The word "Chenh" means green, raw or unripe in Hokkien. In the context of this salad, it refers to the green leaves of the "Pak Choy" and the raw vegetables used. The dressing is made from dried chillies, small onions, palm sugar, tamarind juice, belacan and bean paste. It is salty, sweet, sour and pungent. It may not be to everyone's liking but to a Terengganu native, this is a very appetising salad.
"Chenh" is great with "keropok" (fish crackers) and for me, it is totally addictive. My family loves this salad and my grandmother used to make this once in a while. There are two versions i.e. the "Kay Chenh" ("Chenh" with shredded chicken) and "Nui Chenh" ("Chenh" with hard boiled eggs). I prefer the one with eggs. This is one of the culinary treasures of my home state.
Pak Choy (thinly sliced)
Daun kesum (laksa leaves, thinly sliced)
Daun Selasih (basil, thinly sliced)
Roasted peanuts (crushed)
Sesame seeds (toasted)
Hard boiled eggs (cut in wedges)
Dressing (makes 1 liter) :
1 liter tamarind juice
10 dried chillies (soaked)
2 tablespoons bean paste (taucheow)
Belacan (2 heaped tablespoons if using belacan granules)
Gula Melaka to taste
To make dressing :
Blend dried chillies, shallots, bean paste and belacan.
In a pot mix blended ingredients with tamarind juice and add gula Melaka to taste.
Bring mixture to a boil and boil until dressing becomes thicker.
Cool and store in the fridge. This dressing can keep for up to a month.
In a mixing bowl, throw in all the vegetables, hard boiled eggs and add dressing. Sprinkle crushed peanuts and toasted sesame seeds and mix until vegetables are well coated. Sprinkle more peanuts and sesame seeds if you like.
|Fresh Pak Choy. Choose organic if possible.|
|Put daun kesum and basil into a leaf or stack a few leaves.|
|Roll the leaf tightly.|
|Slice very thinly.|
|All tossed together.|
|A very addictive salad|
|Serve with keropok.|
|And more keropok.|