Category Archives: Indonesian

Indonesian Buffalo Meatloaf Sandwiches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember years ago when my family got its very first microwave oven.  It was the early 1970’s and I will never forget the day when my mother attempted to make a meatloaf in it.  First of all, she had never made meatloaf before and the cookbook that came with the microwave said that it could be done.  She followed that recipe in the book and as a result my poor sister and I had to eat it for dinner.  I honestly have to say that it was “technically” edible but it looked and tasted like a beat up hockey puck.  After that experience, I swore that I would never ever eat meatloaf again…  Not to mention, but that microwave cookbook deserved to be tossed.

Well, I am older, I am wiser and have learned to never say never.  And, most importantly, I don’t cook meatloaf in a microwave.

My recipe for Indonesian Buffalo Meatloaf is a twist on traditional meatloaf but prepared with buffalo (bison) meat and Indonesian soy sauce and spices.  If you don’t have access to ground buffalo, feel free to substitute a high quality low fat ground beef.  This meatloaf is moist, flavorful and any leftovers make the BEST meatloaf sandwiches!  Makes 6 servings.  Enjoy! – Tessa

Meatloaf Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground buffalo
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 c. panko crumbs
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbls. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbls. tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1 Tbls. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. canola oil

Round up your ingredients.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Chop your onion and sauté in canola oil until translucent.   Cool.  Lightly mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Don’t be afraid to use your hand to mix.  Don’t over mix it unless you like tough meatloaf.  Shape into a loaf shape and put in a greased 9″ X 5″ baking pan.  Now let’s make the sauce.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. tomato ketchup
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbls. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Sambal Oelek if you are daring!

Mix together the above sauce ingredients and brush over the meatloaf.  Place in oven uncovered and cook about an hour, reaching an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove meatloaf from your oven and let it rest for about 10 – 12 minutes before you serve it.  The meatloaf will continue to cook for a few more minutes after leaving the oven .  It is important to let rest because it will slice easier and the juices will stay in the meat. Drizzle some Indonesian Soy Sauce over the meatloaf.  Slice and serve.  Got leftovers?  See below…

Sandwich ingredients: 

  • Sliced meatloaf (chilled)
  • fresh sliced tomato
  • lettuce leaf or two
  • clover sprouts
  • leftover meatloaf sauce
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread

If you can make a sandwich, you can make these.  Assemble the sandwich with the above ingredients and slice in half.  Put a pick in each sandwich half to help hold it together.  Serve with bread and butter pickles.

 

Green Chili Sambal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister called me the other day and said that she was stopping by for she had picked some goodies out of her garden for me.  Every year, she grows the most gorgeous tomatoes that I have ever seen, so naturally that is what I expected to get.  Well, she surprised me instead with a bag of mixed green chili peppers.  In the bag there were jalapeños, a couple small anaheims and a bunch little serrano peppers that were wickedly hot.  Fortunately, she also brought me a couple of big fat juicy tomatoes.  Within minutes, I knew what I was going to make with those peppers…  Sambal!

One of my most favorite condiments in the world is sambal oelek.  It’s a red chili pepper paste that sets my mouth on fire.  My grandmother used to make her own sambal oelek from scratch by using a mortar called a cobek and an unusually shaped pestle called an ulek-ulek.  Sometimes she would add some dried shrimp paste (trassi) or garlic to the mixture for extra flavor.  Ask any member of my family and they would tell you that my grandmother’s culinary skills were legendary.  I could only hope to be a cook half as good as she was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandmother’s cobek and ulek-ulek.  Without a doubt one of my most treasured possessions.

My green chili sambal is prepared similarly to the traditional sambal oelek.  It just tastes milder than the usual red sambal oelek that you would find in a grocery store.  So what are we waiting for?  Let’s make some green chili sambal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green chilies (stemmed and seeded)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbls. white vinegar

Let’s begin by stemming and seeding your chilies.  While you are working with the chilies it is a really good idea to not touch your face or wipe your eyes.  Let me tell you from experience…  You will cry.  And when you are done prepping the chilies, wash your hands well with soap and water.  Place the chilies in a food processor (you can use the cobek and ulek-ulek if you want to but I find the food processor is so much faster).  Process until chopped and be careful not to over chop or puree your mixture.

Place the chili mixture in a saucepan and add all the ingredients except the vinegar.  Cook over medium heat until reduced and until the chilies are softened.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.  Let cool.  Place in a clean jar with a lid.  Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 weeks.  Makes two cups.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Note:  To make a traditional sambal oelek, just use red chilies instead of the green.  In this version, I simply used the chilies that I had on hand.

Gado-Gado Wedge Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those people who have spent time with me in my kitchen know that when it comes to cooking, I am terrible at following directions.  It’s a rare event when I prepare a dish exactly the way that it was written.  I am notorious for changing things up and cooking food the way I want.  My Gado-Gado Wedge Salad is a perfect example of my “I’m gonna do it my way and you can’t tell me what to do” behavior in my kitchen.

