sambal sauce


Homemade Sesame Chicken 

Ingredients for Chicken 

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces 

1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets 

1 tsp kosher salt 

1 tsp black pepper 

½ tbsp granulated garlic 

½ tbsp granulated onion 

½ tbsp smoked paprika 

1 tsp hot paprika 

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 capful of sesame oil 

2 tbsp teriyaki sauce 

1 tbsp sesame seeds 

Vegetable oil or olive oil for cooking 

Ingredients for Sauce 

½ cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar 

1 ½ tbsp dark soy sauce 

3 tbsp cornstarch 

1 tbsp sesame oil 

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced 

½ cup + 1 tbsp chicken stock 

2 tbsp vinegar 

½ tsp Sambal (optional) 

Directions for Sauce

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and chicken broth to make a slurry.

Cook until the sugar is dissolved.

Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the remaining ingredients.

Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Simmer until thick.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Directions for Chicken 

Heat a few tbsp of oil over medium high heat in a large pan.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken in the blend of seasonings, the sesame oil, and teriyaki sauce. 

Once everything has been tossed and coated evenly, place into pan and cook on all sides until golden brown. 

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your broccoli florets by rinsing thoroughly and patting dry with a paper towel. 

Once the chicken is near complete, add in the broccoli and a few tbsp of water. 

Cover the pan with a lid and allow for the broccoli to steam. 

Once the broccoli has properly steamed and is still a bright green color, add in the pan sauce. 

Season if necessary. 

Stir and let simmer to thicken.

Remove from heat and top with sesame seeds. 

Serve with rice or with noodles, while hot. 



Spicy shrimp sauté

Wait – you thought I might have left this space? Due to other things taking up so much of my time over the past several months, it’s true I’ve been posting less than usual, but I have no plans of leaving tango-mango in the dust. I’m still cooking, lettering more than I have in years, enjoying family, and fleeing off on excursions in and around the Pacific Northwest.

A while ago I signed up for a daily newsletter from The New York Times that is filled with beautiful pictures of food, recipes, and ideas about cooking. I thought that after a while I might drag those emails into my “promotional” file, but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them!

This easy recipe for Mario Batali’s spicy shrimp sauté was one that was featured a few weeks ago, and I decided to give it a go. It was every bit as scrumptious as it looks. Seriously, I almost licked my bowl clean!

Here’s the recipe as it appears online, but I halved it with great success. I served it with some jasmine rice.


  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup sambal
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons light sesame oil
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (find prepared at Asian food stores, or see note below for a recipe)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped.


Combine curry paste, fish sauce, sambal and chili sauce in a medium bowl; add shrimp, tossing to coat. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil, and heat till smoking then add the shrimp mixture, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add scallions; cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in sweet soy sauce and coconut milk. Cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated and the shrimp is cooked through. Add cilantro and serve.

Sweet soy sauce: I had never heard of this and didn’t want to run to my favorite Asian grocery store, so I found a recipe to make it. Including this step added more minutes to the prep time, but it was worth it. (From Serious Eats)


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup mirin or other sweet rice cooking wine
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ¼ cup finely sliced scallions


Heat soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Combine corn starch with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and whisk into sauce. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.


Sambal Honey-Barbecue Wings

Ingredients for Wings

Chicken wings, separated into drums and flats 

5 tbsp baking powder 

4 tbsp spice blend (I used a shortcut here) but you can use:

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

½ tbsp chili powder

½ tbsp smoked paprika 

Directions for Wings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and top with a wire rack and set aside. 

Clean chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels. 

In batches, toss the wings in the spice blend and place on the wire rack and bake for 20 minutes on one side. 

After 20 minutes, flip the wings onto the opposite side, bake for another 10 minutes. Flip one final time and bake for a final 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

Ingredients for Sauce/Glaze

4 large tablespoons of Sambal (chili garlic sauce) 

3 tbsp raw honey 

2 tbsp homemade barbecue sauce (or store bought if you only have that)

Splash (about 2 tsp) rice wine vinegar 

1 tsp chili oil (be careful because it is SPICY) 

½ tsp pure sesame oil 

3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped 

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish 

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Directions for Glaze 

Combine all ingredients, and adjust to taste. 

