Tag: indonesian

Kue Lapis Legit Monkey Bread

I love kue lapis legit (Indonesian thousand layer cake). My grandma made the best ones, with the thinnest, most delicate layers. But because¬† I am so prone to bakefails I haven’t dared try and bake my own. Instead I stick the spice mixture for kue lapis legit in pretty much every other recipe I can.

Vegan monkey bread from Vegan Soul Food

Vegan Sould Food is a Dutch cookbook by Jason Tjon Affo, also known as The Indigo Kitchen. In this book you can find beautifully photographed and colorful vegan recipes, mostly inspired by the Surinamese kitchen. His recipe for vegan monkey bread seemed a prime candidate for kue lapising (yes, this is now a verb) and man, I was not wrong. Not so much a thousand layers as a couple dozen balls.

As with all baking, this is a bit of a chore. So I’ve tried to include all the things I ran into during my first attempt (which failed miserably) to ensure you get the best results on your first try. That is, if you follow the instructions.

Cake tins and kue lapis legit recommendations

If you’re wondering how I got those crisp lines, I used a chiffon cake tin rather than a Bundt cake pan. I figured more people have the latter at hand so that’s what I recommend using in the recipe.

If you want to tackle actual kue lapis legit, I can recommend Lara Lee‘s Coconut & Sambal which has done an amazing job of creating a global platform for Indonesian food, finally. You can order it at Bookshop.org if you’re in the UK or in the US.

A full monkey bread on an orange plate on an orange background.

Vegan Kue Lapis Legit Flavored Monkey Bread

Dorothy Porker
This recipe combines a little bit of my grandmother's kue lapis legit (Indonesian thousand layer cake) and a little bit of The Indigo Kitchen's Vegan Soul Food to make a delicious richly spiced vegan monkey bread.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proving time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Birthdays, Breakfast, Dessert, Party snack, Sweets
Cuisine American, Hungarian
Servings 6 - 8 people


  • Large bowl
  • Small saucepan (for heating milk and melting butter)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stand or handmixer
  • Dishtowel
  • A ruler (indulge me)
  • Oven dish or large bowls x2
  • Bundt cake pan, greased
  • Oven


For the dough

  • 1 1/2 c - 350 ml plant based milk lukewarm
  • 3 T - 45 g sugar
  • 1.5 t - 7 g dry yeast
  • 1/2 c - 115 g plant based butter or margarine melted
  • 5 c - 630 g plain flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt

For the monkey bread

  • 2/3 c - 150 g plant based butter melted
  • 1 t - 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 c - 225 g brown sugar ground gula jawa (Javanese palm sugar) is nice if you can find it
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 1 t - 5 g ground aniseed
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground cloves
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c - 100 g mixed nuts coarsely chopped. I used a mix of almond, pecan and pistachio but use what sounds good to you


Make the dough

  • Mix 1 1/2 c - 350 ml of lukewarm milk with 3 T - 45 g of sugar and 1.5 t - 7 g of yeast in a large bowl. Leave to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is activated and you start seeing small bubbles.
  • Once this has happened mix in 1/2 c - 115 g of melted butter and mix until everything is combined. I find these first steps of mixing are easiest achieved with a wooden spoon.
  • Continue mixing while slowly tipping in 5 c - 630 g of flour.
  • Once the dough starts coming together slightly, take your stand- or handmixer and mix at a low speed for 15 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a damp towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes in a warm place, away from any drafts.

Make the monkey bread

  • Preheat the oven at 365¬į F - 185¬į C. If you haven't already, grease your Bundt pan.
  • In a large oven dish or bowl mix 2/3 c - 150 g of butter with 1 t - 5 ml of vanilla extract. In another large oven dish or bowl mix 1 c - 225 g of brown sugar with 1 1/2 t - 7.5 g of cinnamon, 1 t - 5 g of ground aniseed and 1/2 t - 2.5 g's of ground cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. You can also do this in bowls but I found oven dishes easier to maneuver ("Oooh, it's a maneuver") and if the butter cools down too much you can easily melt it again over a low heat (provided your oven dish is fireproof).
  • Roll the dough into at least 32 balls of ‚ĆÄ 3/4" - 2 cm in diameter. The easiest way to do this is use a ruler, rolling pieces of dough into logs of ‚ĆÄ 3/4" - 2 cm thick, cutting them into ‚ĆÄ 3/4" - 2 cm pieces and rolling those into balls. The reason I use a ruler is because ‚ĆÄ 3/4" - 2 cm is smaller than you think. Any bigger and you'll end up with raw balls of dough.
  • Roll each individual ball through the butter and then the sugar mixture before plunking them into the greased Bundt pan. Add a layer of the mixed nuts between each layer of balls. I got 2 layers out of my dough, so I added 1/4 c - 50 g on top of the first, and 1/4 c - 50 g on top of the final layer.
  • If you have any butter and sugar left over, mix this together and drizzle it over the monkey bread before baking it in the oven for 35 mins until the top is golden brown.
  • Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before taking the monkey bread out of the pan.


