Mouth watering taste buds

“Sangkin suburnya Indonesia di gigi pun tumbuh cabai”

One of the first things I learned about Indonesia was the vast wealth it possessed in natural resources, especially when it comes to food. The saying above describes the richness and diversity of Indonesian ingredients. The  saying literally means the abundance of food in Indonesia is so great that even peppers grow in Indonesians’ teeth. I know many of you may find this hard to believe but do not worry I will show you why this could not be closer to the truth.

Let us start with one of the most valuable condiments to every Indonesian meal; Sambal. This chili paste is used for everything in Indonesia. If you order fish or “ikan” you will find it right next to the fish or on top of the fish. The same goes for every dish made of meat and it even gets mixed with “nasi goreng”, or fried rice. So as you can see sambal is to Indonesians what guacamole is to Mexicans, its just that important. I know you must be wondering well how do I go about making some sambal? Don’t worry I will teach you how to make sambal and not just any sambal you will learn how to make “Sambal Terasi” otherwise known as Shrimp Sambal. The terasi is basically made from “udang” or shrimp and used to give the sambal that extra smoky “flavor”. Now let’s get started. Roll those cooking sleeves!

The ingredients you will need to make sambal are the following:

* 3 red peppers (known as cabai)

* 3 small cloves of garlic

These are the main ingredients you will be using: red peppers or “cabai”, small cloves of garlic, purple small onions, a tomato.

* 2 small purple onions (known as bawang merah)

* 1/4 tomato

* 1/2 inch terasi (if you cannot find terasi you have to use it to make sambal)

* a pinch of salt

* 6-7 little balls of black pepper

* 1/4 of a bag of Masako or one cube of melted beef flavored bouillon

First, chop the red peppers, small purples onions, and cloves of garlic into smaller pieces.Take the tomato and cut it in quarters. Take one of the cut quarters of the tomato and cut it into three smaller pieces. Then take your frying pan and add oil to it while adjusting the heat of the oven to medium high. Once the oil is boiling, mix the red peppers, purple onions, and cloves of garlic together. Once they are all thoroughly cooked place them on top of the “cobek” or grinder. Place the cut pieces of the tomato into the frying pan. While you are cooking the pieces of tomatoes, take your piece of terasi and place it on the tip of a knife. Cook the slices of tomato on the frying pan until you see them release their juices. Set the tomatoes aside for now. Take the knife with the terasi and place it right above the burner. The original color of the terasi is brown. You will know that the terasi is cooked when it has a charcoal color to it.

This is the “cobek” or grinder made out of stone that is normally used here in Indonesia. If you can’t find something similar to it you can always use a cutting board that is extremely sturdy.

Now take the six or seven little balls of pepper and add them to the rest of the ingredients in the cobek. Slowly begin grinding all the ingredients together, including the terasi. You should grind all the ingredients until you can see that you clearly have a paste. Last but not least add the Masako or meat seasoning. If you do not have this seasoning you can use a beef flavored bouillon similar to the one Goya Products sells. This should give the paste a “meaty flavor”. If once you taste the sambal you think it is a little too spicy for your taste go ahead and add the tomatoes to sweeten the sambal. Serve in a little plate and your ready to eat it with your favorite food. Bon appetit and selamat makan!

A special “thank you” to Mbak Veronica who guided me in making sure I didn’t burn a kitchen down. 😉

Thanks for joining guys!

Stay tuned for more recipes with Hyperfluent.


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