Assembling the Dish 

Once the chicken has finished cooking, let rest for about 5 minutes and assemble the glaze. 

Toss the chicken in about ½ of the glaze 

Plate and drizzle the remaining glaze. 

Garnish with sesame seeds and more fresh cilantro. 



Thai Inspired Grilled Chicken Tenders w/ Honey Sambal Dipping Sauce 

a parting gift from me to all of you for the holidays! please try these and tag me in the photos! 

Ingredients for Chicken Tenders 

2-3 lbs chicken breast tenderloins 

1cup coconut milk 

3  tbsp granulated garlic 

1 tbsp turmeric 

1 tbsp hot paprika OR chili powder 

½ tbsp cayenne pepper 

2 tsp Chinese five spice 

1 tsp fresh cardamom

Juice from ½ lime

Kosher salt and black pepper to season

Few tbsp of high heat cooking oil (grape seed, avocado, or vegetable) 

Ingredients for Dipping Sauce 

2 cups honey 

1/3 cup (or less) sambal (chili garlic paste) 

Juice of ½ - 1 lime 

Dash of fish sauce, about 1-2 tsp (be very careful with this) 

1 ½ tsp sesame oil 

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 

2 tbsp sesame seeds 

2 tsp Chinese five spice 

1 tsp ground ginger

Fresh cilantro, chopped 

Salt and pepper to taste

You are free to adjust these measurements according to your taste! 


Pierce each chicken tender a few times with a fork. 

Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade (except the oil) into a bowl. Mix (and taste the marinade) and coat all of the chicken and place into a ziplock bag to marinate for at least 1-2 hours in the fridge, removing 20 minutes before cooking time so that the chicken can come to room temperature.

Heat your oil over medium high heat in your grill pan (or skillet - cast iron would work great here)

Cook each chicken breast tenderloin on each side (the chicken will let you know when it is ready to be flipped - it will come up easily. if it is sticking, it is not ready). about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the thickness. 

Combine all ingredients for your dipping sauce. Adjust the amount of honey or liquid to your desired thickness. I prefer my dipping sauce to be a perfect mix of loose and thick (almost like chicken wing sauce). 

Taste as you go and adjust to your preference.

(you could also coat the entire chicken tender in this sauce. it’s that good - do what you please)

Garnish chicken wings with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime and serve! 


McDonald’s SG McSpicy

With all the buzzing around the internet over McDonald’s Singapore’s new local menu today, I thought I’d take a moment to look at one of the excellent items on their regular menu… the McSpicy!

Like most McDonald’s around Asia, anything you get off the menu at McDonald’s Singapore will be so much better than anything served at a U.S. outlet. Especially when it comes to sandwiches and burgers that are created to cater exclusively to the tastes of local customers. Like the Singaporean McSpicy chicken sandwich…

I can pretty much guarantee you that it’s better than any fast food chicken sandwich you have had, and plenty of other deep-fried chicken sandwiches in other restaurants too. Really.

First off, much like what David Chang’s now doing at Fuku, McDonald’s Singapore has long been using whole chicken thighs…

Plus, the “crisply batter that has an added spicy kick” is made with a local sambal! And every McSpicy is fried to order so comes out hot and crispy…

It’s the best McDonald’s sandwich you’ll find anywhere!

And if it’s not spicy enough, McDonald’s Singapore has a crazy good chilli sauce for you…

And as an added bonus, there’s also curry sauce for your fries…

Between the hawker centers and coffee shops and high-end restaurants, there’s no end of amazing places to eat in Singapore, so I know I sound crazy recommending a McDonald’s to you. But with the quality of the food in the country being as high as it is, that’s exactly why McDonald’s up their game there.


Shrimp Chow Mein 

honestly, this was a recipe that I threw together tonight because I had a craving for Chinese food but no real desire to order take out. I purchased the chow mein noodles from World Market for $1.79 – very cheap for a large amount. I cooked the noodles just 2 minutes short of the package instructions because I later transferred them to the pot with the vegetables and shrimp. 

