Too little, too late…

I have a lot of hay bee (dried prawns) or in Malay, udang kering, in the fridge and we do not need that much usually as we will only use a bit to fry our wild ferns – the midin and paku or sometimes, vegetables such as kangkong and long beans perhaps. Well, my cousin from Kota Kinabalu just gave me two big packets not too long ago and I remember that Yee Ling gave me one too when she came to Sibu in April/May. That was quite sometime ago and my missus said that she could not remember seeing it. I went digging for it in the fridge and I found it at the bottom of one of the crisper drawers. Probably my missus did not  realise what was inside because it was all wrapped up inside the foil bag and could not be seen from outside.

From Yee Ling

Anyway, I decided not to keep it any longer and to use it to make some sambal hay bee or perhaps what some people will call serunding udang kering (dried prawn floss). I got down immediately to getting the ingredients ready…


I had some shallots, garlic, ginger, kunyit (tumeric), lengkuas (galangal), chilies…and also some belacan (dried prawn paste), curry leaves and a few stalks of serai (lemon grass). I pounded everything (except the curry leaves and the serai) together…

Ingredients, pounded

…and put that aside.

When I opened the packet of hay bee, I had the shock of my life! It was so compact and there was simply TOO MUCH inside that little packet – double this amount that you can see in the picture…

From Yee Ling 2

I knew there and then that I had TOO LITTLE ingredients and would need a lot more than what I had prepared but I was not bothered to go through it all again. I just went ahead and soaked the hay bee till they became a bit soft and pounded the whole lot…

Dried prawns, pounded

…and I was ready to start cooking.

After filling the wok with oil, I threw in the pounded ingredients and fried them till fragrant and then I added the serai, ends pounded and bruised, and the curry leaves and after a while, I put in the pounded hay bee. I had to cook it for a long time to get it to turn golden brown and nice and crusty…

STP's sambal hay bee

It looked good, was very fragrant and very nice…

STP's sambal hay bee 2

…despite my initial fears that the ingredients might not be enough. It was certainly heavenly, eaten with hot steaming white rice…and of course, I simply HAD to go to my regular shop to grab some kompia and chu-nu-miang to eat with the sambal as well.

Gosh!!! It was sooooo delicious, I tell you – so very compatible. They went absolutely well together…

Foochow & nyonya

…a perfect match, I must say – this marriage between Foochow and nyonya.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

30 thoughts on “Too little, too late…”

  1. i’m gonna take some haybee from home! it can be used to stir-fry veggie, or fried rice! berry easy and fragrant and flavourful!

    Yes, we usually make it fresh for these purposes but where readily available, can just take and use – one and the same thing. Hahhhhhh!!!! Ask your mamee to make hor! Can make your own – use a blender, easy. Not like me, I pounded everything using lesung batu, so old school…but it tastes nicer – not so halus.

  2. O.M.G!!!!! Seksa orang lagi… grrrrrr!!!! You so kuasa to go and tumbuk everything but like you say, they will definitely taste much much better. When I do this, I would usually go the other way round. After washing and soaking the hay bee, I’ll fry them first and then only tumbuk or else nanti satu kitchen berterabur. In the same oil, I’ll tumis the rempah until wangi and crispy and dry, off kan the heat and then only masuk kan the tumbuk-ed hay bee. Golek-golekkan sikit until well mixed, then can makan already. Can keep unrefigerated for months, provided the spoon used to scoop the sambal hay bee must be clean and dry.

    Mana keep for months. Made one kg of hay bee – I think that was how much there was…and mahu habis liao!!! Wah…do this, do that…sounds complicated but I guess if you’re used to making it that way, you would be more comfortable with it. It was ok…tumbuk, tumbuk…sikit. sikit…and in the end, also siap. Tak bertabur lah…I’m mildly autistic one, anything dropped out – I would stop to pick and throw away so after I finished, the place still very clean…or I would make sure it was before going on to the next step. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  3. When think of hay bee the teow chew porridge comes to mind haha

    You eat with porridge? Not me, not one of my favoured condiments when it comes to Teochew porridge. 😦

    1. Yalah teow chew porridge goes yummyly well with hay bee, fried groundnuts, ikan bills, salted fish, salted eggs, fuyi etc. You’re almost 95% angmoh lang already no eat Chinaman food one haha

      Where got angmoh? Sambal hay bee, ang moh would not eat one lah…but when I eat Teochew porridge, no spicy stuff one – true blue Chinaman style…except maybe for the canned spicy pork cubes. Chinaman mana ada makan pedas one.

  4. This is a must-have whenever I’m back home. Absolutely goes with just about everything. That and belacan beehoon. True blue Sarawakian fusion food, transcends culture/ethnicity.

