Showing posts with label Indonesia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indonesia. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Green Mango Sambal

Side dish or condiment? This green mango sambal goes great with Balinese-style grilled fish or any dish that could use some perking up with chili peppers and sharp green mango.

Just over a year ago, I shared a recipe for Ikan Bakar Jimbaran or Bali Spicy Grilled Fish, a whole grouper that had been marinated in a spice paste, then cooked over a charcoal fire and basted with kecap manis or sweet soy sauce.

It is properly served alongside a spicy side dish called sambal matah, made from lemongrass, purple onions and chilies, with shrimp paste or ground dried shrimp. I changed that up and used tart green mango in place of the lemongrass, creating a dish that is less of a condiment, more of a salad. I rounded the meal out with another Indonesian recipe, recently shared here, long beans with coconut.

This week the Sunday Supper theme is Spice is Nice and Some Like it Hot. In Indonesian, we can differentiate between heat hot – panas – and spicy hot – pedas. In fact, many languages have this distinction. Why English, with its huge vocabulary, does not, is a mystery to me. This recipe is definitely pedas or spicy hot!

2 green mangoes – about 11 2/3 oz or 330g whole
2 small purple onions – about 5 1/3 oz or 150g
Juice 1 lime – about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons crispy prawn chili sambal
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Salt to taste

Can't find crispy prawn chili sambal? Sub:
1 oz or 28g dried shrimp
4-5 small red chilies
2-3 teaspoons coconut oil

Peel and thinly slice your onions. Put them in a bowl big enough for the whole dish and squeeze the lime juice over them. Give it a stir and leave to marinate while you cut the mangoes.

Peel one side of your mangoes. Cut each into tiny strips by carefully hitting one side of it with the blade of your knife.

Then thinly slice a layer off. Repeat until you get down to the mango pit, then peel the other side and repeat the process.

Add the mango, the crispy prawn chili sambal and fish sauce to the onions.

Mix well. Taste the dish and add a little salt, if necessary.

If you can’t find crispy prawn chili sambal, use a mortar and pestle to grind the dried shrimp into a fluffy powder. Add in the chili peppers and keep grinding until they make a thick paste with the shrimp powder. Add in enough coconut oil to loosen the paste a bit. Once you've added this to the mango and onions and stirred well, don't forget to add the fish sauce too.


Not every dish that has spices is necessarily spicy hot! Check out this great list of recipes from my Sunday Supper group. Many thanks to our host today, Susan from The Chef Next Door.

Aromatic Appetizers
Distinctive Drinks
Daring Desserts
Masterful Mains
Seasoned Sides

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A classic from Joy of Cooking, this oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe makes the best chewy cookies around.

We arrived in the sweltering heat and were met at the rustic terminal building by a man named Pup Joint. Back then, we meant me, my husband and one large Boxer dog.

So young! What the heck happened?
The seaside oilfield town of Balikpapan, carved out of the jungle on the southeast corner of Borneo, was as about as far as you could get, in distance and modernity to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, where we had met six years before, in the northwest corner of the same enormous island. Of course, compared to Balikpapan, most cities were developed.

We didn’t really have a grocery store to speak of. And, back then, there was only one decent hotel in town. Other options to eat out included the local warung – small holes in the wall serving Indonesian fare – or Chinese food. So we made our own fun. We hosted game nights and potlucks and barbecues around the pool. We played card games and did needlework. There might have even been some drinking games, possibly Quarters.

I took Indonesian lessons and traveled around the region, practicing my language skills. We went SCUBA diving and I enjoyed baking and cooking, despite the limited supplies. And then the dog got a baby sister, which suddenly gave me all kinds of necessary jobs!

So young! Still just as cute now
Telephone lines were poor and satellite television was our only real link to the outside world. The complex we lived in had one immense satellite dish with one receiver so everyone watched whatever it was tuned to and the guardhouse controlled it. We received the live feed so there were no commercials but we got to see the news anchors sipping their coffee or combing their hair or checking their teeth for lipstick between segments. It was all rather amusing. Until the time when we had a houseful of guests watching a rugby game and the guards decided to change the channel. A persuasive emissary was sent to convince them to change it back immediately.

But the single most important thing that made that little town one of our favorite places to live were the friends we made. All we had were each other. We became family. And without an English bookstore or internet, we depended on each other to share books and recipes and magazines. If you’d read something, you passed it on. And there were no secret recipes. If you made something delicious, you shared.

And that is the very long story of how I came by this recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. My friend, Valorie, made these for us one day back in 1990 and I have been making them ever since. Her original recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking, and you can see from my well-worn hand-copied version that it is used often.

I am sharing it with you today, because it became a favorite with my daughters as well and was probably the one cookie I made most often for after school snacks when they lived at home. I would make a double batch of dough and bake a few that first day, then freeze the rest of the dough and they would get freshly baked cookies with minimal time and effort on many other days as well.

