I remember how enamoured my parents were with the quality of these dried shrimps when we stumbled upon them in a small fishing village in Malaysia last year - I was promptly advised to bring some back to Australia and I didn't need a lot of encouragement; these were definitely dried shrimps of outstanding calibre.
|dried shrimp, after toasting|
The following made just one small serving for my breakfast, so multiply if you wish:
2 tablespoons dried shrimp (you should be able to find this at Asian grocery stores)
1 shallot, chopped
1 hot red chilli, chopped
1/2 a small lime
- Soak dried shrimps in warm water, rinse well, then lightly toast in a pan. (Soaking time is dependent on the traits of the dried shrimp you have - mine were so light and flaky that they didn't require much soaking at all.)
- Remove and place in a bowl, mix in shallots, chilli and squeezes of half a lime to taste. Toss everything together thoroughly. Leave to sit a little for flavours to develop further, if desired.
|served on congee - a well-balanced mix of dried shrimps, chillies, shallots, and lime juice|
To make congee, simply bring rice and water to boil in a pot, then simmer, partly covered and stirring occasionally, until it reaches your ideal texture and consistency. I usually have mine with still a bit of a bite to them, while others simmer it till it almost resembles a thick soup. This can take awhile - make sure that there is always enough water so it doesn’t dry out. Traditionally congee is made with white rice, but I used brown rice on this occasion.
As far as I'm concerned, the softness and blandness of plain congee provides the perfect foil for this spicy, flavoursome dried shrimp, shallot, chilli and lime relish. And here it is, ready to tuck in and enjoy...
|spicy dried shrimp relish on congee|