Gado-Gado is an Indonesian dish traditionally made with a variety of cooked vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, bean sprouts, beans or whatever fresh ingredients that are on hand drizzled with peanut sauce, garnished with egg slices and fried onions, served family style on a large platter.  It seems that there are so many variations of Gado-Gado for it all depends on the ingredients on hand and the person who is preparing it.  My Gado-Gado Wedge salad is a twist on the traditional Indonesian dish and is similar to the wedge salads that I love to order for lunch at a restaurants.

My Gado-Gado Wedge Salad is made with crisp iceberg lettuce, surrounded by tender green beans, bean sprouts, pan seared tofu, crunchy shredded carrots, crisp cucumber, fingerling red potatoes drizzled with my homemade peanut sauce.  I then garnish the salad with lime wedges, minced red bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro sprigs.  Make this dish for your next lunch or dinner.  And by the way, if you don’t follow my recipe exactly, I completely understand…   Makes 4 fabulous salads.  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 wedges of iceberg lettuce
  • 8 fingerling red potatoes
  • 2 cups green beans cut into 1″ slices
  • 1/2 pound bean sprouts
  • 1 container extra firm tofu (drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 cup peanut sauce (see my recipe!)
  • 1 Tbls. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • garnish with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, minced red bell pepper, sliced green onion and sambal oelek.

Let’s begin by boiling salted water in a medium sized pot.  Add your fingerling potatoes and cook until done (8 minutes or so).  Remove from pot using a slotted spoon or a spider and run cold water over the potatoes until they cool.  Slice into rounds and set aside.  Using the same boiling water add your beans until they are lightly cooked.  Remove and run cold water over until they cool.  Set aside.  Repeat the process with the bean sprouts and cook about 5 minutes and set aside.  Do not cook the carrots or the cucumbers.

Now grab a non stick fry pan and heat it with a bit of canola oil.  Add your tofu cubes and cook until lightly brown.  Add the low sodium soy sauce.  Cook a few minutes more and then remove from heat and set aside.  Find 4 medium sized or lunch plates and place an iceberg lettuce wedge on the plate.  Arrange your vegetables around the lettuce, add your tofu and drizzle with peanut sauce.  Garnish with your lime wedges, cilantro, minced bell pepper, green onion and sambal oelek.  Dig in and enjoy!

Note:  If you are changing up the ingredients just be sure to pay attention to the colors of vegetables that you choose to include on the plate.  – Tessa

Indonesian Pickled Beans (Acar Buncis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to hop into my little red car and visit some of the local farms and produce stands.  Often times one of my stops is at Beebe Farms.  I stop by Beebe Farms to buy their fresh locally grown peaches and corn.  This morning, they had a small basket of fresh picked green beans on the counter and I knew exactly what I was going to make with them when I go home.  I was without a doubt going to make some Indonesian Pickled Beans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was one of the first customers at Beebe Farms this morning.  Normally, the parking lot is full.  I think I may have been a few minutes early because they did not have all their produce out on the shelves for sale yet.  I did see that the corn was harvested just hours before and the peaches were fresh picked.  I look at it this way. If I was not one of their first customers today, somebody else would be in possession of these beautiful beans.  What a score!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Indonesian Pickled Beans are similar to the green bean salads that you would may find at a backyard barbecue or potluck but with a distinctive Asian flavor.  They are super easy to make and makes a perfect summertime side dish.  Makes about 6 cups or 12- 1/2 cup servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. sambal oelek (or to taste)
  • garnish with crispy fried onions

Let’s begin by washing and snapping the beans into 1 inch pieces.  In a medium sized pan with a lid bring the water and 1 tsp salt to a boil.  Cook beans covered about 8 minutes or until tender crisp.  Remove from heat, using a slotted spoon add the beans to a bowl of water with some ice to stop the cooking.  Let it cool, drain and remove the ice.  Add your beans to a bowl or plastic container.  Meanwhile whisk together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, salt, garlic paste, and sambal oelek.  Pour over the beans tossing to coat.  Cover the beans and put in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight.  Before serving, toss again, place in a dish and garnish with crispy fried onions.

