Category Archives: Indonesia

Sate Ikan (Fish Satays)

We are back in Indonesia for a month and one of the things we really love about Indonesia is the food! We are moored at Pulau Weh, actually we are moored off a smaller island call Pulau Rubiah. The snorkelling here is fantabulous, as is the food! We have discovered a local delicacy called sate gurita (sate octopus). Delicious and tender, it awoke memories of our time with our boys at Gili Air when we sailed there for Christmas 2014. I cooked sate ikan, using some marlin we caught in Australia. It was part of a feast that I cooked up on the boat for a friend who wanted to film it.

Sate Ikan
Sate Ikan

While anchored off Gili Air (Lombok Indonesia)  with our son’s Jedd, Alex, Kye and two of their girlfriends, we had a visit from Jackie and her son Alexander. Jacqui was interested in filming a short video of us cooking up a storm on Thorfinn.  I hadn’t had time to think about what to cook and therefore had not shopped in Bali before we left. So, before I could decide what to cook, I had to look at what I had on the boat and then I had to go ashore to see what I could purchase on the small island of Gili Air. In the tiny village I found a shop selling some fresh produce and a very limited array of other supermarket goods. I choose some things I love to cook with – limes, ginger, garlic, chillies, galangal – while I gradually formulate an idea of what I would cook.

Shopping for chillies, lime, galangal etc.

Back on the Thorfinn I fine-tuned my proposed menu. When in Indonesia, do as the Indo’s… I decided to cook some Indonesian favourites. Ikan Bakar (grilled fish), sambal and sate ikan (fish satays).

So, while the boys enjoyed the swimming and snorkelling, and the girls chilled out on the sun-beds with a cocktail, Dwayne and I cooked and Jacqui filmed. It was a lot of fun and when it was ready the kids joined us on Thorfinn for a feast. As we sat around Jedd’s surfboard, which had become our makeshift table for the day, we enjoyed the sunset and the company of family and friends… and I think we all privately reflected on how lucky we were.

For the sates …

I grated one onion into a sieve over a bowl. Using a spoon I then pressed down on the grated onion to squeeze out the onion juice. I set aside the the grated onion for using in the peanut sauce.

To the onion juice I added…

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon of palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 kg of marlin fillet

I mixed it well, covered and refrigerated it until I was ready to skewer the marlin to grill.

For the peanut dipping sauce…

In a small saucepan, I sautéed the reserved grated onion for two minutes with –

  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sambal olek

I then added…

  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon of palm sugar

I stirred continually as I cooked for a minute and then added…

  • 1 1/4 cups coconut cream

I gently heated it until almost boiling, then removed the saucepan from the heat and stirred in…

  • 3 Tablespoons of peanut butter

Once the peanut butter was well blended I returned to a gentle heat and cooked for about 5 minutes while stirring and checking it often. (Add water if needed).

To serve

I skewered cubes of marlin onto small skewers and Dwayne cooked them on the BBQ. I then served them with the peanut sauce.

Sate Ikan served with peanut sauce on Jedd's surfboard!
Sate Ikan served with peanut sauce on Jedd’s surfboard!

I loved our Christmas on Gili Air!… and have welcomed the opportunity to reminisce about it. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Christmas on Gili Air

Want to read about catching the marlin? Click on the photo below!

The Marlin

Sharing is caring! Why not pin this recipe so you can always find it!

Sate Ikan - Indonesian Fish Satays

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Cheat’s Mie Goreng

Today we are anchored in Ao Chalong, Thailand, and the monsoon weather has certainly set in! With barely a break, the rain has been lashing at us all morning. The fridge and freezer are almost bare and there was no way we were going to go to shore in the dinghy to get lunch, so with what I had onboard I made a quick and easy, cheats mie goreng.

