Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Smells dead, must be dead.


Chairman Bill asked: "How about trassi? I've heard some hideous stories about it, although I've eaten plenty of it in my time (both as a Dutchman and when in Indonesia/Malaysia)"

This is an amazing fermented dried shrimp paste that smells awful but tastes wonderful.

The big thing is that this is a traditional food; a pretty reliable sign of a good track record for safety.

And the traditional way of cooking it is to stir-fry in a very hot wok. This will kill any bacteria that may be in it. Deviate from traditional cooking processes at your peril.

It must also be remembered that it is usually a dried product and so lacks the available water needed for bacterial growth.


  1. It amazes me that our nose may tell us one thing, but our taste may say something completely different. They don't necessarily operate in concert.

    I suppose the same could be said for sight in relation to the foregoing. Physical revulsion was important to us as cavemen to stop us eating something that could harm us, but many of the things that look repulsive are really quite tasty.

  2. My kids always know when I'm using this product when they get to the front yard, let alone into the house.

  3. Hmmmm; smells awful but tastes wonderful.

    I think I'll pass on that.

  4. I can't believe I've only just found this blog, Lee! I grew up on belachan - my mother used to fry it outside and drive the neighbours mad, rather than inside the house. It never occurred to me that it might be dangerous.

    Does the traditional food rule apply to dishes like steak tartare? ;-)


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