Archive for the ‘Dried Shrimp’ Category

* Smoky Eggplant with Shallots and Dried Shrimp

Posted on July 5th, 2014 by Linda. Filed under Belachan, Burmese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Dried Shrimp, Eggplant, Entree, Grill, Ingredients, Seasoning, Spices.

This dish has all the wonderful pungent (in a nice way) flavors of Burmese foods.  The relish is made out of dried shrimp and a chili made with ngapi, and the crunchy garlic chips and crispy shallots add a textural contrast to the velvety eggplant.

Ngapi is a Burma’s answer to the the regions’ fermented fish/shrimp products.  Extremely similar to Malaysian belachan or Indonesian trassi, it’s wonderfully fragrant with lots of umami.

Smoky Eggplant with Shallot and Dried Shrimp


3 Japanese eggplant
Ngapi Chili Sauce:
6 Fresno red jalapeno chilies
1 Tablespoon ngapi, more if desired

4 shallots, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 cup oil

1/4 cup dried shrimp, soaked, grind/ pounded
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 Tablespoons Ngapi Chili Sauce

Preparing the eggsplant
Place eggplant over a gas flame to char. Turn eggplants frequently, allowing skin to shrivel and flesh to soften. Remove eggplants from flame and allow to cool. Peel skin from eggplants and discard. Trim ends and slice eggplants lengthwise into halves.


Preparing the Ngapi Chili Sauce
In a food processor, finely grind the red chilies into a paste. Mix with ngapi. Set aside.

Make topping:
Place sliced shallots in oil and bring to boil. Let it simmer till shallots are golden. Remove crispy shallots and set aside. Reserve oil. Next fry the garlic slices till golden. Remove garlic and set aside. Reserve oil.

Soak dried shrimp in water until soft. Drain and pound with a mortar and pestle or pulse with a food processor. Set aside.

In a small pan, heat two tablespoons of the shallot oil, then add dried shrimp and cook till fragrant. Add sugar. Turn off heat. Stir in lime juice, salt and Ngapi Chili Sauce.

Spread the relish over the eggplant, and sprinkle with the crispy shallot and garlic.

Serves: 6

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* Kerabu Green Mango

Posted on March 20th, 2011 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Belachan, Dried Shrimp, Malaysian, Mango, Nyonya, Salads, Shallots.

Here is another mango salad recipe.  A Malaysian Nyonya version.  The key flavoring here is belachan.  Now, the following paragraph may scare you away from this recipe, but do trust me, once the belachan is roasted and mixed into the sambal, the salad is just absolutely scrumptious!  Ask any Malaysian, and they will surely defend the belachan.

Belachan is to Malaysian cooking what fish sauce is to Thai cooking.  To get the full, sweet flavor of belachan, buy a block of it, slice it up and dry toast it in a skillet.  Just be aware that your neighbors may not be liking it too much!  When I lived in Guangzhou about 20 years ago, I toasted some belachan and thought I was smart to leave the windows opened….after all, I was in US consulate housing and I don’t think my neighbors really dig the smell!  Before I knew it, every fly in Guangzhou decided to join me in the cooking!  After a humourous battle tracking down the flies and shooing them away, I was able to get all but one fly out of the apt.  To get the last fly out, I placed my bottle of now sweetly toasted belachan by the window sill.  The lone fly decided to come out of hiding and follow the waft of the belachan by the window sill.  At that point, I turned on the fan, and off he went out of the window!

Chef’s tip: You can also roast the belachan in an oven.  400F.  Chop up the belachan, spread it on a baking sheet and roast about 7 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon, break up the pieces further till crumbs form.  Return to oven for another 5 minutes.  Store leftover roasted belachan in an airtight bottle for future use!

Sambal Belachan:
6 Fresno/ red jalapeno chilies
1 Tablespoon belachan, more if desired

2 Tablespoon prepared sambal belachan
3 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 Tablespoon dried shrimp, soaked
2 Tablespoon dessicated shredded coconut, toasted
2 green mangoes, peeled and shredded
2 shallots, finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chiffonaded

  1. In a food processor, finely grind the red chilies into a paste. Mix with belachan.
  2. Make kerabu dressing – mix together sambal belachan, lime juice, sugar and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Soak dried shrimp in water until soft.  Drain and pound coarsely with a mortar and pestle or pulse with a food processor.  Set aside.
  4. Toast desiccated coconut in a pan till golden brown.  Pound coconut lightly.  Set aside.
  5. Shred mangoes, cut shallots into thin slices lengthwise.  Slice kaffir lime leaves finely.
  6. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with the dressing. Serve immediately.

Note: Mangoes must be green, unriped firm mangoes

Serves: 6

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* Law Bak Goh – Radish Cake

Posted on February 15th, 2010 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Cantonese, Chinese, Chinese sausages, Cilantro, Cuisine, Dim Sum, Dried Shrimp, Entree, Green onions, Rice.

Radish cake is eaten during Chinese New Year as a symbol for togetherness.   My friend, Ophelia, made the dish this year again….I wish she lived closer coz I would love to get together and have a slice delicious law bak goh!  She shares the secret from her mom — the oil keeps the batter together.  In addition, she recipe-tested my recipe and this is what she says:  “I added one cup less water than your [original] recipe – I judged it by the consistency … when it looked too watery, I added a little more rice flour.  It was 11pm by the time I was done steaming.  I decided to put the whole pan outside the door, and by the Monday it was nice and firm, ready to be fried for New Year breakfast! ”  Looks like the 2010 Washington DC snowmageddon did come in useful afterall!

Anyways, I promised her if she shared the picture, the recipe will be on the blog forever so she needn’t search high and low for her copy each new year!  Here we go! Do note to add more water/ rice flour as needed.

2 lbs Chinese white radish, grated
1 cup water + about 1  1/2 cups water

4 Chinese sausages, finely diced
1/4 cup dried shrimps*, soaked in warm water with 1 tablespoon sherry, drain and chopped roughly
2 + 2 tablespoons oil
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, or use fresh, finely diced
2 cups rice flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon scallion, finely chopped

  1. Peel and grate radish. Place shredded radish in a small pot or saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil, than reduce the heat to a low and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Let cool.  Drain radish.  Save cooking liquid.
  2. Pour cooking liquid into a measuring cup. Add remaining water to make 2 1/2 cups of liquid.
  3. Start a steamer over a wok of boiling water.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok. Stir-fry sausage, 1 minute.  Add the shrimp; fry 30 seconds and mushrooms, 1 minute.  Remove from heat. Set aside.
  5. To the cooking liquid mixture, whisk in rice flour, sugar, salt, pepper, 5 spice powder and reserved radish and mix until consistency of thick oatmeal.  You may need to add more water or rice flour.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
  6. Add in sausage & mushroom mixture, scallion and cilantro.  Mix well.
  7. Line a 6 inch by 9 inch (or a 9 inch diameter) cake pan with parchment paper and grease with oil liberally. Pour mixture into it. Place on rack in steamer. Steam over briskly boiling water 1 hour.  The cake is somewhat gooey at this stage.
  8. When cold, refrigerate overnight to firm up the cake.
  9. To serve, slice 1/4 inch thick, 2 inches wide, and 3 inches long. Fry slices in 1 tablespoon canola oil until golden brown. Serve hot.

Serves: 6-8

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