Tag Archives: Tamarind

Spicy Tamarind Glazed Fried Chicken Recipe

I hope you are not bored with my barrage or fried chicken recipes, because today I am going to share another variation of my trusted recipe with a Thai influence, the spicy tamarind glazed fried chicken.

Spicy Tamarind Glazed Fried Chicken

Thai wet tamarind

I always stock my pantry with a packet of Thai wet tamarind, and a typical 14 oz. packet can last me months. If you follow my recipe, you will notice that I always state a specified amount of wet tamarind plus a specified amount of water. What you do is you mix the two in a small bowl, then massage with your hand to incorporate as much of the tamarind into the water. Finally, pass this through a strainer (or fine sieve) to get your tamarind juice/paste.

Spicy Tamarind Glazed Fried Chicken

Spicy Tamarind Glazed Fried Chicken

Fried chicken (or baked chicken)

I honestly prefer my chicken strips deep fried. That said, if you want to avoid deep frying for whatever reason, feel free to follow the “baked” version from my orange hoisin chicken stir fry recipe. Also, I (and I believe most Asians) prefer dark meat, as in skinless boneless chicken thigh and/or drumstick. But, you can always use skinless boneless chicken breast too. Of course this sauce is also super delicious for chicken wings, so you can always prepare some for game day 🙂

Spicy Tamarind Glazed Fried Chicken

Spicy Tamarind Glazed Fried Chicken

Untuk info lebih lanjut,
klik disini

Sayur Asem – Vegetables in Tamarind Soup Recipe

Indonesian sayur asem – vegetables in tamarind soup.

Sayur asem or vegetables in tamarind soup is arguably Indonesia’s most popular vegetable soup.

This Sundanese soup is packed with plenty of fresh vegetables. The broth is extremely flavorful, with spiciness from chilies, sourness from tamarind and tomatoes, freshness from lemongrass, earthiness from ginger and galangal, and bold umami from terasi/belacan/shrimp paste.

This recipe has a very long list of ingredients, but I promise it will be your new favorite soup and it is going to be love at first sip!

Vegetables for Indonesian sayur asem: cabbage, kale, corn, tomato, and zucchini.

Vegetables for Indonesian sayur asem: cabbage, kale, corn, tomato, and zucchini.

What are the common vegetables in sayur asem

There is no set rule to what should and should not be included in a proper sayur asem, but the more popular vegetables you will find include cabbage, chayote, young jackfruit, snake beans, corn, tomatoes, melinjo seeds, and melinjo leaves.

If you live outside of Indonesia, finding all the above vegetables can be very daunting, if not impossible. You can use a mix of more commonly available vegetables in your country.

Since I live in the US, these are the vegetables I use whenever I cook a pot of sayur asem:

  • corn
  • cabbage
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini, to substitute chayote
  • green beans, to substitute snake beans
  • kale, to substitute melinjo leaves
  • dry red skin peanuts, to substitute melinjo nuts

Before using the peanuts for sayur asem, I boil them first in a pot cover with two inches of water for one hour to soften the peanuts.

Ingredients for Indonesian sayur asem: peanuts, shallot, garlic, ginger, red chilies, candlenuts, terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, galangal, tamarind, lemongrass, daun salam, coconut palm sugar, salt, white pepper, and turmeric.

Ingredients for Indonesian sayur asem: peanuts, shallot, garlic, ginger, red chilies, candlenuts, terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, galangal, tamarind, lemongrass, daun salam, coconut palm sugar, salt, white pepper, and turmeric.

Spices, herbs, and seasoning for sayur asem

There are a lot of spices, herbs, and seasonings that go into this soup. The list is long, but you will love the result. There is a reason why this is one of Indonesia’s most beloved vegetable soup.

1. Spice paste

First is the list of ingredients making up the spice paste, which include red chilies, shallots, garlic, candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri), ginger, galangal, terasi/belacan/shrimp paste.

Candlenuts can be substituted with an equal amount of macadamia nuts. And terasi/belacan can be substituted with 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce.

Use a food processor or a blender with a spice attachment to puree together all the listed ingredients into a smooth paste.

2. Other spices, herbs, and seasonings

Then we will also need lemongrass, daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), tamarind, salt, white pepper, coconut palm sugar, and turmeric.

Daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves) are very different from regular bay leaves. It is best to omit if you don’t have these. Using regular bay leaves will give a very different flavor profile to the soup.

I use wet tamarind sold in plastic packaging. To use this, please mix the stated amount with half a cup of hot water. Stir to mix and when cool enough to handle, use fingers to massage the tamarind in the hot water to make tamarind paste/juice. Strain to remove pulps and seeds.

(1) Boil together water, spice paste (red chilies, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, finger, galangal, terasi), lemongrass, daun salam, tamarind, salt, turmeric, coconut palm sugar. (2) Add peanuts and boil. (3) Add cabbage, corn, zucchini, green beans. (4) Add kale and tomatoes.

