Housed in refurbished old colonial architecture in Kemang, NUSA is slowly cementing itself as the restaurant to go when it comes to relishing in native Indonesian dishes with a contemporary twist. Even though the man behind it, Chef Ragil Imam Wibowo has been in the culinary industry for two decades, promoting the marvel of Indonesian cuisine has always been a lifelong goal of his.
During his trip overseas like Switzerland, Chile and Italy, Chef Ragil and his team would often partner up with a local restaurant to spread the awareness of Indonesian dishes using locally-sourced ingredients from the country he’s visiting. “The best part of it is being able to use ingredients that are only available in that country to recreate the dishes,” said Chef Ragil.
Of course, an adjustment in taste is unavoidable under those circumstances, but it proved that Indonesian cuisine can be enjoyed just about anywhere in the world. Ultimately, the aim is to encourage people to visit Indonesia to have a taste of the authentic version itself.
Chef Ragil ‘s motivation on being a chef is amusingly simple. He explained that it’s because he simply couldn’t stop eating. It is thanks to that too that Chef Ragil often experiments with traditional ingredients to recreate something from scratch. “The dressing that we used for our salad is called ‘local dressing’ because I used Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce) with coconut oil and lemon twig. It tastes just like Balsamico,” he said.
Here, Chef Ragil kindly shared with us one of his latest creations, Ayam Tangkap that is originated from Aceh. It is normally served with Sambal Ganja (weed sauce) or Sambal Udang Aceh (Acehnese prawn sauce). But for this series, Chef Ragil paired Ayam Tangkap with Sambal Udang Aceh instead. For those who are not keen to create the marinade from scratch, you can substitute it with Bumbu Kuning that you can source from local traditional market.
Ayam Tangkap Aceh Reuyeuk
800 gr Whole organic chicken
50 gr Shallot
20 gr Garlic
10 gr Turmeric
1/2 tsp Coriander
500 ml Coconut water
5 gr Ginger
4 tbsp Tamarind juice (from 30 gr tamarind seed + 100ml hot water)
2 stick Lemongrass
30 gr Pandan and curry leaves
- Cut the chicken into 4 parts (2 breast and 2 thighs) and set aside.
- Blend shallot, garlic, turmeric, and coriander into powder form and crushed the lemongrass slightly. Then fry the powder before slowly adding crushed lemongrass until you can smell the aroma (around 5 minutes).
- Add coconut water and all the chicken parts. Cook until the sauce is fully reduced.
- In a separate pan, heat the oil to fry pandan and curry leaves for 30 seconds until crispy.
- Transfer the marinated chicken to the pan and fry until it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Make sure the oil is hot enough when frying.
Sambal Udang Aceh
50 gr Shallot
15 gr Green Chilli Padi
35 gr Lemongrass
5 pcs Finely-chopped lime leaves
100 gr Carambola (Belimbing Wuluh)
35 gr Ebi
85 gr Boiled shrimp
30 gr Green chilli pepper
2 tsp Jungga lime juice
- Grind all the ingredients with pestle and molar except for the chopped lime leaves.
- Then add the lime leaves before adding salt and sugar to taste.
- Serve the Ayam Tangkap with Sambal Udang with warm rice.