Salmon In Hot Sambal Sauce

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Salmon in hot sambal

Salmon in hot sambal

Salmon is my favourite fish here in Scotland. It’s easy to cook and tastes very tender if not over cooked. Since my family loves spicy food, I thought cooking it with a hot sambal sauce would be awesome. Sambal is a spicy condiment which is very popular in South East Asian countries, especially Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. In Malaysia, this hot sambal is made mainly from onions, garlic and chili. Some add belachan, a shrimp paste, and some don’t. This hot sambal is very delicious and gives you the punch. You can control the heat by adjusting the amount of chili added.

I often use salmon fillet to cook but this time, I thought maybe I should use salmon steaks. It did come out very delicious, easy and nice to serve. This recipe is very easy and simple too.

Ingredients A
2 pieces salmon steaks (about 350g)
corn flour

Fry the salmon steaks

Fry the salmon steaks

Coat the salmon with some corn flour. I did not add any salt before frying because the sambal sauce is salty enough. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and pan fry the salmon under medium heat. When it’s lightly browned on one side, flip it over to fry the other side until cooked. Do not over fry otherwise the salmon will be tough. While putting the salmon to fry, make the tamarind sauce below.

Ingredients B
1/2 whole garlic (peeled and chopped finely)
2 small red onions (peeled and chopped finely)
1 big onions (peeled and sliced)
2T crushed chilies
60g tamarind
1t belacan (optional)
1C water



Add the tamarind to the water and sqeeze it to loosen the tamarind into the water. Sieve to remove the bits and set aside for use later.

Fry the spices

Fry the spices

Heat up some oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the finely chopped garlic and red onions and fry until fragrant. Then add the big onions and crushed chilies and continue to fry for a while. Add the tamarind liquid and Ingredients C. Mix well, let it come to a boil for a while and dish up. Pour it over the salmon steaks. Serve hot with rice.

Ingredients C (seasoning)
1/2t salt
1t chicken stock granules
2T sugar

What is your favourite fish? Do you have a favourite salmon dish to share? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.

Other salmon recipes that you may be interested in:
Teriyaki Salmon
Spicy Salmon Fillets
Chili Salmon With Hot Bean Paste
Spicy Seafood Kimchi Soup
Teriyaki Salmon Prawns Patties

Quote of the day……

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

Martha Washington

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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Divina  on April 2nd, 2010

Salmon is my favorite fish too. It’s very flavorful and good for our health. You’ve made it very special with your delicious and flavorful sauce.

Quinn  on April 2nd, 2010

I like salmon too but I hate it when I tend to overcook it. I don’t have a favourite salmon fish to share but for sambal yes. Make sambal fried rice, it’s awesome!

somewhere in singapore  on April 2nd, 2010

I also likes salmon fish, hehe….

Priya  on April 2nd, 2010

Such a tempting sambal with salmon, personally am not that much fan of salmon ,but this dish makes me drool..

Kitchen Butterfly  on April 2nd, 2010

Up my street……when we cook salmon at home sometimes, we cook it in a hot tomato sauce, which makes me know I’d love this!

Yen  on April 2nd, 2010

I love salmon and spicy food. Great combo!

rosebelle  on April 2nd, 2010

This is awesome Mary! I always buy packaged sambal sauce from my local Chinese supermarket. Gosh, I’d love to make them fresh. Always better making sauce fresh! Thanks a million!!

Treat and Trick  on April 2nd, 2010

This is so tempting, sambal makes it so outstanding dish….

Sushma Mallya  on April 2nd, 2010

very delicious one,loved it mary and happy easter..

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

@Divina - Thanks very much, Divina! So far salmon is one of the cheaper fish here….thank goodness :D

@Quinn - Oooh…..thanks very much for reminding….sambal rice. Used to make but somehow have forgotten. I have to cook that again…mmmm….delicious :D

@somewhere in singapore - We are in the same league! :D

@Priya - Haha… must be hungry now…..time to take out your wok & have fun cooking :D

@Kitchen Butterfly - Ooooh…I bet it taste really delicious in hot tomato sauce. I’m learning more ways to cook salmon now….thanks lots :D

@Yen - We are in the same league then! :D

@rosebelle - You are most welcome. It’s simple and easy to make. You can try now. I have no choice…no where to buy here. I’m forced to learn and make fresh…haha :D

@Treat and Trick - Thanks very much! :D

@Sushma Mallya - Thanks very much, Sushma! :D

Nasi Lemak Lover  on April 2nd, 2010

is expensive to get salmon here, can I replace with some other type of fish? Look yummy.

