Together we are one…

In my younger days, whenever the family gathered at my grandma’s kampung (village) house for linut (a glue-like delicacy made from sago starch), there would be no less than three kinds of sambal (dip). One would be watery…made from belacan (dried fermented prawn paste), ginger, chillies and asam paya and I don’t know what else, diluted with the super-delicious wild boar soup. This one was for the linut…and then there would be the usual sambal belacan which would go with the blanched kangkong (water spinach) and thirdly, there was a sambal hay bee (dried prawn dip) for the cucumber.

The other day, I found three ladies’ fingers in the fridge, not enough for a dish on its own…and a small cucumber. There was no way of cooking the two together, not that I know of, as they were not exactly compatible…but after pondering upon it for a while, I decided to make some sambal hay bee. It is quite easy really – you just pound some chillies (4-5) and squeeze calamansi lime (5-6) into it and add a tablespoon of sugar to balance the sour taste of the lime…and finally, you mix that thoroughly with the hay bee (dried prawns), pre-soaked to soften and pounded. This is what you will get in the end…

STP's sambal udang kering

I think I had something like this once but I mixed the sambal with the cucumber slices which I was not able to do this time as I had the ladies fingers to consider. So what I did was – I boiled the ladies fingers till slightly soft and cut them into bite-size lengths and I cut the cucumber into chunks…and served everything as ulam (the traditional Malaysian way of eating raw and boiled/blanched vegetables, something like salad in a way)…

STP's ulam sambal udang kering

Yum! Yum! Very nice! You can give it a try.

This is a truly authentic Malaysian cuisine and it blends everything in superbly well together to make something absolutely wonderful, something that’s simply out of this world. A very Happy National Day to one and all. Together, we are one…