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Chicken Liver Sambal Goreng: No Waste Food, Free Range Chicken

brussels sprouts sambal

I’ve been in Istanbul for work and another Kimchi workshop, which was fantastic. Apologies to those who had been turned down due to the size of the class. From now on, I’ll give a private class, so if you have a group who is interested in making Kimchi, please contact me privately. I’m going to make a separate event page for workshops soon so please check in regularly, though I feel bad I’m not writing as often as I should. Well, spring is around the corner and I’ll be more active.

Now I’m back home to prepare my trip to Raw Wine London. Let me save this subject for another time and talk about beautiful Canakkale. I’m so happy to be back here.


When I was in Istanbul, people kept asking about my life in Canakkale. People who grew up in Istanbul or in a big city can’t imagine life in a small town; to them, leaving it behind is the end of the world. I don’t have such an attachment, very blessed, and I adapt to any place as long as I can drink wine and eat cheese.


I took some photos of the harbour where I take a walk with my dog almost every day and say hello to the Troy horse. Can you see it in the left corner? The guy in the right is Piri Reis, a local late-medieval historical figure, who is famous for drawing the world map that solved some of the puzzles of Columbus’s maps.


This city has young vibes, being a uni city, but also there are many retirees, who have become my new friends. I socialise with them, going to gatherings for food and dance, and walk around hunting for good produce. A close family friend recently introduced me to a place that sells free range chicken, duck, turkey, spring lamb, etc.

I got one big fat….hen, I guess, telling by the ovary. Cleaning a village chicken or duck is a chance to study their anatomy and, believe or not, it’s quite interesting.


It’s a beautiful chicken and  I wanted to make the most of it. Since we only eat free range chicken (gezen tavuk in Turkish), we don’t get to eat chicken often, and when we do, we devour every bit of it. Real free range chicken is tough, I mean really tough and needs long slow cooking.

I thought I’d make Coq au Vin but then I’d been using so much wine in lamb shanks so I decided to do it in a simple way. By combining Korean medicinal herbs and Vietnamese Pho spices, I could eat the meat on its own and make a soup or porridge with the broth.


It was cooked in a crock pot for 3 hours till the meat fell off the bones. With the delicious meat, I made Turkish chicken porridge(Keskek), which Mr.O loves, but with an Asian twist, and it was aromatic with star anise, ginseng and garlic. Turkish Keskek is nice but it’s a bit bland unless you add lots of butter and chilli oil.

What now with the giblets? I could have just fried and eaten them as a side with some salad but I decided to dress it up with Sambal sauce. Since I don’t buy sauces any more, I improvised to make it, substituting for some missing ingredients (see the recipe section). Instead of fresh chillies, I used Turkish chilli paste, biber salca, which works well combined with pomegranate molasses.

brussel sprouts

Whenever I cook brussels sprouts, hubby praises me. Remember this? He enjoyed the brussels sprouts in this spicy Malaysian inspired dish as well. It was aromatic, with ginger, kaffir lime and lemongrass, and spicy but with coconut cream that softens the heat. Of course, you can use chicken, beef, lamb or seafood instead of giblets so don’t turn away!


The white and black beans were added just to bulk up the nutritional value and I have all kinds of beans soaked and frozen in the freezer, which I use arbitrarily.


I can’t decide whether the brussels sprouts are the main or the liver but it was delicious and made hubby eat healthy brussels sprouts again. One of the tips in making this is to roast or pan-grill the sprouts separately first and add them later.


Another thing I did differently to a normal Sambal Goreng recipe is that I added some of the white kimchi juice and I think it was a great idea as it gives a pungent, sweet and sour flavours. So don’t throw away Kimchi juice! I tried to mimic authentic flavours, working with chemistry, and used hot mustard powder in place of galangal. Kimchi juice, hot mustard, pomegranate molasses sort of did its job for my quick improvised dish.

sambal goreng

Sambal sauce is a great way to use up  the giblets, which would be thrown out otherwise. I could have fancied it up by making liver paté or a sauce for a roast or steak but this stir-fry seems to be the most versatile and hassle free. You might like to check another recipe I did with giblets, which is very different.

Easy Sambal Goreng with Chicken Giblets

Ingredients (serves 2)

300-400g brussels sprouts, halved
chicken giblets(liver, heart, gizzards, whatever and how much ever you want)
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass bulb, thinly sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp Sambal sauce(*see note)
300ml coconut milk (or 100ml coconut cream+water)
1 cup soaked white or black beans (optional)
galangal (skip or substitute for hot mustard)
1 Tbsp Kimchi juice(optional)
salt to taste
cooking oil

1. Roast or pan-grill brussels sprouts and set them aside.
2. Cook the trimmed giblets for 5-7 mins in the same pan with oil and set them aside.
3. Sauté the chopped onion till soft, and add Sambal sauce, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal (if using) or hot mustard to infuse.
4. Add the beans and coconut milk and simmer for 15 mins.
5. Add the brussels sprouts and giblets and toss around to mix.
6. Taste and season with salt and serve with rice.

Sambal sauce: blend these ingredients

1 cm slice ginger (1 tsp minced ginger)
4 fresh red chillies (I used biber salca-Turkish chilli paste)
1/2 onion
1 spring onion
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp shrimp paste or fish sauce
2 Tbsp tamarind juice or pomegranate molasses+lemon or lime+sugar)

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