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

@Nasi Lemak Lover - I’m sure you can use other fish. Other fresh fish here are very expensive. This sambal would be very delicious with fried eggs or omelette too. Give a try. Have fun cooking! :D

Vinolia  on April 2nd, 2010

Dear Mary,

thank you for the visit & for the comment!!! happily discovering your recipes, as we do regularly and love all south-east asian food very much!!!
your salmon looks fantastic topped with the sambal sauce , mmmm, makes me mouthwater!!! I have some “Belachan” at home, will try this!!!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac  on April 2nd, 2010

Mary! I wish I was in your kitchen when you were frying up the sambal, it would have smelt like heaven to me. I love garlic and onions and tamarind and chilies. Oh this dish sounds like a dream to me!

I love pan frying a salmon fillet until the skin is crispy and serving it with mash potatoes and drizzle the whole then with a lemon, butter, garlic sauce. Simple but lovely.

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

@Vinolia - Thanks very much for visiting and lovely comment, Vinolia! :D Have fun cooking!

@Amy @ cookbookmaniac - Haha…it smells like heaven to me but may smell like hell to my neighbours! :P Love your way of cooking salmon. I would love to try that. Thanks very much for sharing :D

Mark @ Cafe Campana  on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Mary, this looks really good. I love sambal sauce, so spicy.

shaz  on April 2nd, 2010

Yum, yum. I like salmon too. Serving it with sambal is a great idea. I usually just do a quick sauce with ginger, sweet soy and dash of sesame oil.

Cool Lassi(e)  on April 2nd, 2010

Thanks for stopping by my spot. You have a splendid space here as well. Salmon in Sambal gravy is looking great!

the lacquer spoon  on April 2nd, 2010

Good salmon and spicy sambal meet in Scotland, exciting! Lovely weekend dish and happy Easter!!

penny aka jeroxie  on April 2nd, 2010

You are the salmon goddness! So many delicious dishes of salmon

Drick  on April 2nd, 2010

now that does look awesome Mary, great tasting and love the spice to the already flavorful salmon, know this one was great

Velva  on April 2nd, 2010

This salmon dish really rocks-looks wonderful.

Lyndsey  on April 2nd, 2010

Your Sambal sauce looks wonderful. I think the salmons steaks would hold up well to it. We love salmon and I got the timming down to a “T” so not to overcook it. My daughter always used to request it, so you can’t go wrong there.

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

@Mark @ Cafe Campana - Thanks very much, Mark! :D

@shaz - Your version sounds very delicious. I would love to try that. Thanks very much for sharing, Shaz! :D

@Cool Lassi(e) - Thanks for visiting and lovely comment! :D

@the lacquer spoon - Thanks very much! Have a fun weekend and Happy Easter, too! :D

@penny aka jeroxie - Thanks very much, Penny! I love salmon :D

@Drick - Thanks very much, Drick! :D Gosh, looks like I’m cooking more and more spicy food these days :P

@Velva - Thanks very much for visiting and lovely comment, Velva! :D

@Lyndsey - Thanks very much, Lyndsey! My children like salmon a lot too…thank goodness :D

Jeannie  on April 2nd, 2010

I have a craving for sambal right now! Good job tomorrow is a Saturday, I can buy some sambal from the nasi lemak man…mmmmm yummy salmon dish! First time seeing salmon cooked this way…good idea!

kristy  on April 2nd, 2010

Oh, you’re HOT babe! hahaha…. Guess, this is one perfect dish for such weather. Chili best in warming your stomach! Happy Easter Day to you & your family! And have a great weekend.
Cheers, Kristy

tasteofbeirut  on April 2nd, 2010

Looks fabulous! I will ask my brother to bring us some sambal from Singapore next time I see him!

Faith  on April 2nd, 2010

This dish looks nice and spicy, Mary!

I’m glad you liked my Worms in Dirt parfaits, and I’m thrilled that you thought they looked decadent enough to contain a few thousand calories! :) I actually used sugar free pudding mix and fat free milk and divided the reicpe into 6 portions; each portion has approximaetely 250-300 calories. After eating healthy all week long, I think a 300 calorie dessert is the perfect treat! :P

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

@Jeannie - You are just so lucky to buy sambal so easily! I have to cook it here and then the whole house smells….hmmm. But I enjoy first…haha :D

@kristy - Yes, it actually feels so good to eat spicy food in this cold weather. At least it feel warms in the stomach :D Thanks very much for your greetings, Kristy. Have a fun weekend!

@tasteofbeirut - Oh….your brother must be enjoying lots of good food in Singapore! I can’t wait to go back for holidays. Miss all the food back home! There’s so much food I want to eat :D

@Faith - Thanks very much, Faith! Haha…love the name…..Worm in Dirt Parfaits! You are just so creative! I think even if it is loaded with calories, I will still eat….just once in a while :P Need more exercise after that…haha. But great that you made it lower in calories :D

Cheah  on April 2nd, 2010

That’s an original creation, Mary. But salmon is so expensive here, normally just pan fry, but your sambal sure is something unusual. Thanks for sharing.

peteformation  on April 2nd, 2010

Haven’t tried cooking salmon with sambal…..sounds interesting and delicous!

