Sambal – A chilli sauce with Indonesian roots
The other day we saw a big bag of fresh red peppers at the greengrocer’s for just one euro because some had a few spots. We did not hesitate to buy them to make homemade sambal. Sambal is a chilli sauce from Indonesia. Perhaps sauce is not the right word, it is more a paste. A thick sauce. There are many varieties and recipes, you can add many ingredients from tomatoes to shrimp. Here I kept it simple with just an onion, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar as well as some sunflower oil.
I added the oil because I did not have a blender handy and I needed something to make the mass more manageable. In the end we went to a neighbour who had a blender…I took the oil from the recipe.
Fresh sambal does not keep very long. That is why I cooked and reduced the sauce and put it in sterilised jars.
- One kilo of red peppers
- One onion
- Five cloves of garlic
- Three tablespoons of brown sugar
- 10 cl of soy sauce, preferably a thick Ketjap Manis
- Open the peppers with a knife and take out the seeds, then cut them in small slices (It is good to wear plastic gloves in this phase)
- Cut an onion and the garlic.
- Divide the peppers in two bowls.
- Blend one bowl of pepper with the onion, garlic, sugar and soy sauce.
- Put the mass in a pan and heat it up. When it bubbles, stir and add the remaining peppers. Cook for some 15 minutes while stirring, taste and add salt if necessary.