in modern orthography, but the legacy spelling remains more common) is an extremely simple hot sauce
much used in
south-east Asian cooking
. The name is Bahasa Indonesia
for "pestle chili
which is a pretty good summary of the recipe:
- Blend using a mortar and pestle.
- If you're lazy, use a blender. Don't overdo it,
the end result should have flakes of skin and seeds left.
- Place in a sterilized jar.
Some recipes add in a tablespoon or two of lime juice
or sesame oil
, but they're not really necessary.
You may also wish to seed the chilies first.
Homemade stuff keeps in a fridge for several
months, commercial preparations (easily and cheaply
most any Asian grocery) last more or less forever.
The heat depends entirely on your choice of chili pepper,
the Indonesian lomboks used for the real thing are
quite zippy -- a teaspoon of the stuff will heat up most
dishes nicely and a tablespoon will have unaccustomed
guests breathing fire. Since its taste is almost
entirely limited to the "hot" dimension, you can pretty safely use sambal oelek as a substitute for
chili oil or hot peppers in most recipes.