Anna  on April 2nd, 2010

Sambal sauce sounds great, I love tamarind flavor, we make juice of the fruit in Brazil, it’s very refreshing.

Namitha  on April 2nd, 2010

sounds like a wonderful Salmon fav fish is Kingfish :-) I like salmon too

Angie's Recipes  on April 2nd, 2010

I can’t get enough of the salmon! This looks just heavenly!

Su-Lin  on April 2nd, 2010

This does sound good as the strong flavours in the sambal would match well with the powerful salmon taste. Delicious!

Leena  on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Mary,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a lovely comment,please keep visiting…You have a lovely site and wonderful recipes.Dish is looking amazing!Happy easter to u…

Roti n Rice  on April 2nd, 2010

I like salmon too and it is the most easily available fish here in the US. This look svery appetizing!

Yummy Team  on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Mary,
Salmon dish looks really delicious! Great pics too! You have a lovely space here with lots of interesting recipes.

Salmon is our fav fish too. We have posted a few salmon dishes in our space. Among them, our favs are baked salmon and salmon roast. Here are the links. You could have a look :)

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

@Cheah - Thanks very much, Cheah! Over here, there are way more expensive fish! I actually miss a lot of the fresh fish back home. Can’t wait to go back and eat to my heart’s content :D

@peteformation - Thanks very much! Give a try if you like spicy food. I like it very much :D

@Anna - I have never made juice from tamarind. I have to check that out. I can believe you that it’s very refreshing. Thanks very much for sharing :D

@Namitha - I haven’t heard of Kingfish. Or, maybe I have seen them but do not know the name….poor me…haha :D

@Angie’s Recipes - Thanks very much, Angie! :D

@Su-Lin - Totally agree with you :D

@Leena -Thanks very much for visiting and lovely comment, Leena! Have a fun weekend :D

@Roti n Rice - Thanks very much, Biren! :D

@Yummy Team - Thanks very much for visiting, lovely comment and sharing with me the links! :D Your fish dishes look awesome….mmmmm

Carolyn Jung  on April 2nd, 2010

Love, love, LOVE tamarind on salmon! That sweet-tangy flavor is such a great match.

Blackswan  on April 2nd, 2010

Hey, this is an interesting way to “deal” with Salmon. I usually use teriyaki sauce. Good post!

Peter  on April 2nd, 2010

Thanks for sharing. Very nice recipes & pics.
Normally I relay on takeways but now I after reading and checking all the pics I am ready for challenge and I will try to cook. I am converted!
Great job guys.

theUngourmet  on April 2nd, 2010

My daughter and I both are big fans of salmon too! What a tasty looking dish! :)

kamalika  on April 2nd, 2010

This dish is new to me…Though I am a voracious fish eater ,I never had salmon with bon…the use of tamarind is making me drooling….

Mary  on April 2nd, 2010

This looks wonderful and I think you’ve found the perfect amount of heat to use with the salmon. Have a wonderful weekend, Mary.

citronetvanille  on April 2nd, 2010

I am like you, love salmon, and this is really a beautiful dish, use of tamarind is a great idea! but I am afraid I will have to go one degree lower on sambal :), might be too hot for my mouth!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain)  on April 2nd, 2010

Anything with hot sambal sauce is a winner! With salmon is double champ!

Mary  on April 3rd, 2010

@Carolyn Jung - Thanks very much, Carolyn! We seem to share similar taste :D

@Blackswan - Thanks very much, Shirley! I love teriyaki salmon too. I cook that very often, especially if I don’t want to eat spicy. Teriyaki sauce is one of the bests sauces in the world :D

@Peter - Thanks for visiting and lovely comment, Peter! Home cooked food is still the best. Have fun cooking :D

@theUngourmet - Thanks very much! :D

@kamalika Thanks very much, Kamalika! Give a try. I like it very much….simple and delicious :D

@Mary - Yes, hot and spicy! Thanks very much, Mary! Have a wonderful weekend, too :D

@citronetvanille - Thanks very much, Silvia! You know, sometimes I cook hotter than I could handle…silly me. I had to have a glass of milk at the side to deal with the heat. But it’s delicious :P

@Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Totally agree with you :D

Tuty @Scentofspice  on April 3rd, 2010

Mary, I just love this idea. I happen to have a half jar of sambal bajak that will give me shortcut for this dish. Thank you and have a nice weekend.

