If you have ever visited Indonesia and tried its cuisine, you would have noticed that sambal is always present on the dining table. Indonesians love to add sambal to all types of food they eat.
Sambal terasi, in particular, is a chili sauce with an authentic taste and aroma. Would you like to try making your own sambal terasi recipe? Sambal terasi differs from the usual chili sauce found on dining tables. It has a stronger aroma due to the use of terasi, a traditional Indonesian spice made from shrimp paste.
To fully enjoy sambal terasi, it is best to pair it with warm rice and side dishes such as fried chicken, grilled chicken, fried fish, grilled fish, and more. As sambal has become an integral part of Indonesian cuisine, you can also find instant sambal terasi in supermarkets. For those who enjoy sambal and are interested in making one, check the complete recipe here!
Authentic Sambal Terasi Recipe
Indonesians typically prepare two types of sambal terasi: raw sambal terasi (mentah) and cooked sambal terasi (matang). Raw sambal terasi uses raw and fresh ingredients and is meant to be consumed immediately.
On the other hand, cooked sambal terasi requires a longer cooking process, allowing it to last for several days. If the chili sambal is stored in sterilized jars and kept in the fridge, it can even last for several weeks. Below is a recipe for making cooked sambal terasi.
- 150 gr dried shrimp
- 200 gr shallot
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 3 pieces of kaffir lime leaves
- 5 pieces of red chilies
- 100 gr bird-eye chilies (adjust to your taste of spiciness)
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tbsp shrimp paste
- 2 tbsp palm sugar
- 50 ml cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Step-By-Step Guide to Cooking Sambal Terasi Recipe.
Below are the simple steps to make authentic sambal. Make sure to follow each step so the taste will exactly the same with the authentic one:
1. Soak Dried Shrimp
Wash the dried shrimp and soak them in clean water for 15-20 minutes, then set them aside. When they start to swell and become soft, strain them and reserve the water.
2. Grind the Dried Shrimp
Grind the soaked dried shrimp until you achieve a smooth texture. Next, heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry the ground shrimp over low heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning and ensure even cooking. Once they turn golden brown and emit a fragrant aroma, immediately turn off the stove and set them aside.
3. Grind the seasoning
Grind the seasoning, which includes garlic, shallots, red chilies, bird-eye chilies, and sliced tomatoes. You can use a food processor or a mortar and pestle. If you use a food processor, remember to add the soaking water from the dried shrimp to facilitate the grinding process. However, if you use a mortar and pestle, you do not need to add the soaking water. You can add the water when sautéing the ground spices later.
4. Sauté the Seasoning
Heat about 50 ml of cooking oil in a pan to sauté the shrimp paste. Stir until the shrimp paste is crushed and releases its distinctive aroma. Then, add the ground spices to the pan. While adding the spices, you can cook it over medium heat. Continue stir-frying until the water reduces, then add brown sugar, salt, and kaffir lime leaves to the pan. Stir continuously to evenly distribute the spices. If the seasoning appears dry, reduce the heat to low to ensure perfect doneness without burning. Keep cooking until the spices release plenty of oil.
5. Add Fried Shrimp
In the final step, add the previously fried ground shrimp to the pan. Stir well to combine the shrimp and sambal. Taste a little with rice to check if you have achieved the desired flavor. The best sambal terasi recipe is now ready to be served with various side dishes.
Tips for Making Sambal Terasi
There are several key factors to consider when making chili paste to achieve the perfect taste. In some Asian countries, traditional cooking utensils like mortar and pestle are still utilized, as they can contribute to the overall delicacy of the dish.
It is important to note that cooking is not merely about transforming raw ingredients into a dish, but it also involves following the correct steps and techniques. Here are some tips to help you create an authentic sambal terasi:
1. Sauteed Terasi
Keep in mind that it’s important not to add raw shrimp paste directly to the ground spices as it can impact the overall taste of the dish. If you prefer to grind all the seasonings together, it is recommended to fry the shrimp paste beforehand.
Frying the shrimp paste helps intensify its aroma and eliminates any fishy smell that may be present. By following this approach, you can ensure that the flavors of the sambal terasi are well-balanced and appealing to the palate.
2. Use Mortar and Pestle
If you enjoy preparing Asian dishes, you can purchase mortar and pestle at Asian supermarkets. Grinding spices using this traditional method helps preserve the freshness of the aromas in the spices you use.
The aroma you achieved when grinding spices with a mortar and pestle differs from that obtained when using a food processor. Additionally, a mortar and pestle can be used not only for making sambal but also for preparing various other Asian dishes.
3. Use Shallots
To get an authentic taste of sambal, use shallots instead of onions. Its strong aroma also adds an authentic taste. Shallot is different from onion because it is smaller. In addition, the color is also purplish red.
Is This Sambal Terasi Recipe Helpful?
The ingredients you need to prepare to make sambal are quite simple and economical. Sambal terasi uses strong aromatic spices and makes it delicious. But if you don’t have time and proper utensils, you can buy a variety of Indonesian instant sambal terasi from Nyahtewel. The taste is accurately delicious because it uses fresh, quality spices and tastes authentic.
- What is sambal terasi?
Sambal terasi is a dipping sauce made from chilies, shallots, and other spices.
- How to use sambal terasi?
You can eat sambal terasi with rice and side dishes.
- What makes sambal terasi authentic?
Sambal terasi has a different aroma from other sambal because it uses shrimp paste. In addition, the spices are usually grinded with a mortar and pestle.
- Is there instant sambal terasi?
Yes. One place to buy delicious instant sambal terasi is from Nyahtewel. Nyahtewel is an original Indonesian instant sambal that provides a variety of sambals.