4 unique traditional kerabu recipes to try at home


The following recipes were contributed by lecturers from UiTM’s faculty of hotel and tourism and management who worked on the cookbook Gastronomi Warisan, released in tandem with Kongres Makanan Warisan 2019, the university’s seminal conference on Malay heritage food.

Go here for the full story on how the book came about and the traditional and cultural heritage of the kerabu dish:

Kerabu is slowly being forgotten - meet the people trying to revive this traditional Malay salad


Serves 4

250g bunga betik (papaya flowers)

50g bird’s eye chillies

100g red chilli

50g shrimp paste, toasted

100g ikan bilis

100g buah cermai (optional)

2 limes, juiced

salt to taste

sugar to taste

100g kerisik (grated, toasted and pounded coconut)

100g shallot, sliced finely

2 tbsp coconut milk

Blanch the papaya flowers for 3 minutes until al dente. Soak in ice water to cool down.

Pound chillies with shrimp paste, ikan bilis and cermai fruits. Add half of the lime juice, salt and sugar.

In a salad bowl, mix the sambal paste with the papaya flowers, kerisik and shallots.

Add the remaining lime juice and coconut milk. Adjust seasoning. Chill the dish before serving.


Serves 4

100g red chilli

50g cili padi

50g shrimp paste, toasted

20g shallot, finely sliced

1 tsp sugar

salt to taste

400g young jackfruit

100ml coconut milk

50g onion, finely sliced

1 turmeric leaf, thinly sliced

1 whole salted egg, diced

100g kerisik (grated, toasted and pounded coconut)

3 limes, juiced

50g fried shallots, ground

Blend chillies with shrimp paste and shallots. Add sugar and salt.

Boil young jackfruit until cooked and tender, about 30 minutes. Strain and leave to cool.

In a pot, heat up coconut milk until it reaches boiling point. Once boiling, leave to simmer for 3 minutes then let cool down.

Slice jackfruits and mix with onion, turmeric leaf and salted egg. Add sambal belacan, kerisik, lime juice, fried shallots and coconut milk. Adjust seasoning with salt and sugar. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Serves 4

500g coconut shoot (take the soft part only)

50g dried shrimp, soaked in hot boiling water

3 red chillies, sliced

1 inch toasted belacan

2 tbsp tamarind juice

2 tbsp lime juice

1 onion, finely sliced

5 shallots, finely sliced

1 tsp black pepper, finely ground

1 cup of thick coconut milk

2 tbsp kerisik (grated, toasted coconut)

2 tbsp sugar

salt to taste

2 stalks lemongrass, finely ground

½ cup grated coconut

Peel and cut the coconut shoot into small strips. Blanch until soft.

Drain the dried shrimps and pound in a mortal and pestle until the shrimp is smashed. Set aside.

Prepare the sambal belacan by pounding the fresh chillies and toasted belacan in a mortar and pestle. Add the tamarind juice and lime juice.

Place the sambal belacan and all the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to ensure evenly combined. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with rice.


Serves 4

1 ox tongue

turmeric powder, for ox tongue

2 shallots, for pounding

3 red chillies

20g shrimp paste, toasted

30g dried shrimp

50g bean sprout, slightly blanced

1 stalk laksa leaf, finely sliced

1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced

5 cili padi, sliced thinly

4 shallots, sliced thinly

3 limes

salt and sugar to taste

Clean the ox tongue and cut lengthwise. Boil until tender, this can take up to 3 hours. Remove ox tongue and season with salt and turmeric powder. Grill on open fire until fragrant. Slice ox tongue thinly.

Pound shallots, red chilli, shrimp paste and dried shrimp into a fine paste.

In a mixing bowl, put the paste and the rest of the ingredients in. Squeeze juice from limes over mixture and mix well. Season with salt and sugar to taste and serve.

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