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Charred leeks with Sambal Kampung

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

This recipe intrigued me, so I had to try it!

First, I wanted to try the raw sambal. Usually sambals are cooked and this one is raw. The sambal marinated over the day and the flavors came together yielding a wonderfully fruity and delicate sambal.

I was also curious about grilled leeks. I have used sauteed leeks frequently in soups, stews and pastas, but never grilled them. For good measure, I also threw in some fennel that I know is delicious when grilled. The leeks are delicious, a touch sweet and lightly flavored of mild onions. However, I learned that you need very tender leeks, baby leeks, as they tend to be a touch stringy.

These grilled vegetables with the sambal are delicious, they are perfect as an accompaniment for grilled meats and the Malaysian-style chicken satay with peanut sauce.

This cookbooks is working out well for me, I plan to go back to often.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


4 baby leeks, wahed well and halved

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt to taste

For the Sambal Kampung:

6-10 dried red chiles, Kashmiri preferred. Adjust to taste. Kashmiri chiles are available at any Indian grocery store or online.

2/3 cup dried shrimp (ignore for vegetarian version)

8 shallots, cleaned and diced

4 fresh red chiles, de-seeded.Adjust to taste

1/2 tablespoon lemongrass paste

1/2 inch galangal, chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 tablespoon shrimp paste (Belacan). (Ignore for vegetarian version)

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons oil

1 medium ripe tomato, diced

1/2 onion, diced

2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a small blender and puree till smooth. Taste and adjust for sweet, spice, salt and sour. Remove and allow the sauce to come together at room temperature for at least 4 hours or longer. The sauce tends to mellow and the flavors come together to a smooth fruity sambal over time.

Spray the leeks (and other vegetables, if using) with oil. Grill till charred all over and the leeks are blistered in spots.

Serve with the sambal as a side to grilled meat.

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