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July 17, 2024

Indonesian street food at the Mullum Farmers Market

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Indonesian Kitchen is at Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday from 7am to 11am.

By Victoria Cosford

Rini and Ewan – should they ever find the time – don’t need to add new items to their regular menu. Pretty much everything is a hit, and has been for all the years they’ve been running their market stall of fabulous Indonesian street food.

Or, more specifically, East Javanese food, which is where Rini comes from. The ‘Indo Breaky’, the Nasi Goreng and the Mie Goreng, the corn and vegetable fritters – all turn over so quickly that Rini barely has time to chat as she tongs spring rolls and corn batter into bubbling oil and spoons her luscious peanut sauce over golden grilled chicken skewers.

L to R: Icha, Rini, Ewan,Putro serve up East Javanese food at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday

It’s that sauce I’m wanting her to tell me about: I’d recently heard it described as the best one around. Generally referred to as ‘satay’ sauce due to its common application as a sauce for skewered meats or vegetables, or ‘satay’, it’s traditionally made from ground roasted peanuts which are blended with spices, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, tamarind and coconut milk – but after some research I found a whole host of differing versions. The key to this sauce, however, is that it be a balance of sweet, spicy and sour. Rini – and why should she? – won’t give away her secret recipe for it but does confide that she uses kaffir lime and no tamarind for the citrus component. It takes her a couple of hours to make more than three litres a week, the ammount required to service the three markets she and Ewan do.

I wanted to give the sauce a go myself. Consulting various cookbooks – Alvin Lee, Charmaine Solomon amongst others – I ended up with a hybrid which, while far from authentic, tasted absolutely gorgeous draped over grilled chicken skewers. I broke the peanut rule by using wonderful, buttery Marlyvale Farm pecans: Rini would have been horrified, but we devoured with gusto.

Indonesian Kitchen is at Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday from 7am to 11am.

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