Entertain with style


Cooking for family and friends? Don’t panic – food writer Libby Kimber brings you two recipes from MasterChef fan favourite Khanh Ong’s brand-new book that will be a hit with everyone.  

A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life, Love, Food by Khanh Ong, Published by Plum, RRP $34.99,

Photography by Lauren Bamford.

Malaysian beef rendang

Serves 6

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1.5kg chuck steak, gravy beef or brisket, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 500 ml (2 cups) canned coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp Malaysian curry powder
  • 90g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 3 Tbsp karamel masakan
  • Sea salt
  • 6 makrut lime leaves, finely sliced
  • Steamed rice, to serve

Spice paste

  • 6 dried red chillies, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white parts roughly chopped, tops bruised and reserved
  • 8 makrut lime leaves, finely sliced
  • 3cm piece of fresh turmeric, roughly chopped or 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5cm piece of galangal, roughly chopped
  • 6 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 long red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

To make the spice paste, place all the ingredients except the vegetable oil in a food processor or blender and whiz into a fine paste. Pour the vegetable oil into a large saucepan over medium-low heat and sauté the spice paste for 4–6 minutes until fragrant and the oil splits from the paste.

In a large frying pan over high heat, place the coconut oil and beef and brown for about 8 minutes, turning often to get good caramelisation all over. Transfer the beef to the saucepan with the spice paste. Add the coconut milk, curry powder and reserved lemongrass tops and simmer for 3-3 1/2 hours until the beef is tender and the liquid has reduced by half. Give it a stir every now and again and add some water if it starts looking a bit dry.

Meanwhile, toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over low heat for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Add it to the pan with the beef and stir. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, then stir through the karamel masakan and salt to taste. Finish with the lime leaves and serve over steamed rice.

Pork, ginger and lime sausage rolls

Makes 48

  • 3 sheets puff pastry, defrosted and cut in half
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a little water
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Sausage filling

  • 500g pork mince (the higher the fat content, the better)
  • 60g (1/3 cup) grated onion, juice squeezed out
  • 50g (1/3 cup) grated carrot
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 30g (1/2 cup) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped makrut lime leaves
  • 2 tsp sriracha chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

Preheat the oven to 210°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

To make the filling, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and give it a really good mix to make sure everything’s well combined.

Place a rectangle of puff pastry on a clean work surface. Spoon about one-sixth of the filling close to the long edge of the pastry and shape it into a log. Brush the edge of the pastry with egg wash, then carefully roll it up tightly and seal.

Brush the top of the sausage roll with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut into 8 even-sized pieces and place on one of the prepared baking trays. Repeat the process with the remaining pastry and filling to make 48 sausage rolls.

Bake for 25–30 minutes or until puffed and golden.

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