Chili Salsa with Red and Green Peppers
This chili salsa with red and green peppers (Indonesian sambal) is like a sambal trassi but different. It is cooked with trassi water. Because this sambal needs to simmer for a while it is preserved and can be kept for months outside a fridge.
Trassi is a highly fragrant thick paste of fermented prawns. It gives a lot of character to vegetable dishes and certainly to sambals.
I make this sambal with yellow and red peppers because they are available now at my supermarket.
Green peppers are actually red peppers that are still unripe. ‘They are less spicy‘, Beb Vuyk explains in her book on page 56.
I make all Beb Vuyk‘s recipes. She was a Dutch-Indo who lived in Indonesia for many years (all through the war) and was beside a cookbook writer a gifted journalist.
Sambal of Red and Green Lomboks #30 translated from Beb Vuyk ‘Groot Indonesisch kookboek’, page 63
5 chopped red lomboks
5 chopped green lomboks
2 teaspoons of trassi
1 tablespoon of oil
Rub the lomboks well with salt. Sauté them in the oil. Make trassi by gently rubbing trassi into 4 tablespoons of warm water. Add this to the lomboks and let the sambal simmer until it is sufficiently thickened.
This sambal is absolutely not difficult to make and it is the best kind if sambal to have around. Because you can preserve it you can keep many jars in your pantry to spice up any kind of vegetable or fish dish anytime.
I love to mix this sambal through sweet soy sauce for an extra kick when you dip your ba pao in for example.
In Indonesia, I read in Beb’s book, people roast the lombok for a few seconds, so it is easier to rub it in the mortar. I know another easy way: I blend the chili peppers with my emersion blender. This way I can make a lot at once.
I will not deseed my chilies. I like this sambal spicy!
Be careful not to hold your nose above the pan, just after blending, you will definitely cough and sneeze and it will hurt your eyes.
I place my cast iron saucepan on the fire and add some tablespoons of oil. Now the ‘chili sauce’ can be added and I fry it in the oil for a minute or two.
Now the trassi water can be added.
What a delicious and strong smell comes off this salsa. I love it. Now I have to let this reduce. I make sure not to burn it, so I keep moving it around in the pan.
Now I have to let this reduce. I make sure not to burn it, so I keep moving it around in the pan.
When most of the water has evaporated and the sauce turns slightly darker it’s time to fill up some super clean jars. When cooling down the jar will become a vacuum and I can save this sambal for months.
When cooling down the jar will become a vacuum and I can save this sambal for months.
List of fresh sambal recipes
I always make sambal myself. Once you’ve tried it, you will never buy chili salsa anymore. Here is the list of all the sambal recipes I’ve made until now.