When I moved out of home from Sydney to London, I was suddenly faced with having to cook for myself. I yearned for one of my mum’s comfort creations, so I emailed her and asked for this recipe.
Mike Win

26 Aug 2012 - 5:44 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Mum was born in Jakarta and grew up in Singapore and Malaysia with Chinese/Indonesian parents. As a result, her collection of simple but moreish recipes is plentiful and diverse, and my brother, father and I enjoyed a wide spectrum of Asian flavours in our meals.

When Mum replied to my email, she titled the dish: 'Mum’s chicken stew – which Mum learned from Grandma’, instead of the Indonesian name semur ajam. She also added a note saying, 'The secret is in the slow, stewing, simmering process."

Normally, Indonesian cooking includes lots of chillies, but this particular dish doesn’t. I like the homely style of cooking in this recipe, and that anyone can make it. I’ve cooked this recipe for many mates and passed it onto them, too.

Mum is my inspiration when it comes to food. She cooked for us almost every night, after working 12-hour days. I have a folder full of Mum’s recipes, as well as many others I’ve collected over the years.

Fried chicken stewed in sweet soy sauce (semur ajam)

Interview by Jannah Kelly. Photography by Katie Kaars.