(1) Boil together water, spice paste (red chilies, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, finger, galangal, terasi), lemongrass, daun salam, tamarind, salt, turmeric, coconut palm sugar. (2) Add peanuts and boil. (3) Add cabbage, corn, zucchini, green beans. (4) Add kale and tomatoes.

How to cook sayur asem

First, boil water in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add spice paste, lemongrass, daun salam, tamarind juice, coconut palm sugar, turmeric, salt, and white pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add boiled peanuts. Reduce heat to a medium, cover the pot, and cook for 10 minutes.

Add cabbage, corn, zucchini, and green beans. Cook, covered, for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Finally, add kale and tomatoes. Cook until kale is wilted and the tomatoes are just starting to become soft, about 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat, taste test, and add more salt if needed. Serve the soup immediately with steamed white rice.

Indonesian sayur asem - vegetables in tamarind soup.

Indonesian sayur asem – vegetables in tamarind soup.

What to serve with sayur asem?

Most Indonesian restaurants offer rice meal sets on their menu. These set meals are perfect for students and working people who don’t always have the luxury to eat at home, especially during lunch hours.

If you visit Indonesia and have no idea which dishes go well together, choosing one of the many offered rice meal sets is often a great idea. Also, if you are traveling alone, set meals let you sample many different dishes in one sitting. 🙂

An Indonesian rice meal with sayur asem typically looks like this:

Indonesian sayur asem - vegetables in tamarind soup.

Indonesian sayur asem – vegetables in tamarind soup.

Other Sundanese dishes to try

Sayur asem is one of the signature dishes of the Sundanese people. Many popular Indonesian dishes come from this cuisine.

Other than sayur asem, you may have heard of dishes such as lalap, karedok (similar to gado-gado, but with the emphasis of using raw vegetables), ayam bekakak/grilled chicken, soto bandung/beef and daikon soup, and ikan bakar/grilled fish.

These are far from exhaustive, and it may take me many years to cover even just a portion of Sundanese recipes.

Sayur asem with chayote, melinjo nuts, melinjo leaves, and snake beans.

Sayur asem with chayote, melinjo nuts, melinjo leaves, and snake beans.

Untuk info lebih lanjut,
klik disini

Pempek Adaan & Saus Cuko – Chicken and Shrimp Balls & Spicy Tamarind Sauce Recipe

Home / All Recipes / Indonesian / Pempek Adaan & Saus Cuko – Chicken and Shrimp Balls & Spicy Tamarind Sauce

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

Imagine a bowl of crispy golden brown deep-fried meatballs, cut into bite-size pieces, served with a savory-sweet and spicy tamarind sauce. If you are drooling from that description, then you will be very happy to create pempek at home.

Although fish is commonly the main ingredient in pempek, today I am sharing this recipe for pempek adaan using chicken and shrimp. You will also learn how to prepare saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce) from scratch to serve with your homemade pempek. I will even give you tips to prepare an almost instant pempek with frozen packets of fish balls.

Ingredients for pempek adaan (chicken and shrimp meatballs): chicken, shrimp, eggs, shallot, coconut milk, tapioca flour, salt, and sugar. Ingredients for saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce): garlic, bird-eye chilies, tamarind, and coconut palm sugar.

Ingredients for pempek adaan (chicken and shrimp meatballs): chicken, shrimp, eggs, shallot, coconut milk, tapioca flour, salt, and sugar. Ingredients for saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce): garlic, bird-eye chilies, tamarind, and coconut palm sugar.

What is Pempek?

Pempek, Mpek-Mpek, or Empek-Empek, is Indonesian fish cakes considered as the signature dish of the city of Palembang in South Sumatra.

The main ingredients for Pempek fish cakes are fish, especially Spanish mackerel (Indonesian: ikan tenggiri), and tapioca flour. The fish paste can be boiled or fried, but they are always served with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

The story has it that Pempek is created around the 16th century by an old Chinese immigrant man who lives in the area around the Musi river in the city of Palembang. He uses the bountiful fish in the area and mixes it with tapioca and spices to create fish cakes, and sells them in his cart around the village. Apek is how people address an old Chinese man, and along the way, the dish itself is known as pempek/mpek-mpek/empek-empek.

What is Pempek Adaan?

My best translation for pempek adaan is anything pempek, or pempek without fish. In this recipe, we will use a combination of ground chicken and ground shrimp for the meatballs instead of fish.

Saus cuko pempek (spicy tamarind sauce): Boil water with minced garlic, sliced bird-eye chilies, tamarind, and coconut palm sugar.

Saus cuko pempek (spicy tamarind sauce): Boil water with minced garlic, sliced bird-eye chilies, tamarind, and coconut palm sugar.

What is saus cuko and how to make it?

Saus cuko, kuah cuko, or just cuko, is the spicy sauce to accompany a bowl of pempek. It has a sweet, spicy, and sour note from tamarind, garlic, bird-eye chili, and coconut palm sugar.

