A sambal goreng is an Indonesian dish consisting of vegetables or meat cooked in a spicy, red sauce. The one I made consisted of green beans and bean sprouts, but you could use all kinds of other vegetables (cabbage is really nice) or proteins (I especially like this sauce with boiled eggs). By adding more sambal you can make it more spicy, by adding some more tomato and use less sambal it gets more mellow, but keeps it red colour.
Usually, an Indonesian meal consists of rice, at least one saucy dish and one dry dish (one of them with a protein and one of them with vegetables), and usually some sambal and a pickle (atjar) on the side.
Trassi is fermented shrimp paste. In it’s raw state it is incredibly smelly, some people find it so smelly that they refuse to cook with it. But it does give dishes a subtle extra flavour that is really nice, and after you cook it out it doesn’t smell at all. I have found a brand that does give a good flavour, but isn’t too smelly. But in the past I’ve also had a brand that was terribly smelly, the kitchen kept smelling after I cooked with it and I had to wrap the package in a bazillion layers of plastic to keep the smell contained. So it’s worth it to experiment with a few brands.
Sambal Goreng (serves 2-4 persons, depending on what other dishes you serve)
Adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees – Nique van der Werff-Wijsman
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp sambal oelek
pinch of galangal (dried, ground)
1/4 tsp trassi
1 tbsp oil (coconut, ricebran)
250 ml bouillon
250 g ingredient of choice (vegetable/protein)
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1/2 tbsp goela djawa
1 cm piece santen (creamed coconut)
Blend the onion and garlic to a paste. Heat the oil in a pan, add the puree, sambal, galangal, trasi and a pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant and the onion starts to caramelize.
Cut the tomatoes in cubes and add to the pan. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the bouillon.
Add the ingredient of choice, and cook until it is done.
Finish the sauce with the tamarind paste, goela djawa and santen. Don’t let it boil any more, it might split.
Note: to make this dish vegan, don’t use the trasi and make sure you use a vegan-friendly bouillon. The sauce is really nice with tofu/tempeh, to make a vegan protein dish.