A few years ago I made a hot sauce to sell on medieval market fairs. Funny note is; that this product was sold alongside new age products and board/card games. The company selling it was named "GameTroll", so a suitable name was quickly found in the name of "Troll Sauce". To be honest, the "Troll Sauce" was a popular hype in its time and found its way to many friends, family, medieval markets visitors and even some local stores and diners. But as with all things soooo fiery, they cool down after some time...
I think you can all identify yourself into situations where you do something and years later it made much more sense on why you did it. One of these moments for me is the "Troll Sauce". Now that I am busy with unraveling all these fantasy food recipes with "The Faerie Tavern", it is time to rekindle the yummy ember that is "Troll Sauce".
After doing some research and contacting my sources into the world of magical creatures, one thing quickly became clear. From the Rock Trolls that live outside Helsinki Finland, the Mud Trolls that live in Blackspout Woods, Scotland, the Slimy Canal Trolls of Venice Italy, to the Sand Trolls in the Grand Canon USA or the savage Forest Trolls of the Black Forest in Germany; they have one things in common. The devour and digest EVERYTHING they want to.
The digestion system of a troll contain many stomachs which all have a very strong acid fluid into it, it is this fluid which helps them to digest all they eat, from meat, to vedgies and even rocks. It is also this nameless fluid which we use as inspiration for our "Troll Sauce".
What do we need?
- 300 grams of Red Peppers (Chili peppers, Spanish peppers). Pick the big shiny ones with a smooth surface without wrinkles, these are the fresh ones. Leave the seeds inside!
- 1 big onion.
- 1 big Bell pepper. Go for red if you want to keep the red color.
- 2 parts of garlic. You can also use pulp out of a jar, I normally do this because I tend to be lazy.
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar.
- 2 tablespoons of ketjap manis.
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, any will do. I prefer to use palm sugar or another "rough"type of sugar.
- 1 pinch of salt.
- 1 teaspoon of ginger. I prefer the pulp out of a jar here, but you can use fresh ginger of course.
- 1 teaspoon of lemon grass. Here too, I prefer the pulp.
- Enough oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan with. Here is where it gets interesting, you can use a lot of different oils. I prefer sunflower or rice oil but feel free to try out other ones and see if you like the taste.
- Using a kitchen machine mix all ingredients until you have a smooth mixture. Some people prefer a more rustic/chunky texture but that is up to your personal preference.
- Put some oil in the pan, just enough to fill the bottom should be enough.
- Fry the mix for around 5 minutes. Make sure the oil does not boil! Little bit warm. add slowly. stir well. get the feeling.
- Make sure the heat within the pan is not too high and not too low, get the right feel.
- Stay with it and watch. Once all oil has been absorbed, it is done. Be careful not to burn it, it might start to taste bitter or the peppers get hard.
- Not as easy as it seems! Don't give up if first attempts fail.
- Put the sauce in sterilized storage jars. Fill to brim with sauce and cover with oil. Turn closed jar up side down and let your sambal cool down.
- Your own Troll sauce can stay good for months. Just check it from time to time if the jar has been opened, refilling the top with some oil and cleaning any rest in the lid can make sure you can keep it fresh as long as possible.
- Done. The possibilities to use it are endless. My family, friends and I use it in pasta sauces, oven dishes, as a dip with snacks, to spice up marinades and sauces, to add some heat to meatballs and so on and on...
- For extra spice you can use more strong peppers of course, or add 1 small extra hot one to the mix. Just keep in mind that "heat" has a limit for most people, it is nice to make the world's hottest sauce out there but if no one will taste it...well you get the point.
- If you do not use it all up in one go and will store it, check the jar and content from time to time. If it gets dry, just add a new thin layer of oil on top. This will keep the hot sauce fresh for a way longer time.
- If you want a green color, take green bell peppers and green chili peppers. Basically avoid most things that are not green. It is that easy.
- You can add more ingredients to create your own customized flavor. But this is something that happens along the way. In the countries where sambal/ hot sauce originates from; many families have their own recipes, passed down through the generations. Above recipe is a good basic way to start creating your own original family recipe.
Have fun starting your own hot sauce/sambal/troll sauce tradition and spread the heat!