Feb 21, 2011

Indonesian-Style Green Beans

Indonesian Green Beans

Having lived in Indonesia for so long, this was my mom’s favorite side-dish and, by chance, was the last thing I cooked for her. It’s been years since I last ate it—not sure why because it’s a really great recipe—and I wasn’t prepared for the wave of memories it brought back.

Isn’t it amazing how food can make those people we miss seem so nearby? Like I can pick up the phone and just call her. For the longest time that’s what I did; I would dial her number before I realized I couldn’t call her anymore.

But anyway… back to the recipe.

Normally I use santen for this dish. Santen is basically a concentrated coconut creme; boiled down coconut milk that’s sold in cubes. For this dish I use half a cube if you want to use santen for this as well. I used coconut milk this time!

I also use sambal. Sambal is a condiment made of chili peppers and spices and it can be sweet, hot or flavorful, all depends on your personal preferences. It can be replaced with 1/2 to 1 finely minced chili pepper.


Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound green beans
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
3 heaping tbsp coconut cream (what floats on top)
1 tsp hot sambal or 1/2 red chili pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1 tsp dried coconut
2 tbsp oil
salt

If you happen to have the following spices in your pantry, add them as well.

Optional:

1/2 tsp ground lemongrass (sereh)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (ketoembar)



Directions:

It’s so simple. So very basic and simple. Green beans, onion and garlic.
Indonesian Green Beans

Trim the beans and parboil them for 10 to 12 minutes in lightly salted water. Don’t cook the heck out of them.
Indonesian Green Beans

Chop the onion and grate the garlic.
Indonesian Green Beans

This is what separates the good from the bad coconut milk; good coconut milk has really thick cream floating on top and watery coconut milk at the bottom. I use the cream.
Indonesian Green Beans

Heat the oil and sauté the onions. Give them 5 minutes over low to medium heat.
Indonesian Green Beans

Drain the beans and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Gotta love my retro and ancient Tupperware colander.
Indonesian Green Beans

Surinam sambal is the best there is for me. It’s nice and hot. You can use a finely minced chili pepper instead.
Indonesian Green Beans

After 5 minutes you add the garlic, turmeric, sambal (and other spices when you use them). Give this 30 more seconds.
Indonesian Green Beans

Spoon in 3 full table spoons of the thick coconut cream.
Indonesian Green Beans

Wait for it to melt. Gah, this smells so good. Bring it to a boil.
Indonesian Green Beans

Season it with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the green beans.
Indonesian Green Beans

Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Until the sauce has cooked down a bit and sticks to the beans.
Indonesian Green Beans

This is optional but it adds flavor and texture to the beans.

Put some unsalted peanuts in your food processor, add a sprinkling dried coconut to it and blitz. Sprinkle all over the beans.
Indonesian Green Beans

Serve this with a nice beef stew (Beef Rendang is delicious) and steamed rice and you got yourself the best meal ever!
Indonesian Green Beans

Indonesian-Style Green Beans
Ingredients
    1 1/2 pound green beans
    1 onion
    2 garlic cloves
    3 heaping tbsp coconut cream (what floats on top)
    1 tsp hot sambal or 1/2 red chili pepper
    1/4 tsp turmeric
    handful unsalted peanuts
    1 tsp dried coconut
    2 tbsp oil
    salt

    If you happen to have the following spices in your pantry, add them as well.

    Optional:

    1/2 tsp ground lemongrass (sereh)
    1/2 tsp ground coriander (ketoembar)
Directions
    Trim the beans and parboil them for 10 to 12 minutes in lightly salted water. Chop the onion and grate the garlic. Heat the oil and sauté the onions. Give them 5 minutes over low to medium heat.

    Drain the beans and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. After 5 minutes you add the garlic, turmeric, sambal or minced chili pepper (and other spices when you use them). Give this 30 more seconds before you spoon in 3 really full tbsp of the coconut cream floating on top.

    Bring it to a boil, season it with salt an pepper and stir in the green beans. Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Until the sauce has cooked down a bit and sticks to the beans.

    Use a food processor to mince the peanuts and dried coconut. Sprinkle it over the green beans.
Meal type: side dish
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

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    25 Comments »

    1. 1

      For the record, Americans can find that exact brand of sambal at World Market.  At least my local World Market stocks it, as well as other types like  sambal trassi (my favorite!)
      I’m not a big fan of green beans but I love Indonesian flavors  so much, I will have to give this a try.
       

      Nicole de B. on Feb 21, 2011 @ 9:21 pm Reply
    2. 2

      @ Nicole:

      Good to know. Was asked what sambal was several times so had no idea if it was sold there or not.

      Same here. Unless I eat them like this, or they’re wrapped in bacon or mashed into a hodgepodge with other flavors, I think they’re pretty boring to eat.

      Kay on Feb 21, 2011 @ 9:34 pm Reply
    3. 3

      This recipe sounds great! Will be trying it. So much more interesting than boring old green beans.
      P.S. So sorry to hear you have lost your mom…

      Vanessa on Feb 22, 2011 @ 2:18 am Reply
    4. 4

      Is Surinaamse Sambal the same as Sambal Oelek?  I have some of that in the fridge!  Thanks, Nicole, for the tip about World Market!

      Niteowl Nancy on Feb 22, 2011 @ 4:58 am Reply
    5. 5

      I live in the middle of nowhere and nowhere means no World Market.  I will have to enjoy the green beans vicariously.

      Rhonda on Feb 22, 2011 @ 5:20 am Reply
    6. 6

      @Niteowl Nancy:

      Not really. Surinaamse sambal is much spicier than sambal oelek, but you can use the oelek as well!

