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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sambal Haerbee (Dried Prawn Condiment)

This is the first time I am posting something which did not come from the oven. :)

I believe the term Sambal Haerbee instead of its English translation (thanks to Google:) ) would sound more familiar to those who the share the same motherland with me, especially those from the Hokkien clan.

This dish has been around for awhile. Do not underestimate this humble dish, it can really go a long way. Goes very well with almost anything that one can think of, it's the imagination that is the limit. Among commonly known usage are having it as a condiment for rice or noodles (dry, soup based or even instant noodles) spice for stir-frying vegetables, meat or even as a dish on its own. It's also good on breads, a sprinkle on top of whatever sandwich spread will give the sandwich an extra umpph. This is also something that many of us will sneak along during overseas trip just in case the local food becomes a little difficult to appreciate :) Having said that, I have to admit that the taste is acquired, it's not something that one will like instantly due to the strong scent from the dried prawns.

Back then, I remember it was always prepared by one family member and shared among the rest. This makes sense because it takes quite some effort and sweating due to the amount of time required to stand beside the burning stove to fry it until it is dry.

Nowadays, it is found in stores but it is difficult to get some decent ones. Maybe because of the hike in the price of dried prawns, you get very little of it in them. It's just not sambal haerbee when there's no haerbee :( What one gets is mainly shallots and chilly seeds.

This dish is made by frying blended dried prawns with a spice base. For this version, I added in some small anchovies for extra bites.

Have sambal haerbee will go a long way...


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