Tag Archives: Spiced

Lemper Ayam – Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss Recipe

Lemper ayam is an Indonesian snack consists of steamed glutinous rice filled with spiced chicken floss, and typically wrapped in banana leaves. I think of lemper as Indonesian version of onigiri, except of course we don’t eat the banana leaves, just the rice and the filling. And if I have to choose between the two, I will always choose lemper.

Lemper Ayam – Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

What is lemper ayam?

Lemper ayam is basically a steamed glutinous rice/sticky rice snack with chicken floss (or other savory) filling, and typically wrapped in banana leaves. As such, there are two components in any lemper making endeavor:

  • sticky rice/glutinous rice (Indonesian: beras ketan)
    The sticky rice component stays the same regardless of which filling you make, so once you master this recipe, you can go wild and experiment with other filling.
  • meat filling
    The most common filling for lemper is undoubtedly spiced chicken floss, and since Indonesian for chicken is ayam, we call this particular combo lemper ayam.

This lemper ayam recipe does call for a long list of ingredients, but it is actually very easy to cook the two parts that make up of a typical lemper:

  1. Steam the sticky/glutinous rice with salt, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, daun salam, and pandan leaves.
  2. Poach, shred, and fry the chicken (or other meat of your choice) with all the listed spices.

Once you are done preparing the sticky rice and the meat filling, the next step is assembling the lemper.

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Lemper Ayam – Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

How to assemble lemper, the traditional way

The traditional way to assemble a lemper is by taking a handful of steamed sticky rice/glutinous rice, place some meat filling at the center, enclose the meat witht the rice, then wrap the whole thing in banana leaves. And repeat until all the steamed rice and/or meat filling is used up.

Sounds complicated and tedious? Well, let me tell you how I do it at home because it is so dead simple compared to the traditional way.

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Lemper Ayam – Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

A much easier way to assemble lemper

Instead of all the complicated steps that I just mentioned, here is how I assemble my lemper, which I guarantee is exceedingly easy.

First, grab an 8″ square cake pan, line with saran plastic (with overhangs!).

Next, spread half of the steamed sticky rice on the pan and press into an even layer.

Then, spread all the spiced chicken floss on top and press again into an even layer.

And finally, spread and press the remaining half of the sticky rice on top of the chicken layer.

Done!

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Lemper Ayam – Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Serving the lemper

When you want to serve the lemper, grab the saran plastic overhang to remove the rice/meat assembly from the pan. With an oiled knife (or better yet, a plastic knife), cut into serving sizes.

If you want big portions, then 2×4 (8 pieces) is the way to go. I usually cut it into 3×5 (15 pieces) since I think this size is closest to what I find in Indonesia. Or, if you prefer squares, you can do 3×3 (9 pieces) or 4×4 (16 pieces).

Whichever way you choose to cut, I think a pot of hot tea will go down nicely with lemper for tea time.

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Tempeh Mendoan – Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter Recipe

Tempeh mendoan originates from the city of Purwokerto in Central Java, Indonesia. Most people consider tempeh mendoan as a snack, and is one of the more popular Indonesian street food, for good reason.

Imagine tempeh, coated with a layer of spiced batter, and deep-fried in hot oil until it develops a crispy, crunchy, and super savory skin.

When you take a bite into it, you are treated with a delightful texture contrast between the crispy skin and the soft and tender tempeh inside. And to make the experience over the top, you really don’t want to make this without the chili sauce!

Ingredients to prepare tempeh mendoan (deep fried tempeh with spiced batter).

Choose 100% soybeans tempeh to make tempeh mendoan

It is not a surprise that tempeh is the main ingredient to prepare tempeh mendoan.

I know that there are so many different varieties of tempeh being offered nowadays, but if you want authentic tempeh mendoan, please stick to Indonesian style tempeh, which is made from 100% soybeans.

And if you are adventurous, you can try your hands at making your very own homemade tempeh!

