You will love liver dishes too if they taste as good as Indonesian sambal goreng hati. This dish always appears on our celebratory menu, and it is just as easy to make it for daily enjoyment.
The liver is one of the most nutritionally dense foods, and we can usually buy liver at a cheaper price compared to meat. It is such a waste that we don’t prepare liver dishes often enough to take advantage of its highly nutritious nature and its price.
It is not hard to make this dish at home, and with this recipe, I think you will find that we can turn liver into a delicious dish.
Ingredients for Sambal Goreng Hati (Liver with Chili Sauce)
You can use beef or chicken liver. Liver has a very intense flavor; if this is your first time eating liver, I suggest going with chicken liver for its milder flavor.
Please choose Indonesian gula Jawa or Malaysian gula Melaka. They come in cylinders, and you must chop/grate them to obtain the amount a recipe calls for.
Thai palm sugar is the best substitute, though I find the flavor is slightly lacking compared to gula Jawa or gula Melaka.
You may also use coconut sugar instead of palm sugar. Coconut sugar looks like brown sugar and comes in a granulated form, like regular brown sugar.
Chili paste: garlic, shallot, galangal, and red chili
Use Fresno red chili for a less spicy dish. If you love spicy food, you can use bird-eye chilies instead. Or go for the middle of the road with 50-50 Fresno and bird-eye chilies.
You can also use coriander seeds instead of ground coriander. If you use the seeds, please add them along with garlic, shallot, galangal, and red chili when you make the chili paste in a grinder/food processor.
I prefer using tamarind pulp. These usually contain seeds, so please remove the seeds before weighing to get the correct amount.
You may also use tamarind paste, but each brand has a different concentration, so you will need to experiment to get the correct flavor if you go with tamarind paste.
Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
I prefer using canned coconut milk, but you cannot go wrong with carton coconut milk if that is what you have to work with.
Any brand of tomato ketchup will work, and there is no need to go with fancy brands.
Prep work: grind the chili paste and sauté the liver
1. Grind the chili paste
I use a food processor to grind garlic, shallot, galangal, and red chili into a smooth paste.
Since I use ground coriander, I don’t add it when making the chili paste. If you are using coriander seeds, please add them when making the chili paste.
You can use the spice grinder/blender instead of a food processor. Or, go the traditional route by using a mortar and a pestle to make the chili paste.
2. Blanch and sauté the liver
First, chop the liver into 1-inch bite-size pieces. Next, boil a pot of water and blanch the liver for 30 seconds or until the color changes. Drain the liver and set aside.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil when the pan is hot, and add the blanched liver. Sauté the liver pieces for 2-3 minutes, then remove them from the pan and set aside.
Cooking Sambal Goreng Hati (Liver with Chili Sauce)
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté chili paste and ground coriander (if using) for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.
Add coconut milk, sweet soy sauce, tamarind, ketchup, palm sugar, and salt. Mix well and bring to a boil.
Return sautéed liver to the pan and mix well. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces and becomes thick.
Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with thinly sliced red chilies. Serve it immediately with steamed white rice.
Sambal goreng hati usually make its appearance in either a nasi kuning set, or a lontong set.
To prepare a nasi kuning set, you may want to serve sambal goreng hati with nasi kuning (turmeric rice), perkedel kentang (potato fritters), ayam ungkep (fried chicken), and lalap sambal terasi (vegetables with shrimp paste chili relish).
Sambal Goreng Hati - Liver with Chili Sauce
- 500 gram chicken/beef liver
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 30 gram (~ 2 tablespoon) palm sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon thick tamarind juice (10 gram tamarind pulp + 1 tablespoon warm water)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Grind the following into chili paste
- 4 cloves garlic
- 100 gram shallots
- 1 inch galangal
- 5 fresno chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
- Grind the chili paste: Grind garlic, shallot, galangal, and red chili into a smooth paste.
- Blanch and sauté the liver: Chop liver into 1-inch bite-size pieces. Boil a pot of water and blanch the liver for 30 seconds or until the color changes. Drain the liver and set aside.
- Fry chili paste: Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté chili paste and ground coriander for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.
- Make the sauce: Add coconut milk, sweet soy sauce, tamarind, ketchup, palm sugar, and salt. Mix well and bring to a boil.
- Add liver: Return sautéed liver to the pan and mix well. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces and becomes thick.
- Serve: Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with thinly sliced red chilies. Serve it immediately with steamed white rice.