For a more deluxe version of saus cuko, you can add a tablespoon of dried tiny shrimps (Indonesian: ebi) and/or a tablespoon of Tianjin preserved vegetables (Chinese: 冬菜- dong cai).

Saus cuko is a very thin sauce, very similar to noodle broth. It is very common to serve pempek with boiled egg noodles, sliced cucumbers, and the spicy tamarind sauce.

To make saus cuko, simply boil water with minced garlic, thinly sliced bird-eye chilies, tamarind, and coconut palm sugar. Turn off the heat once all the sugar melts.

You can strain and serve the sauce immediately. I prefer to let the sauce steep while I prepare pempek to get an even better flavor for the sauce. I strain the sauce once I am ready to serve the pempek.

Step-by-step to prepare pempek: (1) Mix ground chicken, ground shrimp, minced shallot, coconut milk, eggs, salt, and sugar. (2) Add tapioca flour. (3) Fold into a uniform paste with meatball-like consistency. (4) Use a medium size cookie scoop to drop meatball mixture into hot oil and fry until golden brown.

Step-by-step to prepare pempek: (1) Mix ground chicken, ground shrimp, minced shallot, coconut milk, eggs, salt, and sugar. (2) Add tapioca flour. (3) Fold into a uniform paste with meatball-like consistency. (4) Use a medium size cookie scoop to drop meatball mixture into hot oil and fry until golden brown.

Step-by-step to prepare pempek adaan mixture

In a mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, ground shrimp, ground shallot, salt, sugar, eggs, and coconut milk into a uniform mixture.

Add tapioca flour and use a spatula to gently fold into the ground chicken and shrimp mixture until uniform.

TIPS: Sometimes, there is no need to add the whole 500 gram of tapioca flour to create the meatball mixture. I start with about 2/3 of the tapioca flour, then only add as much as needed until the mixture reaches a meatball-like mixture consistency.

Chill this mixture in the fridge while we heat a pot of oil for deep-frying. If you don’t wish to fry the meatballs on the same day, you can wrap the bowl with a plastic wrap and just rest it in the fridge overnight.

Making ahead

Optionally, you can shape and boil the meatball mixture in a pot of water at this point. You can freeze boiled meatballs in a freezer-safe ziplock bag for up to 3 months. When you want to enjoy some pempek, fry the frozen meatballs in hot oil without thawing.

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

Frying pempek mixture into fried meatballs

Heat a pot of oil over medium heat until the oil is hot. Remove meatball mixture from the fridge, drop tablespoonfuls of meatball mixture gently into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.

Here are my tips for frying pempek:

1. Know when the oil is hot

If you have a thermometer, wait until the oil reaches 170 Celsius (340 Fahrenheit) before frying the meatballs.

If you don’t have a thermometer, try dropping a tiny meatball mixture into the oil. The oil is ready when the mixture floats to the surface instead of sinks to the bottom of the pot.

2. Use a cookie scoop

If you use a medium-size cookie scoop, you can use the scoop release trigger to drop the meatball mixture easily into the hot oil.

3. Fry in batches

Try to maintain the oil temperature during frying, don’t crowd the pot, and fry the meatballs in batches if necessary. For reference, fry seven meatballs per batch when using an 8-inch pot with three inches of oil.

4. Drain over a wire rack

Remove fried meatballs from the hot oil with a slotted spoon or a strainer ladle. Place them on a stainless steel strainer over a mixing bowl to drain off excess oil so they will remain crispy.

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

How to serve pempek

Cut fried meatballs into halves or quarters and place them in individual serving bowls. At its simplest, serve the fried meatballs with the spicy tamarind sauce. Only ladle the sauce over the fried meatballs right before serving so the meatballs remain crispy.

For a complete and more filling meal, try boiling some egg noodles, and cut a cucumber into thin slices. Serve the bowl of pempek with egg noodles and cucumber slices.

I know that fresh egg noodles can be a luxury item in the US. I have also tried serving pempek with vermicelli, rice noodles, and even instant ramen noodles. They all work great and these are all easier options than finding egg noodles.

Ladle some spicy tamarind sauce over the fried meatballs right before serving.

Ladle some spicy tamarind sauce over the fried meatballs right before serving.

The case of an instant pempek

You can make an almost instant pempek if your grocery store or Asian market sells frozen packets of fish cakes or fish balls.

If the fish cakes/fish balls are the boiled variety, boil them following the packet instruction, then fry in hot oil, or even a simple pan-frying to get a golden brown crispy surface. It may be possible to fry them without boiling, but please confirm with the packaging instruction.

If you are lucky enough to find fried fish cakes/fried fish balls, then you can simply cook them following the packet instruction.

Serve these fried fish cakes or fish balls with the spicy tamarind sauce and you get an almost instant pempek.

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

Pempek adaan (deep-fried chicken and shrimp meatballs) with saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce).

Untuk info lebih lanjut,
klik disini