Kerabu Timun (Spicy Cucumber Salad) is a spicy and appetizing Malaysian salad that is sure to whet your appetite. Best eaten freshly tossed with lots of steamed rice.
Kerabu Timun (Spicy Cucumber Salad) is a spicy and tangy Malaysian style cucumber salad served to whet one’s appetite. Unlike Western salads eaten at the beginning of the meal, kerabus are usually eaten during the meal with steamed rice. This particular concoction is a favorite among the Nyonyas.
There are two essential ingredients in this tasty salad. The first is dried shrimps with concentrated umami flavor. A little of this ingredient goes a long way. It not only provides flavor but also texture to this tasty salad. It holds all the different flavors together.
The second is Sambal Belacan, a spicy chili condiment with shrimp paste adopted from the Malays. This condiment is often found in the Malaysian Chinese kitchen and is a must-have for those with a spicy palate. It is used as an ingredient in many dishes and also served as condiment during meal times to add zest to the meal.
Be sure to cook extra steamed rice when serving dishes like Kerabu Timun. It will be much appreciated. I always went back for seconds in my mom’s kitchen.
- ¼ cup dried shrimps (rinsed and drained) (25g)
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 shallots (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 tbsp sambal belacan
- ½ lime
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- Soak dried shrimps in hot boiling water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Drain and pound in a mortar and pestle until all shrimps are smashed. Dried shrimps can also be coarsely chopped on the cutting board. Set aside.
- Peel cucumber with a vegetable peeler. Cut into quarters lengthwise. Cut off the entire strip of seeds. Then cut cucumber strips at a diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Mix cucumber with a salt in a bowl for 20 minutes to draw out the juices. Rinse and drain.
- Place cucumber, shallots, prepared dried shrimps, sambal belacan, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Squeeze lime juice over the ingredients. Toss to get everything well mix.
- Transfer to a smaller bowl and serve immediately with steamed rice.