Blank space…

“What is this?” I asked.

Mystery sambal 1

I had seen the bottle in the fridge for a few days but I did not know what it was that was inside.

It looked like some kind of sambal that she would use to fry paku or midin (wild jungle fern) or sweet potato leaves or vegetables such as kangkong (water spinach) or long beans. However, it did not look like it had any udang kering (dried prawns) inside but it sure had a very nice fragrance whatever that went into the pounded sambal

Mystery sambal 2

“I don’t know,” she replied…and then she added, “Maybe it’s your tom yam paste?”

No, it was definitely not my tom yam paste – that was still in the original bottle stashed away nicely in the fridge and this sure was not it. Maybe it was some sambal for her ayam balada – I could vaguely recall we had something like that not too long ago but never mind, since she said it was not hers, I decided to just use it and cooked this…

Sambal fried rice 1


 I fried some ikan bilis in a bit of oil until golden brown and then I removed it to use later for garnishing. Then, I added the sambal into the oil and fried it till it was done before I put in the leftover rice that was in the fridge that morning. Finally, I added two eggs…and it was done! I garnished it with the aforementioned ikan bilis and some chopped spring onions from my garden…


…and served.

It certainly was very very nice and I would want to cook it this way again…

Sambal fried rice 2

– maybe I could add some prawns, pineapple…and lemon grass and curry and Thai basil leaves…and serve it with crushed peanut sprinkled over it. I bet that would be really good but the problem now is…I do not know what went into that mysterious bit of sambal though I am pretty sure I know where that came from. Wink! Wink!

I guess this temporary loss of memory or blackout comes with old age – the mind going blank suddenly. Sometimes, I was telling friends where to go and eat some nice dish…and I just could not recall the name of the place at that point in time…and ever so often, I had just put down my phone some place and I could not remember exactly where so I had to search high and low for it.

That has also happened before when I met my ex-students from way back when. Often, I would shock them by calling out their names and they would exclaim, “Wowwww!!!! You can remember, sir!!!” Of course, I could and I would take pride in that…but there had been occasions when I just could not put a finger on the student’s name and at times like this, I wished they would just tell me, “Hello, sir! Remember me? I’m so and so!” instead of letting me struggle, racking my brain for the elusive name…and the funny thing was, after a few days, the name would just pop up in my head like magic! Tsk! Tsk!

Anybody else in this same boat?