I’ve had this super heavy mortar and pestle given to me by mom but I’ve never really used it. However, two factors made me really try it out for the first time. One of these is that every single person who has pounded his or her own spices have waxed lyrical about the superior results vis-a-vis blending. The second is that those who have been following my blog would know that I am avoiding salt and hence I wanted to experiment making a sambal variation without salt. And the normal dried belachan uses a lot of salt. Instead, I used low salt, Japanese whitebait.

So, this is what I did. I decided to pound chilli padi (no other will do for me), shallots and dry fried Japanese whitebait. See the pictures below:

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Brilliant taste. One main lesson I learned. Pound each ingredient one by one and not the way I did which is dump it all in and pound. My inexperienced method led to stuff flying everywhere (especially chilli seeds) and a more coarse grind as opposed to a fine grind which is what I was hoping for.

But no worries. Live and learn.

However, the taste was still marvelous. I used this “sambal” to fry petai and tau kwa. Outstanding! Though it made me sweat heaps!