In the mood for a tasty recipe minus the guilt baggage? Chef Vania Wibisono shows us how to make yummy meatball sate and lawar with little fuzz.

In the mood for a tasty recipe minus the guilt baggage? Chef Vania Wibisono shows us how to make yummy meatball sate and lawar with little fuzz.

CHEF VANIA is all about healthy yet trouble-free meals. When it comes to finding tasty and healthy recipes, she’s the go-to girl.

She’s a walking collection of tried and tested recipes, some of which she had published in her book “Buku Resep Sehat dan Lezat Anti Stress” (The Book of Stress-free, Healthy and Tasty Recipes). The book was inspired by the memory of her mother who died of cancer. “I wanted to share the healthy lifestyle and wellness approach to life,” she said.


Vania loves working in the kitchen. As a teenager, she helped her grandmother with the family  catering business. She studied psychology at college, but decided to work at Le Gourmet Bakery as a baker upon graduation.

In 2001, she took a course of professional food production and management at the UCLA, the U.S. She returned to Jakarta to continue working in the food and beverage industry as well as the entertainment business through several cooking and food talk shows.

On this particular occasion, she showed us how to make a healthy Balinese sate with a side of  lawar.

“It’s a healthier Indonesian dish. We are going to use ingredients like beef with little fat content, coconut oil, and organic salt,” she said.

Vania also tweaked the Balinese recipe to create a heart healthy lawar. The popular lawar is  created from a mixture of vegetables, coconut and minced meat mixed with rich herbs and spices.

“I re-constructed the lawar to use no meat and instead add more colorful vegetables like carrot and red cabbage. All are cooked in just a few minutes to keep their color bright and their nutrition intact,” she explained.

The chef further elaborated that brightly colored vegetables contain various phytonutrients  which are beneficial to health and help prevent various diseases.

She also gave us a secret to process less fatty beef to perfection. “This kind of beef can turn tough when cooked, especially if you’re going for that crispy surface.”

The trick? Simply ground the meat. “This way you can get that tasty caramelized crispy surface, but with a lot less effort with your bite,” she shared.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s go to the kitchen!

Meatball Sate, with Lawar, Nasi Merah and Sambal Bajak
Serves: 2



Meatball Sate
250g           Sirloin
1/2 tsp        Ground Coriander
1 pc            Garlic Clove, crushed
1 tsp           Kecap Manis
1 tbp           Fried Shallots, crushed
To Taste     Salt, Pepper, Ground Nutmeg

Sambal Bajak
1 stalk        Lemongrass, bruised
2  pcs          Salam Leaves
2 pcs           Kaffir Lime Leaves, thinly sliced
2 tbp           Tamarind Juice
1 tbp           Palm Sugar
1 tsp           Terasi (shrimp paste), grilled
4 pcs           Cherry Tomatoes
100 ml        Water
4 tbp           Coconut Oil, for frying
12 pcs         Red Chilies
8 pcs           Red Bird’s Eye Chilies
6 pcs           Shallots
3 pcs           Garlic Cloves


4 tbp           Coconut Oil
100g           Grated Coconut, roasted
4 pcs           Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced, fried
8 pcs           Shallots, thinly sliced, fried
2 pcs           Bell Peppers, seeds removed, sliced
4 pcs           Bird’s Eye Chilies
1 tsp           Pepper
1 tsp           Salt
1 tbp           Lime Juice
5 pcs           Long Beans, chopped into small pieces
½ cup         Bean Sprouts
½ cup         Red Cabbage, shredded
½ cup         Carrots, shredded


Meatball Sate





  • Mix all ingredients together well
  • Form small balls, place four meatballs on each bamboo skewer
  • Glaze with sambal bajak, then grill until brown

Sambal Bajak

  • Ground chilies, shallot and garlic.
  • Heat oil, sauté ground ingredients with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and salam leaves until fragrant.
  • Add tamarind juice, water, palm sugar, terasi and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil, simmer and reduce to paste. Set aside.




  • Sauté all ingredients together in coconut oil, until half cooked

To Serve


  • Assemble sate and lawar with nasi merah and sambal bajak on a plate.

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Written by Andre Arditya Photographs by Dennie Ramon October 10, 2016.