Monsoon wether in Ao Chalong where we are anchored

My cheats mie goreng is an easy to make lunch, which I have often made while cruising though Indonesia and Malaysia. The two minute (mie goreng) noodles you can get in Indonesia and Malaysia are much nicer than the two minute noodles you get in Australia so we always keep a few packs on board. When sailing, we will often resort to cup of noodles for a hot lunch, especially if the weather is foul. However, if the weather is good and I can put a bit of effort into it, we will have something a little more appetising than just ‘two minute noodles’.

Yummy cheat's mie goreng, fried noodles and egg
Yummy cheat’s mie goreng with a few fresh ingredients.

Ok, so all I do is…

I soak the noodles in boiling water until they are tender. In the meantime I chop garlic, chilli and asian shallot (we found shallots everywhere as we cruised through the Indonesian islands). The other veggies I use depends on what I have on hand, e.g. I have used carrot (julienned), capsicum and beans. I often use Shitake mushrooms which I keep dried (soaked in boiling water and then sliced).

I add oil to my wok and heat. Then I sauté the garlic, shallot and chilli until soft. I then add whatever vegetables (or meat if using) I am using and cook through.

Next I add the noodles and the sachets of flavour – reserving the crispy onion to garnish when done. I toss the noodles until they are heated through and serve on a plate. Top with a fried egg and garnished with cucumber and crispy onion.

Yummy, warm and savoury and just what you need on long distant sail or a miserable wet day such as this!

Beef Rendang

One of our favourites, which we ate in abundance while cruising through Indonesia, is the beef rendang. Rendang is a spicy meat dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia. [wikipedia] This dry style of curry is sometimes called caramelised beef curry because of the ‘reduction’ style of cooking.

Beef Rendang with coconut milk, chilli and kaffir lime leaves

Prior to refrigeration technology, this style of cooking enabled preservation of large amounts of meat. When the Minangkabau farmers killed a cow for a special occasion it was often turned into Rendang. Rendang provided a way to make the beef last for weeks in Indonesia’s hot tropical climate. For rendang the meat is cooked for hours with coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, which includes ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, shallot and chilli. This paste has antimicrobial properties and serves as natural organic preservatives. 

For my rendang you will need the following ingredients….

2 small brown onions, chopped
8 asian shallots, chopped
10 cloves of garlic, chopped
2cm piece turmeric, chopped
1 tsp salt
15 dried long red chillies, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained
1 tsp ground coriander
2-3 tablespoons oil
1kg beef, cubed
5cm piece of galangal,
grated 2 sticks of lemongrass, (soft white only), finely chopped
2 sticks lemongrass (white only), smashed with the flat side of a knife
8 lime leaves
500ml coconut milk

Cooking rendang is a simple but lengthy process. My instructions are as follows…

Place the onions, shallots, garlic, turmeric, salt, chillies and coriander into a blender (or mortal & pestle) and process until smooth. Set aside the spice paste.

Grinding the spice mix for the Beef Rendang

Heat the oil in a pan and brown the beef in batches. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves to the pan and fry for a minute in oil, remove and add to the beef.

On medium-low heat fry the spice paste for a few minutes, then add the beef and the galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 – 4 hours.

It is ready once the curry sauce has reduced and the oil is separating from the rest of the curry. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy the taste of Indonesia. This rendang is delicious ‘if I do say so myself’!

Beef Rendang - the oil separating from the curry.
Beef Rendang – the oil separating from the curry.

 

Dwayne’s Chilli Seafood

While cruising Indonesia we were lucky enough to visit a tiny fishing village on the island of Panebangan. The people were exceptionally friendly and welcomed us with huge smiles and a large bunch of bananas! It was at this village, the following morning, that we were invited onto a fishing boat for breakfast. Dwayne watched how the fisherman made chilli fish and it has since become Dwayne’s signature dish! This is great for when I don’t feel like cooking…. i.e. “I’d really love your chilli fish for dinner tonight Dwayne!”

Dwayne has made this a couple of times for dinner. Once he used fish and squid and the other time he used crayfish.

