Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spicy Sambal Spinach

My Spinach Does The Sambal – Can Yours?

I See Dancing Spinach

Find Printable Recipe Here 

Sometimes spicy spinach is the only thing between you and insanity. I mean it. Some days are completely nuts here and just when you’re about to lose it, you happen to glance over at your sauté pan and see your garlic doing the tango and you spinach doing the sambal! Oelek that is. Sambal Oelek.

Quickly now.

Repeat after me. Sambal Oelek.

Now rush to look in your ice box (fridge by any other name).

Wha? What? Don’t see it? Horrors!

Don't panic! OK?

Here's what you do. Drop everything and run for your car keys. You must drive –safely, but quickly, to the nearest market and procure it. Immediately if not sooner. I’m not lyin’!

I'm Cheating on Pasta with Spicy Sambal Spinach

Spicy Sambal Spinach with grape tomatoes, olive oil
and garlic
Spicy Sambal Spinach is almost a joke in the house. I love it so much, I’m cheating on pasta with it, and pasta is pi**ed! Seriously, you can almost insert sambal oelek’s name into every veggie side dish I’m making these days, because I haven’t found a single veggie yet that can’t benefit from a slug of this spicy condiment.

Condiment…has a nice ring! I’m walking the fine line between ardent fan and crazed stalker. If I even mention veggies, Denny will say, "Wait, lemme guess. I bet you’re gonna break open the Sambal for something different this time, right?!"

Check out for more info!
Hmmmph! What he really doesn't know about Spicy Sambal Spinach? It's a nutritional TITAN! The deep green veggie dish packs a wallop of vitamins and minerals. It has more potassium than even the smartest water and is your electrolyte's best friend! Be sure to read the Did You Know on it!

Here is an RDA bar chart showing the nutrients in a single serving of Spicy Sambal Spinach.

Click On Graph For Larger Image

What The Heck Is It? 
What The Heck Is Sambal Oelek?

Sambal Oelek on a spoon...yummmm!
Sambal Oelek will be covered soon in the Secret Ingredient section, so never fear – for those of you unfamiliar with the brick red tangy, salty, chile-garlic bit of heaven! Briefly to defuse your burning thirst for knowledge about the elusive Sambal Oelek (SO)…it’s Asian-speak for “Texas Pete.” You use it almost the same way, even though this is chunky and Texas Pete isn’t.

It’s hot. It’s garlic. It’s vinegar.

In case you forgot. These are our boys (Tony, Schilling,
Buddy, Kevin and their dog Wee Wee, and Wee Wee's
baby, Skeeter) watching NASCAR with Denny.
And it’s devine when thrown into a dish needing a little a88 whippin’. No nancy-boy vittles in this house. Not with the SO! It brightens anything from marinades and rubs, to stir fry, to the buttered squash I made last night and the spinach we had for breakfast Easter morning(although Denny and the Boys; Buddy, Tony, Kevin, Schilling, their dog Wee Wee, and Wee Wee’s sock-monkey baby, Skeeter all agree, “Spinach is not a breakfast food.”).

It’s SO Delicious!
Drop a clove or two of garlic into a glug of olive oil – stir it around for a couple of minutes on menacingly high heat, and add the recipe star of your dreams. You too will be dancing with the stars, Samballing, with the best of us and dreaming up crazy concoctions to use with the SO.
OK! Let's assemble the players.

Quarter grape tomatoes and slice garlic cloves thinly.

Add olive oil to hot sauté pan and let cook for 1-2 minutes or until garlic starts to brown.

Pile the baby spinach into the pan and let it sit and cook for about 30 seconds.

Stir and add salt and pepper. Continue to cook until “just wilted.”

Turn off heat and add Sambal Oelek and tomatoes.

Add pine nuts if you’d like!

Enjoy! Yummy!

(Don’t worry. There will be a fine for excessive use of exclamation points with this post.)

Spicy Sambal Spinach

Find Printable Recipe Here

Spicy Sambal Spinach with grape tomatoes, pine nuts,
and garlic.

Serves 2
Difficulty – Easy
Prep Time – 2 Minutes
Cook Time – 4 Minutes

6oz Baby Spinach, fresh
2 tsp Sambal Oelek
2 Large Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste
8 Grape Tomatoes – optional
1 Tablespoon Pine Nuts - optional

Make Ahead Tip: Toast pine nuts if desired on a roasting pan in the oven at 300° until golden. You will need to stir these frequently to prevent burning. Takes about 5 minutes. Make up a bunch of the toasted pine nuts and use them to top anything you can imagine!

Quarter tomatoes and set them aside.
Peel and thinly slice garlic cloves. (I’m not a big fan of pre-prepared garlic. Buy a head and slice it on demand.) Heat sauté pan on high until hot. Add olive oil and garlic and stir for about 1-2 minutes, or until you see the garlic slices just beginning to brown.
Add spinach, salt, and pepper. Let spinach sit in pan undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Stir spinach and move it in the pan so that the bottom spinach is on top and the top is on bottom. Keep tossing until it’s just at the “wilted” stage.

Turn off heat on the stove and add Sambal Oelek. And quartered grape tomatoes and pine nuts. Stir through and serve hot off the stove!

SusieT Notes:
Sambal Oelek is seriously good stuff man. It adds a chili-garlic sauce heat with a touch of salty-vinegar edge and works great with protein or veggies. It’s also a good substitute for Harissa – that Middle Eastern chili condiment that is difficult to find here in the States. Keep it refrigerated after opening and it stays happy for a while – but it won’t last that long…

Nutritional Information Entire Recipe:

Nutritional Information Single Serving:


  1. Haha - you are too funny. Made me laugh, you did! You are over-the-top talented with your cooking.

  2. LOL Jen, it's not me. It's the Sambal Oelek. It can make Alf look like an amazing cook! ;) :hugs: Lady and right back atcha!


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