'The Year of Living Dangerously' Indonesian Menu

by Celeste Heiter, Mar 26, 2007 | Destinations: Indonesia
Balinese Shrimp Cocktail

Balinese Shrimp Cocktail

Balinese Shrimp Cocktail
Mango Avocado Sambal
Cold Indonesian Noodles
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

The country and culture known as Indonesia encompasses a vast archipelago in the South Pacific that includes the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Kalimantan, along with thousands of islets, including the Spice Islands, each with its own unique culinary palette. Seafood and tropical fruits abound, and the cuisine is influenced by centuries of international trade. The complementary flavors in these light, tropical dishes include chili peppers, lime, coconut, ginger, garlic, and patis. Simple and fresh, it's the perfect menu for a Tiki Buffet. Start with Balinese Shrimp Cocktail and Mango Avocado Sambal with Shrimp Chips. Fire up the grill for Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Catfish Kebabs with Sweet Chili Sauce. Simmer a spicy batch of Rendang Beef Curry, and round out the buffet with Coconut Cole Slaw, Cold Indonesian Noodle Salad, and Chili-Spiced Fruit Kebabs.

Avocado Sambal with Shrimp Chips

1 large tomato, coarsely diced
1 green chili pepper, finely minced
1/4 cup lime juice (3 limes)
2 avocados, coarsely mashed
1 ripe mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 package shrimp chips

In a mixing bowl, combine tomato, onion, chili pepper, basil and lime juice. Allow to stand for a few minutes to marry flavors. Add avocado and mango and stir to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Shrimp Chips. Serves 4.

Balinese Shrimp Cocktail

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and cooked
1/2 cup ketchup
1 lemon, juice only
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sambal ulek
3 scallions, finely chopped
6 large basil leaves, finely chopped
2 avocados, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

In a mixing bowl, combine ketchup, lemon juice, Worchestershire sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Stir to blend. Add onions, basil and shrimp, and stir again. Spoon shrimp cocktail into avocado halves. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve chilled. Serves 4.

Indonesian Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips

Satay Marinade:
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, mince
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons nam pla (Asian fish sauce)
16 bamboo skewers

Slice the chicken into long, thin strips and thread each piece onto a bamboo skewer. Place skewers in a shallow dish and coat with the marinade. Marinate for 1 hour (or overnight in the refrigerator). Grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side, until browned and fully cooked, using an electric grill, stovetop grill pan, or on an outdoor barbeque grill. Serve with Peanut Sauce. Serves 4.

Peanut Sauce:
6 oz canned coconut milk, unsweetened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tbsp nam pla (Asian fish sauce)
1 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 green chile pepper, finely diced

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until well blended and smooth in consistency. Serve with skewers of chicken satay. Peanut Sauce may be served warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Catfish Kebabs

2 pounds catfish filets, cut into 1" cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 bamboo skewers

Skewer catfish pieces and brush with vegetable oil. Using a stovetop grill pan, electric grill, or outdoor barbeque, and grill catfish skewers until lightly browned and done all the way through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup limeade concentrate
1 teaspoon sambal ulek (more or less to taste)

Combine limeade concentrate and chili garlic sauce in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to blend.

Coconut Cole Slaw

1 package cole slaw cabbage, finely shredded
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar   
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 lime, juice only
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ginger root, finely shredded

Combine rice wine vinegar, mayonnaise, coconut milk, ginger, lime juice, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Combine cabbage and carrot in a large salad bowl. Add salad dressing and toss to thoroughly blend. Serves 4 to 6.

Cold Indonesian Noodle Salad

6 cups thin noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 carrot, thinly slivered
1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas, lightly blanched
4 scallions, finely sliced
2 cups medium shrimp, cooked and peeled

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add Indonesian salad dressing and toss gently to mix. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight. Serves 4 to 6.

Indonesian Salad Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sambal ulek
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger root, finely shredded
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously. Allow to stand for 30 minutes to marry flavors.

Rendang Beef Curry

2 stalks lemongrass, crushed and chopped
1 green chili, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons ginger root, finely shredded
1 teaspoon corriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 pounds lean beef, cut into 1" cubes
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 lime, juice only
1 tablespoon sugar

In a small bowl, combine lemongrass, green chili, garlic, ginger, corriander, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir to thoroughly blend. Heat sesame oil in a large wok and stir fry beef until browned on all sides. Add spice mixture and stir-fry until lightly browned and fragrant. Add onion, green pepper, and carrot and continue stir frying until vegetables are just tender. Add coconut milk, lime juice and sugar. Stir to blend. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and sauce is thickened. Serve over steamed rice. Serves 4 to 6.

Spicy Tropical Fruit Kebabs

1 pineapple
1 papaya
2 bananas
4 limes, cut into eight wedges each
Chili powder
16 bamboo skewers

Peel and cut fruits into large chunks. Skewer fruits and drizzle with lime juice. Dust each fruit kebab with a pinch of chili powder. Serve chilled. Serves 4 to 6.

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