I’ve made a so called ‘Rijsttafel’ (which translates to ‘Rice Table’). It’s an indonesian dish – I really shouldn’t call it a ‘dish‘, though, that’s just not doing it justice. Think of it as a certain dinner style made up of a wide variety of different and smaller meat, chicken and vegetable dishes served with (fried) rice. Preparing it can be very time consuming, but really worth it every now and then. It’s a great way to have an ‘all evening’ dinner with friends.
Now this dish is not Indonesian, mind you – it’s actually a Thai chicken satay, but it blends in so well with all the other dishes I have no problem adding it. I was served this as an appetizer at an Asian restaurant some time ago. Completely smitten with the simplicity, the great flavor and fabulous look, I got down on my knees and begged for the recipe. Callously they refused to give it to me. Cold, heartless people.
Ok, so that’s a lie. I didn’t get down on my knees. C’mon, I have my pride! In stead I just decided to try my hand at it, even though I didn’t know the exact ingredients. Think I found the magic combo!
10oz chicken fillet (or thighs)
2 tbsp thai fish sauce
6 stalks lemon grass
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 red chili pepper
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove
1 spring onion
1/2 tsp sugar
You’re going to need a food processor for this recipe. I’m using the mini chopper that came with my immersion blender.
Coarsely cut up the chicken and put it in your food processor or whatever device you’re going to use to mash it up with.
Add a roughly chopped red chili pepper, garlic clove, spring onion. I took out some frozen ginger (1 tsp), cut off half and put the rest back into the freezer.
Pour in a little sesame oil. I’ve used about 1/4 tsp – sesame oil is a very strong flavor and I don’t want it to be too overpowering. Also add 2 tbsp fish sauce. You can also throw in some salt if you like. I personally never do, I just don’t think Thai food should be that salty.
To cut the saltiness of the fish sauce, I’ve added 1/2 tsp sugar.
To get everything sticking together a little, throw in a heaping tbsp breadcrumbs.
Squeeze lime juice to taste. I’ve added the juice of 1/2 a lime.
Pop the lid on and blitz until everything is finely minced.
Divide the chicken into 6 small portions. Normally I’d put it in the fridge for about an hour to let it firm up, but I was running out of time.
Pull the outer leaves off the lemongrass stalks (their official name is ‘Sereh’), and cut the tips at an angle. It just looks pretty.
Now just shape the chicken around the lemongrass stalks and lightly brush them with oil.
You can cook them on a grill or use the grill in your oven. Grill them for 6 to 8 minutes, until they’re done. I’ve never done it, but I’m sure they come out fine when you cook them in a skillet. It would require a pretty large skillet, though!
Serve with a few extra lime slices on the side and a generous amount of chili or satay (peanut) sauce. These kabobs make a great appetizer or main course but are also fabulous party food! Aside from their fantastic flavor, they just look so pretty.