Time to add some serious oomph into your salad! This spicy and pungent sambal chilli dressing is balanced out beautifully by the juices of the citrusy lime. Definitely not for the faint hearted!
Giving a nod to Nyonya food, we create a salad dressing that is spicy, tangy, aromatic and pungent all in one bite. Nyonya food is very rich with so many flavours going around that you kind of need to reset between mouthfuls just so you can enjoy the individual tastes.
The strong pungent flavour in our Sambal Chilli Lime Dressing stems from the shrimp paste in the sambal chilli. Some people may get put off from the initial smell but the flavours combined with the lime juice mellows out and gives it the tartness it needs.
What is Sambal?
You may have heard of sambal chilli before but do you know what’s in it? Essentially it is a chilli sauce made with a variety of chilli peppers mixed with other ingredients typically including shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, palm sugar, spices and citrus juice. Making this spicy chilli paste is a great way to preserve chillies when there is an abundance during chilli season.
We are sometimes lucky to have fresh sambal at home made by our extended families but often we rely on the store bought sambal in a jar. They can be found in any Asian grocery store and it will literally say sambal on it. Get the normal sambal if it’s available. The preference is not to get the sambal with anchovies or the sambal with prawns. But if you can’t find regular sambal, either of those will also work well.
Not your typical salad dressing but a fantastic one to get the taste buds moving. It’s simple to make and fantastic to match with crunchy vegetables like cucumber, bean sprouts, four-angled bean or fruits like mango, pineapple and jackfruit. This spicy dressing would also be a delicious condiment with grilled fish, barbeque chicken or charred prawns.
Sambal Chilli Lime Dressing Ingredients
Sambal: For this recipe we’re getting a pre-made sambal paste. It’s again one of those Asian ingredients where there are so many choices. Whatever you do, don’t get the sambal oelek which you will see everywhere. It’s a completely different paste and although it would work, it won’t give you the flavours we’re after. Also, sambal always comes in a jar. Bottled “sambal” is just plain chilli sauce.
Lime: The lime is the much needed tartness and also the liquid to dilute the sambal paste.
Caster sugar: Using caster sugar for extra sweetness and to ensure there are no granules in the salad.
Sambal Chilli Lime Dressing Method
In a small bowl or jug, mix the sambal, juice of 2 limes and caster sugar together. Mix until the sugar has all dissolved. Super simple recipe.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Dive into a traditional style salad that heralds from the intertwining of Chinese and British Malay cultures of centuries past. This Zucchini and Cucumber Salad celebrates the fusion between the 2 cuisines, replicated nowhere else in the world.
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Ingredient Pairing Ideas
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Sambal Chilli Lime Dressing
- In a small bowl or jug, mix the sambal, juice of 2 limes and caster sugar together.
- Mix until the sugar has all dissolved.
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