part only, chopped
3 to 5 dried chillis, soaked in warm water for a few minutes, chopped
1/2-inch galangal, peeled and chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground
1 tablespoon tamarind paste* or lime juice
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water, and more as needed
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

10 to 12 pieces fried tofu puffs*
2 cups carrots, shredded
2 cups cucumber, shredded
2 cups bean sprouts, blanched in hot water for a few minutes and drained
1/4 cup peanuts, roasted, for garnish

To make the sauce, start by making a spice paste. In a blender or food processor, add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, dried chillis, galangal, ground coriander, ground cumin, and ground turmeric and blend until you get a smooth paste, scraping down the sides and adding a little water when necessary.

In a saucepan, heat up the oil over medium heat and stir-fry the spice paste for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the ground peanuts, tamarind paste, dark soy sauce, coconut milk, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Add more water if the sauce gets too thick. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

To assemble the salad, in an individual serving plate, place 3 to 4 pieces of fried tofu puffs, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 1/4 cup shredded cucumber, and 1/4 cup bean sprouts. (Use the amount suggested here as a guide and feel free to adjust as you please!) Top with the desired amount of peanut sauce and garnish with roasted whole peanuts to serve.

*NOTES:
· Prepare the store-bought deep-fried tofu puffs by briefly dipping them in hot water to remove excess oil and pat dry before toasting them in the oven until browned and crispy.
· Fried tofu can be substituted with extra firm or firm tofu cut into cubes either straight from the packet or lightly pan-fried or grilled.