Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Mixed vegetables cooked soupy and tangy.

Originally posted here:


Half a bunch of leaf greens, one long Asian eggplant, half a bunch of long beans; all chopped.
One stalk celery, one shallot, thumblength ginger; slivered.
One Tsp each: shrimp paste, tamarind pulp, dark vinegar, Louisiana hotsauce, chili paste.
Two or three strips bacon, chopped.
One Tsp ground coriander, half Tsp turmeric.
Jigger of sherry or rice wine, pinch of sugar.
Two cups water or stock.

Put everything in a pot; raise to boil, turn low and simmer for half an hour. Wilt chopped fresh green herbs on top, then serve.

Usually greens, eggplant, and long beans simmered with shrimp paste, pork fat, ginger, and vinegar. Tomato and turmeric can be added, or a fish cooked on top (ika panggarap). The term derives from 'garap'= shrunk by cooking, exuding moisture. Not to be confused with a similar sounding word, 'panggarak', which means the mob of angry Muslims erupting from the local mosque after the Friday sermon, whipped into a righteous homicidal rage by the local imam. Leaf greens: collard, chard, spinach, etcetera.
Shrimp paste: Haahm haa jeung (鹹蝦醬), a wet odoriferous glop available in jars on Stockton Street. Not the same as Malaysian Belacan, which is also an excellent product, or Philippino Bago'ong, which is chemically unstable and may explode in your larder.

Tamarind pulp: Available in Chinese and Indonesian food stores - look for asam, asem.
Chili paste: generically, a sambal. You could use the jar-sambal available from Huy Fong (who are famous for their SiriRacha hotsauce), such as their Vietnamese chili and garlic sauce, sambal oelek, or sambal badjak. Dutch brands of sambal are also available. But it is best to make your own by pounding ripe chilies to a pulp. Use Thai chilies or lantaka, and add a little liquid to facilitate grinding.

No comments: