Indonesian Cuisine

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HankTank

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
44
Location
North Holland
We are wondering about Indonesian cuisine in US and Canada.
Indonesia was long colonized by the Dutch VOC ( Dutch East India Company).

There are still vivid ties between families in The Netherlands and Indonesia. The Indonesian kitchens have influenced the Dutch habits a lot. Watered down often.
I am not Indonesian, all I say here is as amateur. But Indonesian food is popular still. Specially when it is original, it can be sizzling hot !
But healthy too .

Grimsby in Ontario, between Toronto and Niagara, has many Dutch families, most came in around 1952.

The last time we visited the Dutch Store was 2018. More Indonesian spices, sauces etc then before.
The "3th generation "- children visit Holland, eat Indonesian, like it, and come back looking for spices".
 
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pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
4,582
Location
Woodbury, NJ
Here's a great book, where I first learned about the foods of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, when a friend gave me the book, when it first came out. Not sure where you can find it, but maybe there are even more similar local books.

At the time, I was more or less obsessed with Thai cooking, and other SE Asian cuisines, and this was where I learned about some of the similarities, as well as some of the unique herbs and spices, and what chili pepper to grow, that would be closest to what is used there. I already had a makrut lime tree growing, used in many of these, like in Thai foods, and this is what got me to grow a curry tree, before I got into Indian food! The Indonesian and Malaysian foods use ingredients and methods from SE Asia, Holland, China, Japan, India, and others - fusion cooking at its best!
 

HankTank

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
44
Location
North Holland
The Indonesian "sateh with peanutsauce" is a staple dish on receptions, parties, even BBQ. Even as streetfood.
It is grilled meat on sticks , often chicken, pork or lamb, marinated with kecap- ( soja), garlic and other spices .
Available in all qualities from easy, as frozen meal , to very good high quality.
It is from Malaysian origin, long ago adopted by the Indonesuan.

It is not immidiate success often by people not familiar with it.
But once used to it, often it becomes a favorite .🙂
 

GotGarlic

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
27,756
Location
Southeastern Virginia
The Indonesian "sateh with peanutsauce" is a staple dish on receptions, parties, even BBQ. Even as streetfood.
It is grilled meat on sticks , often chicken, pork or lamb, marinated with kecap- ( soja), garlic and other spices .
Available in all qualities from easy, as frozen meal , to very good high quality.
It is from Malaysian origin, long ago adopted by the Indonesuan.

It is not immidiate success often by people not familiar with it.
But once used to it, often it becomes a favorite .🙂
I've had this in Thai restaurants, and I've made it at home. We love it.
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
4,582
Location
Woodbury, NJ
Your mention of the sateh, a.k.a. satay, reminded me of another fantastic CB.
Out of print, but this shows what it is.
He has a chicken and a pork satay, with slightly different peanut sauces. And a beef satay, with one of the ingredients in the marinade is orange zest (don't remember all the others). And a fantastic sauce, I have used on other similar dishes - an emulsion using an oil, made with Thai basil, kept bright green with a brief blanching, then drying, then blended smooth, and made into the emulsion with an egg yolk, and a little lime juice and fish sauce. Been a while since I made this, but I have it so many times I have it memorized.

He also has some delicious sauces with some other appetizers, that I've served some Chinese dim sums.
 
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HankTank

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
44
Location
North Holland
With Asian food it is the same as with Italian: " I will never try to compete with a granny" . 🙂
We have limited our scope a bit, not trying to work out all kinds of recipes.

More folllowing certain basics that are proven and adjusted to our own possibilities.
Interesting is the fact that East and West food and medicine understand each other much better the last decades. In our country anyway.

Like fermenting.
James Cook's doctor on board his ship in 19th Century discovered sauerkraut helps against scurvy.
There are Korean books from 2000 years ago explaining the benefits of kimchi .
The co-operation between the digestive organs, from stomach down, is understood now to influence one's well-feeling and mood.
That is an ancient item in the Traditional Asian Medicine.
( Again: I am learning amateur !)

Our daughter in law is Thai.
She and the Thai -friends around her like not-overspiced and not too much oil used.
Our son is chef in a hotel with most Mediterranean guests.
Makes a nice combination. 🙂
 

HankTank

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
44
Location
North Holland
Suriname : Former Dutch colony ,( till 1975) on the top of South America, between British Guinea and French Guinea. Vivid ties between families on either side.
It's cuisine could have a separate thread, but it has not one cuisine.
It has several, due to the roots leading to Indonesia, China, India and Native.

