Sambal jantung pisang: A peranakan salad
Recipe courtesy of Juliet Wan
“Are you and Siew Leng free to join us for lunch?” my sister’s voice inquired at the other end of the line.
Perhaps, noticing the slight hesitation in my voice, she continued
“I will be preparing sambal jantung pisang to go with the other dishes”.
As I had not eaten the ‘sambal’ for a long time, it was an irresistible offer.
“Okay, we will be there”, I replied.
As I wanted to take photos of the jantung pisang and the other ingredients, we arrived long before the appointed time. She showed us how to prepare the various ingredients and soon we were treated to the sambal jantung pisang, home-made otak-otak, home -grown fried vegetable, home-reared chicken soup, and other delectable peranakan dishes.
The jantung pisang ( banana heart) is the tear-shaped bud found at the tip of a bunch of bananas. The purple coloured jantung pisang is made up of layers of bracts which conceal neat rows of baby bananas or ‘stick fruits’.
|Banana heart (jantung pisang)|
We were told that only certain variety of bananas such as ‘pisang batu’ and ‘pisang nipah’ are suitable for making the sambal jantung pisang.
Here is the recipe for the ‘ sambal jantung pisang’ as provided by my sis.
1 banana bud/banana heart ( jantung pisang )
2. Chillies, shrimp paste ( sambal belacan)
3. 1 large onion( bawang besar)
4. 1 torch ginger flower ( bunga kantan)
5. 3 calamansi lime ( limau kasturi )
6. Optional ingredients: cucumber (timun), averrhoa bilimbi (belimbing buluh) king crab’s eggs (telur belangkas), prawn (udang)
1 cup thick coconut milk ( santan pekat )
1 thumb length of shrimp paste ( belacan )
5 red chillies
Preparation for banana bud (jantung pisang )
A. Peel and discard the purple coloured outer bracts until you reach the purplish white bracts. Blanch in boiling water until tender ( use a skewer to test if it is tender). Cut into fine strips. Set aside.
Preparation for shrimp paste ( sambal belacan)
B. Fry shrimp paste in a wok until dry and crumbly.
Grind chillies and shrimp paste into a smooth paste.
C Cut torch ginger flower (bunga kantan) and the large onion into fine strips. Set aside. Add the shrimp paste (sambal belacan) to the shredded banana bud, large onion, ginger torch flower and mix well. Add lime according to taste.
D Pour over coconut cream ( santan) and toss before serving.