The recipe calls for galangal (pronounced guh-lang-guh), a popular herb used in Thai cooking. It’s a second cousin to ginger, but tastes piney and sharp with a strong citrus scent. It’s usually available in good Asian grocery stores.
It also calls for Kaffir leaves, another popular Southeast Asian ingredient. Kaffir leaves come from the Kaffir lime tree and lend an aromatic, citrusy flavor. They’re also available in Asian markets and are worth seeking out.
Recipe courtesy Pan Pacific Nirwana and Chef M. Kadek Ari Utami www.panpacific.com/Bali
5 cloves garlic
1 oz fresh ginger
2 Tbs. turmeric 1-2 stalks lemon grass
1 oz galangal (if available)
1/2 (one half) oz red chili
½ (one half) oz bird’s eye chili (use gloves; this chili is very hot)
3 bay leaves (kaffir leaves if available)
2 lbs mackerel, minced (can substitute other kinds of fish or meat)
3 Tbsp. fried shallots (or onion)
5 shredded lemon leaves (remove stems)
1 Tbs. palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1 Tbs shrimp paste
3 Tbs. thick coconut milk
Blend the shallots, garlic, fresh ginger, turmeric, lemon grass, galangal, red chili, bird’s eye chili and bay leaves to make bumbu lengkap, a Balinese seasoning paste.
Mix together with fish, fried shallots, lemon leaves, palm sugar, and shrimp paste.
Add coconut milk a little at time to make a mixture that will hold together on the skewer.
Shape mixture on skewers and grill until light brown and thoroughly cooked.
Interested in other recipes Sandra Scott has brought back from her travels? Check out these delectable recipes: