When we dine at restaurants, we are often amazed by the finesse and beautiful presentation of the dishes which are created by passionate, innovative chefs. For our culinary issue, we have asked 4 gifted chefs from 4 respected restaurants and hotels to share their signature recipe for our readers to try at home. Don’t worry about the techniques being too complicated or the ingredients too obscure; these particular recipes – they assure us – you can make at home in your own kitchens!
Chef Sandra Djohanof Epilogue
It is always fun to meet Chef Sandra Djohan. This bubbly chef knows exactly how to entertain diners, whether through simply greeting them in her restaurant or on Asian Food Channel’s cooking show ‘Spice of Life’. And she never seems to run out of energy, even though – when we met her – she had just returned home from an adventure exploring corners of Indonesia to collect materials for her second edition of the cookbook series “From My Kitchen to Yours: Indonesian Heritage”.
The chef’s love for Indonesian cuisine also shone through when she and fellow chefs Petty Elliott and William Wongso represented Indonesia at Frankfurt Book Fair’s Gourmet Gallery last year. At her popular South Jakarta restaurant, Epilogue, she showcases French cuisine with an Indonesian twist but for this, Chef Sandra offers up a little memento from her recent culinary trip; the recipe for Ayam Tangkap.
“Ayam tangkap is a traditional dish from Aceh made from fried chicken, cooked with selected spices and herbs. The chicken is served with several kinds of crispy fried leaves so it looks colourful and pretty. I assure you it’s very easy to make and of course, it’s really delicious!”
Ayam TangkapAyam Tangkap
1 spring chicken, cut into ten pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup curry leaves
1 cup sliced Pandan leaves
3 red curly chillies, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
10 curly red chillies
10 large green chillies
10 small green chillies
20 garlic cloves, peeled
6 medium shallots, peeled
1 knob ginger, approximately 3 cm, peeled
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• Combine spice mix ingredients in a mortar and pestle and grind roughly. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, a small blender works as well, just make sure the paste is not too smooth
• Marinate the chicken with 2 tbsp of spice mix and lime juice for 2 hours
• Heat cooking oil in a wok or large pan. Fry chicken until golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
• In new clean wok, heat two cups of cooking oil, add one cup of spice mix and sauté until golden and fragrant. Turn off heat and set aside
• In a clean pan, heat shallow level of cooking oil and fry curry leaves, sliced Pandan leaves and sliced red curly chilies until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Transfer fried chicken, sauteed spice mix, fried curry leaves, Pandan leaves and curly red chillies to new clean wok. Mix and cook all the ingredients together for few minutes. Remove from heat and serve with warm rice.