Tag Archives: Sauce

Sambal Lampung – Lampung Chili Sauce Recipe

Most Indonesian enjoy savory food with a side of sambal (chili sauce). This practice is so ingrained in our psyche that even western food franchises such as KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, e.t.c. are forced to serve their food with a bottle of chili sauce alongside the requisite bottle of tomato ketchup.

I always thought that the pairing of sambal and tomato ketchup is a universal thing, and it only dawned on me that this is not so when I came to the United States for my college education.

Ye gods, I don’t want to talk about the chili withdrawal syndrome back in those days, you have no idea how happy I was when I finally got a hold of a bottle of chili sauce.

Sambal Lampung – Lampung Chili Sauce

Sambal Lampung or Indonesian bottled chili sauce

There are many kinds of sambal in Indonesia, but the one paired with tomato ketchup to serve alongside western food is derived from sambal Lampung, and since this sambal always comes in a bottle, we lovingly call them sambal botol (bottled chili sauce).

If you visit any supermarket in Indonesia, you will see many varieties of sambal botol, from spicy to mild to sweet. The one I present here is probably what I will call the normal version, which to me has a balanced amount of sweetness, sourness, and spiciness. You can adjust the amount of chilies, tomatoes, and sugar to suit your taste.

Sambal Lampung - Lampung Chili Sauce

Sambal Lampung – Lampung Chili Sauce

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Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce Recipe

The spicy shimeji sauce in this recipe is made with a simple mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, chili sauce (you can use any of your favorite chili sauce, be it South East Asian sambal oelek, Chinese dou ban jiang, or even sriracha), water (or your favorite stock), and katakuriko (Japanese potato starch, or corn starch). Shimeji mushroom is first stir fried in a little oil with garlic, scallion, and red chilies until wilted, then pour the sauce over the vegetables and cook until thicken. Once the sauce is cooked, just pour it over a plate of fried tofu cubes and a quick meal is served.

Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce

Before preparing the sauce, cook your choice of protein first. Here, I use two blocks of firm tofu, each about 400 gram. I cut each block into 8 pieces, coat with some katakuriko (potato starch), and fried in a cast iron skillet until all sides are golden brown. I cut each fried tofu cube into 2 pieces, so from the 2 blocks of tofu, I ended up with 32 pieces of tofu cubes. This is not an exact rule of course, but you can follow my steps if you want. Once I have finished arranging my tofu cubes in serving plates (my plate is rather small, so I needed two plates), then I proceed with making the sauce which should take less than 5 minutes. For busy Moms (or Dads), you can save time by making lots of fried tofu first before hand, then right before a meal, reheat some tofu cubes and cook the sauce. This way, you can prepare easy and healthy meal even when you don’t have much time.

Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce

Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce

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Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce Recipe

Kyoto cuisine is famous for its delicate subtle flavor, just like this dish. Most of Kyoto dishes rely heavily on a good dashi stock, then subtly flavored with soy sauce (typically the light variety, or usukuchi 薄口醤油).

If you want to draw out the full flavor of this dish, you really must spend some time making your own dashi stock, but even if you opt for a shortcut using dashi stock granules, this is still a very delicious dish with a subtle flavor.

The next bit of culinary term is ankake sauce (餡かけ ソース ), which simply means dishes covered in a thick starchy sauce.

Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce

This dish is super easy and super fast to make. It took me about 10 minutes from start to finish, including all the prep work and cooking time!

The key is to start by boiling your broth, then while waiting for the broth to boil, prep the tofu, shimeji, scallions, and make the katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) slurry.

The rest of the steps are easy, just add tofu and shimeji into the broth, simmer for 5 minutes, then heat up and add the katakuriko slurry to thicken the sauce, and its done. Just scoop it into a serving bowl(s) and garnish with scallions.

If you cook this dish in a nabe (Japanese clay pot), you can serve it directly from the nabe. Easy, delicious, and healthy.

Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce

Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce

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Rock Fish in Butter Ponzu Sauce Recipe

Pan-fried fish fillet is my family favorite dish. Whenever I make pan-fried fish dishes like Chinese pan fried fish with soy sauce, soy bean paste fish, or pan fried fish with Thai sweet chili sauce, I can be sure that the dish will be devoured in no time at all.

Today, I am going to share another of my favorite and easy to make pan fried fish dish, rock fish in butter ponzu sauce.

Rock Fish in Butter Ponzu Sauce

Homemade Ponzu Sauce

You can buy ready made ponzu sauce from most Asian groceries, but you can also make it easily at home from soy sauce, dashi stock, yuzu juice (or lemon juice), rice vinegar, and mirin.

My easy to remember ratio for a homemade ponzu sauce is this:

Just mix all the ingredients together to make home-made ponzu sauce.

