Tag Archive for Pork

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.

Buckwheat galettes with ham, egg and cheese

If you’ve been to Brittany (France), you’ve probably eaten them; these are also called “galette bretonne complète” sometimes. They make them a bit different over there, but since I need to do with the standard kitchen equipment, this is the way to go. Traditionally the buckwheat flour is used because it was the only grain that would grow on the poor grounds in Brittany. Nowadays it’s mainly about the flavour, it gives the galettes a savouriness that wheat flour doesn’t give it. And topping something with ham, cheese and eggs is always a good plan.

Buckwheat Galette with Ham, Egg and Cheese

Buckwheat galettes with ham, egg and cheese (makes 8)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

75 g buckwheat flour
25 g flour
large pinch of salt
120 ml milk
~120 ml water
2 eggs
25 g butter, melted

8 eggs
200 g cooked ham, sliced
200 g gruyere (or gouda), coarsely grated

Mix the buckwheat flour and plain flour with the salt and make a well in the middle. Add the milk and whisk into a smooth batter. Add the eggs and butter, and mix. Don’t overbeat, this will make the pancakes tough. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.
Shortly before baking, thin the batter with water until it has the consistency of cream. The exact amount will depend on your flour and eggs.
Pour a thin layer of batter in a heated large frying pan and swirl so that the mixture lightly coats the base. Cook over a fairly high heat for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Flip the galette over and break one of the eggs in the centre. Break the yolk with the back of a spoon, and spread over the surface of the galette, leaving the edge free. Sprinkle with 1/8 of the ham and 1/8 of the cheese. Fold two opposite sides of the galette towards the centre, then the other two sides, forming a square and leaving the middle open. Flip over and cook briefly to heat the ham through and melt the cheese. Repeat for the remaining galettes. Serve straight away.

Pork Rogan Josh

Curry’s are generally not made with pork, normally lamb is used for rogan josh. But lamb is very expensive over here, and I’m not a big fan of the older lamb that is often sold, I find the flavour of the fat too overpowering. I’ve made several delicious stews with pork, so I though, why not try a curry? It worked very well, so I will definitely make this again and will keep using stewing pork instead of beef and lamb.
For me, this is the prototype curry, this is the flavour I think of when I think of curry. When you use all the chilli prescribed by the recipe it will be incredibly hot, I only used 1 dried chilli and didn’t add any chilli powder, and it already scorched my oesophagus. I believe the kashmiri chilli you officially are supposed to use is a bit more mellow than the dried chillies I have, but still, I would advice to take care with adding the chilli and not add the whole lot the first time you make this recipe. When I make it the next time I will use even less chilli than I did last time, I like my curries spicy, but not inedible hot. And using dried chillies can be a bit like a Russian roulette, you never know how spicy one will be.
I like to serve this with rice and a cooling cucumber salad or raita.

Pork rogan josh (serves 4-6)
Adapted from “Rick Stein’s India”

40 g ghee
5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 dried kashmiri chillies, torn into pieces
6 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
4 cloves
1 large onion, chopped
15 g garlic, finely crushed
15 g ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp ground mace
1 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp tomato purée (1 small can)
750 g stewing pork
1 tsp salt
300 ml water
125 g yoghurt
50 ml cream
1 tsp garam masala

Put the ghee in a large, sturdy casserole over medium heat. When hot, add the whole spices and fry for 1 minute, then add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until softened and golden. Stir in the garlic and ginger, fry for 1 minute, then add the ground spices and fry for 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato purée, then add the pork and salt and make sure it is well coated in the other ingredients. Pour in the water, bring to a simmer, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the pork is tender. Stir in the yoghurt, cream and second helping of garam masala. Serve.

Dutch food: meatballs

The cornerstones of the old-fashioned, traditional Dutch meal are cooked potatoes, jus (pan gravy), a piece of meat and cooked vegetables. For potatoes, the (slightly) floury ones are the best, because of the practice of “prakken”. There is no good translation for this word, since it is a typical Dutch activity, in which potatoes are crushed and mashed with your fork on your plate together with the jus to make a coarse or smooth purée (depending on preferences). Some people also add in the vegetables, or “prak” everything on their plate (so also the meat, and sometimes even some apple sauce). This is definitely an at-home behaviour, it is seen as not done to do it in public/in restaurants, and often people are incredibly specific about how to make their “prakje”. The jus is made by adding a bit of water to the pan in which the meat was cooked, but sometimes a jus cube or jus granules are used. The meat can be a lot of things, luxury things like steak or pork chops, but also less expensive things made with mince. One of those is the large meatball, for which I give the recipe below. The veggie can also be anything, for example carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, etc.

