Seaman Dan’s Torres Strait Sambal

Here’s one of Uncle Seaman Dan’s favourite recipes for a Torres Strait Island meal, spicy sambal from South East Asia, as shared with us by his nephew Bob Salam.


  • Any of the following can be used: chicken giblet, lamb hearts, bacon, prawns, squid or tripe: approx. 1 kg.
  • 4 onions diced
  • 4 tomatoes diced
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped fine
  • 5-6 birds eye chillies chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp belachan paste
  • 2 tbsp oil for cooking


1. Parboil giblets, hearts, tripe, if using them, others can be left raw, chop up fairly fine.

2. Heat oil and fry onions, tomatoes, chilli and garlic until tender. Add belachan paste and cook until all is combined into a nice sauce.

3. Add giblets or whatever and simmer gently for approx 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Don’t use salt as the belachan paste is salty!

5. I like to puree the chicken giblets and make a dip (hot). Nice on biscuits or even toast. You can experiment with this recipe and adjust the amount of chillies and belachan to suit your taste. Suitable to freeze, microwave to defrost.


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