Monthly Archives: September 2013

Indonesian Chicken Satay ( Sate Ayam )

Chicken Satay , as in Sate Ayam in indonesian is one of the famous dish . I think everyone like sate ayam , and they’re widely available . We didn’t even have to bother to make this , since it’s a bit time consuming . Dicing the chicken , then put them in skewer , then grinding the nuts into paste . Well , lucky us , we had street vendors to do that all the time . Every night around dinner time , you would hear sate cart all over and all you have to do just listen and if you want to buy then just call them , they’ll grill it in front of your house , 10-15 minutes later , it’s done and time to pay them . You got your dinner ready .

Well .. i haven’t had sate ayam for years and years , for reason that it’s time consuming , and i couldn’t find raw peanuts everywhere . But ever since we moved down south , raw peanuts are pretty much easy to find in regular grocery store , i don’t even have to go to asian market for this . So this is my version of sate ayam , it’s quite easy , simple , just a bit time consuming with the chicken and the skewers , but trust me it’s totally worth the time ๐Ÿ™‚

sate ayam


Direction :ย 

Boneless chicken breast or chicken thigh , diced set aside

Skewers , soak in cold water for an hour or so

5 garlic cloves , minced

4 large shallots , minced

2 cups of raw peanuts , then roasted on a skillet

salt and sugar

sweet soy sauce

1. Prep the skewers by soaking it in water for an hour or so , diced the chicken , set aside and refrigerate it while you prepare the peanut sauce .

2. For peanut sauce , heat up oil in a skillet , then add garlic and shallots together , stir fry for few minutes , then add 2 cups of ground peanuts into the skillet , mix , then add about 2 cups water , i started with 1.5 cups and i added more as i go along . You might end up adding more than just 2 cups , the consistency should not be too thick or too thin . Then add little of soy sauce , adjust the salt , and the sweetness . If you need it sweeter than add sweet soy sauce .Set aside .

3. Go back to the chicken , and put the chicken into the skewers .

4. In a plate , add about 3/4 cup of the peanut sauce you just made , add more sweet soy sauce if you prefer , then coat the chicken sate with this sauce , then grill until it’s cooked . Discard the sauce from this plate .

5. Once the sate is cooked and done , serve with peanut sauce you made earlier ( not the one you used before grilling .. that HAS to be discarded ) , with sliced shallots , rice or indonesian rice cake , and cucumber . If you like it spicy , just add chopped chilis .

sate ayam1

Steamed Shrimp in Chili Paste ( Pepes Udang )

Steamed shrimp in chili paste is indonesian dish , very simple and humble meal . You can replace the shrimp with tofu , or fish to make a good delicious yet quite simple meal . If you don’t have banana leaves on hand , not to worry , you can always use foil , in my opinion , foil is a lot better than banana leaves to work with , although .. banana leaves is the one that they use to wrap this and then steam and grill them . It is best served with white jasmine rice . Delicious !!

Pepes udang is wrapped in banana leaves or like i said you can always use foil too . This reminds me of some american french dish where you wrap the fish with a wax / parchment paper , Fish en Pappilote . But instead of parchment , we wrapped it with banana leaves , the traditional way ๐Ÿ™‚

Make sure that you have either a big size of mortar pestle or food processor . I don’t own pestle , so my food processor has been working pretty hard lately to make all these spices into a very smooth paste , which is usually a must in Indonesian dish .


pepes udang

Direction :ย 

15 small / medium shallots

8 garlic

bunch of bird eye chili pepper , esp. if you like it very spicy

indonesian large pepper , not bell pepper , but if you can’t find , you can use hot korean red pepper , or bell pepper too

1 inch of ginger

1 inch of turmeric

2 stalks of lemon grass

2 lbs of shrimp , wash and clean

banana leaves or foil for wrapping

toothpick to secure the package

1. Throw all spices except lemon grass and the shrimp itself in food processor , until it becomes a very smooth paste about couple minutes , don’t forget to add your seasoning , salt , pepper and sugar , to your preference .

2. Wash and clean , peel and deveined shrimpe , then add into the paste and mix it by hand to cover the shrimps with the paste .

3. On a clean banana leaves , add about 2-3 tbsp. of the mixture along with lemon grass and then wrap and secure with toothpick . Steam for 30 minutes , then grill it for 10 minutes .





pepes udang1

pepes udang2

Soto Ayam ( Indonesian Chicken Soup )

Soto ayam is a soup dish from Indonesia , unlike regular chicken soup where basic ingredients are only garlic and onion . This broth from this soup is made from many south east asian spices . Such as lemon grass , turmeric , galangal , etc . Super easy to make , which i was surprised . Soto ayam is sold everywhere back in Indonesia , every area has its own specialty soto ayam . Some areas using coconut milk in their soto recipe , where as my area , east java , we don’t use any coconut milk . This soto ayam is so refreshing , and very flavorful .

