Vegan Sambal Stingray with Chinchalok

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Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

Vegan sambal stingray is a pretty what the?? kind of dish if you are not from SG or MY. It is one of those things that you don’t really imagine veganising because it is such an obscure protein in the first place. After being vegan for so long, I had accepted not having certain dishes. But I WAS WRONG! My newly-vegan friend Sharleen wasn’t as jaded yet and she made a version of sambal stingray that gave me the inspiration for this dish. Thank you, Sharleen, for keeping me creative!

When I was little, we lived close to Serangoon Gardens. There are certain smells now that immediately bring back the memories of Chomp Chomp food centre, where I would go dabao (take out) food with my dad on the weekends. One of them is the smell of banana leaves slowly roasting. In other words, the smell of sambal stingray and otak-otak / otah.

This vegan sambal stingray is really quite straightforward. It is a layer of banana leaves, a layer of sambal, a layer of seaweed, a layer of rice paper, a layer of enoki mushrooms, then another layer of sambal. Makes sense, right? The rice paper helps to hold the seaweed and the enoki mushrooms together and adds a goopy “fish skin” texture. This recipe uses my basic sambal which I make huge batches of at each time.

When having sambal stingray, of course you need to have chinchalok. Chinchalok is the accompanying sauce of sambal stingray made of fermented baby shrimp. Yes, it is basically bagoong! Luckily, I had some freshly made vegan bagoong from my friends over at balaynicharing. Chinchalok sauce is funky, pungent, sour, and spicy. It cuts through and accentuates the sambal flavour of the stingray. Sooooo good.

Tips

  • Make sure to wet the banana leaf on both sides so that it won’t burn when you cook it.
  • My homemade sambal is usually very sticky because that is how I like it. If you have a more oily version of sambal, it will be easier to spread.
  • If you have an oily spreadable sambal, you can slice the enoki mushrooms into 3 or 4 segments so it resembles the texture of stingray more.
  • For those who don’t really like raw onion, slice the onion thinner so the taste won’t be as strong.
  • You can use a grill or a pan, as long as it has a lid. Or if you are grilling without a lid you can get a bigger piece of banana leaf and wrap it up.

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Ingredients

0/13 Ingredients
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  • Chinchalok Sauce

Instructions

0/8 Instructions
  • Wet a piece of big rice paper until pliable (not too wet) and place it over a sheet of seaweed.
  • Slice the dirty end of the enoki mushrooms off but leave the part that connects them together. Peel them in bunches and lay on the rice paper.
  • Wrap the rice paper edges over the mushrooms, then trim off the excess.
  • Wet a piece of banana leaf. Put a layer of sambal on it.
  • Put your vegan stingray on the sambal then add another layer of sambal on top of that.
  • Heat up a pan / grill and put the banana leaf with the vegan stingray on there. Cook covered. The mushrooms will start to sweat then cook in their own juices. When the juices are almost all gone (about 5 minutes) then the dish is done.
  • Meanwhile, make your chinchalok. If your shrimp paste is quite sticky you may need to add some water to the sauce. Chinchalok sauce is supposed to be quite liquid,
  • Then the vegan stingray juice is almost all gone, remove from pan and top with raw sliced onion and fresh calamansi or lime. Serve hot with chinchalok sauce.

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