How to make this easy spicy, egg sambal Malay style shakshuka, Sambal Telur Pecah.
Sambal Telur Pecah or Sunny Side Up Sambal is a hearty, spicy dish of a sambal stew base, with cracked eggs on the top.
I feel almost sheepish to even post this recipe, because it’s so easy and quick to whip up.
I like to call this sambal shakshuka! It looks similar, and I love dipping some bread in the spicy sauce. While this recipe has no chopped tomatoes in it, sometimes I would toss in a can of chopped tomatoes – so it’s even more like a shakshuka.
Dried Chilli Paste
I used ready-made dried chilli paste in this recipe, since I always have some knocking about in the fridge. If you want to make dried chilli paste from scratch, see this post.
For this recipe, you can blend the dried chillies with the onion, ginger, garlic and belachan. This cuts down on a couple of steps, and you will have a thicker, creamier gravy to boot!
Alternatively, you can use Sambal Oelek – this Huy Fong brand is especially accessible. Even though the store-bought versions of sambal oelek is already cooked and can be eaten immediately, I would still add it at the beginning stage. There is no need to emulsify, simply cook to let it heat up. The flavours actually develop even more intensely! Careful to not burn it however.
If using Sambal Oelek, take note of the ingredients. The Huy Fong brand is already salted, and has a hint of vinegar to it, so I would not add additional salt and omit the tamarind paste. I would also use sugar, in place of kicap manis.
That said, while the sambal oelek version is delicious, it will not taste quite the same as dried chilli paste. I highly recommend you make your own batch – it’s easy, lasts long and can work with a lot of variety of dried chillies!
Optional Ingredients for Sambal Telur Pecah
In this recipe I added Belachan (Terasi/Fermented Dried Shrimp Paste) and tamarind paste. While these two ingredients are staples in most Southeast Asian pantries, it is probably not for yours.
Belachan adds salt and that all-important umaminess. Tamarind paste adds a sweet-sourness that perfectly rounds off the flavours of the sambal.
If you don’t have these two, simply omit. You can still get a good sambal gravy with simply onions, garlic and ginger.
Sambal Telur Pecah Gravy Consistency
There are two ways I like to make this. A thicker, reduced gravy, or a runnier sauce. To me both ways are delicious, and it really depends on my mood that day. I tend to go for the runnier sauce, on days that I don’t have other dishes with gravy. I love soaking my rice in the sauce! For a runnier sauce, simply add more water.
For a thicker sauce, allow the sambal to cook and reduce further until you’ve achieved your desired consistency. Do note that even with a thicker gravy, you should still have some liquid covering the bottom of the pan. You do not want actual sambal left in the pan. Otherwise, the egg will not cook and poach adequately in the sauce.
Sambal Telur Pecah Egg Done-ness
As mentioned, the egg is essentially poached in the sambal sauce. Cook the eggs for as long as how you like it done! If you love a runny egg as much as I do, cook this for just 2-3 minutes, with the lid on. I cook it just until the surface of the egg develops an slightly opaque white film and turn the heat off. The bright yellow yolk should still be visible.
If you prefer a fully cooked egg, allow it to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
More recipes like this:
If you love this recipe, make sure you check these out too:
- Sambal Udang | Sambal Prawns
- Ayam Goreng | Malay Spiced Fried Chicken
- Sotong Masak Hitam | Squid ink calamari
- Ayam Masak Merah | Spicy Chicken Tomato Stew
Sambal Telur Pecah | Sunny Side Up Egg SambalCourse: Recipes
50g or 2 tbsps Dried Chilli Paste
20g or 1/2 Onion, minced
10g or 1 tsp Ginger, minced
10g or 1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp Belachan (Fermented Dried Shrimp Paste)
1 tsp Tamarind Paste, diluted in 1-2 tbsps water
1 cup Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Kicap Manis or Dark Sweet Soy Sauce (or sugar)
- To a pan, add oil. Once hot and over low to medium heat, add the dried chilli paste, onions, ginger, garlic and belachan. Stir to incorporate.
- Once the dried chilli paste cooks or turn a darker shade, add the tamarind paste and water. Stir to incorporate, and allow to come to a boil.
- Once it boils, give a quick taste test. Add salt and kicap manis (or sugar), to taste. Stir and allow to reduce to your liking.
- Gently add in the eggs. Cover with a lid, and allow eggs to cook. For a runny yolk, cook for just 2-3 minutes, or just until the surface of the eggs have developed an slightly opaque white film. Turn off the heat and take pan off the hob.