Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Globecooking recipe : Ayam Areh (Indonesia)

We (well, me and Madhouse Daddy - the kids opted for chicken and sweetcorn with crème fraîche !)  had Ayam Areh for lunch today - another recipe from this month's Indonesian-themed Kitchen Trotter box. (Click through to see the ingredients and recipes.) 

It required four ingredients from the Kitchen Trotter box : lemongrass powder, combava leaves, the dreaded shrimp paste (which still stinks !) and some candlenuts, which are much bigger than I expected. I'm not sure what they taste of though because they were blended with other strong flavours - they don't smell of anything.

Ayam Areh

ingredients :

3 onions
3 cloves of garlic
1/2tbsp shrimp paste (terasi)
5 candlenuts
4 chicken breasts
2tbsp oil
1tbsp lemongrass powder
4 combava leaves
2 bay leaves
2tbsp sugar
200ml coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube

Put the onions, garlic, shrimp paste and candlenuts in a blender.

Blitz to a smoothish, fairly runny paste.

 Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the chicken for 5 minutes.

Crumble the stock cube into 100ml water and stir to dissolve. Add the stock, coconut milk and mixture from the blender to the chicken. Toss in the crumpled combava and bay leaves, the lemongrass powder, the salt and pepper, the sugar and the lemongrass powder.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the sauce thickens. Discard the leaves and serve with rice.

It's not bad but the smell of the shrimp paste is actually quite offputting, especially during the cooking process - the taste doesn't come through much luckily ! I'm not sure we'll get through the rest of the jar so I think it might end up in the bin ! Does anybody actually like the smell of this stuff ?!

*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! *** 

If you fancy trying more Indonesian cuisine, how about Mie Goreng or Gado Gado ?


  1. This sounds really interesting and has ingredients I've never heard of, one to try on one of my experimental days :)

  2. Never heard of the candle nuts. I think I used the shrimp paste in shrimp pad thai recipe. Not too keen on the smell either, don't think my guys would like it. But I salute you for being adventurous!

    1. The candlenuts must be cooked before being eaten - one of the Kitchen Trotter subscribers complained because her boyfriend ate the whole pack thinking they were like hazelnuts and had an atrocious upset tummy for two days !