Sambal Lado Mudo (Sardines with Green Chilli Sambal)

A Malaysian dish from Tom Kime of griddled sardines with a fresh and fiery relish
By Tom Kime
Sambal Lado Mudo (Sardines with Green Chilli Sambal)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 lime leaves
  • vegetable oil
  • 5 shallots, finely sliced
  • 6 green chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 unripe tomatoes, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 12-16 fresh sardines, cleaned and scaled


1. Turn the lime leaves over so that the underside is uppermost. Using a sharp knife, shave off the stem so that that the leaf lies flat. Place the leaves on top of each other, and tightly roll like a cigar. With a fast rolling motion of the knife, finely chop the lime leaves into a thin needle like shred.

2. To make up the sambal, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy pan over a medium-high heat. Add the shallot, and stir fry for 2 minutes until fragrant and translucent.

3. Add the green chilli, diced tomato, lime leaves, sugar, and salt. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the lime juice and remove the pan from the heat.

4. Heat a frying pan or ridged cast-iron grill pan over a medium-high heat, and add a little oil. Season the fish with salt and black pepper, grill the fish for 3 minutes on each side being careful not to overcook them, as this will cause them to dry out and lose their flavour.

5. Serve with the green chilli and tomato sambal.

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