I’m slightly addicted to the Indonesian kitchen but it’s pretty hard for me to actually post Indonesian recipes to my blog. Mainly because I want everyone—regardless of where on God’s green earth they reside—to be able to recreate my recipes without having to go on wild witch-hunts for special ingredients. When it comes to Indonesian cooking; that’s pretty darn hard to do.
Lots of dishes require special spices, spice blends or ingredients. We (and I use the term loosely:) also make use of a sweet and thick soy sauce named Ketjap (Kecap). Things like that are kinda hard to substitute and simply can’t be bought everywhere.
So here’s what I’ve done; I’ve tweaked my original Indonesian Chicken Salad and turned it into a salad using ingredients more widely available. I was not disappointed with the result. Not at all! In fact; I think I even like this version slightly better!
2 chicken fillets (about 12oz)
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
14 oz potatoes
1 large carrot
3 spring onions
5 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp sesame oil
1/3 chili pepper
1 tsp ginger
4 tbsp oil
Earlier this morning I’ve flattened two chicken fillets with my meat hammer. Seasoned them with salt and pepper and grilled them, over really low heat, to prevent them from browning and crisping up too much. You could also used cooked and shredded (leftover) chicken for this recipe. I’ve covered them with aluminum foil and let them cool off on the kitchen counter.
I’m cheating. Going for parboiled and pretty round potatoes called “krieltjes” in my country. I’ve put them in some salted water and boiled them for a few minutes until they were properly cooked. You can chop up and cook some regular potatoes as well, just make sure to use potatoes that hold their shape!
Wash and finely slice 2 or 3 large spring onions.
Peel and grate a large carrot. Yes, there’s that cheese grater planer (or something) I’ve used in my potato salad as well! I have a give-away planned for that one pretty soon!
Wash and make match sticks out of 1/3 to 1/2 a cucumber. Play with the ingredients; if you like more or less cucumber, just adjust the quantities to your liking. You can do that with any ingredient you like or don’t like.
Get 1 or 2 thick slices fresh pine apple. Cut the skin off, cut the core out and coarsely chop them. Nothing is tastier and more fragrant than fresh pineapple. Yum!
In the mean time my potatoes were done. I’ve drained them, let them cool off a bit and transferred them to a large (salad) bowl. Cut them in bit-sized pieces. Or leave them whole. Whatever you like! I’m so easy-going!
You’ll also want to cut the chicken in small pieces. I wouldn’t recommend leaving them whole. It looks pretty stupid in a salad! :)
Add the chicken and all your other chopped ingredients to the potatoes. Put a large handful of bean sprouts in there as well, but only when you’ll be serving the salad immediately. Otherwise you’ll want to stir them in right before serving the salad. That way they’ll stay crispy.
Add 1/3 (slightly heaping) cup of a unsalted peanuts. You could also give them a few smacks first to coarsely pulverize them.
Now dig your hands in there and mix everything up.
You could serve it like this, and people would love it! But we’re gonna up the flavors even more.
I’ve finely minced about 1/3 of a medium-sized chili pepper. Not nearly enough to get everything flaming hot, but more than enough to add a bit of zing.
Grab a bowl and combine 5 tbsp peanut butter (I’ve used crunchy peanut butter), 4 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sesame oil with the chili peppers.
If you like it sweet, add some sugar. If you have Ketjap available to you, feel free to use that instead.
Add 1/2 tsp fresh ginger. I always keep some in the freezer.
Add the juice of 1 lime and start stirring.
Check the seasoning. You might want to add some sugar or even salt. Always taste what you prepare. I left mine just the way it was because it was delightfully non-sweet and tangy.
Pour the dressing over the salad and carefully fold it in.
Garnish with a little chopped up coriander or flat-leaf parsley and you’re done. This salad hits all the rights spots, I tell ya! Best served room-temperature, and trust me when I say it’s a meal on its own!