Balinese torch ginger sambal (sambal bongkot) a guest post for Indonesia Eats

February 13, 2012

Today I’m guest writer at Indonesia Eats, the person behind Indonesia Eats works is Peppy, a food blogger friend that I have been connected since 2008.
As for our love to the cooking and also our fond to Indonesian food home-cooking, we are quite often keeping in touch each other. 
If you’re looking for some reference of Indonesian food, please have your self a jump to her Blog as she have so many delicious Indonesian food recipes completed with the most valuable information.

As for today guest post recipe, I have Balinese most famous lip smacking condiment recipe to share out, it calls “Sambal bongkot”, an authentic Balinese sambal that I could not live without.
The smell and the tangy flavor from bongkot (kecombrang/honje/torch ginger) is the best in the world! die die la…

I’m sure that you inquisitive about it and wanted to know what it is *oh yes those shoots that resemble sticks are not haphazardly sticks; they are my most favourite spice besides ginger, daun kemangi (lemon basil) and lemongrass.

Without a lot more string attached, please visit Indonesia Eats to get to know my Balinese sambal bongkot recipe, which are like treasure for me and all Balinese J 

Thank you Peppy for having me on Indonesia Eats :)
Its been pleasure to work with you!

*Special Thank to Mrs Ketut whom brought me to witnessed the treasure Bongkot plant (they are massive and well growing in their natural habitat, it amazing!) and she also taught me how to make Balinese sambal bongkot

Terima kasih mbak ketut!


As for today, I'am sharing the most alluring typical Balinese home-cooking condiment that definitely very tough to find at any warung makan (small local eating place), restaurant or even the five star restaurants in Bali.
Bongkot /kecombrang/honje/torch ginger is a young shoot or bud from Etlingera elatior and commonly used in cooking.  They are inexpensive but its an indispensable ingredient used to flavour various kind of dishes. The characteristic describes at the pungent taste and aroma, one of the best smell in the world!
To be honest, the only way to have sambal bongkot is making it by your own at home and it’s just required a little work in the kitchen.
Sambal bongkot is very down to earth yet authentic condiment to the most Balinese, especially to all Balinese home cooking. If you go to the traditional market in Bali and ask for bongkot, the seller would definitely teasing you by spot on guessed that you’re absolutely gonna make sambal bongkot lol…I bet you in this!  Well, Its eternal all of time, the type of traditional condiment that would be most wanted by all people, once you have taste it, I give you my words that you would never ever forget! Never ever forget of Bali and never ever forget of sambal bongkot!
To me, sambal bongkot is one of a kind, typical Balinese home cooking—as simple, humble yet delicious sambal that could definitely turn my world up side down

Sambal Bongkot
-Balinese Torch Ginger Sambal-
10-11 shallots, finely sliced
7-8 bird eye chillies, sliced*
2 bongkot (ginger torch/honje/kecombrang), finely sliced and chopped*
1 teaspoon toasted dried shrimp paste (terasi/belachan)
6 tablespoons coconut oil/canola oil
salt to taste

Heat the oil in wok over medium fire, add in slices of shallot, and fry until it just wilted.
Add in slices of chilli, stir and quickly fry and then add-in bongkot, fry for another few seconds.
Turn off the heat, toss in toasted dried shrimp paste (terasi) and season the sambal with salt. Using a fork, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
Dish up and serve with your favorite fish dishes or seafood dishes.
Cook note:
  • Only slice the white part of ginger torch . Slice it finely. When you feel, you slice the hard part of ginger torch remove the outer layer. Do this step until all ginger torch is sliced up.
  • You can always adjust the spiciness as your desire, use red chilli *deseeds instead of bird eye chilli or you may use store bought flakes dried chilli.
  • Sambal bongkot can be serve with fried fish, grilled fish, grilled seafood or even fried tofu and tempe>I suggest always make it fresh as bongkot will turns darker colour too quickly.

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