Prawn in Balado Sauce

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Balado sauce is Indonesian version of intense sweet and spicy sauce. It is extremely easy to make if you got everything on hand, and you can cook almost anything in it and you’ll have tasty food. Balado sauce is quite a flexible sauce, each household having their own twist and secret ingredient, you can add other spices and ingredients to it and experiment, but it is essential to use tomato and chili pepper.


Essential components:
• Prawns, medium sized, cleaned
• Bitter bean/stinky bean/sator/petai*

For the sauce:
• Diced tomato (Canned is fine)
• Onion (using shallot will be more authentic)
• Large red chili pepper (take the seeds and white membrane out)

Other components:
• Salt and sugar
• Tomato ketchup

• In a food processor, mix diced tomato, garlic, onion/shallot, large chili peppers, a pinch of salt and sugar and blend
• Taste and adjust, I needed to add a little but of tomato ketchup for a slight acidity and tomato-ey boost, you can also use lime/lemon juice or vinegar if you need to
• Heat up a pan, add a little oil and fry the tomato mixture, be careful, it will hiss and spatter a little- cook for a few minutes until the raw smell disappear and the sauce reduces a little
• Taste the sauce and do a final adjustment, after this step, you want to work fast
• Add the prawns and stinky beans and mix, cook until the prawns are ready (it took me only about 2 minutes) and serve

Tips and thoughts:
• You may be able to find stinky beans in your Asian grocery either canned or frozen- unfortunately there’s nothing really taste or smell like it. Just omit if you can’t find one. If you only want the look, broad beans have similar look but taste completely different.
• For added aroma, include kaffir lime leaves when cooking the sauce
• Some people prefer this kind of dish to be drier, if that is the case simply use less amount of tomato, I like mine more liquidy so I can use the sauce to flavour the accompanying rice


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