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Posts Tagged ‘spicy sauce’

Cheeseboard Bakery is a very famous bakery in Berkeley, California. Their breads are amazing and there’s always a line for their freshly baked breads. Cheeseboard also makes pizzas, and there’s a line too. They only sell vegetarian pizzas, and the menu changes weekly. What’s interesting is that they always give you extra slices of pizzas to “compensate” you waiting patiently in the line (the line sometimes gets long, but it keeps moving). They also give you some spicy green pepper sauce for your pizza… boy, it’s THIS sauce that got me hooked when I had it at the first bite. I bought a container of the sauce, and the family finished it fast! Luckily, I read the ingredient list on the container before throwing it away. Guessing the amount for each ingredients wasn’t that hard with this sauce, and I think I got it pretty close to Cheeseboard’s.

Cilantro Pepper Sauce

Cilantro Pepper Sauce

 

Cilantro Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
3 Serrano peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion
1 tsp spicy mastard
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Method:

Coarsely chop cilantro, peppers, garlic and onion then put all ingredients in a food processor to blend well. Served with warm flat breads, baguette or even pizzas.

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Thanks to my Bermese Chinese friend Amy, I get to try many kinds of delicious Bermese food, especially the ones you won’t even find in a Bermese restaurant. This spicy tomato sambal is just one of them. It looks very much like sambal chili sauce, except it’s mostly tomatoes. Amy told me that in Myamar, people eat it with fresh cucumber. I tried it and it was really good– the spiciness matches very well with the refreshing cucumber, kinda fire and ice in every bite. Besides cucumber, I think this sambal is also great on steamed rice, tortilla chips, keropok (shrimp or fish crackers), or even mee siput (Malaysian crispy noodle snack)!

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal 缅甸蕃茄辣酱

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal 缅甸蕃茄辣酱

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal Recipe 缅甸蕃茄辣酱 (yields 3–4 serving)

Ingredients:
3 lbs fresh over ripe tomatoes– cut into big chunks
3 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic– chopped
3 shallots– chopped
2 tbsp dried shrimps– soak briefly then chop
1 tbsp balachan
10 red jalapeno peppers– chopped
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro

Method:

  1. Put fresh and canned tomatoes in a food processor, pause blend briefly so that the tomatoes still have some texture. Set aside.
  2. In a deep pot pour in half of 1/2 cup of oil, and turn up to high heat. Fry garlic, shallots, dried shrimps and balachan until flavors come out. Add in peppers, fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Add in remaining half of the oil and tomatoes. Stir to mix well with a wooden spoon (you can leave the spoon in the pot the entire time without it getting hot). Uncovered, cook on high heat (stirring every 10 minutes or so) until the liquid reduces to 1/3 and the sauce thickens (this is a long process, it took me about 1.5 hours). At this point, keep a close eye on the sambal.
  4. Turn down heat to medium and stir frequently (about 5 minute interval, about 20-30 minutes total)) until the sambal thickens further (test: when you run the spoon across the bottom of the pot, the sambal doesn’t come together. Also, oil starts separated from tomatoes).
  5. Add cilantro and salt to taste. Stir a few times. Remove and cool completely before dividing into batches. Store in air tight containers, in the refrigerator. The sambal should keep for at least 10 days. To keep it longer store in the freezer.

Regina’s Note:

  • Just like regular sambal chili sauce, this tomato sambal can be kept frozen. I like to make extras, divide into small ziplog bags (air tight) and freeze for later use.

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Malaysian Satay Sauce

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Ingredients:

for spice paste:
1/3 cup oil
4 lemon grass– use only the whitish part
6 cloves garlic
3 shallots
1 inch galangal
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
12 dry red hot chilis– soaked in hot water briefly to soften

2 tbsp oil
1 cup water
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp tamarind juice (mix 2 tbsp of tamarind paste with 5 tbsp of hot water)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sambal– optional, for color and extra heat
1 1/2 cup roasted ground peanuts

Method:

  1. Blend all spice paste ingredients until very fine.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil to a heated frying pan, add blended spice paste and cook until it is aromatic and bubbly. Stir constantly.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce bubbles again. The satay sauce should taste sweet and a little tangy from tamarind juice. Adjust amount of sugar, tamarind juice and salt accordingly. The sauce will thicken when it cools.

