My very first Balinese steps assured me I had found heaven on earth. The airport’s delightfully kitsch tourism ministry infomercials and the frosted mirrors transported me back to the 70s, not in a dingy, dirty way like it does in Bangkok’s seedy after-hours bars, but in a Brady Bunch meets the original Batman series, by way of the most beautiful spa you’ve seen.
Best of all? No chemicals used by the agricultural, um, industry. I don’t know if I’d call it an industry there, but I guess that’s the point. I began every day luxuriating in a chlorine free bath, followed by coconut oatmeal with fresh mango. Dinner was invariably spicy, served on a crappy plastic table, right on the beach. I’d wander into the water with my plate, eating as I waded through the ocean. Like I said, heaven.
Here on earth, we do the best we can to recapture those celestial aromas and flavours, usually on the kitchen stove, now with the benefit of knowing the effect of diet on our physical and mental well-being. So here’s my take on my Balinese favourite, Sambal, low histamine, for all us histamine challenged folks.
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2 pieces monk fish
10 shallots, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic , sliced
1-2 tbsp chili
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 stalks lemongrass
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp lime juice
2-4 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Combine ingredients in a deep bowl and mix well for a few minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a medium pan, sauté the ingredients for a few minutes to bring out the flavour.
If you have time: spoon onto monkfish, wrap in foil and bake for 20-30 mins.
If you don’t: add in the monkfish and sauté till cooked through.