Sambal, a must have condiment to add that extra “oohmp” to your Asian dishes. It is a versatile red chili paste that you can prepare ahead of time and also use it to cook seafood or vegetables. A good balance of ingredient is important to achieve a flavourful but not too spicy Sambal.
for 1 cup of Sambal
20 dried chillies, soaked with hot water
10 small red onions
5 large garlic cloves
5 large or 10 smal kaffir lime leaves
5 stalks lemongrass, use only the bottom 3 inches of the stalk
20 g galangal
20 g ginger
10 g turmeric
150 ml cooking oil
3 tbsp tamarind juice, more if you like it tangy
2 tbsp brown sugar or more to your taste
Salt to taste
Using pestle and mortar, blender or a food processor, grind the first 8 main ingredients to form a paste. If the mixture is too dry or difficult to grind, add 1 or 2 tbsp of cooking oil.
Heat up 150 ml of cooking oil on medium-low.
Add chilli paste. Saute for about 15 minutes or until super fragrance. Keep the heat at medium-low and continuously stirring the chilli paste to prevent it from sticking on the pan/wok.
Add tamarind juice, brown sugar and salt.
Saute for a few more minutes.
Let cool. Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container. In the coming episodes, we will show you a few recipes that call for Sambal. Do not discard the excess oil.