* Sambal & Cucumber Finger Sandwiches

Posted on September 7th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Belachan, Bread, Course, Cucumber, Malaysian.

The British have their dainty cucumber sandwich….eaten with raised pinkies. Malaysia, a former British colony, added a little a lot of spice to the cucumber sandwich, and came up with the sambal sandwich. The butter tempers the spice of the sambal, and the cucumber cools the palate.

Chef’s tip: This sambal recipe is very versatile. You can toss in some fried eggplants to get sambal eggplant, some cooked okras to get Sambal Ladies Fingers, or just eat it by itself! It freezes very well, too.


Spice paste:
3 fresh red chilies
2 small cloves of garlic
3 small shallots, sliced
2 teaspoons roasted belacan
½ inch piece of tumeric/ ½ teaspoon tumeric powder
½ inch of galangal
1 lemongrass, sliced, white part only

2/3 cup of dried shrimp, soaked

1 teaspoon tamarind paste mixed with ½ cup water
3 tablespoon sugar, to taste
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup canola oil

6 slices of brioche bread or white bread with crust removed
½ stick butter, at room temperature
¼ English cucumber

Preparing the spice paste:
1.    Grind all spice paste in a food processor, set aside.
2.    Drain the dried shrimps.  Separately, place in food processor and grind till fine.
Cooking the sambal:
3.    In a wok or a saucepan, heat ¼ cup canola oil on medium high.  Fry paste till fragrant, red and oil has separated, about 7-10 minutes.  Add more oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
4.    Add the dried shrimp and sugar.  Fry until aromatic, about 5 minutes.  Add tamarind liquid.  Continue cooking, adding more oil if necessary for another 10 minutes until the sambal is a dry and deep red in color.
5.    Slice cucumber into thin rounds
6.    Remove bread crust, and place two slices of bread on a cutting board.  Generously smear butter on one side of each slice of bread.
7.    Spread on a thin layer of the sambal, top with cucumber and sandwich with buttered bread.
8.    Cut bread into 4 diagonally, making 4 tiny triangles.

Makes 12 mini sandwich fingers

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