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
- 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)
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.