Jan 28, 2013

Babi Ketjap

Babi Ketjap

Babi Ketjap (kecap) is a typically Indonesian dish: pork simmered in a sweet soy sauce. You can cook this with various types of pork. Whatever you have in your freezer is fair game: pork belly, pork legs, pork steaks. Choices, choices!

This recipe belongs to my grandma. Back in those days it was hard (at least in the Netherlands) to get your hands on ingredients like fresh ginger, that’s one of the main reasons my recipe uses ginger confit; to me it’s the real Babi Ketjap, but it can easily be replaced.

What I like best about this recipe—other than that it’s a major trip down memory lane—is that it’s exotic enough to feel like you’re eating something special, but so simple it borders on cupboard cooking.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound pork steaks
1 large onion (or 2 small ones)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 to 1 chili pepper
2 pieces ginger confit (or a thumb size piece fresh ginger, grated)
1/2 cup ketjap (sweet soy sauce)
6 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of pepper

 

Directions:

These little balls are the ginger confit I was talking about. I use two of them. Feel free to replace them with fresh ginger.
Babi Ketjap

Finely mince the ginger confit, onion, chill pepper (I used half) and garlic cloves.
Babi Ketjap

Grab a big bowl and combine the ketjap with the tamarind paste.
Babi Ketjap

Add the lime juice, brown sugar, chicken broth and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Babi Ketjap

I opted for pork steaks.
Babi Ketjap

Coarsely slice them.
Babi Ketjap

And season them with the salt, pepper, ground ginger, cumin and coriander. Do the hustle… and let it soak up the flavours.
Babi Ketjap

 
You need to be able to keep all the liquid and moisture inside the pan, so it’s best to use a Dutch oven. Or any kind of thick-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid.
 

Heat the oil and quickly brown the pork. And I mean quickly.
Babi Ketjap

Add the onion and cook it for 2 minutes before adding the chill pepper, ginger and garlic. Give it one more minute.
Babi Ketjap

 
There should be some serious flavours going on in your kitchen now. The kind that will stop people dead in their tracks and make them take a whiff.
 

Pour in the ketjap mixture and, well, that was about all the hard labor there is in making this.
Babi Ketjap

Bring it to a boil and simmer the pork over very low heat for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid, we need sauce!
Babi Ketjap

The ketjap will turn the pork beautifully brown.
Babi Ketjap

See, all the liquid is still in there. I add a tbsp cornstarch that I mixed with 2 tbsp broth, stir it in and let it simmer for 2 more minutes.
Babi Ketjap

Spoon some rice in a pretty bowl. Top with steamed paksoi, Chinese cabbage or whatever makes your skirt fly up.
Babi Ketjap

Spoon some of the sauce on top of the pork…
Babi Ketjap

Garnish with thinly sliced chill pepper and spring onions. It looks fun.
Babi Ketjap

There. Sweet porky love in a bowl.
Babi Ketjap

(Let me save you an email: bought the cute bowls at Foodelicious)

Babi Ketjap
Ingredients
    1 1/2 pound pork steaks
    1 large onion (or 2 small ones)
    3 garlic cloves
    1/2 to 1 chili pepper
    2 pieces ginger confit (or a thumb size piece fresh ginger, grated)
    1/2 cup ketjap (sweet soy sauce)
    6 tbsp chicken broth
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    2 tsp tamarind paste
    2 tbsp lime juice
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp ground cumin
    2 tbsp peanut oil
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    pinch of pepper

Directions
    Finely mince the ginger confit, onion, chill pepper (I used half) and garlic cloves. Use a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger if you can’t find ginger confit.

    In a bowl you combine the ketjap, tamarind paste, lime juice, brown sugar and chicken broth. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Coarsely slice the pork steaks and season them with the kosher salt, pepper, ground ginger, ground cumin and ground coriander.

    You need to be able to keep all the liquid and moisture inside the pan, so it’s best to use a Dutch oven. Or any kind of thick-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid.

    Heat the oil and quickly brown the pork. Add the onion, cook for 2 minutes and add the chill pepper, garlic and ginger. Give it another minute before pouring in the ketjap mixture. Bring it to a boil and simmer the pork over very low heat for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid!

    Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp broth, stir well and pour it into the cooking liquid. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Serve with white rice and steamed paksoi or cabbage.

Meal type: Main course, Pork, Indonesian
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com