I must say that I’m not a big fan of the traditional “prakje” plate, but I do like meatballs, and you can serve them perfectly well with mashed potatoes or fried potatoes, and a nice salad. Do remember to add a dollop of mustard on your plate to dip the meatball in, which is the tradition in my family. My recipe is non-traditional in the sense that I only add a small amount of dried breadcrumbs, and no egg or bread soaked in milk. Adding those things is a practice from poorer times, when meat was expensive and there were many mouths to feed, so it was a good thing to stretch a small amount of meat further. But I think it messes up the flavour and the texture, I rather have the meat pure and eat a day vegetarian to compensate (for sustainability reasons). It is also important to start with the mince cold, and not knead it to much, otherwise the fat will melt, which messes up the texture as well.


Meatballs (serves 4)
500 g mince (either beef or half beef half pork)
1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp mace (or nutmeg)
1/2 tsp majoram
50 g butter

Mix mince, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, mace and majoram in a bowl, only knead until mixed and not more. Divide in 4, form a ball from each piece. Make sure to roll them quite tight, to prevent them from falling apart when baking. Melt the butter in a pan, place the balls in it, and carefully turn them over when the bottom has browned. Repeat until most of the outside is brown. Don’t worry if your balls are not perfectly round any more after this, keeping them round is a fine art (that I don’t master). Add a splash of water to the pan, place a lid on top and turn down the heat. Braise about 25 minutes, then take the balls from the pan. To make a jus, add another splash of water to the pan (if necessary) and stir to dissolve all the sticky bits. Serve the balls with a potato dish and vegetables of your choice, and a dollop of mustard.


I’ve eaten this dish for the first time in Germany, hence the German name. It literally means salad plate, and I’m wondering why I’ve never thought of this myself, piling tasty stuff on dressed lettuce. It is very easy, there is almost no cooking involved (only the eggs), and just a little chopping, furthermore it is light but substantial enough, so it is perfect for those hot, lazy days in summer. You can make it extra easy by buying pre-chopped and pre-cooked things, and most of it can be prepped in advance, also in larger quantities, so it is a perfect buffet dish as well. And if you pack everything in separate containers, you can take it with you on a picnic as well.
Start with a lettuce and dressing you like, I used butterhead and a yoghurt dressing. Then add cooked green beans, slices of tomato, cooked corn, slices of cucumber, carrot julienne, kohlrabi julienne and/or strips of paprika. For protein (and extra jumminess) add cubes of cooked ham, cubes of cheese (I used Dutch medium aged Gouda), and quartered cooked eggs. To finish it, add a scoop of coleslaw or farmer salad. Place it all on a plate in a pretty way, and eat immediately.
A vegetarian version is also possible: omit the ham and make sure the dressing, coleslaw/farmer salad and cheese are suitable for vegetarians.


Dutch food: endive gratin

First a little clarification about endive (also called Belgian or French endive), since it is called very different in different parts of the world. In the Netherlands endive is called witlof, while we use the word endive (andijvie) for what they in some part of the world call escarole, but escarole is sometimes called endive too in some other parts of the world. The endive I mean now are the small heads of cream-colored, slightly bitter leaves. It is grown completely underground or indoors in the absence of sunlight in order to prevent the leaves from turning green and opening up; after harvesting it has to be kept dark as well to prevent it from turning green and very unpalatable bitter. The harder inner part of the stem at the bottom of the head should be cut out before cooking, because it is very hard and unpalatable bitter.

Endive was developed in Belgium, but nowadays is grown on large scale in the Netherlands too. It stands on place 3 in the list of most eaten veggies in the Netherlands, so it is very popular. The favourite things to do with it are making a salad and making endive gratin: heads of endive rolled in ham and cheese placed in a baking tray and covered with mashed potatoes. Some people make this gratin without the potato purée, and don’t use the cheese in the rolls but make a cheese sauce with it to pour over the endive-ham rolls, sprinkle everything with cheese and then grill it, but the variation with potato is how I ate it when I grew up, so I stick to that. Originally, you cook the endive, but that makes it quite mushy and watery, therefore I grill it. It keeps its texture better, and because of caramelisation the endive gets less bitter as well.

