The Semporna Islands off Tawau are flourishing with seaweed farms.
The cultivated seaweed is sold either in fresh or dried form with only the dried form out of state.
Coral seaweed is also fondly called Sea Bird's Nest as they are also rich in collagen, the protein responsible for beautiful taut skin. The seaweed has no taste on its own, but readily takes on any flavour it is being infused with.
|Soak it in water for a few hours. Change water every half an hour for the first 2 hours then just let it soak until it turns translucent. Water may turn slimy, and that's normal|
There are 2 common types sold, salted and unsalted. Many years back, before it was commercially sold everywhere, my student gave me a pack of salted coral seaweed and I had no idea how to consume it and it was left around until it watered... So so sorry. This time, I knew how to prepare it and I'm so glad the Chinese herbal shop where I bought it sold the unsalted version. Sold at RM6 for 200gm, it's an affordable form of collagen that is easy to prepare.
Restaurants in Tawau serve these seaweed in the form of kerabu. Totally appetizing and can be done ahead of time with final composition done just before serving.
I drank all the dressing when we have finished eating the kerabu, LOL.
|half the portion from the recipe|
Coral Seaweed Kerabu
250gm soaked coral seaweed (from 50gm dry seaweed)
3-4 tbsp calamansi juice (depends on how sour the juice is)
2 tbsp sugar
2 red chilli
1 tsp prawn paste/belacan
1/2 tsp salt
2 inches carrots, thinly juliened
1 japanese cucumber, core removed, thinly sliced,
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup coarsely ground toasted peanut
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp sliced torch ginger bud
1. Drain seaweed well, snip them shorter. Pickle with calamansi juice, sugar and salt.
2. Meanwhile pound chilli and belacan together then mix into the pickling seaweed. Let it pickle until it's almost time to serve. (Can be done overnight, Taste the seaweed after 30 minutes, if it needs adjustments, please do so according to your preference)
3. When it's almost time to serve, mix with the other ingredients and garnish with coriander.
4. Best served chilled.
I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest Sabah Month hosted by Mary Of a Pepper's Love