The sambal is super easy, and this is my rendition of it. Meant for Ayam Geprek, this sambal can also be used as a condiment for mealtimes – at least I most certainly do. Sambal Geprek is similar to the sambal used for Ayam Penyet. ‘Geprek’ and ‘Penyet’ means smashed or crushed, in Indonesian by the way.
The original method is to first grind the raw ingredients in a pestle and mortar. Then add hot oil to it to cook the sambal. The oil used is usually the same oil used to fry the chicken, thus imparting a more chicken-y flavour to the sambal.
I prefer my more thorough way of cooking the ingredients first in oil. This not only ensures that I don’t get any messy oil splashes, nor do I risk using oil that is too hot and burn the chillies.
With this method, the sambal can also last longer as it ensures thorough cooking of the raw ingredients. The sambal can keep in the fridge for about 2 to 3 weeks, although it might be longer – the sambal never lasts that long in my house! Discard if it smells off, or if there’s whitish mold.
You can use a pestle and mortar, otherwise a food processor works well for this. You don’t want a fine blend with this; so pulse the food processor to get the bigger chunks.
Types of Chillies
I used red chillies, as well as Thai Bird’s Eye chillies, or Cili Padi. The red chillies adds colour and a hint of sweetness. The bird’s eye chillies are what gives it that spice punch. My chilli ratio in this recipe here is mild, and a good base to customise accord to your spice tolerance.
In the stores, Ayam Geprek is usually sold according to varying levels of spiciness. This is usually adjusted in the number of cili padis added to the sambal. If you like a more spicy sambal (‘Pedas Mampos’ aka death-defying spice levels), then I admire you and just add lots of the cili padis.
Shallots and Garlic
I added shallots and garlic, but this is actually not essential. I know, I know, say what now? Trust me, try this with just chillies, salt and sugar, and you’d still get addicted. In fact, the sambal you get from the shops don’t use that much onions and garlic, if any at all.
This is how it also gets that super bright fiery red colour. Adding shallots and garlic adds white to sambal, turning into a more orangey-red. That said, the two alliums add delicious flavour I most certainly appreciate, so I always like to add shallots and garlic. Do note to not add too much, or else it will become a white sambal, rather than a gorgeously red sambal.
If you added too much and you get a white sambal – don’t fret, it’s still good. Unless you meant to serve this for guests who would be expecting a red sambal, feel free to decrease the shallots and garlic, or omit it altogether.
Other Added Flavourings
You can of course, add extra seasonings like toasted belachan or chicken seasoning powder. You can also crumble in a bit of bouillon cube. Do note that these are all added salt, so adjust your salt content if using extra seasonings. You also don’t need a lot of the seasoning, literally a pinch is enough for this recipe.
How to Make Sambal GeprekCourse: Eats, Recipes
3 Red Chillies
3 Thai Birds Eye Chillies
1 clove Garlic
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
- Chop the red chillies for easier cooking. Use paper towels to dry the red chillies and thai bird’s eye chillies so there’s no water lingering.
- Add oil to a pot, and let it get hot over low to medium heat. Drop the red chillies, bird’s eye chillies, shallot and garlic into the oil.
- Let it cook for about 5 minutes, or just until the surface of the chillies blisters.
- Take out of the oil and put in a pestle and or mortar or food processor. It is ok if some of the oil is included too, this will help give the sambal a more paste-y consistency. Ground or pulse and done!