Endive Gratin

Endive gratin (serves 4)

4 large heads of endive (or 8 small ones)
8 slices of ham
8 slices of cheese
1 kg potatoes suitable for mash (I like to use slightly floury potatoes)
100 ml milk
knob of butter
salt and pepper
optional: some dried breadcrumbs

Remove the ugly outer leaves of the endive and the stem, slice the head in half and remove the core. Place the slices of cheese on the slices of ham and lay them out on your workspace.
Peel the potatoes and cook them in salted water. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan. Place the halved heads of endive in it and fry until slightly caramelized, then turn them over and do the same on the other side. Preheat the oven/grill.
Mash the potatoes and make a nice purée with the milk, butter, salt and pepper.
Place a halved head of endive on each slice of ham/cheese (or 2 halves, if you used small heads), then roll. Place all the rolls in a baking tray, then scoop the purée on top. I like to make a nice ridge pattern with a fork and sprinkle some dried breadcrumbs over it to make the top extra crispy. Place under the grill for a crispy layer on top, or cook for a bit longer in the oven if you like your endive a bit more cooked.

Pork and pasta with gorgonzola sauce

I’m a big fan of cheeses. I like most of them, also the blue cheeses that most people find too strong or a bit icky because of the mould. This sauce is a perfect way to introduce those people to blue cheese, because it is a lot mellower than eating the cheese on its own. Do make sure you use a gorgonzola dulce and not a gorgonzola picante, because the dulce variety is quite mild for a blue cheese, while the picante is quite strong and would make the sauce quite strong too. As an Italian cheese, gorgonzola is perfect to use in a sauce for pasta. And gorgonzola and pork work very well together (and is a classic Italian combination as well).

Pasta and pork with gorgonzola sauce

Pork and pasta with gorgonzola sauce (serves 2)

150 g dried spaghetti
2 pork fillets (pork chops without the bone)
salt and pepper
1 glass white wine
100 ml cream
150 g gorgonzola, cubed

Cook the pasta according to the package.
Heat a frying pan on high heat. Add a drop of oil, spread it over the whole surface of the pan. Place the pork fillets in it. Turn every 15 seconds until the outside is golden and the inside is cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat under the pan to medium. Add the white wine and let the alcohol boil of (about 30 seconds), while stirring to dissolve the jummy bits from baking the pork in the wine. Add the cream, bring to the boil again. Then add the gorgonzola cubes while stirring. Cook until the cheese is molten and it forms a sauce, then take it from the heat (by cooking it longer you risk splitting it).
Place a pile of spaghetti on a plate, place the pork on top and scoop the sauce over it. Serve immediately.

Nacho Chips with Cheese, Mince and Vegetables

This is a bit of a pseudo-Mexican dish. Almost certainly people in Mexico don’t eat something like this (or do they?), but in the Netherlands, this is what people think is Mexican. But what matters is that it is a very tasty dish. Crunchy, salty nacho chips with lots of gooey molten cheese, combined with a spicy mix of mince and vegetables. Perfect comfort food!

Nacho Cheese

Nacho Chips with Cheese, Mince and Vegetables (2 generous servings)

1 bag plain nacho chips (150 gram)
200 g grated cheese

1 tbsp olive oil
300 g mince (half pork, half beef is what I like to use)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 tsp sambal (I use sambal badjak, add more if you like it spicy)
1 beef stock cube
1 tsp paprika powder (or use half normal and half smoky if you have it)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 paprika, in cubes (colour doesn’t matter)
250 g mushrooms, sliced
1 small tin of corn

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the mince and onion, fry on high heat until the meat is browned and the onion is soft. Add the garlic, sambal, stock cube and spices. Fry for a minute until fragrant. Then add the paprika, fry until soft. Add the mushrooms, fry until soft. Add the corn, fry until warm.
Meanwhile, place the nacho chips into an oven dish, sprinkle the cheese on top and place in the oven until warm and the cheese is molten and gooey. Or if you like, leave it a little longer until the cheese gets crispy bits. Serve together with the mince-vegetable mix.
Variation: scoop the mince-vegetable mix in an oven dish, spread the nacho chips on top and sprinkle the cheese over; then place the whole thing in the oven, instead of serving it separate.

Stuffed paprika

Paprika’s are the perfect vehicle to fill. When you use courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines or onions (other vegetables that are commonly filled) you always end up with the flesh that you took out and either use in the stuffing (with less space remaining for the other stuffing ingredients) or find another dish to use it in. With paprika’s, you don’t have this problem, since they are already hollow. I like this dish a lot because the stuffed paprika’s look pretty, are a complete meal and are very juicy/self-saucing and flavoursome. They are also great to use up leftover rice and mince. It is also a great dish to make for a large amount of people and/or in advance. I like to use red paprika’s, but you can also use yellow or orange ones, or a mix to give the dish some more colour variation. I would not use green paprika’s, because they tend to get bitter after cooking them for a while.

