Malaysian Monday 12: Kerabu Nenas

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today’s MM dish is a pineapple salad.  When thinking about Malaysian food, salad is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. Mum was always big on leafy greens with our meals, but 99% of the time they were cooked – something to do with the “cooling” effect of raw vegetables.

This Kerabu Nenas is a typical Malay salad, although there is a Nyonya (Straits Chinese) version too, but I’m not really familiar with it.

Kerabu Nenas (Kerabu = Salad , Nenas= Pineapple)makes a great accompaniment for rice and is usually served as one of the choices for Nasi Campur (nasi=rice, campur=mixed). Nasi Campur is a fantastic dining concept – you get a plate of rice and then choose anything you want from a bank of different dishes which include curries, fried dishes, vegetables, relishes and of course sambal belachan (spicy chilli sauce). The price of your meal is then tallied up according to what was picked. There are some photos of Nasi Campur restaurants on this travel site.

Happily, this salad garnered the Mr. Kitchen Hand seal of approval. (It’s only the desserts that seem to freak him out).

The MKH scale-o-meter

Appearance: 3.5. “ Looks like a pineapple and a cucumber got sushi envy”
Texture: 3.5 “Texture was very similar to the original fruit and vegetables from which these small pieces were carved…”
Taste: 4.5. “ Brilliant mix of sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Very authentic”.

The salad is simplicity in itself and everyone has their own version.

Mine went something like this:

Kerabu Nenas/ Pineapple Salad 
(As with most Malaysian recipes, quantities are variable, feel free to adjust according to taste/availability)

Half a fresh pineapple (peeled, eyes removed, chopped into bite sized pieces)
One cucumber (skinned, sliced into circles)
One small fresh red chilli – thinly sliced
One small eschalot/shallot (or a quarter of a red onion) – thinly sliced

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye

Topping: A small handful dried shrimp – toasted and ground (optional)

Dressing: White vinegar (quantity depends on the quantity of the salad ingredients and your tastebuds), pinch of salt and sugar to taste.

Mix salad ingredients together with the dressing and serve with the dried shrimp scattered over the top. Alternatively, arrange on a plate and drizzle the dressing over. I serve the dried shrimp alongside and let my guests decide for themselves if they wanted any. (Mine very gamely tried some and loved it).

Dried shrimp, toasted and ground


Anh said...

This sounds so interesting! I love pineapple so I gotta try that.

About salad, I find that my in-law also avoid eating raw vegs. Why I wonder?

Ellie said...

I haven't had this kerabu nenas for 10 years at least! Your weekly MM is making me so homesick!!

Barbara said...

This is the reason I love blogging: I get to hear all about dishes I am unfamiliar with! I love the pineapple, cucumber and shallot but think I will pass on the dried shrimp!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I tried a Malaysian pineapple salad tonight and it sounds quite similar to this! Thanks for sharing the recipe Shaz! :D

shaz said...

Cheers Anh - I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with the belief in "heaty/cooling" foods.

:) Ellie - I'm glad I actually started this, makes me try more Malaysian recipes than I normally would and gives the kids an idea of what it's like.

I don't blame you Barbara! They actually taste more salty than shrimpy.

No worries Lorraine :)

Hungry Dog said...

Wow, I have never thought of putting pineapple and cucumber together but I bet they would be great. I'm not afraid of dried shrimp--with chilies and onion, they'd really heighten the dish.

Juliana said...

What an interesting combination...pineapple adn cucumber, sounds and looks yummie, very refreshing :-)