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I don’t know why it is called XO sauce, but I can tell you it’s VERY good and I have been hooked ever since I first tasted it– full of flavors from scallops, garlic, shallots, hot peppers etc… I immediately requested recipe from my neighbor who gave it to me. Man, let me tell you that it’s A LOT OF work making it. When I made it the first time, I start from zero in the morning and worked my ass off the entire day– When I finished it was 7pm and my arms and hands hurt from the heat of chopping peppers and from the stove! (I was warned about the long procedure, but I thought since I was already making it so I figured I would make a bigger batch… now I know it’s a BIG mistake!). I learned my lessons. Now I divide the work into 2 days– 1 day preparing, 1 day frying; also I use food processor whenever I can.

Homemade XO Sauce-- see all that shredded dry scallops?

Homemade XO Sauce-- see all that shredded dry scallops?

This is a very versatile sauce– it can be used as a dipping sauce or in cooking dishes. You can even eat it just with a bowl of steam rice. Since the main ingredient, scallop is not cheap, XO sauce is quite expensive– a small jar is selling for $12 or more. With the homemade ones, you get a whole lot more with much better quality. Make it for Chinese New Year for own use or as a gift to relatives and friends. They’ll love it! XO sauce can be kept in the fridge for months as long as it is cooked thoroughly and away from moisture and heat. I usually keep one jar in the fridge and freeze the rest in several batches, to keep contamination to a minimum. However, if the sauce molds on the top, just discard the moldy part and re-fry the sauce in the wok on low to medium heat until the oil bubbles then remove from heat and cool completely. The scallops might turn crispy but the flavor is still as good.

Homemade XO Sauce

Homemade XO Sauce

Homemade XO Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb dry scallops
1/2 lb dry shrimps
1/2 lb garlic
1/2 lb shallots
1/2 lb red hot chili peppers
1 pack thin sliced bacon
2-3 tbsp (1/2 small jar) Taiwan ‘sah-cha’ sauce
2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
rice cooking wine for soaking dry scallops and dry shrimp

oil for frying

Method:

  1. Rinse dry scallops. Remove any tiny dirty stuff using finger. Drain and put into a big container. Pour rice cooking wine onto to the scallops, covering completely plus 1 inch more from top surface. Cover the container and soak overnight in the fridge. Repeat the procedure with dry shrimps using another container.
  2. Put soaked scallops in a deep pan (include the rice wine) and steam on high heat for 2 hours. Remove from steamer and drain off any liquid. Reserve the liquid for other cooking use. Repeat the procedure with soaked dry shrimps.
  3. While the scallops and dry shrimps are steaming, finely chopped(separately) garlic, shallots. Alternatively, you can cut them into small pieces and use food processor to blend as well (small pieces will speed up blending without having liquid coming out from garlic/shallots). Set aside.
  4. Trim off the bacon fat and reserve for other use. Finely julienne the lean bacon meat. Finely chopped dry shrimps and red chili peppers separately(my food processor can’t blend the peppers to fine grade so I have to chop them on the board– Remember to wear gloves!). Set them aside.
  5. Heat up a deep wok. Pour enough cooking oil. When the wok is hot enough (test oil with chopstick), fry garlic on high heat, stirring constantly. Adding more oil if necessary. When garlic starts to turn light brown, turn the heat to medium and continue frying for few more minutes. Dish out and use a silicon spatula to scrap out all the oil from the wok.
  6. Repeat the frying procedure with shallots, bacon, dry shrimps, chili peppers and scallops. Always fry on high heat until the ingredients starts to turn light brown then turn down the heat to medium. Take care not to burn or the XO sauce will have a bitter taste. For shrimps and scallops, be sure to fry until they are aromatic and “dry” (not crispy).
  7. Return all ingredients back to the wok. Turn heat to medium and stir to combine. Add Taiwan ‘sah-cha’ sauce and oyster sauce to taste (starts with 1-2 tbsp). Continue stirring until the oil bubbles on the surface. Remove from heat. Cool COMPLETELY before transferring to jars. Store in the fridge or freezer.

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