Archive for National Day

Preparing for Saturday Night Fever

Posted in Asian Cooking, Dinner Parties, Recipes with tags , , , on August 6, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

Ikan bilis and peanuts

The Singapore National Day is coming up this weekend, and to celebrate the occasion, I’ve invited a few of  my kawan kawan (meaning “friend” in Bahasa Melayu) from Singapore’s neighbouring countries. Menu for the night includes:

  1. Nasi Lemak;
  2. Chicken curry and
  3. Satay with ketupat

Preparing all these individually isn’t very difficult, but when cooking for a party of 10, a little bit of preparation ahead of time will go a long, long way.

I got the ball rolling tonight by frying up the anchovies (or more affectionately known as ikan bilis) and peanuts. This will be served as an accompaniment to the nasi lemak, either putting it as a side dish or sprinkled generously over the rice before it is served.

Preparing the ikan bilis is literally as simple as one plus one, as all that is required is a dry-fry equal amounts of both the ikan bilis and raw peanuts (volume wise, not weight) until they turn a lovely golden brown. You could add a little oil at the start if you wish, but it isn’t necessary. I like it dry and crisp. When it’s done (and it will take a while) and while still hot, sprinkle some sugar over it. It is advisable to use caster sugar as it melts more easily and will have more chance of gluing itself onto the peanuts instead of settling at the bottom of the pan.

Tomorrow night, I will prepare the sambal and start to marinate the meat for the satay. On Friday night, I will skewer the satays and cook the chicken curry, which is best left to sit overnight to let the flavours permeate through the meat. Come Saturday, all I’ll have to do is to set the satays on the barbeque, fry the omelette,  cook the ketupat and steam the coconut rice !

I love how this planning is going. I feel much, much more on top of things and I can let my hair down on Saturday before my guests arrive! Fab.