Tag Archives: sambal oelek

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay.  Now close your eyes and repeat after me.  Saa-taay…  While you are saying it, just imagine hot, juicy, succulent, flavorful barbecued chicken on bamboo skewers drizzled with peanut sauce.  Close your eyes and say it again.  Saa-taay…

Did I just catch you drooling?

If you have never had satay before, satay is an amazingly flavorful barbecued dish that is generally of Southeast Asian origin.  It is prepared with many different ingredients such as chicken, beef, shrimp, lamb, fish, pork, goat and even tofu.  One of my favorite ways to prepare satay is with chicken.  I like to use bits of boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated for several hours in coconut milk, Indonesian soy sauce and a variety of spices.  I then thread the chicken on to the skewers and cook them on the barbecue.

I like to serve my Chicken Satay with my homemade peanut sauce or drizzled with sweet chili sauce or sriracha.  I also serve it with a scoops of fluffy jasmine rice and fresh sliced cool cucumbers for garnish.  I also make sure that there’s plenty of sambal oelek on the side for those who love fiery hot food.  Makes 10 -12 skewers.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1″ cubes or strips
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 – 2 tsp minced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or sambal oelek (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

In a medium sized bowl whisk together all the ingredients except for the chicken.  Once the marinade has been blended, add the chicken and toss well to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Take 10 -12 bamboo skewers and soak completely in water while the chicken is marinating.  Soaking the skewers in water prevents the skewers from burning off while the satay cooks on the barbecue.

Thread chicken onto the skewers and cook on medium hot barbecue or grill pan until the juices run clear or the chicken reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss any remaining marinade.  Do not brush it on the chicken while cooking and do not even think about reusing it.  Pay attention and turn your skewers occasionally for even cooking.  Be sure not to over cook or under cook the satay.  Makes 10 -12 skewers.

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Spicy Watermelon Salad

I just love hot and spicy food.  I can’t even think of even one hot and spicy dish that I don’t like.  Whenever I go to a restaurant and I have the option of choosing the heat level of my food I almost always choose 9 out of a scale of 1 to 10.  1 on the scale means very mild.  10 on the other hand, means it will burn a hole in the sidewalk.  I generally choose a 9 because I still want to be able to taste my food :).

Every time I order hot and spicy food, my sweet husband Bruce looks at me as if I am completely out of my mind.  I look back, smile at him and think to myself that mild food is not an option.  He should know me by now.  I warned him about this little detail many years ago.

Sambal Oelek

If you don’t know or never have heard of sambal oelek before, sambal oelek is an extremely hot (and delicious) Asian chili pepper paste.  Sambal oelek is always a staple our refrigerator and I could not even imagine doing without.  Sambal oelek is not for the faint of heart or is something that you can pack in your child’s lunch.  Simply put, sambal oelek is a delicious condiment that is to be respected.

My Spicy Watermelon Salad is made with bright red watermelon, spicy sambal oelek, sweet chili sauce, sour tamarind paste and lime juice.  It’s easy to make and only contains 5 ingredients.  Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups watermelon balls (seedless)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs  sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek (or to taste)

Begin by grabbing a medium sized bowl.  Whisk together the lime juice, sweet chili sauce, tamarind paste and sambal oelek.  Taste and correct your heat level.  Using a melon ball tool, make 4 cups of melon balls.  Add watermelon balls to your sauce.  Toss to coat.  Chill the salad if necessary.  Makes 4 – 1 cup servings.

 

Green Chili Sambal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister called me the other day and said that she was stopping by for she had picked some goodies out of her garden for me.  Every year, she grows the most gorgeous tomatoes that I have ever seen, so naturally that is what I expected to get.  Well, she surprised me instead with a bag of mixed green chili peppers.  In the bag there were jalapeños, a couple small anaheims and a bunch little serrano peppers that were wickedly hot.  Fortunately, she also brought me a couple of big fat juicy tomatoes.  Within minutes, I knew what I was going to make with those peppers…  Sambal!

One of my most favorite condiments in the world is sambal oelek.  It’s a red chili pepper paste that sets my mouth on fire.  My grandmother used to make her own sambal oelek from scratch by using a mortar called a cobek and an unusually shaped pestle called an ulek-ulek.  Sometimes she would add some dried shrimp paste (trassi) or garlic to the mixture for extra flavor.  Ask any member of my family and they would tell you that my grandmother’s culinary skills were legendary.  I could only hope to be a cook half as good as she was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandmother’s cobek and ulek-ulek.  Without a doubt one of my most treasured possessions.

My green chili sambal is prepared similarly to the traditional sambal oelek.  It just tastes milder than the usual red sambal oelek that you would find in a grocery store.  So what are we waiting for?  Let’s make some green chili sambal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green chilies (stemmed and seeded)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbls. white vinegar

Let’s begin by stemming and seeding your chilies.  While you are working with the chilies it is a really good idea to not touch your face or wipe your eyes.  Let me tell you from experience…  You will cry.  And when you are done prepping the chilies, wash your hands well with soap and water.  Place the chilies in a food processor (you can use the cobek and ulek-ulek if you want to but I find the food processor is so much faster).  Process until chopped and be careful not to over chop or puree your mixture.

Place the chili mixture in a saucepan and add all the ingredients except the vinegar.  Cook over medium heat until reduced and until the chilies are softened.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.  Let cool.  Place in a clean jar with a lid.  Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 weeks.  Makes two cups.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Note:  To make a traditional sambal oelek, just use red chilies instead of the green.  In this version, I simply used the chilies that I had on hand.