I use this sambal for anything that requires a rempah. Often used in Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian dishes. I normally pre-fry my sambal so that it is ready to use and makes cooking really fast.

A few examples of what you can do with it:

  1. Add mashed taucheo or miso paste, you get the mee siam paste. Add asam when cooking.
  2. Add asam when cooking, you get asam pedas.
  3. Along with lemon grass, dried prawns, cumin, galangal, coriander seed powder and turmeric, we get laksa.
  4. As with (2) but add grated ginger, we get Singapore curries, or Thai massaman curry.
  5. As with (2) but add some palm sugar, we get satay marinade, add peanuts and asam and you get the satay peanut sauce.
  6. Cook with onions and garlic, you get sambal, and can be prawns, cuttlefish, fish (stuffed in the belly and fried), eggs, lady’s fingers, etc etc.
  7. Mix it with kecap manis to marinade meat and then bake, you get panggang kecap, what we get in hawker centers in Singapore everywhere!
  8. Used for rendang, first fry this with the meat, then add lemon grass, kaffir leaves, some curry powder, coconut milk and shredded coconut.
  9. For curries, add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves then fry the meat, then add water. When meat and veggies are cooked, add coconut milk and a quick boil.

The options are really endless.

Basic Sambal

Basic Sambal


10 red chillies (cut into 1 inch), dry or fresh, it doesn't matter to me

1 big onion (cut into 2cm pieces)

5 cloves of garlic

5 candlenuts or 10 almond nuts

1 Tbsp belachan

1 thumb size ginger sliced

1/4 cup of oil


  1. Blend everything except the oil.
  2. Heat a pan with the oil till hot.
  3. Add the paste, and lower the heat to medium.
  4. Keep stirring so that it doesn't burn.
  5. When the oil turns red, it means you are done! I like mine cooked a bit darker.