Monday, August 30, 2010

As recommended by Joska

It's funny that whenever anyone hears that I'm doing the Edmonds book, the first thing they do is tell me their favourite Edmonds recipe. Macaroni cheese has its followers, as have ANZAC biscuits, banana cake and chocolate self-saucing pudding. My younger brother, on the other hand, is typically unique in recommending satay sauce (p187).

Having had such a reliable recommendation, I'd been meaning to make it for ages, but never got around to it. In my recent determination to knock off some sauce recipes, I finally decided it was about time I did the satay.

Since the satay sauce recipe only required 3/4 cup of coconut cream, I went looking for a recipe that would use up the other half-can. Handily, there's a recipe for coconut chilli rice (p105), which would utilise my excess coconut cream and, along with some chicken and veges, would also go nicely with my satay sauce.

I started with my rice - basmati into a saucepan with the coconut cream and some dried chilli flakes. The recipe specifies fresh chilli, or "prepared" chilli - I didn't have either, but dried chilli flakes made a perfectly acceptable substitute. Since they're fairly potent, using these may even have made my rice even spicier.

Once I had the rice gently simmering, I made a start on the satay sauce. It starts with sauteing chopped onion with garlic and chilli powder. I was determined not to make my usual mistake and undercook the onions, so they were actually almost caramelising by the time I added the peanut butter.

With the peanut butter I was to add soy sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar. The sugar and the soy were no problem, but I hadn't noticed lemon juice in the ingredients list, so didn't have a lemon in the house. I substituted some white vinegar, and it seemed to work ok.

By the time I'd messed around deciding what to do instead of the lemon, the ingredients in the pan had become a thick, dark, peanutty paste. I added the coconut cream and stirred until it became a smooth, creamy sauce. Some lumps of the paste were a bit stubborn, and it wasn't till I swapped my wooden spoon for a whisk that I got a nice smooth result - that is, smooth apart from the chunks of peanut!

The next instruction was to bring the sauce to the boil. I proceeded cautiously with this, Joska's recommendation having come with a warning: be careful not to split the sauce. I took it off the heat as soon as it started showing signs of bubbling, and after a little seasoning, my satay sauce was ready.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I'd managed to chop up a chicken breast and stir-fry it with a bit of frozen vege. So after a half-hour of frenzied activity, I was able to serve myself a plate of coconut chilli rice with chicken and satay sauce.

The satay sauce was deliciously creamy and peanutty, with a slight kick from the chilli powder. Even so, it was creamy enough to offset the heat of the rice - I'd sat down well prepared for spiciness with a large glass of milk, but it really wasn't necessary. 

While it may not be the sort of dish you should be eating every day - even with light coconut cream and peanut butter, it's got a fair bit of fat in it - I'll definitely be making these recipes again, probably together to make a meal in much the same way. It's simple, requires no exotic ingredients (you don't even need a lemon if you have some vinegar!) and really really yummy.

Good one, Joska!


  1. Looks like something I would really like.

  2. Yeah, probably - no tomatoes! I really enjoyed it, anyway. Why don't you try it?

  3. Woo! Glad it went well Robsie.


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