August 18, 2017

Friday Flavour: Nasi Goreng Sambal (Sambal Fried Rice)

Three of my favourite words: Nasi, Goreng, Sambal.

Literally translated as Rice, Fried…well, there really is no direct translation for the word Sambal. But if I have to describe what it is, I’d say it is mostly only chilli-based sauce, spicy, sometimes sourish-sweet and often used as a condiment to food. Almost exclusively Asian food. 

Traditionally, it is made using pestle and mortar which would result in its coarse texture. But really who has time to pestle and mortar things these days when all you need is a blender! Especially so when you have to use quite a boatload of chillies (usually dried) to make a small pot of sambal.

The thing with sambal is its versatility. You can make it plain or you can use it as a dip when you eat it with Nasi Lemak. You can also add stuff like eggs, fish or medley of seafood to it. It’s the sauce that counts. And then there’s the left-overs  – too much to be thrown away and too little to add any more stuff to it.

That’s when you make Fried Rice. Hot, fiery, red fried rice filled with goodness of sambal and poison.Even the rice is left-over. 

Pieces of posion (chicken breasts, deli meat) fried in chilli paste
Add in left-over rice and voila!


That’s not just the normal, ordinary fried rice  is, it? (which by the way, can also be pretty damn awesome), but fry it up nice with dollops of home-made chilli paste. You know it’s good when you can’t stop at the second helping!

How do we make it? Here we go, peops! Light your stomach on fire!

Nasi Goreng Sambal (Sambal Fried Rice)
Serves 4
Red, fiery and delish fried rice made with home-made chilli paste
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Plain Sambal (Make Ahead)
  1. 20-30 pieces of dried chilllies (add more only if you are sure it’s not a killer chilli!)
  2. 2 inches fresh tumeric
  3. 1 medium sized shallot (thinly sliced)
  4. 1 small can tomato puree
  5. 1 inch tamarind pulp
  6. 1/4 lemon
  7. 1 tspn dark brown sugar
  8. Salt to taste
  1. 3-4 cups boiled rice
  2. chicken breasts, cubed
  3. 2 eggs
Plain Sambal
  1. Cut dried chillies and soaked with boiling water for about 10 mins then drain
  2. Blend chillies, together with turmeric
  3. Heat up oil and once hot enough, put in the sliced shallots till fragrant
  4. Add in the blended ingredients and fry over low fire till the colour gets a little bit darker. Add sugar and tomato puree. Stir well and continue stirring every very once in a while.
  5. Separately, put in the tamarind pulp in hot water and squeeze the juice
  6. Stir and fry over low heat for 20-25 minutes
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Make sure the bottom is not burnt. If it gets too dry, add some water
Fried rice
  1. Heat up oil
  2. Fry the chicken breast and chicken delis
  3. Add the (leftover) chilli sauce. Mix well and cook for about 10 minutes
  4. Add boiled rice and mix till all the rice are covered
  5. Beat the eggs and pour the eggs all over the rice. Mix well
  6. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Turn of the heat and serve with keropoks!
  1. The time indicated above assumes that the sambal has already been made! Feel free to add other ingredients such as tofu or vegetables into your fried rice dish.
Grubbs n Critters

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