Monday, October 3, 2011

Nasi Lemak Part 2 : Sambal Chili

This is my Part 2 of my Nasi Lemak recipe series. You can find the first recipe of Coconut Rice in my last posting.

In Part 2, I will be sharing the recipe for Sambal Chili. This is another critical component in Nasi Lemak. A good nasi lemak need a great sambal. Essentially sambal is the chili based sauce used typically as a condiment to accompany the rice. Infact, you can prepare the sambal paste and literally use it in any vegetables or meat that you want to spice up.

There are so many recipes for sambal, it is hard to decide which is the best. I am sharing my very own, tried and tested recipe which probably changes every time I cook it. So folks, just ball park ok or like how we like to say in Malaysia - "agak-agak" (which means "instincts" or "use your own judgement/feel"). Therefore is someone ask you, how much salt should I put?, the easy answer is to say "agak-agak".

Simple Ingredients :
1. 6 - 8 pcs Red Chilies or you can use 2 cups of dried chilies - soaked and drained
2. 10pcs of shallots - coarsely chopped
3. 1 clove of garlic
4. 1 large red onion - chopped fine.
5. 2 TBSP of brown sugar
6 1 TBSP of belacan (shrimp paste) - photo below

7. 1 tsp salt
8. 1/2 cup of oil
9. 15g Tamarind pulp mixed with 1 Cup of Water, discard the solids

Simple Steps :

1. Put the red chilies, shallots and garlic in the food processor and blend well till it becomes paste-like.

2. In a hot pan, dry fry the belacan (shrimp paste)in low heat. You will soon smell the strong pungent aroma enveloping your kitchen.

3. Heat pan with 1/2 cup of oil. Add the paste in and in low heat, stir continuously till fragrant.

4. As the paste dries up, add in the chopped onions and stir well. Add in the Tamarind juice and salt to taste. Stir in low heat till the onions are soft and the paste is a bit dry.

5. The Sambal is ready.

The sambal paste is very versatile. You can add some fried anchovies and you will get Sambal Ikan Bilis (dried anchovies). If you cook with some squids, you will get Sambal Sotong (squids). Add in some prawns and you will get Sambal Udang (prawns). Ohhhh....the possibilities are endless. Infact, I like to put some sambal when I stirfry my vegetables - brinjals, lady fingers, long beans which will soak up the spice really well.

For the example below, I just added more sliced onions and it works just as well too.

So, that's it, the simple sambal chili recipe which goes well with nasi lemak and other dishes too. Now that's just the two main components of nasi lemak.

Is that enough?? No!! There's more. My next recipe which is a must to add to a delicious nasi lemak is Spiced Fried Chicken. Stay tuned for Part 3. :)
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