I did it! I finally made an all traditional Nonya dish. :) I have to say it didn't come as easy as I thought. But somehow all the pieces just fall in place. *thank goodness* Let me elaborate. I was invited to join the Melaka Food Festival (I'm sure many of you are) for the month of August. I was really keen and eager, with plans to make some nonya kuihs. But then I told myself, why not make something out of the norm (for me), a savoury dish perhaps. So I started reading recipes online, browsed through books I owned. But sadly I have never made any of those dishes before, and thus was alittle hesitant to try, for fear that it might turn out tasting horrible.
Just over the weekend, some of the bloggers here in Singapore had a gathering and I was happy that I could join in. Prior to the gathering, Alan from travellingfoodies, had put up an offer to help harvest some belimbing fruit for those who might be interested to use it for cooking. Oh my gosh, of course I won't miss that! I could totally use that fruit for a nonya dish I read about! Belimbing is pretty rare here in Singapore...well at least I don't know where to get it, hahaha! So I have to thank Alan for passing me this precious fruit and thus making my first submission to MFF possible! Sounds a little dramatic, but it's true, haha! If you have not visited Alan's site before, you have better make your way there later....it has so many authentic nonya dishes that will make any nonya mama proud!
Okay back to my post. I have to say I am quite proud of the dish I made. My virgin attempt on a savoury nonya dish has really (fortunately too) turned out delicious. Sambal Belimbing Prawns:))
I believe this is also the first spicy dish that is posted here in HBS! Having two young kids at home just doesn't allow much opportunities for me to try out spicy dishes. :P *excuses!* Anyway, my kid did give this dish a small bite....she said "Mama...this is very nice...hah...hah...hah...too spicy!" The rest is history, hahaha!
The "venture" to getting this dish didn't stop just then. I was tight down with other matters over the weekend and didn't get a chance to get the other necessary ingredients needed for this dish, namely kaffir lime leaves, belacan, dried chilis and prawns. :P And I began to worry that those belimbing that Alan pass to me will not stay fresh so long. But luckily my MIL had some belacan to spare and my SIL had some dried red chilis as well. And just yesterday, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours posted her Sambal Belimbing Prawns. I was like "Goodie! Now I have a good and trusty recipe I can follow!" I know, what are the odds? I have to say, I'm really lucky that all these came in place at the right time to make it all possible, haha!
I adapted Joyce's recipe and made slight modification which I used ready made dried chili paste instead of going through the process of soaking and blending it. It is so much more convenient to me! *lazy me* You can get these ready made dried red chili paste at any supermarkets. ;)
Ingredients for Sambal Belimbing Prawns (Serves 4 pax)
350g fresh medium prawns
3 tbsp dried chili paste (Or you can use 30g dried chili, soaked till soft)
6 cloves of shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp amount of belacan (shrimp paste)
10 belimbing fruits, sliced 3 pieces kaffir lime leaves
1 medium tomato, sliced to wedges
1 medium red onion, sliced to wedges
1/4 cup water, or more
1.5 tsp sugar
salt to taste1/3 cup cooking oil
- Remove the shells from the prawns, devined them. Marinate the prawns in 1 tsp of sugar and set aside for use later.
- Blend the chili paste, garlic, shallots in the spice blender till ti combines to a smooth paste. Set aside for later use.
- In a saute pan, heat up the cooking oil and add the paste in. Stir fry for 5 to 8 minutes till fragrant. Add in the kaffir lime leaves and continue to stir fry for another couple minutes.
- Now add in the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the sliced belimbing fruit and the water. Stir till combined and cover the lid for a minute
- Lastly add in the tomato wedges and prawns. Give it a stir, making sure the prawns are cooked and add sugar and salt to taste.
- Dish up and serve while still hot. Yum!
Overall a very flavourful dish...best eaten with a plate (or two) of warm steamy rice. :)) The sourish taste from the belimbing is not over powering but it tickles yout taste buds and makes you crave for more! The sweetness from the prawns compliments the whole dish very well, super delish! Now I wish I have more belimbing! Hahaha! I am so glad I made this, it somehow made me realise this kind of dishes are not so "intimdating". :))
Again, thanks to all that has helped me make this dish possible in my very own kitchen. ;)
This goes with out saying but I am proud to submit this to Malaysian Food Fest, Melaka (August) hosted by Yummylittlecooks and organized by Wendy of Table For 2.....Or More. Yay!
Have a great day all! Now go cook something nonya. ;D