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?

Author: suituapui

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

18 thoughts on “Blank space…”

  1. I giggled trying to imagine that scenario of you wondering what that is and ended up frying rice with it. SO cute lah. So unlike me. If I am not too sure what that was I’ll just throw it away 😦

    Aiyor…it was so fragrant, so finely pounded…sayang lah, if throw it all away…and anyway, it sure was something she pounded, just that she would not admit putting it in the fridge and forgetting all about it. Women! Hehehehehe!!!!!

  2. I have this problem too, a bit too early for my age though.. these memory lapse. >< .

    lol, i like how the conversation between you and the mrs went, not mine? not yours? let's just use it to cook something up then! 😛

    Nope, it did not end like that. I waited for a couple more days…and since she did not make use of it, probably still adamant that it was not hers, then only did I help myself to it. So nice, no need to pound my own. Hehehehehe!!!!

    Hmmmm…maybe gingko biloba will help? 😀

    1. maybe it was santa, who came 8 months earlier, leaving surprises in your fridge 🙂

      Not much of a surprise, that one… Wouldn’t mind if it is something of greater value. Hehehehehe!!!

  3. Oh, that looks delightful. We love fried rice! I made some for my daughter a few weeks ago. Peter, the BF, was visiting that afternoon, so he shared the meal with us. I sent him home with a lot of home cooked food. He was thrilled. He cooks, but much prefers my cooking and after eating one of my meals (for the first time) he told me he would never cook for me. Lol

    Occasionally I’ll forget; however my older friends (60s & 70s) happily tell me that my time is coming. Hee Hee…

    Happens to the best of us, no worries – as they say, there’s safety in numbers. Hehehehehe!!!

    Ahhhh!!! So his name is Peter. Hmmmm….as the English proverb goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Wink! Wink! 😀 😀 😀

  4. Looks good, simple yet delicious meal. So that’s sambal? Spicy kinda sambal or?

    Yes, VERY spicy…and I could detect some kunyit (tumeric) in it along with the usual suspects, shallots and all. Loved it!

  5. I thought you want to talk about Taylor Swift’s Blank Space song, teehee.. That chunk of paste looks like dried shrimp belacan kinda thing.. Glad it could still be used..

    There may be some belacan, just a bit…and no, I’m no fan of Taylor Swift, thank you very much. 😀

  6. Why did you wink wink? Did you finally remember that the mysterious paste was given to you by a certain someone? 😀

    I don’t think it has got anything to do with age, this kind of memory lapse probably happens to everyone. What happens to me frequently is that everytime I get out of my car, locked the door, walked away for like 50 meters, and then could not recall whether I did lock the car or not. 😦

    I winked winked as I jolly well know who pounded the sambal – only two of us in the house and it sure was not me.

    You too? So young? I guess sometimes we may have a lot on our minds, so much stress at work these days so we tend to be forgetful a lot more than long ago when life was slow and a lot more simple.

  7. It happens to me too, memory lapse. That sounds normal, as we aged. Your fried rice always looks so good & yummy. Love the way you fried it. Have a nice weekend.

    All the same, eh? Reach the shop and then cannot remember what I want to buy… 😀 😀 😀 You too, enjoy your weekend!

  8. Occasionally, i will like that also, after leaving the house, walk halfway, realised i forget this, forget that, have to go back and get it….

    Always forget my phone, my camera… 😛

  9. I really like the fried rice, but don’t want ikan bilis, when I order fried rice, I always asked “without ikan bilis”, hehe!

    Oh? No kampung-style fried rice for you then. Go for the Chinese ones…or better still, the Thai pineapple fried rice. That’s very nice!

  10. I would hesitate to use the sambal if I did not know how long it had been in there but I guess if it still smells good, it is still edible 🙂 So will you be able to recreate that mysterious sambal?

    It wasn’t that long ago, just a few days when it suddenly appeared beside the jar of kim chi in the fridge. I would not want to use either if I did not know how long it had been sitting inside – like some that I discovered, very well-hidden away inside blocked from view by everything else and conveniently forgotten. It did smell very good too…so I decided to use it. I wake up very early 4 -5 a.m. and usually, I would not want to pound anything for use – all those in the neighbourhood would not like me very much if I do that.

  11. My hand is up! Yes, I do have “loss of memory” every now and then.. I think my case is more serious.. one of the reasons I opt for retirement.. hahaha…

    More serious? How serious? Oh dear!!!

  12. Hee, hee… we have a few ‘mystery’ items in the fridge too. 🙂

    Don’t we all? I do make it a point to do a bit of spring cleaning sometimes – throw all the mysterious, unidentifiable stuff away.

  13. spring onions from your garden! that’s nice. fresh and almost organic!

    hmmm. i think i am awfully forgetful these days. must be the running as some of my friends had warned me. so these days, i label everything i put into the fridge or larder. hehehe

    Yes, we plant our own, and cilantro, Thai basil, curry leaves, lemon grass, pandan leaves….and all. No point buying from the market, so much…can hardly use all, and will not last too long in the fridge.

    That’s good – then you will know how long something has been in there. Best not to keep things to long, never mind what.

  14. ooo, i don’t think i’ve ever mentioned this on your blog, but there’s one ingredient that i’ve always disliked … ikan bilis, heheh. i’d happily skip ikan bilis in any recipe, including nasi lemak 😀 but other than that, i love your recipe 🙂

    Oh? Great with booze! 😀 😀 😀 I think my girl is like that too, not a fan…but they make very nice stock for say, bayam soup. Gosh!!! I can imagine you eating nasi lemak and picking them out from the sambal one by one and putting them by the side.

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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