Saturday, December 10, 2005

Imitation Thai Kerabu

Yes, it's one of those days again. The crave demon has once again awoken. This time it's for some Thai style Mango Kerabu.

Time to get to work. So what do I need?

These are the usual suspects, I think:
* Unripe mango (Don't have. Don't think can find here)
* Chicken breast - steamed & shredded (chicken breast expensive lah)
* Grilled Squid @ Sotong (even more expensive)
* Mashed up fried fish (also mahal...)
* Shallots @ Bawang Merah (errrr... also a bit pricey)
* roasted/fried grated coconut @ kerisik (hard to find)
* Grounded (ground)nuts @ Kacang Tumbuk (also hard to find)
* Belacan bakar (ahh.. this one I have)
* Chilli Padi (dun have)
* Carrots + Cucumber (this one can find easily)
* Lime (have to find in Tesco)
* All the leafy leafy stuff you see in kerabu (dunno what they are)
* Sugar & Salt

Everything oso don't have?? Bugger! This feels like an itch that cannot be scratched. So what to do?

Time to improvise!

Most important ingredient there is the unripe mango. That provides the base to the dish. Get that right, and everything else comes together. Sounds easy.

OK. Unripe mangoes. It's sour. A little crunchy. Oh, if possible, we'll want to get the colours right too. Light beige colour with bits of green (the skin).


Green Apples!! Make sure it's the firm sour ones.

Shed 'em into strands. Looks just like mangoes. :)

Oh, and remember how apples get a little brownish when exposed to air? Sprinke some salt over it. Mix it up. They will stay nice and unbrowned.

Match with equal amounts of carrots. If you have cucumbers, can add some too.

I don't have shallots, so I used big onions. Lightly sauteed with a little olive oil to bring out the taste. Not too long though, don't want to brown it.

Lime. Found this at Tesco. Not the lime I'm used to, but it tastes the same. Jadi lah.

Put everything in a mixing bowl. Add some sugar, a little salt, squeeze in the lime. Also the Belacan. Add in chopped chilli padi if you have some. I had to use crushed Bird's Eye Chilli. Mix it up. Taste it to check if you need to add more salt/sugar.

Ground nuts?? Hmmm....

Crunchy Peanut Butter!

Oi! Don't laugh! It ACTUALLY goes REALLY REALLY well! You get that nutty creamy taste that adds body to the dish. It's so good that I'll still use Peanut Butter even if I had access to the ground nuts and kerisik.

1 teaspoon should be enough.

Now... fish and squid?

Squid Brand Thai Fish Sauce (nam pla) also can lah. A dash of this, and some sesame seed oil.

(BTW, if you haven't got a bottle of this, get it! It's great for making fried rice, and can substitute soya sauce in any dish)

Quoted from here:
Fish sauce is the single, most important flavoring ingredient in Thai cooking (also well-loved in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma and the Philippines). Used like salt in western cooking and soy sauce in Chinese cooking, good-quality fish sauce imparts a distinct aroma and flavor all its own

Instead of chicken, I opted for some turkey (any white meat will do). Marinated with a little soy sauce, and a pinch of curry powder.

Fried over medium heat. Since this was meant to be a healthy dish, I used olive oil instead. Just enough to line the pan.

Oh, I also threw in some mushrooms (why? Because I like mushrooms).

Add them to the mix. Toss it well. Then serve on a bed of lettuce.

The taste? Better then expected. With the amalgamation of all the flavours, the apple tastes and looks exactly like mangoes (just a little less sour). Honest!

Not the best kerabu I've had, but good enough to appease the crave demon.

To blow my own trumpet, if this were served to someone who has never tried an honest-to-goodness authentic thai-made kerabu, this imitation version could possibly pass off as "good" kerabu.

Apple Turkey Kerabu... a taste of Home, Away From Home.


At December 11, 2005 3:13 am, Blogger Shirley Ong said...

I'm ashamed.. darling can cook better than I can =P

At December 11, 2005 3:37 pm, Blogger Siedne said...

wah, nvr tot of green apples and PEANUT BUTTER! haha! u improvise well. not too sure bout the pnt butter tho..creative..

At December 12, 2005 12:19 am, Blogger shawnchin said...

soap: Hehe.. no lah.. I'm just better at pretending that I can cook.

sidene: Peanut butter + kerabu ... tastes better that it sounds ;) BTW, nice anagram as your nick.

At December 12, 2005 8:30 pm, Blogger rokh said...

really creative on one of my favourite food

At December 12, 2005 8:32 pm, Blogger shawnchin said...

rokh: thanks

At December 13, 2005 2:06 am, Anonymous Eileen said...

Hats off to you, Shawn!!!

*kow tow*

How's everything in Edinburgh?

At December 13, 2005 2:09 am, Blogger shawnchin said...

eileen: Edinburgh's great! Crazy weather, but I'm loving it. Haven't been going around much though. Hopefully will be more free to do so next year.

At December 13, 2005 3:58 am, Blogger minishorts said...

i. hate. you.

At December 13, 2005 9:34 am, Blogger shawnchin said...

ha. ha. ha. :p


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