This entry is not so much on the recipe because I'm sure everyone knows how to prepare Masak Lemak Cili Api; plus people use every type of fish, sea or fresh water, to be included in the dish.
My focus today is on the condiment that accompanies the fish. In this case, I am talking about the fermented vegetable that is Maman Jeruk. I prefer the fermented version compared to the fresh one, because if not carefully cooked, the fresh one can impart a bitter taste to the dish. The fermented one however, helps to accentuate the aroma and taste of the dish, plus it is so enjoyable to eat!
So, this time I'm sharing the procedure to prepare this fermented vegetable as prepared by my late aunt, my mom's younger sister,who lived in Kuala Selangor. Long ago, there was no problem of air or soil pollution, so I remember my aunt just pulling the plant from the ground and turning it into this delectable thing!
- 20 Maman plants (pick the shoots and young leaves)
- 1 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
- 1 tbs cooked rice
- 10 red and green birds eye chilies
Wash the picked Maman leaves clean, and drain in a colander. Place the salt, rice and chilies in a glass bottle (I used a black bean paste bottle with plastic screw top lid) Stuff the leaves into the bottle and top up with plain water. Leave to ferment for about three days (can be kept up to a week after that in the fridge!)
Note : I have also used this fermented vegetable with Rendang!