It’s simple and tasty. This is how he does it…

  • fresh chillies, chopped
  • fresh garlic, chopped
  • asian shallots, chopped
  • salt

Dwayne preparing his chilli fish

Blend all the above ingredients with the mortar and pestle.

Blending up the chilli and other ingredients

Add oil to a pan and heat.
Add the spice mix, fry until fragrant.
Add the seafood (fish or what ever you want) and fry it for a while.
Then add some water and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasional.
Season with salt as needed.

Serve with steamed rice.

Fish and squid with chilli sauce

Crayfish and roe in Dwayne's chilli sauce

For the full story of Panebangan check out Karamata and Surrounding Islands

Dwayne with his chilli crayfish

Guess what we are having for dinner tonight!

Nasi Campur

Nasi Campur refers to a dish with a scoop of nasi putih (white rice) accompanied by small portions of a number of other dishes, which includes meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs etc. Nasi campur is a ubiquitous dish around Indonesia and as diverse as the archipelago itself. There is no exact rule, recipe or definition of what makes a nasi campur, since Indonesians and Southeast Asians commonly consume steamed rice surrounded with side dishes consisting of vegetables and meat. [Wikipedia]

Nasi Campur - rice, tempe, octopus skewer, tomato, cucumber and sambal
Nasi Campur – rice, tempe, octopus skewer, tomato, cucumber and sambal
Nasi Campur - rice, crispy pork, tempe, kangkung (water spinach) and chilli sambal
Nasi Campur – rice, crispy pork, tempe, kangkung (water spinach) and chilli sambal

When in Indonesia we eat like the Indonesians! This has as much to do with the food/ingredients that are available to us as with our love of Indonesian food. We eat rice most days and I usually make a sambal to go with it. Chilli, garlic, shallots keep well on the boat so they feature in most of our meals during our cruising.

This is what I did for the octopus skewer, tempe, kangkung and sambal…..

Skewered Octopus with Lime and Basil

Marinated octopus in olive oil, lime juice, garlic and chopped basil leaves. Refrigerated for about an hour then skewered the octopus on small skewers. Dwayne grilled them on the BBQ and I served them with Nasi Campur.

Octopus Skewers
Octopus Skewer with Lime and Basil

Tempe Goreng

Tempe – fermented soybeans. I sliced some prepared tempe into bite size pieces and fried them in hot oil until brown and crispy. I removed them from the oil and mix in a little kecap manis.

Tempe from the supermarket
Tempe from the supermarket
Tempe with kecap manis (sweet soy)
Tempe with kecap manis (sweet soy)

Kangkung

I probably do the kangkung differently every time I cook it, but generally speaking I fry up quite a bit of garlic (usually garlic slices ), shallot, a bit of chilli in a little oil, and season with salt and pepper. I then add the washed, roughly chopped kangkung and sauté for a minute.

kangkung.
I added a chopped fresh tomato to this kangkung.

Sambal

I usually make a raw sambal by smashing up chillies with garlic and a small shallot, in my mortar with pestle. However, my favourite is sambal matah, and if I have lemongrass on board I’ll make it. Sambal matah is a lemongrass and shallot sambal. It will often have shrimp paste in it but I usually make mine without the paste… I just love the taste of fresh lemongrass.

In the mortar I smash up lemongrass, shallot, a little chilli, some thin slices of kaffir lime leaves, salt and oil. It is delicious.

Sambal Indonesia, chilli, shallot, lemongrass
Sambal Matah

Bon appétit

Sambal ingredients

Creamy Kancil Curry

KANCIL – bahasa Indonesia pronounced kan-chil. Kancil is a mouse deer.

Kancil
The little kancil. Sorry about the graphic pic.

On the small Indonesian island of Panebangan in the South China Sea we were moored along side a small fishing village. The friendly people at this village welcomed us with open arms, sunny smiles and big hearts. We were given a bunch of bananas and the kancil meat that Rudi shot the night we stayed there and the following morning we were even given breakfast on one of the fishing boats!

