A thoughtful friend, Jace, gave me some lovely fresh green cili padi some days back and I had dumped some into my Korean ramen. These little fiery babies were extra fragrant, unlike their common cousins. Since I had about a handful more, my mind started concocting some kind of green sambal. After clearing our overgrown “serai” (lemongrass), I decided to hit the kitchen to experiment a bit. The results? Son No. 1 liked it although it was a tad too spicy for him. For me, pedas is GOOD! (Pedas = spicy)
Here’s my simple recipe of Sambal Serai
20 cili padi (Bird’s Eye Chilli)
15 shallots (or 1 large red onion)
10 cloves garlic (or 1 head of garlic)
8 stalks lemongrass
1 1/2 tsp vegetarian belacan
Salt to taste
- Blend everything into a paste.
- Heat up the oil and pour the paste into the hot oil.
- Using medium heat, fry it till it is slightly crispy. Keep stirring to avoid burning the sambal.
If the sambal is too spicy, add in some sugar to tame the flames.
For mine, I went for the saltier version of this sambal. Good with hot steamed rice and a simple stir fry vege like kangkung (water convolvulus). Apologies for the lack of beauty shots of the sambal as I did not realise that it turned out way better than expected. I just love the aromatic blend of the lemongrass with the shallots. Serai + shallots = 1 happy nose!