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Posts Tagged ‘lemon grass’

Chicken satay, one of my favorite hawker foods in Malaysia, is marinated chicken/beef/pork meat skewed on a bamboo stick and grilled. The meat is flavorful enough, but we like to dip it in satay sauce. In Malaysia, if you go to eat satays, the vendor will bring up a batch of freshly grilled satays, individual satay sauce for each person, and condiments– chopped pieces of cucumber, pineapples, onion and let’s not forget the ketupat (rice cubes)! You can eat as much or as little as you’d like because only the eaten ones count towards your bill– when you are ready to pay, the vendor will collect and count all the empty skewers and tell you the total price. I remember when I was little, the satay costed RM0.10 for each skewer and the condiments (except ketupat) were free, but not anymore…

Malaysian Chicken Satays, served with satay sauce, cucumbers and ketupat (rice cubes)

Malaysian Chicken Satays, served with satay sauce, cucumbers and ketupat (rice cubes)

Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe (makes about 100 skewers)

Ingredients:
6 lbs of boneless chicken thighs– cut across the grain, to strips of 1 inch width– see note below
about 100 bamboo skewers (10 inch)– rinsed

marinade (blend fine):
5 stalks (about 1 bunch) lemon grass
6 gloves garlic
12 shallots
3 tbsp ground coriander seeds
12 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
enough oil to facilitate blending

Method:

  1. Marinate chicken meat in the marinade for 24 hours. Skew the meat on bamboo sticks (about the length of 5 inches). Be sure the top end piece of meat is securely skewed or it may fall off during grilling. The skewing is a very time consuming process so extra pair of hands helps! After skewing, chicken satays can be wrapped up and bag in batches, and keep frozen.
  2. When it’s time to grill, turn your grill on high heat. Brush chicken satays with some oil and grilled on high heat, uncovered, until the meat is just cooked. Always keep an eye on the satays because the meat is thin and they cook fast. Serve immediately with satay sauce and condiments (pineapples, cucumber, onion and ketupat).

Regina’s Note:

  • Chicken thighs: I don’t trim off the chicken fat because they give more flavor and prevent the meat from drying during grilling.

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Malaysian Satay Sauce

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Ingredients:

for spice paste:
1/3 cup oil
4 lemon grass– use only the whitish part
6 cloves garlic
3 shallots
1 inch galangal
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
12 dry red hot chilis– soaked in hot water briefly to soften

2 tbsp oil
1 cup water
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp tamarind juice (mix 2 tbsp of tamarind paste with 5 tbsp of hot water)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sambal– optional, for color and extra heat
1 1/2 cup roasted ground peanuts

Method:

  1. Blend all spice paste ingredients until very fine.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil to a heated frying pan, add blended spice paste and cook until it is aromatic and bubbly. Stir constantly.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce bubbles again. The satay sauce should taste sweet and a little tangy from tamarind juice. Adjust amount of sugar, tamarind juice and salt accordingly. The sauce will thicken when it cools.

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I made this dish for dinner the other night. While my boys were having diced chicken, shrimp and corn kennel medley, Richard and I were enjoying rendang chicken. It was so mouth watering good with a bowl of steamed rice! Rendang chicken was one of the dishes I learned from a cooking class couple of years ago. I am proud of it as I made it all from scratch including the rendang paste. Just like many other Southeast Asian food, it took me quite some time to cook the chicken, mainly because to thicken the sauce and to cook the meat throughly… the result is worthy nevertheless.

Rendang Chicken

Rendang Chicken

Rendang Chicken Recipe (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:

8 pieces chicken pieces (legs, thighs, wings, breasts)– trim off extra fat

1 can coconut milk (14oz)

salt to taste

2 stalks lemon grass– use only the white part, bruise or cut into 2 inch length with some slits

2-3 tbsp tamarind juice

Rendang paste:

3-4 tbsp sambal chili paste ( or use 20-30 red dried chilies pre-soaked in water)

15 small shallots

1/2 inch galangal

1 inch ginger

6-8 cloves garlic

Method:

  1. Make rendang paste: grind all paste ingredients in blender until smooth, adding enough water to facilitate blending.
  2. Heat oil in deep frying pan and fry rendang paste  and lemon grass until fragrant and the paste is quite dry. Add 1/4 can of coconut milk and salt and cook until the paste is bubbly and oil starts to come out. (Do not attempt to fry paste with lots of oil even it looks a little dry because more oil will form later when chicken is cooking in coconut milk).
  3. Add in chicken, stir till the meat is lightly brown on the outside. Add remaining coconut milk and cook until the gravy is thick and chicken is cooked thoroughly. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add tamarind juice and cook until oil appears. Dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

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