The Rempah Kuning paste is super versatile. This Nonya base, made with shallots, chilli, belachan and other spices, can be used to make an array of dishes
200 g
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One of the best things about Asian cuisine is that our pastes and bases can be so strong and flavourful, yet remain versatile for an array of different dishes. This Rempah Kuning recipe, shared by Chef Ambrose Poh of AllSpice Institute, is something that you want to do ahead in bulk then freeze. It can be used to make dishes like Ikan Goreng, Nonya Duck Curry and Seafood Pineapple Tamarind Soup.

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  • 100 g (8) shallots, peeled
  • 80 g (4) red chilies
  • 5 dried chilies, soaked in hot water
  • 12 g blue ginger, peeled
  • 15 g fresh turmeric root
  • 15 g garlic, peeled
  • 20 g (4) candle nuts
  • 3 chilli padi, as required
  • 2 lemongrass, sliced
  • 1 tsp belachan, toasted 1 tbsp belachan
  • 80 ml oil, as needed

Trim and wash the fresh ingredients, cut into required cutting size. Peel shallots and cut into rough chunks. Slice off the root end of the lemongrass, peel off and discard the first layer. Slice thinly crosswise into rounds and do the same for blue ginger. Cut remaining ingredients into small pieces.


Using an electric blender or mortar and pestle, grind the rempah spice into a fine paste.


Remove seeds if you do not want it too spicy or add chilli padi to have more spiciness in the rempah. Add some bird’s eye chilli for more spice.


To prepare the rempah, first add cooking oil into a wok, Sauté the rempah slowly on medium heat.


When fragrant, the paste will turn darken in colour and the oil will separate from the rempah, it is an indication that it is cooked.


Remove from wok and cool, ready to be used.

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