Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sambal Oelek (Hot Pepper Paste)

Holy canolli!  This stuff is amazing!  Similar to sriracha (aka "rooster sauce"), sambal oelek is a paste made from peppers, simple and tasty.  It is a commonly-used condiment in Indonesia and Malaysia, and can be used in cooking.  I love rooster sauce, so I knew I would love this, and after finding gorgeous organic habaneros at Whole Foods, I couldn't wait to try it.  Basic sambal oelek is simply chillies, vinegar, and maybe some salt and lime juice.  You can mix it up by adding garlic or other flavors, whatever you like.
Sambal Oelek

1 lb. whole habaneros
2 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. rice vinegar
Salt to taste
Juice from one lime

Wash and de-stem the habaneros.  Place in food processor and grind.  Place all ingredients in a wide-bottomed pan, bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the consistency is uniform. The mixture won't be watery and the peppers won't be chunky.  This made 3 half pints; I had on-hand 1 pint jar and 1 half pint so I used that.  Boil in water bath for 10 minutes to seal the lids.  Scroll to bottom for a word about working with peppers. 

*Warning*  I recommend wearing gloves, and if you are particularly sensitive, I'm not kidding when I say it would also be smart to wear a surgical mask when you grind the peppers down.  I was sneezing, coughing, and dry heaving all at the same time.  Be careful and at the very least, wear gloves. xo, AB

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