Friday, April 30, 2004
One of my most highly and constantly stocked raw ingredients at home is a huge container of anchovies.
Rich with iron, anchovies are mostly consumed in a dry salted form here in Malaysia. They tremendously good, nutritious and highly prized in their own right. They are also very effective in enhancing the flavor of other cooking ingredients.
They are strong and gutsy and an acquired taste.
One the main ingredients in the much favored Worcestershire sauce, anchovies also makes the best sambal tumis (a hot and spicy chilli paste) and are often savored with hot steaming nasi lemak (coconut milk-cooked rice served with fried anchovies and nuts, half-boiled egg, cucumber slices and of course, the sambal).
As a Chinese, I love brewing anchovies into a broth to accompany other types of ingredients. Ridiculously simple to make, anchovy broth can be used to cook the daily greens (try iceberg salads, Chinese bok choi, Chinese cabbage or spinach) or as a base for the best rice noodle soup. Additionally, it is great as the broth for a steamboat session and can be incorporated with other types of meat such as chicken.
Anchovy BrothFor usage with seafood dishes, some garlic can be added to the recipe when frying the anchovies. The tasteless anchovies may be reused if one does not mind tasteless fried anchovies. Usually I will provide them as a feast for a few felines constantly visiting my backyard.
Makes 1¾ liter of broth
Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Fry anchovies till aromatic. Add salt and pepper to taste. When anchovies are browned slightly, add water. Increase heat to high fire. Once broth comes to a boil, cover with lid but leave steamslot open (for pots without steamslots, shift lid slightly to expose a small uncovered space). Let broth simmer for at least 20 minutes. Remove anchovies with a strainer.
- 2 liters water
- 1½ cups dried anchovies, washed
- 1½ tablespoons peanut oil
- a pinch of salt
- a dash of pepper
They are becoming very fat indeed after so many years of anchovy diet.
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