The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Indonesian Spicy Grilled Chicken with Coconut Water


indonesian coconut spicy grill chicken

I recently saw this on TV (Astro Wah Lai Toi) during CNY when Hong Kong actor Wayne Lai was in town to film a series of auspicious dishes for Chinese New Year. It’s only 4 episodes but lots of interesting dishes from there. My mom has made 1 and I have made 1 dish from just ONE episode, because it’s quite interesting and looks delicious. The first one that my mom made was the vegetarian ngo hiang (will upload recipe when I have pictures; she will make again, I’m sure) and the 2nd dish is this one. The lady on the show was a Indonesian Chinese married to Malaysian so this grilled chicken is somewhat Indonesian inspired as it uses Indonesian Kecap Manis (thick sweet sauce) and fresh coconut water (because we live in the tropics).

There weren’t any exact measurements during the show but I just gauge it based on what I see and tweaked it as I go along.

preparing indonesian coconut grill chicken

I used 4 chicken legs but I think there’s enough marinade to do 6.

chili paste

Cooking till butter almost bubbles, then add the same ratio of kecap manis.

marinade chicken

Cook chicken in coconut water. Then, marinade for 30 minutes.


Indonesian Spicy Grilled Chicken with Coconut Water
Serves: 6
  • 6 whole chicken legs
  • 6 pcs red chili
  • 8 small red onion
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 young coconut (water and flesh)
  • 80g salted butter
  • 80g ABC kecap manis
  • 2 limes, cut to wedges
  1. Remove the green head from chili and cut in half. In a small pot, bring water and chili to a boil, about 10 minutes or until it is soft.
  2. Once soft, remove from pot and add it in a food processor or blender. Blend with red onion and garlic and 2-3 tbsp of the coconut water until smooth.
  3. Pour out into a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, add in butter. Stir till butter has melted and seperated from the chili. The chili paste will be slightly darker red in colour. This will take about 10 minutes.
  4. In a pot, add in chicken legs and the remaining coconut water. Cover with a lid. Turn on the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes, without opening the lid.
  5. After the chili paste is fragrant and pasty, pour it into a tray. Add kecap manis (the amount of kecap is the same ratio as the chili paste in volume). Squeeze in juice from 1½ limes. Keep the remaining ½ lime to squeeze it before serving.
  6. Add in the chicken, coat the paste all over and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Turn on the grill function in the oven (200 C) and grill, skin side up for 15-20 minutes. Yes, including the marinade (It is delicious with rice)
  8. Slice coconut flesh and sprinkle on top with some chopped chili, coriander and lime wedge.


This is actually my first time cooking with coconut water. Usually I drink coconut water, well, use the shreds, or make coconut milk out from it, but not coconut water by itself. Cooking the chicken in coconut water infuses it with a fragrant yet refreshing smell. And also, the process of making chili paste. Most of the time I would use fresh red chili or dried chili soaked in water (like making KL Pan Mee) but this time, the chili is boiled first till it is somewhat soft. It eases the process of blending it as it still retains some moisture. Oh and if there’s anything newer to me, it’s caramelizing the chili paste with BUTTER! oh God! Butter makes it extra fragrant as I’m using SCS salted butter.

indonesian coconut spicy grill chicken 2

This is actually very yummy, maybe because it’s sweet and spicy but not too sticky. The leftover sauce goes very well with rice so just be careful that you made need some extra rice to polish it off!


Veggie Spiral Tart

Eat sweets without putting on weight, with garcinia cambogia.

Let’s hit the weekend with a recipe! A veggie spiral tart that is SO easy to make.

healthy vegetable tart

I had this bookmarked on pinterest while I was looking for some tart inspirations. True enough, pinterest doesn’t disappoint. It linked me to this site and when I was in charged to cook a simple and impromptu Christmas Dinner for my friends, I wanted to put this on the menu as, 1. it’s vegetarian (my mom can eat it) and 2. the oven will do the cooking for you, which also mean that I have time to prepare for other dishes.

