Sambal Chili Lala

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A typical offering in hawker centres and seaside restaurants, this spicy clam dish is a crowd favorite!

Let's start cooking!

Spice paste from blender added to frying pan

Step 1 - Blend and fry spice paste

  • In a blender, add chili, 9 garlic cloves, ginger, shallots and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Blend into a paste, adding more vegetable oil to keep the blender going, if necessary.
  • In a pan on medium heat, add spice paste and fry until caramelised and dry, about 10-15 minutes.
Ketchup and fish sauce in frying pan with spice paste

Step 2 - Cook sambal chili

  • In the same pan, add 100 ml tomato ketchup, 80 ml fish sauce, 60 ml oyster sauce, 80 g palm sugar and 50 ml white vinegar. Stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Lala in a wok with fried onions

Step 3 - Cook sambal chili lala

  • In a separate pan on medium heat, add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil. When hot, add sliced onion and remaining garlic. Fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add lala and 400 g of sambal chili. Mix well and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until clams open, then remove from heat.
Discard clams with shells that are closed, even after cooking -they may be full of sand inside!

Plate and serve!

Lala with gravy on plate with spoon

Serve hot.

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