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