Backstage

Jamie’s Kitchen… Jamie Lewis that is!

Photo by Sarah Walker
Photo by Sarah Walker

As Jamie gets ready to premiere Saltwater at Theatre Works next month, she shares with Blog readers her favourite recipe from the show…

“This weekend is when I take a step back, let the team go about finishing their sourcing, building, painting, and paperwork – while I hang back in the kitchen, and cook. Yes, cook.
Going through some of my ‘recipes’ is every bit as important as a performer learning her lines. I don’t want to give it all away – but we can be sure that there will be Sambal Belacan on the table. Here’s a bit of a breakdown of this dish, a little insight just for you keen bean active blog readers!”

SAMBAL BELACAN

INGREDIENTS
The agar-agar (rough estimate) ingredients of the sambal belacan I make is:

  • 3-5 Chilli (I prefer using the birdeye chillis – normal chillies in Australia got no kick ah!)
  • Belacan (shrimp paste)
    Belacan is often sold in a block – you only need about an inch of it. You need to dry-fry it before using. Note: be sure that your kitchen is well ventilated because the smell will be strong!
  • 1-2 tsp Dried shrimps
    Soak them in hot water for a few minutes.
  • 2-4 cloves Garlic (depends on how garlic-y you prefer)
  • 2-3 Shallots
  • A pinch of Sugar

METHOD
If you’re using a mortar and pestle, start with the garlic and shallots first. Give them a good bruising – that’s where the flavours really come through. Follow that with the chillis, dried shrimps, and belacan. Taste before deciding how much sugar you want to add in. Or – put everything into a blender/food processor. Why not eh?

And when you’re done, fry it up with my spirit vegetable, kangkong! Have it with your roo fillet! Anything, really! Trust me! I mean – there is almost always Sambal Belacan in the fridge at home. My dad has Sambal Belacan with pretty much anything, and everything – he would even have it with his steak! (And it does actually go really well!)

If you know your sambals, you’ll know that there are many versions. These versions also exist across cultures. But they always vary between the key ingredients; chilli, belacan (shrimp paste), garlic, shallots, sugar – with secondary ingredients such as tamarind, lime leaves, peanuts, etc. Perhaps the point is, that Singaporean Eurasians definitely like their spice.

At this point though, if you’re still feeling uncertain as to where to start with your Sambal Belacan adventures – be it in eating it or making it – you have 7 more days to pledge $50 on our pozible campaign to go on an afternoon tea date with me and a couple of others where we will make some Sambal Belacan together over cups of tea and egg sambal sandwiches! And of course, taste it at the show! And find out what else I’ve whipped up for you! I’ll see you at the table.

Saltwater Season: July 1 – 12, 2015 // Click here for tickets and information

Going shopping? The fresh produce at the Saltwater dinner table was kindly supplied by Little Hen Organics. The new name of Aunt Maggies Balaclava, Little Hen Organics is a family owned business that prides itself on bringing the best of the organic grocery market to their customers at the best prices in the organic industry. Come visit the guys at Little Hen – 270 Carlisle St, Balaclava for all of your organic fruit and veg needs.