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The British have their dainty cucumber sandwich....eaten with raised pinkies. Malaysia, a former British colony, added a little a lot of spice to the cucumber sandwich, and came up with the sambal sandwich. We made this sandwich in our Asian Mini Sandwiches class at Whole Foods recently and it was a hit! The butter softens the spice of the sambal, and the cucumber cools the palate.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8


Cost per serving $0.54 view details
  • 3 fresh red chilies
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 3 small shallots, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons roasted belacan
  • ½ inch piece of tumeric/ ½ teaspoon tumeric powder
  • ½ inch of galangal
  • 1 lemongrass, sliced, white part only
  • 2/3 cup of dried shrimp, soaked
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste mixed with ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoon sugar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 8 slices of white bread, crust removed
  • ½ stick butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ English cucumber, unpeeled, sliced into paper thin rounds


  1. Preparing the spice paste: chilies, garlic, shallots, belachan, tumeric, galangal and lemongrass in a food processor till a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Drain the dried shrimps. Separately, place in food processor and grind till fine.
  3. Cooking the sambal: In a wok or a saucepan, heat ¼ cup canola oil on medium high. Fry the spice paste till fragrant, red and oil has separated, about 7-10 minutes. Add more oil if necessary to prevent sticking. Add the dried shrimp and sugar. Fry until aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add tamarind liquid. Continue cooking, adding more oil if necessary for another 10 minutes until the sambal is a dry and deep red in color.
  4. Assemble the sandwich: Remove bread crust, and place two slices of bread on a cutting board. Generously smear butter on one side of each slice of bread. Spread on a thin layer of the sambal, top with cucumber and sandwich with buttered bread. Cut bread into diagonally twice making 4 tiny triangles per sandwich.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 62g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 217  
Calories from Fat 174 80%
Total Fat 19.73g 25%
Saturated Fat 4.7g 19%
Trans Fat 0.06g  
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 71mg 3%
Potassium 89mg 3%
Total Carbs 6.39g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Sugars 5.42g 4%
Protein 4.38g 7%
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