Sambal Goreng of Meat

This is why I like Beb Vuyk’s book so much (I make all her 578 Indonesian recipes on this blog); I keep on learning how to make authentic Indonesian food.

Loads of recipes in her book are basic recipes. If I can make the basic, I can modify the recipes a bit to make it more my own.

This sambal goreng of meat (any kind) is a great example of such an essential, basic dish.

If you want to make this sambal goreng of meat with beef, simmer the meat for 2 hours in the herb broth.

Today I make my sambal goreng of meat with pork chops. I like my meat juicy and tender.

This sambal goreng dish of meat is ready in 40 minutes and enough for 2-3 people.

Sambal goreng of meat #53 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 79.


1/4 kg of meat, any kind
3 tablespoons of sliced onions
1 teaspoon of sliced garlic
1 teaspoon sambal terasi (or 1 teaspoon sambal oelek and 1/2 teaspoon terasi)
1 teaspoon laos (galangal)
1 dl of asem (tamarind) water made of a piece of asem the size of a walnut
1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar
1 stalk sereh (lemongrass)
1 salam leaf (Asian bay leaf)
2 diced pudding leaves
1/8 block santen (coconut cream)
4 tablespoons of oil

Cut the meat into cubes of about 2 cm. Sauté in the oil. Rub onions, garlic, sambal, laos, sugar, and salt together into a paste. Add this herb paste to the meat which has sauteed for about 5 to 6 minutes and saute together. Then add the asem water, the block of santen, the sereh, the lemon leafs and the salam leaf. Let it simmer together until the meat is done.

Trassi is shrimp concentrate I buy it dry or as a paste at the supermarket or Asian shop. It is very aromatic and strong in flavor. You need a little bit of it; about 1/2 teaspoon.

My sambal trassi is finished. So I add a chili pepper to the recipe. I do not want to make my sambal goreng too spicy because I have a 7-year-old daughter who does not like it too hot.

Today I use a fresh laos root (galangal). Galangal powder is fine too, but a fresh root has a more intense flavor. I cut it into little pieces before I add it to my mortar.

Asem is tamarind I buy in a jar as a thin paste. It has already been filtered and can be used immediately. I dilute a teaspoon of breath with 1 dl of water.

Javanese sugar is palm sugar or gula jawa. It is sold in the supermarket. Cannot get Javanese sugar?Use dark brown sugar or just plain white sugar.

Jeruk purut (djeroek poeroet) are lemon leaves. They are widely used in Thai cuisine. I buy them at my Asian shop, fresh from the freezer.

Salam is Asian bay leaf. It delivers a slight cinnamon flavor to the dish. I buy salam leaf dried or fresh from the freezer.

Sereh is lemongrass. I can at my supermarket. Hit the stalk with something heavy. The fibers will loosen a bit; easier to get the juices out in the pan.

Santen is a coconut cream. It is sold in blocks at my supermarket and Asian shop. You can also use coconut milk (1/2 a cup).

I use a teaspoon of salt.

I take the bone out of the pork chops and cut the meat into cubes. I rub the onions, garlic, chili, trassi, laos, sugar and salt into a paste.

I stir-fry the meat in a couple of tablespoons of oil for about 2 minutes. Meat from pork chops does not need long.

The rubbed herb paste can go in now. I stir-fry the herb paste with the meat until the onions turn yellow.

Now the leaves can be added, the lemongrass and the coconut cream together with the tamarind water.

I put the lid on the pan and simmer my sambal goreng of meat for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Then I take the pan off the fire and let the meat rest for 5 minutes in the pan before I serve it.

I leave the herbs in because it looks wild ;-). I add a few tomatoes for some extra color (I’ve used not so much sambal).

This recipe is lovely. It’s creamy (coconut) and spicy and can be as hot as you like. The lemon leaf, lemongrass and tamarind make this dish light and fresh. Also, the acid in these herbs makes the meat super tender.

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2 Responses

  1. This recipes are great. I sometimes have to use substitutes but here we go! Thanks so much for sharing them.

    • Pauline Chavannes de Senerpont Domis says:

      Love to hear it! Hope you have loads of fun making this lovely food ;-)!

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