10 Super Sambal Dishes For Every Spice Level

10 Super Sambal Dishes For Every Spice Level

Sambal is one of the best loved sauces in Southeast Asia and pairs so well with many different food items, from vegetables to meat to rice

1. Sambal Stingray

Don’t you love spearing through a well-cooked Sambal Stingray, ravenously eyeing the way the flesh just flakes off the bone and onto your fork? Heap on extra sambal from the base of the dish, and delight in the burst of sweet, spicy and oceanic flavors in your mouth which end with a zing of lime. This beautiful seafood dish is often a bestseller at seafood restaurants and is best paired with steaming white rice to absorb all that addictive goodness.

2. Sambal Tumis Udang (Stir-Fried Prawns)

Seafood and sambal often go hand-in-hand, as this sweet and spicy condiment enhances the natural sweetness of seafood and gives a hint of heat to the non-spicy ingredients. We absolutely adore the sticky gooey coat of gravy on the prawns in Sambal Tumis Udang, and usually end up licking the shells clean before ingesting the sweet crunchy prawn flesh. Stir fry this family favorite with some fresh catch of the day for a finger-licking good dinner.

3. Sambal Rice Balls

Want a taste of sambal but don’t want to blatantly eat it out of the pan or jar? This Sambal Rice Balls are the quick and easy solution to that. This fusion snack combines Nyonya and Japanese cuisines, and is infused with generous portions of mouth-watering sambal. They are a cute way to introduce sambal to the young ones (you might want to reduce the chilies used in them in that case) and make for a savory party snack that your guests will love.

4. Kang Kong Sambal Belacan

Sambal lends a punch to the classic Asian ingredient of Kang Kong. Known as water spinach or Ipomoea aquatic (what a mouthful!), its characteristic hollow stems allows it to soak up the spices inside out, which is why its often cooked in gravy through steaming or frying. Fresh and young shoots have a nice crunch to them, allowing this Kang Kong Sambal Belacan dish to elevate your meal with interesting textures.

5. Terung Balado: Sambal Eggplant

Terung Balado or Eggplant with Hot Sauce, literally looks like an Asian version of Spanish tapas, with bite-sized vegetables to hold up a spoonful of fragrant sambal. It’s easy to whip up as a side dish for the family, especially if you are wondering what to do with your ripe brinjals. Sprinkle some chopped scallions or spring onions on top for a dash of color and it’s ready to serve.

Balado is a variation of sambal that hails from the Indonesian island of West Sumatra. It's nearly identical to sambal in its ingredients and cooking process. The difference though, lies in the way its served - balado is usually mixed into dishes, whereas sambal is normally treated as a dipping side. 

6. Sambal Chili Lala

Lalas are oblong-shaped clams grown throughout Malaysia’s kelongs (floating farms in the sea), and is a well-loved delicacy in Southeast Asia. One great way to prepare Lala is to stir fry it in sambal chili sauce, giving it a bright red hue that hints at the dish’s spiciness. It’s worth getting your hands dirty for this Sambal Chili Lala – use the clam shells to scoop up the tangy sauce and slurp that soft flesh up at the same time.

7. Baked Potato with Sambal

Can’t get enough of sambal belecan and want to have it with a western twist? We’ve got your back with this hearty Baked Potato with Sambal. A golden brown buttery potato base topped with as much sambal it can hold will satisfy any random sambal cravings throughout the day. Garnish with spring onions some juicy crunch to offset all that heat and you’re ready to dig in!

8. Sambal Tempeh, Kacang & Ikan Bilis

At first glance, you might think this Sambal Tempeh, Kacang & Ikan Bilis will be too hot to handle, but fear not – the fiery red color comes the deseeded shell of over 10 chilies. The spice is in those little seed pods, so removing them just leaves your dish with a vibrant red color without too much heat!

9. Sambal Salmon Parcel

Give your meal a healthy spin with this super easy to make Sambal Salmon Parcel. You can literally get this protein and omega-3 rich dish cooked in under 10 minutes to serve on top of noodles, rice or vegetables (for those on the keto diet). Add a squeeze of lime at the end for a zing and enjoy the spicy taste of the sea. 

10. Crispy Fried Chicken with Sambal

When all else fails (or if you just want something to munch), you can’t go wrong with Crispy Fried Chicken with Sambal. You can substitute chicken with other meats such as pork, fish or even mushrooms if you are vegetarian. Or if you are adventurous, try mixing them up for a surprise with every crunch. Marinade your choice of meat or veggie for several hours to let it soak up the sweet, spicy and nutty herbs and you’re good to fry them till golden brown. We’re not sure if the sambal dip or fried chicken will be gobble down first – they are both so good, and just pure bliss when paired together!

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