Among all forms of Asian cuisine, Indonesian fare is as succulent, vibrant, and wonderful as that of any region. Even better, combining this particular region’s flair for deliciousness with the convenience and benefits of modern air fry technique is as doable as ever. Read on for the scoop and five awesome Indonesian recipes that air fry to perfection.
Air Fryers Today: The Basic Rundown
For those ready for the recipes, feel free to skip ahead and enjoy. Otherwise, here is a short on air fryers and how they work for the beginner.
So, what is an air fryer exactly? An air fryer is a top rated modern cooking appliance that uses heated air and its directed movement to simulate a “fried” cooking style. This is with one, excellent exception – no need for oils, fats, and grease mediums with which to do the “frying”. With an air fryer, food ends up deliciously cooked, much like it has been fried in a traditional method, minus all the unhealthy fats and grease. The secret is in air movement and heat-transfer physics.
For the more tech-minded, additional information on the subject as well as links to air fry cooking groups can be found within the recent Today article, “Fried food with less fat? We tried to see if an air fryer lives up to the hype” For those just wanting to get to the deliciousness, read on. Here are five great Indonesian recipes seemingly built just for air-fried sublimity.
Five Delicious Indonesian Air-Fried Dishes
Crispy Kailan (Chinese Broccoli)
2 bunches kailan (leaves and stems separated)
1 Tbsp oil
½ tsp chicken powder OR dash of salt
½ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp tapioca starch + 1 Tbsp water
½ tsp chicken powder
1 Dash of fish sauce or soy sauce
2 slices ginger
1 Tbsp oil
¼ cup water
1 Cut kailan leaves into ½ cm widths.
2 Toss with oil, pepper, and seasoning.
3 Cook in 2 batches in air fryer at 170C for 5 minutes, pausing to toss every 60 seconds.
4 Remove and spread out to cool. Leaves will continue to crisp up once cooled.
5 Cut kailan stems into 1 ½ cm diagonal slices.
6 Heat oil in a wok, saute garlic and ginger until garlic is lightly browned. Add oyster sauce and kailan stems.
7 Add water, chicken powder, and fish sauce.
8 Cover and simmer for about 1 minute or until stems are tender.
9 Add tapioca starch mixture to thicken.
10 Remove from heat.
Baked Asian Cheese Tarts
For the tart pastry –
80g plain flour
50g salted butter, cut into cubes, cold
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp milk
For the filling –
150g cream cheese
50g mascarpone cheese
20g parmesan cheese
30g salted butter
8-12g cornstarch, depending on consistency desired
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 egg yolk for brushing on top of the custard
1 To make the pastry, combine all ingredients and lightly work with your hands to produce a soft dough. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate while you make the filling.
2 Combine all ingredients except egg yolk and blend, then cook at 80’C for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to a porridge-like consistency. You could alternatively cook it using a double boiler (ie. in a bowl sitting on top of a pan of simmering water).
3 Preheat oven to 230’C fan mode.
4 Roll and mold pastry into greased tart molds, prick holes on the base, then bake for 8-10 minutes.
5 Remove from molds, pipe (or spoon) filling into the pastry case, brush with egg yolk, and bake 6 minutes.
6 Allow to cool, then serve.
Stuffed Eggplant (Yong Tau Foo)
2 large eggplants, cut into 2-inch thick slices, with slits cut along the sides
500g defrosted basa fish fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 heaped Tbsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp chicken powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper
Oil for pan-frying
1 Combine fish fillets, tapioca starch, chicken powder, sugar and pepper in food processor.
2 Blend until smooth (no more than 10 seconds at a time).
3 Transfer fish paste into a bowl.
4 Using a butter knife, stuff eggplant with fish paste to about a 2cm thickness.
5 Repeat until all eggplant/fish paste is used up.
6 Heat oil, then pan-fry for 3 minutes (both sides). Ideally, remove and finish off in air-fryer at 180°C for 10-15 minutes to achieve a less oily product.
7 Alternatively pan-fry until done, or skip Step 6 and just deep-fry at 180°C for 10 minutes.
Chicken Crackling (Airfryer Method)
1 cup chicken skin
2 tsps chicken powder
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oil
1 Toss chicken skin with chicken powder, pepper, and oil.
2 Cook in preheated air fryer for 30 minutes at 170C, pausing to toss for even cooking every 10 minutes.
3 Remove and spread out to cool. Chicken skin will crisp up further once cooled down.
Sambal Belacan Tumis
1 ½ cups chilies, cut into chunks
6 chilies (optional)
1 ½ onions
2 Tbsp belacan powder (or equivalent if using Thai shrimp paste or Malaysian/Indonesian shrimp paste blocks)
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce or fish sauce ½ Tbsp chicken powder (optional)
½ cup oil
1 Blend chilies and onions to desired consistency.
2 Heat oil in frying pan. Add chili/onion puree and all other ingredients and cook until oil separates and onion is aromatic – approximately 15-20 minutes.
3 Allow to cool, then store in glass jar. Sambal will keep in the fridge for 6 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months.