If vegan food upsets you, you can use dairy milk and butter for this.
I found this monkey bread keeps for about 3 days when it's kept in an airtight container. Though it's best fresh and still slightly warm.
Keyword American, monkey bread, monkeybread, vegan, vegan bakes, vegan cake

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor vegan kue lapis legit of spekkoek monkey bread.

Bubur Ketan Hitam – Porridge

This recipe for bubur ketan hitam, Indonesian black rice pudding, comes from the award winning Dutch cookbook Indorock by rockstar food stylist Vanja van der Leeden. She created an amazing book, re-introducing the Netherlands to Indonesian food. To explain why that was necessary, I’m afraid a little history lesson is in order. Or just scroll down for the recipe.

The Dutch-East Indies

The Netherlands was a huge colonial power during what locally is still referred to as The Golden Age. One of ‘our’ territories was Indonesia, a vast archipelago of different people and cultures that were pulled together through colonial rule by the Portuguese, British and Dutch, mostly to gain dominance over the global spice trade. This dominance lasted for around 300 years.

Once the war ended Indonesia claimed independence and the Dutch were booted out. With that a lot of people of European-Indonesian descent were kicked out as well.

The Dutch had managed the colony in part by giving certain Indo-Europeans a special status, above native Indonesians. They used us (yes I am one of them) as a sort of mid level management. With all the perks of whatever being mid management entails. But also with the clear distinction that we were never going to be white, with all that that entails.

As a result of our position and attempts of some Indo-Europeans to become the new senior level managers in Indonesia after Dutch rule, Indonesians were weary off those of us who had collaborated with the Dutch and kicked us out.


Indo-Europeans were initially born out of sex slavery and later through covert forms of sex slavery, where a housekeeper would also have to ‘keep’ her employer in other ways.

Depending on the politics of the day, children born from these arrangements (interracial marriages did occur, but were illegal or otherwise punished at various times in colonial history) would be allotted this special status (or not) and even be taken away from their Indonesian mothers once a European man finally found a wife ‘proper’ (i.e. a white one). You can get a glimpse of these practices by reading about the life of my grandfather.

Because laws and practices about Indo-Europeans changed over time, our family histories are all very different. We are often spoken of as a coherent group, but we’re really not. A lot of (unacknowledged) Indo-Europeans stayed behind, some by force, some by choice. There are even some Indo-Europeans that were never accepted by the Netherlands nor by Indonesia and are still living as stateless people in Indonesia, surviving on donations.

Sooo, what does this have to do with food?

People often think Indonesian food is popular in the Netherlands. But what is really popular here is colonial Dutch-Indonesian food (also known as ‘Indisch eten’). A mishmash of Indonesian food and Dutch ideas and adjustments of it, that were brought here after a lot of us were booted out of the country and ‘repatriated’ (though most of us had never been here before) to the Netherlands.

Often, because of the status these refugees had in the colonies, they didn’t know how to cook. Most of them had a kokkie (a cook) in Indonesia. So once they got here and wanted a taste of home, they had to make stuff up. On top of that a lot of the ingredients used in the Dutch East Indies weren’t available here, so they had to improvise even further.

Oma Pipi

I got lucky because my grandmother started cooking at a very young age. She survived the war by selling small snacks on the streets. Her parents were afraid to go outside because her father was considered a collaborator for the Dutch. But was considered too Indonesian to be interned by the Japanese (not that that would have been any better, see my grandfather’s story linked above).

After Indonesian independence, my grandparents fled to New Guinea. There my grandmother ran a catering company. Until finally, after 5 years of pleading and begging (we weren’t considered European enough to repatriate), they were allowed to flee to Holland in 1962 where both my grandparents worked in factories while my grandmother sold snacks on the side.

