There is no stopping my mom from cooking. She is continually recreating familiar dishes after another, essentially flooding my palate with taste of childhood memories. A spoonful of a particular dish could transport me back to my grandparents's house where I roamed in the yard, clad in tank top and shorts, playing in a hot humid Jakarta air. Another dish would bring me back to our old house in a town west of Jakarta, eating dinner of simple meal. Most of the time, our meal would be comprised of a vegetable dish, protein dish, and sometimes soup dish. They were never pretentious meals, everything were almost always bought at the wet market in the early morning hours. Prepared by my mom with a help from our loyal housekeeper in a small, modest kitchen, the dishes came out perfectly cooked, in my opinion nevertheless. She would cook Indonesian, Chinese-Indonesian, or Dutch-Indonesian food; no matter what the type it was, our stomachs always thanked her for her wonderful cooking.
One of her dish was this bamboo shoots with dried squid, shrimp and pork. I don't know exactly where she learned how to make it, most likely from her late mother-in-law, but it was an example of simple cooking resulting in a tasty dish. The way she cooks is never exact, everything is a guesstimate. I love it when people ask her a recipe for certain dish, she would answer it unapologetically, it depends. This will often throw people off, they are not sure if she's honest or not wanting to share the recipe. But she cooks like that, the way I learn from her is by watching her make it; the same way she learnt from her mother-in-law.
For this dish, the shallots and garlic are ground into paste. Bamboo shoots are sliced thinly, a bit share of pork shoulder are sliced thinly, a handful of peeled, deveined shrimp as well. Take a small amount of whole dried squid, soak it in a bowl of water to soften it, then slice it thinly. Stir-fry the shallot and garlic paste in a wok with enough vegetable oil over high heat. Cook until it's quite soft and release its aroma. Toss in the pork, shrimp, and squid; add salt and white pepper. Pour in some water and cook over medium-low until pork is tender. Taste to adjust the seasoning. After a day or two, my mom will drain off the liquid, and stir-fry the dish again on a dry wok. She will serve this with steamed rice and sambal, or red chili pepper paste.
See? My recipe sounds just like hers :)