BBC Good Food Magazine



Dried anchovies

I fry them to snack on or add them to noodle or rice dishes for a salty, umami hit. We also use ground-up anchovies to start soup stocks.


A base seasoning paste of things like shallots, chillies, candlenuts, galangal and lemongrass – every family has their own recipe. It’s ground with oil, then fried. Freeze it in ice cube trays, then use from frozen, adding meat for a stir-fry or coconut milk for a curry.


This shrimp paste comes in a block and you cut little strips off it and toast it in a pan. I put fermented shrimp paste in my rempah and use it to make shrimp fried rice or in omelettes, if you want a big salty taste.

Fish balls

Processed surimi fish paste is used to make the fish balls and cakes you get in a lot of Asian restaurant­s. You can add the balls to soups or chop up fishcakes in fried rice. I like fish balls with a real bouncy texture.

Roti prata

The Southeast Asian version of Indian paratha. I eat a lot of curry so always have prata, ready to pan-fry and dip. I like the really thin, crispy ones.

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