Chef Endang Supriadi lets us in on a Sundanese beauty secret – eat your vegetables raw. “That’s why even at 60, the Sundanese people look so young, with not a single wrinkle on their faces,” says the chef of Pullman Jakarta in Indonesia.
The Sundanese are an ethnic group in the western part of the Indonesian island of Java, where Endang’s father comes from.
Endang cooks all sorts of Indonesian dishes, but never fails to introduce food from the Sundanese part of his family. This includes the popular Sundanese salad karedok, made with raw vegetables and served with peanut sauce.
Endang was the guest chef at Pullman KLCC for its special week-long Embark On A Culinary Journey Through Indonesia event last month. For the food promotion, the chef prepared a variety of Indonesian dishes, which he says are similar yet different from their Malaysian counterparts.
“For example, the sup buntut – or sup ekor, as it is known here. They are both oxtail soups and made of similar ingredients, but taste so different in each country. The soup is spicy and peppery over here, but slightly saltier in Indonesia,” says the chef, who has been cooking professionally for 23 years.
Endang gives his version of sup buntut a slight twist with a dollop of margarine, which he says adds extra oomph to the soup.
“We also prepare satay differently,” he adds. Without getting into a lengthy argument over which country created satay first, Endang amicably states that Indonesian satay doesn’t have any fat on the skewers. “We trim the fat and use only lean white meat for our satay. The flavour comes from the peanut sauce.”
Endang doesn’t just serve peanut sauce for dipping, but also uses it for marination and basting as well. The key to a good peanut sauce lies in perfectly roasted peanuts, says the chef.
“Leave the skin on the peanuts when you roast and grind them. I like the paste to be smooth, but you can adjust the texture to your liking.”
Another must-have item to make the peanut sauce is the limo lime – popular in Indonesia and very often mistaken for the kaffir lime. “They may look similar, but they aren’t the same. However, if you don’t have limo limes, it’s better to use key limes (limau nipis), that has a similar taste,” he says. Endang uses the peanut sauce to baste the skewered chicken as it is grilled.
“Put as much as you want. It’ll be a messy process but the taste will be worth the clean up after!” he says.
250g long beans
50g white cabbage
250g bean sprouts
bird’s eye chilli, to taste
500g peanuts, roasted
5 cloves garlic
50g palm sugar
25g dried shrimp paste (belacan)
salt, to taste
2 tbsp tamarind juice, or to taste
250ml hot water
fried shallot crisps
emping (melinjo) crackers or keropok
Rinse the vegetables in warm water and drain.
Cut all except the beansprouts into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
To make peanut sauce
Pound bird’s eye chillies, roasted peanuts, garlic, galangal, palm sugar, shrimp paste and salt together.
The consistency of the paste can vary according to your preference. Add tamarind juice and hot water and mix well.
Arrange the vegetables on a serving platter with the sauce.
Serve with basil leaves and emping, topped with fried shallots.
2.5 litre water
2 tbsp margarine
1 cinnamon stick
grated nutmeg, to taste
1 leek, sliced
200g carrot, cubed
250g potato, cubed
salt, sugar and ground white pepper to taste
For spice paste (blended together)
10 shallots, roughly sliced
7 garlic cloves, peeled
7 white peppercorns
1 tomato, cut into wedges
10g celery, sliced thinly
10g spring onion, sliced finely
10g fried shallot crisps
1 lime, cut into wedges
Boil water in a large pot. Add oxtail. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until oxtail is cooked.
Remove oxtail from the stock and set aside. Strain the stock to get a clear broth. Return broth and oxtail back to the pot. In a frying pan over medium heat, add margarine and saute the spice paste, cinnamon stick, ginger and nutmeg until fragrant. Add this to the pot with broth and oxtail. Bring the oxtail and broth back to a boil. Add the leek, carrot and potato.
Season to taste with salt, sugar and ground white pepper. Reduce heat and cook until potato is tender. Turn off the heat. Serve the oxtail soup garnished with tomato, celery, spring onion, fried shallots, and lime.
SATAY AYAM MADURA
Makes about 20 sticks
For peanut sauce
250g peanuts with skin, roasted
6 red chillies
4 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp limo lime or lime juice (optional)
2 tsp salt or to taste
600g chicken thigh meat, cut into 2cm cubes
4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
2 tsp cooking oil
bamboo skewers (about 20)
sweet soy sauce (optional)
limo lime, lime or calamansi, halved
To make peanut sauce
Using a food processor, grind peanuts, shallots and chillies together until the preferred consistency.
Transfer to a sauce pot along with the rest of the peanut sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and let the sauce simmer until it thickens. Remove from heat.
To prepare satay
Place chicken, sweet soy sauce, oil, and 150g of peanut sauce in a mixing bowl.
Mix together and marinate for 30 minutes.Thread the marinated chicken onto the bamboo skewers.
Grill for about 2 minutes on each side until the chicken pieces are cooked and slightly charred.
Baste with marinade as needed. Serve the satay with peanut sauce and accompaniments on the side.
Makes 1 tray
500ml liquid palm sugar
3 pandan leaves
2g vanilla powder
1kg glutinous rice, steamed
Heat wok over medium heat. Add liquid palm sugar and pandan leaves and let the mixture come to a slow boil. When the liquid palm sugar thickens, add santan, salt and vanilla powder. Mix well.
Add in glutinous rice and stir well. Lower the heat and keep folding the mixture until the liquid completely evaporates. Be careful not to burn the glutinous rice.
When the rice is somewhat dry, remove from heat and transfer the wajik to a tray.
Press and flatten the rice with a spatula. Let it cool at room temperature for about 2 hours. Cut into diamond shapes and serve.