Monday, 26 September 2016

Jalapeno Char


For the past 2 weeks, every time I open the fridge, I see a box of Jalapenos. I bought them from Aeon, whatever for, I forget. Old habits die hard.

I still buy things on impulse. Just because the Jalapenos looked so fresh and green and shiny, I had to grab a box. Then one day, they started to look all sad and wrinkly.

Last week Gertrude shared her friend's recipe for Chili Char and I went bingo! My wrinkly Jalapenos can now be put to good use.

I was quite fascinated that green chilies can be made into a dish. So far, I have only used green chilies in a supporting role, added to Nonya Acar or as a condiment in the form of Pickled Chilies. The fact that this Chili Char can be frozen was also very appealing. I love dishes that can be frozen.


The recipe is simple - only 5 ingredients which are green chilies, dried prawns (hae bee), shallots, light and thick soya sauce. The method Gertrude shared is to fry the dried prawns until fragrant, remove from the wok and then blend until fine.

You know me. My only claim to fame is to murder other people's recipe. That's because I am lazy. Had I lived in the era when Nonya maidens were judged by their culinary skills and commitment towards meticulous food preparation, I would have failed big time. No prospective Nonya mother-in-law would want me to be their daughter-in-law. Hah!


So. Instead of frying then blending, I blended the dried prawns first (after soaking in water to soften) and then fried them until fragrant and slightly browned.


And do not worry. Sloth that I am, I did not chuck whole shallots into the wok. I finely chopped them in my mini food processor and then added them into the wok to fry together with the dried prawns.


I fried them until fragrant and browned and then added the Jalapenos. A bit of water was added to cook covered until the Jalapenos were softened. After that, I added the light and thick soya sauce.


I must say that I was very impressed with the outcome. Because the seeds were removed, the Jalapenos were mild and the whole dish was simplicity at its best.

Dried prawns as you know add tons of flavor and shallots contribute a more than ample boost. Add to that, the distinctive aroma and taste of green chilies completes this appetite inducing trinity. Just this alone with rice, I would be completely satisfied.


As you can see, my adaptation is dry while Gertrude's has gravy. I am not much of a gravy person and it is up to you to decide which you prefer. For more gravy, simply add more water and adjust seasoning.

Thank you, Gertrude for sharing Shereen's lovely recipe. Had it not been for this sharing, my wrinkly Jalapenos would have ended up in the compost bin.

Jalapeno Char (Fried Jalapeno)
Recipe source : Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets

Ingredients :
- 15 Jalapenos, remove top, slice into two and remove seeds
- a generous handful of dried prawns, soaked to soften
- 12 shallots, blended (I processed in a food processor)
- 2 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1 tsp caramel sauce
- Some water for simmering (more if you want gravy)

Method :
1. Rinse the soaked dried prawns.
2. Squeeze out excess water and process until fine using a food processor.
3. Heat oil in wok and fry the blended dried prawns until fragrant and slightly brown.
4. Add the blended shallots and continue to fry until the shallots become translucent and the mixture is lightly browned (be careful not to burn).
5. Add Jalapenos, stir and add water. Cover to simmer until Jalapenos are tender.
6. Add soya sauce and caramel sauce. Stir to mix, taste and adjust seasoning.

28 comments:

  1. This type of chili i don't take, i take the sauce type...

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  2. Ooo...yummy...this is almost like ma lai chan lat chiew except minus the belacan! ;D I would love this dish and I can see myself eating lots of rice with just this and be very pleased. These jalapenos are those that are fatter than our green chillies, right? Must look out for them the next time I;m in Aeon.

    You know what...I would have done the dried prawns the way you did too. I would rather blend first and they fry coz if you put fried dry prawns to blitz, the mini food processor would be oily and more difficult to clean...lazy us! >.<

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    Replies
    1. Yup, jalapenos are those dark green fat ones. They come in those small transparent plastic boxes. Quite easy to get as they seem to be available all the time.

      High 5 to another lazy one LOL! Those were my thoughts too, an oily food processor is no fun :(

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  3. Hi Phong Hong, Nyonya or not Nyonya way, this looks awesome to me. I can just have this with rice and maybe some zucchini or cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. I understand at times we are lazy so the best way is to change otherwise there will be no food on the table. Do you know I try to simplify the methods just to encourage ppl to try preparing a good dish?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy! Good for you. I also try to simplify for my own benefit hah..hah... and of course it is good to share with readers. Try this recipe. You will like it.

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  4. When I glance at your photo, I thought you put the dried prawns with other ingredients into the chillies like yong tofu. I prefer your dry version. As long as it is not very spicy then I will like it.

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    1. The paste somehow found their way into the chilies :) This is not spicy at all because I removed all the seeds and pith. But next time, I will leave some in for a bit of kick.

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  5. This looks real good. I would have done what you did with the dried prawns because they can be very salty.

    These chillies go well with tapas. I grilled the chorizo (bite sized) and chillies separately. Dinner sorted.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, these are great with tapas. I can munch on them just like that.

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  6. Should I call you Bibik Phong Hong since you had some thoughts of a Nyonya MIL? My thoughts run wild trying to imagine you wearing lace kebaya and frying the big wok!! Wakakaka

    I didn't know they sold imported Jalapenos here. They actually taste better than Green Peppers.

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    Replies
    1. Muahahaha!! Yes, you can get jalapenos at Aeon very easily. I like to add them to my luncheon meat omelette.

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  7. Now that looks good. At first I thought it was sambal brinjal.

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    Replies
    1. You have given me an idea. Replace the chilies with brinjals!

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  8. ooo ... at first glance, i thought these were some sort of yong tau foo too that you've turned into a malaysian-ised tapas dish :D

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    Replies
    1. hah..hah..this can be a Malaysian tapas :)

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  9. I thought it was stuffed green chilies. I think I will love this dish and I love it dry. I think I will try this recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Try it. It is very good and you will find yourself going for more rice hee..hee...

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  10. It will be appetizing to eat this with warm steaming rice

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  11. I thought what char... Hokkien word "char" heh... I won't ever buy jalapeno even on impulse, that thing not in my typical kitchen inventory. So this recipe, nice to see...

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    Replies
    1. I already guessed, not quite your thing :)

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  12. I'll skip the chili and cook only the dried shrimps and shallots, will goes very well with rice :P

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