Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins

A staple in Malaysian and Thai cooking. Oelek means grinding so sambal oelek means ground chilli sambal! This can also be frozen.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Blend the chillies, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
  2. While processing gradually add the vinegar.
  3. Place the pureed mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  6. Add the salt and lime zest.
  7. Remove from the heat, cool and bottle in sterilised jars.
Most Helpful

Firstly I'd like to straighten things out, sambal oelek is from Indonesia - but the spelling is old Dutch, where the first 'sambal oelek' brand was introduced. The word is javanese origin, meaning ground by stone mortar. There's no 'oelek' word in Malaysian....

Secondly, right about the sugar amount used in this recipe. Way too much. Besides, the real sambal oelek used brown palm/coconut sugar.

Cookingetcetera February 05, 2013

This turned out to be the sweetest sambal I have ever made-sickly so. Wasted a pound of peppers. Really bummed. 1 cup of sugar? Seriously, way off, but I don't know how much less would make this any good.

IanMaki January 27, 2013

Great recipe. Use fresh, red Thai chilies to blow your stack.<br/>Danger, Will Robinson!!

P.Q. Butterfat December 12, 2013