So: my grandmother a) knew the original recipes and b) knew how to replace ingredients she couldn’t find. Though I imagine there’s a lot of stuff she didn’t even try because ingredients weren’t available. I remember we didn’t get pandan cake until the mid 90s and it was just a ready mix for chiffon cake.

The cover of Vanja van der Leeden's Indorock

Vanja’s Indorock

To bring it back to Vanja’s amazing Indorock. The Dutch interpretation of Indonesian food had been at a standstill for decades. Fed by nostalgia for our former home, or our grandparents’ homes (as in my case), what we were eating was a maybe 30’s to 40’s Dutch colonial interpretation of Indonesian food. With the kind of tweaks a diaspora makes when ingredients are missing.

Vanja traveled through Indonesia as it is now and brings its current flavors to us. Adding in some of her own ideas and preferences. In Indorock she highlights the many chefs, restaurants and people she met during her travels. She finishes off with small but crucial touches like explaining the difference between ‘Indisch’ and Indonesian. And using current Indonesian spelling for foods, rather than Dutch colonial spelling that is more commonly used here.

Bubur ketan hitam is just one of over a 130 exciting and inspiring recipes, that are all super fresh and light compared to the stodgy cooking of 40’s colonial Indonesia. At the moment Indorock is only available in Dutch and German, but hopefully it gets picked up internationally soon as well.

Indorock by Vanja van der Leeden, Coconut&Sambal by Lara Lee and De Bijbel van de Indonesische Keuken by Maureen Tan

Want to know more about Indonesia?

As you may have noticed I’m not just into food but also very interested in Dutch Indonesian (post)colonial history. I think being a child of refugees. Growing up in what is essentially lost (colonial) culture for the first 20 years of my life have really informed the rest of my well… life.

It always surprises me how little people speak and know about Indonesia globally because it is the 4th most populous country in the world. It’s also one of the largest countries in the world.*

  • P.A. Toer‘s The Buru Quartet, this is a long read but it gives a fictionalized history of Indonesia from the butt end of the colonial period until a little after Indonesian independence and gives you a really great insight into Indonesian history. I cannot recommend it enough (and I recommend it always)
  • The Interpreter from Java by Alfred Birney, a critical history (which is too often read as a personal history) of postcolonial life in The Netherlands
  • Indonesia Etc. from Elizabeth Pisani, a sort of travelogue through Indonesia as it is now and a great explanation of how complex a nation Indonesia is (though I found some of it a bit Eurocentric)
  • Sri Owen‘s Indonesian Food, Sri is the Grande Dame of Indonesian cooking and while I don’t have her book yet she is the Grande Dame for a reason
  • For Coconut&Sambal by Lara Lee worked with Sri Owen among others, and her book is hopefully the first in a long line of new Indonesian cookbooks available in English
  • De Njai by Reggie Baay explains the history of Indo-Europeans and the njai, our fore mothers, in great and painful detail. Unfortunately it’s only available in Dutch right now
  • De Bijbel van de Indonesische Keuken by Maureen Tan is unfortunately only available in Dutch for now, but in this book Maureen organised a huge amount of Indonesian dishes by island and region, using local batiks for specific recipes, making this one of the most complete books on Indonesian cooking you will probably find

There are many more interesting books, so if you want even more I suggest you get to Googling.

* For the record: I have yet to visit Indonesia. As a teenager I hated the question if I’d ever been ‘back’. And later I hated the idea of going ‘back’ to a place that really doesn’t exist anymore. Indonesia is not the country my grandparents left behind and I do not feel a special connection to Indonesia as such. I am well aware I’d be a tourist. Now I would love to visit, but finding the time and funds (and now¬† corona) means I’ll probably be a while.¬†

Now, for that recipe…

A black plate with black rice pudding and white coconut milk with a skull shaped teaspoon and a lime leaf, with fried sweet potato chips and a halved lime on the side

Bubur ketan hitam - Indonesian black rice porridge from Indorock

Dorothy Porker
Bubur ketan hitam is an Indonesian black glutenous rice porridge served as breakfast or as an afternoon pick me up. It's quite heavy, but in smaller portions it also makes for a nice dessert.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Soak (overnight) 8 hrs
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 2 - 4 people


  • Large pot x 3
  • Small saucepan
  • Pan for shallow frying
  • Slotted spoon
  • Paper towels