Vegetable Spiral Tart

Preparing a menu or dinner takes a bit of planning. If you are limited on stove space, include some raw dishes or those that can be cooked in the oven. If you have a small oven, then limit to cooking 1 dish using the oven (either dessert or a roast) if you are pressed for time. I cooked this in the oven while roasting the chicken. It takes almost the same amount of time, and the same heat, so why not! Furthermore, it’s an eye-catching dish with limited effort. BUT it is quite difficult to cut or have a nice slice out to serve. I could be using the wrong knife or didn’t roll it tight enough at the ends as it flattened when I sliced it.

mandoline vegetablestep by steprolling spiral veg tart spiral vege tart spiral tart puff pastryspiral tart stepsvegetable spiral puff pastry tartvegetable spiral puff pastry tart 2

spiral vegetable tart baked

The pictures are making me dizzy, I hope you are not. The tart can be quite tasteless so remember to season the vegetables before putting it in the oven. Creme Fraiche is available at supermarkets that sells more variant of creams and cheese. You can also spread ricotta cheese in replace of creme fraiche at the base for a creamy texture.

Veggie Spiral Tart
Serves: 8
  • 1 puff pastry shell
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • 3 stems fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 carrots (different colors if you can find them)
  • 1 eggplant
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 190 C. Place the pastry in a pie pan and prick several times with a fork.
  2. Spread the mustard and crème fraîche over the bottom of pie, then sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Wash the carrots, eggplant and zucchini and cut in lengthwise strips using a peeler or mandoline. Cut so as to have always show a small strip of skin for decorative purposes.
  4. Place a strip of zucchini on your working table, a strip of carrot layered slight below the zucchini. Roll the zucchini into a spiral, halfway thru, place a strip of eggplant on top of the carrot. Continue rolling and layering until it is the size of your palm, or until it stays in shape.
  5. Place in the center of the dish (with the skin of the vegetable up), then surround it with a few strips of zucchini, carrots and eggplant until reaching the ends of the dish.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over all. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes of cooking.



Balsamic Chicken Salad with Figs, Portobello and Candied Pecans

I am feeling rather uninspired lately and procrastination has been my second name since I came back from Europe.

I’m not kidding, I have this above sentence typed out, but left blank for the next 20 minutes. And the next 2 hours. and maybe saved for a day, or two..

I feel this space needs a little facelift but it’s so hard to pick out one template that I can use for a long time :/

Anyway.fig balsamic chicken

Here’s a quick fuss-free dinner salad made with chicken, figs and portobello mushroom. Feel free to add or substitute as you wish. If you don’t have figs, I think pear would work nice too. If you don’t have pecans, walnuts would be a good substitute. If you don’t have portobello mushroom, regular white or swiss brown mushrooms would be fine. If you prefer arugula to spinach, then toss with that instead. No rules, just some simple and delicious.

black figs

So I’m using these Black mission figs. Figs are a good source of dietary fiber, high in Vitamin B6 and rich in potassium(80% higher than bananas). Dried figs are available throughout the year but fresh figs have an incredible flavour, although really, they don’t last long.  They are versatile in sweet or savoury dishes or even as a stand alone snack. They are mostly available in Malaysia from August to October (not grown here, but imported in)

roast chicken portobello figs salad

So for this dish, I did a google on the ingredients I have at home and made a little changes and et, voila. A relatively complete meal packed with flavours is ready. The recipe is adapted Davida from The Healthy Maven. It’s a simple recipe, that do not require any stove top cooking. So you can literally leave the chicken and mushroom to bake in the oven and proceed to prepare the dressing and figs. Make sure to not over cook the chicken as it is afterall a piece of lean meat with no fat, so it can be dry if you over cook it.

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Figs, Portobello and Candied Pecans
Serves: 2
For the pecans:
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
For the chicken:
  • 1 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed / olive oil
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard (I used wholegrain mustard)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to season
For the salad:
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 fresh black mission figs, sliced
  • 1 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup blue cheese / gorgonzola, crumbled
For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil / grapeseed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard (I used wholegrain mustard)
  • ½ tsp honey
For the pecans:
  1. Preheat oven to 175 Celcius.
  2. Combine all the ingredients. Spread out on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes (watch closely and gently toss to make sure they don't burn).
  4. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 mins.
For the chicken:
  1. Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 190 C
  3. Lay chopped portobellos along the bottom of a baking pan.Place chicken on top of portobellos and pour remaining marinade over portobellos.
  4. Bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven, flip chicken and bake for another 10 mins.
  5. Slice chicken.
For the dressing:
  1. Combine all ingredients until well mixed.
For the salad:
  1. In a large bowl combine spinach, blue cheese / gorgonzola, figs, portobellos and sliced chicken.
  2. Top with dressing, pecans and serve immediately




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