I love Sambal – it’s a great fridge staple and will most definitely liven up any dish and make
them sing. But what is it, I hear you ask? Well… Sambal is a chili sauce or paste native to
Southeast Asia that has been made from a mixture of different ingredients – mostly made
from a variety of chili peppers and then finished with garlic, ginger, shallots, lime juice and
traditionally shrimp paste, but has more of a kick than your normal siracha which lends itself
more to the sweeter side of the palate. This one is pure fire. This specific Sambal recipe was
actually handed down to me when I was running a retreat in Bali, it, like many recipes that
have been handed down all have their own unique little twists so there are multiple
different Balinese versions, but this one has stayed my absolute favourite. It lasts forever in
the fridge and is the perfect way to add a punch to any dish.
How to make my Fresh Sambal [from Happy Food]
Ingredients (makes one 200g/7oz jar):
1 red Thai chilli
1 medjool date, stoned (pitted)
1⁄2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons grated fresh root ginger
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tomato, deseeded and chopped
1⁄2 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
squeeze of lime juice
60 ml (2 fl oz / 1⁄4 cup) olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you get a sauce-like consistency.
Pour into a jar or an airtight container that can easily be stored in the fridge.
Five Delicious Ways to Spice Up Any Dish
Now you can have your own unlimited supply of the tastiest, zingiest and spiciest sauce, you
can add a punch of flavour to so many things. Here are my favourite things to do with it.
1. Grain Bowls
Add a spoon or two (depending on your heat preference) of Sambal to any grain bowl. It
complements so many wonderful ingredients that you would traditionally find in grain
bowls and just takes it to a whole new level. Sambal is traditionally paired with rice, so it’s a
great addition to any grain-like-product.
The ingredients in Sambal naturally pair well with raw veggies, which makes it a great
topping or dressing for salads. Either drizzle over the top or massage into your leaves to
break them down and really infuse that flavour in.
Need a punch of flavour – add a spoon of Sambal into your soup. You can do this in multiple
ways. Either cook it out with your base ingredients, add just before blending, or swirl in
after cooking. It’s completely up to you. If you want a spicy soup but your family don’t you
can just add in after to tailor to your own preference and keep the whole family happy.
This not only works great as a dressing, but leave it for some time and the magic really sets
in. Try marinading into softer vegetables such as aubergine or field mushrooms and once
cooked their juicy texture will be filled with a spicy Sambal taste that packs a punch with
barely any effort.
A bit of a curve ball but I actually love Sambal just slathered on a thick cut of toast.
Sometimes I’ll eat it just like that, or I’ll add additional toppings to make something super
fancy. A few slices of avocado, or tomato or even some nuts and seeds sprinkled on top.
Always an extra squeeze of lime and a touch of sea salt.