I’m back, darlings. Life got in the way, then WPMU shat itself and it took me 3 minutes to load each backend pages. Pimento has generously helped me to move all my stuff to a new space with brand spanking new versions of everything, so things are now running smoothly. Nothing’s changed except that I’d gotten rid of the www in front of my URL. Ooh scandal.
Sweeties, I have SO much to tell. First, here’s a recipe for you – consider this an apology for being absent for so long.
Sambal Kicap (Sweet Soy Sauce Sambal)
I can probably dress that picture up a bit more so it doesn’t look like tar in a bowl, but trust me, it’s delicious. Sambal kicap is a delightful condiment often served with anything soupy (e.g. noodle soups), grilled seafood, fried eggplants, banana fritters – anything fried. Shit, serve it with marshmallows if that takes your fancy.
Most recipes leave the garlic and chillies raw, but the recipe where I adapted this one from says that frying them lightly first will help the sauce keep for longer in the fridge. I also like the fact that it mellows out the garlic flavour.
Two cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
Bird’s eye chilli – amount differs according to how hardcore you are. You can also replace with bigger chillies if you’re not too keen on burning your tastebuds off. If using small chillies, leave whole. If using large, roughly chop. Both green and red chillies are fine depending on what you want that day.
Approx 1/4 cup kicap manis/sweet soy sauce. I use ABC brand kicap manis
Kalamansi/lime juice (optional)
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Heat a teaspoon or so of oil in a small pan or wok over medium heat. Bung in the garlic and chillies. Fry until chillies start popping (explode more like) and scare the shit out of you. It didn’t take me long, probably about a minute or two? Note that frying chillies will give off fumes that make you sneeze, cough and feel unhappy.
Drain chillies and garlic on absorbent kitchen paper if you really care about the bit of oil clinging on to these things. Leave to cool.
Pound garlic and chillies together with a mortar and pestle until you get a paste*. You can add some sugar at this stage if you like your sauce sweeter (I don’t). Stir in the garlic-chilli paste with kicap manis. The kalamansi/lime juice is especially good if you’re going to use the sauce with seafood – just squeeze in a little bit at first, stir and taste. Keep adjusting the taste by adding more kicap or lime juice to taste.
*If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, chillies (chop these up a bit first) and soy sauce and use a blender to make a sauce, adding a tiny bit (like half a tsp or so) of water if you need it.
I served it alongside KK-style beef soto:
As a bonus, here’s what I had for dinner the last two nights:
Vietnamese beef stew – recipe from the amazing Wandering Chopsticks blog. Try it out, it’s seriously good. The two pictures above aren’t me trying to be artistic – I only found out that the bowl I used for both dishes was chipped so I had to crop it out.