This recipe is courtesy of the Equatorial Penang hotel in Penang, Malaysia. It is a classic Indonesian dish that combines the heat of chiles with the exotic fragrances of the Spice Islands. Note that this recipe requires advance preparation.
"Holy" basil is widely available in Thai stores. The stems are purple and the leaves are pointed, distinguishing it from regular sweet basil. I actually prefer the flavor to "regular" basil—it’s slightly more bitter and fragrant, with a unique aroma. The basil doesn’t require much cooking, as too much heat makes it bitter and destroys the delicate flavor.
Yakatori got its name from the Japanese words—yaki for grilled and tori for chicken. I have already taken some liberties with traditional recipes in making this spicy version, so if you would prefer, it can also be made with pork. Plain white rice and a crisp cucumber salad is all that is need to complete a light and tasty meal.
The chutney is a nice and spicy accompaniment to the creamy taste of the scallops. We love habanero chiles in it, but use a serrano for less heat and a slightly different flavor. If you don’t have fresh coconut, substitute 1 ½ cups flaked coconut. Serve with lemon rice pilaf and grilled mango slices.
Pasta is not only used by the Italians--remember that Marco Polo visited China and pasta was a favorite in China when he showed up. Since noodles are associated with a long and happy life they are always served at special occasions such as birthdays and New Year’s. These noodles can be served as an appetizer as well as with meats or roasts and the orange oil can be used in a variety of ways such as replacing unflavored oil in stir-frying.
This sauce is thought to be of Tunisian origin, but is found throughout all of North Africa and the Middle East under various names and spellings. It is used to flavor couscous and grilled dishes such as brochettes, and also as a relish with salads. Cover this sauce with a thin film of olive oil and it will keep up to a couple of months in the refrigerator.