       

      Kay on Feb 22, 2011 @ 9:01 am Reply
    7. 7

      You’re making me curious how Surinaamse sambal tastes.   Call me sambal lover.  The closest store bought one that I can get is the North American version sambal oelek which I don’t like the taste.  So that is why I usually make my own sambal ulek.

      Pepy @Indonesia Eats on Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:47 am Reply
    8. 8

      @Pepy @Indonesia Eats

      I’ve yet to find the first store-bought sambal ulek (oelek) I like. Unless I make it myself, I don’t eat it.

       

      Kay on Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:49 am Reply
    9. 9

      wow! This looks amazing!

      peachkins on Feb 22, 2011 @ 12:16 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Oh yes, green beans but with a new twist! Can never have enough green beans recipes. Thanks!

      Jaime on Feb 22, 2011 @ 12:28 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I’ve got some green beans in the fridge-thanks Kay, nice and easy and great timing, helping me get in the mode for my holiday  (last week I made Beef Rendang) I’m off to Java/Bali in two weeks time!
       

      Vanessa (A Dutch Brit) on Feb 22, 2011 @ 2:20 pm Reply
    12. 12

      That looks fantastic!! I love the flavor of coconut cream and sambal. I’m going to have to try these, but I think I might fry the green beans briefly instead of parboiling them–I like the texture and color that gives.

      Jenna on Feb 22, 2011 @ 4:46 pm Reply
    13. 13

      oh, I am definitely trying this out. I love beans and coconut!
       
      off topic: your pepper mill looks very pretty. Could you tell me where could I find it? Do you like it?

      Indre on Feb 22, 2011 @ 11:02 pm Reply
    14. 14

      @ Indre:

      It’s called a ‘chef ‘n pepper mill’, and I cannot live without mine. I bought mine at a local cooking supplies store but they’re sold all over the world, I think.

      Kay on Feb 23, 2011 @ 4:19 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Yum!  I love anything with coconut milk in it!  For those of you that can’t find the sambal where you live, I wonder if you can get it online.

      Stephanie on Feb 23, 2011 @ 8:35 pm Reply
    16. 16

      thanks, I will look for it ;-)

      Indre on Feb 23, 2011 @ 9:52 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Great looking side dish! I love green beans.

      Katrina on Feb 24, 2011 @ 2:04 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Hi there,

      I just love your blog!! Every now and then I ‘have’ to check it for a nice dinner with friends!! By the way, do you know where I can find yam in Amsterdam (or close by)? 

      Thank you!

      Groetjes, Bruna.

      Bruna on Feb 24, 2011 @ 7:49 pm Reply
    19. 19

      My mother as well lived in Indonesia and then was captured in WWII. After being released she and her family immigrated back to The Netherlands.  Was that your mother’s case too?  I live in the states along with my mother and we love looking at your recipes.  I can’t wait to make this for my mom.

      Dede on Feb 26, 2011 @ 1:02 am Reply
    20. 20

      @ Dede:

      No, my grandfather was a knil servicemen… a sergeant major in the Royal Dutch East Indies army. He ended up in a concentration camp on I think it was Java. He made it out alive, but we heard the gruesome stories. The Japanese back then were even worse than the Germans in ’45. 

      My mother (who was a little girl then) and grandmother weren’t there at that time, or they would have been captured as well. They ‘only’ spent 5 years together in Djakarta.

      Kay on Feb 26, 2011 @ 7:41 am Reply
    21. 21

      My grandfather was in the army as well.  He was captured and did not make it out alive.   I agree with you about the stories.  My mom was 9 when she was captured.  She lost her brother as well in concentration camp. 
      We always get a thrill when you use a recipe with Sambal in it!  My mom uses it in everything!

      Dede on Feb 27, 2011 @ 2:53 am Reply
    22. 22

      Hi Kay,
      on Saturday I hosted an Indonesian evening for my friends; it’s a yearly thing- I hold a dinner party for about 15 pers. after inspiration gained from my holiday destination. This year I went to Java/ Bali.
      I actually made two of your dishes; this one and Atjar Ketimun. Thanks Kay for helping to make my evening such a success!
      I usually make a post on my blog with all the recipes so my friends can create them at home,  would you have a problem with this? Of course I will give you all the credit and a link to your recipes.
      The cucumber was HOT! And was excellent with the other dishes. I usually favour Thai cuisine; I love spicy and ample sauce  and I was in general rather disappointed with the Indonesean cuisine- too sweet, and dry- too many bones, not enough heat…(Oh dear must not be too negative.)
      Vanessa

      Vanessa- a Dutch Brit on Jun 6, 2011 @ 9:48 am Reply
    23. 23

      Hi Kay,
      I had a pile of cooked green beans leftover from yesterday in my fridge and when I googled indonesian coconut green beans, your recipe came up. By coincidence I had everything, so I’ve just made it. It smells and tastes delicious, thank you!
      Sinead

      Sinead on Apr 27, 2012 @ 4:47 pm Reply
    24. 24

      This recipe was absoloutely Delish could of licked my plate lol
      I almost ate the whole pan of green beans
      Thank you for this simple and new spin for me anyways on green beans my parents eat a lot of over cooked boring green beans sprinkledtwitch nutmeg
      This is my new favorite vegetable recipe
      Cant wait to share this one :-) made my dinner dance

      Janice Jansen on Jul 19, 2012 @ 5:57 am Reply
    25. 25

      Hi kay, I stumbled upon your outrageously pretty blog via pinterest. I’m Indonesian and live in Jakarta but frankly I have never made this green bean dish. Lol!
      where have I been :p
      Anyhow, hugs to you and your family:)

      Amy Pangestu on Sep 16, 2012 @ 12:43 pm Reply

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