I made a noodle sauce by mixing together flavors that I knew would work well with this flavor profile. I was looking for something bold and savory. I mixed soy sauce, hoisin sauce, Sambal (chili garlic paste), and brown sugar to cut the saltiness of the soy and hoisin sauces. the sauce was thick and I did not want a syrup consistency covering my noodles so I thinned it out with water. and I adjusted to my taste. I like a very subtle sweetness to my chow and lo mein noodles. 

when I make this again, I will be sure to write and post the full recipe. 

until then, have fun with flavors and freestyle this!

*can be made vegan or vegetarian by omitting the shrimp and honey



Kuroshitsuji Cookbook:

  • Title: Steamed savoury yam cake
  • Episode/Chapter: ? (Sebastian’s first meal for Ciel)


  • Yield: n/a
  • There are multiple kuro entries for each recipe in the anime/manga. Check out my ‘kuroshitsuji cookbook’ tag for more.
  • Image and recipe source are the same.




  • 220g yam, small cubed
  • 250g rice flour
  • 20g tapioca flour
  • 450ml water
  • 70g dried shrimps, soaked and chopped coarsely
  • 10 shallots, slices


  • 1tsp salt or to taste
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1/2tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1/2tsp white pepper powder

GarnishingChopped spring onion

  • Chopped fresh red chilli


  • 1. Mix all seasonings with rice flour, tapioca flour and water by hand whisk till a watery batter.
  • 2. Heat oil in a wok, sauté shallots till golden brown, add in dried shrimps and stir fry till fragrant.
  • 3. Dish out half of the mixture and keep aside for later garnishing. Add in yam and stir fry for 1min. Pour in the watery batter and cook mixture for 1-2mins over low heat, stirring all the time, until the mixture turns to a thick paste.
  • 4. Pour the paste into a greased cake tin. Smoothen the surface with a spatula. Place it in the steamer and steam over high heat for 45 minutes.
  • 5. Remove the cake and allow it to cool thoroughly before cutting into slices.
  • 6. Garnish with shrimp/shallot mixture, chopped spring onion and red chilli on top.
  • 7. Serve with sweet chilli sambal (chilli sauce).
simple cream cheese pasta!

an easy meal to make when yr short on ingredients is cream cheese pasta! just cook the pasta, melt the cream cheese in a pan with some milk and a little butter, then combine! it’s super customizable, because you can use flavoured cream cheeses (herb and garlic, french onion, salmon flavours, oh my!) and you can add whatever fixin’s you’d like to spice it up–my favourite add-in is sambal oelek hot sauce with some light cream cheese!! soooo yum and super basic! (but suuuper spicy so approach with caution!) ^_^

another tip: my mom came up with this dish when i had my wisdom teeth removed and she was creatively making food i could swallow: instead of pasta, she took some spaghetti and snapped it up into tiny bits while uncooked, then cooked the bits for easy to swallow bliss! enjoyyy :D

Mom: What are you doing with the hot sauce Oreo?
Oreo: Well Mom, us hot guys need to stick together.
Mom: I think you’re thinking of the wrong kind of hot Oreo. This is hot and spicy.
Oreo: Exactly, and I am spicy like a chilli pepper, go ahead, pet me…
Mom: Oreo, I still think you’ve got the wrong idea.
Oreo: Hey Mom, if you can’t take the heat… Get outta the kitchen!

Kentucky Fried Chicken, Jakarta, Indonesia

Yes, I went to see The Colonel while I was in Jakarta…

You see, KFC Indonesia has some of the best fried chicken of any country, but that’s not what I went for.

I went for this…

The Chick'n Cheez…

Mutsumi and I discovered KFC Indonesia’s wonderful chicken sandwiches back in the mid-90s when we were young and broke and still dating. As much as we loved all the street food here, every now and then we needed a taste of home, like a burger or a sandwich. And given the great quality of Indonesia’s free-range chicken, the sandwiches at KFC were particularly delicious. Oh, and they were only 50 cents each back then. (Plus, KFC usually had the cleanest bathrooms around.)

So on this trip, almost 20 years since my last visit, I made it a point to get to a local KFC and see if their chicken sandwich stood the test of time. And I am happy to report that it did.

Part of the magic of the taste does come from the special hot sauce they use here though, a “Saus Sambal” that adds heat and flavor…

Just like I remembered…

Only they’re $1.20 now!

