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(Opor Ayam dan zukini)

This creamy coconut soup came from when my Italian friend popped in to my house when I was in Bali with a strange vegetable, the texture was like “oyong” one of Indonesia’s vegetables that we use for sweet and sour soup. The first time I cooked this vegetable I am in love with it. For the pickled courgette and cucumber I love to make the night before I use or serve.

Serves 4 comfortably

For the pickled courgette and cucumber
2 courgettes
1 cucumber
2tbs sugar
4tbs rice wine vinegar
1tbs black pepper
3 star anise
Using a vegetable peeler, cut the courgette and cucumber by length to get thin long strips, only use the skin and white flesh, discard the seeds. Put the strips of courgette and cucumber in a bowl add cracked black pepper and star anise, sugar and rice wine vinegar. Wrap the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Creamy coconut chicken and courgette soup:
3 courgettes, washed and cut 2cm length
500g chicken thighs, 3cm diced
330ml coconut milk
400 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised the stem
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tbs vegetable oil.
for the paste :
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
5 shallots, finely sliced
1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
3 candle nuts
2 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
To make the spice paste, use a pestle and mortar or food processor to pound the garlic, shallots, coriander seeds, candle nuts and ginger.
In a wok heat the vegetable oil, fry the paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves for 3 minutes, add the chicken and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Add courgette and coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes to soften the courgettes. Add salt to taste.
Serve immediately and top with the pickled courgette and cucumber, garnish with chopped parsley and fried shallots.


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