Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sambal Ijo (Padangnese green chili sambal)

I`ve finally got a recipe for Padangnese famous dish Beef Rendang from my friend`s mother. Thanks, Yul!
I did make the rendang today (phheeeww!) and  I`m going to share about it in my coming post. But, when I decided to make rendang today, I couldn`t help to think that I had to make Sambal Ijo too. Sambal Ijo, or Sambal Hijau, or Sambal Lado, which means green chili sambal, is a condiment for various Padangnese dishes. It turned out that making this sambal is rather simple than other sambal I know.

The name says everything, thus, green chili is the keyword. However, here I can only find Japanese green chili, called shishitou. Although there is a good resemblance between shishitou and Indonesian green chili,  shishitou is not spicy at all. But it`s alright, if you have bird eye`s chili, which is actually one of the ingredients to boost the spiciness, or anything spicy and green, just add them. I only have dried red chilli, so that`s what I used instead.

Unlike the usual way of sauteing spice, all ingredients need to be steamed first. Other than chili, prepare garlic and red onion or shallot. It will be great if you have green tomato too.
When I want thing to be quick and simple, steaming for me means put everything in a microwaveable container, splatter a bit of water, wrap with heat-resistant plastic, then heat it in the microwave. The water will help creating steam during the heating process. I heated this one at 800 W for 1 mins.

 It depends on your microwave too, or if you use the conventional steaming method, which probably requires a bit longer of time. When the ingredients got softened already, you`re done.

After the steaming, let them cool down, especially if your food processor is made from plastic, and wipe off the excess water with kitchen paper.  Then, place them in food processor and start blending. I added dried shrimp too as I want more flavor in my sambal.

Don`t go too far with the blending if you want the sambal to have big chunks of green chilies, which is how you`ll find it looks like in most of Padangnese restaurants. In fact, my green chili was probably way overchopped.

Here comes the sauteing. Heat olive oil on a pan and toss in the chili mixture. Use more oil than you usually do for other sauteing process. Unlike other sambal, sambal ijo is usually served in a rather oily look. Sometimes people add fried anchovies too. Try it too if you can!
Season with salt, pepper, and fish sauce. And more chili powder if you need more spiciness.

When it smells and tastes good for you, your sambal is ready.
Put a dollop of this sambal on a plate of hot steamed rice and try it. Good?

Green chili
Bird`s eye chili (preferably green)
Green tomato
Dried shrimp
Salt pepper
Fish sauce


  1. sedep sedep sedep banget...yg susah di sini cari tomat ijo...hiks

  2. iyaa...disini juga aku ga pernah liat..mungkin hrs langsung ke petaninya, beli tomat yg belum mateng :p

  3. wah, arigatou mbak.. tak coba2 dl.. musim dingin paling enak masak. sekalian ngangetin badan.

  4. sama-sama :) met angetin badan di dapur deh :D

  5. Can you perhaps guide me in the approximate amount of these ingredients, or ratios to one another ?

  6. hi im from Msia, i love padang food much esp padang sambal ijo. here we have padang restaurant. lucky i have tried it.