Monday, 21 July 2008

Aubergine with Dried Prawns (Hae Bee Hiam)

My family loves aubergines in any form. My dear sister hand carried a bottle of the precious home cooked Hae Bee Hiam from Singapore to me in Spain. Thousand thanks, sister.

Isabella loves aubergines too and the initial plan was to cook and bring it over for her to eat after her eye operation. I was hesitant that she might be put off by the smell of belachan and dried prawns. Her first meal would be at least twelve hours after her operation. With this in mind, the indulging was mine by default. I shall cook another dish for her.

1. One medium sized aubergine, both ends removed and thinly sliced lengthwise. Brush very lightly with vegetable oil immediately to prevent the aubergines from browning. A brush is obviously ideal but use your fingertips if you do not have a brush.
2. Three tablespoons or more of Hae Bee Hiam
3. Two shallots, thinly sliced
4. One stalk spring onion/coriander, thinly sliced
5. One teaspoon of belachan (Dried shrimp paste)
6. Dash of sesame oil
7. Pinch of white pepper

1. On medium heat, grill or pan fry aubergines without any additional oil till just tender. Set aside.
2. Whilst grilling/pan frying the aubergines, heat another pan on medium low heat. When pan is heated, toast belachan without any oil till aromatic. Push to side of pan.
3. In the same pan on medium heat, add a teaspoon of oil and fry the shallots very gently without browning till aromatic.
4. Lower heat to lowest possible, add Hae Bee Hiam to heat up gently, add pinch of white pepper and mix well with the belachan. Fry gently for about five minutes.
5. Arrange cooked aubergines on a plate and top with Hae Bee Hiam.
6. Sprinkle with spring onions/coriander and serve hot with plain rice.

1. It's optional to use belachan.
2. Do not overcook the Hae Bee Hiam as you are just re-heating the cooked mixture.