sambal okra over coconut rice

by Heguiberto on July 22, 2011

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And here’s another dish from the-Y-O, that’s Yotam Ottolenghi to you and me. This adaptation from “Plenty” was a huge success. The dish is South East Asian inspired, since it uses sambal sauce.

sambal okra over coconut rice

sambal okra over coconut rice

Sambal is a fiery sauce made with chili peppers, shallots, tamarind and other spices. The-Y-O claims that a dish like this is served in Malaysia for breakfast. “Wow” is all I can say, people and their cuisines sure can be different. This is spicy! I can’t imagine having it for breakfast. It reminds me of our trip to Thailand and Cambodia a few years ago. When we first arrived, the brutal jet lag had me hungry for spicy foods loaded with fish sauce in the morning. That’s standard fare there, so it worked out really well, at least at the beginning. Fried rice and fish soup at 7AM, no problem! I ate with gusto and it was all simply delicious! After a week or two, as I adjusted to the Thai clock, I began to have trouble with that kind of breakie.

I’ve made sambal before with calamari and shrimp, but didn’t think breakfast-time. We had this sambal okra for dinner, which is just fine by me. Really, it was so tasty that I’d be willing to have it anytime, including for breakfast… I bet this would be a super remedy for a hangover…

sambal okra over coconut rice

for the coconut rice:

1 cup basmati rice rinsed
½ cup coconut milk
1½ cups water
2 rinds of lemon
4 thin slices of fresh ginger
Kosher salt to taste

for the okra:

1 lb frozen baby okra
Lemon or lime wedges
Cilantro leaves for decoration

for the sambal sauce:

3 fresh Jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs partially removed (leave some for heat)
5 dried red chili peppers, seeds discarded
8 baby shallots
2 garlic cloves
1tsp paprika
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp sugar
Kosher salt to taste

Add chilies fresh and dried, shallots, garlic, paprika, tamarind, sugar, 2 tablespoons of oil and another 2 of water to the food processor and spin until it turns into paste.

Place remaining oil in a large skillet on high. Pour paste in and sauté for a minute or so. Turn temperature down and cook it for about 10 minutes. The sambal sauce will be ready when it becomes dark brownish red in color and oil starts to separate from the paste. Set aside.

Place all rice ingredients in a saucepan on high heat. Give it a good stir. Bring to a boil. Stir again, reduce temperature to low, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keeping covered, and let rest for 8-10 minutes.

Have a pan ready with boiling water within the last 8-10 minutes rice is finishing cooking. Drop frozen okra into the water and cook 3-4 minutes to scald the little pods. Transfer okra to a colander and run some cold water over to stop cooking process.

Heat up sambal, fold in okra and let it warm through.

Transfer rice to a serving platter, top with sambal okra & decorate with cilantro leaves and wedges of lemon.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista July 22, 2011 at 4:41 am

I don’t do so well with spicy, but if I toned that down, the rest sounds fantastic! 🙂
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Heavenly Housewife July 22, 2011 at 4:55 am

Its been a long time since I had okra. I was a little girl. I remember i wasnt super impressed, but I have matured (a little). Its an Ottolenghi, so I know its good ;). THe coconut rice is calling my name.
I am so glad you are into the Ottolenghi thing :D!!
*kisses* HH
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Anna July 22, 2011 at 5:44 am

i have GOT to try this. two of my favorite things!! okra and coconut <3 <3 <3

Magic of Spice July 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I could totally do this for breakfast! Wow, the mother load of flavors here…in love!

Faith July 23, 2011 at 5:19 am

That sounds like an amazingly flavorful sauce! You’re right, it would probably be a bit much for me at breakfast too…but I’d love it for any other meal! I bet it’s the perfect combo with the coconut rice.
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Michael Toa July 23, 2011 at 5:19 am

Oh Yum! I’ll have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was in Indonesia few weeks back and I had plenty of spicy dishes to start my days.
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Barbara July 23, 2011 at 9:06 am

I love Plenty. There are so many great recipes, I hardly know where to start. We’re crazy for okra around here, but I’d have to cut down on the spice a tad….
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Heguiberto July 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

How exciting. I have never been to Indonesia and would to visit sometime. We love fiery food and I understand food is pretty spicy there. That country is on my to do list!
Hope you had great time there.

Erica July 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

I love coconut rice and I would love to try okra!!! That sounds like a delicious dish!
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Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking July 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

Oh this looks so delicious!! I like food a little spicy but just not to much!!

tigerfish July 25, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Sambal okra is so good, with steamed rice. I don’t remember having it for breakfast. Lunch and/or dinner will be good though.

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