I am so happy that I have finally I have managed to pen down this recipe to share with our readers. This sambal paste is so versatile to use and it is a very handy paste to have on hand, especially when you love your food spicy hot. It is such a good condiment to add to the Singapore Hokkien Mee as it enhances the flavour of this already delicious noodle dish. It can be used to cook spicy dish such as Sambal Squid, Sambal Egg and many more.
I will always make more than what I need so that I can either store them in the fridge or freezer for later. If you do not want your sambal to be too spicy remove as many seeds (not all) from the chilli as possible. Otherwise what is sambal without the spiciness right?
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For pounding / blending:
100g dried chillies
5 to 6 pieces of bird eye chillies
20 pieces shallots, roughly chopped
10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
5 stalks of lemongrass, cut into small pieces
8 candlenuts, roughly chopped
2cm fresh ginger, cut to small pieces
3cm length of a block of belacan
4 to 6 tablespoons tamarind/Assam juice
4 tablespoons brown sugar/gula Melaka
Some salt to taste
8 to 10 teaspoons cooking oil
Preparing Tamarind/Assam Juice:
- Soak a large chunk of tamarind/Assam pulp with hot water for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Strain through a sieve and discard all the seeds and impurities and set aside.
Preparing ingredients for pounding/blending:
- Cut the belacan into smaller cubes and toast it in a dry pan.
- While it is toasting, chop it with your spatula to break it up, till aromatic and powdery.
- Soak the dry chilli with warm water till soft.
- Then put the toasted belacan, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and candlenuts into the blender. Add in some oil if necessary, then blend till you get a smooth paste.
- Remove and set aside.
- Cut the dry chilli and fresh chilli into smaller pieces.
- Put them into a blender and add in some oil if necessary till you get a smooth paste.
- Remove and set aside.
Note: If you are pounding, you do not need to add oil into your ingredients.
Cooking the Sambal:
- Heat up 8 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium low heat.
- Add in the chilli paste and the spice paste and stir once in a while to ensure that it is not burnt.
- Add 4 tablespoons of assam solution after 10 minutes and continue to stir to mix well.
- Add the brown sugar or gula Melaka and allow it to melt into the sambal.
- Add some salt to taste and stir to mix well.
- You need to stir frequently to ensure that the mixture is not burnt and add some more if it is too dry.
- After 30 minutes, you will see that the oil is separated from the mixture you can stop stirring. The sambal will turn a deeper red and you’ll see the oil oozing from it.
- Now it is ready for use, or you can leave to cool before storing.
- Add oil and not water if you are blending the ingredients so as not to alter the taste of the ingredients.
- If you prefer the sambal to be:
- Sweeter – Add more gula malaka or shallots/red onions
- Spicier – Remove less seeds from the chillies or add more chillies
- More pungent – add more garlic