This punchy and umami-filled condiment is a labour of love and it makes it all the more worthwhile when you are also the recipient. Duncan Welgemoed owner of restaurant Africola pairs his with pippies and a hot smoked trout entree, perfect for the BBQ season.
- 50 g dried scallops or abalone
- 75 g (⅓ cup) dried prawns
- 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil, or just enough to cover all the ingredients
- 100 g (⅓ cup) garlic (about 20 cloves), finely chopped
- 100 g (⅓ cup) red shallots (about 6), finely chopped
- 65 g double-smoked bacon
- 50 g fresh long red chillies (about 6), seeded and finely chopped
- 20 g dried long red chillies, seeded, soaked and finely chopped
- 100 g toasted nori
- 100 g dried and rehydrated kombu (hydrate in boiling water until soft and chop fine)
- 10 g dried birdseye chillies, finely chopped
- 8 g roasted shrimp paste
- 2 tbsp dried shrimp roe, crumbled
- 25 g sugar, or to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 12 hours
- Start by soaking dried scallops and dried prawns separately in 125ml hot water each until plump (preferably overnight, for approx. 12 hours).
- Drain scallops (reserve soaking water), tear them into fine shreds, pat dry on absorbent paper and set aside. Drain prawns (reserve water), chop them finely and set aside.
- Heat half the oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat, add scallops and deep-fry until very crisp (1-2 minutes; cover with lid as they may spit). Drain well, reserve oil. Wipe out wok with absorbent paper, add reserved oil and remaining oil and return to medium heat.
- Add garlic, shallots and dried prawns and stir continuously until golden brown (4-5 minutes).Add bacon, fresh chilli and dried chilli, fry for a few seconds (be careful, it may burn easily), then add shrimp paste, fried scallops and reserved scallop and prawn water and stir continuously for a few more seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt and stir occasionally until fragrant and water has completely evaporated (20-30 minutes). Remove from heat, strain (reserve oil), transfer solids to a sterile jar, then pour in enough reserved oil to cover. Makes about 2 cups.