So whilst on holiday (aka my staycation in SF) these last few weeks, my family and I happened to come across Borobudur near Union Square. Borobudur is an Indonesian restaurant, and if you see my review on Yelp, you’ll know that it’s like an unwritten rule that if my family sees an Indonesian restaurant then we have to eat there. Anyway, a few days after eating there, I was still craving Indonesian food so I set out to make some of my favorites – Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and Ayam Goreng Saus Mentenga (uh butter chicken? I don’t know how that actually translates). But then I thought about it more and decided I didn’t want fried chicken because frankly frying requires too much attention and I had more important things to do while I was cooking, like watching Once Upon a Time (sidenote: have you watched this?? I just started watching this weekend and have been marathoning the first season. I’m on a major fairytale kick right now. I’ve also been listening to Prokofiev’s Cinderella Symphony). Anyway, yea, frying. It’s a lot of work and I was feeling lazy. Don’t judge. Plus what I ended up doing was healthier. So there.
Anyway…I ended up making Ayam Panggang Kecap (aka baked chicken). And it was AWESOME. So I stand by my decision to not fry.
So these recipes are loosely based on assorted Indonesian cookbooks and word of mouth recipes…and what I had in the house (I’m missing terasi in the nasi goreng, but personally I thought it turned out fine without it).
3 cups white rice, cooked and cooled (I make it earlier in the day, then just open the rice cooker and let it cool for an hour or so)
2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons kecap manis
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1-2 red chilis (I used 2 Thai chili peppers because that’s what I had on hand – worked fine), minced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Optional: Fried egg, your choice of vegetable – I chose peas
Cook your rice ahead of time and let it cool. In a frying pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil, and stir fry the garlic, shallot, and chili peppers until the garlic is a nice golden brown. Add the rice, soy sauce, and kecap manis. Stir fry until all of the rice is a nice brown color from the sauces. Add the peas or other veggies. Stir fry until the rice is all heated and well coated with the sauces.
If desired, top with a fried egg.
Ayam Panggang Kecap
6-8 chicken thighs (bone in or out, doesn’t matter – I prefer the flavor of bone in, but either is fine)
8 garlic cloves, diced or minced
1 Tablespoon honey
4 Tablespoons kecap manis
2 Tablespoons ketchup
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
2 Tablespoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons Sriracha
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. It should be a very thick, sticky sauce. In a baking dish, place your chicken thighs, skin side up, if they have skin. Pour all of the sauce over the chicken. Making sure to thoroughly cover each piece of chicken. I like to turn the chicken around and around in the sauce before baking.
Bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. About halfway through, baste the chicken with the sauce surrounding. I just take a tablespoon and spoon it over the top of each piece of chicken.
Broil the chicken for the last 5 minutes to caramelize the sugars on top.
Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
So, these are my loose interpretations of some of my favorite Indonesian foods. If you’ve never tried Indonesian food and you live in the SF Bay Area, I suggest you try out Borobudur (SF) or Jayakarta (Berkeley). OR go to the Asian food store and pick up some Kecap Manis, chilis, and Sriracha, and get to cooking 🙂 And while you’re at it, definitely pick up a package of Indomie Goreng, otherwise known as my favorite childhood lunch.
I just realized this is my 100th post!
Thank you to all of you that take the time to read my ramblings!