Hed Chef's Satay beehoon
Rich and creamy, but oh so worth it
Satay beehoon is a dish that I place under the "better be worth the calories" category.
Think boiled beehoon, blanched kangkung and cuttlefish.
Sounds fairly healthy, bland even.
But slathered in a thick aromatic nutty gravy, the ingredients come together in a sweet and savoury symphony of flavours.
The sin is truly in the gravy. Instead of coconut milk, the gravy is robust with an avalanche of finely ground peanuts.
If you like the gravy lusciously smooth, grind the peanuts finely. For those who prefer some crunch, reserve a portion of the peanuts to be coarsely ground.
Regretfully, in this preparation, I couldn't get my hands on some fresh cockles.
Just as the gravy is important, the degree to which you boil or blanch the ingredients is also key to how well the dish turns out.
Remember to drain off excess water from the beehoon, prawn and cuttlefish, or it will dilute the gravy.
- 400g dried beehoon
- 500g raw peanuts, with skin removed
- 400g prawn
- 1 cuttlefish
- 6 tau pok (dried beancurd puffs)
- 200g kangkung
- 100g palm sugar, roughly chopped
- 1 to 2 tbsp dried chilli paste
- 100g tamarind pulp
- 3 lemon stalks, bruised
- 8 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 green chilli, sliced
- 2.5 litres of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 5 tbsp kecap manis
- Cooking oil
For spice mix:
- 50g galangal
- 2 lemon grass stalks (use only 5cm of white root)
- 2 large purple onions
- 10 garlic bulbs
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp fennel
- 1 tbsp belacan powder
1. Dry fry peanuts until brown. Grind 300g finely. Grind remainder coarsely. Set aside.
2. Grind spice paste ingredients.
3. Mix tamarind pulp with 400ml water. Strain tamarind juice. Set aside.
4. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add spice paste and chilli paste. Fry over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. (A)
5. Season with salt and sugar.
6. Transfer spice paste into a pot with remaining tamarind juice and water. Boil.
7. Add three bruised lemongrass stalks and six torn kaffir lime leaves. (B)
8. Add palm sugar. Stir.
9. Add peanuts. Season with kecap manis. Boil for 10 minutes. Cover. Heat to serve.
10. In a separate pot of boiling water, add 2 kaffir lime leaves. Place prawns (with shell) in pot. Boil for 3 minutes or until prawns are cooked. Remove from pot.
11. De-shell and de-vein prawns. Set aside.
12. De-skin and slice cuttlefish. Place cuttlefish in boiling water. Once water boils again, remove cuttlefish and plunge into ice water. Set aside. (C)
13. Soak beehoon until it is soft.
14. Prepare two pots of boiling water. In one, add a pinch of salt and sugar. Blanch, drain kangkung.
15. In the other, boil beehoon for a minute. Remove from pot and drain excess water.
16. Plate beehoon, cuttlefish, blanched kangkung. Spoon hot gravy. Garnish with green chilli.