Chicken and Black Fungus Kerabu

September 6, 2008

When you have three bottles of sambal, what do you do? Why, you make kerabu, of course!

Kerabu. What is it?

It’s essentially an orchestra of flavors in the form of a salad that is popular between two neighboring countries – Malaysia and Thailand. Ingredients in kerabu varies but the rule is that it must have a balance of flavors, which is key. The flavors includes sweet, sour, salty and spicy.

Kerabu is popular mainly in the northern states of the Malaysian peninsula where it borders Thailand. As such, the kerabus in Malaysia and Thailand are similar.

What I am making is Chicken and Black Fungus Kerabu; a very common Nyonya salad with a large Thai influence. I have posted before my grandaunty’s recipe for Kerabu Bok Nee in my previous posts before but because I didn’t have some of the ingredients, I did some substitution. After consulting with my dad, it seems that making kerabu largely depends on one’s taste so substitution of ingredients is not uncommon as long as the balance of flavors are there. Bok Nee is the same as Black Fungus, fyi.

Kerabus are notoriously good with rice. If you are eating rice with kerabu, your sense of being full becomes skewed. For some reason, you’re in your second bowl of rice and you feel like you could have another helping! So, beware, foodies, kerabu is very addictive and low in fat but the amount of rice you have with it might negate that fact 🙂

So on to my version of Chicken and Black Fungus Kerabu.

1/8 cup of dried black fungus, rehydrated in cold water for 2 hours
1 whole boneless chicken breast, steamed to cook
Juice of 2-3 limes
1/4 cup of fried crispy shallots (see picture below)
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tablespoon of sambal belachan
2 tablespoon of sugar (start with 1 tbsp first and adjust)
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon of chopped lemongrass
1 bunch of parsley, chopped (or just put in 1 tbsp of parsley flakes for color)

1. Shred your chicken breast with a fork until it’s comes apart in stringy pieces. Slice your black fungus simply into thick julienne strips – don’t worry if they are not uniform.
2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. It’s that simple.
5. Now, your kerabu is done and do let it sit for a while (20 mins) to let the flavors marry.

Fried Crispy Shallots

You can keep the kerabu well for up to 4 days in the refridgerator. I realize that after 4 days, it starts to get stale. But up till then, the kerabu tastes better and better before the flavors start breaking down. Don’t ask me why it is the case, it just is! If you should decide to give this Malaysian-Thai style salad a try, I doubt it would last that long in the fridge.
It makes for a great side dish in barbeques.

How do I eat my kerabu? With more sambal of course! Using romaine lettuce it acts like a nice little scoop.

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[eatingclub] vancouver || js
September 7, 2008 @ 6:13 am

I totally believe you: yes, I probably will eat 3 bowls of rice (that’s being modest) with this! Looks like a deadly dish: yummy!

Expedited Writer
September 8, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

eatingclub: I don’t even know how many bowls of rice in total was in my belly before the kerabu was done! lol

September 10, 2008 @ 9:28 am

sorry i havent been commenting on your recipess for a long time now. Ive found the luxury of RSS FEED 😛

I just look at your recipe on the Outlook and dint comment. Am changing that now – Your Sponge Cake is seriously NICE la – To be honest – i am going to bake something today- Will get some pictures and upload on me blog tommrow Please check ok. and if you dont see it please let me know :).

I also really rekindled my taste bud looking at your Grandma`s Chicken rice and yout Soy Sauce technic. They sure do bring me good memories. Sometimes i feel that im in a wrong field (I.T) Most of my friends say that i should cook LOL.

and also the Tiger Cheese cake – Dang thats nice….

will drop by more often 🙂

The Expedited Writer
September 12, 2008 @ 4:05 am

Sasi: Cook! choose cooking, choose life, choose love, choose passion, choose produce, fresh beautiful produce and you do not need to go into it professionally. You can still cook to feed your passion and spread the luv around when you have time 🙂

September 15, 2008 @ 8:21 am

You can hold up your “heat” threshold, I can tell 🙂


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