The condiments are a must , fried shallots , ground up nuts , candlenut chili paste , mungbean sprouts , and slice of lime or lemon to sprinkle . It is so good !!

soto ayam


Direction :ย 

1 whole young chicken , or 3 chicken breasts , bone in

Poach the chicken , and once it’s cooked , set aside , let it cool before shredding the chicken .ย 

Spices made into paste :

5 large shallots , or 10 small shallots

10 garlic cloves

8 candlenuts

about 2 inches of ginger

about 3-4 inches of turmeric

Throw all these spices into a food processor , until it becomes a very smooth paste , about 2 minutes .ย 

2 stalks of lemon grass , bruised

2 indonesian bay leaves

2 inches of galangal , bruised

Condiments :

– hard boiled eggs

– mungbean sprouts

– fried shallots

-candlenut chili sauce

-rice or rice cake , indonesian style

– rice vermicelli

– green onions or leeks

– parsley

-slices of lemon or lime juice

1. Poach the chicken until done , let it cool and shred the chicken , set aside . Do not throw away the broth from poaching the chicken .

2. In a different pot , heat up canola oil , then saute the spices paste , about few minutes , throw in the lemon grass and indonesian bay leaves , along with the galangal , keep sauteiing few more minutes on medium heat .

3. The spices should become very aromatic and pour about 2.5 liters of the broth that you used from poaching the chicken , or water is okay too . Stir , mix well , and bring to boil , then simmer . Add the shredded chicken in the pot , keep simmering for a good 45 minutes or an hour .

4. Soup is done , ready to be served . To serve , prepare a bowl , add the rice or indonesian rice cake , top with the chicken and the broth , then add the bean sprout , fried shallots , ground nuts , rice vermicelli , parsley and sprinkle with lime juice and candlenut chili paste .



Chocolate Marble Cake

The other day , a friend of mine mentioned about marble cake .. and now i am hungry for it . When i was young , my mom , used to bake marble cake all the time . I remember helping her making the batter so that at the end, she would hand me the bowl or the spoon and i can lick it off ! It was childhood memories . Mom always made a good yummy and beautiful marble cake . Marble cake isn’t really that hard to make ,it’s quite easy .. just make a batter then you can always add cocoa powder to make marble cake , and you’re welcome to put any other color if you want to make it colorful .

Direction :ย 

225 grams of butter , about 2 sticks of unsalted butter , room temperature

225 gram of sugar

225 gram of all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp. of baking powder

3/4 tsp. of salt

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. of milk

2 tbsp. of cocoa powder

1. In a mixer bowl , beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy . Then add eggs one at a time , mix thoroughly , then add the flour , baking powder and salt , along with the vanilla extract and milk . Mix together .

2. Divide into 2 bowls , if you like it even , divide half and half , if you like more vanilla , then leave more vanilla batter in 1 bowl and not so much chocolate batter in the other bowl . Then pour the batter alternately in the greased and floured baking pan , and tap the pan , so there won’t be air bubbles , and then use skewers , making swirl all over the batter .

3. Bake at 350 F ,about 40-45 minutes .

Ayam Rice Rica

Today’s cooking was Ayam Rica Rica , originally from the city of Manado , in North Sulawesi island in Indonesia . From what i heard people love their food spicy over there , but then again i think most Indonesian love spicy food . This was not a hard dish to make , it’s a bit time consuming just like most indonesian food are . What i meant by time consuming is especially if you don’t have food processor , it will def. take your time to grind the spices into paste . Other than that it’s pretty good .

I also took the time to make a side dish earlier , which is Sambal Goreng Kentang , it is also another indonesian dish , made from potatoes , diced fried potatoes , and then saute in chili spiced paste with coconut milk and lemon grass . Love this dish .. it’s really yummy .



Direction for ayam rica rica :ย 

1 package of whole cut up chicken , or get a whole chicken and cut it up yourself

For the spice paste :

About 6-7 large shallots

About 5 garlic cloves

About 10-12 thai chilies

2 inches of ginger

1 roma tomatoes

Dump everything in the food processor and pulse until it’s all become smooth paste . Or you can use your mortar pestle to make a paste. ย Heat up canola oil in a wok , then fry the spice paste for 4 minutes until it’s fragrant , then add the cut up chicken along with the salt , pepper and sugar , and smashed lemon grass about 2 stalks and smashed 2 inches of galangal . Cover and let it cook medium low for 30-45 minutes , then open the lid and cook out some of the juice and the spice paste becomes very thick and covering the chicken . You don’t need to stir often , but just watch it so it doesn’t burn on the bottom .Adjust your seasoning when it’s done cooking .

