Cuisine: Chef Vindex Tengker’s Recipes for Global Gastronomes

À LA TOP CHEF. Specially for DA MAN’s anniversary issue, “Top Chef Indonesia” head judge Vindex Tengker invites us to his kitchen at the Dharmawangsa Jakarta and lends several recipes fit for global gastronomes.


Culinary competitions have taken the global showbiz by storm in the recent years—thanks to Gordon Ramsay and his sizzling temper, ready to mince the clueless contestants of “MasterChef.” Chefs and cooks have finally wooed back the attention they truly deserve. In Indonesia, it is chef Vindex Tengker who ensures the balance between talent and what goes on under the spotlight. His prominent appearances as the head judge of “MasterChef Indonesia” season one and currently of “Top Chef Indonesia” securely cemented his stature as one of the finest chefs in the country. The 45-year-old chef was also the jury president for the prestigious top-level cook-off “Bocuse d’Or Asia” in Shanghai, 2010 and 2012, and “Bocuse d’Or World” in Lyon, Paris, 2011. Given the 24 years of vast experience in the industry, chef Vindex—as he’s usually referred to—is one guy you’d never want to mess with in the kitchen. Without further ado, here’s the chef sharing his magic.

Charred King Prawn

Not only delicious, the meals whipped up by chef Vindex also lean toward healthy cuisines, and this fine appetizer surely whets the appetite.

King prawn:
• 60gr/3 pcs king prawn, peeled tail
• 2 tbsp turmeric and lemongrass marinade
• 50ml lobster glace/lobster stock reduction
• salt and pepper

Mekalas sauce:
• 125gr red onion
• 125gr garlic
• 75gr candlenut
• 50gr ginger
• 50gr galangal
• 75gr red chili
• kaffir lime leaves
• coconut milk honey
• salt, pepper and sugar

Cauliflower panna cotta:
• 50ml cream
• 50ml fresh milk
• 30gr plain yogurt
• 3gr gelatin
• 100gr cauliflower purée
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 20gr cauliflower

Green pea puree:
• 100gr green peas
• 40ml vegetable stock
• 2 tbsp chopped mint
• 1 tbsp butter
• salt, pepper and sugar

Carrot-lemongrass coulis:
• 100gr carrot
• 2 pcs lemongrass
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 40ml prawn stock
• salt and pepper

For cauliflower panna cotta, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, except the cauliflower. Heat the saucepan over a very low heat; don’t allow the cream to boil and add gelatin. Whisk the cream until dissolved. Remove from heat and add cauliflower purée. Pour into a cup and put in a chiller.

For green pea purée, boil green peas in salted water. Cook the peas for two to four minutes, then transfer to ice water. Melt butter and olive oil in a sautéed pan set on medium high heat. Add the peas and sauté for two minutes. Purée the peas in a food processor; add mint leaf and salt to taste, process again. Press the purée through a sieve.

For carrot lemongrass coulis, peel the carrot, cut small and blend in a food processor. Pour the carrot juice in a small saucepan. Add lemongrass, fish sauce, prawn stock, and reduce the coulis by one-third, then pass it through a fine-mashed conical sieve. Season to taste. To finish, arrange the green peas purée on the bottom of the plate, put the charred king prawn on top. Serve with carrot lemongrass coulis and cauliflower panna cotta. For garnish, you may as well arrange some cooked cauliflower on the plate to complement the combination of succulent ingredients on the plate.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Infused Veal

Ambitious cooks who aspire to take the dining guests’ breath away shouldn’t miss out on this gourmet veal tenderloin. Chef Vindex cleverly plates this European delicacy with French demiglace sauce and Indian cucumber raita, creating gastronomic dimensions and showcasing the real deal of global flavor mix.

• 300gr veal tenderloin
• salt and pepper
• 300ml vegetable oil
• 20gr juniper berries
• 20gr cinnamon powder
• 1 sprig fresh thyme
• 2 pcs bay leaf
• 1 clove garlic
• 150gr curried baby potato
• 100gr asparagus, cooked
• 225ml cassia demi-glace
• 80gr cucumber raita

Cassia demi-glace:
• 30ml peanut oil
• 20gr finely diced onion
• 10gr garlic
• 5gr diced ginger
• 5gr crusted black pepper
• 20gr brown sugar
• 6gr dried clove
• 2gr coriander seeds
• 1gr nutmeg powder
• 2gr cinnamon powder
• 200ml dark sweet soy sauce
• 250ml water
• 300ml demi-glace salt

Cucumber raita:
• 80gr peeled cucumber
• 50gr yogurt plain
• 1 tbsp curry powder
• 1 tbsp chili powder
• 10gr chopped mint

For the infused-veal, sprinkle veal with salt and pepper, juniper crust and cinnamon powder. Keep two hours before confit. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil 65 to 68 degrees with juniper berries, kaffir lime leaf, cinnamon powder, thyme and garlic, bay leaf. Confit for about 15 minutes. Heat the iron pan, sear the veal both sides. Keep warm.

