Archive for Side-dish

Babi Ketjap

Babi ketjap is an Indonesian dish made of pork in a ketjap-based sauce. Ketjap (ketjap manis in this case) is a sweet, Indonesian type of soy sauce. You can make it with tougher cuts of meat that you stew in the sauce, or use a fast-cooking cut like I did. If you want a spicy sauce, add more sambal.

Usually, an Indonesian meal consists of rice, at least one saucy dish and one dry dish (one of them with a protein and one of them with vegetables), and usually some sambal and a pickle (atjar) on the side.


Babi Boemboe Ketjap(serves 2-4, depending on what else you serve)
Adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees – Nique van der Werff-Wijsman

300 g pork fillet, sliced in strips
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sambal badjak
1 tbsp oil
100 ml water
1/2 tbsp goela djawa
4 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tsp tamarind paste

Puree the onion and garlic. Heat the oil and add the puree, sambal and salt. Cook until all the water is evaporated. Add the pork, and fry until browned. Add water, goela djawa, ketjap and tamarind paste and cook on high heat to evaporate some of the water. Make sure you don’t overcook the pork.

Sambal Goreng

A sambal goreng is an Indonesian dish consisting of vegetables or meat cooked in a spicy, red sauce. The one I made consisted of green beans and bean sprouts, but you could use all kinds of other vegetables (cabbage is really nice) or proteins (I especially like this sauce with boiled eggs). By adding more sambal you can make it more spicy, by adding some more tomato and use less sambal it gets more mellow, but keeps it red colour.

Usually, an Indonesian meal consists of rice, at least one saucy dish and one dry dish (one of them with a protein and one of them with vegetables), and usually some sambal and a pickle (atjar) on the side.

Trassi is fermented shrimp paste. In it’s raw state it is incredibly smelly, some people find it so smelly that they refuse to cook with it. But it does give dishes a subtle extra flavour that is really nice, and after you cook it out it doesn’t smell at all. I have found a brand that does give a good flavour, but isn’t too smelly. But in the past I’ve also had a brand that was terribly smelly, the kitchen kept smelling after I cooked with it and I had to wrap the package in a bazillion layers of plastic to keep the smell contained. So it’s worth it to experiment with a few brands.


Sambal Goreng (serves 2-4 persons, depending on what other dishes you serve)
Adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees – Nique van der Werff-Wijsman

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp sambal oelek
pinch of galangal (dried, ground)
1/4 tsp trassi
1 tbsp oil (coconut, ricebran)
2 tomatoes
250 ml bouillon
250 g ingredient of choice (vegetable/protein)
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1/2 tbsp goela djawa
1 cm piece santen (creamed coconut)

Blend the onion and garlic to a paste. Heat the oil in a pan, add the puree, sambal, galangal, trasi and a pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant and the onion starts to caramelize.
Cut the tomatoes in cubes and add to the pan. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the bouillon.
Add the ingredient of choice, and cook until it is done.
Finish the sauce with the tamarind paste, goela djawa and santen. Don’t let it boil any more, it might split.

Note: to make this dish vegan, don’t use the trasi and make sure you use a vegan-friendly bouillon. The sauce is really nice with tofu/tempeh, to make a vegan protein dish.

Brussel Sprouts with Brie, Pear and Walnuts

I would say this is a perfect side-dish for the Christmas dinner. It is festive, luxurious and pairs well with all kinds of main dishes. I also like that it is a bit different than usual. Brie, pear and walnuts are a classic combination, and the addition of sprouts works very well.


Brussel Sprouts with Brie, Pear and Walnuts (serves 2, more if you have several vegetable side-dishes)
Adapted from Odin

400 g brussel sprouts, cleaned and halved
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 small pear, thinly sliced
25 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
150 g brie or camembert (I used farmhouse brie)
1 tsp fresh thyme leafs
olive oil

Cook the sprouts until just soft, in about 5 to 10 minutes. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft and caramelized. Add the thyme, sprouts and apple, and warm through. Sprinkle over the walnuts and crumble over the cheese.

Oven Fries

Sometimes I see a recipe that I need to make. ASAP. These oven fries were one of them. So I made them, and I wasn’t disappointed. They were exactly what I expected them to be, slightly crispy, slightly greasy and completely different than the oven potatoes I make normally. But also completely different than deep-fried fries. I ate them with a lovely stew that had been bubbling for 5+ hours, and some mayonnaise, because you can’t eat fries without mayonnaise.


Oven Fries
Ever so slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

waxy potatoes
oil (I used rapeseed)

The amount of potato will depend on the size of your baking sheet. If you cut the potato in batons of 1 by 1 cm, they must be able to fit in a single layer on your baking sheet. I like to keep the skins on, so I wash my potatoes well. You can also use peeled potatoes.
Place the potatoes that you’ve cut into batons in a large pan and cover with water. Set heat on high and set timer for 10 minutes. If the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium. If not, that’s fine. After 10 minutes, drain. Your potatoes will still be rather firm.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to 230C. Cover the bottom of your baking sheet with a thin layer of oil. Place in the oven to heat up.
Immediately after draining, spread the potatoes on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a little more oil, and make sure they are all coated. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss. Roast for another 5 minutes and toss. Repeat until the potatoes have the desired colour.
Season with a little more salt if you like, and serve immediately.

