Friday, December 9, 2011

Sambal BBQ Sting Ray

Sambal BBQ Stingray is a very popular dish in Singapore. Often, one can find it at the seafood BBQ store at the hawker center. It is often served on a banana leaf, and when grilled, the banana leaf adds a subtle smokey flavor to the fish. Of course, in Sambal BBQ Stingray, the sambal belacan takes all the glory. If the sambal is bad, then there is no reason to eat the stingray anymore.

Since I couldn't find a single banana leaf here in New England (well banana is a tropical plant after all), I had to go with my second option - aluminum foil. I would highly recommend banana leaves if you can find it, but its not mandatory - just highly recommended.


Ingredients
  • 1 stingray fin
  • 1 banana leaf (optional)
  • 2 limes, cut into halves
Sambal Belacan
  • 2 medium sized shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili, remove seeds if you want it less spicy
  • 2 dried red chili, remove seeds if you want it less spicy
  • 1" by 1" piece of ginger
  • 1/2" by 1/2" square of belacan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
Method
  • Put the shallots, garlic, ginger fresh chili and dried chili into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a rough paste. 
  • Heat the cooking oil in a small sauce pan. Fry the belacan until the block breaks down into a paste. Add the mixture from the food processor, and fry until the mixture darkens and thickens to a paste (about 15 minutes).
  • Add the salt, sugar and tamarind paste. Fry until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Let cool (about 15 minutes).
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of the sambal belacan onto the banana leaf or aluminum foil and spread it over the surface of the leaf/foil.
  • Place the stingray wing on top of the sambal belacan on the leaf/foil, and spoon the rest of the sambal belacan over the stingray wing.
  • Place the stingray wing in the oven at 350F for five minutes. 
  • After five minutes, turn the oven to broil, and broil the top of the stingray until the sambal belacan sizzles.
  • Squeeze the juice of the limes over the top of the stingray wing and serve.

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