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- ½ tbsp dried shrimp, soaked for 30 minutes in hot water, then drained and squeezed dry.
- ½" square piece of belacan, toasted under the grill until light brown and fragrant
- 2 ounces cherry tomatoes -- or a wedge of a larger tomato
- 3 tbsp kalamansi juice (½ tbsp orange juice and 2½ tbsp lime juice)
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ - 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 oz shallots, roughly chopped
- fresh chili peppers to taste, sliced and seeds removed if you wish
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ginger flower, very thinly sliced
- small bunch each (about 1 ounce) cilantro (keep stems), mint, and holy basil
- 2 sprigs of daun kesom
- 2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 3 inches only
- 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, stacked, rolled like a cigar, and thinly sliced
- 8-10 sour spinach leaves, or double the amount sturdy sorrel leaves, sliced as the kaffir lime leaves
- 2-4 plump shallots
- 2 cups cooked rice at room temperature
- Thinly slice the shallots from the salad ingredients list and drop them in a small pan of vegetable oil heated to medium.
- Fry till light brown—careful here, they'll go from golden to overdone in the blink of an eye—remove from the pan, and drain on paper towel.
- Set aside.
- Make the dressing: in a mortar and pestle, pound the shrimp to a pulp.
- Add and pound together the shallots, garlic, and chile peppers, if using.
- Add the belacan and pound it as well, then the tomatoes/tomato wedge.
- Mix in lime juice, and add the fish sauce, ½ tbsp at a time; taste dressing after the first ½ tbsp, you may not want to add the other.
- Add black pepper to taste and try the dressing again—more kalamansi juice will be in order if your tomatoes were exceptionally sweet, or if you're after a real pucker.
- Pick leaves from mint and basil sprigs, and chop these very finely together with the coriander.
- Pick the leaves from the daun kesom stem and chop a bit less finely.
- Remove the hard outer layers from the lemongrass stalks, quarter them lengthwise, and slice thinly.
- Mix rice and dressing, then add torch ginger, coriander-mint-basil, daun kesom, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and sour spinach or sorrel and mix again.
- Allow the rice to stand and absorb the flavors of the herbs and the dressing for about ½ hour.
- Serve topped with fried shallots.