Nan’s Kitchen Wizardry Part 2

Part of me thinks that posting twice or thrice in a day is just too much. After all you don’t want to go overboard. On the other hand, we are passionate about food, and when you’ve just had so much good (home cooked) food in a week, some of which has taken you on a real nostalgic journey down memory lane and some of which has awakened your senses to new food combinations and flavors, you just have to blog about it! Right???Right. Hahaha…anyway, just had to share what Nan cooked up for dinner – bursting with flavour and fresh herbs- far better than any Thai meal I’ve eaten in a restaurant (and I have been to many).We were still full from lunch but Nan was adamant that we were going to have dinner too! After all – there was so much to try and so little time!
I LOVE petai. In fact its a staple family favorite. My brother and me did our family proud once when aged 9 and 10 we polished off a whole kilo of petai sambal between us. I know- that is pretty crazy but we did. And boy did the rest of the household know about it the next day! Petai (also known as sator or stinky beans) is a pungent green herb like vegetable that forms an important part in Malaysian and Thai cooking. It can be eaten raw (as in vegetable ulam with sambal belachan) or cooked with prawn sambal or pork.But it is also a powerful detoxifer and is excreted in the urine and pores so the next day the peeps in the office might be forgiven for calling in the bomb diffusing squad after you’ve visited the powder room. 🙂 Today Nan did a lovely version petai sambal with chili, garlic,shrimp paste, minced pork, prawns and petai flash fried at the very end. It was stunning, both from a visual and taste perspective. Perfect with hot steamed rice!
She followed that with deep fried catfish in a red curry sauce topped with crunchy fried holy basil and lime leaves and a crunchy fresh green mango salad. The catfish was fried to perfection, soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and has given me some stonking ideas for some Malaysian variations. Heavenly! This time my brother has struck gold. 🙂

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