 

Kip Smoor

The past couple of weeks at my work has been crazy busy.  I manage a small finance department and we have been working feverishly on our year end financial statements.  To top it off,  we are also preparing for a group of auditors who will be visiting us in just a few sort weeks.  And, I am sorry to report that we are still not ready.  As a result, I am a bit frazzled.  No wait… I am really frazzled.  I look at it this way, stressful situations require some serious comfort food.  In my opinion, my family’s recipe for Kip Smoor is the perfect dish for such occasions.  Some people prefer chocolate, some  people prefer macaroni and cheese.  I prefer Kip Smoor.  Then, of course,  chocolate…

This Kip Smoor recipe has been a much loved family recipe for well over 50 years.  My Oma would make this for my sister and I when we were just little girls.  Kip Smoor is a simple braised chicken that is slow cooked with white onion, garlic, fresh grated nutmeg, cloves, Indonesian soy sauce and fresh tomatoes.  We like to serve it ladled over a scoop of fluffy white jasmine rice and with cool crisp cucumber slices on the side.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds or about 10 pieces chicken (preferably thighs)
  • 2 Tbls. butter
  • 2 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (quartered)
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 Tbls. Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • chicken broth (about 3 cups or enough to cover the chicken
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

Melt butter in a large pot and add the chicken.  Cook chicken until a light golden color or about 10 minutes.  Drain the oil out of the pot.  Add the onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low (uncovered) until tender and the liquid is considerably reduced.  Note:  I like to cook the chicken for well over an hour until it is ready to fall off the bone.  Serve with white rice and sliced cucumbers.

If by a remote chance that you have leftovers, be sure to pack some for your lunch tomorrow or if you want, remove the chicken from the bones and make some Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice).

 

Peanut Sauce (Katjang Sauce)

Peanut Sauce… Those are the magic words you say when you want people to show up at your home for dinner.  Everybody loves it.  I serve this dish at nearly every backyard BBQ that we have at our home.  Peanut sauce is so versatile, easy to make and compliments all sorts of dishes.  Drizzle it on chicken satay, dip cucumbers in it, use it as a salad dressing, put it in a stir fry, or serve over a bed of fluffy white jasmine rice. When I see that nobody is looking, I will eat it plain… The uses for peanut sauce are endless.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 Tbls. sweet chili sauce
  • regular soy sauce (optional, to taste)
  • sambal oelek or red pepper flakes (optional)

Let’s begin.  Grab a medium sauce pan or saucier.  Find a whisk.  Add all ingredients to the pan and cook on low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, whisking constantly.  You want the flavors to marry and the sauce to thicken.  Taste it.  If it is too sweet for your liking, add some soy sauce.  If you want it spicier, feel free to add some sambal oelek or some red pepper flakes.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  Pour into a serving dish.  Garnish with chopped peanuts or sriracha sauce.  Makes nearly 1 1/2 cups.  When cooking for a crowd it’s a good idea to double the recipe. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, if it even lasts that long…

Javanese Baked Rainbow Trout

Whenever our family goes camping, they can always expect home cooked gourmet meals.  I am known to plan days in advance and spend the night before we leave prepping and packing all the necessary ingredients.  In addition to our tent trailer, I have a monster propane camping cook stove, a well stocked little pantry and have all the pots, pans and utensils that I need.  Whenever I pack items such as hot dogs, cold cereal or ramen noodles it is because I am setting myself up for plan B.

My family wanted to go camping this past weekend and so we did…  I followed my usual plan of prepping and preparing and off we went.  We ended up in the nearby Sky Lakes Wilderness in Southern Oregon.   I bought my fishing license, brought my rod and tackle box and I expected to do a little bit of trout fishing while we camped.  As usual, my family expected to have the wonderful meals that I planned for them.   Everything was going just fine until I found my way down to the lake…

We were some of the first people on the lake in the morning.  The water was like glass and was so clear that you could see fish swimming right in front of you.  It was absolutely beautiful… We rigged up our fishing poles and started to fish. I spent hours there.  I enjoyed the beautiful blue water, crisp mountain air, and trout fishing.

I was enjoying myself so much that I did not want to leave the lake.  Back at camp my family was getting hungry.  The problem was that I started to catch fish, and not just any ordinary fish.  I am talking 18 inch sized rainbow trout and then that’s when plan B had to kick in.  They called down to me asking me what was for dinner, and shockingly,  I answered back with “there’s hot dogs in the cooler”.  I NEVER do that.

After eating hot dogs, crackers, chips and whatever my family could scrounge  I truly hope that they will forgive me.  As for me, I had a smashingly great time.  This is a photo of the gorgeous rainbow trout that I caught at the lake.  I look at it this way, what happened this past weekend was truly a special event.  For those of you who love to fish and cook, you can understand what all the fuss was about…

So, now you know the story, let’s go make some Baked Javanese Rainbow Trout!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound whole trout (head removed, cleaned and scaled)
  • 3 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce (kecap manis sedang)
  • 2 Tbls. low sodium soy sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. sambal oeleck (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper (or to taste)
  • garnish:  1 green onion sliced, cilantro sprigs and 1 lime cut into wedges

Let’s begin.  Wash and dry your trout.  Cut 4 -5 slashes in the trout, crosswise on each side without going too deep.  Grab an oven proof baking dish and spray with non stick spray.  Place your trout in the oven proof baking dish.  Now it’s time to make the sauce.  Put together the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes in a bowl.  Pour sauce over trout and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour turning once.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees after marinating.  Turn trout once more, cover with foil and bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until done.  Be careful not to over cook.  Put on platter, and pour sauce on trout.  Serve with a scoop of jasmine rice, drizzle with Indonesian soy sauce and garnish with lime wedges, cilantro and green onion.  Serves 4.

