Abon daging

Abon daging

Shredded crisp-fried meat

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Makes
3 cups
Photographer
Alan Benson

This will be a curious preparation to those not familiar with Asian foods, but it is typical of the strongly flavoured dishes referred to colloquially as ‘rice pullers’. The chief ingredient might be fish, prawns or, as in this case, red meat. Thoroughly cooked and then fried until crisp, it can be bottled and kept for weeks to sprinkle over rice and make a meal more appetising. The first time I made abon daging I had spent the better part of an hour shredding the meat with a mallet, and then I realised it would have been much easier putting small amounts, about 2 tablespoons at a time, into a food processor. If processed for longer than 4–5 seconds at a time, the meat will turn into a paste, so be careful.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750g lean topside or round steak
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
3 garlic cloves, crushed with ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp sauce
or 1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder, (optional)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
125ml peanut oil
4 dried red chillies
4 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons dried garlic granules

Method

  1. Put the steak into a large saucepan with enough water to cover, add the salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1½–2 hours, or until the meat is so tender it will pull apart with a spoon. Remove from the cooking liquid (you can save it to use in a soup) and drain in a colander until dry and cool. Break up the meat into small pieces and use a meat mallet to pound it to very fine shreds or use a food processor.
  2. Soak the tamarind pulp in 125 ml hot water for 10 minutes. Squeeze to dissolve the pulp in the water, then strain, discarding the seeds and fibre. Add the garlic, shrimp sauce, pepper, chilli powder, coriander and cumin. Add the meat and toss to coat.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large heavy-based frying pan over low heat. Cook the whole dried chillies for a few seconds, then drain on paper towel, cool, then remove the stems and seeds and finely chop. Put the onion flakes in a wire strainer and lower into the oil for a few seconds, just until they turn golden. Drain on paper towel. In the same wire strainer fry the dried garlic for 2–3 seconds. Drain on paper towel and set aside to cool.
  4. Add the meat to the oil in the wok and stir-fry for about 3–4 minutes, or until it is a rich brown. Drain and cool on paper towel. When the meat is quite cold sprinkle with a little extra salt, to taste, and toss through the chilli, onion and dried garlic. If liked, a teaspoon of sugar can be mixed in. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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