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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Malaysian Style Sambal Recipes

I love Sambal - I could probably eat it with a plate of steamed rice alone, because it is so flavoursome. The main Sambals that I create have a Malaysian influence and I am yet to create those from Indonesia. They all seem to have similar ingredients - covering the usual hot - from the chillies, sour from the tamarind, sweet from the sugar and salt from the shrimp paste. Try the two fairly easy ones I have posted. They go great with just about any Asian dish.
Basic Sambal Paste
This is a simple, easy to make Malaysian style sambal paste and does not take very long to make and even quicker to eat. These simple condiments pack a blast of flavour and will leave your taste buds wanting more and more.
In a small food processor blend the following ingredients to a thick paste:
2 Tbsp Chilli Paste (Sambal Olek)
1 x Red Onion, roughly chopped
1 Garlic cloves, chopped
2tsp of Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Tamarind Concentrate (or ½ cup of Tamarind puree)
1 x cup of chopped Dried Prawns or 2Tbsp of Belachan
Add water if necessary to achieve right consistency
Turn out paste into a wok
Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes then add a few drops of Sunflower Oil to give the sambal a glossy sheen.
Now this basic sambal is ready add zing to some pretty bland staples. Stir through steamed vegetables such as Asparagus, Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower and even Boiled Eggs to create a great accompaniment to a mains dish. If you double the ingredients you could make enough to stir through cooked prawns or even on pan fried fillets of your favourite white fish - and serve it as a main meal.
The sambal will keep if refrigerated, in a airtight jar for about 2 weeks - But really!!! It has never even made it that long without being eaten.

Sambal Ikan Bilis
This is a recipe for a more traditional style sambal made with dried anchovies or Ikan Bilis. You can blend the paste ingredients in a food processor but grinding it by hand has a much better consistency - and more satisfaction for the cook. Use dried chillies and soak them in warm water before preparing the mix.
1 x cup of Ikan Bilis, rinsed in cold water
8-10 Dried Chillies, stalks and seeds removed and roughly chopped
½ Red Onion, finely diced, (finely slice other half for use later in the recipe)
2 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp of Belachan 
Shallow fry the Ikan Bilis in batches, in a skillet on medium heat, be careful not to burn the tiny dried fish
Drain on paper towels and keep aside
Reserve any remaining oil
In a mortar and pestle grind the remaining ingredients to a smooth paste
Place skillet on medium heat again and add remaining onion slices and a sprinkle of salt 
Cook the onions down to a golden brown, do not allow these to burn
Turn out the sambal mix into the skillet and stir fry for 1-2 minutes
Add the fried Ikan Bilis to the dish and fold through to combine
Add 1Tbsp of Brown Sugar and stir through
Season with Salt to taste
Serve as an accompaniment to a mains dish or if you must – feel free to eat it with a plate of steamed rice and a fried egg - I do!.
This sambal has a longer shelf life of up to 4 weeks in the fridge but once again - why would you want to keep it so lonely in your fridge for so long.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

mmm i agree!! i could actually go some sambal and rice now...