    Yes, it certainly goes well with everything…and it’s not that difficult to make…except that we used to use those straight Rajang hay bee but they’re simple too expensive now – RM100 a kg…and since it is just as great using these ordinary hay bee, you can bet that I’ll be making more…and more often than before, no second thoughts at all.

  5. wow that is really amazing..
    hae bee burger… if add a fried egg will be BEST…
    then add some cucumber, onions, cheese.. kakakaka

    Adoi…what are you making? Fusion burger kah? My sambal hay bee, no need to add anything one – just the sambal with bread of any kind – already sooooo delicious, so don’t ruin it with all that! Tsk! Tsk! >.<

  6. Gosh!!!…so yummy!!!!…yummy!!!!…sambal hay bee. Anything with belacan added would definitely make it out of the world. Drooling over the hay bee burger.

    Yum! Yum!!! Hehehehehe!!!! It’s the weekend… Come, make your own. Don’t be lazy now… Wink! Wink! LOL!!! 😀

  7. fuyoh, this is nice lah!! i think the one before cooked that looks a bit more moist also nice with the bun, but are they edible before cooked?? should be right?? hahaha~~

    Our local ones, not these – the RM100 a kg ones, they take like that with drinks. They call it Sarawak chewing gum…though I’m not too sure how clean that is. I did not add a lot of oil – would probably look more moist then (or oily) but I guess that is not very healthy.

  8. Mmmm, I can tell it sure tasted yummy! Such a good snack even by eating it on its own!

    It was…and it was a real treat – considering that my mum can’t make anymore…and when my MIL made, she just gave a little – hardly enough (LOL!!!)…so this time around, with the substantial amount that I made, that certainly would do for quite some time. Of course, I gave some to my mum too!

    P.S. Thanks for dropping by. I’ve linked you in my blogroll.

  9. It’s such a pity that I’ve to stay away far far away from dried prawns; if not, it’ll be lovely to have it as a sandwich for lunch. Thanks for sharing! =)

    Oh? You’re allergic. Poor thing… I love sea food but I also have to control – high cholesterol, so I must not have too much nor too often.

  10. Hmmmm….if not mistaken this harbee is from Thailand…Wow..a great combination!!!

    Oh? Very nice. No wonder I thought it was nicer than the local ones, almost as nice as our Sarawak’s straight Rajang dried prawns.

  11. was wondering, if you see da udang so banyak, why don’t u keep some instead of soak and pound the entire lot? nevertheless, it looks great, i’m craving for it!

    Because I still have banyak in the fridge. I’m not into hoarding stuff – that’s my missus punya territory. Hehehehehe!!!! 😀

  12. wah holiao. Have you thought of opening a food business? you could do really well with your wealth of food knowledge, and you can cook well! 🙂

    Sigh!!! I wish I knew then what I know now… Too old to start anything new. 😦

  13. i asked a friend to buy sesar or udang kering (the straight ones hehehe) from mukah the other day and i was shocked when he said its RM100 per kilo, so expensive! they call a friend of his in belawai and over there its RM70 per kilo. i dont even want to know how much it is per kilo in sibu now. maybe have to wait for the price to go down then i buy.

    I heard my SIL went to buy the other day – also RM100 a kilo. Cannot afford to eat those anymore… 😦

  14. I have some hay bee in the the fridge too! Your sambal hay bee is giving me inspiration to make some of my own 🙂

    Go ahead. Make a lot, eat for days… Worth the effort.

  15. Adui….send some over lah, keep taking pix but don’t get to try no point lah LOL 😛

    Well, the instructions are there… You can follow. Easy-peasy – if I can cook, everyone else can! LOL!!! 😀

  16. Wow! This is simply the best la! Sambal shrimps, I can just eat like this. Can I order from you 1 bottle?

    Yes, so good you can eat it on its own! LOL!!! Rip-off Gardenia catchline… Can, can…but you will have to come to Sibu yourself to collect. 😉

  17. sambal hair bee! Love it…especially with the bread. Late grandma used to make it. I never learnt her recipe but I am gonna try it with yours first and then modify it slowly. Hopefully then I can replicate something that she used to make for me.

    THANX for sharing Arthur!

    Go ahead. My mum used to make…but I never learnt from her – I just did my own, trial and error – very nice – almost like hers…but hers darker in colour – maybe more belacan…and she did not use kunyit. I thought I’d just add a bit for colour and also extra fragrance. Nice, very nice… I’ve been enjoying it with bread, rice, everything every day… Almost finish already. 😦

  18. serunding udang kering..Yummy! I want! I want! Looking at the pic already makes me drool. I also like serunding daging 🙂

    Yum! Yum! Ok…can make you own. Just follow what I did. If you use blender, then you will not have to go through the chore of pounding…pounding…pounding. 😉

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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