Here's one of (maybe even THE MOST) my favorite dishes ever. Sambal Goreng Ikan Bilis. My mom usually makes it. I took or learnt the recipe from her. But since I like my sambals fiery hot, I upped the cili padi count in this one.
Now if I had a habanero or two...
Sambal Goreng Ikan Bilis
Ikan bilis, onion, shallots, red chillies, cili padi, lime, salt, sugar
It's 2014. I've been a formally trained cook/chef for close to... 9 years already? It seems just like yesterday when I put on my chef whites for the first time and learned, formally, how to cook.
Looking back, I can unfortunately say I don't recall much. I do recall enough, however, to have kept on being in love with making food until today.
I've worked in hotels and restaurants. I've taught. I've done basic food styling for TV shows and photoshoots. I've even managed to host my own TV show (seriously, I have). I've led a team to culinary competitions and lost and won, and I've led a fledgling team to recognition from nobodys to somebodys.
I've had failures, I've had success, I've been put down and have had my name held on a pedestal. They were all different experiences. They were all in one way or another, beneficial, even if I didn't see it at first.
What all these experiences have in common is that they all revolve around the most fundamental of things: food. As the years go by I've just become more interested in making good food. It doesn't matter if it's char kuey teow or foie gras. Good food is good food and I absolutely enjoy making and eating it.
I could have been an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer bringing home a fat paycheck every month. But somehow, by Fate or whatever, I became a chef.
I may not have Michelin stars or a chain restaurant in my name, but I know enough that being a chef is all I want to be until the end of my career.
Surf and Turf is usually a steak with some sort of seafood served alongside. More often than not, it's lobster. But I've seen restaurants getting away with serving regular shrimp and even scallops as 'surf and turf', so yea.
Today for iftar I played a bit with the theme and made a 'lauk' version of Surf and Turf. End result was pretty tasty. Eat with hot white rice.
Surf and Turf
Crispy beef bacon, prawns, bunashimeji mushrooms, diced yellow onion, chilli, chives and a dash of worcester sauce and black pepper. All stir-fried til borderline caramelized and crisp in a hot wok.
Perhaps a different mix of mushrooms would provide a nice variety of textures.
Again, get better prawns!
A dash of hot sauce (preferably Tabasco's Habanero Pepper Sauce) would work wonders in this.