Sambal Pasih

Here’s the first of the recipes from our cooking class in Bali.  It’s a spice paste called Sambal Pasih, translated as Seafood Sambal.  Usually, sambals are sauces that are served on the side and used as a garnish.  In this case, it acts more like a spice paste, as it is cooked and then added to other recipes for flavor.

2   large red chilies, sliced and deseeded
2   cloves  garlic, peeled
3   shallots, peeled
2 cm fresh turmeric, peeled
1 cm fresh ginger, peeled
1   tomato, peeled and seeded
1 tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted
2   candlenuts (optional; or use macadamia nuts)
1 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
1 Tb salad oil
1   salam leaf (optional)
1   stalk lemongrass, bruised
3   pieces celery leaves
1   tsp palm sugar (can use brown sugar)

Chop and grind all ingredients except lemongrass and salam leaf.  Use a mortar and pestle, blender or food processor.  Saute the paste in a small amount of oil (peanut, salad, or vegetable).  Add the lemongrass and salam leaf and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Let cool.

We asked the chef if one can make lots of this at once and store it in the fridge until needed.  We think he said yes, but we are not entirely sure.  We’ll post some other recipes that use this recipe as a base soon.