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Sauces (Rempah)

What to know what makes Peramakan food dishes so delectable? The biggest secret for any authentic nyonya dish lies in its sauce or another way we locals like to call it, "Rempah".

Rempah is made up of the freshest chillies, garlic, shallots, tumeric, tamarind, candlenuts and other potent spices that bring the most sensational flavours out of seemingly ordinary dishes. 


Our bottled spice paste are ready-to-eat and convenient to use.

“REMPAH” is a Malay word for ‘SPICE” and this is the most important group of ingredients that form the foundation of Malay and Peranakan cooking. A variety of ingredients comprising of roots (turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, ginger, etc), chillies, shallots, garlic, candlenuts and toasted shrimp paste are used to make a variety of spice pastes. When these spices are blended together, they form a paste which we call “REMPAH”. This is then patiently fried in a deep-pan until the oil oozes out (the Peranakans call this “PECHAH MINYAK”. That’s when the spice paste is ready to use. Then, it will no longer be called “REMPAH” but “SAMBAL”.

The additions of other spices such as cumin, fennel, coriander, pepper and nutmeg in various quantities will transform the basic spice paste into a variety of sambals depending on what’s added. Likewise, the addition of coconut milk or tamarind can change a dish. Not all “REMPAHS” are spicy. The use of garlic and fermented soya beans (taucheo) and onions is itself a ‘REMPAH”. And that’s not all. During cooking, a variety of aromatic leaves and fresh roots are added to enhance the fragrance and flavour of the dish. The clever use of “marrying ingredients” at various stages of cooking, from preparing the REMPAH to finally cooking the dish forms the backbone of traditional Peranakan cooking.


What's in a Jar of Rempah?

SPICES
Garam Assam
Rendang
Kleo
Pongtay
Pork Ribs
Satay Ayam Panggang
Sambal Belachan
Sambal Buah Keluak
Sambal Titek

CONDIMENTS
Chilli Chuka
Chilli Chuka, Vegetarian
Nyonya Kaya (Pandan)
Nyonya Kaya
(Brown Caramel)
Fish Curry Powder
Chicken Curry Powder

PICKLES
Achar
Luak Chye
Sambal Belimbing
Taucheo
Sambal Belimbing
Titek

Recipes You Can Try

NYONYA KARI AYAM

  • 700 gm chicken – chopped into pieces & marinated with ½ tsp salt
  • 3 medium sized potatoes (quartered)
  • 400 ml hot water, 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt, 4 tbsp oil

Ground to a fine paste:

75 gm shallots

30 gm ginger

6 cloves garlic

50 gm PeraMakan’s curry powder

Whole Spices:

1 stalk lemongrass

4 kaffir lime leaves


Heat oil in cooking pot. When hot, sauté spice paste in low heat until fragrant

Add marinated chicken and sauté for 5 minutes

Add hot water, potatoes and whole spices

Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower heat, simmer till chicken/potatoes are tender.

Just before serving, add coconut milk. Bring to a boil & serve

SAMBAL TITEK

Suitable as a condiment to accompany fried fish, fried eggs, Nasi Lemak. Just serve as it is or add a little water to the mixture if it’s too thick.  No seasoning required

FOR SAMBAL PETAI
Blanch Petai Beans, stir fry with onions, sliced chillies & small prawns until cooked & fragrant.  Add the sambal to finish off the dish.

FOR SAMBAL UDANG KERING (HAYBEE HIAM)
Wash & dry dried shrimps, medium ground, fry with a little oil & 3 – 4 pcs of kaffir lime leaves till fragrant.  Add sambal, stir-fry to complete the dish.

For Aromatics:
Add 4 pcs Kaffir lime leaves to the sambal during cooking. If you want a spicier version, add a few sliced chilli padi to the sambal.

SAMBAL GARAM ASSAM

Suitable for Fish & Seafood

  1. Add 300 ml hot water to one bottle of spice paste.
  2. Bring to a boil. Add aromatics.
  3. Add 500 gm fish, prawns or seafood
  4. Sides can be brinjals, ladyfingers or pineapples

No seasoning required. Optional: Garnish with laksa leaves or lemon basil

Note: if you are adding pineapples only, allow the pineapples to boil for 5 minutes to infuse the gravy.  Add a little coconut milk before serving

Optional Aromatics: Add 5 slices galangal, one stalk lemon grass (bruised) & a handful of laksa leaves.