Direction for Sambal Goreng Kentang ( Fried diced potatoes in spiced chili paste and coconut milk )ย 

About 6-7 medium yukon gold potatoes , diced

250 ml of coconut milk

3 garlic cloves

2 large shallots

1 inch of ginger

smashed 1 inch galangal

smashed 1 lemon grass

1. Deep fry the diced potatoes until it’s light brown on the outside .Set aside

2. In a skillet , heat up canola oil , then stir fry the paste , for few minutes . Add lemon grass and galangal , and coconut milk . Bring to slightly boil , simmer for few minutes until the coconut milk is slightly reduced . Then add the potatoes and mix well .

ayam rica rica sambel goreng kentang

Indonesian Beef Rendang

I love Indonesian Food , it’s a given since i was born and raised in Indonesia . I spent first half of my life in Indonesia , growing up eating delicious spicy food . Living overseas for so long , one thing that makes me miss Indonesia the most is their food . Indonesia food to me , is one of the best food in the world , and to me it is my favorite , compared to chinese , or american or italian . Indonesian food are so complex , that a lot of times , it takes a while to prepare one from scratch . I always saw my mom cooking dinner in the morning , because if she started to cook around an hour before dinner , i don’t think it’ll be enough from prep in the kitchen to the table in the dining room .

Speaking of which , it brings us here , to learn how to make rendang . Rendang is originally from Padang , back in Indonesia , often times , people could just go to restaurant esp. for this , they usually are called Rendang Padang . And in that restaurant too , they put rendang and other condiments , specialty on the display . So walk around the street and you see restaurant ” rendang padang ” and usually you can see the food on the display . This was back over 10 years ago , which i believe still is true til now . And the cool thing is , that they will bring your food with their arms full of plates . I am serious .. not talking about 1-2 plates .. but the whole arm , from hands to forearms , all to your shoulders are full with plates .. that’s how they serve you ๐Ÿ™‚ Interesting ..

But my problem is .. i haven’t been there for a long time , and i do miss rendang . I cooked rendang few times since it’s my husband’s fave ( sometimes i wonder if he’s actually indonesian in disguise lol for his love of indonesian food ) So , few days ago i made up my mind , no more packet seasoning for rendang . My husband and i deserve the real authentic rendang , cooked by me , someone who was born and raised in Indonesia ๐Ÿ˜› So , although the spices are hard to find , but i found them in korean market . I know they’re not available through regular grocery store but at least the korean market had them .

As hard as it can be to find some of the spices , please don’t give up . You should try this beef rendang , it is listed as number 1 out of 50 best food in the world ! Yes , Rendang takes number 1 place .. and who can blame them ? It is really THAT good ๐Ÿ™‚ So please .. don’t be discourage , and try it !! I am happy that i made it from scratch , it’s def. worth the time !! Psst .. It’ s actually not that hard to make at all !! ๐Ÿ™‚

beef rendang


Directions :ย 

About 1 1/2 tbsp. of ground cloves

1 oz. of red chilies , bird eye chilies , thai chilies

10 large shallots

7 garlic ( not the head )

About 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

About 2 inches of fresh ginger

About 2 inches of galangal

5 pieces of candle nut , if you don’t have it , try macadamia nuts

2 lbs of boneless beef chuck , cut in thick slices , thick and wide

7 Kaffir lime leaves ( i had to skip this because i couldn’t find any )

2 stalks of lemongrass , 1 smash , and the other 1 smash and tie into a knot

5 pieces of star anise

2-3 indonesian bay leaves , daun salam , if you don’t have it , just throw in regular bay leaves

2 1/2 – 3 cups of coconut milk , mixed with little water

Kosher salt and palm sugar

1. The paste for rendang can be made a day ahead . In a food processor , throw in the garlic , shallots , chilies , ginger , macadamia nuts . I can’t seem to smash the galangal since it was so hard , i just pound them with a mallet but i didn’t throw it in the food processor , you can if you want to . Add the ground cloves , ground turmeric . Add in the smashed lemon grass , and star anise . Store in a container , in the refrigerate and ready to be used anytime .

2. In a dutch oven , mix the beef and the paste together by hand until it’s all covered with the paste . Then add the coconut milk , kaffir lime leaves , bay leaves . Then bring to boil stir often , lower it down to medium low , and cook , stirring often for about 90 minutes . Then after a while , the liquid should be decreasing . Keep cooking another 1 to 2 hours , it will bring down the liquid even more . This is where i usually stop , Rendang that i know , from the way my mom always cooked it , is not dry . But if you’re from Padang , where the famous Rendang is from , i think it is supposed to be cooked dry until it’s dark brown / black . Now , it is up to you , if you do want it dry , i suggest you could cook it longer , let it go an hour or so .. until liquids are all absorbed and gone and the meat is dark . The way i like it , is when the liquid becomes very thick and so it’s not really dry as you can see from the picture of my rendang . So it’s up to your preference .

When you first mixing and bringing to boil , the color will white mixed with the red paste , will bring about light yellow orange color .. After about 1 ย – 1 1/2 hour , it’ll look like this

beef rendang1


Then , keep cooking on med low and stirring often , after 90 minutes it will look like this

beef rendang2


After about 2 1/2- 3 hours , it will look like this served on a plate

beef rendang

3. After total cooking of 3 hours , my rendang is done , for you who likes it dry , i am sure cooking hours is pretty close 4 to 4.5 hours . Serve warm with jasmine rice , and enjoy it !!