Masterchef

We wel­come MasterChef 2017 win­ner Diana Chan to de­li­cious. Her col­umn will cel­e­brate her Malaysian her­itage and fea­ture whole­some, nour­ish­ing recipes.

delicious - - CONTENTS -

2017 win­ner Diana Chan brings a taste of Malaysia to her de­but col­umn.

WIN­NING MASTERCHEF HAS opened up in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties, al­low­ing me to pull back on my ca­reer as an ac­coun­tant and fo­cus on pur­su­ing my pas­sion for food.

For my first de­li­cious. recipe, I’ve cho­sen a dish that brings back a lot of child­hood mem­o­ries, sam­bal hae bee (which trans­lates to dried baby shrimp sam­bal). This was al­ways a break­fast treat, and tra­di­tion­ally we would eat the sam­bal on some but­tered white bread (trust me, it works). This recipe has been passed down to me by my mother. It is a Ny­onya dish, a dis­tinct form of Malaysian cui­sine that evolved from de­scen­dants of the in­ter­mar­riages of Chi­nese im­mi­grants with the lo­cal Malays na­tive to Me­laka, Pe­nang and Sin­ga­pore. Their food is a fu­sion of tra­di­tional Chi­nese and Malay. Ny­onya cook­ing fo­cuses on the blend­ing of tangy, aro­matic spices with lots of fresh herbs, so think in­gre­di­ents such as lemon­grass, galan­gal, chill­ies, turmeric and bela­can (shrimp paste).

I took my child­hood in­spi­ra­tion and de­cided to cre­ate a fresh and fun way of eat­ing this spicy, punchy and bold-flavoured sam­bal, pair­ing it with crunch and fresh­ness. The idea is to have this as a DIY canape or ap­pe­tiser when your guests ar­rive.

I want the next year of my col­umn to be in­ter­est­ing and ed­u­ca­tional, and hope­fully I can share some of my tra­di­tional Ny­onya/ Malaysian her­itage with you through my recipes. Food, to me, is the­atre, and my fam­ily and I want to be able to share this with you. I hope you en­joy cre­at­ing this dish and I can’t wait to show you what I have in store next.

BE­TEL LEAF SAM­BAL HAE BEE

SERVES 4-6 AS A CANAPE

1 cup (200g) medium-grain rice, rinsed 2 bunches be­tel leaves (from Asian food shops – sub­sti­tute let­tuce leaves), leaves picked Co­rian­der leaves, thinly sliced red chilli, fried Asian shallots, chopped roasted peanuts and lime wedges, to serve

SAM­BAL HAE BEE (MAKES 2 1/2 CUPS)

125g dried baby shrimp (from Asian food shops) 1/ 2 cup (20g) dried red chill­ies, half seeds re­moved 2 long red chill­ies 3 gar­lic cloves, peeled 2 Asian (red) es­chalots, peeled 1 lemon­grass stalk, white part chopped 1 tsp each chopped turmeric, gin­ger and bela­can (shrimp paste – from Asian food shops) 1/ 2 cup (125ml) sun­flower oil 2 tsp caster sugar 5 kaf­fir lime leaves, finely shred­ded

Place rice in a bowl, cover with wa­ter and soak for 30 min­utes. Drain and set aside.

Mean­while, for the sam­bal, place shrimp and dried chill­ies in sep­a­rate bowls, cover with wa­ter and soak for 15 min­utes. Drain. Whiz shrimp in a food pro­ces­sor to fine threads. Trans­fer to a bowl. Set aside. Whiz dried and fresh chill­ies, gar­lic, es­chalot, lemon­grass, turmeric, gin­ger, bela­can and 2 tbs wa­ter to a paste. Set aside.

To cook sticky rice, place drained rice and 2 cups (500ml) wa­ter in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover, re­duce heat to low and cook for 12 min­utes. Re­move from heat and stand, cov­ered, for 10 min­utes or un­til liq­uid is ab­sorbed. Stir and set aside.

To cook sam­bal, heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add sam­bal paste and cook, stir­ring, for 3 min­utes or un­til dark­ened slightly. Add sugar, kaf­fir lime leaf, shrimp and a pinch of salt flakes. Re­duce heat to medium and cook, stir­ring, for 6 min­utes or un­til mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs.

Spoon rice and sam­bal onto be­tel leaves. Serve with co­rian­der, chilli, fried shallots, peanuts and lime wedges.

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