When Nice Mrs Tan came over to my house to teach me Teochew-style Ngoh Hiang, she also showed me how she makes her own Hay Bee Hiam (Hae Bi Hiam? Hay Bi Hiam? Oh, whatever! They all refer to the same yummy thing).
Anyhow, hers is the crispy version, which goes very well with plain rice or porridge. I actually enjoy eating rice or porridge this way - accompanied by a lone dish of something yummy. It can be something as simple as Hay Bee Hiam or Sambal Ikan Bilis or Mui Choy or Kimchi. Anyone else is like me? Raise your hands!
- 500g dried shrimps (Hay Bee aka Udang Kering)
- 2 or 3 tbsp sambal (store bought or homemade)
- Dash of salt (add depending on how salty the sambal is)
- Sugar (optional, if you like it sweet-ish)
1. Give a quick rinse to the dried shrimps. Allow to drain until completely dry. Better still if you place them in the sun afterward.
2. Put dried shrimps into a food processor. Blitz till small, fine bits (but not into powder). Do not use a mortar and pestle.
3. Dry fry the shrimp bits until they darken slightly in colour and give off that distinctive, beautiful aroma.
4. Turn off the flame and add sambal chilli (and sugar, if you so desire). Keep mixing using your ladle.
5. Place shrimps onto a tray and allow to cool. Make sure the tray is free of any water.
6. Once cooled, immediately place shrimps into a bottle (of which bottle and cap have been sterilised in hot, boiled water and dried completely). This will ensure that the dried shrimps will keep longer.
This can be used in so many ways, for example:
- As a filling for buns / topping for bread
- Stir fried with veggies
- As an ingredient for fried rice or noodles
- Sprinkled on soupy dishes
Let your creativity rule :)
Today, I fried some Lady's Fingers (aka Okra) with oil, garlic and rempah. And then sprinkled some Hay Bee Hiam over it. Delish!