Today I am joining a group of avid cookie bakers called Creative Cookie Exchange started by Laura of The Spiced Life and Rebecka of At Home with Rebecka. Our theme this month is Back to School – cookies that would be great packed in lunch boxes or for an after school snack. Make sure to scroll down to see the other delicious cookies my fellow bloggers have made!

1/2 cup (firmly packed) or 100g brown sugar
1/2 cup or 115g granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup or 125g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 95g uncooked quick rolled oats
3/4 cup or 125g semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1/2 cup or 50g chopped pecans (I leave them out most of the time.)

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease a cookie sheet.

Cream your butter with the two sugars.

Add in the egg, vanilla and milk. As you can see, I've doubled the recipe.

Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat until smooth.

Add in the oats and chocolate chips and beat until well mixed.

Drop 2 inches apart on well-greased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until light brown. For chewy cookies, do not over bake!

Yeah, I put them too close. Doesn't affect the taste though.

A single batch will make about three dozen two-inch cookies per the ingredients list at the top. I highly recommend making a double batch of dough and freezing the balance as outlined below.

Freezing and baking instructions
On a big sheet of cling film, spoon out your leftover cookie dough along the width of the film.

Fold it over and press the dough into a sausage shape.

Fold in the sides of the cling film and roll the sausage up to completely cover the dough.

Place on cutting board or baking pan and put into the freezer until firm. This keeps for a couple of months.

When you are ready to bake again, preheat the oven and cut off as many slices of dough as you want to bake.

Place them on a greased cookie sheet. By the time the oven is up to temperature, the dough slices will be thawed.

Once they soften, you can pat them round again, if you want. The shape does not affect the taste though. :)
Bake as per initial instructions. Now you can have fresh baked cookies anytime! And the best part is that you know exactly what has gone into these, unlike the store-bought dough.


 Also, if you are looking for inspiration for this month’s theme, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made so far:


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Eli's Sweet and Sour Chicken for #RandomRecipeChallenge

Easy, sweet and sour chicken, the Indonesian way, from the recipe book of one of my dearest friends. This is MJ and Jim approved!

Many years ago, and I mean MANY years ago, we lived in Balikpapan, Indonesia.  You may have heard me mention it before, at least once or twice.  I was blessed in that location by several good friends who made a tiny oilfield town with hardly anything to recommend it (We are talking 1989, folks.) one of our very favorite places to live.  I am thrilled beyond words that one of them is living in Dubai and we get together quite often.  It’s like we’ve never been apart.

When I read the instructions for this month’s Random Recipe Challenge where we are supposed to borrow a cookbook from someone else and make a random dish from it, I decided to ask MJ for her help.  She not only lent me her personal cookbook of handwritten recipes, but she chose the recipe for me.  It’s a dish she learned from her sweet maid while she lived in Balikpapan.

Eli made it by heart and, as you see by the evidentiary photos, there are no amounts and hardly any instructions, so MJ told me what to do and I did my best.  The amounts, I came up with on my own.  I don't think a recipe can get more random than that!

But I think I did all right because I brought a serving over to her house the next day for a critique and she and her husband both declared it delicious and well done!   I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.

1 lb 6 oz or 625g boneless chicken breasts (more or less)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2-inch piece fresh ginger
1 tablespoon butter
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 hot red chili pepper
5 oz or 140g pineapple (fresh or canned in juice, not syrup - about 4 slices, drained)
3/4 cup or 180ml ketchup – any brand
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup or 65g flour
Olive oil for pan frying

Cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Season with the salt and a good couple of grinds of fresh black pepper.  Stir well and set aside.

Mince your garlic and ginger.  Cut the onion in half and then cut it into thick slices.

Chop your green and red bell peppers into bite-sized pieces.  Cut the pineapple into small chunks. Mince the red chili pepper.

Sauté the onion with the butter and a little drizzle of olive oil.

When the onion has browned slightly but is still crunchy, add in the garlic and ginger.  Sauté until they are all golden but be careful not to burn the garlic.

Remove the garlic, onion and ginger from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.

Heat the pan until quite hot and stir-fry the bellpeppers for just a few minutes, until they get some little charred bits on them.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the sauce, put the ketchup, chili, vinegar and the sugar in a small pot with about 1/4 cup or 60ml water.

Give it a good stir and then add in the pineapple pieces and the onion, ginger and garlic.

Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  The recipe calls for some cornstarch to thicken it but MJ says she has never used it and I didn’t find it necessary either.

Add the flour to the chicken bowl and stir with a fork, gently prying the pieces of chicken apart with the tines to make sure that the flour has coated all sides of all the pieces.

Add a little olive oil to the pan and fry the coated chicken in two or three sets, keeping the chicken pieces in a single layer and removing them to a paper towel-lined plate with they are cooked through and are well browned on both sides.

Right before you are ready to serve, toss the peppers back into the pan with the chicken and warm through.

You can add the sauce and stir to coat.  Or simply pile your chicken and peppers on the white rice and top with the sauce to serve.

Either way, enjoy!

If you would like to join dapper Dom at Belleau Kitchen for this or future challenges, head on over to his website or his Facebook page and say howdy!

Challenge #24 - Another Country