Oma’s dabu dabu

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Doesn’t saying it evoke a smile? Then some curiosity? Is it a dish or a dance move? Do the dabu dabu. LOL! It could just as well be one. Imagine just how catchy would that be. Doing the dabu dabu! Just remember that you read it here first :D

Dabu dabu is a raw sambal, a condiment, a spicy side kick to a lot of Manadonese dishes. Indeed it is very similar to a salsa, but in a decidedly hotter version. It is easily whipped up, and is enjoyed with almost all Manadonese mains, especially grilled fish.

And this is Oma’s dabu dabu recipe, a closely guarded secret. I haven’t come across a dabu dabu that comes close. Psst! Don’t tell her I shared this recipe with the world now. She is one who subscribes to the idea that family recipes should remain just that.

My fond memories of dabu dabu involve ladling (yes, ladling!) it from big bowls to accompany Oma’s Gurame Bakar and rice. You can never have enough of it when fish and rice are involved. It’s refreshing, it’s spicy, and at times, it is the only serving of vegetables. LOL!

Just a few ingredients, chopped or whizzed in a food processor, and ready in 3 minutes. And note that you can go as mild or as hot as you prefer.

3 - 4 red (cayenne) chilies, de-seeded and sliced finely
2 shallots, finely minced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp olive oil (secret ingredient)
5 - 6 Thai basil leaves
Pinch of sugar (another secret ingredient)
Salt, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, mix to combine.
2. If too spicy, add some more chopped tomatoes.
3. Cover and chill for 30 minutes if time allows (so much better if you do)

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