For the rice

  • 7 oz - 200 gr black glutinous rice
  • 6 makrut lime leaves
  • 0.5" - 2 cm ginger peeled
  • 2.5 oz - 75 gr gula jawa this is Javanese palm sugar, accept no substitute!
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr salt

For the pandan coconut milk

  • 13.5 oz - 400 ml coconut milk look for coconut milk with low water content, it's often marked by stores as coconut milk for desserts
  • 1/4 t - pinch salt
  • 2 large pandan leaves tied into a knot, OR
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr pandan paste be sure to get paste, pandan essence is gross

For the sweet potato chips

  • 6.5 oz - 200 ml water
  • 6.5 oz - 200 gr plain sugar
  • 1/2 sweet potato cut into thin slices
  • sunflower oil for frying

To serve

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 handful pistachios unsalted, roughly crushed


The night before (or 8 hrs ahead of time)

  • Wash 7 oz - 200 gr of black glutenous rice and soak it in at least double the amount of water overnight.

To make the rice porridge

  • Add 4 c - 1 liter of water to the glutenous rice and the water you used to soak it in overnight. Add 6 lime leaves, grate 05" - 2 cm of ginger into the pan and mix it into the rice.
  • Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Stir in 2.5 oz - 75 gr of gula djawa and 1/2 t - 2.5 gr of salt and leave to simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Your rice should now have reached a porridgy consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the pandan coconut milk - make this while the rice is cooking

  • While the rice is cooking, slowly heat 13.5 oz - 400 ml coconut milk in a saucepan with 1/4 t - pinch salt and 2 large pandan leaves tied into knots or 1/2 t - 2.5 gr of pandan paste.
  • Allow the flavors to slowly combine for around 10 minutes before removing the pan from the heat.

To make sweet potato chips - make this while the rice and coconut milk are cooking

  • Bring 6.5 oz - 200 ml water to the boil with 6.5 oz - 200 ml of plain sugar.
  • One the sugar water mixture has come to the boil, briefly cook the thin slices of sweet potato in the sugar water - 5 minutes or so. Remove and pat dry.
  • Now heat some sunflower oil in a pan to 360¬į F - 180¬į C. You can test whether the oil is the right heat by throwing in one potato slice. If the oil comes to a ferocious bubble immediately, you're ready to fry.
  • Fry the sweetened sweet potato slices to a crisp and leave them to cool on some paper towels.

To serve

  • Squeeze some lime juice into the rice porridge to bring up the flavor, or serve lime wedges on the side so people can adjust according to their own taste.
  • Depending on how many people you're serving and how hungry you are, divide the rice porridge across 2 - 4 plates, with some of the coconut milk, a handful of sweet potato chips and toss some roughly crushed unsalted pistachios on top.


I don't like reheated porridge, but maybe you do. I'm sure the sauce and porridge will keep for a day.
I recommend frying up a whole sweet potato because odds are you'll eat half of the sweet potato chips before you're ready to serve.
Keyword black pudding, breakfast, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, indorock, porridge, vanja van der leeden

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar bubur ketan hitam, Indonesische rijstepap op vettesletten.nl.

Gado Gado: Classic Indonesian Salad

A button with Paypal logo's and the text "Please consider a small donation: To make your visit as pleasant as possible and support small business Dorothy Porker is run free from banner ads and affiliate links"

I used to dislike gado gado until I realised I can just omit the veggies I dislike. Now I make a combo of the veggies that work for me. As pictured here.

The vegetarian cheat code for gado gado

It was the first staple dish I cooked for vegetarian friends when they came round for dinner. But it wasn’t until this year that I learned that you can make it vegan or vegetarian by replacing the trassi (fermented prawn paste) with miso.

A plate of Indonesian chicken and waffles with pandan waffles, gado gado slaw and Indonesian style fried chicken

Gado gado slaw for Indonesian chicken and waffles

I use the sauce to make a gado gado style slaw with grated red cabbage, white cabbage and carrots for my Indonesian chicken and waffles. And replace the boiled egg with crispy oven-baked tofu puffs for vegan friends.

When and how do I eat gado gado?

Gado gado’ll do nicely for lunch or dinner and should comprise a full meal in itself, with maybe a side of kerupuk or prawn crackers.

I still get angry when people put weird shit like bell peppers in their gado gado. Or boiled blubbery bean sprouts? But I guess at least they’re eating it. So if that’s what you wanna do I’m not stopping you.

