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Sweet and Spicy Lychee Sambal

Fruit and spiciness is such a delicious combination.

This quirky little number is a take on a traditional Indonesian recipe that is typically made with starfruit (which isn’t often available here in Australia). It works incredibly well. Each spoonful packs a punch of sweet, salty and spicy. It would also work well on your Christmas table as “something different” to enjoy with the Christmas Turkey.

We love this served with chicken and rice. It stores well in the fridge for a few days. Feel free to experiment with different proteins, grains and salads.

What you need:

  • 5 red chillies

  • 5 anchovies

  • 2 tbs of anchovy oil from the jar

  • 1 tbs

  • ½ red onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tsp terasi (fermented shrimp paste, use an anchovy if unavailable)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 3 tsp coconut sugar

  • ½ cup lychees (fresh or canned), halved

  • Juice of half a lemon


  1. Grind all the ingredients in a food processor (or mortar and pestle if you prefer doing it this way) except the anchovies, anchovy oil, lychees, and lemon juice.

  2. Sauté the anchovies and anchovy oil until just tender (a minute or two).

  3. Add the chilli mixture to the anchovies and continue to sauté on medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring and breaking up the anchovies with a wooden spoon.

  4. If the mixture becomes a little dry, add a couple tablespoons of water.

  5. Switch off the heat and add the lychees.

  6. Squeeze lemon juice over the mixture.

  7. Serve and use as preferred.