Shrimp and Potatoes in Sambal (Sambal Goreng Kentang Udang)

Shrimp and Potatoes in Sambal (Sambal Goreng Kentang Udang)

If you're seeking seriously intense heat and rich, layered flavors to go along with it, Indonesian sambal will deliver a two-for-one punch. The chef Retno Pratiwi uses a mix of red bell peppers and two kinds of red chiles to form the base of the exquisite, bright red sauce, softening it with a little coconut sugar and brightening it with aromatics. You can reduce the number of chiles or opt for milder ones if you're not looking for a kick. Then use it to cook shrimp, as in this recipe, or to enliven other meats and vegetables.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the potatoes on a sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoons vegetable or other neutral oil. Roast until potatoes are golden brown and tender, tossing occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the bell peppers and chiles along with a pinch of salt. (The cooking chiles can irritate; you may want to turn on an exhaust fan or open a nearby window.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer peppers and chiles to a food processor and set aside.
  3. Step 3

    Put the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the same pan and set over medium heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring often, until they turn a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add shallots to the food processor along with the tomato; process into a smooth purée. Transfer the sambal purée back to the same pan, adding the sugar, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the oil starts to separate and the sambal has thickened and turned a deep red, about 30 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Stir the shrimp and cooked potatoes into the sambal; cover and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately, or at room temperature with a side of rice. (Before serving, remove the lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves.)