A yellow ceramic bowl with white trim filled with gado gado (lettuce, cucumber, new potatoes, bean sprouts, a soft boiled egg and a peanut-based sauce) with a red chili floating above it on a soft pink backdrop.

Gado Gado: Classic Indonesian Salad

Dorothy Porker
This classic Indonesian salad recipe with spicy peanut sauce is a great staple to feed your vegetarian and vegan friends and yourself. Never forget yourself.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Asian, Indonesian, Southeast Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2


  • Small saucepan
  • Pots in the amount of veggies you want to cook


  • 1 1/2 c - 350 ml water
  • 2 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 3 red chilies finely chopped with the white core and seeds removed if you prefer less heat
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 t - 8 gr trassi fermented prawn paste, use miso to make this vegan
  • 1" - 1.5 cm galengal freshly grated, or replace with 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1 1/2 T - 20 gr tamarind pulp
  • 2 T - 30 gr palm sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 7 T - 100 gr peanut butter as plain as possible
  • 3 makrut lime leaves smashed and bruised
  • 1.5 oz - 50 gr creamed coconut you can find this in Asian supermarkets
  • 1 T - 15 ml kecap manis sweet Indonesian soy sauce

For gado gado my way

  • head lettuce of choice, avoid anything too bitter, I like little gems myself
  • 1 egg per person, soft boiled - skip if you're eating vegan
  • tofu puffs as many as you like, either store-bought or home made (see notes)
  • 1 c - 50 gr bean sprouts brown bottoms removed, definitely not cooked
  • 2 c - 75 gr new potatoes cooked for about 15 minutes in salted water
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced to whatever dimensions you enjoy

For gado gado slaw

  • 1 c - 100 gr red cabbage grated
  • 1 c - 100 gr white cabbage grated
  • 1/2 c - 50 gr carrots grated
  • 3 spring onions sliced into thin rings


  • Prep your veg first, I like my combination of 1 head of lettuce, 1 egg per person, a handful of tofu puffs, 1 c - 50 gr of bean sprouts, 2 c - 150 gr of boiled new potatoes and 1/2 sliced cucumber, but you can have this with whatever and however many veg you like.

To make the sauce

  • Place 1 1/2 c - 350 ml of water in a small saucepan, add 2 finely chopped shallots, 3 finely chopped red chilies (seeds and pith removed for less heat), 3 finely minced garlic cloves, 2 t - 8 gr trassi, 1 inch freshly peeled and grated galengal, 1 1/2 t - 20 gr tamarind, 2 T - 30 gr palm sugar, 3 bruised lime leaves and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  • Once the water spice mixture has come to the boil, lower the heat and stir in 7 T - 100 gr of peanut butter.
  • Let it come back up to the boil, then reduce the heat one last time and add 1.5 oz - 50 gr creamed coconut. Stir until dissolved and take the sauce off the heat.
  • Finish by stirring in 1 T - 15 ml of kecap manis to give the sauce a slight gloss.

To compose your gado gado or gado gado slaw

  • When the sauce has cooled completely,either:
  • Plate up your veggies, tofu puffs, new potatoes and eggs and add a nice big dollop of the sauce on top of it. OR:
  • Mix a few tablespoons of the sauce into a large bowl 1 c - 100 gr red cabbage, 1 c - 100 gr white cabbage, 1/2 c - 50 gr of carrot and 3 finely sliced spring onions until everything is coated in a thin layer of the sauce.


You can find my recipe for oven-baked tofu puffs here.
The peanut sauce will keep for 5 days in a closed container in the fridge but you need to allow it to cool to room temperature before you store it.
If re-using, remove from the fridge and let it get back up to room temperature and give it a good stir before adding it to anything as it does get quite firm once cooled down completely or reheat in a sauce pan and add water until you get your desired consistency.
Keyword Asian food, asian recipes, gado gado, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, Salad, slaw

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor gado gado, klassieke Indonesische salade.

A button with Paypal logo's and the text "Please consider a small donation: To make your visit as pleasant as possible and support small business Dorothy Porker is run free from banner ads and affiliate links"

Rendang Bitterballen

I’ve considered making rendang bitterballen for years. Bitterballen are a Dutch deep fried snack, and are basically nothing more than a small round croquette (or ‘kroket’, as we would call them).

