Uncle Dan puts some spice into life

seaman danTorres Strait Islander veteran crooner and multi ARIA award winner Seaman Dan’s favourite recipe for a Torres Strait Islander meal is Spicy Sambal from South East Asia.

At over 80 years of age, Uncle Dan shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to his music. He’s still performing local gigs and is of the opinion that his music keeps him young – music and ‘good genes’, he reckons.

The recipe for Sambal has been provided courtesy of Uncle Dan’s nephew Bob Salam.

A Torres Strait Sambal Recipe


• Any of the following can be used: chicken giblets-lamb hearts-bacon-prawns-squid or tripe approx 1 kg.

• 4 onions diced

• 4 tomatoes diced

• 6 cloves garlic chopped fine

• 50-60 birds eye chillies chopped fine

• 2 tbsp blachan paste (shrimp paste)

• Oil for cooking about 2 tblsp.


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

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

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

Do not use salt as the blachan paste is salty!

I like to puree the chicken giblets and make into a dip (hot). Nice on biscuits or even toast.

You can experiment with this recipe and adjust amount of chillies and blachan to suit your taste.

Suitable to freeze, microwave to defrost.


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