Stuffed Paprika's with rice, mince and egg

Stuffed paprika’s (4 paprika’s)

4 paprika’s (red, yellow, orange or a mix)
2 cups cooked rice
100 gram mince (I like a mix of pork and beef)
4 eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 beef stock cube
1 tsp worcestershiresauce

Get an oven dish large enough to fit in the paprika’s, but small enough to have the sides of the dish supporting the paprika’s. Preheat the oven at 180C.
Prepare the paprika’s. Slice of the top, remove the seeds and set aside (this will be the lid). Take out the seeds from the paprika. Check if the paprika will stand up, if not, slice a tiny bit of the bottom to even it out, but make sure you do not get a hole in the bottom, otherwise all the jummy juices will leak out. Do the same with the other 3 paprika’s. Place the paprika’s but not the lids in the oven dish and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. This will pre-cook the paprika and will make sure they are tender after the second time in the oven.
Prepare the filling. Heat a frying pan and add the mince (it will be fat enough on its own, so no oil needed). Fry until it starts to brown, then add the onion and garlic. Fry until the mince is brown and the onion and garlic soft. Crumble the stock cube over it, add the worcestershiresauce and season with pepper to taste. Fry a little longer, then add the rice and mix well.
Stuff the paprika’s with the rice-mince mixture, press it down well with a spoon and leave room on top for the egg. Break the egg, carefully let it slide in the paprika, then place the lid on top. Cook in the oven for 10 (runny egg) to 20 (quite firm egg) minutes.
You can do everything in advance, except adding the egg and cook the stuffed paprika’s. If you make them longer than an hour in advance, store in the fridge, and either let them come to room temperature before cooking, or add an extra few minutes to the cooking time.

Endive 2 ways

First a little clarification about endive (also called Belgian or French endive), since it is called very different in different parts of the world and the other meaning of endive. In the Netherlands endive is actually called witlof, while we use the word endive (andijvie) for what they in some part of the world call escarole, but escarole is sometimes called endive too in some other parts of the world. What I am talking about are the small heads of cream-colored, slightly bitter leaves. It is grown completely underground or indoors in the absence of sunlight in order to prevent the leaves from turning green and opening up; after harvesting it has to be kept dark as well to prevent it from turning green and very unpalatable bitter. The harder inner part of the stem at the bottom of the head should be cut out before cooking, because these are very hard and unpalatable bitter.

Although I am not a big fan of bitter things normally, I’ve always loved endive, both raw and cooked. There are two (quite fast) dishes I generally prepare with endive: a salad and an oven bake.

Endive salad (2 servings)

3-4 heads endive
100 gram cooked ham
50 gram cheese (optional)
2 tbsp yoghurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the dressing by mixing the yoghurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a salad bowl.
Prepare the endive by taking off the ugly outer leaves, the top (if the leaves are very green there) and the bottom. Slice each head in halve, take out the bitter and hard inner part, and slice very finely. Mix the sliced endive directly with the dressing, as it turns brown very quickly.
Slice the ham and cheese (if using) in small cubes. Mix trough the salad and serve immediately.
Lots of people like to put fruit through their endive salad, because the sweetness counteracts the bitterness. Most often mandarin, pineapple or sour apple are used.

Endive oven bake (2 servings)

3-4 heads endive
100 gram cooked ham, sliced
50 gram cheese, sliced
splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper
olive oil

Prepare the endive by taking off the ugly outer leaves, the top (if the leaves are very green there) and the bottom. Slice each head in halve and take out the bitter and hard inner part.
Heat a large oven proof frying pan with a little olive oil. Place the endive halves with the slice side down in the pan and fry on medium heat until caramelized. Turn them over and fry again until caramelized. Sprinkle with a little water (this will help to cook the endive) and a splash of lemon juice (the acid makes the bitter taste less bitter) and cook until evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices of ham on top of the endive, then arrange the slices of cheese on top of the ham. Melt the cheese under a preheated grill and serve immediately.
When you make this in advanced, wait with grilling until serving the dish.
Alternatively you can wrap the fried endive halves in ham and cheese, place them on the bottom of an ovenproof dish and top with mashed potatoes. Place this in the oven for a crispy top. I almost never make this variant, because it is very delicious but takes a lot of time.