Sambal recipe

Beef Randang
Sumatran Chicken Curry
Fish curry
Bubur Jagung
Durian Sambal





Sambal is Indonesian chili paste used in various Indonesian dishes or can be added to noodle soups to make them hot and spicy. There are different types of sambal which is used for different styles of cooking - hot, spicy, sour, sweet.

Sambal ulek is the basic hot chili paste which is the basic ingredients for all sambals like Sambal Kacang, Sambal Tomat or Sambal Hijau. Sambal should be kept in the refrigerator.


Basic Sambal ulek


  • Birds eye chilies

  • Terasi (this is a shrimp paste readily available in Asian markets)

  • teaspoon sugar

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Salt

  • Lemon juice

Blend all these ingredients within a blender. Do not blend too much as you want to keep some of the rough texture and for it not to be too runny.

Sambal Kacang


  • 3 shallots, minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, other vegetable oil can be used but will reduce the overall flavour

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • cup peanut butter

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried piquin chiles or substitute Sambal Oelek

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and ginger and saute until the onions are soft and transparent but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat back to a simmer stirring in the remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.

Serve the sambal warm or at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or the peanut butter will congeal and the flavors will not blend.

Sambal Lombok Hijau


  • Onion

  • Terasi

  • Lombok Hijau (Green peppers), sliced finely

  • Galangal

  • Asam (Tamarind)

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Cabe rawit (birds eye chilli), alternately if you do not like it hot you could use red capsicums

  • Daun Salam


Fry the onion, until golden brown, add the Lombok hijau, Daun salam, and lengkuas, and fry until the lombok has softened

Grind the cabe rawit or the capsicum with the terasi.

Fry this with the onions and lombok. Add salt and sugar.

Let simmer until the oil floats to the top. Cool and bottle in clean sterilised jars.

Last updated 19th March 2009

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