Kitchen Tips

The Secret Ingredient that will add pep to your Christmas Menu

Looking for an easy way to inject new life into your classic Christmas menu? Take a jar of good-quality sambal paste (or have a go at making your own), then add this pungent Malaysian sauce to drinks, dressings, glazes and sides for your fieriest Christmas feast yet.

How to Make Sambal


Before you go and add sambal to everything, it’s best to choose just one or two sambal-spiked dishes to add to your traditional repertoire, rather than serving a multi-course sambal meal that’ll make your guests sweat!

Chilli-cucumber cocktail

Want to get your Christmas festivities off to a flying start? Add a squirt of sambal to your favourite margarita recipe, then garnish with a wedge of cucumber.

Sambal dipping sauce for seafood

If you’re serving chilled seafood, why not spice up your dipping sauce with a dollop of sambal? Combine Japanese mayonnaise with sambal paste and lemon juice to taste.

Sambal-glazed ham

Create a sticky, spicy glaze for your baked ham by combining orange juice, brown sugar, sambal paste and a splash of rum. Baste the ham with the glaze before and during baking.

Sambal green beans

For a spicy side dish to accompany your roast turkey, stir-fry green beans with peanut oil, crushed garlic and sambal paste.

Sambal roast potatoes

Roast white and sweet potatoes until crunchy. While hot, toss with sambal paste and toasted sesame seeds for a piping-hot side dish.

For more Christmas menu inspiration, find out how to add a Thai accent to your festive feast.

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