Sambal Goreng Pengantin

As I am typing this at three in the afternoon, I know most Malay households are busy cooking and cleaning the house to get ready for the Hari Raya celebration tomorrow. I am thankful for my ‘kiasu’ traits that I have completed almost everything except a few trivial matters that I need not concern myself too much.

Sambal Goreng Pengantin

Sambal Goreng Pengantin

Cooking for Hari Raya is no easy feat. There are typically several dishes that you have to serve with the ketupat or pressed rice that you are serving. Rendang, Sambal Goreng, Ayam Masak Merah, Sayur Lodeh, Serunding, these are the few common dishes that most Malay families serve their guests. Normally the older families will cook these dishes and the younger families would go back to their family’s home to visit and get to taste all these dishes either cooked by their own mother or mother-in-law.

I will share with you the recipe for Sambal Goreng Pengantin. This is a traditional Malay/ Indonesian spicy stir-fry dish. However I have added some extra ingredients to my preference and cook in a large quantity. If you are cooking for less than 10 persons than halved it.

The ingredients you will need:

Making the Rempah or Spice Paste

  • 30 pieces of dried chillies, soaked to soften
  • 2 large onions, peeled and diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 6 stalks of lemongrass, slice finely
  • 2.5 inch of galangal, peeled and chopped

Using an electric blender, grind the above ingredients to a paste and set aside.

Ingredients A

  • 1 kilogram of beef meat, boiled till tender and cubed to about 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 kilogram of beef lung, boiled till tender and cubed to about 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 kilogram of beef liver, boiled till tender and cubed to about 1/2 inch
  • 1 kilogram of small-medium fresh prawns or shrimps, shelled and de-veined

After boiling to cook the above ingredients, deep fry separately then set aside.

More ingredients

  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 150 grams tamarind
  • 2 inch of shrimp paste
  • 5 red chillies, sliced slantly
  • 2 cups of fried onions
  • 5-6 long beans, sliced slantly and finely
  • 1 cup of vermicelli, soaked to soften
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Salt and Sugar to taste


Making Sambal Goreng Pengantin

Clockwise from top-left: Making Sambal Goreng Pengantin

  1. Mix the tamarind paste and shrimp paste with the coconut milk. Remove any seeds of the tamarind. Set aside.
  2. Heat the wok on high heat and add about a cup of oil.
  3. Next stir-fry the rempah or spice paste until the oil separates meaning oil starts to float on top and there is lesser steam.
  4. Then add the coconut milk mixture and cook till the cooking ingredients is reduced and oil starts to separates. Add salt and sugar to taste.
  5. Add Ingredients A and mix well. Make sure that all your ingredients are coated with the spice paste. If you find it too dry, add some water. Add in the long beans and mix well.
  6. After all the ingredients are combined well and coated with the spice paste, add the red chillies and  vermicelli and mix well. Taste the dish, add more salt or sugar or seasoning powder like MSG or ‘Haochi’ powder if needed.
  7. Just before you remove from the heat, add in the fried shallots and combine well.

Well, that’s about it. If I remember any tips, I will update this post again. Don’t let the long list of ingredients and preparation puts you off because you can prepare all the ingredients A ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a day or two before you start cooking the dish.

The effort is well worth it and it taste super delicious. It is spicy, creamy, a bit sour and a tinge of sweetness. You have to try it yourself.


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