Southeast Asian Feast!

You know those times when you want to impress someone special, but cannot be bothered to sort through the millions of recipes and make a menu? Well look no further. This is one that is sure to show off your culinary skills in a whole new light. This Southeast Asian spectacle will please everyone’s taste buds and be sure to impress!

A magical mix of Malay, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai influences bring together this main dish winner! While each recipe is really simple, there are six parts to it. So it will take some time so be prepared. I have included some time saving tips so no worries! A simple salad or Vietnamese spring rolls for a starter would be a tasty addition. I found this on BBC Masterchef by Jackie & made some of my own tweaks to it! Have a try for yourself 🙂

SE asia feast

Smokey tempeh satay strips served on compressed rice sticks with spicy peanut sauce & sweet chilli cashews served alongside sesame green beans

Serves: 4

Time: 30min-1hr prep. 1hr cook

Ingredients: Smokey Tempeh Satay Strips * Can use premade marinated tofu here and fry it, or vegan chicken strips and just use the sauce on top to save time

  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut, soaked in hot water

  • 400ml/14fl oz coconut milk

  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • 2 tsp white pepper

  • 1 lime, juice only

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 x 350g/12oz smoked tempeh, crumbled

  • 2 tbsp rice flour

  • 4 stalks lemongrass

Ingredients: Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 100g/3½oz unsalted peanuts

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 5cm/2in piece fresh turmeric

  • 2.5cm/1in piece galangal

  • 6 shallots, peeled and diced

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2-4 tbsp agave

  • 200g-300g/7-10½oz palm sugar (to taste)

  • 400ml/14fl oz coconut milk

  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes

  • 2 tbsp garam masala powder

  • 400ml/14fl oz water

  • 200g/7oz salted butter

Ingredients: Compressed Rice

  • 200g/7oz Thai jasmine rice

  • 2 pieces cassia bark *I used 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon which is mostly cassia anyways

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 black cardamom pods

Ingredients: Sweet Chili Cashews

  • 20 whole cashews, unsalted

  • 1 tsp agave syrup or 50g caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, use black sesame for colour contrast

  • 1-2 tsp dried red chilli flakes

Ingredients: Sesame Green Beans

  • large handful of fine green beans, trimmed

  • salt

  • sesame oil

Ingredients: Crispy Chili Shallots *can get premade crispy shallots and just toss in a pan with some oil and red pepper flakes to save time

  • 500ml/18fl oz sunflower oil

  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and shredded

  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced

  • wedges of lime, to serve

Method

  1. If using tofu or chicken strips, follow package instructions. For the tempeh, drain off the excess water from the desiccated coconut and set aside. Put the coconut milk, shallots, garlic, ginger, white pepper, lime juice and salt into a food processor, blend until smooth then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Crumble the tempeh into the bowl and add the re-hydrated coconut. Add the rice flour, then divide the mixture into 16 small balls and transfer to a plate. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks, trim the ends to make skewers then soak in water for 10-15 minutes. Place two balls of the mixture onto each stick and squeeze gently to mould the balls together and evenly cover the stick. Cover the exposed end of the lemongrass skewers with kitchen foil to stop them from burning when they are grilled later.
  3. For the spicy peanut sauce, place the peanuts, lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, galangal, shallots, salt, sugar, half of the palm sugar, the coconut milk, dried chillies and garam masala in a food processor and blend to make a thick paste.
  4. Bring the water to the boil in a medium saucepan, then turn the heat down and gradually whisk in the cubes of cold butter to make an emulsion. Add the spice paste to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if the sauce becomes too thick. Add more palm sugar, to taste, and reheat gently before serving.
  5. For the rice, place four cups of boiling water with the rice in a large pan. Add a large pinch of salt, the cassia bark, bay leaves and black cardamom. (If using ground cinnamon/cassia add it in now). Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and rest, tightly covered with a lid, for a further 10 minutes. Drain the cooked rice in a sieve ensuring as much water as possible is removed.
  6. Line a baking tray with cling film and fill it with the cooked rice. Press down firmly and cover with more cling film. Place a second baking tray on top of the rice, press it firmly and weigh it down with weights or heavy cans. Transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes, then remove the cling film and use a sharp knife to cut into 5cm/2in fingers.
  7. For the chilli cashews, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Spread the cashews over a non-stick baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, shaking them occasionally to ensure that they cook evenly. Meanwhile, put the sugar and one tablespoon of water into a small pan over a medium heat to make a syrup. Coat the cashews in the syrup, let cool a little, then roll them in the sesame seeds mixed with the dried chilli flakes. Lay out on a sheet of baking parchment and set aside.
  8. Season the green beans with salt and fry in a little sesame oil until they start to brown slightly. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
  9. For the crispy shallots with chilli, place the oil in a pan, add the shallots and chilli and slowly bring up to a high temperature. When the shallots and chilli are sizzling and taking on some colour, carefully remove from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and set aside until needed.
  10. If using the tofu or faux chicken strips, make sure they are nice and crispy, then place on top of the rice finger and add your sauce! If using tempeh follow this: Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Grill the tempeh skewers for 7-10 minutes on each side until golden-brown. Serve with the peanut sauce, rice fingers, chilli cashews, beans and top with the crispy shallots and chilli. Garnish with wedges of lime.

SE asia feast Se asia feast SE feast

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