Indonesians almost eat everything with sambal. Sambal is a condiment used in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka, made from a variety of peppers, although chilli peppers (red chilies, green chilies, bird’s eye chilies) are the most common. Sambal is used as a condiment or as a side dish, and is sometimes substituted for fresh chillis; it can be very hot for the uninitiated. It is available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in numerous countries.
When I was in Sidoarjo (a suburban city of Surabaya, East Java), Indonesia, it’s easy to get Sambal Tempe Penyet at a kaki lima vendor or a warung around Sidoarjo-Surabaya. We eat this sambal penyet with warmed steamed rice. Since I have been in Canada, I have to make this by myself which I never did it while I was in Indonesia.
300 grams tempe, cut as desired
olive oil with fried garlics
4 red chilies
5 bird’s eye chilies
3 cloves garlic
2 cm kencur root (some people may name this as lesser galangal , but it is totally different another proper name is kaepferia galangal)
1/2 tsp dried shrimp paste (it’s called terasi in Indonesian’s term), toasted or stir fry
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1. Toast tempe with a small amout of olive oi. Bake until brown or done. Alternative: you can grill or deep fry the tempeh.
2. Grind or blend red chilies, bird’s eye chilies, garlic, kencur, dried shrimp paste, salt and sugar. It will be better if you grind the sambal ingredients in a mortar with a pestle.
3. Place tempe and sambal in a serving plate, crush tempe and stir evenly with the sambal. Serve with warmed steamed rice.