Sunday, April 22, 2012

Steamed/Deep-fried Bass in Spiced Nut Sauce (Steam/Goreng Ikan Kakap Putih Saus Kacang)

1.5 lb sea bass, cleaned
6 candle nuts or 9 macadamia nuts
2 quarter-sized slices of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 seeded plum tomato, sliced
4 tiny hot red chilies, seeded
5 shallots
2 scallions
1/2 small red onion
1 tbsp peanut oil
aluminum foil to make 14-inch square
4 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) for deep-fried only

In a food processor, chop the nuts coarsely, then add the ginger, salt, tomato slices, chilies, shallots, scallions, and red onion. Whirl to make a paste, then stir in the peanut oil. Place one-third of this mixture in the middle of the aluminum square, place fish on top of the paste, and place another one-third of the paste in the cavity of the fish.

Scrape remaining paste over fish and fold to make a secure package. Place package over boiling water in a large steamer and steam, covered, for 30 minutes. Replenish water from time to time, if necessary.

Another way to cook this fish using the same ingredients is to deep fried the fish, and cover the whole fish with peanut sauce afterward (just fried the rest of the ingredient and add some dark sweet sauce).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grilled Fish in Red Sauce (Ikan Bakar Saus Tomat)

Grilled Fish in Red Sauce Ikan Bakar Saus Tomat

1 Snapper (about 375g), cleaned and scaled
salt, to taste
2 tbsp white vinegar
6 tbsp vegetable oil

2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp sambal ulek
1cm piece of blachan, dry roasted
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped

Make 4 evenly spaced gashes on either side of the snapper. Rub the whole fish with the salt and vinegar. Set aside for 10-12 minutes. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a pan. Shallow fry the fish on both sides for 5-7 minutes, until cooked.

Alternatively, you can grill the fish. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium pan and add to the onion. Cook until soft. Add the sambal ulek and blachan. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and black pepper. Cook over a medium heat until the sauce is thick and pulpy. Stir in half the coriander.

Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining coriander.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Shrimp Curry with Quails' Eggs (Gulai Udang)

Shrimp Curry with Quails' Eggs Gulai Udang

900g fresh prawn (shrimp) tails, peeled.
3 Quails' eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil

4 shallots or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 piece galangal or fresh ginger, 2.5cm long, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 piece lemon grass, 5cm or 2in long, finely shredded
1-2 small red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp fish sauce

400g canned coconut milk
300ml chicken stock
115g Chinese leaves, roughly shredded

2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

2 spring onions (scallions), green part only, shredded, to garnish
2 tbsp shredded coconut, to garnish

Boil the quails' eggs for 8 minutes. Refresh in cold water, peel by dipping in cold water to release the shells and set aside. Heat the vegetables oil in a large wok, add the shallots or onion, galangal or ginger and garlic and soften without coloring.

Add the lemon grass, chilies, turmeric and shrimp paste of fish sauce and fry briefly to bring out their flavors. Add the prawns (shrimp) and fry briefly. Pour the coconut milk in a strainer over a bowl, then add the thin part of the milk with the chicken stock.

Add the Chinese leaves, sugar and salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 6-8 minutes. Turn out onto a serving dish, halve the quails' eggs and toss in the sauce. Scatter with the spring onions (scallions) and the shredded coconut.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Duck with Green Chili (Babek Kalio)

Duck with Green Chili Babek Kalio

1 whole duck, about 1.7 kg jointed*
10 medium green chili peppers, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
3 tbsp raw cashew nuts
1 tbsp ground ginger
4 tbsp chopped garlic
a few black peppercorns
a little water
4 tbsp peanut oil
2 bay leaves
1 stalks lemon grass, sliced and bruised
a pinch of shrimp powder
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
250ml water
*or chicken

Combine the chili peppers, onion, ground turmeric, ground coriander, cashew nuts, ground ginger, garlic and black peppercorns in a blender or food processor. Add a little water (use as little water as possible) and blend to a paste. Set aside. Heat the peanut oil in a large pan over a medium heat.

Add the bay leaves, lemon grass and paste. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the duck and shrimp powder. Cook, stirring, until the duck is sealed on all sides. Add the water and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the duck is almost done.

Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to serve. Before serving, skim off any excess fat, add the tamarind pulp and heat through gently. Serve hot with steamed rice.