This Spanish-influenced dessert is traditionally made with a milk custard as the filling, but at Nanam they make it with a caramelised mousse. It is traditionally served at Christmas, often with caramelised pineapple compote infused with pandan leaves. The dessert is best made at least a day ahead and kept refrigerated until serving.
Recipe Category: Issue 196
Only use fresh bay leaves in the adobo. While you can mix the rub ingredients in the blender, Andrew and Jess believe the flavour is better if you use a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients as it smashes rather than cuts the ingredients. The annatto powder, which is characteristic of a Batangueno-style adobo, is optional but adds a bright piquancy to the dish. It can be found at some Asian supermarkets or buy seeds online from Tio Pablo and grind to a powder before using. Traditionally pineapple vinegar would be used in the adobo but as it is unavailable here, at Nanam they use a sherry vinegar in its place.
This dish is traditionally served using whole fish, and if you choose to do so then stuff the cavity with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and Chinese chives. Score the fish skin on the diagonal two or three times and season with salt before frying or roasting. The sauce makes more than you will need but it is hard to make it in smaller amounts. It should keep well in the fridge for at least a month.
These flavour-packed fritters are best eaten screaming hot and still crispy straight from the pot, so be sure to make the tomato sambal ahead of time. Candlenuts need to be cooked before consuming, so don’t be tempted to have a nibble.
While rendang curry is more commonly associated with Malaysian cooking nowadays, it’s said to have originated in Indonesia. This dry curry is more often than not made with beef, but I’ve come up with a vegan version using protein-rich tempeh instead. Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy product that’s now readily available throughout New Zealand at supermarkets and health food stores. Being fermented, it’s easier for the body to digest than other soy products and provides good amounts of protein, calcium and prebiotics. This is a rich curry, so a little goes a long way. It can easily be halved to feed fewer people. I suggest serving it with a bright crunchy salad dressed with a lime-based dressing, to cut through some of that richness.
There are many different versions of this dish throughout Indonesia depending on where it’s made and by whom, but it’s most commonly eaten throughout Java. It also happens to be one of my favourite ways to enjoy tempeh. After frying the tempeh until crisp and golden, it’s stirred through the aromatics and sauce and cooked until lusciously sticky. Best eaten straight from the pan with a bowl of plain jasmine rice.
Makrut lime leaves are more commonly known as kaffir lime leaves. Research is inconclusive as to whether the name was originally used in a racist manner, but the word ‘kaffir’ is a derogatory name in many countries, so I’d rather use the southeast Asian name from where the limes originate. Any excess can be frozen and used straight from the freezer.
Gado gado is one of my all-time favourite dishes to eat when in Bali and is one of the most well-known Indonesian dishes to have travelled to the rest of the world. Essentially it’s a bunch of cooked vegetables bound together in a punchy peanut sauce: this is how it’s traditionally made and served, however I like to smear the sauce on the plates before topping with vegetables, so each person can mix their own when eating. I like to go the full deal and add crispy tofu chunks, boiled eggs and cassava vegetable chips, however you can leave the eggs out for a vegan version. You’ll find plain cassava vegetable chips at selected supermarkets and health food stores. I like to use them in place of the more traditional prawn (or shrimp) crackers, as these are laced with MSG and food colouring.
While developing this recipe I tested out many different ways of making peanut sauces until I was happy with both the texture and flavour. While not the fastest way to prepare peanut sauce, I found that hand-grinding the peanuts in a mortar and pestle first before adding the other ingredients gave by far the best results. No one will growl if you use good quality crunchy peanut butter, however.
This salad is bright, crunchy, substantial and packed full of flavour. The dressing can be made well in advance, however dress the salad right before serving to retain its crunch. You can find fried shallots at some supermarkets or at your local Asian supermarket. I use a medium-firm organic tofu from Tonzu.
Using rock sugar in this dish gives the sauce a lovely shine.
Preserved olive vegetables are available in any Chinese greengrocer. Jasmine rice is a good option for this fried rice.