I remember this dish fondly because it's one of those I learnt from my mom. My family likes spicy food and we have had spicy food and chili plants growing outside our house since we were young. The thing about cooking this dish here in Sweden is that we only get big, rounded egg plants instead of those long ones in Singapore and they take a bit longer to soften. What I did was to reserve some of those sambal dried shrimps mixture and add to the finished dish as garnish and to provide some bite.
A handful of dried shrimps, washed and soaked in about 100ml of hot water
1-2 dried chili, de-seeded, or 1 fresh chili padi, de -seeded if you do not like it too spicy
1/8 teaspoon belacan paste (optional, but it makes a difference in my opinion)
Oil for frying sambal shrimp
1 small egg plant, cut into vertical strips and then section into 2cm chunks and sprinkle some salt over and set aside
salt and sugar to taste
- Drain the dried shrimps, reserving the soaking water. In a mortar and pestle, crush the shrimps, shallot, garlic, chili and belecan paste if using.
- Heat up the frying pan over medium, and add the pounded mixture and fry without any oil first to get rid of any moisture for a few minutes, then add about 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry the sambal shrimp until fragrant and crispy.
- Take out about 1-2 teaspoons to set aside for topping later, turn up the heat on the pan to high and add the egg plant chunks. Stir fry quickly to blend everything together.
- Add the reserved soaking water to the pan and turn the heat down to medium again, covering the pan to cook through the egg plants. This may depend on your individual taste but I like mine quite soft, so you may need to simmer for 5-10 minutes and add water where necessary.
- Before serving, season it with salt and sugar to taste. Sprinkle the reserved sambal shrimps over the dish and serve.