• Serves 4 people
  • 1 kg lala/clams

  • 1 yellow onion - sliced

  • 6 red chilis

  • 11 cloves garlic (9 to be blended, 2 sliced)

  • 60 g ginger

  • 8 shallots

  • 100 ml tomato ketchup

  • 80 ml fish sauce

  • 60 ml oyster sauce

  • 80 g palm sugar

  • 50 ml white vinegar

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil - or as needed

Recipe Courtesy of Asian Food Network

Sambal Chili Lala

Typically found in hawker centres, and restaurants along the seaside of Southeast Asia, the Sambal Chili Lala is a spicy and tangy dish that is cooked with chilies, spices and a pungent shrimp paste. The tanginess comes from the sauce –a beautiful mix of tomato ketchup, fish sauce, and white vinegar. Eat like a local and scoop up bits of chillies, onions and sauce with the shell using your hands.
  • Easy
  • 10 min
  • 20 min
  • 15 min
  • 3 steps
  • 12 Ingredients
  • Easy
  • 3 steps
  • 12 Ingredients
  • 10 min
  • 20 min
  • 15 min


  1. Blend & fry spice paste

    • In a blender, add chili, 9 garlic cloves, ginger, shallots and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. 
    • Blend into a paste, adding more vegetable oil to keep the blender going, if necessary.
    • In a pan on medium heat, add spice paste and fry until caramelised and dry, about 10-15 minutes.

  2. Cook sambal

    • In the same pan, add 100 ml tomato ketchup, 80 ml fish sauce, 60 ml oyster sauce, 80 g palm sugar and 50 ml white vinegar. 
    • Stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. 
    • Remove from heat and set aside.

    Get Some Cookware!

  3. Cook sambal chili lala

    • In a separate pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil. 
    • When the pan becomes hot, add sliced onion and remaining garlic, and fry for 30 seconds.
    • Add lala and sambal chili. 
    • Mix well and cook for 2 -3 minutes until clams open, then remove from heat.
    Cook sambal chili lala

Plate and Serve!

| Works well with sotong and other shellfish like mussels.

Plate and Serve!


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