If the British invented tapas

Over here we have deep fried snacks like croquettes on-the-go. Bitterballen are basically a smaller version of those and used as a party or bar snack. Think of what would happen if British people had invented tapas and you’ll get the idea.

Personally I think our little portable deep fried snacks are one of the best things we’ve got going for us here, food wise, but a lot of this stuff is made with mystery meat (guess who was at the center of the horsemeat scandal…) so it’s kind of best left alone. Unless you’re drunk or sad and are on a trainstation and in dire need of a snack of course.

Anyway… Dutch people are always trying to make new versions of krokets and often they’re kinda yikes. Especially when it involves recipes from the former colonies, like Indonesia. So when Mora, the main purveyor of frozen deep fried snacks for home use, released their new rendang kroket, I had to make good on my dreams of a rendang bitterbal.

Rendang bitterbal experiment success!

Turns out: I was right. The broth from slow cooker rendang is amazing and rich. Using it to turn into a rich creamy ragout and then deep frying it is a magical wonderful thing. I may never have rendang ‘the old fashioned way’ again.

Keep in mind that you’ll need at least 2 days to put this together.

I used Koken Met Kennis’ beef kroket (Dutch) recipe as a foundation for my recipe. Their insights into how to make a good kroket turned out to be invaluable.

For my first run I had these with Donna Hay’s key lime mayo, which is a mixture of lime zest, key lime leaves and Japanese mayo. I thought the acidity worked quite well with the richness of the rendang bitterbals. But I’m still looking for the perfect dip. Hit me up in the comments if you have an idea. ūüôā

A cube built out of bitterballen on a bright yellow background.

Homemade rendang bitterballen

Dorothy Porker
If these rendang bitterballen are the only thing I've contributed to life on earth that's fine by me.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Party snack, Snack
Cuisine Dutch, Fusion, Indonesian
Servings 20 - 25 bitterballen


  • Slowcooker
  • Sieve
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Plates x 3
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Oven tray
  • Foil for covering the tray


For the rendang broth

  • 18 oz - 500 gr blade or pot roast beef cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 large onions roughly chopped
  • 2 stems lemon grass bruised and¬†tied into a knot
  • 4 makrut lime leaves crushed and bruised - you can find this in Asian super markets, usually in the freezer
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves fresh or dried from an Asian supermarket
  • 1" - 1.5 cm galengal
  • 2 T - 30 gr sambal ulek or 2 finely chopped red chilies
  • 3/4 c - 200 ml coconut milk
  • 3/4 c - 200 ml water

For the bitterballen

  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr butter
  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr plain flour
  • 3 sheets gelatin soaked in water
  • 2 large eggs whisked for at least 2 minutes
  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr plain flour
  • 2.6 oz - 75 gr breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep fat frying


Step 1: Make rendang broth

  • Basically chuck everything all the ingredients for the rendang broth in your¬†slow cooker¬†and cook on low for¬†8 hours. I am sure shorter and on high would work equally well, but I never do anything fast in my slow cooker. It seems to defeat the purpose.
  • Remove the meat from the broth, reserving the liquids and cut the meat into smaller pieces.
  • Strain the liquid through a sieve so all the onion, herbs and spices are removed. You should be left with exactly 1 3/4 c - 400 ml of the broth, if you have less you should be fine diluting it with water until you land this amount no problem.

Step 2: Make the ragout

  • Get a heavy based saucepan and melt 1.7 oz - 50 gr of butter on a medium low heat before stirring in 1.7 oz/ 50 gr of flour to start your roux.
  • Once the roux starts letting go of the bottom of the pan, after 2-3 minutes or so, add half of the broth. Stir continuously until the sauce starts to thicken. Now add the remainder of the broth and keep stirring to get rid of any lumps.
  • Bring to the boil briefly before adding squeezing out 3 gelatine sheets and adding them in. Stir again until well-combined.
  • Finally add the meat and stir again until the mixture is well-combined and has come to the boil. I like to use a whisk for this so the meat tears and is scattered in threads and lumps throughout the ragout.
  • Move the ragout to an oven tray and leave to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature before covering and moving it to your fridge to cool completely for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Step 3: Make the balls