While Mutsumi didn’t come with me on this trip, she was there in spirit as I enjoyed this piece of our past.

And I did bring her back eight packets of their sambal!

Rice Noodle Stir-Fry with (optional) Homemade Peanut Sauce

Rice noodles are just the best thing ever (especially for gluten-free folks). Thin, vermicelli-style or wider like a phad thai noodle, it doesn’t matter. This recipe makes great leftovers that you don’t need to reheat, unlike those Italian-style GF rice pastas that tend to get gross when they’re cold and are also bizarrely expensive! Takes about 20-40 mins.

Rice Noodle Stir Fry with (optional) Homemade Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:+ ½ to 1 package of rice noodles (Use a big pot and frying pan if you make the whole package, it’s usually a lot of noodles!)

+ Veggies like cabbage, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, ginger root, zucchini– whatever you love and hopefully already have lying around. I would highly recommend using a good chunk of cabbage, it easily quadruples the output of this recipe.

+ If you want a hearty protein like tofu, tempeh, soy curls, or just regular ol’ meat, throw that in too! (If you like your protein crispy, cook on the side in a small pan, then mix it in towards the end.)

+ Add roasted/raw nuts like almonds, peanuts or cashews if you are being super effin’ fancy.

+ Homemade Peanut Sauce: I usually ransack my cupboard for the odds-and-ends of mostly-spent sauces, and just combine a bunch of random ingredients in a bowl until peanut sauce happens. (It’s surprising how many sauces you can create this way!)

1) peanut butter for the base 2) any pourable sweetener like honey, agave or syrup 3) chili paste or hot sauce like sambal oelek or sriracha 4) some braggs, tamari, soy sauce or plain ol’ salt. I aim for a combo of savory, sweet, salty and spicy– if it’s too hot, add some sweetness. Add any other condiments/sauces you have lying around that you think might taste good– experiment and taste-test often!

Then just add a bit of your cooking oil to keep it nice and smooth. You don’t want a super thick paste, but it’ll get watered down in the recipe anyway…

***If you can’t have/don’t like peanut sauce, use a vegetable bouillion cube in a little bit of hot water (way less than the instructions say) and add that to your stir-fry, or just use a soy-type sauce with powdered ginger and garlic. Bouillion works really well as a sauce base for lots of dishes and actually tastes really good with the peanut butter, too.***


*Make your sauce first unless you’re a good multi-tasker– in which case, whip it up while tending to your stir-fry.*

1) Bring a large frying pan/wok up to medium-high heat and add a tbsp or two of oil. Chop the cabbage into strips/squares and get it cooking while you chop the rest of your veggies. Stir cabbage occasionally to avoid burning.

2) Add the veggies as you prep them– I usually get the onions and bell peppers in there early so their water content has time to cook off. If you like crunchy carrots or firm broccoli, add them more towards the end. Add the protein of your choice, or cook it on the side and add later when you introduce the sauce. Add a smidge more oil if needed– the peanut butter is coming, so don’t go overboard.

3) Fill a medium/large pot with just enough water to boil the noodles– you’re gonna use the cooking water, so you don’t want too much extra liquid or your stir-fry will become soup. Heat to medium, you won’t need it to boil right away.

4) Let your veggies cook, stirring occasionally. After 10-20 mins when things have gotten nicely sauteed, add the peanut sauce bit by bit, saving a little for later. When the veggies start to look pretty done-ish, turn them down to medium-low. (Add the raw/roasted nuts now, if you have em.)

5) Bring your pot of water up to boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for just about two minutes or so. Instead of draining, scoop noodles with a pair of tongs/pronged spoon into the stir-fry.

6) Then add the starchy cooking water to the stir-fry a bit at a time, mixing it in with all the noodles and veggies. Add the rest of your peanut sauce and make sure all the noodles are coated in sauce– chop them a bit with your spatula if they’re clumping. Mix it up really thoroughly.

7) Let the noodles finish cooking for a few more minutes– as you add the starchy water bit by bit, the stir-fry soaks it up and combines it with the peanut butter sauce to make a nice, sticky coating. Add until you reach your ideal consistency.

Once everything looks well-coated and delicious, take off the heat and enjoy!