Solok Lada: The Famous Stuffed Chilli Peppers of Malaysia
Solok Lada (also called Sarok/Sarak Lada or Lada Sumbat) is a flavourful stuffed green chilli peppers which is commonly found in the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia, especially Kelantan and Terengganu.
Solok Lada is made from a special long green chilli pepper, commonly found in the aforementioned east coast states, which is light green in colour. The pepper is split lengthwise and its seeds removed. It is then stuffed with a flavourful paste made from fish meat, grated young coconut, shallot, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sugar, salt, black pepper and egg. The fish used are usually deboned Ikan Kembung and Ikan Selayang. Lastly, the stuffed peppers are simmered in coconut milk until the liquid becomes dry. The end product of Solok Lada is creamy, tender, a bit spicy and full of wonderful fragrance.
These flavourful stuffed chilli peppers are very delicious when eaten with Nasi Kerabu (mixed herbs rice) or with white rice and gulai, a curry like gravy. The creaminess of gulai matches well with the taste of Solok Lada.
In the past, Solok Lada were usually found in Kelantan and Terengganu, but now more and more people from other Malaysian states have learned how to make it due to its simplicity. There are more and more variations of Solok Lada being created such as stuffing made with prawns, tofu, or even oats. There is also a fried version, called Solok Lada Goreng.
Nowadays Solok Lada can be found at night markets, farmers’ market and eateries that serve Nasi Kerabu. Some hotels and restaurants are serving it too.