Delicious Asian-inspired crowd-pleasing recipes to serve up at a party

Jennifer Joyce shares some of her summery recipes from her cookbook My Asian Kitchen (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Need some inspiration of what to cook at your Freedom Day bash?

Jennifer Joyce, author of My Asian Kitchen, has rustled up two sensational summer dishes bursting with tropical flavours.

Start by knocking their socks off with an extra simple version of the Indonesian dish Ayam Penyet, packed with spicy red and green sambals.

Then treat them to a tropical fruit salad, complete with a sweet and spicy ginger and vanilla syrup.

Let’s get cooking!

Indonesian grilled chicken legs with green and red sambals

Caption: Indonesian grilled chicken legs with green and red sambals
Copyright: UNKNOWN

Ayam Penyet hails from the Indonesian island of Java. I’ve devised a modified version of the dish so you can enjoy it with less effort — and fewer dishes to clean up.

For vegans, swap the chicken for sliced aubergine or tofu.

Serves four

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus one hour marinating

Cooking time: 20 minutes

4 lemongrass stems, inner part only, 6 garlic cloves, 1 small shallot, 30g (1 oz) ginger, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp red chilli flakes, 1 tsp ground coriander, 60ml (2 fl oz) light soy sauce, 6 large chicken legs with the thighs

Green sambal

  • 3 thumb-sized green chillies
  • 3 small shallots (unpeeled/halved)
  • 2 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 20g (3/4 oz) coriander (cilantro)
  • Juice 2 limes

Red sambal

  • 2 tbsp sambal oelek chilli sauce
  • Juice 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 small Thai shallot chopped
  • Coriander (cilantro), to serve


1. In a food processor, create the marinade by blending together the finely chopped lower third of the lemongrass stems, the garlic, shallot, ginger, turmeric, chilli flakes, ground coriander and soy.

2. Place the chicken in a zip lock bag, pour the marinade over and leave for an hour or up to overnight. Remove and pat dry.

3. To make the green sambal, in a dry frying pan add the green chillies, shallots and garlic. Cook until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place the chillies in a plastic bag to steam for 2 minutes.

4. Peel the skins off and remove the seeds. Peel the garlic and shallots and place in a food processor with the chillies. Add the fish sauce, sugar and chopped coriander and pulse to a chunky consistency. Squeeze in the lime juice and taste for additional fish sauce. Scrape into a bowl. Mix all the red sambal ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

5. Preheat your outdoor grill or chargrill pan. Grill the chicken over indirect low heat for 10 minutes each side until charred at the edges and the skin is starting to pull back. Serve the grilled chicken with the green and red sambals and garnish with shallots and fresh coriander.

Tropical fruit salad with ginger and vanilla syrup

Caption: Tropical fruit salad with ginger and vanilla syrup
Copyright: UNKNOWN

For an easy summer crowd pleaser that looks as good as it tastes, this is the ticket.

Serves four to six

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 5 minutes

  • 150g (51/2 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 2 ripe papaya
  • ½ small pineapple
  • 2 kiwi (thickly sliced)
  • 55g (2 oz) large toasted coconut flakes


1. Place the sugar, vanilla bean, ginger and 150ml (5 fl oz) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is syrupy. Remove and allow to cool. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the syrup and remove the ginger.

2. Cut the mango, papaya and pineapple into 4cm (1 inch) batons or chunks. Next up, arrange all the fruit on a small platter, pour over the syrup and then garnish with the toasted coconut.


To toast the coconut, bake in an oven pre-heated to 170°C (325°F) or 150°C (300°F) fan oven for 8 minutes until golden at the edges.

My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce (Murdoch Books, £9.99), Instagram @jenniferjoyce01

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