Sambal SproutsJump to Recipe
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Malaysia Kitchen for the World. All opinions are 100% mine.
When it comes to Asian sauces, I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. A delicious rut, but a rut. I tend to use the same things to flavor my dishes and they include: sriracha, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Plus, I’ll toss in oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, or plum sauce occasionally.
I’m always hesitant to add a new sauce to my fridge because, well, that’s one more sauce that will sit in my fridge. But, I think chilli sambal sauce earned a spot.
If you’ve never had sambal before, it’s a Malaysian chili spice that packs a punch. It’s like some mad scientist cross between chili garlic sauce and fish sauce, but then spiked with some fresh citrus.
In other words, it’s way good and goes well with big, sturdy flavors like this stir-fry!
Stir-fried spicy brussels sprouts with chili sambal sauce, crunchy bacon, and loads of fresh herbs.
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Half Brussels sprouts and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out sprouts on a baking sheet. Roast until browned and crispy in spots, 15-20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, cook rice and prepare sauce by mincing garlic and ginger and whisking everything together. Start with 1 tablespoon of sambal sauce and taste. Feel free to add more to your liking.
3) Add chopped bacon to a large wok over medium low heat and cook slowly to render out fat until bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove crispy bacon bits.
4) Pour off all the bacon grease left, but leave 2-3 tablespoons in the wok.
5) Turn heat up to medium high and add roasted sprouts to wok with sambal sauce. Toss to combine and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Serve sprouts with fresh chopped herbs over rice, sprinkled with crunchy bacon and extra sambal sauce on the side.
Spicy Brussels Sprouts Prep
While you could stir-fry your sprouts right away, I like to roast mine first before stir-frying them. Since I like to stir-fry really hot (as one should), I like to make sure they are mostly cooked through and then I just crisp them up in the stir-fry.
So I just tossed my halved sprouts with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them out on a baking sheet.
Fifteen minutes at 350 degrees and they are looking good.
Anytime there is a big ass chili (or chilli I guess) pepper on the label of something, take it as a warning. It packs a punch.
I feel like I’ve probably had this sauce before and didn’t know it, but I tried some straight to get a good taste. It has an intense, clean chili flavor, but is also slightly sour (like fish sauce). It has fermented shrimp paste in it along with lime juice, garlic, and powerful stuff.
It will knock your taste buds off… in a good way.
To be honest, you could just toss this in the stir-fry as is and be in good shape, but I wanted to make a more complex sauce using the sambal so I combined it with some soy sauce, water, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil.
The finished mixed sauce had this crazy color. It just looked spicy and wonderful.
Cooking the Stir Fry
Bacon and sprouts go hand in hand so I knew I wanted to use some in this stir fry. I just rendered a few strips down in my wok over low heat. No oil needed.
After 10 minutes or so, the fat will be rendered out and you’ll have crispy little bacon bits. You can toss those on top later as a garnish.
You’ll have more bacon fat in the pan then you need so pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Then turn your heat up to medium high heat and toss in your roasted sprouts and sambal sauce!
Since the sprouts are cooked already, you are really just trying to cook the garlic and ginger in the sauce a bit and crisp up the sprouts. A few minutes of cooking is all you should need.
It’ll make your whole neighborhood smell amazing.
To freshen up the dish a bit, I serve it with loads of fresh cilantro and scallions. Don’t forget to sprinkle those bacon bits on top also!
If you’ve ever used sambal before, leave a comment! I want more sambal ideas!
If you haven’t used it before and like spicy food, hunt it out!
Hello! My name is Nick Evans and I write and manage Macheesmo. I started Macheesmo 11 years ago when I was just learning my way around the kitchen. I love to cook and love everything food-related, but I have no formal training. These days I focus on fast, accessible recipes with the occasional “reach” recipe!
I’ve posted almost 2,000 recipes on Macheesmo. For each one, I do my best to give full explanations of what I did and tips on what I’d do differently next time. I’ll bring up the tricky parts and the easy parts.
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