Tasty Indonesian Recipes

I promised I would share a few of the best recipes for the cooking class we had about a week ago in Ubud, for those who have said they want to try. I think the initial big shop could set you back a bit but once you have all the spices and sauces at home they will last for ages (and I bet some of you curry and mulled wine lovers already have a lot of this stuff). Now from what I gathered from the cooking class a lot of the Indonesian dishes work from one ‘basic’ yellow sauce that they use, so I will start with that and then give you the other delights you can whip up afterwards. The sauce can be made in a big batch then frozen for 2-3 weeks and trust me it’s worth the effort it’s so tasty!

Basic Yellow Sauce (Base Gede Bumbu Kuning) – Serves 4-6

10 shallots
15 garlic cloves
2 thumb sized pieces of lesser galangal (this is in the same family as ginger if you can’t buy raw it is often exported as a preserve, so try the preserved garlic etc isle).
2 thumb size pieces of great galangal (same as above)
2 thumb sized pieces of ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 hot chillies (usually green)
3 red chillies
4 macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon palm sugar (it says online sainsbos do this)
1 stalk of lemongrass
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons shrimp paste (Indonesian if possible but Thai etc will do)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil (can use other oils but this gives the sauce a better taste)
Pinch of salt and pepper

1. Slice and remove seeds from both sets of chillies. Finely chop shallots, garlic, both types of galangal, ginger, nuts and chillies.
2. Blend the chopped ingredients, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, nutmeg and cloves in a pestle and mortar or blender until it forms a fine paste.
3. Sauté paste in your coconut oil. Crush the lemongrass stalk then add lemongrass, salt, pepper, palm sugar and bay leaves to the paste in the pan. Continue to fry for around 7 minutes on a low heat.
4. Then use for whatever dish you intend or let cool and then freeze.

Chicken in Coconut Curry (Be Siap Mesanten Kare Ayam) -Serves 4-6

3 chicken breasts (can use any meat or fish)
Cup of cubed potato
7 cloves of garlic
3 shallots
1 spring onion
2 red chillies
3 tablespoons coconut cream
1/2 litre chicken stock
2 tablespoons of your pre prepared yellow sauce
1 tablespoon coconut oil (again can be substituted)
2 bay leaves
5 kaffir lime leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice chillies and remove seeds. Slice shallots, garlic and spring onion.
2. Clean, peel and cut potato into 2cm cubes and cut chicken into small slices.
3. Fry shallots, garlic and spring onion on medium heat until light brown. Add the basic yellow sauce and then the chicken and potato and mix together.
4. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Break the bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves and add to stock, also adding salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add coconut cream and cook on low heat until chicken is cooked and potato is soft.
6. Serve with boiled rice and deep fried shallots (if you want to).

Chicken Satay (Sate Siap Sate Lilit Ayam) – approx 15 skewers


500g minced chicken (or any other minced meat you choose)
2 tablespoons of your pre prepared basic yellow sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 wedge of lime
Salt and pepper to taste

15 skewer sticks – you can use ice lolly stick, kebab sticks or lemongrass.

1. Add minced chicken, basic yellow sauce, palm sugar and salt and pepper into a bowl and squeeze lime over and mix throughly with your hands.
2. Take around one tablespoon of mixture to form a ball and mould the mixture onto your skewer sticks to make around 15 sticks.
3. Grill the sticks (or BBQ) until meat browns (they don’t take long to cook).
4. Serve as a starter or with rice for a main.

Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves (Pepesan Be Pasih Pepes Ikan) – Serves 4-6



500g tuna steak (you can use other meats and fish)
3 medium tomatoes
1 cup lemon basil leaves
2 tablespoons of your pre prepared basic yellow sauce
Salt and pepper
Slice of lemon
Banana leaf (you can use tinfoil or baking paper also)

1. Slice tuna into 1cm cubes. Dice tomatoes.
2. Roughly mix tuna, tomato, lemon basil, yellow sauce, salt and pepper and squeeze over the lemon.
3. Place two tablespoons onto the banana leaf (foil or baking paper) and roll until mixture is wrapped, securing with a tooth pick at each end.
4. Steam the packages for ten minutes or grill for three.
5. They are now ready to serve with rice or whatever you choose

Coconut and Green Bean Salad (Jukut Urab)


250g green beans
1/2 whole fresh coconut grated
2 tablespoons of your pre prepared basic yellow sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Boil the green beans for two minutes so they are still crunch and slice into half centimetre sized pieces.
2. Grate coconut.
3. Mix the chopped beans, coconut, yellow sauce , palm sugar and salt and squeeze over the lime. Mix together and serve.

Now enjoy and if anyone does cook any of these please send me a picture and let me know how it goes 🙂


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