Wednesday 22 August 2012

Random Recipes: Bebek Bacem Masak Andaliman

Sorry blog and dear readers for I have abandoned you. I want to let you know that I think of all of you all the time... Truth is I don't have internet connection at home and I can't hang out at the mall or Starbucks all the time using their free wi-fi.

I am very much enjoying this long holiday period and I am using my time effectively. Very soon I am going to start working at JW Marriott hotel as a trainee chef. I am so looking forward to this hands-on kitchen experience. This is just temporary for a few weeks until I return to the UK, but still... it will be awesome, I know.

I have not been cooking, surprise surprise. I have been enjoying eating out and spoiled with mom's delicious cooking. But I did make time yesterday to cook my entry for this month's Random Recipe challenge.

All my cookbooks are currently in a box at a store room few thousand miles away. So, I am using my mom's  collection. The randomly chosen book is Lauk Bumbu Bacem by Indonesian cokery writer, Aan Roswaty. And the randomly chosen recipe is the delicious bebek bacem masak andaliman. Now, let me explain the lingo.

Bacem is a slow-cooking technique where the food is submerged in bumbu, a paste made of spices, and some liquid until it's completely dry or you are left with a thick sauce. Bacem cooking is very popular for tofu and tempeh. But it is also often used for poultry, meat and offal. For this dish, bebek or duck is the star ingredient. And andaliman is Indonesian for Szechuan peppercorns.

This takes hardly any effort to make as you can read below. I suggest you stay in the kitchen during the cooking process. The aroma is just amazing... and because the duck is cooked long and slow, it became very tender and the thick spicy sauce is finger-licking good.

I gotta go now... cappuccino is running low...  

Bebek Bacem Masak Andaliman
Recipe by Aan Roswaty 

1 duck, cleaned and cut into portions
2 asam gelugur, don't have this so I used a couple tsps of tamarind paste instead.
2 lemongrass, bruised
4 lime leaves
1 litre coconut milk
1 teaspoon caster sugar
vegetable oil

for the bumbu
8 red chillies de-seed if you want it milder
1/4 teaspoon andaliman
4 candle nuts
2 cm piece of ginger
2 cm piece of galangal
7 shallots
4 cloves of garlic
salt, to taste

Start by making the paste my mixing all the ingredients in a food processor to a thick paste. Rub this all over the duck. Add the duck and the rest of the ingredients to a pan and cook over medium-heat until the duck is cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a little bit of oil and cook further.... taste and season accordingly.


  1. Mmmmmmmm. That sounds amazing!
    Don't worry, we'll all still be here when you get back to blogging.
    Hope the chef placement goes well - sounds like a brilliant opportunity!

  2. So glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself, Michael! You deserve it. And, I can't blame you at all for wanting to sit back and enjoy a little of mom's cooking - you just can't beat that!
    This dish sounds lovely... and it does look finger licking good!!!
    Take care!!

  3. Just the title and the list of ingredients takes me back to SE Asia. It looks finger licking good.

  4. oh my word Michael!... how bloody international of you!!... your life sounds so exciting at the moment, about to start an incredibly amazing job... I wish I could be there to come on the journey with you!... this duck dish looks amazing, the sauce just sounds so packed with flavour... I'm thinking that maybe I need to make it with my chicken thighs!! thanks so much for finding the time to take part this month, i'm honoured to have you on board xx

  5. You have such interesting things going on in your life. I can't make this recipe without any of the spices and flavors. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the results. "See" you soon when you are back in the UK.

  6. Wow, that duck sounds wonderful. Randomly cooking from books that aren't your own is an interesting idea and it could be a little tricky. I think you were very lucky with this recipe, though. Good luck with the cheffing.

  7. That looked so delicious when I saw it on Instagram Michael! And congratulations on your upcoming role-how very exciting!! :D

  8. This looks like the best random recipe that I have seen. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging and cooking. I know I've been having a hard time getting back into it after vacation and now with school/work starting back up...

  9. Wow, that looks incredible. Sounds like you are having such a brilliant time - are you sure you want to go back to the UK?

  10. Take your time, Michael. And the random recipes...keep them coming!

  11. Nice to hear from your blog again! Sorry I missed this entry, must admit I haven't been visiting back for quite a while :( Glad I did, that recipe looks AMAZING. esp love the fact that I don't understand a word of the name hah. Soudns liek you're having lots of fun back home, and so incredibly jealous of your chef stint! I'm sure you'll pick up some great chefy skills (: I'm also back home for a while now, and yes, understand what you mean by not having to cook because I'm just being spoilt silly by my mum's wonderful cooking (:

  12. Wow! Good luck with your new venture!