Rock Fish in Butter Ponzu Sauce

Rock Fish in Butter Ponzu Sauce

How to pan fry fish fillet and prepare the ponzu sauce

Here is how to pan fry our rock fish fillets:

  1. Pat dry rock fish fillets (or any kind of white fish fillet of your choice, such as cod, sea bream, tilapia), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dust with all-purpose flour.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add oil, and swirl.
  3. Add fish fillets to the hot frying pan. Let the fish fillets sit on the frying pan until the edges look golden brown.
  4. Try to give the fillets a gentle nudge. If the fillets do not stick and can be moved around easily, flip to the other side. Again, just let the fillets sit on the pan until they self release.
  5. Remove the pan-fried fillets from the frying pan and set aside.

Next, prepare the sauce by boiling together 2:1 ratio of ponzu sauce and butter. For a 500 gram total of fish fillet, you will need

  • 4 tablespoon ponzu sauce and
  • 2 tablespoon butter.

Once the sauce boils, return the fish fillet into the sauce and simmer for 1 minute and the dish is done! Super simple no? You can dress the dish up with a simple salad and garnish with thinly sliced scallions. This goes really well with steamed white rice.

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Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce Recipe

You want to know what’s the most time consuming this in this tofu dish? It’s frying the tofu actually, so if you can buy already fried tofu cubes from your nearby grocery, or better yet, if you live in Indonesia, and your street food seller is selling fried tofu, go grab some to make this tofu in spicy soy bean sauce in under 15 minutes!

Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

If, like me, you prefer to prepare your own fried tofu cubes, you can still go about it the easy way by making a big batch of “fried” tofu with your oven. Alternatively, the old fashion way of deep frying tofu cubes will always work, though a bit much of work in my opinion. Or, if oven is out of the question, and you are not up to deep frying, you can always pan fry your tofu. In this recipe, I am going to show you how to pan fry your tofu cubes, but you can use whichever method you want, just make sure you have some fried tofu cubes to prepare this dish.

Orek Tahu Tauco - Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Two other key ingredients in this dish is tauco (salted soy bean) and kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce). Most Asian grocery should carry these items, but you can also buy them from Amazon, but be warned that the online price is almost always more expensive. For tauco, I like the one from Yeo’s, but you can use other brand too. For kecap manis, my favorite is the one from Bango, but the one from ABC is also pretty good. Once you have everything ready, let’s go to the recipe.

Orek Tahu Tauco - Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

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Kimchi Pancake with Tangy Dipping Sauce Recipe

Kimchi is a really handy item to stock at home, it is refreshingly good as a side dish, or when cook with fried rice, and it is one of the easiest and tastiest Korean pancake you can make. Today I am sharing two recipes with you, a kimchi pancake recipe along with the recipe for tangy dipping sauce that goes really well with the pancake, or any Korean pancake for that matter.

Kimchi Pancake with Tangy Dipping Sauce

Kimchi Pancake

To make the pancake, first mix together all purpose flour, salt, and ice cold water, then add egg, kimchi, and chilies. Since everyone agrees that crispy pancake is better than chewy pancake, the batter needs to be as cold as possible, and to help that, please add 4-5 ice cubes into the batter mix. Fry the pancakes with a non-stick pan or a cast iron skillet, and if you use a 10.25″ cast iron skillet like me, you should get a total of 4 pancakes, which is pretty plenty even if you have guests coming.

Kimchi Pancake with Tangy Dipping Sauce

Kimchi Pancake with Tangy Dipping Sauce

Tangy dipping sauce

The tangy dipping sauce cannot be easier, you simply mix together sugar, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame seeds, sesame oil, grated garlic, and chopped scallions. If you want to make the sauce ahead of the time, please leave out the garlic and scallions from the sauce, and only add them at the last minute prior to serving with pancakes.

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Okara Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

Today I have another great okara recipe for those who make their own soy milk at home, okara pork meatballs with sweet and sour sauce. Okara is the soy bean pulp leftover from making soy milk. Though very high in nutrients, okara is sadly considered a waste. And that is just too sad, isn’t it? So, let’s not throw away those soy bean pulp the next time you make some soy milk.

Okara Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

To prepare the meatball mixture, mix together okara, ground pork, scallion, corn starch, and egg. Then season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, and ground pepper. Since the water content of each okara batch will be slightly different, add only as much corn starch as needed to easily shape the meatballs. I use about 2 tablespoon of mixture per meatball, and I also dust each meatball with some corn starch.

Ingredients for Okara Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Ingredients for Okara Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

To cook the meatballs, you can choose to either pan fry or deep fry. I choose the panfrying option since it means I end up using only one frying pan for both cooking the meatballs and the sauce to make my life easier.

Okara Pork Meatballs

Okara Pork Meatballs

Finally, it is time to prepare the sauce. In the same frying pan, add some oil and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add chicken stock, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the sauce boils. Give it a quick test to see if you need to add salt, then thicken the sauce with corn starch slurry. Once the sauce is thick, return the meatballs into the pan to coat with sauce. I like to serve the meatballs immediately with some toasted scallions and nanami togarashi (or toasted sesame seeds).

