Here's another way I'm 'exploiting' the oh-so versatile and fragrant (stinky to some!) belacan that is so uniquely Malaysian. On my prolonged spicy mood, I present shrimp and beans stir-fried in belacan - a delicious way to incorporate some healthy greens and my ever-favourite seafood in one single dish. My specially-treated belacan consist of toasted shrimp paste, shallots, dried chilli peppers and dried shrimp all pounded together in my mortar and pestle before cooking. Growing up in Malaysia, belacan and all sorts of pungent fare are the norm rather than the exception, however you have been forewarned, make sure you have good circulation in your kitchen before you attempt to make belacan - this is definitely not a delicate flavour!
Also, a few of my food photos did make it to Tastespotting and Foodgawker , the fabulous food porn sites, so I'm feeling a tad encouraged. By the way, the very first time I encountered the term 'food porn', I did feel a little puzzled - hey, might sound weird to some but I have to admit, this term describes the luscious food photos perfectly and succinctly.
Some of my other spicy offerings:
Malaysian Belacan Fried Rice Recipe
Stir-fried Okra in Belacan Recipe
Stir-fried Taro Leaves with Belacan Recipe
1 bunch of fresh green beans (you may use frozen if you like) - sliced diagonally
10 medium sized shrimp, shelled and deveined
2-4 tbsps of belacan
2 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
For my belacan paste (Pound together in a mortar and pestle)
6 shallots, peeled
8 dried chilli peppers (softened slightly in hot water)
1-2 tsbps of dried shrimp, soaked in water briefly
1-2 tbsps worth of belacan paste, dry-fried in a wok (this is to bring out the pungent fragrance more)
First, heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a pan or wok. Saute the garlic and the belacan paste together. Next, add the shrimps and stir-fry around briskly. Finally, add in the previously blanched green beans. Do a taste test and add more of the specially treated belacan paste if needed. Very yummy served with hot steamed rice.