Sambal Belacan Okra with Tomatoes
Here is another dish that goes very well with Sambal Belacan sauce. Okra aka Lady’s Fingers – don’t ask me why they are called that when they don’t look remotely like any lady’s finger – blends very well in the sambal belacan sauce.
I can only say try it if you haven’t already stir fry it. I cooked it with large beef tomatoes and powdered hae bi aka dried shrimp. The dried shrimps were grounded to almost like a fine powder using a food processor or you can work out some arm muscles with the traditional pestle and mortar.
Whichever method you choose the 32nd result will be a fine powdered form of Dried shrimp. You should have a 2 tbsp worth. The fragrance of the dried shrimp plus the sambal belacan simply enhances the flavour of this seemingly simple dish.
15 pieces of Okra (the way to select the good ones is to flick the end of the okra to see if it is too hard or too soft. If it flicks back, then likely that it is good.)
30 grams of hae bi aka Dried Shrimp
1 large tbsp of Sambal Belacan
2 large Beef Tomatoes (quartered)
3 cloves of Garlic (crushed)
1. Heat oil till it is smoking. Fry the crushed garlic (not minced) and fry till fragrant. Then add in the dried ground hae bi aka dried shrimp. Fry until fragrant. This one really smells good.
2. Then add the tomatoes in to fry. Stir Fry until the tomatoes start to soften and break down. Then add the okra (which you would have already sliced diagonally) and continue to fry.
3. Now add the sambal belacan and continue to stir fry. Don’t be tempted to add in additional water. The liquid from the tomatoes should be sufficient and you generally want to allow the ingredients to cook in their juices.
4. Continue to fry until the gooey-ness of the okra starts to manifest. Make sure the vegetable is coated nicely with the chilli paste. Serve with steamed rice.