Tag Archives: Empal

Ayam Suwir Saus Empal – Chicken in Spices & Coconut Milk Sauce Recipe

Empal is a very popular Javanese dish, typically made from thinly pounded beef shank, cooked in spices, and finally fried. It can be a pretty laborious dish, and Mom usually just buy them from her favorite empal specialty store.

I recreate this dish with shredded chicken thigh meat, which cuts the cooking time significantly, but the taste is pretty much there. I hope you will give this ayam suwir saus empal – chicken in spices & coconut milk sauce recipe a try.

Ayam Suwir Saus Empal – Chicken in Spices & Coconut Milk Sauce

Poached chicken thigh meat

If you have any experience cooking with beef shank, you know it is a very tough cut and requires a long cooking time to make it tender.

Here I use skinless boneless chicken thigh meat, poached in boiling water for 20 minutes. So much faster, plus I get to prepare the spices while the chicken is gently poaching away.

Once done, just remove the chicken from the hot water, and shred the meat with two forks.

Ayam Suwir Saus Empal - Chicken in Spices & Coconut Milk Sauce

Ayam Suwir Saus Empal – Chicken in Spices & Coconut Milk Sauce

Empal spices

Once you are familiar with Indonesian dishes, you can expect a pretty long list of spices, and empal is no different. You need ginger, galangal, daun salam, tamarind, kecap manis, coconut milk, coriander, cumin, candlenuts (I use macadamia), shallot (I use red onion), and garlic.

Daun salam is usually translated into bay leaf, but I think it is more appropriate to call it Indonesian bay leaf since regular bay leaf is wildly different compared to our daun salam. If you cannot find this, it is best to omit instead of sub with regular bay leaf.

Ayam Suwir Saus Empal - Chicken in Spices & Coconut Milk Sauce

Ayam Suwir Saus Empal – Chicken in Spices & Coconut Milk Sauce

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Empal Gentong – Cirebon Beef Soup Recipe

Empal gentong is a traditional beef soup from the city of Cirebon in West Java, Indonesia. I’d like to think of this soup as the representative soto (traditional Indonesian soup) of Cirebon. This beef soup is very rich and savory from the use of spices and coconut milk. It is enjoyed with either steamed white rice, or ketupat/lontong, and a side of sambal rebus.

Ingredients to prepare empal gentong (Cirebon beef soup).

Choosing the right beef cut to use for empal gentong

Like most other Indonesian soto/soup that use beef as its main ingredient, the most popular cut is beef brisket (Indonesian: sandung lamur). Basically, this is our most common stew cut to make any kind of soto. You don’t have to stick to this particular cut, and you can use other beef cuts that are also suitable for stew, such as:

  • beef chuck
  • beef round
  • any beef cut that is labeled as beef stew cut

Aside from the meat, traditionally we also add equal part beef entrails to make empal gentong. Honeycomb tripe and intestines are always popular, but if you feel squeamish, or if it is not easy to obtain these, you can use 100% beef meat.

Empal gentong - Cirebon beef soup.

Empal gentong – Cirebon beef soup.

Herbs and spices to prepare empal gentong

To prepare empal gentong, you will need the following ingredients:

When serving this soup, I usually prepare the following:

Empal gentong - Cirebon beef soup.

Empal gentong – Cirebon beef soup.

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