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Balinese Mixed Vegetables (Sayur Urab)

Balinese Sayur Urab (Mixed Vegetables)

Makes about 6 servings

8 ounces long beans, cut into 2-inch long pieces
8 ounces carrots, cut into julienne (thin matchsticks)
8 ounces green beans, cut into 2-inch long pieces
8 ounces spinach, rough chopped
8 ounces bean sprouts
8 ounces green cabbage, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 large shallots, very thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, membranes and seeds removed, very thinly sliced (or you could use a spicier pepper if you want some heat!)
1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups fresh grated coconut (or unsweetened shredded coconut)
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
Juice of 1/4 kaffir lime (or 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the long beans, carrots, and green beans to the pot and let them cook for 2 minutes. Then add the spinach, sprouts, and cabbage to the pot and let the vegetables continue to cook for another 3 minutes (5 minutes total cooking time). Remove the pot from the heat and drain the vegetables in a colander and set them aside.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots to the oil and cook until they are translucent, then add the garlic and cook for one minute. After one minute add the slices of red bell pepper and cook until everything is well cooked, almost crispy, but not burned. At this point stir in the shrimp paste and stir until smooth (if using fish sauce, be careful because it will splatter), then add the salt and white pepper, stir, then remove the skillet from the heat.

3. Put the shallot mixture from the skillet into a large mixing bowl and stir in the grated coconut. When it is all mixed together well, add the kaffir lime leaves and lime juice (or zest) and mix again until it starts to smell really good. Then add the mixed vegetables that have been draining in the colander. When everything is well mixed, use your hands to squeeze the mixture so that the juices start to run out. At this point the dish is ready to be served. It can sit out for several hours and be served at room temperature as well.