Its secret is in the sauce. JULIANA CHANG shares her family recipe, which has an irresistibly rich and aromatic one that stands out.
1 tsp tamarind paste
cup water 8 red chillies, seeds removed 7 shallots, peeled 3 cloves garlic, peeled 2 tbsp shrimp paste (belacan) 4 tbsp vegetable oil 1 bay leaf 2 kaffir lime (limau purut) leaves cup coconut milk Salt, to taste Sugar, to taste cup groundnuts, roasted and ground
6 baby potatoes, boiled for 15min and quartered 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced cup beansprouts, boiled for 1min 4 cabbage leaves, julienned and boiled for 1min
2 long beans, cut into 3cm pieces and boiled for 2min cup kang kong (optional), boiled for 2min
1 blocks firm tofu (tau kwa), sliced and fried cucumber, cut into strips
1 Mix the tamarind paste with cup water and squeeze the paste to extract the juice. Strain and discard any seeds. Set aside the juice.
2 In a food processor, combine the chillies, shallots, garlic and shrimp paste to make a chilli paste.
3 To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan. Fry the chilli paste with the bay leaf and kaffir lime leaves over medium heat for 3min until fragrant.
4 Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice and cup water and a pinch of salt and sugar. Cook for 2min.
5 Mix in the groundnuts and season with sugar and salt to taste. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf and kaffir lime leaves.
6 To serve, pour the sauce over the potatoes, eggs, beansprouts, cabbage leaves, long beans, kang kong, tofu and cucumber.