Monday, December 12, 2011

Shrimps with Sambal

Our little C turns 2 today!  How these last two year managed to speed past me with such impetuous haste I will never know.  I have tried my best to hold on to every moment with hands and teeth, inhaling the sweet scent of it until I could no longer hold my breath, nuzzling my head deep into her curls, laughing and crying and trying not to worry about things like growth charts and future school selection.

So many times in these past two years I’ve found myself thinking, “I can’t wait until…”, and I always consciously stop myself.  Walking and talking and shopping dates could wait.  Every stage, every day, has its own special magic, that once passed, can’t be rewound.  The peaceful cooing before they start speaking their mind.  The blissful illusion of control when they still can’t run away from you.  And the priceless luxury of that brief period when they can’t tell the difference between piece of cardboard and a toy.

There are things I am looking forward to this year though.  Shellfish is one of them.  Yes, despite my seemingly fancy-free fa├žade I am, in fact, a paranoid (regular) mum (!) and did not give little C any shellfish for her first two tender years.  Don’t laugh please!  I believe a mum is allowed a few paranoias once in a while (with a stiff drink on the side please).

So this year will be the year of shrimp and prawns and crabs, perhaps clams and mussels and scallops as well.  I’m still on the fence on oysters, even if I love oysters and would love to have her love them too.  Mums, please feel free to give me advice!

For now, we can start with shrimp…although not necessarily with sambal ;)

Shrimps with Sambal
  • 500 grams shrimp, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 3 long green chilies (sili pangsigang)
  • 4 young leeks/pencil leeks (not the fat western hemisphere leeks!)
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons full of sambal asli
  • Sea salt
- Heat a wok or pan over high heat.  When the wok is hot, bring heat down to medium and add the butter to the pan.  Let this melt and sizzle until most of the foam has subsided.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and chilies and fry until the garlic is just a touch toasty in parts, under a minute.  Add the leeks and mix in.
- Immediately add the sambal and shrimps to the pan and toss well.  Cover your wok and wait a couple of minutes, uncover, and toss again.  Try to flip the shrimp so the uncooked parts are underneath and the bright orange cooked parts are on top.  Cover again for a minute or less and repeat until all the shrimps are just cooked.  You don't want to overcook them so be vigilant!
- Taste and season with salt as you like.  Remove from the hot pan and serve immediately.

This was a quick lunch I threw together for C and I.  I have to give credit where it’s due and let you know that the idea for this dish came totally from C…I was merely the executor.  It turned out so well though that I knew I had to share it with you.  How much or how little sambal you put will depend on your taste and the brand of sambal you use (some may be spicier than others).  We use our absolute favorite sambal asli that C’s bother, who lives in Jakarta, hand carries here for us every time he visits.  We have tried it, and loved it, on many things, but as part of the sauce for these shrimps it is amazing. 

We are so looking forward to sharing our favorite shellfish dishes with little C.  We will certainly create a version of this for her that is a little less spicy.  As always, the adventure of food is one of my favorites within this grander adventure of parenthood.  I’m eager to see what this third year has to bring…but I’m also going to enjoy it a bite and a morsel at a time.

Happy 2nd birthday little cherry bomb! :)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...




Right Frame of Mum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kitchenheiress said...

Hi, Joey! first of all, happy birthday to little C :) your blog and the way you write about food and life is always a breath of fresh air and best de-stresser for me. Again, (I love saying this) thank you for being such an inspiration! :) Happily verging myself on being 'the next' domestic goddess and that is because of you!


Eileen said...

I will have to try making this for the Little Ones, and of course myself.

Happy Birthday to you Little C.

Shalum said...

Happy Birthday little C!:) Those shrimps are fat! I hope to be a mother someday soon, and I hear that it's best not to feed them the allergenics in the early stages.

I hope her birthday was fun and liked her bday meal!:D

chef_d said...

Happy birthday to little C! The Sambal Shrimps look delicious!

Zharmagne said...

Hi There!

Where can I get Sambal Asli

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Rosa :)

Hi Ella! Thank you! So happy that you find inspiration I find inspiration sharing it :)

Hi Eileen! Hope you like it :) This may be too spicy for little ones so adjust as necessary!

Hi Shalum! Yes, I read as well that we shouldn't feed them allergens too early, which is why I waited two years :) We had a wonderful birthday weekend with her, thanks!

Hi Chef D! Thanks! :)

Hi Zharmagne! I got mine from my brother-in-law in Jakarta but you can try looking in Asian stores or groceries that carry Asian ingredients :)

Ling said...

Has it been two years?! Happy Birthday Little C! :D

Midge said...

Belated happy birthday to your wee bundle of joy, Joey! Oh, and those shrimps look sooo good.

Junglefrog said...

Wow. Two years already.. I can still remember you were pregnant!! But congratulations and I think shrimp are probably a good way to introduce someone to seafood. Leaving out the sambal seems a good idea though. Lol.

Anh said...

oh happy belated birthday to little C!

And sambal + prawns! Goooooood!

love cooking said...

I love shellfish, of course shrimp too. 3 chilies maybe too spicy for me, I think I will reduce the chilies. This is easy to cook, like it very much. :)

Anne said...

Belated Happy Birthday Little C! I too love using sambal in my cooking... it looks yummy!

Katrina said...

I'd never heard about not giving shellfish in the early years, but it does make sense, since those are very allergenic. Not to mention, the threat of red tide, etc. So do you also not give her other highly allergenic foods, like peanuts?

Katrina said...

By the way, did you ever eat at Malacca, on Jupiter? I adored their Sambal Shrimp and they had the best Nasi Goreng! I was so sad when they closed! :-(

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Ling! Time flies!

Hi Midge! Thanks! We are enjoying her :)

Hi Simone! Yes! I feel like I was just pregnant yesterday! She has been eating fish since the beginning, so it’s now shellfish’s turn for an introduction :)

Thanks Anh! So happy with this sambal asli!

Hi love cooking! You can definitely adjust the chilis to suit your taste…we love it spicy!

Hi Anne! Thank you! It is really a great condiment to have :)

Hi Katrina! Yup, the pedia makes us hold off on the allergens until 1 or 2 years – so yes, she hasn’t had nuts yet either. This year will be the year to try both nuts and shellfish! Anyway, there was a lot of food to discover this first two years aside from nuts and shellfish :) Never got to try Malacca :( See you soon!!

heidi said...

First let me congratulate your little one. I also cannot believe its already two years. Second those shrimps look as Rosa said mouthwatering.

Lisa said...

Happy birthday baby!! Thos shrimps look delicious!

A thing my nephews really enjoy and started having waaaay before they were 2 (even though they weren't really supposed to) was Bread nd Butter Pudding for breakfast. Check out my recipe for the takeaway version


ChichaJo said...

Thanks Heidi! I can’t believe it’s been two years either! :)

Hi Lisa! Thank you :) Wow, I am sure anyone would enjoy that bread and butter pudding!

Ysabelli said...

My favorite! SHRIMP GALORE! So enticing! I heard that students of Asian School of Hospitality Arts are great cooks. Might want to explore:

millet said...

two already? so fast! happy birthday, little C!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Ysabelli :)

Hi Millet! Yes, too fast! Thank you! :)