For cassia demi-glace, heat peanut oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger for two to three minutes before the color changes to brown—stir frequently. Add black pepper and brown sugar; continue to sauté for two minutes. Then add clove, coriander seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon powder. Pour in sweet soy sauce and water. Season it with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for eight to ten minutes; the sauce should have a syrup consistency, and then remove from the heat. Pour the mixture through a sieve, and discard all the solid ingredients. Mix the sauce with demi-glace, bring to heat again.

For cucumber raita, mix the cucumber and yogurt. Add curry powder, chili and chopped mint. Season to taste; keep in chiller. To finish, slice the veal and arrange on the plate. Put curried baby potato and asparagus, and pour the cassia demi-glace and serve with cucumber raita.

Roulade of Wild Duck Breast

Roulade of wild duck breast is a culinary creation that easily charms the eyes and the heart of visiting guests. For one, it has such an intriguing presentation, which nudges your curiosity to swiftly unravel the string and taste the juicy meat. The fact it’s part of the traditional French cuisine boosts the pride upon serving one. It is also listed in the inspirational meals contained in Michelin Award-winner Thomas Keller’s “The French Laundry Cookbook.” Yet, if any, it takes determination to make it from scratch and deliver it to the dining table.

Sweet-corn succotash:
• 80gr cooked sweet corn kernel
• 40gr cooked fava bean
• 20gr tomato dice
• 20gr diced smoked duck
• 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaf
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp coconut milk salt and pepper

Roulade wild duck:
• 300gr duck breast
• 100gr chicken breast mince
• 1 pc egg white
• 3 tbsp fresh cream
• 40gr vegetable brunoise
• 2 tbsp chopped coriander
• 1 tbsp chopped red chili
• 60gr mixed green leaf salt and pepper

Morel mushrooms:
• 30gr morel mushrooms
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Cumin juice:
• 40gr toasted ground cumin
• 150ml demi-glace

For sweet-corn succotash, heat a small saucepan and add sweet corn, fava bean, smoke duck, tomato, lemon juice and coconut milk. Season to taste.

For roulade, place chicken breast mince and egg whites in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. In a bowl, mix the resulting mousse with coriander and red chili, and season to taste before spreading the mixture on the duck slices, which you then roll up and tie with strings. Poach the duck and cook for about 15 minutes. Then take it out and keep in a chiller.

For side treats, sauté morel mushrooms in a non-stick pan with olive oil and chopped parsley. Serve the duck with the succotash, sautéed morel mushrooms and cumin juice.

Pan-Fried Baramundi

This dish reflects the rich characters of Indonesian cuisines. Barramundi evokes to mind the natural underwater bounty the archipelago boasts, and the fragrant and flavorful dabu-dabu relish—originating from Manado, chef Vindex’s hometown—entices the eye and whets the palate. If not spicy or burning enough, you are more than welcome to add a handful of cabe rawit.

• 250gr pan-friend barramundi
• salt and pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 100gr crayfish
• 40gr kemangi (lemon basil) oil
• 160gr sautéed mixed green and yellow bean
• 30gr sliced herbs (pandan, leek, turmeric leaf)

Turmeric herb sauce:
• 100gr shallot 5 pcs garlic clove
• 100gr turmeric fresh 80gr red chili
• 2 tbsp coconut milk
• 2 pcs turmeric leaf
• 2 stalks lemongrass
• 2 liters fish stock

Dabu-dabu relish:
• 100gr diced tomato
• 60gr shallot brunoise
• 40gr red chili brunoise
• 40gr green cabe rawit (chili padi)
• 1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime leaf
• 1 tbsp lemon juice salt and pepper

For pan-fried barramundi, sprinkle the barramundi with salt and pepper. In a non-stick pan, heat olive oil, sear the barramundi for about eight minutes until the skin turns crispy. Keep it warm while working on other recipes.

For turmeric herb sauce, sauté sliced shallot, garlic, fresh turmeric, red chili, lemongrass and turmeric leaf in a medium saucepan until cooked. Pour fish stock into it until reduced by half. Transfer into a food processor; remove the lemongrass and turmeric leaf. Blend until smooth and pass iT through a fine sieve, and season to taste. Sprinkle the crayfish with salt, pepper and turmeric herb paste in a small nonstick pan. Sear for about five minutes. Keep it warm as you move on to the relish.

For dabu-dabu relish, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste and keep in a chiller. To finish, arrange sautéed green and yellow beans on the plate. Put the barramundi fillet and crayfish, topped with dabu-dabu relish and sautéed herb slices. Serve with additional turmeric herb sauce and kemangi oil.

Ex.Chef_Vindex Tengker_A 67659

Vindex Tengker is currently the executive chef of The Dharmawangsa Jakarta since 2011. His delicious cooking can be sampled at the Jakarta and Sriwijaya Restaurants.