The tiny village on Panebangan.
The tiny village on Panebangan.

It was our first time eating kancil so I wanted to make a curry that wasn’t too overpowering. I made a paste with the following

In a mortar, with a pestle I blended;

  • asian shallots
  • lemon grass
  • candlenuts
  • ginger
  • lesser galangal
  • turmeric
  • garlic
  • chilli
  • peppercorns
  • kaffir lime leaves

I heated some oil in a pan and fried the paste for a few minutes, then I added a tin of coconut cream. I simmered if for about five minutes before adding the kancil and simmering uncovered for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Kancil Curry

Verdict: It was very nice. The kancill was not too gamey and was in fact a delicious meat. I used about five candlenuts… because that is what fell out of the bag! It was too many. Next time I would use two candlenuts.

Curry Kancil

Bebek Betutu

Bebek Betutu – Bahasa Indonesia Bebek is duck and Betutu is the name of the blend of spices. It is a popular ceremonial dish in Bali.

On a little island just off Pulau Bawean in the Java Sea, Dwayne and I decided to cook a duck on the beach. First thing we had to do was decide how were we going to cook this duck (which would take about four hours).

We tossed around ideas of cooking the duck ‘hungi’ or ‘lovo’ style (buried in the ground with hot rocks), but because we didn’t know whether the rocks on the beach would hold their heat we decided to build an ‘oven’ that would have a small fire at the bottom.

Armed only with a small shovel and some ideas on what he wanted to build, Dwayne headed to the beach to build the oven while I made a betutu paste and prepared the duck.

I decided to use a recipe I had seen on the SBS website, you can find the link for it at the bottom of this blog.

For the betutu paste I blended shallots, garlic, candlenuts, shrimp paste, galangal, ginger, turmeric, chilli, palm sugar, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, lime juice, kaffir lime leaves in my mortar.

Bebek Betutu Ingredients, chilli, garlic, peppercorns, lime, ginger, galangal, shallot, turmeric, candle nuts, kaffir lime leaves, coriander seeds
Bebek Betutu
Making the betutu paste
Bebek Betutu

I cleaned the duck inside and out and then rubbed some paste on the inside of the duck cavity and all over the outside.

Prepared duck for Betutu

I wrapped the duck in banana leaves and put it in a tray and covered it with alfoil.

The duck was ready to put in Dwayne’s oven.

Meanwhile Dwayne had found a large slab of wood with a ready made chimney and used it as the back of the oven. Using a large rock on the beach as one wall he then had to build the next two walls of the oven out of rocks and sand, leaving a small opening to feed the fire at the bottom of the oven. After I put the prepared duck in to the oven we closed the top with bamboo and pandanas leaves.

Oven made with bamboo, rock, sand and timber

We had to feed the small fire at the bottom of the oven constantly as we didn’t have any first class wood to build up the coals.

Feeding the beach oven bamboo

We wrapped a couple of potatoes in alfoil and popped them in the oven. Meanwhile I was soaking a length of bamboo in the beach water, getting prepared to cook some rice in it.

Cooking rice on an open fire inside a length of bamboo.
Cooking Rice in Bamboo

All I did for the rice is add 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of fresh water to the bamboo and seal the top with alfoil. I propped the bamboo over a small fire and cooked the rice slowly, until it was miraculously cooked…. to perfection.

Cooking rice in bamboo on an open fire

Not everything when smoothly our oven did partially collapse once and the roof of bamboo and pandanas leaves caught alight a couple of times! But in the end the duck was fall-apart tender. Potatoes and rice were al dente`. Fantastic meal in a fantastic setting….. worth the five hours of hard work!

The duck was tender and delicious!
The duck was tender and delicious!

IMG_1910

Dwayne sucking the meat from the duck's head!
Dwayne sucking the meat from the duck’s head!

Recipe from

http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/bebek-betutu