 

Indonesian Chicken Wings

My mother and her family are from Jakarta and one of the most cherished things that they brought here to America was their Indonesian influence on food.  The burn of fiery hot chilies, the smell of pungent shrimp paste, and the comfort of warm fluffy rice all brings back fond memories of a childhood long gone.  Fortunately, at a young age I was able to observe the kitchen matriarchs prepare the most amazing dishes that anyone could imagine.  Regrettably, so many of the recipes that those sweet women prepared are forgotten for no one bothered to write them down.  However, their techniques, flavors, and love of Indonesian cuisine are shared with my family today.

My chicken wings are baked and then tossed in a sweet, sour and spicy glaze.  The flavors of ginger, garlic and sambal oeleck make these wings a definite winner.  Enjoy my Indonesian Chicken Wings!  – Tessa

Ingredients:

4 pounds chicken wings, split and tips removed
1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce (medium)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. tomato ketchup
1/4 c. lime juice
2 tsp . garlic paste
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbls. sambal oeleck (chili pepper paste) or to taste
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Let’s begin.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.  Sprinkle wings with salt and pepper.  Place wings on baking sheets and bake for about 40 minutes, turning the wings over after about 20 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the Indonesian soy sauce, honey, ketchup, lime juice, garlic paste, ginger, and sambal oeleck.  When wings are done, remove from oven and toss in bowl with sauce.  Put back on baking sheets and bake for about 5 more minutes or until glazed.  Serves 6  – 8 people.  Enjoy!

Indonesian Chicken Soft Tacos

 

My husband Bruce calls me everyday at work at about 4:30 in the afternoon and wants to know what we are having for dinner.  Nearly every time, for the past seven years, I answer him with, “I dunno”.  The problem is that I am totally serious and you would think after all this time, he would realize he is not getting the answer that he needs.  I hope by now that he knows that I am terrible about planning dinner on busy weeknights and would rather cook what I want and when I want it.  Fortunately for Bruce, he may not always know what is for dinner but he can count on eating pretty well when he gets it.

My Indonesian Chicken Soft Tacos were inspired by my love for Indonesian food and the ease and simplicity of cooking soft tacos.  These Indonesian Chicken Soft Tacos are filled with tender chicken, bright orange carrots, crunchy cucumber, and peanut sauce.  I then garnish the tacos with fresh cilantro, fresh lime wedges and fiery sambal oeleck.

My Indonesian Chicken Soft Tacos are perfect for a weekday dinner and are so good that I just might quit my day job and sell these out of a food cart.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (sliced)
  • 2 Tbls Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbls fresh minced ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • garnish with peanut sauce, thin sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, green onions, cilantro and sambal oeleck.
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)
  • 6 small flour tortillas

In a hot frying pan or wok add canola oil and chicken.  Cook about 10 minutes or until almost cooked through.  Add the Indonesian soy sauce, ginger, garlic, coriander, fish sauce and salt.  Cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes.  Add chicken mixture to heated tortillas and fill with peanut sauce, cucumbers, shredded carrots, green onions, cilantro and sambal oeleck.  Serve with lime wedges.  Makes 6 tasty Indonesian Chicken Soft Tacos.

Indonesian Wontons (Pangsit Goreng)

Pangsit Goreng or Indonesian Wontons are one of my favorite Indonesian appetizers.  There are so many variations of this appetizer for some are made with chicken, shrimp, pork or beef.  The recipe that I am sharing with you is a version of a recipe that has been in my family for years and is a combination of both pork and beef.  I was taught to dip them in a sweet and sour sauce with sambal oeleck but I prefer to dip them in Thai sweet chili sauce.  Be sure to serve these crunchy and savory little Indonesian Wontons at your next get together or dinner party.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 bunch of green onions (finely chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves (finely chopped)
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 6 dozen wonton wrappers
  • water
  • canola oil for frying

Let’s begin.  Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and mix together the first 10 ingredients until well incorporated.  Using a small scoop (1/2- 3/4 ounce) put filling in wonton wrappers.  Fold and seal into what ever shape that you like.  The easiest shape is the simple triangle.  Put your filling in the middle of the wonton wrapper, slightly moisten the edges with water, fold once and seal.  (See below for example) Fry in canola oil until golden and drain well.   Serve with a hot sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.  Makes about 6 dozen.  Recipe can be cut in half or even doubled.

Little triangles…