I love having good condiments on hand to add flavour to quick and easy meals. In Southeast Asia that’s often a sambal, and sambal goreng is one of the easiest and tastiest. Sambal means ‘chilli’ and goreng means ‘fried’ and I use this fried chilli paste in mee goreng and rojak sauce, serve it alongside sambal skate, and dollop it onto nasi goreng and laksa. For a really quick snack I toss it through reheated leftover rice with a drizzle of sesame oil. It may be worth making a double batch! Sometimes ‘sambal goreng’ refers to a dish, very popular at Malay weddings, made from vegetables, seafood or tofu mixed with fried chilli paste. I use medium-sized chillies (about 1g each), which gives a little heat but not too much, use smaller ones for more punch or larger ones for a milder flavour. Regardless of chilli size, use a small spoon (not your fingers) to remove seeds and membrane, as their heat is unpleasantly coarse, and wash your hands well immediately afterwards. While quantities don’t have to be too precise for this recipe, you want a good balance of onion and chilli; use half a 200–300g onion or 1 small onion of about 120–180g.
Makes about ½ cup
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