Crispy spicy anchovies with tempe or fermented soya bean cake and peanuts are so addictive that you just have to make them in large quantities. Just make sure you store them in airtight containers, as these goodies turn limp pretty fast in our humid weather.
Makes 2 large jars
Oil for frying
320g groundnuts with skin
1 packet (180g) tempe, finely sliced
15 stalks dried chillies, soaked and cut into 3cm lengths
10g bird’s eye chillies
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemon grass, sliced
1 teaspoon belachan or shrimp paste
60g tamarind paste + 100ml water, sieved to get juice
30g palm sugar
45g coarse sugar or to taste
Salt to taste
10 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
1. Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep-fry the groundnuts. Remove nuts once they are lightly browned and drain them on paper towels. Using the same oil, deep-fry the finely sliced tempe till lightly browned and drain them on paper towels. Lastly, remove some of the oil, leaving about half a cup in the wok and deep fry the anchovies in batches until crispy. Discard the frying oil.
2. Using an electric blender, finely grind spice paste ingredients.
3. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat and sauté the spice paste until fragrant, stirring continuously to prevent paste from burning.
4. Once the spice paste is fragrant and the oil rises, add the tamarind juice, palm sugar and sugar, and simmer for 1 minute or until spice paste mixture thickens.
5. Add in the kaffir lime leaves, fried groundnuts, crispy tempe and toss to mix, making sure the spice paste is evenly distributed.
6. Lastly, add in the crispy fried anchovies and adjust seasonings to taste. Remove from heat and leave to cool before storing in airtight containers or jars.
With more than 10 years experience in the food industry, Debbie is a true-bred Nyonya who hails from Malacca. She is the author of numerous cookbooks, including “UNDERWRAPS” by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine and “Penang Food Guide & Cookbook” and “Nyonya Flavours” by Star Publications. Debbie develops and tests recipes for companies, and contributes to magazines. She is also a Nyonya food consultant for Tourism Malaysia.