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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
KANCIL – bahasa Indonesia pronounced kan-chil. Kancil is a mouse deer.
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!
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;
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.
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.
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.
I cleaned the duck inside and out and then rubbed some paste on the inside of the duck cavity and all over the outside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!