I used to be a hot food snob. I used to be dead proud that not only I could handle tongue numbingly hot food, I even LOVEDDDD them. A meal was not a meal without a huge dose of sambal or chilli of any kind.
It started when I moved to Sydney. Back home in Indonesia, being able to handle hot food is nothing.
Everybody love hot food. So what? It's not a big deal, it was probably even cool if you can't handle hot food, according to the law of the non-mainstreamers ;) But in Sydney? Boy! The first few months were really challenging, a trip to any eatery was often accompanied by a bottle or packs of Indonesian chilli sauce (sambal ABC)...and classmates from other countries always ooohed and aaahed, looking at you in awe, admiring eyes when you nonchalantly downed pieces upon pieces of hot chillies, without even blinking or breaking any sweat.
But that was then.
A few years living outside Indonesia seemed to have tamed the hot bitch in me. Nowadays, I don't even drizzle a drop of chilli oil into my wonton soups...my eyes get all teary, my nose runny, my face turns steamed lobster red while gasping for air when I went to have Sze Chuan hot pot (which even Tony Bourdain could handle, wat the??!!!)...and...I regret to announce that these days, I order the lowest level of heat for my noodle soup base (head down, tail between legs, so ashamed) instead of the hottest of hot that I used to love T_T sob sob sob. I've become heat intolerant. Arrrrggghhhhh!!!
So, it was a silly decision for me to remake this Super Spicy Indonesian Pineapple Sweet Salad (Rujak Nanas Super Pedas) and thought that I could still handle it. Duh!
- 1 ripe pineapple, cut into bite sized chunks (you can use many different tropical fruits, such as jicama, young mango, guava, etc, but I particularly love ripe pineapple)
The Super Hot Sauce/Dip
- 3 small red chillies, chopped (I didn't remove the core and the seeds. You can adjust to meet your level of heat tolerance, I recommend put as little as possible and add more later if you need)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup palm sugar
- 1/2 tsp shrimp paste (toasted)
- juice of 1 lime
- a bit of hot water
Blend everything into a paste (traditionally, we use stone mortar and pestle), add a bit of hot water to blend everything better. Pour sauce over pineapple or dip pineapple into it ^_^
I am sharing this with Waiter, there's something in my....Indonesian by Spittoonextra.
Again, the whole sniffing and crying episodes happened upon me when I consumed this childhood favorite treat of mine. Sad. Sad. Sad.
...and to make it even worse...sous chef ate most of the thing nonchalantly like there was no heat at all. SOBBBBB. I guess my palate is now more "refined", eh? Hehe (denial, denial)