  • Divide and roll the ragout into roughly 20-25 medium sized balls. If you want to be precise about it: they should be about 1.2" / 3 cm's in diameter and roughly 0.7 oz/ 20 grams in weight. Use cold water to prevent them from sticking to your hand too much and to create a smoother outer surface.
  • Now set up your bread crumbing station. Coat your balls in the following order: Flour-> Egg-> Breadcrumbs-> Egg-> Breadcrumbs.
  • Once you've rolled and breadcrumbed all your balls, move them back to your fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up. If you're not going to eat them all you can freeze some for later. If you do freeze them make sure they don't touch so they don't get stuck together, this will prevent a lot of heartbreak later.
  • You're ready to fry!
  • Heat your deep fat fryer to 360¬į F/ 180¬į C and, depending on the size of your fryer and your balls, fry your bitterbals in groups of 3 to 5 until they are golden and crisp, 3-5 minutes or so. Serve hot with mayo or sambal manis.


I don't have an air fryer myself, so I don't know if you can make these in an air fryer. From what I've read, anything self-battered or bread crumbed doesn't fare well in air fryers so I have to recommend against trying this. But you do you, live dangerously and try, and let me know how that worked out, if it did.
Once breaded you can freeze any rendang bitterballen you don't plan eating straight away for up to 3 months. Fry them for 5-7 minutes to avoid a nasty frozen core. 
Keyword bitterballen, dutch recipe, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, rendang

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar VetteSletten.nl voor rendang bitterballen.

Indonesian Chicken and Waffles

A few years ago I was daydreaming about having a food truck and what my menu might be. If you’re a home cook wanting to turn professional I really believe in doing only one thing and doing it well.

One of the ideas I landed on was a chicken and waffle spot. With a classic Southern fried chicken and waffle, Korean fried chicken and kimchi waffle and… and… I knew I needed a third because good things come in threes but what other chicken and waffle combo could knock your socks off?

And then it hit me: Indonesian chicken and waffles!

I already had my favorite Indonesian fried chicken recipe from when I was a kid and figured I could easily turn gado gado into a slaw.

I just needed to find the waffle to go with it. Luckily: pandan waffles are a thing. Turns out, they go amazingly well with Indonesian fried chicken and gado gado!

A plate of Indonesian chicken and waffles

Together their powers combined

Though they do great on their own, combine these recipes to make Indonesian chicken and waffles:

I have also laid out the recipes below for easier construction.

When do I eat Indonesian chicken and waffles?

Have this for breakfast, brunch or lunch, as you would American chicken and waffles. Honestly fuck it, dinner also works.

A fried chicken leg balanced on top of a green waffle, balanced on top of a chili pepper, balanced on top of a red cabbage covered in peanut sauce sat on top of shredded carrot on a pink background

Indonesian chicken and waffles

Dorothy Porker
Succulent and tangy Indonesian fried chicken, with sweet fluffy pandan waffles and a gado gado inspired cole slaw.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Overnight marinade 8 hrs
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Asian, Fusion, Indonesian
Servings 2


  • Container with lid to marinade overnight
  • Small saucepan
  • Bowl x 2
  • Whisk
  • Waffle iron
  • Silicone brush
  • Ladle
  • Wire rack
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Paper towels


For the chicken

  • 3/4 c - 75 gr tamarind pulp
  • 1 T - 15 gr salt
  • 2 c - 450 ml water lukewarm
  • 4 pieces chicken skin on, bone in, I like thighs
  • neutral oil for deep frying, I use sunflower

For the gado gado slaw

  • 1 1/2 c - 350 ml water
  • 2 medium shallots¬† finely chopped
  • 3 chilies¬† finely chopped with the pith and seeds removed for less heat
  • 3 cloves garlic¬† finely chopped
  • 2 t - 8 gr trassi¬† fermented prawn paste, use miso to make this vegan
  • 1" - 1.5 cm galengal freshly grated, or replace with 1/2 t dried
  • 1 1/2 T - 20 gr tamarind pulp
  • 2 T / 30 gr palm sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 7 T - 100 gr peanut butter as plain as possible
  • 3 makrut lime leaves smashed and bruised
  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr creamed coconut you can find this in Asian supermarkets
  • 1 T - 15 ml kecap manis sweet Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 c - 100 gr red cabbage grated
  • 1 c - 100 gr white cabbage grated
  • 1/2 c - 50 gr carrots¬† grated
  • 3 spring onions sliced into thin rings