Their cuisines have influenced each other in very interesting way through many years. Chinese use Hindustan ways too, for example.
There are very few Suriname restaurants in The Netherlands, because eating-out is done in somebody's place, potluck-style perhaps.
Suriname stores there are, plus foodtrucks .
Typical Suriname tastes. Like chicken-curry in Java -style, but with Suriname twist.
So, if you ever see a Suriname' foodtruck : Recommended !
 

larry_stewart

Master Chef
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Messages
5,984
Location
Long Island, New York
I've recently been trying a bunch of Asian dishes ( other than Chinese and Indian, which I've done over the years frequently). And one of the cuisines happens to be Indonesian. What I like is I'm being introduced to either new ingredients I've never used before, or ingredients I seldom use, but are frequently used in this region of the world, including, but not limited to: Pantan leaves, recap manis, samba oelek, Calaminsi juice, banana leaves , in addition to a lot of coconut milk, peanuts and tempeh. I've made a bunch off noodle dishes 'Mie Goreng, Bami Goreng', a vegetable stew with rice cakes 'Lontong Sayur Lodeh', a coconut rice 'Nasi Uduk Betawi', a tempeh dish I forgot the name of, and even a chocolate-peanut pancake dessert ' Martabak Manis'.
Here are a few pics of a couple of the above.

***Full disclosure, these are recipes I made from a Vegan Blog. They are not authentic Indonesian, but have a similar taste profile, and have been modified to fit vegan dietary restrictions.***
 

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Jade Emperor

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 12, 2023
Messages
394
Location
Australia
There is an enormous amount of crossover between many Asian cuisines, almost entirely due to historical migration and cultural, economic and political influences. A fairly recent example is the food of the Filipino people, which has a large US influence due to WWII.
There are numerous very good cookbooks that explore both the history and cuisine of various countries and how they tie together. Fascinating stuff!
 

HankTank

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
44
Location
North Holland
Fascinating indeed. I move in circles still with people with ( partly or full) Asian roots. Sometimes there is an overload of salt and sugar, trying to avoid that. With our own Thai' D.I.L. sometimes a chat about doing things automatic or with understanding.
Also Asia- Middle East.
Nice thing when chatting about food. (not always 🙂), is when explaining methods is why they do it : " Because this is good for the spleen, that is good for blood pressure ".etc.
The taste is not mentioned first.
I read about color-theories in traditional Asian food: "If using natural vegetables, fruit etc. When it looks good it will be good".
I am in no way an expert, always learning. But like I mentioned in my intro, I got my weight down from 116 kilos to steady 86.
Even cheating now and then, with an icecream or a burger. But trying to avoid the junk.
 

HankTank

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
44
Location
North Holland
Thanks .🙂
We tend to cook what can best be described as "fusion". With the few Asian basics in mind we earned better the last few years.
But satay is an evergreen !
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
4,582
Location
Woodbury, NJ
Thanks for that link, @Badjak! I had to force myself off of it - I'll look again this evening. I have never seen so many recipes for sambals! As soon as I start getting ripe peppers I'll be making some!
 

Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
379
Great
Let us know what sambals you made and how you liked them ;)
 

tovy

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 14, 2023
Messages
15
Location
United Kingdom
Yes, I think Indonesian food is still one of the final frontiers in the western markets. I've been there 3-4 times and there's the most amazing dishes such kerak telor and opor ayam which are unheard of to most people.
 

Xocolatl

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 22, 2023
Messages
177
Location
The Netherlands
I am partially of Indonesian descent (Sumatra) and live in the Netherlands so I'm in luck in that sense that Indonesian ingredients and food are generally available and of pretty decent quality.
Satay is indeed one of my favorite dishes, as is rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk) and Pisang goreng (fried banana). I cook Indonesian food frequently, so you'll definitely see the kinds of food I make.
 

Xocolatl

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 22, 2023
Messages
177
Location
The Netherlands
Genuine satay sauce recipe please???

Russ
My recipe is as follows:

Ingredients for about 500 ml:
3 tablespoons of smooth unsweetened peanut butter (salted is OK)
50 grams of santen (creamed coconut) or half a block
250 ml milk or coconut milk, sometimes more
Ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce) at least one table spoon
Sambal badjak (fried onion sambal) at least one table spoon
1/2 teaspoon of trassi
1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated garlic
Lemon or lime juice, one half lemon or lime
A spoonful of oil.

This is super easy. Get a saucepan, put all the ingredients except milk and lemon juice in and put it on low heat. Stir until the santen and peanut butter starts to melt. Add the milk while stirring so the other ingredients don't burn. When all the milk is added and it's been cooking for a while you should have a smooth, thick sauce that coats your spoon. If not, add some more milk. Then when it's right add a little lemon juice to make it slightly thinner and add contrast to the flavor. If nothing is burned, you're ready to eat!
 
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