Tag Archive for Asian

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.

Fish Stew

An Asian-inspired fish stew, that coincidentally used all of the ingredients that I needed to use up. It has a nice warmth from the spices and fills you up very well. I usually don’t like using frozen fish, because it is always very wet to cook, which makes it impossible to give it a nice crust, and often very dry to eat. But for this dish it’s fine, some extra wetness in the sauce is not a problem and the sauce keeps the flesh moist. Which is nice, because frozen fish is a lot cheaper than fresh fish. Do make sure you use MSC or ASC certified fish.


Fish Stew (serves 2)
Adapted from “A Simple Table – Michelle Cranston”

1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp turmeric
3 garlic cloves, crushed finely
1 small red chilli, seeds removed, chopped finely (or use some sambal instead)
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced, mostly the whites
400 g can tomatoes
500 ml bouillon (from a cube is fine, I used vegetable, but you could use chicken, fish would make it very fishy)
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 green paprika, diced
50 g brown rice
salt and pepper
400 g white fish, in large chunks
Optional: coriander, lime and/or coconut milk to finish

Heat the coconut oil in a pan. Add the cumin, turmeric, cloves, chilli and leek, and sauté until soft and fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, bouillon, sugar, paprika and brown rice. Cook until the rice is almost cooked, this will take about 30-40 minutes.
Add the fish and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. Serve with the coriander, lime and/or coconut milk if using.

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.

Thai Noodle Salad

Not very thai, but it works.

Thai Noodle Salad

Thai Noodle Salad (serves 2)

1/2 cup yoghurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sambal
1 tsp soy sauce

1 chicken breast, poached and shredded
2 medium carrots, julienned
1/2 cucumber, julienned
125 g Chinese egg noodles, prepared according to packet instructions
30 g cashew nuts, coarsely chopped

Mix the ingredients for the dressing. Taste it, then add stuff to make it balanced. These amounts didn’t work for me, but I added stuff to taste, so I don’t know how much I used of everything in the end. But be careful with the sesame oil, you’ll probably won’t need more of that, it’s quite pungent.
Mix the chicken with the dressing. Then add carrots, cucumber and noodles. Mix. Serve, sprinkled with the cashew nuts.

Tuktuk Salad

An Asian brown rice salad with loads of vegetables and a Thai inspired dressing.
The nuggets on the photo are vegetarian grilled bits from the supermarket, something I bought as an experiment, wanting to eat less meat. They tasted kind of like chicken nuggets, of which I am not a big fan. They were quite spongy, did not have much texture and were quite salty in flavour (probably to mask that the vega stuff they made the bits from does not have much taste). But I have to admit, they weren’t that bad either (especially for a meat substitute), so I might buy them again.

Tuktuk Salad

Tuktuk salad (serves 2)
Adapted from “Leon – Ingredients & Recipes”

75 g brown rice
1 vegetable stock cube
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup broad beans, double podded
100 g taugé (bean sprouts)
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cashew nuts

1 tsp sambal oelek (or 1/2 a finely chopped chilli)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
1.5 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp neutral tasting oil
1.5 tbsp soy sauce

Add rice, 150 ml water and the stock cube to a pan, and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch the vegetables. Bring a big pan of water to the boil, place the one of the vegetables in a sieve (metal/heat proof) and dunk into the boiling water. When blanched (about 30 seconds for defrosted peas/broad beans, 1-2 minutes for the bean sprouts), take them out and leave them to drain. Repeat with the other vegetables. Chop the bean sprouts coarsely (I didn’t do that, and found it annoying when eating).
If you want, roast the cashew nuts. I like to roast them, because it makes them a bit more crunchy and intensify the flavour, but cashews do burn incredibly fast, so you really have to keep an eye on them.
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Leave to infuse for a while, then taste. It can be necessary to add a bit more of one (or more) of the ingredients to balance the flavour and adjust it to what you like.
When the rice is ready, add the vegetables and dressing, and mix carefully. Scoop onto plates, and scatter with the cashew nuts.

Soy and Honey Chicken with Coconut Rice

Very simple, but utterly delicious. What else would you expect when it is a recipe from Monica Galetti (sous chef at Le Gavroche, the 2-stars restaurant of Michel Roux Jr, and a judge in Masterchef: the Professionals)?

