These tiny anchovies or we call it “Teri Medan” and Tauco are really great addition to balance out the bitterness of bittermelons. Tauco is salted fermented soybeans and pronounced tow chow. They were brought to Indonesia by Chinese immigrants. It has cooperated with Indonesian culinary for centuries. Each regions of Indonesia have different type of tauco. In this recipe, I used Tauco Medan. The kind of tauco that I’m used to have as a kid.
In Canada, you can always get Tauco that is imported from China. It’s sold in whole and paste form. It’s similar to miso in Japanese cuisine. Tauco is great to season chicken, fsh, tofu, beef or any vegetable dish. Mostly, tauco isn’t a gluten free product.
Spicy Bittermelon and Anchovy with Tauco
2 bittermelons; halve, discard the seed and cut into 3/4 cm thick
150 g salted tiny anchovies; soaked in water to reduce the saltiness and drained
4 tbsp tauco Medan
2 Indonesian bay leaves
1 cm length galangal
2 green chilies, angle cut
3 red chilies, angle cut
oil for stir-frying
Spices to grind or slice:
5 shallots (If you use smaller size, use 8)
1 clove garlic
1. Blanch bittermelons by bringing water with salt to a boil. Add sliced bittermelons. Turn off the heat. Let sit for 30 secs, drain and run under cold water.
2. Stir fry Indonesian bay leaves, galangal and anchovies in a hot oil. Add shallot, garlic, chilies and tauco.
3. Once the fragrant smell in the air, stir in bittermelons. Keep stirring for another minute or 2 minutes.
4. Taste and season if you need.