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Nalot, a delightful dish from the tropical paradise of Palau, is a true testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region. Bursting with vibrant flavors and textures, Nalot combines fresh seafood or meat with an array of vegetables and aromatic herbs. This Palauan specialty reflects the harmony between the land and the sea, showcasing the island's bountiful natural resources. In this article, we will guide you through an authentic Nalot recipe, allowing you to embark on a palate-pleasing journey into the heart of traditional Palauan cuisine.
1 pound fresh fish (such as tuna, snapper, or grouper), or substitute with chicken or pork
1 cup diced taro root
1 cup cubed yam
1 cup cubed sweet potato
1 cup diced eggplant
1 cup chopped green beans
1 cup sliced okra
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 red chilies, finely chopped (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric powder)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Step 1: Prepare the Seafood or Meat (if using)
If using fish, clean and debone the fish, then cut it into bite-sized pieces. If using chicken or pork, cut it into similar-sized pieces. Set aside the seafood or meat.
Step 2: Sauté the Aromatics
In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and chopped red chilies. Sauté the aromatics until they become fragrant and the onions turn translucent.
Step 3: Cook the Seafood or Meat
Add the seafood or meat pieces to the skillet, tossing them with the sautéed aromatics to coat them evenly. Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, and grated turmeric to infuse the dish with delectable flavors.
Step 4: Add the Vegetables
Add the diced taro root, cubed yam, sweet potato, chopped eggplant, sliced okra, and chopped green beans to the skillet. Mix the vegetables with the seafood or meat, creating a harmonious medley of flavors.
Step 5: Pour in the Coconut Milk and Water
Pour the coconut milk and water over the ingredients in the skillet, ensuring they are sufficiently covered. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
Step 6: Cook Nalot
Cover the skillet with a lid and let Nalot cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the seafood or meat is fully cooked and the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to infuse the flavors.
Step 7: Season and Garnish
Taste Nalot and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your liking. Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro leaves for an inviting touch and a burst of freshness.
Step 8: Serve and Savor
Transfer the aromatic Nalot to a serving platter, and it is now ready to be savored and enjoyed. Serve Nalot with steamed rice or Palau's traditional staple, Taro Root, for a wholesome Palauan dining experience.
Optional: Serving Suggestions
Enhance the meal by serving Nalot with a side of pickled vegetables or fresh tropical fruits to balance the flavors. For a Palauan-style feast, include other traditional Palauan dishes such as Pichi-Pichi or Bubur, to create a memorable culinary experience.
With this authentic Nalot recipe, you can immerse yourself in the enticing flavors of traditional Palauan cuisine. Nalot celebrates the bountiful gifts of the sea and land, harmoniously blending seafood or meat with an assortment of vegetables and aromatic herbs. The rich and vibrant taste of Nalot embodies the essence of Palau's cultural heritage, making it a true delight for both locals and visitors alike. So, gather your ingredients, follow the recipe, and let your taste buds embark on a delightful journey to the tropical paradise of Palau with every delightful bite of Nalot.