Ease into Eastern Flavors with Maya


How to Make Sambal Oelek?

Homemade Sambal Oelek

My good friend revealed to me the magic of Sambal Oelek in the kitchen. She revealed the recipe—a secret concoction of garlic, red chilies, and love—while smiling warmly.

The smell of tradition and friendship filled the air as the mortar and pestle danced.

The spirit of shared meals and storytelling is in every spoonful.

I’m addicted with my sambal oelek

These days, this beloved recipe serves as more than just a condiment—it serves as a memento of the delightful times spent finding and building relationships that add flavor to life’s journey.

There are 2 variations of sambal oelek: fresh sambal oelek that you can consume right away after being blended, or if you want to keep it longer, you can cook it first and keep it in the fridge.

I’ll teach you how to make both.

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5 Minutes Fresh sambal oelek

  1. Prepare and wash each and every fresh ingredient.
  1. Put the tomato, shallots, red chilies, and garlic cloves in a blender. Process until a gritty paste is achieved.
  2. Empty the paste into a bowl.
  1. Season with salt and palm sugar. Adjust the amounts to your desired level of sweetness and saltiness.
  1. If you want to add even more flavor depth, use shrimp paste. Modify the quantity to your personal taste preferences.
  1. Add lime juice to the mixture and thoroughly whisk.
  1. If required, taste the sambal oelek and adjust the seasoning.
  1. It’s time to serve your freshly made sambal oelek. Savoury it right away with your favorite foods.
Grinding chili, shallot and garlic

This Indonesian Sambal Oelek Chili Paste gives your foods a flavor boost, whether it is used raw or cooked.

Take pleasure in the adaptable sauce over rice, noodles, or any other food that needs a little heat!

Extra tips and tricks to improve the taste of your sambal oelek!

Here are some extra tips and tricks to enhance the taste of your Sambal Oelek:

  • Roast the ingredients

You can roast the garlic, shallots, and red chilies before blending for a richer taste. This gives the sambal oelek a smokey undertone.

  • Tamarind paste

To add an air of tanginess, add a little bit of tamarind paste. This can enhance the sweetness and spice, resulting in a more nuanced taste.

  • Add lemongrass

Add some chopped or blended lemongrass to the sambal oelek for a fragrant and zesty touch. Before use, remove the outer layers.

  • Add a tiny bit of soy sauce.

A tiny bit of soy sauce may give the sambal oelek more flavour and depth. If using soy sauce, adjust the salt quantity appropriately.

  • Allow for maturation.

Before eating the cooked sambal oelek, let it rest for a few hours or overnight. This allows the tastes to combine and deepen.

You may alter the recipe to suit your tastes, and don’t be scared to experiment with different components to create a truly unique Sambal Oelek!

Dishes that pair well with sambal oelek!

Sambal oelek, a tasty and adaptable condiment, goes well with a variety of foods. Here are several recipes that suit the spicy kick of Sambal Oelek:

  • Nasi goreng – Indonesian fried rice

To add even more fire and flavour to your fried rice, stir in some sambal oelek.

  • Satay – grilled skewers

Sambal oelek can be added to the marinade for the skewered meat or used as a dipping sauce for satay.

  • Soto ayam – Indonesian chicken soup

For a spicy twist, top your dish of soto ayam with a tablespoon of sambal oelek.

  • Mee goreng – Indonesian fried noodles

To enhance the flavour of your fried noodles, combine them with sambal oelek.

  • Nasi lemak – Malaysian coconut rice

To create a vibrant taste contrast with nasi lemak, serve sambal oelek as a condiment.

  • Bakso – Indonesian meatball soup

For an extra spicy sensation, top your bowl of bakso with a dollop of sambal oelek.

  • Sambal matah – Balinese raw sambal

Combine sambal oelek with sambal matah to create a flavorful combination of raw and cooked chilli condiments.

  • Grilled seafood

Use sambal oelek as a dipping sauce or marinade for seafood.

  • Noodle soups

Sambal oelek may be used to enhance the taste of different noodle soups, such as ramen, tom yum, and pho.

  • Stir-fried veggies

For an added flavour boost, toss some Sambal Oelek into stir-fried vegetables.

  • Dim sum

For dim sum appetizers like dumplings or spring rolls, use sambal oelek as a dipping sauce.

Try out different combinations to determine the ones you like most. The rich and spicy nature of sambal oelek goes well with a broad range of meals and cuisines.

Fresh chilies

How do I store my sambal oelek?

Keep homemade sambal oelek refrigerated in an airtight, sealed container. To stop oxidation, apply a thin layer of oil to the surface.

Freeze it in ice cube trays if you want to store it for longer. Keep it dry to stop the growth of germs.

Homemade sambal oelek

Ending note

Serve homemade sambal oelek to brighten up your meals!

Savoury the dynamic bite anytime you want a burst of flavor. Happy cooking!

Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek Chilli Paste gives your foods a flavour boost, whether it is used raw or cooked.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indonesian, Malaysian
Servings 4
Calories 34 kcal


  • Palm sugar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
  • Lime juice

Ground Spices

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 200 gr. shallots
  • 250 gr. red chilies
  • 1 tomato


  • Place the spice mixture in a pan and cook it over medium heat.
  • Sambal oelek should be cooked for fifteen or twenty minutes, stirring often, or until the liquid thickens somewhat and the raw smell is gone.
  • Depending on your taste preferences, adjust the lime juice, salt, and palm sugar.
  • Add the shrimp paste to the pan and thoroughly combine. Simmer for another two to three minutes.
  • Let the sambal oelek cool fully after cooking. After the sambal oelek has cooled, move it to a clean, airtight container. For a longer shelf life, keep the cooked sambal oelek refrigerated.
  • Serve cold with your favorite recipes. Store this cooked version in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Keyword Sambal Oelek

Maya Sari

I'm Maya Sari, a passionate East Culinary food blogger here to share with you the secrets of the mouthwatering flavors of East Asian cuisine

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