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Tuna Sambal

Serves 4

A recipe from Singapore’s Banana Leaf at the Original Farmers’ Market, Hollywood CA.


  • Vegetable Oil ½ cup
  • White Onion 1 large, chopped
  • Garlic 4 cloves, minced
  • Fresh Ginger 1 Tbs, peeled and minced
  • Tomato Paste 5 Tbs
  • Red Bell Pepper 1, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Ground Turmeric ½ tsp
  • Ground Cumin  ½ tsp
  • Sambal Oelek Chile Paste 1 Tbs or Fresh Green Chile 1, sliced
  • Sea Salt a pinch
  • Ground White Pepper a pinch
  • Solid White Tuna 3 x 6 oz cans
  • Fresh Cilantro ½ cup, coarsely chopped
  • Water ½ cup, if needed

Cook It

  1. Place a large skillet coated with oil on the stove over medium heat.
  2. When the oil gets hazy, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about five minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, bell pepper, turmeric, cumin and chile paste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for another five minutes, or until the tomato paste is well incorporated.
  4. Add the tuna, stirring to break it up into smaller pieces and flakes and combine.
  5. Add the water if the sambal mixture looks too dry, and cook for another three minutes to heat through.
  6. Divide into four portions and sprinkle each serving with cilantro and serve with a few ounces of cooked white rice.