Sambal eggplant with dried shrimp

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I love eggplant. The best eggplant dish I ever tasted was a sambal belacan stir fry.

Sambal is a delicious chili paste with garlic, ginger and shallot.  Belacan is a fermented shrimp paste with a strong aroma.  Both are available ready made from Asian stores.

Many years ago I was a poor university student who worked for an Asian restaurant as a casual waitress. One evening, a casual cook rocked up to fill a shift. He made us a dish of sambal belacan eggplant for staff meal.  The dish was so aromatic and delicious that I can still remember his nameless imagine today – cranky,  middle age,  distinctively Chinese-Malay with his strong accent.

Sambal eggplant with dried shrimp

My version of sambal balacan eggplant is  really simple:

  • cut the eggplant into large cubes, dust with potato starch
  • in a frying pan with generous amount of cooking oil, fry some sambal paste, a little belacan, and some dried fried shallot (optional) 
  • add eggplant,  a dash of oyster sauce, a dash of sesame oil,  a dash of dark soy sauce, toss toss toss until the eggplant is cooked through
  • for a smooth texture, mix 1 tsp corn flour with 6 tsp of water, add to the dish at the last stage of cooking

Nice with some hot boiled rice.

Sambal Balado
One of my favorite – Sambal Balado

 

 

 

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