Okara Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Okara Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

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15 Minutes Eggplant with Spicy Soy Sauce Recipe

Let’s talk a bit about this 15 minutes eggplant spicy soy sauce. I think this is an awesome summer dish because one, it takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish, and two, you only need your microwave for this.

I don’t know about you, but I try to avoid staying in the kitchen for long in the summer heat. So, dishes like this that is not only easy, but also delicious, and virtually no cooking time is godsend.

15 Minutes Eggplant with Spicy Soy Sauce

Chinese eggplant

I use Chinese eggplant, which is slimmer and lankier compared to its American sibling. Try to find one that is about 400-450 grams (slightly under one pound) in weight.

To retain the nice purple color of the eggplant skin, the trick is to brush them liberally with oil (I use olive oil, you can use whatever oil you have at home). Then, I just arrange the eggplants in two plates, cover with saran, and cook with the 2-serving fresh vegetable setting in my microwave.

Since each microwave is slightly different, please experiment or consult your microwave manual for the appropriate cooking time.

15 Minutes Eggplant with Spicy Soy Sauce

15 Minutes Eggplant with Spicy Soy Sauce

Spicy soy sauce

Once the eggplant is out from the microwave, make the sauce by simply mixing together soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, and sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the cooked eggplant, and garnish with some thinly sliced scallions.

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Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco – Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce Recipe

If you are in the mood for some spicy dish, may I suggest giving this ayam goreng saus tauco – fried chicken in spicy soy bean sauce a try? There is two parts to this dish, fried chicken pieces, and the spicy soy bean sauce. Once you master this recipe, feel free to switch the chicken with fish, tofu, or tempeh, and I guarantee it will work with any of my suggested substitute.

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco – Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Fried chicken

For the juiciest possible result, stick with chicken thigh. That said, if all you have at home is chicken breast, it definitely will work so don’t worry too much about it. For a speedy cooking time, cut chicken thigh (or breast) into strips, and marinate with bruised (or roughly minced) garlic, lime juice, and salt. Once it has rested for 15 minutes, start preparing oil for deep frying. You can then whisk all purpose flour, tapioca starch (corn starch is okay too), and salt. Dump the chicken into the flour mixture and coat really really well, there shouldn’t be any liquid at all at this stage. Fry chicken until golden brown and set aside.

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco - Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco – Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Tauco and Terasi/Belacan

Some of the key ingredients for this delicious sauce is tauco (salted soy beans) and terasi/belacan (shrimp paste). The links I provide are for products that should be available in your Asian market, such as Marina or 99 Ranch. Of course, you can always buy from Amazon, but the price is more expensive online. Another ingredient that you may consider getting online is Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam). You cannot substitute regular bay leaves with Indonesian bay leaves, and if you cannot get them, my suggestion is to omit from the recipe.

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco - Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco – Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Once you have all the ingredients for the sauce together, first, make the spice paste by grinding with a food processor/blender. I find that if I add a teaspoon of oil into my food processor along with the ingredients, the blended paste is much smoother. To prepare for the spicy soy bean sauce, simply fry the spice paste, lemongrass, and Indonesian bay leaves until fragrant. Add tauco, sugar, mix well, then add water and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is reduced and look slightly dry, add fried chicken to the pan and toss to coat well. It is best to serve this dish hot with some steamed white rice.

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco - Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Ayam Goreng Saus Tauco – Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

The Recipe

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Terong Saus Tomat Pedas – Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe

How do you prepare your eggplant? Indonesian love to prepare eggplant dishes with plenty of sauce which goes really well with steamed white rice. One of my favorite eggplant dish is this terong saus tomat pedas – eggplant in spicy tomato sauce. A great thing about this dish is you can adjust the strength of heat by using different types of chilies. If you want a milder dish, use fresno chilies. If you want a super spicy dish, go with Thai red chilies. And when you simply cannot tolerate any heat at all, feel free to sub with red bell pepper.

Terong Saus Tomat Pedas – Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Eggplant

This time I use eggplant that is common in United States, which is more oval and round with a darker skin color. If you have access to Asian market, you can buy the thinner and longer eggplants. The ones you buy from Asian market is closer to what you get in Indonesia. Either way, just chop your eggplant into big bite size pieces.

Ingredients for Terong Saus Tomat Pedas - Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Ingredients for Terong Saus Tomat Pedas – Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Eggplant and Deep Frying

Most Indonesian eggplant dishes will require deep frying the eggplant first before further cooking with sauce. I know that deep frying is not exactly a chore most people are fond of, but when it comes to eggplant, there is no avoiding it. You can try coating with oil and roast in oven, but the final dish is just not quite the same as the one I get back at home, to my taste buds at least.

Terong Saus Tomat Pedas - Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Terong Saus Tomat Pedas – Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Here comes the sauce

Finally, it’s time to make the sauce. Simply sauté the aromatics (garlic, ginger, and chilies), and season with tomato ketchup, kecap manis, fish sauce, pepper, sugar, and water. Once the sauce boils, add the fried eggplants, and toss gently to coat. Transfer the cooked dish to a serving plate and garnish with thinly sliced scallions.

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