• From Africola - fast words, slow food, cult chef (Photo - Simon Bajada, Publisher - Allen & Unwin)Source: Photo - Simon Bajada, Publisher - Allen & Unwin

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.

500 g





Skill level

Average: 2.3 (3 votes)


  • 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

Cook's notes

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

  1. Start by soaking dried scallops and dried prawns separately in 125ml hot water each until plump (preferably overnight, for approx. 12 hours).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.