It’s been a while since we’ve had freshly made sambal in the house. We lived in Jakarta and Singapore for several years, and LOVED the condiment in many of its forms (there are dozens of variations of sambal), but since moving home, our food has become less spicy as the years have passed. But when I found the block of belacan or belachan in the previous post, I immediately purchased several handfuls of chili to make some sambal…
Start with some fresh chilies, de-seed and chop roughly. Personally, I don’t de-seed all of the chilies, leaving say 20% or so with seeds, so the sambal has SERIOUS heat. Sometimes it is TOO SPICY, but it seems to mellow a bit over time… :) Meanwhile, toast a tablespoon or so of the belachan in a pan over medium heat and keep breaking it up and stirring until it is a powder like substance… do NOT burn it.
Place the sliced chili in a mortar, add some salt, and mash it up until you reach a semi-paste like consistency. Add the belacan, some kalamansi juice and a bit of sugar and keep mashing until you get to the consistency you prefer. Some folks do this in a mini-food processor, but I find that makes TOO FINE of a sambal… I like it more roughly mashed than the blitzed version.
I put too many chilies WITH seeds into this batch, and a mid-mashing taste was incendiary… Add a bit more de-seeded chilies, sugar and salt to taste if necessary. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy as a condiment, or use as an ingredient for fish, meats or vegetables. Make sure you wash your hands VERY WELL before you touch your face or any body parts, the capsaicin can cause serious irritation… :) If you want a less fiery sambal, try this version that I featured years ago.
Wondering how else to use sambal? Check out these previous posts:
Soto Ayam – That classic Indoensian Chicken Noodle Soup, heat it up with sambal
Gourmet’s Spicy Crab Spaghetti with Preserved Lemons and Sambal
Sop Buntot, Part I
Sop Buntot, Part II, Indonesian oxtail soup, excellent with sambal!
Sambal Prawns a la Marketman
As a condiment for Hainanese Chicken Rice
Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice
Yam Tua Pluu – Thai Sigadilyas Salad