FOR SEAFOOD OR FISH CURRY

  1. Add 1 tbsp fish curry powder & 2 sprigs of curry leaves to the spice paste, stir-fry till fragrant before adding 300 ml hot water.
  2. Bring to a boil before adding seafood & vegetables
  3. Add coconut milk just before serving
  4. Add 2 sprigs of curry leaves.

SAMBAL BUAK KELUAK

Suitable for Chicken, Pork Ribs or Shin Beef (Rawon)

Marinate overnight:
500 gm Chicken, Pork Ribs or Shin Beef

In a saucepan, over a low heat, add a little oil & fry the aromatics, then add marinated meat & 200 ml hot water, bring to a boil, cover & lower heat, simmer till meat is tender.  

During simmering, liquid will be reduced so add a little water when necessary. Gravy should not be too thin. No seasoning required.

Aromatics:

1 stalk lemongrass (bruised) & 5 slices galangal

For fried rice, fry the rice with sliced garlic, onions, prawns or sliced chicken until fragrant

Add 1 – 2 tbsps sambal and stir-fry for 30 seconds

Serve hot, garnished with cubed cucumbers & coriander leaves

SAMBAL KLEO

Suitable for Chicken

Marinate overnight: 500 gm chicken

In a saucepan, add the aromatics & marinated meat   Sauté for 5 minutes, add 200 ml hot water. Bring to a boil, lower heat & simmer till meat is tender During simmering, liquid will be reduced so add a little water when necessary. Gravy should not be too thin

Aromatics:
1 stalk lemongrass (bruised), 5 slices of galangal, 6 pcs Kaffir Lime Leaves

Add coconut milk before serving

No seasoning required. Garnish: Finely sliced Kaffir Lime Leaves

SAMBAL PONGTAY

Suitable for Pork or Chicken

Marinate overnight:  500 gm Belly pork, lean hind pork leg (tuibak) or chicken 

In a saucepan, add marinated meat. Sauté for 5 minutes, add 200 ml hot water

Add sliced canned winter bamboo shoots (150 gm)

Add whole Shitake mushrooms (about 50 gm) 

Bring to a boil, lower heat & simmer till meat is tender.  During simmering, liquid will be reduced so add a little water when necessary. Gravy should not be too thin

No seasoning required. Garnish: Hand-broken Green Chillies

Note: Other than rice, baguettes are a good accompaniment to Babi Pongtay

SAMBAL RENDANG

Suitable for Beef, Lamb or Chicken

Marinate overnight: 500 gm Shin Beef, Leg of Lamb or Chicken

In a saucepan, add marinated meat Sauté for 5 minutes, add 200 ml hot water

Optional: add one turmeric leaf, knotted

Bring to a boil, lower heat, simmer till meat is tender

During simmering, liquid will be reduced so add a little water when necessary.  Sauce should be thick but pourable.

Add thick coconut milk before serving. No seasoning required

Garnish: Kerisik (Fried Grated Coconut)

Mix 50 gm of grated coconut with 1 tsp of the spice paste, add 1 tsp sugar.  Stir-fry in very low heat until crispy & fragrant

SAMBAL PORK RIBS

Suitable for Pork or Chicken

Marinate overnight:  500 gm Belly pork, lean hind pork leg (tuibak) or chicken 

In a saucepan, add marinated meat. Sauté for 5 minutes, add 200 ml hot water

Add sliced canned winter bamboo shoots (150 gm)

Add whole Shitake mushrooms (about 50 gm) 

Bring to a boil, lower heat & simmer till meat is tender.  During simmering, liquid will be reduced so add a little water when necessary. Gravy should not be too thin

No seasoning required. Garnish: Hand-broken Green Chillies

Note: Other than rice, baguettes are a good accompaniment to Babi Pongtay

Where to Buy Our Rempah

OUR LOCATIONS

Tingkat PeraMakan

Owen Road

119 Owen Road
Singapore 218924

tel: +65 62913474
Operating Hrs:
11.30am-9pm

Paya Lebar Quarter

10 Paya Lebar Road
#B2-03 PLQ Mall
Paya Lebar Quarter
Singapore 409057

tel: +65 6970 5405
Daily: 11:30am-9pm

Tampines Mart

5 TampInes Street 32
#02-14 TampInes Mart
Singapore 529284

tel: +65 62701618
Operating Hrs: 11:30am-3pm, 6-9pm

Thomson Plaza

301 Upper Thomson Road
#03-43
Singapore574408

tel: +65 6251 6557
Operating Hrs: 11.30am – 9pm

Alexandra Retail Centre

460 Alexandra Road #01-18
Singapore 119963

tel: +65 6250 3050
Operating Hrs: 11:30am – 9pm