Whenever I try something new, sometimes I am left wondering, how to use it. I mean, if its a paste or sauce then how can we use it in a dish. I faced a similar problem with sambal oelek as it was very spicy. Now I had plans to use it in a dip, but the heat from the chiles always pulled me back. Then recently I tried a soup in which I added it to he dressing along with coconut milk and found that though sambal oelek makes he soup spicy, it does not assert itself too much. Something similar happens when we add wasabi to a dish. Since the soup was a hit, I decided to try out a dressing with sambal oelek and coconut milk for my spaghetti and tuned it into an Asian style salad.
Spaghetti: 1/2 pack or for 2-3 people.
Broccoli: 1/2cup +/- chopped into medium pieces
Carrot: 1/2 cup+/- chopped into medium long pieces
Bean Sprouts: handful
Peanut Oil : 1-2 tsp
Coconut Milk: 1/2-3/4 cup
Sambal Oelek: 2 tsp +/-
Soy Sauce: 3-4 tsp
Prepare spaghetti as per package instructions. Just 2-3 minutes before it is done, add in the carrot and broccoli pieces and continue. The intention is to blanch them so that they are cooked but still crunchy.
While the pasta is being cooked, prepare the dressing. Add together the coconut milk,soy sauce and sambal oelek and you will get a light brown colour dressing (white coconut milk + brown soy) with specks of red (from the sambal oelek). I used medium thick coconut milk for this though please use as per your choice. If you feel the dressing is too thick, then add pasta water to dilute the dressing.
Once done , drain and keep aside the pasta water and drizzle little peanut oil so hat the mix does not turn dry.Add in the dressing and toss together so that the flavours are mingled.
Serve warm in bowl as a hearty meal.
Simple,easy to make and spicy and comforting. The sambal oelek is not overpowering thanks to the coconut milk but it does provide the warmth needed in the chilly nights.Its definitely coconut milk that asserts itself and thus this comforting dish which finds its way to NCR: Coconut at Tinned Tomatoes.