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Chicken Sambal

Chicken Sambal: Spice Up Your Taste Buds

Are you tired of your usual chicken recipes? Looking to add some excitement to your meals? Look no further than Chicken Sambal! This fiery and flavorful dish will surely awaken your taste buds and leave you craving for more. In this article, we’ll explore the wonders of Chicken Sambal, its origins, and how you can make it at home. So, let’s dive right in!

What is Chicken Sambal?

Chicken Sambal is a popular Malaysian dish that combines succulent pieces of chicken with a rich and spicy sauce made from a blend of chilies, onions, garlic, and other aromatic spices. The word “sambal” itself refers to a chili-based sauce or condiment commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisines.

Imagine sinking your teeth into tender chicken, coated with a vibrant and complex sauce that tantalizes your taste buds with its perfect balance of heat and flavors. Chicken Sambal is like a symphony of spices dancing on your palate, leaving you craving for more with each bite.

The Origins of Chicken Sambal

Chicken Sambal has its roots in Malaysian cuisine, particularly the Malay and Nyonya communities. These traditional communities have perfected the art of combining spices to create mouthwatering dishes, and Chicken Sambal is no exception. It is a dish that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Malaysia.

The popularity of Chicken Sambal has spread far and wide, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts around the world. Its unique blend of flavors and fiery kick has captivated the hearts and taste buds of many, earning it a well-deserved place on the global culinary stage.

Making Chicken Sambal at Home

Now that you’re enticed by the tantalizing flavors of Chicken Sambal, you’re probably wondering how to make it at home. The good news is that it’s easier than you might think! With a few key ingredients and some simple steps, you’ll be able to whip up this delicious dish in no time.

Start by marinating your chicken pieces in a blend of spices, such as turmeric, ginger, and lemongrass. This step ensures that the chicken absorbs all the flavors and becomes tender and flavorful. Once marinated, pan-fry the chicken until it’s golden brown and set it aside.

Next, it’s time to prepare the sambal sauce. Saut√© a mixture of onions, garlic, and chilies until fragrant. Add in a touch of tamarind paste for a tangy twist, and let the flavors meld together. Finally, toss in the cooked chicken and stir until every piece is coated with the mouthwatering sambal sauce.

Serve your Chicken Sambal with steamed rice or warm roti, and you have yourself a feast fit for a king! The combination of the tender chicken and the bold flavors of the sambal sauce will leave you craving for more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Chicken Sambal extremely spicy?

No, the spiciness of Chicken Sambal can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. You can control the heat by reducing or increasing the number of chilies used in the recipe.

2. Can I use other meats instead of chicken?

Absolutely! While Chicken Sambal is the most popular variation, you can substitute it with other meats like beef, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.

3. Are there any vegetarian versions of Chicken Sambal?

Yes, you can replace the meat with tofu or tempeh to create a delicious vegetarian version of Chicken Sambal. The sauce will still be packed with flavor and spice.

4. How long does it take to make Chicken Sambal?

The preparation and cooking time for Chicken Sambal can vary, but on average, it takes around 45 minutes to an hour from start to finish.

5. Can I make Chicken Sambal ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Chicken Sambal ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will deepen and intensify, making it even more delicious.

6. Can I freeze Chicken Sambal?

Yes, you can freeze Chicken Sambal for up to 3 months. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag to maintain its flavor and quality.

7. What side dishes go well with Chicken Sambal?

Chicken Sambal pairs well with steamed rice, warm roti, or even flatbread. You can also serve it with a side of fresh cucumber slices or pickled vegetables to balance out the heat.

8. Can I adjust the level of spiciness in Chicken Sambal?

Absolutely! If you prefer a milder version, you can remove the seeds from the chilies or reduce the number of chilies used. Feel free to experiment and find the perfect level of spiciness that suits your taste buds.


Chicken Sambal is a dish that brings together the best of Malaysian flavors – spicy, aromatic, and full of depth. With its roots in traditional Malay and Nyonya cuisine, Chicken Sambal has become a beloved dish worldwide, captivating the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts everywhere.

Now that you know the secrets behind creating this tantalizing dish, why not give it a try? Spice up your meals with Chicken Sambal and embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more.

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Chicken Sambal

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Prep Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (or any long-grain white rice)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sambal (Asian chili sauce)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lb bone-in , skin-on chicken breasts (approximately 2 breasts), halved crosswise
  • 1 lb bone-in , skin-on chicken thighs (approximately 4 large thighs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (approximately 1 medium onion)
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp minced lemongrass (1 stalk)
  • 1 tbsp grated galangal (a 1-inch piece) or ginger
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Lime wedges , chopped scallions, and cilantro (for garnish)


  • To prepare the basmati rice, start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become soft, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated for about 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and some pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to low, and let it cook until the liquid is absorbed, which usually takes about 12 minutes. Once the cooking is complete, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • To make the chicken sambal, whisk the ponzu, sambal, brown sugar, and fish sauce together in a small bowl. Set it aside for later use. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously on both sides of the chicken breasts and thighs.
  • Next, heat the coconut oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In two batches, add the chicken pieces to the pot with the skin-side down. Sear the chicken until it becomes golden brown, which usually takes around 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear on the other side for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add
Keyword Chicken Recipes, main-dish, Poultry
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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