Nov 10, 2008

Lemongrass Kabobs

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
sesame oil
lime juice


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.

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    1. 1

      This looks just fantastic. I’ve been really enjoying your blog since I discovered it!

      Kalyn on Nov 10, 2008 @ 3:57 pm Reply
    2. 2

      You made me laugh, Kalyn, because I’ve actually been over at your blog the past week or so :)

      Kay on Nov 10, 2008 @ 4:58 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I saw this and said “Oh that would be to difficult for me.” After seeing the pictures I could actually pull this off. Only problem? They don’t sell lemongrass stalks in my little hick town! They look great though!

      Heather W. on Nov 11, 2008 @ 1:01 am Reply
    4. 4

      Mmmm. That looks great! Thanks for the recipe.


      Liz on Nov 11, 2008 @ 5:08 am Reply
    5. 5

      Heather, I’m lucky there’s one vendor selling them so I can buy them on my weekly trips to the market, but local grocery stores here also don’t carry them. What’s also fun and looks pretty is to simply use a vegetable peeler on baby carrots and use those as skewers.

      Kay on Nov 11, 2008 @ 10:15 am Reply
    6. 6

      These look absolutely delicious! Yum!

      Piggy on Nov 11, 2008 @ 8:50 pm Reply
    7. 7

      kay! i’ve been looking for an easy appetizer recipe to impress my boyfriends family with this thanksgiving and this is perfect!
      thank you!
      oh and on a totally different note, i finally started foodblogging. my first real recipe is up, and i need a favor.
      could you look at it please and let me know how i can make it better?
      thank you!

      Raj on Nov 13, 2008 @ 5:44 am Reply
    8. 8

      Raj, tried to leave you a comment at your site but don’t have a blogspot so I couldn’t. It looks great and so tasty, it’s great as is! Visual recipes make it so much easier to follow. Photos were great, too!

      Kay on Nov 13, 2008 @ 9:00 am Reply
    9. 9

      I just saw your recipe yesterday and tried it for dinner tonight. It was amazing! I didn’t even have fresh ginger, garlic or the red chile pepper (I used all dried) and they were still good. I threaded them on wooden skewers and cooked them on my flat skillet and finished them off in the oven. I made satay with almond butter and coconut milk (due to allergies in the family). Yum!

      Thanks for the wonderful recipe. This is now my new favorite recipe. so good and easy!

      The Topiary Lady on Nov 14, 2008 @ 2:18 am Reply
    10. 10

      Don’t you love the combination of flavors? I’m exactly the same. I’ll just grab dried spices and/or herbs when I don’t have fresh ingredients.

      Kay on Nov 14, 2008 @ 8:05 am Reply
    11. 11


      I really enjoy your blog ever since I found it from foodgawker. I’m from Indonesia and been noticing that you have some posts on Indonesian dishes and there’s also ingredient like kecap manis. Just wondering how you got familiar with the dishes. I realised it could be because of historical ties between the dutch and Indonesia, but never thought that after hundreds of years there are still traces of it in your country. Is it easy to find some Indonesian dishes there?

      ika on Nov 14, 2008 @ 3:49 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Ika, my mother (and grandparents) lived in Indonesia for 6 years, so I grew up with the Indonesian kitchen. Indonesian spices are as normal here as Dutch spices and can be bought at pretty much every local supermarket, and yes, even hundreds of years later the Indonesian influences in Dutch cooking are still very much alive. Only we still use the old fashioned spelling such as Ketjap and Atjar etc.

      Kay on Nov 14, 2008 @ 3:55 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Hi from another Kay! Wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your site. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. Photos are breathtaking!

      Kay on Nov 18, 2008 @ 10:51 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Everything about your blog is gorgeous.

      syrie on Nov 23, 2008 @ 11:24 pm Reply
    15. 15

      You’re making me blush, Syrie :)

      Kay on Nov 24, 2008 @ 12:46 pm Reply
    16. 16

      These look delicious! I’m embarrassed to even ask this but do you bite around the lemongrass or eat the stalk as well?  I’ve never cooked w/ it before and was recently introduced to it and LOVE it.  

      Chelsea on Dec 7, 2012 @ 6:07 pm Reply

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