189 Indonesian stuffed cucumber
Normally I eat cucumber raw in a salad. In Indonesian cuisine cucumber is often eaten blanched or processed in a relish. In this recipe for Indonesian stuffed cucumber by Beb Vuyk the cucumbers need to simmer for 5 minutes in water, than stuffed with minced lamb meat and finished in the oven. Sounds delicious to me. Let’s put it all together.
The recipe is enough for 2-3 people and ready in about 1,5 hours.
Indonesian stuffed cucumber translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 180.
1 large cucumber
1/4 kg of meat mixture (see recipe for minced mutton meatballs, 180)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon with shredded santen (coconut cream)
1 cup of broth
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Wash the cucumber. Cut it into four pieces and halve each piece lengthwise. Remove all the seeds and hollow out the pieces even further if necessary. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes in water and salt. Than drain.
Fill each piece with the meat mixture, just enough that the meat sticks out like a little bump. Arrange the cucumber pieces in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and lumps of butter. Mix the broth with sweet soy sauce and the the flakes of santen. Pour the broth into the dish. Bake the dish in the oven for about half an hour untill the meat is done
I buy minced meat at my Muslim butcher. He sells minced lamb mixed with minced beef. That will work for this dish, I presume.
Today I use double the amount of ingredients because friends come over for dinner. So I use two cucumbers and I use 500 grams of minced meat.
Beb lets us know that the meat needs to be prepared like in recipe 180. I haven’t made that one yet, so here it is.
Mutton meatballs translated from Beb Vuyk Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 174.
1/4 kg mutton meat (not too fat)
1/4 block of santen (coconut cream)
1 large cooked potato
1 small egg
2 tablespoons of finely chopped onions
1 chopped clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of coriander
Make minced mutton with a meat grinder. Add the block of santen chopped in little pieces and the boiled potato. Mix in the egg, onions, garlic, chopped herbs and coriander. Make small balls, roll them through the breadcrumbs and fry them in the oil until brown.
I have a meat grinder, but my meat is already minced by my butcher (I use lamb). I add the ketumbar (coriander), salt, pepper and nutmeg to the meat together with the onions and the garlic.
Beb never mentions the amount of salt, pepper or nutmeg in a recipe. I add to my 500 grams of meat, two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons of pepper and 4 teaspoons of nutmeg (be not afraid to use lots of nutmeg, it is lovely and gives the Indonesian stuffed cucumber that particular Indonesian flavor).
Now the boiled potato and egg can be mixed in.
I cut my cucumbers lengthwise and I deseed them. Now they can be cooked for 5 minutes in water and salt. I bring the water to the boil first and drop the cucumber pieces in. Do not overcook your cucumber.
I rinse the cucumbers with cold water from the tap after 5 minutes. This will stop the cooking process. They need to go in to the oven for half an hour too. Once the pieces are cooled I add the meat on top and give it a little push. It needs to stick out a little bit like a small bump.
It already looks so nice all those little cucumber boats. I arranged them in a large baking dish.
I dissolve the kecap (sweet soy sauce) and the coconut cream in to the broth. I do not use too much santen because the beef mixture contains coconut too. I use broth made of beef stock, but any broth will do. The broth mixture can be poured into the dish. It smells great already.
The breadcrumbs and the little bit of butter can be added. Beb says in her recipe that the stuffed cucumbers need to go into the oven for half an hour. She doesn’t say how hot the oven needs to be. I heat mine up to 180 degrees celsius and indeed after half an hour the house smells delicious and the meat is done; tender and crisp on the outside.
I make myself sambal badjak too. It works great with Indonesian stuffed cucumber which is not spicy. Also great as a ‘fingerfood’ snack for a party!
Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.