Von  on April 3rd, 2010

Salmon one of my favourite fishes- I like it when it’s fried and the skin goes crunchy…..yum!

I don’t think I’ve had sambal before, but I can’t really stand spicy foods. Sounds really good for chilli lovers though!

pegasuslegend  on April 3rd, 2010

wow what beautiful salmon steaks, cook alot of salmon and this is a perfect addtion for my collection of great recipes!

pegasuslegend  on April 3rd, 2010

BTW where is home for you? Are you moving soon?

pierre  on April 3rd, 2010

i love salmon any ways it is cooked so a socttish must be trust worthy !!
pierre de Paris

Tangled Noodle  on April 3rd, 2010

I’ve only ever used premade sambal - now I’m excited to try making it myself with your recipe! Spicy salmon sounds wonderful. 8-)

Angie  on April 3rd, 2010

Have to find that delicious sambal sauce. Great looking salmon, yum!

Mary  on April 3rd, 2010

@Tuty @Scentofspice - That’s so handy. You only need salmon or any other fish and you can have a lovely meal :D Have a nice weekend too.

@Von - Great to hear that. We have similar liking! :D You can always omit the chili, or maybe use very sparingly.

@pegasuslegend - Thanks very much, Claudia! I have to learn more salmon dishes from you…..Italian way :D I’m in Aberdeen but travels sometimes.

@pierre - Yeah…we have similar taste :D I bet French way of cooking salmon is awesome. I would love to learn.

@Tangled Noodle - Yes, try your own freshly made sambal. It’s simple and free from preservatives. After a while you will find your own best version. Have fun cooking :D

@Angie - Thanks very much, Angie! :D Hope you can find the belacahan for this sambal. You can omit it if you don’t like the smell. Or you can try the bottled one to try first to see if you like. You should be able to get it from Asian shops. Have fun cooking!

lequan@luvtoeat  on April 3rd, 2010

Wow what a wonderful dish! My hubby and I usually just pan fry our salmon and dip in worcestershire sauce with white rice. I’m going to try your recipe some day, it looks delicious. My sister in-law once made a crab dish for us using tamarind and ever since then I’ve been intrigued by any dish that uses tamarind. I’ve been following your blog but haven’t been commenting everytime. I love your wonderful recipes! Thank you for such a great blog and for sharing! Hope you have a wonderful long weekend Mary!

noobcook  on April 4th, 2010

I love this Asian way of serving salmon coz usually it’s cooked in the western way. Plus, anything hot and spicy is a sure winner to me hehe

Joanne  on April 4th, 2010

The fattiness of salmon tastes SO good with spice and acid. This is the perfect combination of flavors. What a great dish!

Tasty Trix  on April 4th, 2010

This is genius! I have been looking for the perfect simple sambal recipe - now I have it. My mouth is watering imagining pairing it with salmon!

Mary  on April 4th, 2010

@lequan@luvtoeat - Thanks very much for visiting and lovely comment, Lequan! :D Have fun cooking! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.

@noobcook - I’m still very Asian at heart :D I tried to learn some Western cooking but I think I’m just quite hopeless in that :( My family loves spicy food so most of the time I don’t have much choice but to cook it Asian way.

@Joanne - Totally agree with you. Thanks very much, Joanne! :D

@Tasty Trix - This is a very simple one. There are some elaborate ones but I like it simple, easy and quick :D Hope you like this one. Happy cooking!

rebecca  on April 4th, 2010

oh wow love this do you live In Aberdeen ? oh and can I feature this on an Alaskan Seafood Companies blog I write and link to you?
rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

Thas  on April 4th, 2010

This is such a terrific way of devouring salmon.

veron  on April 4th, 2010

what a great sauce for the salmon!

Erica  on April 4th, 2010

Wow! That looks amazing…..I love salmon,too! The sauce sounds fantastic.

tigerfish  on April 5th, 2010

I almost want to do a post on salmon but decided to postpone it till later! We really share similar likings of food :)

Mary  on April 5th, 2010

@rebecca - Yes, am still in Aberdeen….most of the time. Oh sure, you can feature this & link to me. Thanks very much, Rebecca! :D

@Thas - Yes, you are very right :D

@veron - Thanks very much, Veron! :D

@Erica - Thanks very much, Erica! Give a try. Hope you like it :D

@tigerfish - Lovely to know we share similar taste. Would love to see your post on salmon :D

petite nyonya  on April 5th, 2010

Sambal salmon sounds delicious!

Mary  on April 5th, 2010

@petite nyonya - Thanks very much! :D

yasmeen  on April 6th, 2010

We share the same taste of the fish and hot spice :D

Mary  on April 7th, 2010

@Yasmeen - Hehe…we sure do! :D

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