Tempeh Mendoan - Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter.

Tempeh Mendoan – Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter.

Ingredients to prepare tempeh mendoan

Aside from the 100% soybeans tempeh, you will need the following to make the spiced batter:

  • all-purpose flour
  • rice flour, this is the secret ingredient for crispy skin
  • grated garlic
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • coriander
  • salt
  • sugar

The accompanying chili sauce for your tempeh mendoan is very easy to make. You simply need:

  • kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • minced garlic
  • thinly sliced red chilies, you can use Thai bird-eye chilies or Fresno chilies
Tempeh Mendoan - Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter.

Tempeh Mendoan – Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter.

Frying tempeh mendoan

Once you have everything, it is ready to finally fry some tempeh mendoan. So, let’s go over the steps:

1. Cut tempeh into thin slices

Unless I am in Indonesia, I usually use my own homemade tempeh. And I like to cut them into 12-16 thin slices. You want each slice to be more like a card than a stick!

2. Mix the spiced batter

Simply add all the spiced batter ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir it into a thick batter. It should resemble a slightly thicker pancake batter. Add some water (a tablespoon at a time), if you find the batter is too thick to stir.

3. Heat a pot of oil for deep frying

You will want at least 2 inches of oil. If you want to be precise, use a thermometer and start deep-frying once it reaches 170 Celsius/340 Fahrenheit.

For a no thermometer method, stick one bamboo chopstick into the hot oil, and if there are bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready.

4. Fry the tempeh

Coat each tempeh slice with the batter, and gently drop into the hot oil. Once the coat is golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain over a wire rack.

Not too difficult right? Now you too can make some tempeh mendoan and enjoy these super tasty Indonesian snacks!

Tempeh Mendoan - Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter

Tempeh Mendoan – Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter

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Dendeng Age – Spiced Ground Beef Recipe

Dendeng age is Indonesian spiced ground beef that is super handy to have. We enjoy this easy to cook ground beef as topping for nasi gurih, though regular steamed rice can be used too. If you wish, you can even eat it with noodles or pasta. 🙂

Ingredients to prepare Indonesian dendeng age (spiced ground beef).

What is dendeng?

Dendeng is basically Indonesian beef jerky, typically made from thinly sliced meat cooked with a mixture of spices and sugar. The most popular version of Indonesian dendeng is dendeng balado from Padang cuisine, which is super spicy as with typical Padang dishes. Dendeng age, on the other hand, originates from East Java and is mainly sweet. You can still make it a bit spicy by adding a couple of bird-eye chilies if you wish, though keeping it free of chilies means almost everyone can enjoy this dendeng. 🙂

Ingredients to prepare Indonesian dendeng age (spiced ground beef).

Ingredients to prepare Indonesian dendeng age (spiced ground beef).

What do I need to cook Indonesian dendeng age?

To make dendeng age, you will need:

  • ground beef, though you can use thinly sliced beef too for a more traditional approach
  • daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), omit this if you don’t have them and don’t substitute with regular bay leaves
  • kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • palm sugar, or substitute with dark brown sugar
  • salt
  • tamarind
  • coconut milk
  • water
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • shallots
  • garlic
  • galangal
  • coriander powder
  • cumin powder

Once you have all the above ingredients, we can start cooking our dendeng age, like so:

  1. Prepare a spice paste by grinding together shallots, garlic, galangal, coriander, and cumin.
  2. Heat oil in a wok/frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté spice paste and daun salam (if using) until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef (or thinly sliced beef), cook until no longer pink.
  4. Season with kecap manis, palm sugar, salt, and tamarind juice. Mix well.
  5. Add coconut milk and water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is completely absorbed by the meat and quite dry. Towards the end, you may need to stir quite often to prevent the meat from sticky to the wok/frying pan.

And our dendeng age is done!

Indonesian dendeng age - spiced ground beef.

Indonesian dendeng age – spiced ground beef.

