Kale in Indonesian Pepper Sauce

22 Feb

In this recipe the kale is sauteed in a thick paste of onion, garlic, chilli and red pepper with Indonesean shrimp paste.
Serves 2 Prep 10min Cook 10min

  • Large bunch Cavolo Nero or Kale
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Red Pepper Paste
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
  • 1-2 dried chilli peppers, crushed
  • Wash and chop the kale into 5cm long pieces and leave to drain. Meanwhile prepare the paste; put the shallots, garlic, shrimp, pepper and chilli paste in a food processor and blend to a rough paste. Heat the oil in a wide high sided pan, over a high heat, then add the paste and fry until the paste darkens and the oil starts to come to the surface. Add the Kale and give it good stir to make sure it is completely coated in the paste. Cover, turn the heat down and cook until the kale is just tender or cooked to your taste.

    Gardeners Note I’ve used Black Tuscan Kale or Cavolo Nero di Toscana which is one of my favourite leafy vegetables, it stands well all winter and can be harvested over a period of 5 months, it has great flavour and it is versatile.
    Variations This dish could be made with any dark green brassica, the original recipe called for the outer leaves of a cabbage, you could also use the outer leaves of cauliflower or broccoli, spring greens, savoy or any leafy cabbage and you don’t need to use the shrimp paste if you want make a vegetarian version.
    Cook’s tip if you can’t get hold of shrimp paste you could use a couple of anchovies finely minced or a little fish sauce. You could also substitute an Indonesian sambal which is made from shrimp paste and chills to replace both the chilli and shrimp paste. If you don’t have Red Pepper Paste in your store cupboard use a fresh red pepper or peppers preserved in oil.
    Recipe Source This dish is inspired by an Indonesian dish described by Madhur Jaffrey in her Far Eastern Cookery book.

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