Sambal Belacan - Caitlin Yeo

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All proceeds from this project go to those working on the frontline of Covid 19 - the wonderful team at Medicin Sans Frontiers .

I have decided to pair this recipe with a fiery piece of music called The Rocket Festival from the 2013 Feature film called The Rocket, written and directed by Kim Mordaunt and produced by Sylvia Wilczynski.Both the music and the sambal have Asian flavours which I thought would complement each other.


Sambal Belacan

A recipe by Caitlin Yeo 1.05.20

This is one of those recipes that seems to work no matter what you do. The measurements for the ingredients are somewhat arbitrary and really just a guide as to what to put into the sambal. Ideally this should be made to your own tastes, with a balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy. I like to make it super spicy and super sweet, and lather it on fried eggs. If you can, leave it a couple weeks before you start eating it so that the
flavours can develop.

I concocted up this recipe recently when I harvested my first batch of home grown chillies. As I was experimenting with the flavours, I found
myself chasing the smells and flavours of my late Ah Mah’s cooking.
Ah Mah is my grandma on my Singaporean side. She taught me a great appreciation and love of Peranakan cooking using these strong and robust flavours. The smell that comes from the dried shrimp, chillies, tamarind, salt and sugar is not for the faint hearted!! To me it smells like Singapore and I love it.

This recipe makes about 2 jars of chilli paste.

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh small chillies
50g Dried Shrimp – soaked for 4hours in warm water
2-4 tablespoons palm sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
6 cloves Garlic
1 knob Ginger
1⁄2 cup tamarind juice
1⁄2 cup Vegetable Oil for frying
1 tsp Salt
A dash of Shaoxing wine

 Drain the dried shrimp and place it in the blender (I use a Nutribullet), until finely ground. You may need a little water to help this
process.

 Roughly chop the chillies. Add the chillies, garlic and ginger to the shrimp mixture and blend to a rough paste. (I like it a bit chunky, so
you can still see small bits of garlic, ginger and chilli in there)

 Fry the paste in the vegetable oil in a medium non-stick pot until fragrant.

 Add a dash of Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan. This adds depth of flavour to this rich chilli paste.

 Add salt, sugar and tamarind juice and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until jammy.

 Spoon into sterilised jars, pour a little extra vegetable oil over the top, and screw lid on tightly. Cover jars with a bunch of towels so they cool down slowly. This will help them cause a seal as they cool so they are preserved for longer.

I have decided to pair this recipe with a fiery piece of music called The Rocket Festival from the 2013 Feature film called The Rocket.
Both the music and the sambal have Asian flavours which I thought would complement each other.

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released May 10, 2020

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If music be the food... London, UK

This project was birthed around the kitchen table with guitars, food and friendship. Bush Fires raged on one side, floods on another and an international pandemic loomed closer. And we sang…and made music...and cooked food… and… unearthed ideas for a project combining
recipes...music and cyber collaboration.
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