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Passport & Plate - Sate Lilit Ayam

Indonesia | Thursday, 13 March 2014 | 5 photos

Ingredients for Peanut satay sauce

250g raw peanuts with the skin still on
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 birds eye chilies, thinly sliced
25g kencur, finely chopped
3tbs palm sugar syrup
50ml high quality coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves, middle rind removed and thinly sliced
1tsp kaffir lime juice
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup coconut oil for frying
1/2 cup water

Ingredients for Base Gede

300g large red chili, halved, seeded and sliced
200g shallots sliced
100g garlic
150g galangal
75g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
50g kencur peeled and finely chopped
175 fresh tumeric peeled and finely chopped
75g candlenut
2tsp coriander seeds
150ml coconut oil
250ml water
1tsp black pepper corns
2 sticks of lemon grass, bruised and halved
2 bay leaves
3 kaffir limes leaves
2tsp tamarind juice
3tsp palm sugar syrup

Ingredients for chicken

300g chicken mince ground into a smooth paste using a food processor.
2 cups freshly grated coconut. If you are unable to use fresh coconut, soak dried coconut until soft.
1/2 base gede (see recipe)
5 kaffir lime leaves, middle rind removed and thinly sliced
2 tsp palm sugar syrup
1 tsp tamarind juice
sea salt to taste
lemon grass stalks
coconut oil to coat


How to prepare this recipe
Method for peanut satay sauce

1. Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add peanuts, garlic, chillies and kencur and shallow fry, gently stirring constantly to avoid burning until golden brown and aromatic. Using a metal slotted spoon, remove from oil.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound ingredients to a paste.
3. Heat coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan and add the paste together with water, stirring until a consistent and smooth texture. 4. Add kaffir lime leaves and continue stirring until thick.
5. Add coconut milk and then simmer uncovered, stirring frequently to prevent the sauce from burning for 10 minutes.
6. Stir through the kaffir lime juice and palm sugar syrup

Method for Base Gede

1. In a mortar and pestle ground chili, shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, kencur, tumeric, candlenut, coriander seeds and pepper corns
2. Add ground paste to a heavy based pan along with remaining ingredients except for palm sugar and tamarind juice and simmer over medium heat for approx 20 mins or until golden and fragrant.
3. Add palm sugar syrup and tamarind juice
4. Leave to cool. Once cooled, remove lemon grass, bay leaves and kaffir limes leaves

Method for chicken sticks

1. Combine chicken mince with all other ingredients in a bowl (except lemon grass and coconut oil)
2. Gently but firmly mould a heaped tablespoon of chicken mixture over the top of a lemon grass stalk or around a thick wooden skewer.
3. Gently coat the chicken in coconut oil to achieve a nice gloss
4. Grill chicken skewers preferably over charcoal or instead bbq until golden brown
5. Serve with peanut sauce


The story behind this recipe
Last year I quit my job to chase a dream. A dream that saw me falling to sleep with books like ‘Around the World in 80 dishes’ on my pillow, dreaming of eating in far exotic places, and waking with a grumbling appetite for adventurous eating. When I was 18 years old I faced the most difficult challenge of my life, fighting cancer. 7 years on I’ve had invaluable friendships, unforgettable moments and the pleasures that come with a comfortable life. With my comfortable life came routine; routine is a dangerous thing. It will give you tunnel vision, it will hear you complain, condemn and utter the words “one day” a thousand times over. I spent years scrawling my dreams in a notebook, lists of destinations and culinary experiences I would fulfill ‘one-day’. But two years ago a wake-up call changed everything. I was facing the threat of cancer once more, which meant the risk of my ‘one-day’ list bearing a new name: ‘I wish I had of’. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. I promised myself that if I came out of this alive, I wouldn’t just be alive - I would live. And I stuck to it. I quit my job, sold everything and bought a one-way ticket to begin a gastronomic journey. This is not a vacation, not a gap year, this is life. I began in Bali where I arrived ready for a food frenzy. After one week of hunting down warungs, chasing street-carts and befriending local chefs I was hospitalized with a parasite infection. Shaken, I needed something to turn this daunting experience around. The day after being discharged I went to a local cooking class which left me with a renewed sense of confidence and excitement. This recipe is from that day. A day when I was reminded of the conviction and courage that I needed to change, of the liberation of forgetting my fears and taking charge of my life. It is the first recipe that I learnt on my journey, the first recipe I sent home to friends and family and the recipe that I will now remember as the beginning of my new life.

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