My latest book out now - at leading bookstores and online
I am thrilled to announce my latest book,
'The Indonesian Table'. It is published by PHAIDON, the premier name in creative arts publishing with a stable of authors that include some of the most exciting chefs and food writers in the world.
This cookbook has given me the opportunity to povide the reader with a very personal view on the cuisine of my country. I have set out to pay respect to traditions while staying true to my passion for modern Indonesian cuisine that delivers authentic flavours yet remains practical and manageable. I believe cooking techniques should be easy and enjoyable.
The book is 256 pages long with 150 recipes as well as some stories from my upbringing to later life - the wonderful travels I have been able to make across the world’s largest archipelago.
When it comes to discovering amazing food experiences Indonesia draws not only on a vastly diverse ethnicity and an incredibly rich biodiversity but some interesting outside influences, embracing the favourite tastes of those who came originally in search of our fantastic spices.
I do hope you share my enthusiasm and give this book a try. And if you do, please let me know how you get on!
Sambal for every occasion & taste
12 different sambals to try
1. Sambal Kentang - Potato sambal
2. Sambal Roa - dried fish, garlic and shallots
3. Sambal Dabi Dabu - spicy tomato base
4. Sambal Matah - chili and lemongrass
5. Tempeh Sambal - fermented soy bean plus chili, garlic and shallots
6. Soya Sambal - simple soy sauce and chili combination
7. Sambal Rebus - a chili version boiled.
8. Sambal Terasi - shrimp paste and tomato base
9. Sambal Nanas - pineapple base
10. Sambal Ijo - green chillies and lime juice
11. Sambal Teri - dried anchovies
12. Sambal Bajak - perfect for pasta, fish or chicken
The video clip features Sambal Terasi - a combination of salty, tangy shrimp paste with sauted chili, garlic and shallots. You can add cooked tomato also. Anchovies are an alternative for shrimp paste.
Sambal can be divided into two categories – raw or cooked. The simplest is ‘sambal garam’ literally 'salt sambal.' Just grind as little as one or two fresh birds eye chilies (shown above), season generously with salt which helps the grinding process. You can enjoy sambal garam with fresh sliced tropical fruit such as pineapple or, when available, papaya and mango. It also goes really well with cucumber. A practical, quick way to wake up your tastebuds!
Above: fresh chillies are required for every sambal. The type of chili determines the texture, appearance and spice level each time. Large chilies tend to have less heat, curly chilies are medium spicy and birds eye chilies deliver the most fiery taste. Many sambal recipes use a blend of different types of chili, alongside the many other choices of ingredient, several of which are shown here including garlic, shallots, lemon grass, lemons and limes, plus different tropical fruits, salted fish and soya (including sweet soya).
Is sambal the same as paste?
According to the 'old school' view, sambal is different to the traditional paste known as 'bumbu'. In my modern approach to Indonesian cuisine sometimes I use my spicy turmeric blend paste as sambal (it includes chili) to create a delicious base for a dish. You can try my spicy turmeric paste (below) from www.rasaku.co.uk and see for yourself.
Above: Avocado toast with spicy turmeric dressing. You can add Rasaku turmeric blend paste to make this all day meal: a slice of prosciutto, mashed avocado, a soft boiled egg and sourdough toast.
It can give you a lively tasting break in a busy day - quick enough to make before your next Zoom meeting.