Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce

Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce

With such a small amount of chili used in this recipe, I know I could hardly qualify this a sambal (a south-east Asian spicy chili paste). But I can’t lie that it inspires me to cook this, a mildly spicy dish flavored with lemongrasses and tomatoes, which is both refreshing and appetizing.

A basic (or more authentic) sambal is a thick paste made by pounding a large amount of chili pepper with salt and sugar, mostly served as a condiment. Popular sambals I have tried probably are those added with more spices and secondary ingredients, like garlic, shallots, lime, ganlangal, dried anchovies, fermented shrimp paste… Although often come with a sharp taste, they are flavorful.

Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce

I very much like the flavor of lemongrass yet find its chopped version too fibrous in mouth, so I make a little effort to cut it lengthwise, repeatedly, making it look like a small broom. And this help it release its flavors yet avoid the troubles of having its tiny pieces being trapped between teeth.

Instead of using a mortar and pestle to pound the other aromatics, I chop and smash them, partly for reason of ease and partly because they will subsequently be cooked than serving raw as a condiment. But it is up to you to decide which is more convenient.

Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce

  • Ingredients
  • 1 frozen spring chicken, ~500g
  • 3 medium size tomatoes
  • 2 stalk lemon grass
  • 5-6 cloves shallot, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 knob galangal, sliced and lightly crushed
  • 1 bird eye chili, sliced (or add more to taste)
  • ~2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, optional
  • Marinades for chicken
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of ground white pepper
  • Sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 30 g coconut powder
  • ~1 C water

Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce
Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce

Method

Thoroughly thaw chicken, remove any innards, rinse, pat dry and cut (I used a kitchen scissor) into bite size pieces.

Marinade chicken for about 15-30 minutes.

Rinse, deseed, and cut tomatoes into chunks

Chop off green sections of lemongrasses and their bottom ends (remove outer layer if require). Using a sharp knife, cut each length wise into strips but leaving the top 1/3 end intact.

Dilute coconut powder with water, mixing in one spoon at a time to avoid lumps. Then add in remaining ingredients for sauce, stirring well. Set aside.

Sear chicken with a table spoon of oil on both sides in pan like this. Dish up and set aside.

Heat a table spoon of oil in pan or skillet, sauté garlic, shallots, galangals, chili and lemongrasses until fragrant.

Once again, mix well sauce and add into pan, stirring briefly. As they reach a simmer, gently put in tomatoes and return chicken chunks into pan, flipping once or twice. Cover and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken is done. Add coconut oil if using.

Check taste, add salt (and water to desire consistency) if required.

Serve hot.

Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce

Enjoy!


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Comments

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  1. Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce | Recipes Pinboard

    [...] with lemongrasses and tomatoes, which is both refreshing and appetizing. (…)Read the rest of Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce (447 [...]

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    I am all for the coconut sauce! This looks soul-satisfyingly delicious!

  3. Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce | Dessert Recipe Wall

    [...] with lemongrasses and tomatoes, which is both refreshing and appetizing. (…)Read the rest of Mild Chicken Sambal in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce (447 [...]

  4. Ana C.

    Hi, is there a reason you use coconut powder instead of coconut milk? I see coconut powder at the market as well, and I’m not sure what its used for because the milk is so handy.

  5. TasteHongKong

    @Ana C,
    Coconut milk in box or bottle are more perishable after opened , and I anticipate that I may not finish it in days. You may use same amount of coconut milk as powder (gram) but reducing water accordingly. Fresh ones are even better, enjoy!

  6. Lori

    I’m so happy to now have access to both galangal and lemon grass with our move to the Bay Area

  7. Lori

    Oops! Hit enter too soon. I can’t wait to try it in something like this. Love the flavors!

  8. Mary Moh

    That looks very delicious. Love the colour and the ingredients used. Though I like a spicy sambal, I will be very happy even to have yours. I’ll add chilli oil :D This dish will make me eat more rice…..hehe

  9. Juliana

    This chicken looks awesome…like the combination of coconut and lemongrass…so fragrant and delicate.
    Have a great weekend :)

  10. Helena

    Hi ! It’s amazing, I did nothing different but I’m finally able to post in the comment section again (I didn’t realize it straight, but while linking back to some of your articles in my previous recipe, the connection worked as if nothing had happened).
    I’m thus glad I can tell you that I find this recipe very appetizing, sounds like a comforting dish. And lemongrass, chicken and tomatoes in an association I tried recently and loved too. Have a nice week-end !

  11. TasteHongKong

    @Helena,
    Great! And glad that you find this appetizing too.

  12. Little Cooking Tips

    Yummy! Can we use dry coconut cut in thin small pieces (1mm thick X 10mm long) sold here?

  13. vube

    ~ 1 C water is 1 cup of water? Is that right ? thanks.

  14. TasteHongKong

    @vube,
    Right, ~1C water is about 1 cup of water. Enjoy!