My mom used to cook this when we were young, taught to her by her Nyonya mother. Like most things in life, this simple dish was taken for granted without any much thought, it is just a dish that we love to eat, without realizing how special and valuable it is until much later, when we are much older and have family of our own. How could a simple dish like this with only four ingredients can taste so wonderful, at least to me it is. Just like how my mom used to prepare the ingredients, by pounding, using a mortar and pestle, I now do the same. I have tried blending the ingredients in a blender before, somehow the taste is not quite as tasty. You can say it's all in the mind, but to me it is just not the same! Modern gadgets definitely cuts the work by half, but it does not necessarily mean they give the same results! I guess that every household in Malaysia, no matter the race, would definitely have a set of mortar and pestle in the kitchen, admist all the modern kitchen appliances.
This is how I pound the garlic, onions and shrimp paste. Put a third of the garlic, onions and shrimp paste into the mortar and pound away. Pounding the shrimp paste together with the onions and garlic will help to absorb the juice from the onions and garlic and preventing the juice from splattering out (and gets into your eyes!). When it has been pounded to a coarse paste, add another third of the ingredients, pound and repeat with the remaining portion. This way, the chopped garlic and onions will not be popping out of the mortar as you pound. Or you may crush the chopped onions and garlic with the pestle before you start to pound. Pound until the paste is coarsely fine.
Now I cook this for my family, and they love it as much as I do.
Unlike other stir-fries veggies where they are best eaten hot right after cooking, I prefer to eat this barely warm or at room temperature.
A simple, delicious dish that really complements well with plain white rice or even plain porridge.
I am sharing this with
Heritage Food Trail at Precious Moments
Vintage Recipe Thursday at Joy of Desserts
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Nyonya Stir-Fried Long Beans with Shrimp Paste
(by kitchen flavours)
400gm long beans
8-10 shallots, chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
25-30gm shrimp paste
salt to taste
1/2 cup water
3-4 tbsp cooking oil
- Cut long beans to 2" lengths.
- Pound shallots, garlic and shrimp paste together. Paste need not be pounded until very fine.
- Heat oil in wok, swirl oil over sides of wok. When oil is hot, add in pounded ingredients, stir-fry over medium heat until paste is light brown and fragrant, this would take about 4-5 minutes.
- Add in long beans and stir to combine. Add in water, stir and cover, turn heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, adding some water if appears dry. Add salt to taste, go easy on the salt as the shrimp paste is usually salty. Continue to simmer, covered, stirring now and then, for about 10 minutes until long beans has softened.
- Dish out to a serving plate.