What do I serve with dendeng age?

Dendeng age is enjoyed mainly as topping/side dish for steamed white rice, especially nasi gurih, alongside even more dishes to make a complete Indonesian rice set, such as:

Most people prepare dendeng age ahead of time and let it age for 2-3 days since the flavor improves with time. I usually store my dendeng age in an airtight container in the fridge and simply reheat the amount that I wish to eat with my steamed rice as needed.

Indonesian dendeng age - spiced ground beef.

Indonesian dendeng age – spiced ground beef.

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Ayam Goreng Kremes – Fried Chicken with Crispy Spiced Flakes Recipe

Ayam Goreng Kremes – Fried Chicken with Crispy Spiced Flakes.

Indonesian fried chicken usually does not have crispy battered skins like the western ones (read KFC, lol), but we do have a knack for making kremes.

Kremes batter is a mix of cooking liquid when boiling the chicken and flour. Frying this batter in hot oil creates crispy and utterly delicious fried flakes.

Kremes means crunchy in Indonesian, so the name gives a pretty good idea of the crispy goodness when you bite into them.

Ingredients for ayam goreng kremes (fried chicken with crispy spiced flakes): chicken, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), coriander, salt, palm sugar, all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder.

Ingredients for ayam goreng kremes (fried chicken with crispy spiced flakes): chicken, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), coriander, salt, palm sugar, all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder.

Ingredients for ayam goreng kremes

1. Fried chicken ingredients

You can use one whole chicken cut into 8-12 pieces or about 4-5 chicken leg quarters separated into thighs and drumsticks.

You will also need garlic, shallot, candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri), daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), coriander, palm sugar, and salt.

2. Batter ingredients for the crispy flakes

The crispy flakes batter will be a mix of the cooking liquid from the chicken, along with all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder.

(1) Sauté spice paste, daun salam, and coriander until fragrant. (2) Add chicken, salt, palm sugar, and water. Cook until chicken is tender. (3) Drain the chicken. Strain the cooking liquid and stir in all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder to make kremes batter. (4) Deep fry chicken until golden brown. Make kremes by pouring batter into hot oil.

(1) Sauté spice paste, daun salam, and coriander until fragrant. (2) Add chicken, salt, palm sugar, and water. Cook until chicken is tender. (3) Drain the chicken. Strain the cooking liquid and stir in all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder to make kremes batter. (4) Deep fry chicken until golden brown. Make kremes by pouring batter into hot oil.

Step 1: Boil the chicken and prepare kremes batter

Start with grinding shallots, garlic, and candlenuts into a smooth paste.

Heat a little oil in a wok over medium heat, and sauté spice paste, Indonesian bay leaves, and coriander until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken, salt, sugar, and water into the wok, then stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cook, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken and drain over a strainer.

Strain the cooking liquid, then mix it with all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder to create the kremes (spicy flakes) batter.

Ayam Goreng Kremes - Fried Chicken with Crispy Spiced Flakes.

Ayam Goreng Kremes – Fried Chicken with Crispy Spiced Flakes.

Step 2: Fry the chicken and make the crispy flakes

Heat a pot of oil for deep frying.

Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken until golden brown. It should only take about 2 minutes per batch. Drain the chicken on a wire rack to remove excess oil.

Finally, it is time to prepare the kremes. Pour the thin batter in thin streams into the hot oil. Once the batter is crispy and golden brown, scoop it up with a fine-mesh strainer and drain on a wire rack or parchment paper.

TIPS: The hot oil will bubble quite vigorously when you pour the thin batter, but it should die down in about 10 seconds.

Serve the fried chicken immediately with the crispy fried flakes (kremes) and steamed white rice. I usually serve this with a side of sambal terasi.

Ayam Goreng Kremes - Fried Chicken with Crispy Spiced Flakes.

Ayam Goreng Kremes – Fried Chicken with Crispy Spiced Flakes.

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