Monday, July 10, 2006


Man! Did I learn my lesson. Never underestimate sushi cooks! Why do you think the have such a long aprenticeship?! But I'm proud. I never made anything like this before. HA!

I did my first “Lempers” this weekend. You're surely wondering what lempers are. They're like big sushi rolls with a mildly spiced chicken filling. In the meatime, Orangex was preparing another batch of Risolles for the weekend. And they (Lemper and Risolles) are now resting in the freezer until next weekend. We invited a few friends for a “Taste of Indonesia” this coming Saturday. As you may know, OrangeX’s parents were both born in Indonesia, but decided to move to Holland in the 50’s, when they were given the choice to either give up the Dutch nationality or become part of the independant Indonesia (read more here).

To make it short, here are basic the ingredients (may differ slightly depending on the region)

500 gr. Ketan (sticky rice)
200 gr. Chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 large Onion
4 cloves Garlic
1 stalk Lemon grass
1 Tsp. Trassi (shimp paste) finely chopped
2 Tsp. Turmeric (Curcuma, ground)
2 Tsp. Cumin (Ground)
2 Tsp. Coriander (Ground)
250 ml. Coconut milk
2 Tbl. Oil
Sugar to taste
Eventually salt
A BIG bowl a water (for your hands) AND a sushi mat (buy one, you won't be sorry!)

Boil the sticky rice (sushi rice) with double the amount of water. Let it cool slightly and then steam for another 10-15 minutes until the rice is soft inside (this is not a risotto) and leave to cool.

Boil the chicken in some lightly salted water. Set aside. Finely chop onions, garlic and lemon grass. Heat oil in a wok and fry onion, garlic and lemon grass mixture.

Once slightly browned, add shredded chicken and other spices. Keep frying for a further 3 -5 minutes then add the coconut milk and reduce until the mixture is almost dry again. Leave to cool.
NOTE: Not all coconut milks have the same sweetness. You may have to add a bit of salt and/or sugar. Just try and adjust. I should have a slight sweet taste.

It should look a bit like this.

Make sure to have enough working space and lay your sushi mat on a wooden cutting board (easier to cut the platic Saran wrap to size). Pull a sheet of plastic foil over mat and cut to size of the mat. Soak BOTH hands in water, take a handfull of cooled sticky rice (by then you’ll know why it earned that name... if you haven’t dipped your hands in water first, that is!), form a tight ball and spread approx. 12x8x1cm rectangle on a sheet of plastic wrap.

Then add approx. 1 tablespoon of chicken filling in the middle of the rectangle and bring both ends of the suhi mat together until the rice covers the filling and press slightly.

Now you gotta roll the sushi mat until the filling is covered wtih rice. Push in the ends (you still have plastic wrap in there, yes? Good.) and fold the sides of the Saran inwards and roll again tightly towards you. Then roll the Saran tightly to close and put aside. This is what it should look like.

Okay, once again, Mr. Blogger will not let me post more pictures, but you can find the whole procedure to follow here. Sorry about that. I added captions to the picts, so that you know what I'm doing.

Repeat until you’re done with the rice and the filling. Rinse your hands every time you take new rice. You might screw up the first 2-3 lempers (like I did), but you’ll get the feel and hang of it.

You can now either freeze them for later use (like we did) and/or steam them (in the Saran wrap) and serve hot or lukewarm just like that or with a sweet chilli sauce. If you like a decorative touch, take them out of the Saran and roll in clean banana leaves to steam.

This Friday, I took the day off (hey, no holidays, so I've gotta take some days off. :) to help OrangeX with the starters: Pangsit (fried Wonton). Read about it this weekend.

Bon app├ętit!


xmichra said...

looks wonderful! I am allergic to coconut, so i would have o pass... but it sounds very delish!

Mr. Fabulous said...

And now she can make sushi...

The glamour-osity continues.

That's right, I made up a word.

That was a lot of work. I wouldn't have the patience. Heck, I barely had the attention span to make up that word :)

CanadianSwiss said...

Xm- You'd be a very unhappy girl if you ever visited Thailand, then :) But not to worry, we'll have many other dishes without coconut.

Mr. Fab- There's always a "first time"... for sushi (Lemper, in this case) AND to make up new words. And believe me, patience is Not one of my virtues. I almost threw the whole darn thing out the window after I screwed up the third Lemper!

christina said...

Wow, Indonesian sushi! Who knew? That looks really delicious and you did a great job. I've been dying to try out your recipes but I haven't even gotten to the rissoles yet. Maybe I'll copy them down and try them when we're on vacation.

Ginnie said...

I declare, CS, you both are so industrious when it comes to cooking. I will GLADLY be a gunea pig for you if/whenever I'm in your neck of the woods. My daughter, Amy, would love this, both eating AND cooking. I'll just do the eating, thank you! It looks WONderful!

CanadianSwiss said...

Christina- I guess Indonesian sushi is the best to explain how it's supposed to look in the end :) I hope they'll be as good as they look. I'll let you know. They're all easy to make, but are a bit time consuming. Enjoy! :)

Ginnie- Didn't I once say something about "wining and dining"? It's always a pleasure to cook for people like you who enjoy food. We're both lloking forward to having you over in our neck o'the woods ;) And of course, Amy can copy these recipies and try them out. That's what they're posted for. :)

traveller one said...

Well my mouth is watering :)
We also love indonesian food since my hubby is Canadian/Dutch!

CanadianSwiss said...

Hey, T1- Nice to have you back. Hope you enjoyed Vienna. I *know* you know these and how yummy they are! Lekker, or? ;-)

Kieran said...

Man I love food. I really love it.

Ms Mac said...

Looks delish! When am I coming over?


The Big Finn said...

Just a little over 24 hours to go until I'm strapping on the Indonesian feedbag. No, that wasn't a motorcycle passing your house. THAT was my stomach growling from 5 kilometers away!

CanadianSwiss said...

Kieran - What a coincidence.. we love to cook ;) A perfect fit. Maybe we should get together :)

Ms. Mac - Nice to see you again. Tomorrow, 7-ish?? ;-)

TBF, I thought we had thunder passing our area! That explains it. Well, put on that feedbag and don't forget to take another look later. We'll post the pangsit, our appetizer... I'm frying them now and the scent is absolutely gorgeous :-) (OrangeX)

Expat Traveler said...

Haha - this is so funny!

Well it looks all too yummy. I haven't even had my coffee yet. And that wine door was to Mission Hill and was supposed to be based from Austria and is supposed to be a palace.

P is in that pic just for height reference and he is about 6ft.

CanadianSwiss said...

ET - Today's the day after the party and I'm happy to report that the food was an absolute hit! Details to follow soon :)

Rob7534 said...

You have great skill! I bet it tastes fantastic.

CanadianSwiss said...

Rob- I was happy to hear from Orange that the lemper was the way it should taste, even better. That made me so happy! My first try at it :-)