The first time I tasted sambal Balado was from an Indonesian restaurant called Restaurant Malindo at Sungai Wang Plaza. It was so good especially when they top it on crispy fried fish. Balado is basically an Indonesian sambal paste. I learned making balado many years ago from our family helper. Basic ingredients for balado are shallots, red chilies, tomato, lime juice, sugar and salt. This chili paste is really good and goes well with fried fish or any type of meat dish. For today I used it on roasted eggplants. Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetable. If you love eggplant and like spicy food this is the dish for you.
2 Asian eggplant
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 fresh red tomato - chopped
2 tablespoon chili paste (sambal Oelek)
1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1 tsp salt
juice of a lime
1/2 cup water
½ cup fried anchovies - optional
1. Cut the eggplant into 1” length. Put the eggplant into a baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil and salt to it. Bake them in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are soft but not mushy.
2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat up about 2 tbsp oil. Stir fry garlic and shallots until fragrant and lightly brown. Add in chili paste and chopped tomatoes. Stir fry for a minute and add in the water. Simmer until the sauce reduces to half.
3. Add in salt and sugar, lime juice and lastly add in the fried anchovies. Stir until well mix. Pour the sauce over the eggplant and serve immediately.
Note: Besides baking the eggplant you can always fried the eggplant in hot oil for a few minutes .