Sambal Telur (Sambal Egg)

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Nasi Lemak or Coconut Milk Rice wrapped in banana leaf is an all time Malaysian favorite dish. The traditional Nasi Lemak basically comes with a handful of fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, cucumbers and Sambal Egg. The dish sounds really simple, but we could just gobble down and be satisfied with a plain Nasi Lemak and lots of Sambal. Yes, the key ingredient to one great Nasi Lemak is of course the Sambal.

Sambal or Grounded Red Chili is one of the important components in traditional Malay cooking. The basic ingredient is just the fresh red chilies, then you start adding a little bit here and there of garlic, shallot, ginger, tamarind or others for a more robust flavored  Sambal. Once you do a couple of try outs in making your own Sambal, you can always prepare a full list of scrumptious Sambal dishes, such as Sambal Okra, Sambal Sotong, Sambal Asparagus with Shrimp, Vegetable Curry and etc.

This time I’ve prepared the Sambal Egg, or so called Sambal Telur in Malay. You can choose to use the white hard boiled eggs. Or the other option is to deep fry or pan fry the hard boiled eggs till golden brown.  I  chose to pan fry the hard boiled eggs so not to use so much oil, but make sure to fry the eggs on all surfaces, so they will turn  golden brown evenly. They look such adorable fried eggs (炸蛋).  Once you’ve prepared and toasted the Sambal (without onion rings), you can set them aside and decide how much you want to use for the eggs. If you have enough, you can save the rest in a glass bottle into the fridge. It can be used for other vegetables or just as a condiment on the rice or noodle.


6 hard boiled eggs

Ground Sambal

10 dried chilies (soaked till soft)
4 fresh red chilies (seeded)
1 tsp Belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste)
4 small shallots
4 garlic
1 tsp tamarind puree (add 1 -2 tsp water to smooth tamarind to paste, remove the pulps)
1 tbsp sugar or palm sugar (to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
2 tbsp oil
1 red onion (cut into rings)
2-3 tbsp water
2-3 tbsp oil

Cooking Method:

  1. Prepare the sambal, blend the chilies, shallots, garlic, belacan in a food processor.
  2. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in pan or wok on low heat, toast the sambal paste until the oil separates from the sambal. Add in the tamarind juice, then add in the seasoning of salt, sugar, taste and adjust if necessary.
  3. Add in onion rings, stir fry till tender. Add enough water to make a sauce like consistency. Dish up the sambal and set aside.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil, boil the eggs till cooked. Let it cool and peel off the shells.
  5. In a small pan, pan fry the eggs on all sides until golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel.
  6. Return eggs to pan, add in sufficient cooked sambal paste about 3-4 tbsp, simmer until the eggs are well coated. Serve with Nasi Lemak or plain white rice.
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Category: Appetizer, Entrée (Veggie)

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