Soy and Honey Chicken

Soy and Honey Chicken with Coconut Rice (serves 2)
Slightly adapted from Food&Drink

4 tsp clear honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sambal badjak
4 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 300 gram)

75 g brown rice
1 stock cube (I used vegetable)
1/2 tsp coconut oil

drizzle of sesame oil
drizzle of rapeseed oil
2 heads of bok choi, halved

Mix together the honey, soy sauce and sambal badjak in a heavy based pan (cold!). Add the chicken thighs and mix until completely coated in the marinade. Place the pan onto a medium heat and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the honey and soy coating has thickened to a glossy glaze.
Meanwhile, add the rice, 150 ml water and the stock cube to a separate pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the rice, covered, until tender (about 30 minutes).
For the bok choi, heat a drizzle of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bok choi and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the leaves have wilted. Drizzle with a little sesame oil.
When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork, then stir through the coconut oil.

Indonesian cabbage

A delicious and easy side-dish. Serve with rice to soak up the delicious sauce.

Indonesian Cabbage

Indonesian cabbage (serves 2-4)
Adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees – Nique van der Werff-Wijsman”

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, puréed
1 tsp sambal oelek
1/4 tsp ginger, puréed
1 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
optional: 1/4 tsp trassi (fermented shrimp paste)
2 or 3 tomatoes, cubed
250 ml vegetable or chicken bouillon
300 g shredded cabbage (hispi (pointed), white, napa)
1 tbsp tamarind water
pinch of sugar (preferably palm sugar)
1 cm piece santen (creamed coconut)

Heat the oil in a medium sized pan. Add the onion, garlic, sambal and ginger, and add a pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are soft. Add the trassi (makes it incredibly smelly, but when cooked long enough this smell will disappear) and tomato, and sauté a little longer. Add the stock, bring to the boil and add the cabbage. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. For this dish you don’t want the cabbage to crisp, but don’t boil it to death either. Finish the sauce with the tamarind water and sugar, then dissolve the santen in it. Serve.

Note: to make this dish vegan, omit the trassi and use vegetable bouillon. Also make sure you are not using a sambal that contains trassi.

Cambodian marinated beef

I’ve been a few times to those wok restaurants, where you can choose all kinds of ingredients and give them to a chef, who woks them together with a sauce for you. Unfortunately, they don’t really work that hygienic (lots of cross contamination of products), so I can’t go there any more due to food allergy. But I’ve kept longing to taste one of those sauces again, the one that is dark, savoury, slightly spicy and salty. I did not exactly know what was in there (and you can’t really ask the chefs, because they generally don’t speak English), so I’d lost hope of tasting it again. Until I made this recipe. It was completely different than I expected, but it tastes just like that sauce of the wok restaurant!
It is quite a strong sauce, so I suggest to serve loads of plain rice with it to soak up the sauce, and a refreshing cucumber salad. On the photo you also see homemade chapatis, but I didn’t like those much with this recipe.

Cambodian marinated beef

Cambodian marinated beef (serves 2)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey

200 g beef that is suited for fast preparation (steak of some kind), in cubes and at room temperature
oil (coconut or vegetable)
1 tbsp sambal badjak or oelek
15 g garlic, pureed
25 g ginger, pureed
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 tbsp dark soy sauce or ketjap manis
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the beef cubes and fry until preferred done-ness. Set aside. They will sit for a while, and will be reheated in the sauce, so I would advice to cook them a bit more rare than you would normally do.
Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients together and taste for balance. Not all garlic and ginger are the same, and the taste of sambal/soy/ketjap differs per brand, therefore tasting is really necessary.
Pour the sauce into the pan that you used to fry the beef. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the beef back in, heat through, and serve.

Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng is an Indonesian stir-fried noodle dish, like nasi goreng but with noodles instead of rice. It is street food and a dish to make when you have all sorts of different left-overs. When I made it, I wasn’t completely happy with how it turned out, so I adapted the recipe to fix the problems. This is why you see chicken on the photo, but don’t see it in the recipe (it just doesn’t work very well in the dish). I love the dish because it is easy, fast to prepare and it has a lot of vegetables.

Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng (serves 2)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey

100 gram dried flat (egg) noodles
1,5 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tbsp vegetable oil
150 g shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100 g firm tofu, in cubes
1 tsp chilli paste (I used sambal badjak; add more if you like it spicy)
300 g paksoi or bok choi, in strips
125 g tauge (bean sprouts)
4 spring onions, sliced
100 g cooked prawns (you can use raw, just add earlier in the cooking process)
To serve: crispy fried shallots

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package.
To make the sauce, mix tomato ketchup, sweet chilli sauce, ketjap manis and salt to taste, set aside.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the shallots and fry until soft and golden. Add the garlic, tofu, and chilli paste, fry another few minutes. Turn up the heat, add paksoi and tauge and fry until slinked. Make sure you cook off most of the water, otherwise the sauce will get very thin and wet. Add the sauce and cook for a minute to heat it up and let it thicken and turn sticky a little. Add spring onions, cooked prawns and warm through. Mix with the noodles and serve immediately with some crispy fried shallots on top.