This is a super-simple dish that we often eat at home. It’s a snack food for us, but you can jazz it up and serve it topped with Pork belly and Balinese spices or throw in some additional ingredients such as tofu, scallops, roast duck or prawns. Personally, I like it simple, and when I feel like a bowl of soft noodles with the subtle bite of chilli, this is what I make. You can use egg noodles or even ‘mie instan’ as there’s no need to be snobbish about this one. The intention is that you can sit back, relax and indulge. Finish the noodles with a drop of sesame oil, sprinkle with your favourite chopped herbs, or add a teaspoon or two of Fried Sambal for extra kick.
Opor, a dish from central Java, is usually described as a white curry. However this description does not do justice to dishes’ dreamy and alluring flavours of galangal, ginger and lemongrass combined with mild green chillies. For me, opor is the quintessential Javanese dish: subtle, creamy and aromatic. In this modern interpretation I have selected scallops to partner tofu, to create what I think it a supremely elegant curry. It’s the kind of meal to serve your girlfriends for lunch, on a day when you have plenty of time and loads to chat and giggle about – alongside free-flowing bubbly of course!
- 8 scallops
- 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp soaked in 2 tablespoons of water, strained 3 tablespoons oil
- 100 g tofu, cut into a size to match the scallops
- 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and tied in knots
- 3 salam leaves
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 250 ml coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fried shallots
- 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
- sea salt
- 3 red shallots, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 long green chillies, roughly chopped 2 small green chillies, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons chopped galangal
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 5 candlenuts
- 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
Mix the scallops with the tamarind water and set aside.