Sambal Shrimp Paste with Eggplants

I had a go making Sambal Shrimp Paste (Sambal Hae Bee in Hokkien) the other day.

As always, I used the ‘agakagak’ method (ingredients not to exact measurement, estimates only) and the cooked paste filled up perfectly into one old black bean paste jar.

Ingredients

4 pieces Shallots
1 big yellow onion
2 handful dried shrimps (approx 200gm) soaked in water for at least 20mins
1 fresh big red chilli
3 dried chillies
8 kaffir lime (remove the stem and cut into small slices)
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 tablespoonful Tumeric powder
half a cup of tamarind sauce
Salt & Sugar to taste
A small slice of toasted belacan (shrimp paste) (optional)

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

  1. Chop all the ingredients into small pieces.
  2. Using a blender, blend the shallots, onions, lemongrass, kaffir lime and garlic together.
  3. Blend the fresh and dried chillies.
  4. Pour away the water from the dried shrimp and blend the shrimp.
  5. Heat 3-4 tablespoonful of oil in a wok.
  6. Add the belacan (optional).
  7. Stir in all the minced ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes.
  8. Add the turmeric powder, salt and sugar and continue stirring at medium heat.
  9. Pour in the tamarind sauce and continue stirring until the mixture is quite dry.
  10. Sterilise a jar to hold the cooked sambal paste.
  11. Using a sterilised spoon, fill the hot jar with the cooked sambal paste.

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I bought some small round eggplants from the Asian supermarket and used the sambal paste to cook Sambal Eggplants.

Turned out absolutely delicious.

I made a cross cut on the eggplants and stuffed the sambal into them.  Chopped up an onion on top and seasoned with lemon salt and pepper.  Put in a tablespoonful of oil and baked for 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.  Perhaps next time, I may stir fry them instead as to get the sambal soaked in even better.

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I ventured further on ways to use my newly made sambal shrimp paste.

Found some frozen wonton wrappers and thought I could make some crispy sambal rolls but unfortunately, they turned out to be not crispy at all.  What an awakening.

Why were they not crispy when they sure looked crispy when I took them out from the oven.

Well, after seeking opinions from other Malaysian cooks, the simple reason was my sambal shrimp paste was not dry enough.  To make the crispy sambal rolls, the shrimp paste must be the dry version.  Secondly, my wonton wrappers were frozen so might be wet when I used them.  The key is that the ingredients must be dry otherwise the end result won’t be crispy!

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Well, I supposed I truly deserved to be eliminated from the UK Masterchef!

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