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How to make an Easy and Fast Indonesion Green Curry Sauce Recipe
During the 1800’s the Dutch government established control of the Dutch East Indies after the Dutch East India Company filed for bankruptcy. For most of the 20th century Indonesia was a colony belonging to the Dutch. Both my Dutch grandfathers were employed by the Dutch government and resided in Indonesia in administrative positions. Both married Indonesian women therefore I am of Dutch Indonesian decent.
Indonesia fought for Dutch independence and Japanese occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule. My parents were living in Indonesia during the Japanese occupation and often talked about the many families and friends that died because of famine and forced labor. Since both were “Dutch Indonesian” they were ostracized because they were neither true blooded Dutch nor Indonesian. Because of the prejudice that existed in both Holland and Indonesia my mom and dad chose to immigrate to America. My parents left Indonesia for Holland in 1953 and immigrated to the United States in 1962 bringing with them a culture and cuisine that is the “best food in the world.”
Indonesian cuisine is spicy and tastefully hot. It is rich in spices such as coriander, cilantro, lemon grass, curries, and a chili paste called sambal badjak (a combination of garlic, chili peppers and spices). Indonesian like most Asian foods centers on a small amount of protein, vegetables, and a sauce served over rice or noodles. Many Indonesian sauces use coconut milk as a base. This green curry recipe is simple and delicious and can serve a basic sauce for multiple proteins(chicken fish, meat, or tofu).
- 1-2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
- 4-5 scallion or green onions, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tbsp green curry paste, I purchase mine from the grocery store in the oriental section
- 1 14 ounce can coconut milk, , regular or reduced fat whatever your preference
- Two – three cups chicken, shrimp, scallops, tofu, or pork, whatever your preference - I tend to use the white colored instead of red meats
- 1 cube chicken bouillon, I use Knorr brand
- 1 tsp Sambal Badjak (hard to find garlic chili paste), OPTIONAL - If you like the dish Hot
- 2 Cups Rice, Cooked - 1/2 cup per person
- Over medium heat/high heat add oil. Once heated add scallions and sauté until soft. Add green curry paste, coconut milk, bouillon cube and 1 tbsp of sambal badjak. Sambal badjak is HOT, so start out with a small amount and add for more heat. I grew up eating this chili paste and for me the hotter the better. May omit and use when combined with the rice too. Sambal bajak is very good added to sauces that require simmering because the heat and spices permeate, but it can be added once the dish is completed as a side.
- Add the protein source and half the cilantro. Stir to combine, reduce heat and simmer until the protein source is cooked and tender. Chicken and scallops tend to cook in 10-12 minutes, while shrimp and tofu require a shorter cooking time.
- Finally add the remaining cilantro and serve with rice and more sambal Bajak if preferred. I make a sliced cucumber salad tossed with rice vinegar and melon balls for desert.