Gado gado

Gado gado is an Indonesian dish of vegetables with peanut sauce. It can be served as a main, but also as part of an Indonesian meal with several different dishes.


Peanut sauce
Slightly adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees- Nique van der Werff-Wijsman”

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sambal oelek or sambal badjak
1/4 tsp trasi
1/2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp peanut butter (all natural, no ingredients except peanut)
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tsp goela jawa (palm sugar)
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
200 ml water
1/2 cm from a block of santen (creamed coconut)

Finally chop the onion and garlic. Use a mortar and pestle or blender to make into a purée, mix with the sambal, trasi and salt.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the purée and sauté on medium heat until most of the moisture is evaporated, and the mixture doesn’t smell raw any more.
Add peanut butter, ketjap, goela jawa, tamarind paste and water. Mix well. Leave to bubble for a bit, until the sauce has the desired consistency. Add some more water if you think it’s too thick. Add the santen and mix. Taste and season with salt, goela jawa and tamarind paste if necessary. Serve.

Gado gado
200-300 g raw/cooked vegetables per person (can be cold or hot), for example cabbage, green beans, carrot, taugé, cucumber, cauliflower, potato
boiled eggs and/or fried tofu
peanut sauce
To serve (optional): rice, krupuk

Serve all the ingredients with the peanut sauce poured over.

To make this dish vegan, don’t use the trasi (which is fermented shrimp paste), and make sure your sambal doesn’t contain shrimp paste. Also, don’t serve the dish with eggs. Krupuk contains shrimp, use cassava chips as an alternative.

Beets with honey and goats cheese

When you have lovely home-grown delicately flavoured beets, they don’t need much to make a delicious dish. So I sliced them very thinly, sprinkled some fresh goats’ cheese on top and drizzled with honey to make a delicious starter/salad.

Beet Goats Cheese Salad

Broad beans in garlic cream sauce

Very French, very posh, very tasty.

Fresh broad beans are always the tastiest, but only available sparsely. Luckily, if you double-pod frozen broad beans, they are quite tasty too and will work very well in this dish. Just let them defrost, remove the skin, and skip the boiling step in the recipe below. Frozen broad beans are already blanched, so heating them trough in the sauce is enough.

Broad Beans in Garlic Cream Sauce

Broad beans in garlic cream sauce (serves 4)
From Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

600 g shelled broad beans
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
large pinch of sugar
85 ml cream
1 tsp thyme or summer savory, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Cook the broad beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender. Drain and, if young, leave as they are, but if slightly older, remove their tough outer skin if you wish.
Soften the garlic with a pinch of salt in the olive oil in a wide, shallow pan. Add the white wine vinegar and sugar, and simmer until almost all the liquid has disappeared (this will smell strongly acidic).
Add the cream, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Add the cooked beans and simmer a few minutes longer until the sauce coats the beans.
Add the thyme (or summer savory) and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Variation: use green beans/haricot verts instead of the broad beans; I think it would be very nice with peas too.

Concombre à la crème

A lovely mellow cucumber salad.

Concombre a la Creme

Concombre à la crème (serves 4)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp dill, chopped
2 tbsp cream

Mix the cucumber with a large pinch of salt in a colander, and leave to drain for 10 minutes. Mix with the dill and cream, and season to taste with pepper.

Cheesy Carrot Bake

Again one of those dishes that seem a bit weird, but interesting, and really tasty when you try it. A cheesy bake is a completely different way of serving carrots than the normal boiled carrots or carrot salad. It tastes like carrot, but not overwhelmingly, and isn´t too sweet either. The cheese gives it a lovely savouriness. You could use a different herb (coriander, thyme) as variation.

Cheesy Carrot Bake (serves 4)
Adapted from Great British Chefs

225 g carrots, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
20 g cheddar, grated (or gouda, or parmesan)
1 egg
50 ml vegetable stock
few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place a pan over a medium heat and add the grated carrot and salt. Cook until the liquid given off from the carrot evaporates. Add the stock and reduce until dry. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Place a separate pan over a low-medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, sweat the onions until soft but not coloured. Add the chopped onion to the carrot mixture along with the cheese, coriander and egg. Mix well to combine and season with pepper.
Place the mixture in a small deep baking dish lined with parchment paper. Smooth over and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Salade de carottes râpées

One of the two classic French legumes cru (the other is Céleri Rémoulade). In France, you can buy this everywhere ready-made, in supermarkets, at charcuteries, etc. And of course people make it at home, freshly made it tastes better anyway. It is really important to cut the carrots to the right size. I’ve found cutting them by hand into julienne makes them too coarse, grating them makes them too wet and my mandoline doesn’t make quite the right julienne either. But the smallest cutter of my spiralizer does! If you have a kitchen machine, the large grating disk might work too. Or use a French mouli-julienne. Of course the right size is up to personal taste.

Salade de Carottes Rapees

Salade de carottes râpées (serves 2-3 persons)
Adapted from David Lebovitz

200-300 g carrot
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sugar
teeny-tiny clove of garlic, mashed finely
salt and pepper
Optional: some chopped flat-leave parsley

Process the carrots by method of your liking. Mix all the other ingredients to form a nice dressing. Taste to check for seasoning. Mix the dressing with the carrots and serve. If preparing in advance, keep the dressing and carrots separate and mix just before serving.