Tag Archives: peanut sauce

Lemon Cucumbers and Peanut Sauce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALemon Cucumbers and Peanut Sauce

I’m curious…  Have you ever heard of or seen lemon cucumbers before?  The reason that I ask is that I have to tell you that lemon cucumbers are my all time favorite variety of cucumber.  Every year I grow one or two plants in my little garden and for about 4 months during the summer, I get big handfuls of tennis ball sized sweet little cucumbers.  This year, due to lack of garden space, I had to grow my lemon cucumber plants in a pot.  They did surprisingly well and I will be sure to try that method again next year.

One of the ways I like to eat lemon cucumbers is to slice them into thin slices and dip them into a creamy homemade peanut sauce.  I could eat lemon cucumbers and peanut sauce all day if I could… I first was introduced to peanut sauce by my grandmother many years ago.  She always seemed to have a small bowl of peanut sauce on the table at family barbecues and meals.  I loved to drizzle it on many Indonesian dishes such as pork satay, nasi goreng and gado gado.   Many years later, I’ve taken peanut sauce a step further and put it on pizza, tofu tacos and turkey burgers.  Peanut sauce is so versatile and delicious!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALemon Cucumbers

Lemon cucumbers resemble lemons with the yellow color and oval shape.  What I like about lemon cucumbers is that you don’t have to peel them for the skin is paper thin and you can eat them like an apple.  After picking them, you will notice that the cucumbers have a bit of a rough exterior.  All I do is wash them well and rub off the small little stickers or spines with a damp cloth that grow on the outer skin of the cucumber.   Once cleaned up, the skin is smooth and the cucumber is ready to eat.  Lemon cucumbers are delightfully mild and delicious.  Lemon cucumbers have a short shelf life as compared to the green cucumbers that you see in the store.  Once picked you have to eat them within a day or two.  Maybe that is why they are hard to find except if you grow them yourself or visit a farmers market.  Lemon cucumbers taste great sliced up in salads, on sandwiches or in a pickle.  If you get a chance to purchase or grow lemon cucumbers, be sure to make some of my peanut sauce for dipping!  Enjoy!  Tessa

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Ingredients:

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

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.  While preparing the peanut sauce, wash and slice the cucumbers.  Serve cucumbers with the peanut sauce.  Makes nearly 1 1/2 cups.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay.  Now close your eyes and repeat after me.  Saa-taay…  While you are saying it, just imagine hot, juicy, succulent, flavorful barbecued chicken on bamboo skewers drizzled with peanut sauce.  Close your eyes and say it again.  Saa-taay…

Did I just catch you drooling?

If you have never had satay before, satay is an amazingly flavorful barbecued dish that is generally of Southeast Asian origin.  It is prepared with many different ingredients such as chicken, beef, shrimp, lamb, fish, pork, goat and even tofu.  One of my favorite ways to prepare satay is with chicken.  I like to use bits of boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated for several hours in coconut milk, Indonesian soy sauce and a variety of spices.  I then thread the chicken on to the skewers and cook them on the barbecue.

I like to serve my Chicken Satay with my homemade peanut sauce or drizzled with sweet chili sauce or sriracha.  I also serve it with a scoops of fluffy jasmine rice and fresh sliced cool cucumbers for garnish.  I also make sure that there’s plenty of sambal oelek on the side for those who love fiery hot food.  Makes 10 -12 skewers.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1″ cubes or strips
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 – 2 tsp minced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or sambal oelek (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

In a medium sized bowl whisk together all the ingredients except for the chicken.  Once the marinade has been blended, add the chicken and toss well to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Take 10 -12 bamboo skewers and soak completely in water while the chicken is marinating.  Soaking the skewers in water prevents the skewers from burning off while the satay cooks on the barbecue.

Thread chicken onto the skewers and cook on medium hot barbecue or grill pan until the juices run clear or the chicken reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss any remaining marinade.  Do not brush it on the chicken while cooking and do not even think about reusing it.  Pay attention and turn your skewers occasionally for even cooking.  Be sure not to over cook or under cook the satay.  Makes 10 -12 skewers.

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

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…

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.