For the waffles

  • 1 c - 125 gr all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c - 50 gr plain sugar
  • 2 tsp - 8 gr baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 t - 1.5 gr pandan paste you can find this at Asian supermarkets
  • 13 1/2 T - 200 ml coconut milk 1 tin, find the coconut milk with the lowest possible water content % you can find
  • 1/4 c - 60 gr butter melted
  • neutral oil for greasing, I use sunflower


The evening before you want to eat

  • Mix together¬†3/4 c - 75 gr tamarind pulp,¬†1 T - 15 gr salt¬†with¬†2 c - 450 ml of lukewarm water¬†until most of the tamarind and salt are dissolved.
  • Gently score the chicken skin of¬†8 pieces of chicken¬†before placing the pieces in the tamarind mixture and leave to marinade overnight.

The day of

    First make the gado gado sauce

    • Place¬†1 1/2 c - 350 ml of water¬†in a small¬†saucepan, add¬†2 finely chopped shallots,¬†3 finely chopped red chilies¬†(seeds and pith removed to reduce the heat),¬†3 finely minced garlic cloves,¬†2 t - 8 gr trassi,¬†1" - 1.5 cm freshly peeled and grated¬†galengal,¬†1 1/2 t - 20 gr tamarind,¬†2 T - 30 gr palm sugar,¬†3 bruised lime leaves¬†and a pinch of¬†salt¬†and bring to the boil.
    • Once the water spice mixture has come to the boil, lower the heat and stir in¬†7 T - 100 gr of peanut butter.
    • Let it come back up to the boil, then reduce the heat one last time and add¬†1.7 oz - 50 gr creamed coconut. Stir until dissolved and take the sauce off the heat.
    • Finish by stirring in¬†1 T - 15 ml of kecap manis¬†to give the sauce a slight gloss.

    Now make the waffle batter

    • To make the waffles combine all the dry ingredients:¬†1 c - 125 gr flour,¬†1/4 c - 50 gr sugar,¬†2 t - 5 gr baking powder¬†and¬†a pinch of salt¬†in a¬†bowl.
    • In another¬†bowl, combine and whisk together the wet ingredients:¬†1 large egg,¬†1/4 t - 1.5 gr pandan paste,¬†13 1/3 T - 200 ml coconut milk¬†and¬†1/4 c - 60 gr melted butter.
    • Now mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix, just fold the ingredients together until the batter is just coming together.
    • Cover¬†and let the dough rest¬†30 minutes¬†in your¬†fridge¬†before heating your waffle iron. This step is crucial, if you skip this you will end up with dense rather than fluffy waffles.

    Frying, baking and mixing

    • Heat your deep fat fryer or oil to¬†180¬į C/ 350¬į F and preheat on your waffle iron.
    • Fry your chicken in batches. I like to fry mine lid off for about¬†5-7 minutes¬†and then placing the lid on for an additional¬†10 minutes¬†to add. You're looking for some really dark crisp caramelized edges.¬†Please note: Dutch chickens tend to run smaller and my pieces are fried within 15-20 minutes max, bigger pieces may take longer.
    • Using a¬†silicone brush¬†grease your¬†waffle iron¬†lightly with¬†oil¬†before you pour in the batter. I use a¬†ladle¬†for easy scooping and pouring. Cook until both sides are a light golden brown, the time this takes will depend on your waffle iron. Mine take about¬†5-10 minutes.
    • Leave the waffles to cool on a¬†wire rack, but be sure to try one fresh as well. Leave the chicken to drain on some paper towels.
    • Mix a few tablespoons of the gado gado sauce with 1 c - 100 gr thinly sliced red cabbage,¬†1 c - 100 gr thinly sliced white cabbage,¬†1/2 c - 50 gr grated carrot¬†and¬†3 finely sliced spring onions¬†until everything is coated in a thin layer of the sauce

    To serve

    • Start with a couple of waffles, top with some of the gado gado slaw and finish with two pieces of fried chicken.


    Any left-over peanut sauce will keep for up to 5 days in a closed container in the fridge. If re-using, remove from the fridge and let it get back up to room temperature and give it a good stir before adding it to anything as it does get quite firm once cooled down completely. 
    You can keep left-over cooled chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a oven at 175¬į C/ 350¬į F for 10-15 minutes or until crisp.¬†
    These waffles keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
    Keyword Asian food, asian recipes, brunch, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, lunch

    Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar www.vettesletten.nl voor Indische kip met wafels.