Sambal Oelek is an Asian chili sauce made with red chili peppers and rice vinegar. It can be purchased at Whole Foods as well as on Amazon. This dish incorporates many Asian flavors and is very easy to make (less than one hour). I used pre-cooked shrimp for expediency although you can use raw shrimp. It is colorful, spicy, and, most important, delicious!
1/2 pound pre-cooked shrimp, tails removed (If using raw shrimp, then shell and devein shrimp beforehand)
1 small red pepper, washed, cut into strips
1 small orange pepper, washed, cut into strips
1 jalapeno pepper, cored and diced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon of canola oil
White rice cooked according to directions (start with one cup raw rice). You can also use brown rice if you prefer.
This sauce is from theflavorbender.com
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup of white sugar
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 1/2 tablespoons of sambal oelek
4 teaspoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of water
Directions: Serves two.
1. If using raw shrimp, shell and devein. If using pre-cooked shrimp, remove the tails and any shell that surround the tail. Set aside.
2. Cook your rice according to package directions. White rice will take 15 minutes. Brown rice will take 45 minutes.
3. For the sauce, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper flakes in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Then bring to a low boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the Sambal Oelek and gently whisk until combined. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened.
4. Mix the water and cornstarch until smooth and add it to the sauce. Simmer for another 2-4 minutes until desired thickness. Stir mixture as it is thickening so it doesn't burn. Turn heat off and cover with lid to keep warm.
5. If using raw shrimp, heat tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Add shrimp and saute. Saute the shrimp at a medium low heat until the flesh is totally pink and opaque, and you see no more grey bits. This will take 4-5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. If you are using pre-cooked shrimp, you will add this after the vegetables are sauteed.
6. Saute vegetables: Add all peppers to the pan and saute until al dente. You want them to maintain their bright colors and still be slightly crisp. Add shrimp to the pan and saute for another minute to warm them up.
7. Add the Sambal Oelek sauce and gently toss.
Scoop rounded balls of rice with an ice cream scoop and place in the center of a plate or shallow bowl. Spoon shrimp and vegetables around the rice. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve immediately.
This recipe is a slight variation of one of Bobby Flay's recipes. You'll never want to eat store-bought relish again! It is great on hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and even with potato chips. You can add it to potato salad or egg salad to boost the flavor. Just a great summer recipe. The only variation I made was that I used four dill pickles and his recipe called for 8 dill pickles. Why? I wanted a smaller ratio of pickles to peppers. That's all.
4 large dill pickles, diced
1 red pepper, skin removed, seeded, and diced
1 yellow pepper, skin removed, seeded, and diced
1 small white onion, diced
2 tbsp fresh dill
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1. Bring apple cider, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and sugar to a boil in a non-reactive pot on top of the stove. Cook over a low boil until reduced by almost a half or until the cider becomes slightly syrupy (around 5 minutes).
2. Combine with rest of ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. Then enjoy!
Notes: To remove the skins of the peppers, place peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler and turn the peppers as each side blisters (there will be some blackening of the skin as they are broiling). Once all sides are blistered, remove peppers from the baking sheet with tongs and place in a paper bag until cool enough to handle. Fold the top of the bag to keep the steam in. The steam that collects in the paper bag will further soften the skins.
How long will it last in the refrigerator? The original recipe did not specify, but my guess is about one week. I ate all of my relish in three days:) I'm not one to let food sit around in my refrigerator for a long time.
Final Comment: Don't leave out the coriander seeds. They create a wonderful burst of flavor with almost every bite.
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