Sambal. I swear sambal is among the best food creation ever thought up. Being a vegetarian though, I can’t eat a lot of the sambal from the roadside stalls or restaurants because they usually contain shrimp or ikan bilis. So, the only thing to do, is make my own. It has taken me a long time to get it right. I still haven’t got the perfect concoction but the wonderful thing about experimenting is the things you come up with along the way.
En route to the perfect vegetarian sambal, I’ve come up with a vegetarian fish sambal that’s good as a side dish or condiment.
There’s some prep involved, mostly in making the chilli paste so, make extra which you can freeze and use again in the future.
♣ Chilli paste (Extra portion)
25 dried chilli, cut and blanched in hot water for 5 mins
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
dash of oil
generous pinch of salt
Blend or pound. What I did: blend the mix roughly and then pound it in mymortar and pestle so it got super fine.
Super spicy Vege Fish sambal
1/2 a slab of veg fish ham (The “Fish” ham is a 2.5 in by 1 ft slab of sea-weed covered soy) See collage atop page.
2 large onions, chopped small
2 – 3 tbsp oil or butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup chilli paste
handful of roughly ground roasted peanuts
1 tbsp kicap
2 tbsp tomato kechup
salt and pepper
Pan fry veg fish (sliced) till golden. Remove and drain. Cool and mash roughly.
Heat oil, fry onions till soft. Add chilli paste fry till fragrant and oil floats above paste. Add veg fish mash and mix well. Add nuts and the rest of the ingredients and cook till it thickens, but don’t let it dry up.
Remove from heat and let cool. It’s sooo good you can eat it on it own (like Gardenia). Or, you could put it in between two slices of bread and have a sambal sandwich. Yesterday, I used it to cook my Sambal Scambled Egg.